The St. Eugene Mission Golf Resort and Casino officially opened its stunning Pavilion on May 14 to a crowd of dignitaries and guests.
Gathering under the white, tented building that evening were representatives from various First Nations across Canada, politicians, business partners and more. They were treated to a spread of delectable appetizers from the St. Eugene crew to welcome and thank them for attending.
The formal part of the Grand Opening started with two traditional songs performed by the Bloodline Drum Group. The group is made up of First Nations youth. The performance was followed by a prayer delivered by Dorothy Alpine.
Jennifer Osmar, constituency assistant for Bill Bennett, spoke on behalf of the MLA who was unable to attend. She opened the round of speeches.
"This pavilion will be a symbol of leadership, growth and togetherness," she said.
Katherine Teneese, chairperson of the Ktunaxa Nation Council, welcomed the dignitaries and commented on the versatility of the new building.
"Every time I've come in here, it's looked different," she said.
Chief Cheryl Casimer from the Aqam/St. Mary's First Nation spoke to what the St. Eugene means to the First Nations.
"All of what we have before us started out on the seeds of a dream," she said. "We were able to turn something that was a symbol of bad and into a positive."
Casimer said the Pavilion is now open to many kinds of events, from weddings to banquets and meetings.
"We're open for business," she said. "I look forward to seeing this Pavilion fully lighted up in the evening when we drive by."
Max Dresslerr, CEO of the St. Eugene Golf Resort Casino said the Pavilion will bring more people into the region, and give them another reason to stick around.
"It's another reason to play and do business in what we know is the best place in British Columbia," he said.
The evening finished up with a performance from country artist Shane Yellowbird, who also performed a full set on May 15.