Songhees Wellness Centre
“Our people wanted something to call their own, a gathering space, but it’s become more than that.” - Chief Ron Sam
The Songhees Wellness Centre is a 55,000 sq.ft multi-purpose building which houses the Nation’s Governance and Administration Offices, Local Services, Education Services, and Health Centre. Sports facilities include a fitness studio, international-sized wood floor multi-sport court, bleacher seating for 350 and team change rooms. There is an industrial kitchen, computer lab, elders centre, youth centre, and a Gallery Cafe.
The Lək̓ʷəŋən Recreation Centre Committee was formed in 2007 to develop the project. The Committee envisioned a building to symbolize the Nation’s pride of place, serve as an economic generator, welcome visitors and consolidate programs and services for members.
The Committee recommended that the Songhees Wellness Centre ‘walk softly on the earth’ Decision making with an environmental sustainability mindset led to a LEED Silver rating. Geothermal heating and cooling and a rooftop solar array for hot water are some of the green features of the building.
The Songhees Wellness Centre won the Victoria Real Estate Board, Judges Choice Award and Community Building award in 2014.
The $25 million facility was financed and funded by Songhees Nation with the exception of $1 million in federal funding. Financing was provided by VanCity and the First Nations Finance Authority.
Songhees Members voted to implement a First Nations Goods and Services Tax suspending Indian Act Section 87 tax exemption on Songhees Reserve Lands to generate revenue for the Songhees Wellness Centre. This Revenue is sufficient to meet debt servicing and operating costs for the Songhees Wellness Centre.
If you are interested in finding out more about the recreation program at the Songhees Wellness Centre, please contact our recreation coordinator, Chris Mcelroy at email@example.com