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New Squamish university campus is fostering student collaboration for enhanced sustainability in the Sea-to-Sky corridor

Applications are currently being accepted for CapU programs at the Squamish Campus, beginning in September 2024
Capilano University’s Squamish Campus. Photo via Capilano University

Capilano University (CapU) looks forward to welcoming around 120 students to the new CapU Squamish campus in Fall 2024. The Squamish campus will expand CapU’s ability to serve students and collaborate with local partners through research and innovation activities in the Sea-to-Sky corridor.

One of these established partnerships is CapU’s collaboration with the Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative Society (HSBRIS), a non-profit organization that collaborates with the Squamish Nation to promote biodiversity conservation and a marine use plan within the Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound UNESCO Biosphere Region

Connecting youth to nature

In 2021, CapU and HSBRIS created a joint working group committee to explore applied research opportunities. 

This partnership aligns with the Society's mission of connecting more youth to nature and CapU's commitment to sustainability as outlined in the Envisioning 2030 and Illuminating 2030 guiding strategies. It creates new opportunities for student research and course-based undergraduate project work that promotes sustainable development; biodiversity conservation; and reconciliation, equity and inclusion.

Support from donors has allowed the Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound region to play a pivotal role for CapU students and instructors to deepen their connection to the region, acting as a setting for field trips and research projects—from marine tourism to wildlife conservation and biodiversity monitoring.​

Photo via Capilano University

Since 2021, the working group has created over 20 community-based opportunities for students and faculty to work on projects that deepen their connection to the region. Without philanthropic support, costs like transportation and equipment for students to work and learn in the region become a barrier. 

For instance, CapU outdoor recreation student Sophie Chesire was able to take on the role of Howe Sound Ambassador thanks to donor support to the CapU Howe Sound Biosphere Fund

In the role, Cheshire immersed herself into the region through mentorship and community engagement and advanced discussion on sustainable tourism practices. She found purpose in connecting with people through her love of the environment and sustainable development. As an ambassador, she hosted workshops and presentations that inspired other people to volunteer with HSBRIS. 

The passion and dedication of students, instructors and community leaders like Cheshire serve as inspiration to donors to facilitate collaboration on projects. The results from partnerships like the one with Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound region are often visible and motivating and deepens the connection between donors and the Sea-to-Sky corridor.

CapU student Sophie Chesire. Photo via Capilano University

Join CapU in Squamish

In August 2023 CapU announced its expansion to the District of Squamish when it purchased an 18-acre purpose-built university campus property thanks to $48 million in funding from the Provincial government. The campus includes academic teaching and learning spaces, a library, an athletic centre and a sports field.

Applications are now open for programs at the Squamish campus starting September 2024 for the following programs:

  • Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Interdisciplinary Studies and Associate of Arts Degree (curated courses, focusing on the environment and sustainability)
  • Tourism Management Co-operative Education Diploma
  • Early Childhood Care and Education Diploma (ECCE), plus a roster of ECCE degree courses
  • Adult Basic Education - General Upgrading

The University is also in conversations with Indigenous communities to discuss programming options specific for Indigenous learners.

Support CapU students

You can support student success by making education possible through donor-funded awards at CapU’s Squamish campus. Visit to learn more.