Fire at Klahowya Village in Stanley Park Causes Thousands of Dollars in Damage to Artwork and Artist
VANCOUVER/COAST SALISH TERRITORY, BC – Around midnight on June 22 a suspicious and deliberately set fire destroyed the Spirit Catcher Train departure building by the attraction’s entry gate.
“We at first completely underestimated the scope of the damage,” said Keith Henry, CEO of the Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC (AtBC) that produces Klahowya Village in Stanley Park every year. “Initially focused on clean‐up and moving on from this despicable act of destruction, we just now fully understand the damage that was caused. Our artists used the building for storage of products, artwork and their tools. Our conservative estimate is that it will take a minimum of $ 40,000 to replace what was lost. This is devastating to the artists financially but also creatively.”
In order to restore the optimistic spirit of Klahowya Village and support the artists affected, a Healing Ceremony will be held on Monday, June 25 at 11 am in the plaza by the Miniature Train in Stanley Park. The ceremony is open to the public.
“Stanley Park is in the heart of Tsleil‐Waututh, Musqueam and Squamish Territory,” said Chief Justin George of the Tsleil-‐Waututh Nation. “This historic Coast Salish site has always been of spiritual significance to our people. We will gather for a ceremony to restore the balance, harmony and creativity that characterize Klahowya Village and the area. We are honored to stand with our relatives of the Musqueam and Squamish Nations in the support of the artists and the AtBC team that works hard every year to share BC’s diverse Aboriginal culture with thousands of tourists.”
AtBC has set up a donation fund to support the Aboriginal artists who sustained losses not covered by insurance. Any additional funding will be used to assist future artists with marketing and product development support.
About the fire ‐ Vancouver Fire and Rescue Service released the following information: The 911‐call came in at 12:00 am on June 22. Firefighters arrived on scene to find the approximately 20 by 20 foot structure with an overhead canopy fully engulfed in flames. Once firefighters gained access to the site, they extinguished the fire. Two firefighters were transported to St. Paul's Hospital with minor injuries, and have since been released. The Fire Investigator determined that the fire is suspicious in nature and that it was deliberately set.
About Klahowya Village- Klahowya Village in Stanley Park is Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC’s family‐friendly summer attraction that features Aboriginal cultural performances, artisans and cuisine throughout the season. It was ranked the #2 commercial tourism attraction in Vancouver on TripAdvisor last year and had opened its doors to 300 invited guests and the public on June 21.
Klahowya Village is back in operation after being closed for cleanup on June 22. Opening hours are 11 am to 5 pm, seven days per week until Labor Day on September 3, 2012.
Katrin Harry, Raven Events and Communications
C: 1 604 483 6421