In 1998, the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Chilliwack closed its 400-acre site in Chilliwack. The CFB Chilliwack was selected for closure as part of the reduction of the Canadian Forces and its role was minimized to an Area Support Unit to support Regular and Reserve units in mainland BC. The Area Support Unit was also closed in 2013. During its lifetime, the CFB was the area’s second highest employer and also provided vital support to local communities in times of crisis or difficulties.
The void left by the former CFB was further emphasized when all of Chilliwack’s food processing plants, which employed hundreds of people, left at the same time. Compounding the urgency to draw up a blueprint for the city’s economic future was the fact that the University (College) of the Fraser Valley was rapidly expanding to capacity on its 27-acre Chilliwack campus.
In 2003, the City of Chilliwack, the Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation (CEPCO), Canada Lands Company, and additional partners signed a memorandum of understanding to officially launch the Canada Education Park project. Over the last 13 years, the Park has unfolded on 200 acres of the former Canadian Forces Base, adjacent to the Vedder River (400 acres total of institutional, commercial and residential development, including Garrison Crossing).
The Canada Education Park is a multi-agency educational partnership that brings together some of the nation’s most respected education, training and research facilities including the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Pacific Region Training Centre (RCMP PRTC), the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the City of Chilliwack, Canada Lands Company and the Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation.
CEPCO continues to be the lead agency involved in the development of Canada Education Park.
The Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation (CEPCO) has been recognized by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) with two awards for Canada Education Park. A Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award in the category of Partnership with Educational Institutions and a Silver Excellence in Economic Development Award in the category of Real Estate Redevelopment & Reuse. See the full press release…
The Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation received the Stan Rogers Memorial Award at the 2016 BC Economic Development Awards Banquet. This award recognizes the leading role CEPCO has had in the ongoing development of Canada Education Park.
Goal and Purpose
The purpose of this dynamic and innovative partnership-based project is to provide a sustainable economic base for the community of Chilliwack in the critically important and growing knowledge-based sector.