Architect’s trip paid for by local society, gladly

The Skeena Diversity Society responds to a letter questioning a visit by one of Canada's most accomplished architects

Dear Sir:

We are writing in response to a letter by Mr. Condie published on July 11th. Mr. Condie, who is a retired architect, posed questions that more people may be asking about the recent visit by one of Canada’s most accomplished architects, Douglas Cardinal and his wife Idoia. They came to Terrace at the invitation of Skeena Diversity Society, a non-profit organization which works towards making Terrace a more welcoming and inclusive community. This includes many different aspects, one of which is our built environment. Our organization is grounded in the four pillars of sustainability: economic viability, social equity, environmental responsibility and cultural vitality.

The cost of their trip (airfare, accommodation and meals) was fully covered by Skeena Diversity Society which receives funding under the Welcoming and Inclusive Communities and Workplaces Program through the Ministry of Jobs, Innovation and Tourism. Mr. Cardinal and his wife Idoia donated their time while in Terrace. Throughout the day, the Cardinals met with City staff, the Co-op Task Force and Skeena Diversity Society. Mr. Cardinal was interviewed by CFTK TV’s program “The Journey” and a Terrace Standard reporter before giving his two-hour public presentation to nearly 100 people.

The purchase of the former Co-op property by the City of Terrace remains one of the more controversial and discussed topics. Think of it as an opportunity to create a vision for a unique and meaningful development for now and generations to come.

Skeena Diversity supports the evolution of a community developed vision though holding community dialogues and building on the efforts of volunteer grassroots groups, such as ASK Terrace. In December 2010, Skeena Diversity hired Nathan Edelson and Normajean McLaren of 42nd Street Consulting of Vancouver to facilitate the “Future of the Co-op Property” community dialogue.  They not only facilitated that dialogue but continue to promote Terrace and support its vision for the future of the Co-op property. It was largely thanks to their efforts that Douglas Cardinal came to Terrace.

In March 2012, Skeena Diversity Society was appointed to the city’s newly formed Co-op Task Force together with two city councillors, Terrace Downtown Improvement Area Society and four members-at-large. The Society’s goal is to facilitate an open process of community engagement of a diverse group of citizens.

Terrace has an incredible natural beauty; it has amazingly talented dedicated residents who want to be more involved in shaping the future of Terrace. The development of the former Co-op property is not an easy task but it is a great opportunity to develop something unique which will truly serve the people of our community and region for many generations to come, following in the footsteps of the Terrace Co-op by working together towards a common goal. Let’s keep that legacy alive.

Skeena Diversity Centre is located at 4617 Lazelle Ave. We are open six days a week and can be reached by phone 250-635-6530 or online any time at www.skeenadiversity.com.

We invite you to come and meet us.

Board of Skeena Diversity Society

per Marj Brown, Chair

Terrace, BC