The Hupacasath First Nation is renewing plans to replace the Whaler’s Canoe structure at Victoria Quay with a new interpretive centre and multi-cultural tourism promotion centre.
The Hupacasath has approached Port Alberni city council to renew its lease of property at 4586 Victoria Quay, where the Whaler’s Canoe sculpture is presently housed behind wood and plexiglass.
Hupacasath Chief Councillor Steven Tatoosh said the Whaler’s Canoe structure “was only supposed to be a temporary structure. The whaling exhibit is supposed to be in a museum setting, indoors, heated,” he said.
There are no building plans or even concepts yet. “We’re not close at all,” Tatoosh said. “It’s just preliminary stages.”
He said it’s too early to say whether this is a replacement for the Tsu-ma-as Transformation Centre plan that was supposed to be built at Clutesi Haven Marina but died amid community controversy.
“It’s a little early to say something like that,” he said.
The contract up for discussion will be a three-year lease with an option for another three years if the Hupacasath haven’t completed their building plans, city clerk Davina Hartwell said.
If they do have plans in place, then the lease will be renewed for 33 years. There are two more 33-year options, she added. The issue will be discussed at the June 24 council meeting.