Cowichan Intercultural Society “Welcome Centre” Feasibility Study

The Cowichan Intercultural Society (CIS) is a Canadian registered charitable organization that has been serving the Cowichan Valley Region for 35 years. They are the leading community resource for immigrant settlement services, and for education and awareness in developing welcoming and inclusive communities in the region.

Since 2015, the CIS has been exploring potential sites for the development of a new and expanded “welcome centre” in downtown Duncan, BC. The expanded “welcome centre” would house all CIS and Global Vocational Services (GVS) programs and administration under one roof. The CIS estimates it needs two to three times more space than it is presently occupying.

To facilitate the new development’s exploratory process, CitySpaces was commissioned to assist the CIS in their decision-making by preparing a feasibility study of the new “welcome centre” and its potential. The purpose of the study was to confirm the “welcome centre’s” vision, program and space areas, prepare order of magnitude capital budgets for three development scenarios (base concept, base + housing, base + leasable space), and outline a preliminary operating budget. The CIS wanted to explore the potential and associated costs for their base programming, in addition to exploring potential revenue sources from providing transitional housing for clients or providing additional lease space opportunities for compatible organizations.

The concept of the new “welcome centre” included the following notable spaces:

  • Commercial-grade kitchen
  • Childcare space
  • Offices
  • Boardroom
  • Classrooms
  • Resource rooms/Labs
  • Breakout room
  • Housing units (optional)
  • Leasable space (optional)


Gwyn Symmons


Cowichan Intercultural Society

Area of Expertise

Development Consulting