Here on Haida Gwaii, we were very fortunate of having a very rainy summer. Though some of us could complain about that, we just wish we could have shared it to the other parts of British Columbia that needed it. But it didn’t stop the visitors from coming to Haida Gwaii and our centre! We aren’t at the end of the year yet, and we are already seeing a 7.5% increase of sales compared to last year. For admissions, there has been 386 more adults, 70 more seniors, 90 more children, and 189 more people in groups. Sadly we had 14 less students compared to last year, but we made it up with providing Totem to Totem Runners with a discounted price which we had 16 of them. This is of course only up to October 25th, 2017 and our numbers may grow a bit more these last two months of 2017.
At the Haida Heritage Centre we have had many exciting events that took place this year! There was Haida Gwaii Bird Day, a Yoga Retreat visit, C3 cruise ship stopped by, a play called Love Bomb, Bio Blitz done by Gwaii Haanas staff, and a Benefit Event/Concert! Of course many bookings for meetings, media tours, private tours and three exhibits in the museum. The exhibits that were and still are in the museum are Out of Concealment by Terri-Lynn Williams Davidson (till December 31st), Broeal by Mandi Morgan (extended to November 30th) and the Artists in Gwaii Haanas (ended in August). Lastly our biggest event is of course our 9th Annual Kay Anniversary which celebrates the opening of the Haida Heritage Centre.
Our 9th Annual Kay Anniversary is getting bigger each year. This was the schedule of events:
If you attend our previous Kay Anniversary’s, you would see that there were two new events during the day, the unveiling of the Solar Panel Project and the Amazing Race: Kay Llnagaay. The Solar Panel Project, also known as Jiigawaay Naay Unguu or Sun on Top of the House, is 385 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels that were installed on the Haida Heritage Centres roof. These solar panels are capable of producing 100 kilowatts of energy. It is the largest First Nation-owned community solar project in BC and we are proud to have it. This project was initiated by the Skidegate Band Council and had many partners for funding and installing this project.
The Amazing Race: Kay Llnagaay which was based on the visit we had from Amazing Race Canada in the 2016 season, had a small turn out, but hope we can grow this event by marketing it better. We had two groups that participated in this event, the two groups were called Ts’aahl and T2. These two groups had to go throughout the centre and go to five different stops. Like in the episode, they had to identify the poles and complete the difficult Haida puzzle. On top of it they had to visit and participate in an activity at the Gwaii Haanas, Haida Gwaii Museum and Swiilaliid booths. The Ts’aahl group won by completing the tasks in 20 minutes!
The Kay Anniversary ended with a dance performance by Hltaaxuulang Guud Ad K’aaju and the dance competitions! The winners of the dance competitions were Kayden (Girls), Ka’ty (Boys), Brynna Williams (Womens), and Trey Arnold Rorick (Mens). We are thankful for all the donations and volunteers for this annual event and are currently working on the 10th Anniversary to make it more grand!
Here are some photos taken by the talented Mary Helmer who captured the Kay Anniversary:
With the increase of visitors and our multiple events, we were fortunate to have many youth working for us this summer. The Haida Heritage Centre works with Young Canada Works to employ youth and help them to learn about the field. Our post-secondary student from Young Canada Works was Chavonne Guthrie, who has worked with us last year. Then our high school students from Young Canada Works were Crystal Young, who has worked the past 3 summers, and Niccola Marsden, who has also worked with us last year. The Haida Heritage Centre also received two Skidegate Band Students. Those two students were Kennedy Jones and William Gravelle, which was their first year working at the Haida Heritage Centre. Haaw’a to all of them to make this season run well and smoothly! We encourage other youth to apply for the job when it comes up next year so we can get new ideas on how to improve the centre, but we are also happy to work with the youth that have worked with us to let them grow more.
Haa’wa to everyone that stopped by the Haida Heritage Centre to make it an excellent year, we hope too see you again soon!