Between Victoria BC and the Swartz Bay Ferry terminal sits a stunning stylized Coast Salish Longhouse.
(NIȽ TU,O Child and Family Services Society offices)
The newly renovated building is the office of NIȽ TU,O Child and Family Services Society.
As a Coast Salish run organization with a mission to keep children in Coast Salish communities and with their families, NIȽ TU,O serves the children and families of seven Coast Salish communities (Beecher Bay, Pauquachin, Songhees, Tsawout, Tsartlip, Tseycum, T’Sou-ke) in southern Vancouver Island. Until very recently, NIȽ TU,O operated out of a leaky, poorly insulated, moldy, and bug-infested building – the result of chronic underfunding.
From this new culturally relevant building, NIȽ TU,O provides a wide range of support and programs for Coast Salish children and their families. Focusing on family strengthening, NIȽ TU,O provides culturally appropriate learning experiences, training, and support for families, children, and youths of member Coast Salish communities.
The renovation of the NIȽ TU,O building began at sunrise with a blessing of the land, led by Pauquachin-born Maryann Thomas, wife of the late Esquimalt Chief Andy Thomas, and their son. Outlook staff and NIȽ TU,O staff gathered for breakfast while Maryann provided instructions on proper conduct on the site during construction.
Architect Karen Hillel and Jason Pierik of Outlook Project Management worked together to realize the vision of Executive Director Katharina Stocker; to provide a culturally resonant and welcoming place for the children and families they serve.
(The Outlook Project Management Team)
Outlook PM is a family-owned construction company based in Victoria, BC that has been serving Southern Vancouver Island for over two decades.
Founded in 2002, Outlook Project Management specializes in residential & commercial construction projects, including new builds, renovations, and project management services.
“Jason and the Outlook team have been incredible. Recognizing the poverty present in our communities they supplied food hampers over the holidays both during the construction and the year after. Their generosity is just an example of how they work to listen to the things that aren’t expressly said and go over and above to deliver.” shares Risako Ota, Administrative Manager at NIȽ TU,O.
Jason of Outlook Project Management shares, “It’s a huge honour to be a part of the project. I am grateful for the trust and excited about the outcome.”
Karen Hillel of Hillel Architecture, echoes the sentiment “I was very grateful for the opportunity to be involved with such a meaningful project and to play a small role in NIȽ TU,O ‘s story. My role was to listen to and to help re-invent how existing nondescript buildings could meaningfully represent, elevate and celebrate community and the vital role NIȽ TU,O plays within.”
You can watch the renovation of the NIȽ TU,O Child & Family Services’ offices, a finalist in the 2021 C.A.R.E. Awards, in a compelling time-lapse video on the Outlook PM website.
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