BCIT unveils new Beedie Plaza: Enhancing campus experience for students

The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and the Beedie Foundation announced the opening of the new Beedie Plaza at BCIT’s Burnaby Campus.

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, 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.