On May 4, 2023, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and the Beedie Foundation announced the opening of the new Beedie Plaza at BCIT’s Burnaby Campus. Made possible by a $5 million donation from the Beedie Foundation and led by Ryan and Cindy Beedie, the plaza is the new landmark gateway to the BCIT Burnaby Campus. Enhancing the experience of BCIT students, the plaza not only provides expansive outdoor space where students can connect, study, or collaborate, but also is an important milestone in the journey to make the campus more pedestrian friendly.
Completed in April, the Beedie Plaza covers an area of 4,000 square metres. It features an Indigenous-designed walkway that anchors the plaza. The mass timber canopy connects to Campus Square, opening up this central part of campus, while the landscaped green space and new seating provide areas for relaxation and reflection or places for gathering. An efficient irrigation system reduces wastewater and supplies the plaza’s rain garden.
Located at the entrance on Goard Way at Willingdon Avenue, the plaza provides a welcoming experience which improves access for pedestrians and transit users who are traveling to and from the Burnaby campus.
“Getting to be a part of the new Student Plaza at BCIT is a big moment for my family and the Beedie Foundation,” said Ryan Beedie, President, Beedie. “With so many of our family members, friends, employees, and Beedie Luminaries having attended the school, BCIT holds such a big place in our hearts. I’m really looking forward to seeing the plaza become a place for students, faculty, and visitors to connect for decades to come.”
“The partnership between BCIT, the Beedie family, and the Beedie Foundation is a unique example of our shared commitment to enhancing education and strengthening the student community beyond the classroom,” said Paul McCullough, Past Interim President, BCIT. “Their generous donation supports this commitment by providing our students with outdoor spaces where they connect with each other, rejuvenate between classes, and bolster their well-being by being outside. The plaza invites learners to realize their potential and symbolizes a gateway to future opportunities. It instills a sense of identity and pride for all who pass through this inspiring space.”
BCIT and the Beedie family have a longstanding partnership that spans nearly three decades. In 1994, Keith Beedie established the Keith & Betty Beedie Foundation endowment, which provides annual bursaries for Carpentry Foundation students in need. The new Beedie Plaza recognizes the Beedie Foundation’s most recent gift of $5 million towards the BCIT INSPIRE Campaign. Their philanthropic leadership has inspired many other organizations to make significant contributions to BCIT through the Campaign.
About the Beedie Foundation
Since 2011, the Beedie Foundation has contributed or pledged over $38 million to charitable causes which carry out our mandate of combating poverty, supporting the lives of women and children, improving healthcare, and increasing access to education.
Helping the community at home and abroad has always been a part of Ryan and Cindy Beedie’s lives since they were children. With the belief that sharing their success and giving back is a key part of being a thoughtful and caring community member, they continue to partner with leading organizations that create significant impact for positive change.
For more information, please visit www.beedie.ca.
About the British Columbia Institute of Technology
For nearly 60 years, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) has been delivering flexible, relevant, and future-proof education that prepares learners to provide applied solutions to industry challenges. As one of BC’s largest post-secondary institutes with five campuses, more than 300 programs, and over 45,000 students enrolled each year, BCIT connects education, industry, and government in building an agile workforce with sustained and meaningful impact. Learn more at bcit.ca.
About the INSPIRE Campaign
The BCIT INSPIRE Campaign is the largest fundraising initiative in BCIT history. Focused on raising funds for three pillars—Access and Inclusion, Teaching and Learning Innovation, and Campus Redevelopment—the Campaign is creating a new future at BCIT as a destination for applied learning. Through INSPIRE, the BCIT Foundation is helping today’s students become tomorrow’s leaders and continues to receive strong philanthropic support from industry, alumni, and individuals who recognize the importance of BCIT to the economic prosperity of BC. Learn more about the INSPIRE Campaign, including ways to join in building a strong and impactful community of philanthropy. Learn more at bcit.ca/inspire.
(L-R) Elder Carleen Thomas; Elder Deanna B. George; Paul McCullough, Past Interim President, BCIT; Céline Loriot, President-Elect, BCIT Student Association; Ryan Beedie; Cindy Beedie; and Danica Djurkovic, Vice President, Campus Planning and Facilities, BCIT.