Award-Winning Canadian Social Enterprise Skwachàys Lodge Reimagines Itself During COVID-19
Written by Ida Viani, from Trico Charitable Foundation|Published on January 26, 2021
Canada’s first Indigenous arts hotel, Skwachàys Lodge (pronounced skwatch-eyes) is another shining example of Canada’s leadership in coming up with ingenious ways business ventures can be blended with a social mission. Located in Vancouver, Skwachàys Lodge is a unique social enterprise created by a social housing organization, Vancouver Native Housing Society (VNHS).
The iconic building houses a Fair Trade Indigenous art gallery, a boutique hotel, and an Indigenous artist residence. The Artist in Residence program provides live/work studios, personal and professional development, support, services and peer mentoring for 24 Indigenous artists. In 2018, Time Magazine came out with their first annual list of the World’s Greatest Places, where Skwachàys Lodge was extremely proud to be recognized.
Skwachàys Lodge was the 2019 recipient of the Trico Social EnterPrize and we had a chance to reconnect with David Eddy, CEO of Skwachàys Lodge and VNHS:
“Our biggest change since the 2019 Social EnterPrize award had to do with COVID-19. On March 17th, 2020, we shut the hotel, and the gallery due to the state of emergency declared in BC. Prior to the reopening of the gallery and hotel, we did a lot of work on COVID protocols and how we would operate under the new COVID restrictions, in terms of sanitizing and mask-wearing.”