A sailboat on the Bedford Channel near Fort Langley. A $3 million infusion of federal money could begin a major revamping of the Fort village’s downtown and shoreline. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Langley Advance Times)

Fort Langley museum project gets $3 million in federal funds

The museum expansion will include a partnership with the Kwantlen First Nation

The federal government will put $3 million into a planned new museum and cultural complex that is the centrepiece of a redevelopment of Fort Langley’s historic area.

Cloverdale-Langley City MP John Aldag announced the funding Thursday, Sept. 5 in the Fort.

The funding will allow the construction of a 36,000 square foot cultural facility that will house a rebuilt Langley Centennial Museum, and a new Indigenous museum developed with the Kwantlen First Nation, whose traditional territory includes Fort Langley.

There will be a community archives space, a 166-seat theatre, a printmaking studio, and four multi-purpose rooms.

READ MORE: Township, Kwantlen First Nation unveil new Fort Langley concepts

The funding comes from the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.

“As curators and stewards of culture and history, museums play an essential role in promoting and showcasing our nation’s collective stories,” said Aldag, who before his election as an MP managed the Fort Langley National Historic Site.

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“Thanks to this investment, the Township of Langley and the Kwantlen First Nation will bring renewed vibrancy to this historic area in the spirit of reconciliation and partnership,” Aldag said.

“The addition of two new museums, a community archives, theatre, arts program spaces and improved outdoor areas will benefit the entire township and further enhance Fort Langley as a hub for history, culture, arts and recreation,” said Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese.

Chief Marilyn Gabriel of the Kwantlen First Nation was also pleased with the announcement.

“We are excited to share our rich culture and history with local, regional and international visitors, to celebrate and honour the rich local Indigenous presence in this area, and to continue to strengthen relationships with our neighbours and local governments,” she said.

The entire plan is broader than just the museum site, with development of some Township-owned housing lots planned to pay for some of the project.

When it was first unveiled in February, 2018, the project was slated to include:

• A new cultural centre that will include a new Langley Centennial Museum, relocated library, Indigenous Museum, arts programming space, and a theatre

• Restoration and relocation of the Jacob Haldi House as part of a redevelopment of part of the waterfront

• Artist work-live spaces and an Indigenous-themed lodge on the waterfront

• Extended waterfront trail with access to the Fort village and museum via a pedestrian/cycling bridge

• Three rows of townhouses and a cluster of single family homes, on and around the site of the current Langley Centennial Museum, developed to pay for the project

READ MORE: Fort Langley cultural centre plans put on display

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