Dessert promotes gathering

A traditional Nanaimo dessert has played a big part in moving Vancouver Island University a step closer to honouring a First Nation tradition.

Through the sale of Nanaimo bars at all three of its Harbour City locations, Thrifty Foods presented Ralph Nilson, VIU president, with a cheque for $10,000.

The money goes toward the construction of the traditional Coast Salish Shq’apthut: A Gathering Place at VIU’s Nanaimo campus.

“Shq’apthut provides a highly visible and positive presence for Aboriginal culture on campus, and will act as a welcoming area for students as well as all members of our community,” said Nilson. “Thrifty Foods’ ongoing support of the project allows us to embrace traditional Coast Salish heritage while highlighting our desire to provide environmentally sustainable systems – such as a green roof and rainwater retention pond in the LEED-designed longhouse.”

The Nanaimo bar fundraiser ran from Dec. 1-14 as part of the grand opening celebration of the Brooks Landing Thrifty Foods store.

“In the last two years, Thrifty Foods – along with contributions from our staff and customers – have raised a total of $28,500 for the Vancouver Island University,” said Jim Dores, Thrifty president. “Projects like Shq’apthut represent our continued commitment to participate and contribute to the well-being of our communities.”

For more information on Shq’apthut: A Gathering Place, please visit www.viu.ca/gatheringplace.