CHETWYND, BC — The new Saulteau Youth Center needs a name, and management is calling on the community to share their ideas.
Since the facility is aimed at young people, program manager Rebecca McElwain believes that children in the community should be the ones naming the space.
The center is holding a naming contest until September 15. The person who submits the winning name will receive a grand prize.
The center is open to all young people between the ages of 12 and 18 and offers comprehensive services for young people, including after-school support, employment preparation, pathways to mental health services and family support.
A public health nurse will also make weekly visits to answer questions and lead workshops.
With five-year funding from Indigenous Services Canada, the Saulteau First Nations Band was able to secure a site in Chetwynd.
The building, a former church, has been converted into a comfortable and airy central gathering space, including a full kitchen and office spaces. It is surrounded by grassy fields and ample parking, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as volleyball, relay races and street hockey.
The center, which held its grand opening on August 4, also has video games, air conditioning, phone charging stations and free Wi-Fi.
McElwain says that while the center is for everyone, there will also be a strong cultural component. Local elders will share stories about the area and teachings on making beads and ribbon skirts.
The management of the center is open to all ideas of activities in which the children wish to participate.
“We have a suggestion box, we’re open to new ideas and we want to hear from the kids themselves,” McElwain said.
“We have already received requests for cooking classes, game nights and making TikTok videos.”
Submissions for a new name for the center can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and are open to all ages.
Anyone who has questions or wants to come visit the center, call or text 250-401-7775.