Visitor Centre & Sasquatch Museum Project

The New Accessible Visitor Centre and Sasquatch Museum

With great honour Tourism Harrison, Sts’Ailes First Nations and the Village of Harrison Hot Springs announce the official opening of the Harrison Visitor Centre and Sasquatch Museum, sharing the story of the legendary Sasq’ets and Harrison River Valley heritage.

Three times the size of the original museum, the Harrison Visitor Centre and Sasquatch Museum features the ‘Land of the Giants’ exhibit with Sasquatch’s, eagles, and sturgeon, a recreated Sts’ailes longhouse, an interactive kiosk, artifacts, carvings, foot castings, Sts’ailes story blanket, hand woven baskets and storyboards of the local lore and interpretive panels proving the legend’s existence.

 In process is the application to receive the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC) program’s Gold Certification for accessibility.

“Accessibility takes into consideration the many different ways people experience their community and the world around them. Ensuring spaces are accessible, safe and inclusive means that people of all abilities can fully participate and engage in the places where they live, learn, work and play. By focusing on accessibility and inclusivity at a gold-level standard in the design and construction of a new facility, the Harrison Visitor Information Centre & Sasquatch Museum will lead the way in ensuring visitors feel welcomed and can immerse themselves in the history, artifacts and lore of this beautiful region.” Rick Hansen, Founder, Rick Hansen Foundation 

To see our journey to achieve this milestone, explore below!

INITIAL CONCEPTS

Tourism Harrison is working with local companies Precision Building Design and Kurts Construction to create a building that pays homage to Harrison’s indigenous and historical roots while creating a building that is functional for the future and accessible to all.   We particularly noted during COVID the limitations of our current building, given the small space and poor ventilation we could only let in one or two visitors at a time and sadly wheelchairs could not gain access to our museum and struggled with our washroom.  Our new building is aiming for gold certification following the Rick Hansen Foundation’s guidelines for accessibility to ensure all can access the building and enjoy the museum.  The building is expected to be completed in April 2024. Please note that the landscaping in this depiction is preliminary.

New fully accessible Visitor Centre and Sasquatch Museum – please note that the landscaping in this depiction is preliminary.

The new museum will build on the artifacts and story around the Sasquatch but will also include a major section on the story of the Sts’ailes “Sasq’ets” which translates to english as the Sasquatch. It will also include a major section on the story of the Sts’ailes people and their ancestors who have lived in this area since time immemorial. The name Sts’ailes, meaning “beating heart”, is derived from an ancient and formative battle between Xals the Transformer and Shay, a powerful Shaman. In addition, an overview of First Nations with a history in the Harrison River Valley will be added.

While parking has never been an issue, backing up onto a road by a school was awkward and the new design for parking ensures a safer experience for both visitors and pedestrians.

Safer Parking in a more controlled area with easier access to the building for those using a mobility device.

The $1,000,000 Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP) from the Province of BC allows us to move from our current Sasquatch Museum now housed in a 120-square-foot room to a completely accessible 1300-square-foot area and share the bottom floor of the new facility with the Harrison Hot Springs Visitor Centre.   The museum has been hugely successful and expanding it adds a much-needed attraction to our Community.  The building is framed in timbers to pick up on the logging history of the area and depicts a large-scale image of Harrison Lake to reinforce the importance of this lake to our community.  Windows will be a blue-green glass to reflect both the blue of the lake and the green of the mountains.  Inside the museum will build on the already extensive Sasquatch artifacts currently on display but will add components focusing on local indigenous history

Various profiles of the new building

In an effort for this project to be as green as possible, we will be employing state-of-the-art building standards. In addition, by maximizing the footprint of our current building, we can maintain all the major trees and add indigenous trees, shrubs and bushes.

PRESS:

June 6, 2022 | CONSTRUCTION OF HARRISON’S NEW VISITOR CENTRE, SASQUATCH MUSEUM PROJECTED FOR FALL

April 29, 2022 | HARRISON TO PUT SASQUATCH MUSEUM, VISITOR CENTRE UP FOR SALE

February 24, 2022 | NEW SASQUATCH MUSEUM, VISITOR CENTRE OFFERS HOPE THROUGH TOURISM YEAR

February 7, 2022 | PROVINCE GRANTS HARRISON $ 1 MILLION TO EXPAND VISITOR CENTRE, SASQUATCH MUSEUM

February 2, 2022 | TOURISM HARRISON RIVER VALLEY SECURES CERIP DESTINATION DEVELOPMENT GRANT FUNDING

OUR VISITOR CENTRES

Harrison Visitor Information Centre and Sasquatch Museum

499 Hot Springs Road | 604.796.5581

Operated by Tourism Harrison

Agassiz Harrison Museum

Agassiz Harrison Museum & Visitor Centre

7011 Pioneer Avenue | 604.796.3545

Operated by the Agassiz-Harrison Historical Society

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