Capilano University receives $48 million in provincial funding and acquires Squamish campus property

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Capilano University Squamish campus

News release: Capilano University announces Squamish campus (PDF)

SQUAMISH B.C. August 16, 2023 – Capilano University (CapU) is thrilled to announce it has reached an agreement with Primacorp Ventures and purchased its university campus property in Squamish, B.C. The purchase is made possible thanks to $48 million in funding from the provincial government.

B.C. Government news release: B.C. Government announcement of Capilano University Squamish campus (PDF)

“As a university that serves Vancouver’s North Shore, the Sunshine Coast, the Sea-to-Sky region and beyond, we are excited to open a new Capilano University campus in the District of Squamish,” said Paul Dangerfield, president of Capilano University. “Capilano University inspires imagination, prioritizes health and well-being and positively contributes to people and the planet. As we expand our presence in Squamish, we look forward to delivering new opportunities for learners to pursue post-secondary studies and have a distinct university experience in their home community, and to offer unique academic opportunities that attract people to this region.”

The 18-acre purpose-built campus includes academic teaching and learning spaces, a library, an athletic centre and sports field, and a cultural and creative activity area. The campus enables CapU to begin serving students and collaborating with local partners with research and innovation activities in the Sea-to-Sky corridor relatively soon. Registration for classes at the new Squamish campus is expected to start early next year for classes beginning in fall 2024.

“The District of Squamish shares Capilano University’s values of collaboration, innovation, transparency and belonging, and deep commitment to truth and reconciliation,” said Armand Hurford, District of Squamish mayor. “Together, we have an established 40-year history of collaboration and shared vision for Squamish and the district is thrilled CapU has returned to Squamish in this way. We look forward to new opportunities and renewed connections as we begin this next chapter.” 

In addition, CapU will be exploring options for operating a new 74-space child care centre on the campus property in Squamish. The university is also exploring options to offer housing for students at the Squamish campus.

“The Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) has worked closely with Capilano University for many years. We are pleased to support the return of in-person learning to the District of Squamish. The new campus will provide opportunities for our youth in Squamish to seek post-secondary education close to home. We look forward to continuing discussions with Capilano University about how to best serve our members and how we can help Indigenize the university’s programs,” said Wilson Williams (Sxwíxwtn), spokesperson for Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation).

“We are grateful to the Province, the District of Squamish and the Squamish Nation for their support, and look forward to continuing to build a relationship with the community, the Squamish Nation, and multiple partners to design and offer academic programs that match the education and skills training needs of the community and region,” said Dangerfield.

“Being an early childhood education student at CapU has changed my life for the better,” says Capilano University student Tatiana Moraru. “Now, more people who live in the Squamish region will have access to affordable and accessible post-secondary education to bring their passion and potential into reality.”

The University has long planned to expand its presence in Squamish. In March 2022, CapU announced it had entered into a purchase agreement to develop a campus at the Oceanfront Squamish development on the city’s waterfront. The term of that agreement ended in spring 2023; the Primacorp property became available for purchase in February 2023 and the University shifted its focus to pursuing the already-built university campus.

Planning for the campus is underway and details on programming, academic activities and student service offerings will be shared in the coming months.

About Capilano University

Capilano University is a regional university based in North Vancouver, British Columbia, with additional programming serving the Sunshine Coast and the Sea-to-Sky corridor. With industry-leading instructors, small classes and over 100 programs across five distinctive faculties, CapU is a unique place where students are encouraged to make their mark, in and out of the classroom. Capilano University is named after Sa7plek (Chief Joe Capilano), an important leader of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nation of the Coast Salish Peoples. We respectfully acknowledge that our campuses and are located on the territories of the LíỈwat, xʷməθkʷəỷəm (Musqueam), shíshálh (Sechelt), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and SəỈílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

For more information, or to schedule interviews, please contact:

Linda Munro
Senior Advisor Public Affairs
Capilano University
t: 604 220 8937
e: lindamunro@capilanou.ca

Submitted by: Communications