Heritage BC Spring 2011

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Heritage BC is 30-something The heady days of youth are over. Heritage BC turned 30 in April and is now entering it’s fourth decade. Thirty is a major milestone for everyone. It is a time to reflect on what you have achieved so far, and where you are going. Some goals have been reached. A few dreams have been dashed. In this extended issue of Heritage BC Quarterly, we pause to take stock of the heritage conservation movement in B.C. While over the past couple of years it may seem like heritage has been under siege, there are still many things to take pride in and feel good about. Restoration projects go ahead, often against the odds. Communities still support their historic places and invest in them. People still care. But there are many serious issues as well. With so many competing voices seeking attention, support and resources, what will become of heritage conservation in the next 30 years? Or even the next five? Whatever the answers to these questions, we can still reflect on what has been accomplished, and recognize the effort and energy that has brought us this far. Maybe acknowledge a modest round of applause... even if we have to do the clapping ourselves.



HERITAGE BC PRESIDENTS 1981 - 2011 Christine Straiton Mary Liz Bayer Jack Watts Bjorn Simonsen Wilma Wood Sue Thompson Arthur Buse Linnea Battel George Atamanenko Peter Blundell Helen Edwards Maureen Arvanatidis Don Tonsaker Jonathan Yardley Pat McAllister Larry Foster

ON THE COVER: Crew at work last September on the Kinsol Trestle near Shawnigan Lake. Once slated for demolition, the trestle has been an amazing comeback story. More on page 9. Photo: Lynn Shortt ABOVE: First HBC Board 1981 (FROM LEFT) Nancy Oliver, Ron Sutherland, Liz O’Kiely, Christine Straiton (now Wiebe), Russ Irvine (Heritage Conservation Branch.) Mary Liz Bayer, Eilizabeth Low, Martin Segger (Heritage Canada Governor)


Three Decades of Heritage Conservation

Although not incorporated under the Society Act until April 21, 1981, Heritage BC (aka Dogwood Heritage RICK GOODACRE Society of British Columbia), emerged out of the heady EXECuTIVE DIRECTOR days of the 1970s when so many things, heritage-wise, Heritage BC had their beginnings. The Heritage Canada Foundation was created by federal charter in 1973. One of the first initiatives of the HCF was to establish a series of regional councils, and one was soon set up in B.C. and the Yukon. The new council got busy right away, spurred on by a membership drawn from the leaders of the nascent B.C. heritage movement. Things moved ahead quickly. The provincial Heritage Conservation Act was passed in 1977, creating for the first time municipal heritage powers to designate heritage property and establish a heritage advisory committee. The following year, the British Columbia Heritage Trust was launched, a major funding engine that was soon supporting literally hundreds of projects around the province. By 1980, it was clear that B.C. needed its own heritage society, and the regional council got to work on a constitution and bylaws. The next year, the Heritage Society of B.C. was created. A continuing relationship with the HCF was confirmed by the inclusion of the Heritage Canada Governor for British Columbia on the Heritage BC board. For several years there was a joint membership relationship as well. In the early years, many of the basic programs that have continued to the present day were established. The annual conference had actually been a reality for a few years prior to incorporation. An awards program, recognizing all of the new and exciting activity, was also a must. The society began to publish a newsletter, ‘Heritage West’, which quickly gained popularity as the best source of heritage news. An important relationship between Heritage BC and the provincial government also emerged in these early years. The province of course played a critical funding role, but there was also a great deal of cooperation, working together toward clearly understood and shared goals.

With some funding, the society could support at least part-time staff. But in 1989, the B.C. Heritage Trust made a commitment to an annual operating grant, and Heritage BC was able to hire a full time executive director the following year. After the first exciting and energetic decade, things took a turn for the worse as we entered the 1990’s. There were still a number of important accomplishments, provincially, including the Heritage Conservation Statutes Amendment Act of 1994. Many community programs continued to grow and mature, some the equal of any in the country. But the last 20 years have been a more austere period, culminating in the very disappointing downturn of the past couple of years. However, Heritage BC and heritage conservation march on. It has been a good beginning, but there is much more work to do. Heritage BC continues to evolve and improve. We are very pleased to have established the Heritage Legacy Fund in 2003. We look forward to growing the fund, and offering more and better services to the heritage community, and British Columbia. There is much to look forward to.

Looking Back

Reflections on a Career in Heritage Conservation My first manager was a wonderful curmudgeon by the name of Bob Broadland. Bob never accepted anything at face value and loved to play the devil’s advocate. To us newly minted professionals in a hurry, he had a dreadfully antiquated view of heritage and a folksy approach to history, so typical of his generation, which had seen British Columbia’s heritage awareness grow through a succession of centennial events. Bob particularly liked the old-timers and the stories they had to tell. Authenticity in restorations and accuracy in reconstructions at such places as Barkerville and Fort Steele weren’t such a big deal to Bob; what was more important was that they provided a platform to tell fascinating stories about BC’s past. I, on the other hand, was a Baby-Boomer, an academically trained architectural historian coming of age in a post-Jane Jacobsean world. We fervently believed that the conservation of historic buildings in our cities and towns was not simply good practice, but morally the right thing to do. And time wasn’t on our side. We saw developers as adversaries who were destroying our communities as fast as they could. In British Columbia the battle lines had been drawn in the 1960s and early 1970s between community advocates and Marathon Realty, the real estate arm of the CPR, which proposed to level Gastown in order to build a series of steel and glass high rises along the waterfront, known as Project 200, and to raze Chinatown to build a freeway into the district. We all know it never happened. The good guys won. And for approximately the next two and a half decades our star was in the ascendency. Gastown and Chinatown were Provincially designated to protect them from demolition; nationally the Heritage Canada Foundation was created; local governments were given the power of heritage designation; the British Columbia Heritage Trust (BCHT) was created with an annual grant budget which rose to $2.5 million; Heritage Canada created its Main Street Program and the Province of British Columbia responded with the Downtown Revitalization Program and the BCHT’s Heritage Area Revitalization Program. The high point of these activities was the passage of the Heritage Conservation Statutes Amendment Act in 1994 which amended 22 Provincial statutes to include provisions for conservation. It gave BC the best heritage conservation legislation in continued on page 17... Canada – which it still has.

“If one cares to look at the literature and events which were created for the 1958 British Columbia Centennial, the first and the grandest of BC’s centennials, they weren’t a celebration of the past, but a celebration of the future! The past, at such places as Barkerville, were benchmarks to show how far we had come.”

On the occasion of Heritage BC’s 30th anniversary and his own recent retirement, Alastair Kerr looks back on THE changes in our ideas about heritage conservation. This excerpt is from article published in Full AT www.heritagebc.ca


people in the news Mark Brown


Mark Brown took over as Manager of Historic Places and Stewardship with the provincial Heritage Branch on March 1. He works with staff that oversees the Provincial Heritage Properties and the BC Register of Historic Places, and contributes his expertise to other crown heritage stewardship projects. Mark came to the Heritage Branch after two and a half years as the Manager of Universities with the Capital Planning Unit in the Ministry of Advanced Education. He brings a broad background in project planning, cost planning, construction and construction design management. As a Quantity Surveyor, Mark was a manager of the Cost and Value Analysis section of the Development Group at BC Buildings Corporation. While there, he prepared cost plans and facilities management plans for restoration and rehabilitation of many historic buildings. He has also worked in the private sector as a general contractor, construction manager, and as a project manager and technician in several architecture practices. Born and raised in Victoria, Mark has a BA in Geography from the University of Victoria with additional studies in Classical Studies and History in Art.

Ursula Pfahler


Ursula Pfahler joined the Heritage Branch in April as the new Community Heritage Planner responsible for Heritage Tourism and Economic Development. Ursula has owned a tour company, worked at the Maritime Museum of BC, and has assisted communities, entrepreneurs, and heritage organizations with business planning and marketing. She has taught tourism in the School of Business at Camosun College, been a Master Trainer for WorldHost Training Services, and has facilitated workshops on cultural and heritage tourism in communities all over British Columbia. Before taking on her new post, Ursula also organized the past three Heritage BC conferences and she looks forward to seeing many familiar faces in her new role.

Robert Hobson



Robert Hobson has been appointed to the board of the Heritage Legacy Fund of B.C. Society. A professional planner with a broad experience in local politics and heritage, Robert was first elected to Kelowna Municipal Council in 1988, where he remains a voice for conservation today. He is also the Chair of the Central Okanagan Regional District and in 2009 was President of the Union of B.C. Municipalities. Robert has done extensive consulting in heritage conservation in many B.C. communities, and in the 1980’s was a board member of Heritage BC and also served as the executive director.

call to renew A CALL TO RENEW

New Leadership. A New Beginning? The upheaval in provincial politics has produced a new Premier and leader of the governing Liberal Party, a substantially revised cabinet, and a new home ministry for heritage led by a new minister. With all this change, can we reasonably hope for a change of heart as well, at least as far as heritage is concerned? The current crisis is almost two years old, but so far, despite considerable advocacy, we have seen nothing new, and a lot more of the same. Premier Christy Clark is an unknown quantity as far as heritage is concerned, but she is staking her future as leader on her people skills and a warmer persona. This and her focus on families and the concerns of the average person are not antithetical to the heritage agenda. The new heritage minister, Steve Thomson, Minister of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, is a relatively newcomer to provincial politics with a background in agriculture. A former board member of the Kelowna Museum, he is not entirely without heritage experience. The big picture is that the new Premier must get past the HST referendum, then a revised budget, and an election to validate the recent changes. It’s a busy schedule, in a time of tight money. Meanwhile, time marches on. The HBC “Call to Renew” campaign has generated almost four dozen letters to the provincial government, many of them from local government urging reinstatement of essential programs and funding. Heritage BC has asked for a meeting with the new heritage minister to discuss where we go from here.

“With all this change, can we

reasonably hope for a change of heart as well, at least as far as heritage is concerned?”



Conference, Awards Ceremony & Board Nominations

The date for the Heritage BC Annual Conference has been moved from June to early fall this year. The conference will take place Friday and Saturday, September 30 and October 1, 2011, at the Shadbolt Centre in Burnaby. The program will focus on a forum to discuss the current status of heritage conservation in B.C. and consider options for the future. The fall conference date means that the annual Heritage BC Awards Ceremony will also take place later than usual, on Friday, September 30. The date change affects the annual election of directors as well. The Call for Nominations will go out on June 17, 15 weeks before the AGM. This year the Nominations Committee will be looking to fill five positions on the eight-member Board. Directors are elected for a two-year term and may serve up to three consecutive terms. Nominees must be either a member of a Heritage BC Group Member, or a Heritage BC Individual Member with at least one year’s standing. The time commitment is about 10 days a year.


To Consider the Future of Heritage Conservation in British Columbia ANNUAL CONFERENCE Shadbolt Centre, Burnaby Sept 30 - Oct 1, 2011



Problems with HPA Persist Despite Changes “ The HPA has tended to play

havoc with heritage projects when warranty providers take a very conservative view of required specifications.”

Despite recent changes to the Homeowner Protection Act (HPA), heritage onsultants and officials continue to have problems making it work with the rehabilitation of residential heritage property. To clarify the issues and formulate a plan, Heritage BC recently organized a meeting of several municipal officials, heritage consultants, design professionals and provincial representatives. The HPA requires that builders of new homes secure warranty insurance before they can get a building permit, which may include creating new homes in heritage buildings. It has tended to play havoc with heritage projects when warranty providers take a very conservative view of required specifications, leading to historic windows, doors, and even entire wall assemblies being removed and replaced with new assemblies and materials. The meeting on April 11 at the office of the Vancouver Heritage Foundation reviewed last year’s change to the Act to permit the exclusion of heritage elements in commercial-to-residential conversions that involve recognized (designated or register) heritage property. While warranty insurance is still required, the heritage elements may be exempt from coverage. A 2007 policy change had already determined that residential-to-residential projects are not subject to the Act as long as they do not involve a substantial replacement of existing materials. “Substantial” is deemed by the Homeowner Protection Office, which administers the Act, to be 75 per cent or more. While the legislative amendment seems to be working well enough for commercialto-residential projects, problems remain with residential rehabilitation. First there is the question of the “75 per cent rule”. How should this be interpreted, and who gets to decide? In the absence of clarity, some builders and developers tend proceed as if the exemption did not exist. Building envelope consultants, heritage professionals at the meeting said, still tend to rule the roost on site and take little heed of the heritage exemption now available. Further, some builders/developers continue to seek warranty insurance regardless of exemptions because they believe there is a market advantage in having it. Since the meeting, the provincial Heritage Branch and Heritage BC have meet with the Homeowner Protection Office to get some clarification about the 75 per cent rule. The Branch will work with the HPO to develop a clear statement about the intention of the legislative and policy changes, and provide guidelines for their application. The Branch, HPO and Heritage BC will investigate educational opportunities to reach builders, the development community, community officials and professionals to increase awareness of the changed situation regarding heritage and the HPA. Municipal officials will also be strongly encouraged to tell heritage project applicants up front that HPA regulations should not be used and will not be accepted as a basis to overrule municipal policies and objectives concerning heritage conservation.


Senate Committee Recommends Funding for Lighthouses On March 24, the Senate Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans tabled their second report on lighthouses. Their first report, released last December, prompted an immediate halt to the destaffing of lighthouses by the Minister for Fisheries and Oceans, Gail Shea. The Committee’s second report concerned the implementation of the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act (HLPA). The Senate Committee report supports the intent of the HLPA but finds it wanting in robustness. It portrays the custodial department, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, as responding to the new Act with a kind of passive aggression which threatens to undermine the Act’s very purpose. The report responds with a number of proposals to empower communities to take on heritage lighthouses at the local level. A rarely successful Senate Private Member’s Bill, the HLPA was passed on May 29, 2008, and came into effect exactly two years later. The central intent of the legislation is to provide a process to identify and protect lighthouses that are deemed to have heritage value. It provides a two-year window, until May 29, 2012, to submit designation petitions. The Historic Sites and Monuments Board will then consider all petitions and make recommendations to the federal Minister of the Environment for designation, which will result in a conservation regime for these designated sites. Under the Act, the responsibility for conservation of designated lighthouses will lie with the custodial department, Fisheries and Oceans. However, any lighthouse deemed surplus by DFO cannot be proposed for designation unless the nominator – a group of at least 25 individuals – commits to take over the lighthouse and ensure its future care and conservation, including a business plan. The proviso for surplus light stations is sensible in a coastal navigation system that is in a state of flux. But the Senate Committee report strongly criticizes the DFO for thwarting the very purpose of the Act by declaring the great majority of active light stations to be surplus two days before the legislation came into effect. In a single stroke, the DFO shifted responsibility for conservation of historic lighthouses onto local communities across the country which now must come up with solutions for hundreds of sites, many of them unique and complex, in a matter of months. To offset the effects of the DFO declaration of surplus, the Committee report recommends several actions: • Provide federal dollars to enable the Heritage Canada Foundation to set up a fund that will make available seed money to local groups that are engaged in fund raising to take over surplus lighthouses • All lighthouses devolved to local groups should be passed on in a good state of repair with no outstanding environmental issues • A lighthouse Advisory Panel should be set up to identify a “pool” of lighthouses with potential for designation. Lighthouses in the pool not nominated for designation under the process established by the HLPA could be proposed by the Panel. Any lighthouses in the pool but not nominated by May 29, 2012 would be removed from the surplus list. • The Committee recommends that all surplus lightstations that leave the federal inventory, either through the HLPA process or through the process governing the disposal of surplus real property, be afforded protection by a heritage easement or covenant in the sale agreement.

Mayne Island Lighthouse

“There are 18 active and

one inactive B.C. lighthouses on the DFO surplus list. Their fate as historic resources will depend in large part on the federal government’s response to the Senate Committee report.” DOWNLOAD A PDF OF THE HLPA IMPLEMENTATION REPORT FROM the news article on our website or at this URL: » http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/ Committee/403/fish/rep/rep07mar11-e.pdf

tourism Heritage Tourism & Technology

Time Travel BC

The Heritage Tourism Alliance is embarking on a project to provide residents and visitors to B.C. with virtual access to heritage attractions located throughout the province via ‘TimeTravelBC.com’. Content is web-based and also delivered to users via smartphones, including the iPhone as well as Blackberry and Android phones. For devices utilizing Location Based Services (GPS), users will be provided with map functions and turn-by-turn directions to market-ready heritage locations. Part One of the project will focus on three of B.C.’s six tourism regions: Cariboo Chilcotin Coast; Kootenay Rockies; and Vancouver Island. The remaining three regions (Vancouver, Coast and Mountains, Thompson-Okanagan, and Northern B.C. ) will be covered in Part Two, planned to start next fall. The project will re-brand HTA’s TimetravelBC website with rich content and user interactivity on the site and through links with social media. It will also develop leading edge software applications that deliver heritage tourism content to smartphones and WIFI devices like iPad and other tablets. Visitors will experience rich digital tours with images and audio guiding them to B.C. heritage attractions. The goals of the project are to engage visitors with stories from B.C.’s history, with ready online access to heritage experiences and trip-planning functionality to over 155 participating heritage institutions and attractions, and to promote heritage tourism’s growing role in the tourism industry. The primary benefits will be to strengthen the heritage sector’s capacity for strategic heritage tourism development, increase visits to heritage attractions, both virtually and onsite, and enhance visitor experiences, inspiring them to share their BC travel stories. FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT Heritage Tourism Alliance of BC: Project contact: Jan Ross at 250-383-5843; Email ecarr@shaw.ca

Continued from Page 3. Read the full article online: www.heritagebc.ca

Looking Back

But rather than issuing in an even more glorious era of heritage activity, the movement seemed to stall. Even the very ambitious but ill-fated national Historic Places Initiative (HPI) of the last decade more or less died with what T.S. Eliot described as, “not with a bang but a whimper.” Sure, we got the Canadian Register of Historic Places and the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada, which are nice to have, but we didn’t really need them. Heritage conservation settled down to practical, if not staid, business. So what happened? Part of it is that the socio-cultural context within which heritage conservation is practiced has significantly changed. One of the biggest opponents to heritage in the 1960s and 70s was modernism. Modernism wasn’t just a style of building, but a Utopian belief system which advocated that we were progressing ever more assuredly toward a better future. If one cares to look at the literature and events which were created for the 1958 British Columbia Centennial, the first and the grandest of BC’s centennials, they weren’t a celebration of the past, but a celebration of the future! The past, at such places as Barkerville, were benchmarks to show how far we had come. The big stories were BC’s public works in the form of highways and hydro-electric dams, its burgeoning industries in mining, forestry, fisheries and manufacturing, and how modern its cities and towns were becoming. When some residents of one community complained about the smell of pulp mills, then Premier W.A.C. Bennett is reputed to have exclaimed, “It’s the smell of money!” And Project 200 was all part of this glorious vision for the future. 8


Recreation & Tourism Spur Restoration Projects Two important historic structures in B.C. have been preserved and rehabilitated over the past year – not just on the strength of their heritage credentials, but for their potential contribution to economic development. The Brilliant Bridge in Castlegar and the Kinsol Railway Trestle near Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island have a lot in common. Both played significant roles in B.C. history, both were owned by the provincial government but languished for decades after being decommissioned, and both were saved by eleventh-hour efforts to counter plans to demolish them. The Brilliant Bridge was built by the Doukhobor community in 1911 to span the Columbia River, providing a link between Castlegar and their own communal settlement of Brilliant. The concrete suspension bridge was constructed to a design by J. R. Grant of Vancouver. The provincial government acquired the bridge in 1938, and decommissioned it in 1966 when a new bridge was built. Once out of commission, the structure was not maintained by the Ministry of Transport, which decided to demolish it in the 1970’s. Demolition was halted when community leaders made a strong case for preservation, a view that was validated when the Brilliant Suspension Bridge was declared a National Historic Site in 1995. In the 1990’s, a committee was formed to restore the bridge. Progress was slow, however, and it is was not until the Regional District of the Central Kootenays took over ownership from the MOT in 2007 that the essential fund raising campaign got going. Starting with an initial target of $750,000, in a couple of years the dedicated team of supporters had gathered together over $1 million. Contributors included the provincial government, the RDCK and City of Castlegar, the Columbia Basin Trust, two credit unions, BC Hydro, and the Union of B.C. Municipalities Community Tourism Program. Once the funding was assembled, the work went quickly and a grand re-opening ceremony was held on May 22, 2010.

Brilliant Bridge re-opens May 22, 2010 Photo: Verona Walker The Kinsoll Trestle, which is part of the Trans Canada trail, will re-open this summer

The success of the Brilliant Bridge restoration project was due to a great deal of volunteer effort, local leadership and community support for heritage. But much of the funding was attracted by the tourism and recreation opportunities that the bridge represented – the rehabilitated structure is now part of the Trans Canada Trail. On Vancouver Island, the magnificent Kinsol Trestle has also been brought back to life, more than 30 years after the last locomotive thundered over the wooden span in 1979. The trestle suffered from neglect for decades, and fires by vandals eventually closed it to even foot traffic. Rail and heritage enthusiasts were eager to see the trestle brought back to life, and saw tourism as the driving motor to provide the funds. Still nothing happened for many years, and eventually the province announced that it would be deconstructed, at a cost of $1.5 million, and a new bridge provided for hikers, cyclists and equestrians, since the crossing is also a link in the Trans Canada Trail. The Cowichan Valley Regional District, heading up the trail development, did not necessarily want to see the trestle come down. Said to be the highest such structure in the Commonwealth, it has great eye appeal and novelty attraction. But it was only when proponents, including the firm of Macdonald and Lawrence Timber Framing, made a convincing case that the trestle could be saved and made usable for trail traffic at a cost equivalent to demolition and new construction that the restoration project got underway. Scheduled to re-open this summer, the Kinsol Trestle project has attracted $6 million in funding, again from a wide range of sources. While backers are happy to see the heritage structure saved, it is the role it will play in tourism and regional economic development that has attracted much of the investment. 9

“ Both the Nelson and Nanaimo railway station projects stand out as examples of community commitment to their railway history, the ability of heritage to make a significant contribution to economic revitalization, and the wisdom of investment in historic resources for a stronger economic future..”


Community & Business Back Railway Station Projects The Heritage Legacy Fund is supporting two community projects to rehabilitate railways stations listed under the Federal Heritage Railway Protection Act. Both projects are notable for the strong support they have attracted from the business community and local government because of their potential to promote heritage tourism and strengthen the local economies. The Nelson Railway Station was completed by the CPR in 1901 during the era of the city’s economic boom years when the city was the regional commercial centre and transportation hub for rail and water-borne transport. Located at the western extreme of Nelson’s historic commercial centre, the station occupies a key location for the downtown economy. Nevertheless, with changing times the station declined into disuse and neglect. After several years of negotiations, the Nelson Chamber of Commerce has been able to close a deal with the CPR to take over and rehabilitate the iconic wood frame structure. Their plan includes development of the station as a Chamber business office, travel information centre, community facility and lease opportunity. Following a conservation feasibility study by James Burton of Birmingham & Wood, the project is taking place in stages, backed b a wide variety of funders and investors. The Heritage Legacy Fund contributed $25,000 last year toward the first stage of rehabilitation – getting a new roof on to keep out the elements. Continuing investment is expected to bring new vitality to this corner of Nelson’s commercial district.

The crew in front of the re-roofed Nelson Railway Station, with former Heritage BC President, Don Tonsaker, at far right Credit: Nelson & District Chamber of Commerce


The other 2010 Heritage Legacy Fund railway station grant went to Nanaimo. Built in 1920, the station was the City’s second since the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway (E&N) opened in 1886. One of the critical bargaining points in the negotiations that brought British Columbia into confederation, the E&N has been an essential feature of Vancouver Island’s development. Like many rail systems in Canada, the E&N has fallen on hard times as demand for freight and passenger services dried up. The line has been taken over by the Island Corridor Foundation (ICF), a consortium of local governments and First Nations which has a vision of a revitalized rail system to facilitate commuter traffic, tourism and sustainable economical development.

One of several historic railway stations that are part of the E&N system, the Nanaimo Station was badly damaged by fire in 2007. Fortunately, an assessment by Robert Lemon Architect indicated that the building was worth saving and restoring. The project is being driven by a number of interested business and community parties who, with the ICF, have banded together as the Nanaimo Train Station Partnership. The vision for the E&N Station is to serve as a hub for rail transport, rejuvenating the surrounding neighbourhood and its tourism and business potential. It will take funding from several sources to cover the cost of bringing the building back to life. Last year, the Heritage Legacy Fund contributed $25,000 to support the retention and repair of most of the wood sash windows, and the replacement with appropriate new units where necessary.

A Dozen New Projects Supported Twelve projects were approved for funding by the board of the Heritage Legacy Fund society when it met in Victoria on May 13. The funding is going to many parts of the province, from Atlin in the extreme northwest to Fernie in the southeast. The board was faced with the largest single number of applications to date since the grant program began six years ago. The requests totaled twice the funds available for the entire year, so some difficult decisions had to be made. Two out of three projects received at least part of the amount they had applied for, with three of them receiving the full amount requested. One of the fully-funded projects is the preservation of the MV Tarahne. Built in 1916, the 35 meter passenger ship formed a major part of the water transport system in the Yukon and northern B.C. during the gold rush era. In dry dock since 1936, the carved-hull lake boat is the visual centre of this northern B.C. gold-mining town. Other projects to receive funding support include: • Felker Homestead Restoration Project (Lac La Hache Historical Society) • Re-roofing the 105 Mile Road House • Restoration of the Haney House (Salmon Arm Museum) • Painting of Church of Our Lord National Historic Site • Re-roofing and stabilizing the Newman Farm Barn (District of Central Saanich) • Exterior painting and conservation of the Cathedral of Mary Immaculate, Nelson • Phase 1 Exterior Project of the Joy Kagowa House • Building conservation at O’Keefe Ranch historic site • Exterior preservation of the Home Bank/Fernie Museum building.

TOP Left: Nanaimo station after the fire CREDIT: Nanaimo Train Station Partnership Above: MV Tarahne Below: St. Anne’s, O’Keefe Ranch

“ The requests totaled twice

the funds available for the entire year, so some difficult decisions had to be made.”

Heritage awareness grants included interpretive signage for the North Pacific Cannery in Port Edward and the Kinsol Trestle.


heritage landscape Heritage LANDSCAPE

Whither Riverview East Lawn Building, Riverview Hospital

The history of the treatment of mental illness in British Columbia has seen a lot of changes since the first provincial “lunatic asylum” was established in 1878. For most of the 20th century, the Riverview centre in Coquitlam was at the forefront of this evolution of mental health theory and practice. Now, the historic health care centre is again caught up in the currents of change, and finds itself at the centre of a heated controversy over its future. By 1904, the Provincial Lunatic Asylum in New Westminster was already filled beyond capacity. That year, the Riverview property was purchased by the province as the site for a new hospital for the mentally ill. The location offered low lands ideal for a farm operation, while the upper forested portion was chosen for the mental health institution itself.

“ The opportunities for private

development of this very valuable piece of real estate are obvious, and a great temptation for any government looking for new revenue opportunities.”

The project was overseen by Provincial Secretary Henry Esson Young who had responsibility for health services, and the new facility was soon known as Essondale. Far from simply a holding facility for the insane, Essondale from the outset established a reputation as an enlightened institution for the care and treatment of sufferers afflicted with a wide variety of severe and chronic mental illnesses. At the heart of the Essondale philosophy was a firm conviction that a bucolic setting was the ideal context for treatment and care, and that gardening and farm work had great therapeutic benefits for patients. Esson Young hired the first Provincial Botanist, David Young, in 1911. Establishing a botanical garden at Essondale was one of his first assignments. The hospital’s development was closely tied to the formative years of the University of British Columbia at Point Grey. The early farm activity and botanical collections were to provide a foundation for the UBC agricultural program a decade or two later. Apart from the agricultural and botanical activities, Essondale developed extensive formal landscapes and gardens, integrated within the many institutional buildings that were erected to serve the needs of a highly varied patient population and a growing staff. Over the years, new facilities were added to the site: a veteran’s hospital, a teaching college, a boy’s industrial school, the Valleyview Home for the Aged, and the Crease Clinic. During the peak years in the 1950’s, there were over 4,000 patients on site and half that number again of staff.

Graphic Design Brands & Ad Campaigns Publications Exhibitions & Signage Architectural Photography Websites

250 479 2868 lisbailly@gmail.com www.lisbailly.com 12

When a new Mental Health Act was passed in 1965, the Crease Clinic and Essondale were joined as one facility under the name Riverview Hospital. By this time a decline in patient numbers was already underway as the result of new treatment practices and the advent of community-based mental health services. The process of decline continued with the closing of the Crease Clinic, the teaching program, and other facilities. By the beginning of the 1990s, the future of Riverview had become a source of concern for residents of Coquitlam, who had come to treasure its parklike setting, gardens, architectural heritage and history. The farm became a regional park several years ago, but the 100-hectare hospital site itself remains a hot-button issue. The City of Coquitlam, in its 2005 Riverview Task Force Report, staked out its position, calling for the lands to be kept in public ownership with services for mental health and wellness, the protection of the botanical heritage and ecology of the lands, the establishment of centres of research, education and innovation, and opportunities for heritage, arts and culture. But the provincial government still owns the site, under the management of Shared Services B.C. The opportunities for private development of this very valuable piece of real estate are obvious, and a great temptation for any government looking for new revenue opportunities. Interestingly, it was Premier Christy Clark, then MLA for Port Moody, who moved the resolution passed at the 1999 B.C. Liberal Party Convention to preserve the remaining Riverview Lands as park land and regional greenspace.


All Nations Heritage Forum On April 18, the Williams Lake Indian Band and the Cariboo Regional District co-sponsored what may have been a unique gathering in B.C. The goal of the event, held in the Band Longhouse, was “to introduce First Nations and Non-First Nations people to each other’s heritage and culture.” The program had some very practical objectives as well, including a review of basic tools and programs for heritage conservation that are available to First Nations and non-First Nations alike. It was also an opportunity to showcase some of the achievements of the Regional District and its Heritage Steering Committee which have been working steadily for the past few years to establish a heritage program. Hosting the forum was another step forward in the process. From the Band’s perspective, a primary objective of the day was to introduce First Nations to the various processes available to enhance and preserve their heritage, as well as the potential opportunities for cultural tourism and economic development. Several speakers addressed the heritage and tourism topics throughout the day, including Heritage BC executive director, Rick Goodacre. The program was interspersed with aspects of First Nations culture, starting with smudging in the morning, drumming and singing, and story telling. Participants each received a medicine bag. The forum was an excellent way to bring “all nations” together to talk about heritage and share their interests and concerns. It was also, as the forum literature said, a chance “to learn, network, and to create relationships based on trust and respect”.

Action Plan According to the B.C. First Nations Leadership Council, the provincial Heritage Conservation Act fails to protect their culture and heritage resources, and prevents First Nations from protecting their spiritual and sacred sites, artifacts and human remains in accordance with their own laws and customs. The Council (an association of the BC Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit, and Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs) says that, while the province has made a commitment to deal with First Nations on a government-to-government basis, this commitment has not found its ways into practice, “…and operational policies within the Archaeology Branch and relevant Ministries have yet to be adopted in a manner that incorporates the spirit of the New Relationship.” At this time, there is no action plan or structured way forward for the protection of First Nations heritage, the Council says. Therefore, through a Joint Working Group on First Nations Heritage Conservation, the Council the Council has now developed the “First Nations Heritage Conservation Action Plan”. The Plan presents a comprehensive overview of the issues. It covers legislation and policies, property development, relationships with provincial and local governments, and heritage resource protection. A draft of the plan was presented at a First Nations Heritage Forum in Vancouver in February of this year. A revised draft was then circulated to all First Nations for comment by the end of May, and a final plan will then be presented for endorsement by the three member associations of the Council later this year. Contact: Shannon Cameron; PHONE 604-684-0231; Email heritage@ubcic.bc.ca


sustainability Victoria HERITAGE REHABILITATION

Green Credentials A recently-completed commercial rehabilitation project in Victoria is a showcase of sustainable heritage rehabilitation. The brick, steel and wood frame building at the corner of Langley and Broughton was designed by noted architect Francis M. Rattenbury for B.C. Land & Investment Company and completed in 1909. Last year, a two-year rehabilitation of the century-old building was completed by Hobo Holdings, a firm that has received numerous awards for previous heritage projects in Victoria. Photo: Hobo Holdings

The heritage rehabilitation project includes a number of cost-effective green building features. The building is fitted with a state of the art, hybrid geothermal system comprised of a loop of eight vertical boreholes drilled to 400 feet each. This geothermal installation will save an estimated $10,000 (55%) a year in heating and cooling costs while reducing the annual emissions of green house gas by 30 to 35 tons. The $80,000 cost to install the system should be recovered within eight years. Veteran developer Richard Holmes believes this is one of the first systems in the world where the geothermal heat exchanger loops have been drilled within the footprint of the building. The rehabilitated heritage building in the heart of Victoria’s Old Town is being leased for office and retail use.


Assessing Energy Performance The Vancouver Heritage Foundation will continue its annual Heritage & Sustainability education series with a new course on ‘Energy Assessments in Heritage Buildings’ in November. Do you want to cut energy consumption, save money, reduce green house gases, and conserve your heritage home? Of course, but where do you start? This one-day course will: • • •

Outline the resources available to assess the energy performance of residential buildings Describe the various approaches to improving a building’s performance using the energy assessment results Show you how to prioritize improvements/interventions that will be most cost-effective yet least invasive to building heritage character

• Present case studies as practical demonstrations. Heritage BC is providing financial support to allow video recording of the course, which will be made available on the VHF website.

Heritage Week 2012

The History and Future of Power The theme for Heritage Week 2012 is: “A Powerful Past, a Sustainable Future”. Power generation has played a large part in B.C.’s history. From early coal-fired generators to massive hydro-electric projects on our mighty rivers and the oil and gas industry today that helps to drive the economy, energy and power have always been important, and often controversial. 14

sustainability Every community has an energy history story. From the arrival of the first electric street lights and gas stations to today’s energy-efficient homes, our energy infrastructure has evolved continuously for over a century. Energy and power have also been a significant source of jobs and wealth for British Columbians. But what does our energy future look like? Will B.C. lead the way with green energy technologies? Can we successfully adapt our stock of existing buildings to meet growing demands for efficiency? How will we respond to threats of global climate change and environmental degradation? “A Powerful Past, a Sustainable Future” will be an opportunity to celebrate the history of energy in B.C. and consider the many challenges, and opportunities, of the future.

Turbine Hall at Stave Falls Power House

Heritage BRANCH

Finding the Balance:

Heritage Value and Energy Efficiency In the rush for optimum energy efficiency, the pursuit of high-tech rating systems and LEED building standards have the potential to seriously threaten the life expectancy of our heritage and existing building stock by dismissing their inherent sustainable qualities and underestimating opportunities to increase their efficiency. In BC today there are approximately 200,000 traditionally-constructed, wood-frame pre-1950 dwelling units, but only 0.7 per cent of these are formally recognized for their heritage value. As the potential disconnect between green construction practices and the goals of heritage conservation become increasingly apparent, Heritage Branch has made a conscious effort to take proactive measures to bridge this gap and to promote rehabilitating and upgrading historic places as a model for sustainable development focussed on existing buildings. To reinforce the connection between rehabilitation of heritage structures and sustainability, Branch strategies seek to promote sensitive retrofits of traditional homes that retain their heritage character. These strategies employ retrofit options for homeowners, designers, and contractors wishing to upgrade the energy efficiency and increase the thermal comfort of existing or heritage buildings. Options range from simple, low-cost home maintenance or repair, to incentives for installation of storm windows in historic structures rather than replacement with new windows. Some of our initiatives have included: • Co-sponsoring with Cascadia Green Building Council the Green Rehabilitation and Sustainability Forums and follow-up report • Participating In the Heritage and Sustainability Forum sponsored by the Vancouver Heritage Foundation • Partnering with City Green Solutions to develop a heritage curriculum for Certified Energy Advisors to promote sensitive retrofits during energy audits • Presenting at and/or having a trade show presence at conferences such as Gaining Ground, Building SustainAble Communities, Cascadia Living Futures and the Columbia Institute for Civic Governance • Influencing government policy to exempt formally-recognized historic places from the replacement requirements of the Energy Efficiency Standards Regulations and the Homeowner Protection Act • Negotiating incentives through the re-designed LiveSmart Program for installation of storm windows • Creating a strong Branch sustainability web presence with fact sheets, tips and related links for homeowners, contractors, etc. wanting to make their traditional homes more efficient. Other opportunities are still in the works so watch for announcements in the near future! Pam Copley, Community Heritage Planner, Heritage Branch,Ministry of Forests, Land and Natural Resource Operations

» www.tti.gov.bc.ca/heritage 15

around BC Heritage Lost

Pantages Theatre Demolished Vancouver’s Pantages Theatre was finally doomed when City Hall issued a demolition permit on April 6, citing public safety concerns. A number of schemes for the historic East Hastings theatre were put forward over the years, but none made it to the starting gate. Meanwhile, the building slowly decayed. A few years ago the roof failed and water started to come in, signaling the beginning of the end. The interior with much of its elaborate plaster work intact began to crumble as water soaked in. Finally, with structural collapse imminent, the demolition permit was issued and deconstruction got underway. Heritage Vancouver had listed the Pantages on their annual Top 10 Endangered list for several years. In the end, they said, it was not a question of demolition by neglect, but demolition by delay.

Beaverdell Hotel Burns The historic Beaverdell Hotel burned to the ground on March 28 in circumstances which officials called “suspicious”. The home of the owner of the hotel had burned the previous month. Opened as the Smith Hotel in 1901 when Beaverdell was the centre of a busy mining industry in the southern Okanagan, it had since changed hands many times. There have been fires before but the old hotel managed to survive into its second century, becoming a popular stop for bikers and cyclists on the Kettle Valley Trail. The hotel was closed for the season and there was no one in the building when the fire broke out. It is just the latest of many historic buildings recently lost to fire.


Cranbrook’s Baker Hill The fourth annual selection of “Best Old-House Neighborhoods” appeared in the April issue of This Old House magazine. The search for neighbourhoods covers the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. This Old House contacted Heritage BC for some guidance and we suggested several possibilities. They chose the Baker Hill neighbourhood in Cranbrook. The list includes neighborhoods that have promising futures, strong communities and homes that truly deserve a long-term commitment. Walkability and safety also score high marks. As far as houses go, “Best Old-House Neighbourhoods” is looking for architectural diversity, craftsmanship and the preservation momentum in the area. Why did This Old House pick Cranbrook? They were impressed with the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel, chockablock with restored classic railcars and locomotives. They liked the slow pace, the snow-capped mountains and parks, and the many amenities for the outdoor enthusiast. A centre for regional industry situated within 60 minutes of four ski areas, Cranbrook offers the advantages of the area’s largest economic engine with the feeling of a small town. As for the houses, they liked the variety of historic styles concentrated in the historic Baker Hill neighborhood which includes Craftsman bungalows and vernacular-style cottages that start in the $200,000 range. 16

around BC

Celebration at 150 Mile House July 2011 is the 150th anniversary of the 150 Mile House community. A celebration of this historical area with its heritage sites and stories will take place on July 16th. 150 Mile House came into being with the start of the gold rush when it became the major transportation supply and administrative centre for the Cariboo region. With the discovery of gold in the Cariboo Mountains and adjacent highlands, prospectors, packers and traders arrived in great numbers. They needed food, shelter and rest stops. 150 Mile area was strategically located at the junction of early trails, east and north-east to the gold fields and west and south-west to the Chilcotin and Canoe Creek areas. The ranches in those areas became an important source of food for the increased population.

150 Mile House historic school

The gold rush changed the 150 Mile House site from a single ranch to a busy community of people providing food, shelter, and other amenities to the gold seekers and the horses which transported them. 150 Mile was located on the Cariboo Wagon Road which started in Lillooet at Mile 0. The road was built to accommodate the traffic of the gold rush. It remained the major route until the transportation corridor shifted with the completion of the railroad in 1919. Williams Lake replaced 150 Mile House as the regional centre. At present, at 150 Mile House there are several remaining buildings with heritage value. They include the school house of the 1890’s, the Court House, blacksmith shop and a log storage building. The 150 Mile House community is starting to restore these historic buildings. There are also cemetery sites and drainage and irrigation ditches. There are many historical accounts of the gold rush and its aftermath. There are archival materials that should be more easily available to the public. The major one of these is Chief William’s statement of 1879. It is a deeply responsible and caring plea to the government to remedy the destructive impact of the new settlement on the First Nations people. Chief William’s wise counsel succeeded in helping his people, and in averting an armed rebellion. More remedial and conciliatory work remains to be done. Let us learn from the knowledge of all our elders, and discuss together how we can leave a safe, just and happy society for our children.

Heritage BC


Come and share with us these all family events on July 16th: pancake breakfast; heritage treasure hunt; school in session at the old school house; pioneer tea; all day long games for the kids; family dance at the end of the day. — Gloria Atamanenko

Discover the interesting people, events and landmarks that shape our provincial heritage. Explore archive photos, stories, games, maps, lesson plans and more. Visit over 100 Stop of Interest Signs on a virtual history tour!

www.HeritageBCStops.com 17



Brian Childs & Co. Construction Brian G. Hart & Company Commonwealth Historic Resource Management Ltd. Donald Luxton & Associates Eileen Fletcher, Architect Eric Pattison Architect Golder Associates Ltd Jonathan Yardley Architect, Inc, UB McLeod Masonry International Corp. Prospect Heritage Society Richard Collier Conservation Consultant Simpson Roberts Architecture The Bastion Group Tudor Masonry TRB Architecture Inc Vintage Woodwork Inc. Zeidler Partnership Architects


Heritage SCHOOLS

Three Schools Top Endangered List Vancouver schools earned the dubious distinction of taking first, second and third place in Heritage Vancouver’s 2011 Top 10 Endangered list. Carleton, Kitchener and Sexsmith earned the top three spots, symbolizing the triad of threats facing Vancouver’s historic schools: “closure, redundancy and demolition”. Should this appear to be a little over the top, it should be noted that HV claims that the situation is bad enough that the entire list could have been made up of landmark schools. A significant threat is the provincially-funded schools seismic upgrading program. Heritage Vancouver says it supports the program but is at a loss to understand why other School Boards can use the funding to upgrade their heritage schools while in Vancouver it is becoming a demolish-and-replace program. Heritage Vancouver is concerned that the Vancouver School Board is proceeding with the seismic upgrade program in the absence of a promised comprehensive plan for the future of district schools. “The Board has stated that heritage is not high on their list of priorities”, says HV, “and has demonstrated this through the demolition of Sir Charles Dickens School, the plan to demolish the interior of Kitsilano Secondary, and the potential demolition of General Gordon and one of the heritage buildings that make up Lord Kitchener School. There is no end in sight to this process with potentially dozens of heritage schools on the chopping block.”

Heritage Canada Govenor’s Message On behalf of the Heritage Canada Foundation is it my pleasure to wish Heritage BC a happy 30th anniversary. Heritage BC is a valuable member of the National Council of Heritage Canada that brings together local spokespeople from across Canada to debate heritage issues. As the field of heritage conservation becomes more complex it is vital to have input from across our diverse country. HELEN EDWARDS How things have changed in the heritage field over the past 30 Governor years. Heritage preservation has become known as a viable Heritage Canada alternative to the “nuke and pave” mentality of the 1970s. On the other hand, we have never been more needed, with constant pressure on municipalities to redevelop the “old, tired, buildings.” Yes, there are some wonderful developers out there who take derelict heritage buildings and turn them into desirable, livable units, but they are rare.


My personal connection with Heritage BC goes back to a conference in Kamloops when I travelled with my husband and two young kids in tow. He attended the sessions; I was too busy elsewhere. In the ensuing years, I have only missed three conferences – and one was for our daughter’s wedding. I have watched the organization grow from a strictly grass roots group with little influence to a professionally staffed organization that has considerable influence in provincial heritage matters. I was proud to serve on the Board for seven years (two as president) and to bring the awards program from an afterthought to the high profile program that it is today. I was also Heritage BC’s representative on the Heritage Legacy Fund Board for five years where I served as president for four of those. Although current governments have literally dropped the ball on heritage funding, the society soldiers on, finding ways to stay afloat. Not too many years ago, B.C. was the leading voice for heritage issues across Canada. Sadly, the decrease in provincial funding has changed that status. With a new premier, there is always hope that funds will be found to support the vital work of Heritage BC. Happy birthday, Heritage BC.

HERITAGE BC Board Members Larry Foster, President Kelowna 250.764.8418 lvfoster@shaw.ca Leslie Gilbert,Vice President West Vancouver 604.469.4582 gilbertgrainger55@yahoo.ca Pat McAllister, Past President Vernon 250.558.1440 p.mcal@telus.net

President’s Message 2011 marks the 30th anniversary of the Heritage BC Society, and it is timely to acknowledge the many contributions to heritage conservation made by the Society over the decades. Past Board members and the membership-at-large have worked tirelessly over those years, and the tangible results are an essential part of the character of our large and small communities across British Columbia. The importance of those heritage conservation initiatives are clear to all of us who reside in or visit the province.


Karen Russell, Secretary/Treasurer Vancouver 604.822.1586 karen.russell@ubc.ca


Progress in heritage initiatives has always been rewarding, but not always easy. Maintaining core public commitment to thingsheritage, changes in government support, successful projects or the loss of significant features, all require on-going care and attention in our communities. These things ebb and flow over time, but have fortunately prevailed over those years, with large thanks to our membership and the dedication of the current Executive Director Rick Goodacre and office assistant Jan Thomas. The current absence of provincial support to heritage activities continues unresolved, and a real potential exists that could see Heritage BC further curtail or cease operations during the year. The loss of financial operating support since 2009 has resulted in a declining ability of the Society to maintain its coordinating role for the some 170 members. We have been indeed fortunate to have received the support of the Heritage Legacy Fund to work through this period of uncertainty.

Shirley Gratton, Director Prince George 250.962.7055 grattons@netbistro.com Eric Pattison, Director New Westminster 604. 525.3232 eric@eparchitect.ca Zlatan Jankovic, Director Vancouver 604.871.6448 zlatan.jankovic@vancouver.ca Helen Edwards, HCF Governor Victoria 250.386.6598 heritagelady@gmail.com

You will recall that Heritage BC has initiated a major proposal to the provincial government, A Call to Renew British Columbia’s Heritage Program, that outlines a formula to revitalize heritage conservation in the province. While efforts continue toward this solution with provincial authorities, progress has been limited. It appears that unless progress is made on this initiative before the annual AGM and Conference in September, the future of the Society will be seriously challenged. Fortunately there remains a strong commitment to heritage conservation in our communities, and a strong commitment on the part of Heritage BC to ensure that the Society can remain a positive force in those communities for the next 30 years.


Experience Heritage In

British Columbia Become A Time-Traveller! Burnaby Art Gallery


Join with other BCMA members and our tourism partners to increase visitor numbers and community engagement. List on www.timetravelbc.com.

To Consider the Future of Heritage Conservation in British Columbia ANNUAL CONFERENCE Shadbolt Centre, Burnaby Sept 30 - Oct 1, 2011

HEAD OFFICE 914 Garthland place wEST victoria bc V9A 4J5 PHONE: .250.384.4840 • MEMBERSHIP / REGISTRATION 108 - 9865 140th Street Surrey BC V3T 4M4 Phone/fax: .604.582.1332

www.heritagebc.ca CONTRIBUTIONS May be submitted by email to rgoodacre@heritage.bc.ca High resolution print Quality Photographs can be sent in JPG format. Heritage BC reserves the right to edit or reject any submission.


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