Heritage BC Quarterly Summer 2011

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Summer 2011

Heritage Under Fire Everywhere you look these days, heritage seems to be under attack. Earthquakes shake and break historic masonry buildings. Fires – some accidental, some intentional – consume wooden ones. Development pressures, rising costs, stringent regulations, other priorities and other values lead to approval to take down heritage structures of all kinds: schools, theatres, civic buildings, retail stores, bridges. Some have even been the targets of terrorism. In many cases, demolition approval has been reluctant, given only after all other avenues have been exhausted. But one or two loses have been driven by contempt or even anger. And then there is the old standby: demolition by neglect, a particularly effective form of passive aggression. In this issue we look at some recent demolition cases and trends. We continue to win a battle here and there, but are we losing the war? If yes, then why? While individual cases attract and distract us, the important questions must be directed at larger policy issues and priorities. Is government at all levels giving up on heritage? If so, what can be done to change this trend? PHOTO: An excavator stands atop the former Esquimalt Municipal Hall. (Heritage BC)

Forging Our Future 2 Victoria Welcomes the World 3 Call to Renew 3 People in the News 3 Why Are Buildings Attacked? 4 Heritage Lighthouse Nominations 5 Heritage Homeowner Workshop 5 Disaster and Demolition 6-7 How Much for a New Roof? BC Heritage Fair 8 Columbia Brigade 1811 – 2011 9 Messages 10-11



• Shadbolt Centre for the Arts 6450 Deer Lake Avenue Burnaby B.C. Conference Fee: Members $60 Non-members $75

bURnaby heritage village


Forging Our Future A crisis is when things come to a head – they must go one way or the other. There is no standing still, no going back. It is the turning point, a time of risk, and a time of opportunity. As Heritage BC celebrates its 30th anniversary, heritage in our province has indeed reached a crisis. What will be the outcome? Which way will we go? Who will decide? To tackle these challenging questions, the 2011 annual conference has been organized as a forum, an assembly to discuss matters of common interest. We invite members and anyone else with an interest in the fate of heritage conservation in B.C. to take part in this important discussion about forging our future.

REGISTER ONLINE 250.384.4840 Find us on Facebook

This year’s conference is is lean, like the times, but includes all of the essential program elements: discussion, networking, news and information, the AGM and, of course, the Annual Awards. On Saturday there will be a tour of Burnbaby Deer Lake Park. We have also set a very low registration fee to encourage as many groups and individuals as possible to participate in this unique opportunity. Visit our website to register online. We encourage everyone to download the program pdfs for email to their own organizations. Pass it on!

“Withwww.heritagebc.ca all this change, can we

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


Victoria Welcomes The World In October, B.C.’s capital city will be abuzz with heritage as it hosts two international heritage conferences. The Association for Preservation Technology International (APT) will be at the Fairmont Empress Hotel and Victoria Conference Centre on October 11-16, 2011. The theme is “Heritage on the Edge: Sustaining Buildings, Landscapes and Communities”. With a head office in the U.S., APT has an international scope, with members in 30 countries. The organization is dedicated to “promoting the best technology for conserving historic structures and their settings”. During the same week and at the same venue, the International National Trust Organization (INTO) will be holding its annual conference. The Heritage Canada Foundation, one of the Canadian hosts, says that INTO is “a network of National Trusts and similar organizations from around the world, united by their common interest in the conservation and enjoyment of our shared heritage – built and natural, tangible and intangible”. The INTO theme is “Connecting People, Places and Stories: New Strategies for Conservation in a Changing World.” So Victoria is going to be the heritage capital of the world during the second week of October. It will be a unique opportunity for local heritage conservationists to expand their horizons.

Association for preservation technoloGy » www.apti.org • INTERNATIONAL NATIONAL TRUST ORGANIZATION » www.internationaltrusts.org


Resolutions Sent to UBCM Several municipal councils have sent resolutions expressing concern about the state of the province’s heritage program to the Union of B.C. Municipalities for consideration at the annual UBCM convention in Vancouver in September. All of the resolutions were prompted by Heritage BC’s “Call to Renew British Columbia’s Heritage Program”, widely circulated last year. In framing these resolutions, councils have adopted most or all of the five actions identified by Heritage BC as essential to restore the provincial heritage program. Resolutions are a significant part of the UBCM convention and carry considerable political weight. With the UBCM behind it, an issue can be expected to receive much more attention from the province. From Heritage BC’s point of view, this is a major development since we have maintained from the outset that the current “crisis” in heritage is a local issue, of concern to communities and their governments throughout the province

Follow the latest news on our website: » www.heritagebc.ca


Sandy Welbourn Sandy Welbourn, a longtime heritage volunteer in Kelowna, passed away in May after a battle with cancer. He was 83. Sandy served as president of the Central Okanagan Heritage Society and a director of the Friends of Fintry. He was “clerk of works” in construction of the Reid Hall at Benvoulin Heritage Church and the restoration of the McIver House, both COHS projects. “He worked behind the scenes on a lot of projects in the community,” recalled COHS executive director, Janice Henry. Sandy was a recipient of the society’s distinguished service award.




Why Are Buildings Attacked?

(top) Warsaw Castle (bottom) the White House

“Our symbols are attacked by

our enemies because of what they represent: they stand for our collective values and identity, and to attack them is to attack us, in the most fundamental way. ”


This September, the world will pause to reflect on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. We will revisit once more the familiar but still horrifying images, the events and emotions of a violent and traumatic episode that changed the world. Many of us will again question the motivations that lie behind such destruction and hatred. One question I have yet to hear asked, surprisingly, is why should buildings have been the exclusive targets of the fury that was unleashed that day? An evident intention of the perpetrators was to cause as much loss of life and suffering as possible – in a word, to terrorize – but why attack buildings as such? The targets were carefully chosen. The image fixed in our minds is the collapsing World Trade Centre towers, but the reason for that is almost incidental. The destruction here was total, in sharp contrast to that suffered at the Pentagon, and of course the strike at the While House failed. There is no reason not to assume that, in the minds of the RICK GOODACRE attackers, the three targets were of equal importance to EXECuTIVE DIRECTOR Heritage BC their purposes. They were all, in military jargon, “high value targets”. And therein we have the germ of the answer to the question, why attack buildings? These targets were not selected for their military or tactical significance. Even with the complete destruction of the World Trade Centre, the lasting effect of the attacks on the economy and military capacity of the United States was nominal. Their true significance, their value, was entirely symbolic: they stood for the economic, military and political might of the world’s most dominate nation. For the sworn enemies of that nation, to strike at those symbols was to strike at the heart of American society, and all Americans. And it worked, probably beyond there wildest hopes. The attackers demonstrated in the most graphic fashion imaginable that the seemingly unassailable predominance of the United States could in fact be touched, and violated, through the desecration of some of its most cherished symbols. It was an act of war by iconoclasm. We all of course know this intuitively. The symbolic value of our buildings and monuments has always made them targets for destruction by those who would harm us. Our symbols are attacked by our enemies because of what they represent: they stand for our collective values and identity, and to attack them is to attack us, in the most fundamental way. Ironically, Americans proved to be particularly susceptible to this form of attack precisely because they have such a strong sense of themselves as a nation and a people, and such fundamental regard for their own symbols. This intuitive understanding is what drives us to protect our symbols, even at the risk of life, in times of conflict. One need only consider the extraordinary efforts to protect St. Paul’s Cathedral in London during the Blitz. Likewise, there is a deep desire to restore these symbols once damaged or desecrated, to cancel the outrage and reaffirm their integrity, even in cases of total physical destruction. The rebuilding and ongoing restoration of the Warsaw Castle, blown to pieces by the Nazis in 1944 in an effort to strike at the heart of Polish resistance, is a notable example. Fortunately, British Columbia has never been the target of a serious terrorist attack. Reflecting of the sufferings of those who have been less fortunate may prompt us to remain vigilant. And it may also lead us to reconsider our values, and the symbols we erect, protect, and sometimes thoughtlessly demolish.


Nominations Slow on West Coast The federal Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act came into force on May 29, 2010. The HLPA gives Canadians the opportunity to nominate historic lighthouses for designation and protection. There is only a two-year window for nominations, however, which closes on May 29, 2012. As of May 31 this year, half way through the process, 56 nominations have been submitted (there are hundreds of lighthouses on Canada’s three coasts and many on lakes as well). But only three have come from British Columbia. Parks Canada, which administers the Heritage Lighthouse Program, estimates that there are about three dozen lights on the west coast that are good candidates for designation, but the problem is getting people to nominate them. Nomination requires the signature of 25 individuals, which is simple enough. But many B.C. lighthouses are in fairly remote locations with no community to take an interest it their conservation. A letter from the Director General of National Historic Sites was sent in July to a number of local governments and heritage organizations, drawn from a mailing list provided by Heritage BC and the provincial Heritage Branch. It is intended to raise awareness of the legislation and nomination opportunity. The letter also says that Parks Canada is exploring with Heritage BC the possibility of holding some information sessions about the HLPA on the west coast. Whether these go ahead will depend in part on the response to the letters. Meanwhile, retired senator Pat Carney, a Saturna Island resident who was a driving force behind the HLPA, is doing her best to stir things up in B.C. and get some more lighthouses nominated. If there are no more than three or four nominations, then the legislation will have little meaning for the west coast of the country.

Cape Mudge Lighthouse

For more information: HERITAGE LIGHTHOUSE PROGRAM 819.934.9096 www.parkscanada.gc.ca


Heritage Register Homes Workshop Property owners often ask, “what are the benefits of having my property listed on a Heritage Register?” While there are a few automatic benefits such as eligibility for the Alternate Compliance section of the BC Building Code, it is nice to be able to offer some unexpected perks as well. On Saturday, June 4, the City of New Westminster hosted our first Heritage Register Homes Workshop. Over half of the 100 invited homeowners attended, which in itself confirmed that the workshop was a good idea. The afternoon program at City Hall included concurrent presentations in Council Chambers and the main foyer, while on the mezzanine level presenters and community groups showcased their specialties, engaging homeowners on a one-to-one basis. To hold all the product samples and literature, everyone received a gift bag with a paint sample brochure from Farrow & Ball Paints. There was also a draw for impressive goods and services donated by local businesses. Tourism New West, the New Westminster Heritage Preservation Society and the New Westminster Heritage Foundation all set up displays. The Museum and Archives had a booth and the archivist gave the first presentation of the day. Six professionals volunteered their time to give several well-received, one-hour presentations on the care of heritage homes, some bringing tools of their trade and samples, such as historic wood window frames, to demonstrate techniques and tips. Others gave very informative power point presentations. The success of the workshop was due in large part to several firms that the City of New Westminster would like to acknowledge and thank: Jaser Painting & Heritage Restoration, Eric Pattison, Architect, Donald Luxton & Associates, Basil Restoration Ltd., Housewright Building & Restoration Ltd., and City Green Solutions. Julie Schueck is the heritage planner for the City of New Westminster


Disaster & Demolition After the Shaking Stops

If anyone had doubts about the threat of earthquakes to heritage buildings, the February quake in New Zealand should have settled the matter. The city of Christchurch, with much the same look and historic character as Victoria B.C., was devastated and a number of heritage structures destroyed or seriously damaged. While the world’s attention was soon distracted by the events in Japan, New Zealand’s heritage has continued to be threatened in the quake’s aftermath, long after the shaking stopped. Heritage buildings owners in Christchurch are now facing a new threat in the quake’s aftermath as insurance premiums skyrocket. Not surprisingly, all insurance rates have shot up, but those for historic structures, especially if constructed of unreinforced masonry, have been astronomical, in some cases reaching many times pre-quake levels. For example, property company PKI Rothschild in Christchurch is reporting jumps of five to six times. This is too much, they say, and several of their historic properties in the city centre are now slated for demolition. Overall, more than 190 heritage-listed buildings have been identified for full or partial demolition, or safety upgrades. Here in B.C., for those communities in the high-risk coastal zone the only defence against a similar fate is to take steps to upgrade heritage buildings now to ensure the best possible outcome in an earthquake event. This would also mitigate the impact on insurers and possibly dampen the kind of premium hike backlash that New Zealand is now experiencing.

Former City Hall Bites The Dust

In June Esquimalt Council put the seal on the deal to demolish their former municipal hall building. A decision to demolish the building had been made as long as eight years ago (see Heritage BC Newsletter Winter 2002-03), but the final confirmation was held in abeyance as council decided what to do with the site. In the meantime, a new municipal facility and library were built a block away, and the 1929 former hall was used for storage. Despite an eleventh-hour bid by members of the public to save the former municipal hall, with one proponent saying it could be an art school, council went ahead and selected a contractor to take it down. Mold and asbestos issues, and an estimate of $800,000 to rehabilitate the structure, were given as additional reasons for demolition.

Fire Damage in Chase B.C. Two fires three days apart have caused considerable damage to a century-old historic church in Chase, and as yet undetermined destruction of archival records from the community museum housed in the building. The first fire was quickly extinguished, and prompted the museum to remove the archival collection to a more secure environment. But before they could act, fire struck again, and this time caused much more damage before being put out. Both fires are being treated as suspicious by the RCMP. FROM TOP: Johnson Street Bridge, Earthquake damage in New Zealand, Classic Safeway store, Former Esquimalt Municipal Hall in 2003, The Centre Block Tower after the fire of 2008 (Photo courtesy the City of New Westminster), Chase Museum after two fires,

Johnson Street Bridge Demolition Demolition of the Johnson Street Bridge in Victoria will start in September. The 87-year-old span which links West Victoria with the city’s historic Old Town is a basculetype lift bridge where one end is raised by means of a large counterweight at the other. In fact there are two bascules, one for rail and one for auto traffic. The life spans are necessary to allow passage of large vessels from the Inner to the Upper Harbour. The decision by Victoria City Council two years ago to replace the bridge was based on the need for extensive and costly repair and seismic upgrading. The pace of the decision was dictated to a significant extent by the temporary availability of federal and provincial funds to share in the considerable cost. The decision caused a significant backlash – against demolition and the cost of a new bridge – which soon coalesced into a vocal and well organized opposition movement. The opposition campaign succeeded in forcing a referendum on the borrowing resolution required to finance a new crossing. In the end, it confirmed the original council decision, and gave council permission to borrow $49 million. The federal government is contributing another $21 million. Demolition of the vintage bascule bridges will take place in several stages, with the new crossing completion scheduled for the winter of 2014/15.

Development Spells End of Classic Safeway Vancouver Council last May approved the rezoning of the site of the Safeway supermarket at Granville and 70th to make way for a new store and several residential towers. One of the inducements of the proposal for city councilors is that 31 of the 374 planned units will be rental. The project concept requires the demolition of the 1966 Safeway store. The existing store is “A” listed on the City of Vancouver Heritage Register, and appears on the Canadian Register of Historic Places. The site includes a free-standing Safeway sign that is also noted in the site’s heritage registration. The supermarket chain’s classic stores with their gull-wing roof form supported by massive glulam beams have become representative forms of mid-20th century commercial architecture. Many such stores were built in the U.S. and Canada, but they are gradually disappearing. The development design concept is in the early stages. Gregory Henriquez of Henriquez Partnership architects says the project will be complete in about three years.

Council Reverses Woodlands Decision On July 11, New Westminster City Council voted to approve the demolition of the Centre Block Tower of the former Woodlands School, reversing an April 2010 decision. Organizations representing former school residents claiming physical and sexual abuse had called for demolition as the only appropriate outcome, and had been angered by the earlier decision to keep the tower. Woodlands on New Westminster’s Victoria Hill began as the Provincial Lunatic Asylum in 1878; the name was later changed to the Provincial Hospital for the Insane. In 1950 it became the Woodlands School for mentally disabled youth. The school closed in 1996 and the site was sold to the developer, Onni Group. Numerous school and hospital structures were demolished and replaced by condominiums, although a few were retained and rehabilitated. Onni and several other businesses involved in the project won a Heritage BC Award of Honour last year for the rehabilitation of the Boiler House. The Centre Block, a rambling structure that grew out of the original 1878 asylum, had been earmarked for conservation through a Heritage Revitalization Agreement with the developer. However, a 2008 fire destroyed most of the building, leaving only the three-storey tower and formal entrance. (see Heritage BC Quarterly, Summer 2008) City Council then directed staff to review the situation and consider a number of options forthe remaining tower. The review included a broad public consultation process.

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How Much For A New Roof? Revelstoke Council has directed staff to proceed with tender requests to repair / replace the roof of the courthouse. The City acquired the landmark building in 2003 during the Liberal Government big sell-off of historic courthouses. Several other communities likewise stepped up to take over their courthouses to save them from a potentially worse fate. The Revelstoke Courthouse is just two years shy of its centennial. It was designed by prominent B.C. architect Thomas Hooper, who rendered a number of other notable provincial courthouses, and built by locals Anselmo Pradolini and William Foote. The neo-classical building is very grand, as was the wont of the minister in charge, who was also the MLA for Revelstoke, and achieved a very bold statement about the substance and authority of the young provincial government. The most distinctive architectural element is a massive, 16-sided copper-covered dome. This is also the current headache for Council. The roof is failing and something must be done. When Revelstoke took on the building in 2003, the hit on municipal coffers didn’t end with the purchase price. This is a large and complex building with a lot of maintenance ‘issues’. Preliminary exploration of options has included replacing the copper (expensive), or going with a spray-on elastomeric membrane that would be painted green to simulate the familiar hue of oxidized copper. The latter choice might be a 20-year fix. Copper should last four times that. To those who would recoil in horror at the spray-on option, city staff point out that “patch and paint it green” was in fact a common practice even when the provincial government owned the building. Some councilors have already voiced a preference for copper as the right way to go. Revelstoke is justly proud of its courthouse and they want to do things right. But the deciding factor will likely be cost. Copper already has been pegged at double the spray-on option, and a full bid process may show that it is in fact many times that. And as Revelstoke CHC chair Mike Dragani points out, you never know what you are up against until you start taking things apart. From a provincial heritage perspective, this is another case of devolution: pushing provincial heritage resources onto locals and then leaving them to fend for themselves. There is no offer of help from the provincial government to pick up some of the costs of doing the Revelstoke Courthouse roof in the manner appropriate to a provincial heritage treasure.

Provincial Heritage Fair in Victoria For over a decade, British Columbia’s Heritage Fairs program has been creating an appetite for history in young people around the province. Each spring, students participate enthusiastically in fairs, first at the school and then the regional level. Regional winning entries then go on to the Provincial Heritage Fair, sponsored by the BC Heritage Fairs Society. This year, 60 students and nine alumni from past events gathered in Victoria for a five day “history encounter”, exploring sites around the provincial capital from July 4th to 8th. The highlight of the week was a public showcase at the Royal B.C. Museum where students presented their projects and historical research findings to the public. Conversing with these young people about their projects can give a totally fresh appreciation for a topic that might have seemed old and dull. Discussing, for example, how research revealed that a distant relative was found to be of questionable social standing can illustrate a new-found enthusiasm for research. Such was the case with a grade five student who decided to explore the origin of his family in England. One could only share and marvel at his excitement as he spoke about the journey his research had taken him on and the contacts he had made via letters and emails while reconnecting with family members. Provided that the necessary funding is in place, the society plans to take the Provincial Fair to the Interior in 2012 so the participants can gain an appreciation for the vast geographical diversity of our province. » www.bcheritagefairs.ca Mary Campone is the Coordinator for B.C. Heritage Fairs


Columbia Brigade 1811-2011 Between June 1 and July 15 this summer, a brigade of 26-foot North Canoes paddled 1,800 kilometres from Invermere, British Columbia down the Kootenay, Clark Fork, Pend Orielle and Columbia Rivers to Astoria, Oregon. This was the final voyage of a series of expeditions commemorating the bicentennial of David Thompson’s epic journeys of 1811 to map the fur trade territories of western North America. Organized by the Voyageur Brigade Society, a non-profit group out of Edmonton, this modern company of brigaders visited 35 communities along their route. By the time all was said and done, almost 200 members had participated in the journey, and more than 50 of them had paddled for the entire six weeks. The brigade was comprised, for the most part, of nine voyageur canoes, each holding six brigaders. Beginning in Invermere, they crossed Windermere and Columbia Lakes to Canal Flats for a long, cold and wet trip down the Kootenay River and Lake Koocanusa to the Libby Dam in Montana. A truck portage took the crews around the dam and onto the Clark Fork River. Heading down this fast flowing river, they crossed Lake Pend Orielle and entered the Pend Orielle River for a hard, flood-water paddle to a dam near Tiger, Washington, and another portage, this time to the Columbia River. Except for portages around the numerous dams, the brigade paddled the rest of the length of the Columbia River to Astoria. One of the highlights of the expedition was the enthusiasm brought to each community by a group of historical re-enactors from Fort William near Thunder Bay, Ontario. They called their crew “No Way Courvee” and, with two bagpipers in their midst, they engaged and entertained the hundreds of people who came down to the river shores to greet them. While the romance of the trip may have been alluring, this was no “float in a boat” vacation. Paddlers worked at 50-60 strokes per minute for a minimum of three to four hours per day – the longest day being between eight and nine hours. Needless to say, many found themselves in much better shape at the end of the voyage. Bob Groves, Past President of the Kelowna Museums and Wayne Wilson, Executive Director, were two brigaders who made the entire six week trip. “You see these landscapes so differently in a canoe sitting three feet off the water,” noted Groves. “And so much of that landscape was the same as that seen by David Thompson and his crew. It was a pretty rare and wonderful experience.” Facing rushing currents in the Kootenay and Clark Fork Rivers and huge, wind-driven waves in the Columbia River’s “Gorge” area, the sturdy and stable canoes negotiated their journey without incident. Many of the paddlers took a journal to record their experiences and others worked to “blog” their time on the internet. In the end, nine canoes and their stories pulled in to Astoria on July 15 – exactly 200 years to the day after David Thompson. Although the last kilometres were through the driving wind and typical Pacific Coast rains, it was a warm and emotional reception they received from the community and their fellow brigaders.

A documentary of the journey is set for release Fall 2011. See the ‘Tracing the Columbia’ trailer on YouTube. For more info and blogs: » www.2011brigade.org » www.columbiabrigade.wordpress.com

In six weeks these adventurers touched on just the fringes of the voyageur experience from the fur trade times. They may have had support vehicles with each crew and many modern conveniences, but they also have something they can take with them wherever they go – the sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing a journey that few will ever even attempt. Wayne Wilson is the Executive Director of Kelowna Museums


messages President’s Message CORPORATE Members 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

With the longer days here and many of us taking summer trips around the province, it is again time to appreciate the countless heritage gems we have in all our communities – and the obvious local efforts that have gone into protecting and nurturing them. It is always inspiring to see that much of the special character of our towns and cities is found in these treasures from the past. It has also been rewarding to hear of the numerous activities in our communities celebrating this year’s heritage theme of Parks and Cultural Landscapes. LARRY FOSTER Preparations are well underway for the upcoming annual PRESIDENT Heritage BC Conference, ‘Forging Our Future’, September 30 and Heritage BC and October 1 in Burnaby. Please see more information in this issue and our website. We look forward to a strong turnout, and we value your participation in discussing the future direction of heritage in this period of financial uncertainly and restraint.

Further to the 2010 Heritage BC proposal to the provincial government, “A Call to Renew British Columbia’s Heritage Program”, efforts are ongoing to seek a positive response that would reinstate our once highly regarded heritage system to its rightful place in the nation. Arrangements are now being made for a meeting with the new Minister, the Honourable Steve Thomson, and Heritage Branch representatives. Also, the Minister will address members at the upcoming Heritage BC Conference. Board members have a significant opportunity to serve heritage interests across the province, and to add their creative energies to helping guide the affairs of the Society. We received a number of excellent nominations to the Heritage BC board this summer, and new directors will be installed at the Annual General Meeting on September 30, during the conference. I would like to thank all of those who put their names forward to take on this challenging responsibility. Also at the Conference, members will have the opportunity to recognize the award winning submissions of heritage projects from around British Columbia. Again, a rich and broad range of undertakings has been submitted for consideration. Enjoy our summer – I look forward to sharing ‘all things heritage’ with you in September.

...continued from page 7

Council Reverses Woodlands Decision

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.


Among those consulted, the advocates for the former residents maintained adamantly that there could never be closure as long as the tower stood, and public sympathy appeared to be with them. Nonetheless, Council felt it was important to preserve the last remnant of the original historic building and in 2010 resolved to keep the tower as a memorial and possible community amenity. But considering the question yet again this past July, after a staff report noted the lack of an obvious use for the tower structure, the absence of an interested tenant, and rehabilitation cost estimates ranging from $500,000 to $3 million, Council made a final determination to approve demolition. The tower is now scheduled to come down in September. In return, Onni Group will contribute $600,000 to the city for a heritage fund. A task force is being set up to determine what manner of interpretation will be placed at the site of the former Centre Block to tell of its complex and often troubled history, including the decision to finally tear down the last remnants of Centre Block.

messages Heritage Canada Govenor’s Message The Heritage Canada Foundation has launched a new website to inform Canadians about the sorry state of our lighthouses. The issue has been covered in detail in Heritage, the foundation’s magazine, but the website focuses attention on the immediate issue. We were all thrilled when the federal government passed the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act in 2008. The purpose of this HELEN EDWARDS Act is to “conserve and protect heritage lighthouses by Governor (a) providing for the selection and designation of heritage Heritage Canada lighthouses; (b) preventing the unauthorized alteration or disposition of heritage lighthouses; (c) requiring that heritage lighthouses be reasonably maintained; and (d) facilitating sales or transfers of heritage lighthouses in order to ensure the lighthouses’ public purpose.” The legislation further notes, “this Act applies to lighthouses that are the property of Her Majesty in right of Canada.” The problem with the legislation is that the government has declared more than 500 lighthouses to be surplus, thus freeing the government from their care and maintenance. Although there is a provision in the legislation for groups to assume responsibility for lighthouses, it is not as easy as it sounds. Many such structures, particularly on the west coast, are accessible only by air or water, and often far from any type of community. Also, in the case of a lighthouse for which no petition is submitted by May 29, 2012, the federal custodian can then dispose of the property without a determination of historical or community value, and many of our finest examples could be lost forever. I urge you to visit the website, sign the petition and let you views be known. » http://www.savecanadaslighthouses.ca/ On a happier note, I would like to invite you all to attend the 14th annual INTO conference in Victoria, October 12-15, 2011. Co-sponsored by the Heritage Canada Foundation and TLC The Land Conservancy of BC, this is an international conference with delegates from all over the world – and it is being held in BC. There are a variety of sessions designed to interest a wide audience and the local group is organizing tours and other activities to highlight both Victoria and British Columbia. I hope to see you there. For further information » http://www.heritagecanada.org/eng/conference.html. 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.

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 Karen Russell, Secretary/Treasurer Vancouver 604.822.1586 karen.russell@ubc.ca Shirley Gratton, Director Prince George 250.962.7055 grattons@netbistro.com Eric Pattison, Director New Westminster 604. 525.3232 eric@pattisonarchitecture.ca Zlatan Jankovic, Director Vancouver 604.871.6448 zlatan.jankovic@vancouver.ca Helen Edwards, HCF Governor Victoria 250.386.6598 heritagelady@gmail.com

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.


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