Silver King Campus 50th Birthday Barbecue a Success

Community Joins College for Celebration Five Decades in the Making


More than 400 people came out to the Selkirk College Silver King Campus 50th Birthday Barbecue on October 8th in Nelson.

Former students, staff and community supporters joined current students and staff for hamburgers, smokies, refreshments and cake. Held in the Heavy Mechanical Foundation Program shop, the event celebrated five decades of the campus that has provided thousands of students instruction in trades, career programs and community education.

“Without the support of the community, Silver King Campus—and indeed Selkirk College—would not have sustained or developed into the thriving regional resource it is today,” said Nelson Instructional Dean Kate Pelletier, who handled the hosting duties for the afternoon.

SK 50 barbecue group

Before the cake was cut at the Silver King Campus 50th Birthday Barbecue, many of those in attendance gathered for a group shot outside the Heavy Mechanics shop.

The Silver King Campus opened in 1964 as the BC Vocational School. At the time of its opening, the school—which cost an estimated $2,416,525 to build and equip—offered Automotive & Heavy Duty Mechanics, Welding and Millwrighting in its shops. Beauty Culture, Secretarial and Practical Nursing were also included on the campus that saw high enrolment in its early years. An added touch was the inclusion of Kootenay School of Art which was looking for a permanent location to house its programs that were offered separately from the vocational school.

Selkirk College President Angus Graeme touched on that time in his address to those in attendance, and tied it into what is happening with today’s educational programming.

“I just want to cast your mind back to those early days in 1964,” Graeme said. “Think about what was happening in these communities in that year, the industries that were here and needed people, the opportunities for young people to go to work and get some training. There were dams being built, there were forest products being made, there were businesses being started and there were new opportunities emerging throughout the region. Those opportunities are very similar today for our young people. It’s an amazing time to be a student studying in the trades and in the other programs we offer in 2014.”

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