News and Events
MHC celebrates grand opening of the Co-op Wellness Commons
October 25, 2022
Medicine Hat College (MHC) officially opens the doors to the Co-op Wellness Commons today, representing the shared vision and commitment of college and government leaders, community partners and cultural guides.
“This project has been years in the making and we are excited to turn a new page in MHC’s history as we deliver on our purpose of growing a vibrant future with learners and our region,” says Kevin Shufflebotham, Medicine Hat College President & CEO.
With financial support from the Government of Canada and the Province of Alberta, the project has three key components - Indigenous teaching and learning, wellness, and health simulation - while addressing critical infrastructure upgrades.
“The opening of the new Co-op Wellness Commons represents a significant milestone in our government's commitment to building resilient communities and an economy that works for everyone,” says the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “Today's investment represents a new centre for addressing the health needs of local residents, one with dedicated space for Indigenous teachings and knowledge, all while expanding the educational capacity of Medicine Hat College.”
MHC is pleased to recognize its exciting partnership with South Country Co-op, whose commitment to education and community is reflected in the facility’s new name, and will support future opportunities for learning, wellness and growth.
The space includes an expanded fitness centre with tech-enhanced equipment to support college and community users; increased learning spaces focused on training future health and helping professionals; and improved accessibility for all campus visitors with the installation of a new passenger elevator.
“South Country Co-op’s vision is ‘Building sustainable communities together’. This starts with creating a culture of belonging. Providing space where everyone can thrive, feel safe and feel at home,” explains Paul Haynes, CEO, South Country Co-Op Limited. “The Co-op Wellness Commons at Medicine Hat College will foster greater inclusivity, while providing outstanding educational and cultural opportunities for generations to come. We feel very honoured and privileged to be partners in this expansion and look forward to what the future may bring.”
At the heart of the project is a unique gathering space dedicated to Indigenous teaching, learning and events. The space formally received its Blackfoot name, Ómahksípiitaa, which means Big Eagle, from Blackfoot Elders at a special naming ceremony last month. Elder Charlie Fox also led the land blessing ceremony at the onset of the project in August 2020.
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, along with Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education and Jason Copping, Minister of Health, were on campus for today’s grand opening event.
“This is an incredible day for Medicine Hat College,” says Smith. “The opening of their Co-op Wellness Commons will provide more opportunities for students and community members to learn, to care for themselves, and to visit. Alberta’s government is so pleased to be a partner in this project and I look forward to seeing the benefits this facility will bring to the College and surrounding community.”