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Emily Carr Great Northern Way opening-14

Yesterday morning, amid the faces of fresh new Emily Carr students, faculty, media and invited guests, the ceremonial ribbon was cut to proclaim Emily Carr’s new Great Northern Way campus officially open for business.


Designed by Canadian architectural firm Diamond Schmitt Architects, the four-storey building combines cutting-edge technology with a decidedly First Nations theme.

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[Totem detail inside Aboriginal Gathering Place]

Emily Carr Board Chair Kim Peacock was among the speakers invited to give opening remarks, stating, “We have a long way to go to reconcile relations with the First Nations community but this is an important start.”

Xwalacktun, Dr. Ron Burnett (President and Vice-Chancellor), Kim Peacock (Emily Carr Board Chair), Tsēma Igharas (recent alumna), Minister Melanie Mark, Premier John Horgan, Geoff Plant (Emily Carr Chancellor)
[L to R: Xwalacktun, Dr. Ron Burnett, Kim Peacock, Tsēma Igharas (recent alumna), Premier John Horgan, Minister Melanie Mark, Geoff Plant]

Main entrance - South Reliance Theatre
[Top to bottom: Main entrance, south; Reliance Theatre]

Premier John Horgan was proud to be at the opening. “These students will be the trendsetters and the ground breakers of the future.” He then added that in 2009, the province’s tech sector surpassed the natural resources economy, part of the reason “BC government (along with private donors) allowed us to build this campus.”

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Emily Carr President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Ron Burnett believes this campus will offer “a new way of teaching post-secondary education in BC. It is a campus for what we do and how we live. We built this for the city, for the province, for the country. It wasn’t built for ego but for all of us.”

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[Recent alumna Tsēma Igharas felt a “nervous excitement” at the school’s opening day]

Emily Carr students will design our furniture, tech wearables, make breakthroughs in sustainable design and create visual solutions to challenges while inspiring us. — Kim Peacock

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Over 21 million was raised to make this building a reality. Chancellor Geoff Plant is grateful for the donors who helped raise the money needed.

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According to Chancellor Plant, “The 21st century economy is a world of change and disruption. We need to do what we do best, ensuring all the work is meaningful in all areas of the province, not just the Lower Mainland.”

Emily Carr Great Northern Way opening-9

Building Facts

– Total size: 289,730 square feet
– Total cost: $122.6M
– Designed to achieve LEED Gold Certification, complies with the Wood First Act
– Three floor-to-ceiling atria for natural exterior light

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I took a self-guided tour through the beautiful halls and rooms within this new space. I look forward to seeing some of the galleries opened and more student work once the semester gets underway.

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Non-watermarked images courtesy of Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

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