Sir Matthew Begbie Elementary School renamed wək̓ʷan̓əs tə syaqʷəm

December 14, 2022

Sir Matthew Begbie Elementary was gifted with a hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ name at a special renaming ceremony hosted by the Musqueam Indian Band. The school welcomed students, staff, delegates and rightsholders to celebrate the new name and completion of the first seismically safe school in B.C. built with Canadian mass timber.

The new school name is wək̓ʷan̓əs tə syaqʷəm, which in English means “the sun rising over the horizon”. The name was selected in collaboration with the Musqueam Language and Culture Department in recognition of Vancouver’s Hastings Sunrise neighbourhood where the school is located, and, like a sunrise, the new beginning for this school community.

“Asking Musqueam to gift the school a hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ name is one way the District is showing its commitment to continuing our reconciliation journey,” says Helen McGregor, VSB superintendent. “It increases the knowledge, awareness, appreciation of and respect for Musqueam history, language, tradition, culture and contributions.”

The new, seismically safe school is a leader in sustainable construction, completely built with Canadian mass timber, a new type of engineered wood that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, uses innovative technologies, sustainable and local materials. Floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall, the school is constructed with Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels, a type of mass timber that is lightweight and has superior acoustic, seismic and thermal performance when compared to concrete and steel.

Read more about our role on this project.