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CapU and District of Squamish sign memorandum of understanding

CapU president Paul Dangerfield and Squamish Mayor Armand Hurford sign MOU at a ceremony on Feb. 8.
CapU president Paul Dangerfield (left) and Squamish Mayor Armand Hurford at Feb. 8 MOU signing.

Capilano University and the District of Squamish signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to help guide collaboration.

On Thursday, Feb. 8, CapU president Paul Dangerfield and Squamish Mayor Armand Hurford officially signed an MOU at the new Squamish campus, according to a joint news release.

“Our commitment extends well beyond the campus, and the MOU sets out a number of projects that will positively contribute to the health and well-being of Sea to Sky communities,” said Dangerfield in the release, who also serves as vice-chancellor of CapU.

“The District of Squamish is deeply committed to increasing opportunities for education and instilling a culture of lifelong learning to support the vitality of our community and environment,” said Hurford in the release. “Our commitment represents our shared vision and goal to create programs and projects that will deliver lasting economic and cultural benefits to learners and residents throughout the region.”

Back in October 2023, Squamish council members supported the MOU by a 6-0 vote. Coun. Andrew Hamilton declared a conflict of interest prior to the vote as an employee of CapU.

As reported by The Squamish Chief at the time, many goals and initiatives are outlined in the MOU, which is available in full on the District’s website.

Some of the initiatives include collaboration on early learning and child-care access, establishing a chapter of City Studio in Squamish in 2024, and exploring opportunities to share community recreation, arts and culture infrastructure and amenities.

Coun. Jenna Stoner called the MOU “broad but really in-depth” at the October meeting and hoped it would start a beneficial partnership.

Just a couple of weeks ago, CapU also signed an MOU with SD48.

For that MOU, Laureen Styles, vice-president, academic and provost at CapU, said in an email to The Chief that preliminary discussions between the university and the school district have included "ways to creatively support education and credential completion for education assistants" and "collaboration with promoting a career path for high school students into early childhood education—diploma and degree—as a response to local labour market shortages."

The Squamish campus of CapU is preparing to open in the fall with an estimated 120 students.