Point Ellice House officially re-opens to the public

Point Ellice House officially re-opens to the public
Point Ellice House is located at 2616 Pleasant Street in Victoria.

The historic Point Ellice House in Victoria officially re-opened to the public on Saturday, which comes months after uncertainty due to lack of funding.

Due to the appointment of interim management for the property and funding from the Ministry of Tourism Art Culture and Sports, the site is open in time for the summer tourist season.

Minister Lana Popham was in attendance today for the re-opening.

“Point Ellice House is a real gem in our community and we know that it’s had some ups and downs over the last little while but today is a fresh start with a partnership the province has made with the Forager Foundation,” says Popham.

Bryce Watts, the founder of the Forager Foundation, says that maintaining this gem in the middle of the city is hard work.

“It’s a lot of work, heritage sites are not a one-person job we have a wonderful team here with it being two acres of gardens as well there is a lot that can happen,” Watts said.

The heritage house is an important place to learn about British Columbia’s history. Despite the beauty of the grounds, there is a history that weighs heavily on Indigenous communities.

Watts noted that Peter O’Reilly, who lived in the house, was a key player in the implementation of Indian reservation systems all across the province without consultation or proper treaties. At one point, it was documented that any First Nation land that was not occupied by a house or cultivation was considered as a waste and removed from reserve land.

Despite this history, the Forager Foundation is committed to continuing the work that has already been done with local Indigenous communities adding “reconciliation is of most utter importance to us.”

The Point Ellice house is open every Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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