B.C. Premier John Horgan announced $1 million for upgrades to the historic Topaz Gurdwara of the Khalsa Diwan Society on Sunday. (Facebook/John Horgan)

Premier announces funding for upgrades to Victoria-based Sikh Gurdwara

Announcement made from Khalsa Diwan Society temple on Vaisakhi

In honour of Vaisakhi, premier John Horgan announced $1 million in funding for the historic Victoria-based Sikh Gurdwara on Sunday.

The Gurdwara – a Victoria-based Sikh temple on Topaz Avenue – was designed in 1912 for the Khalsa Diwan Society (KDS), pioneers of the city’s original Sikh community. It is one of the two oldest operating Gurdwaras in North America and members say it is in need of repairs and upgrades to meet the needs of its growing and aging community.

When it opened in 1912, the temple had approximately 100 members, and now welcomes approximately 4,000.

The provincial funding will go towards accessibility, kitchen facility and safety upgrades.

“The historic Topaz Sikh Gurdwara is an important part of the Greater Victoria community and provides a welcoming place for people of all faiths,” said Horgan. “”In the spirit of Vaisakhi and the Sikh practice of sewa, or selfless community service, this funding will allow the temple to make much-needed upgrades so that it can keep serving thousands of people each year.”

The KDS temple acts a hub for community gatherings, celebrations and prayer services, as well as providing regular vegetarian lunches to thousands of people each year and more than 600 meals to Victoria’s people in need every weekend.

READ ALSO: B.C. legislature celebrates Sikh holiday for first time

While over 300 seniors attend the temple on a regular basis, it’s also an important place for youth to connect with their culture and community.

“The Sikh Khalsa Diwan Society has been providing services to people in Greater Victoria for more than 100 years and we want to help them continue to reach out to everyone,” said Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake. “The Gurdwara is in dire need of upgrades to the facilities and this grant will improve accessibility and ensure it can continue to welcome people from Victoria and around the world.”

The funding comes after KDS submitted a proposal for one-time grant funding from the province’s 2018-19 contingency grants for infrastructure projects in four seperate B.C. municipalities.

Vaisakhi is a historic and religious day celebrated in Sikhism every year on April 13 or 14. It celebrates the show of faith from five followers of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, who were baptised and declared the first members of the Khalsa in 1699.

READ ALSO: Victoria celebrates Khalsa Day with parade, festivities

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Technical difficulties delay Victoria’s $500,000 Christmas light village

The Lights of Wonder display was originally set to open on Dec. 13

Victoria council chambers packed for ongoing environmental cruise ship discussions

Union workers, neighbourhood associations and more gathered for environmental conversations

City of Victoria accepts $1 million cheque from seniors home developer

Milliken Development put forward the cash to the Housing Reserve Fund

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 3

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read