A new exhibition of B.C. First Nations culture at Stanley Park aims to draw tens of thousands of visitors, the Aboriginal Tourism Association of B.C. announced yesterday.

The Klahowya Village, which occupies the miniature railway plaza, will remain open from July 1 to Sept. 6. Amongst the attractions will be aboriginal cultural performances, cuisine, art, history, storytelling, and canoe carving — plus a train ride featuring theatrical sound and lighting.

“We hope this will be a seed bank for the tourism industry, and that (aboriginal tourism in B.C.) will blossom out of here,” said Richard Krantz, the lead designer and construction director for the village, and a member of the Sechelt First Nation.

He added that First Nations from all over B.C. are active in the spectacle, and that the village is designed to receive visitors from around the world. Klahowya, he explained, is a word that conveys inclusion and welcoming, derived from Chinook, the trading lingua franca of indigenous people in this province.