HERITAGE WEEK 2011
A Century of Conservation Parks and Cultural Landscapes This year’s Heritage Week theme celebrates the centennial of two institutions that are very important to British Columbians — BC Parks and Parks Canada. Created in 1911, Canada’s Dominion Parks Service was the first such national organization in the world. The same year, the Government of British Columbia passed legislation to create Strathcona Park on Vancouver Island, the beginning of our provincial parks system. Today, there are hundreds of provincial parks throughout B.C. Our national parks, and National Historic Sites which are part of the same system, protect and celebrate priceless natural treasures and some of our most historic places. It is easy to take our parks for granted. But these park systems would never have come into being without a strong conservation ethic. The natural wonders and historic sites that have been protected over the past 100 years are open to all British Columbians, in perpetuity. They also attract thousands of visitors to our province, making a significant contribution to our vital tourism industry. Parks and heritage are two sides of the same coin. The culture of conservation, caring for what has value and protecting it for future generations, is the common element. Let’s celebrate a century of conservation this Heritage Week. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HERITAGE WEEK ON OUR WEBSITE. Read about Ruckle Provincial Park on Page 5.
HERITAGE LEGACY FUND
Support for HBC Approved Winter 2011 HERITAGE WEEK 2011 1 HERITAGE BC SUPPORT CONFIRMED HERITAGE BRANCH 2 CALL TO RENEW: CAMPAIGN GAINS MOMENTUM WHAT’S NEW 3 HERITAGE PLACES INITIATIVE: A LOST OPPORTUNITY 4 RUCKLE PARK 5 MESSAGES 6-7
The board of the Heritage Legacy Fund of B.C. Society met in Victoria on November 19. The only funding request on the agenda was operating assistance for Heritage BC. The board confirmed continued financial assistance in 2011, but trimmed the award by 25 per cent to avoid further reductions to the community grants programs. The Heritage Legacy Fund society first stepped in to replace support for HBC when it was withdrawn by the provincial government in 2009. That emergency funding has resulted in a 40 per cent reduction to the community grants programs, which since 2005 have provided $2 million for conservation projects, and are deemed essential. Two new directors joined the board at the November meeting. Bill Turner returned as an appointee of The Land Conservancy, while Eric Pattison replaced Don Tonsaker as one of two Heritage BC appointees. A founding director, Don had been with the board for six years. A new executive was also appointed. Maureen Arvanitidis of New Westminster, who joined the board last year, was appointed President, taking over from Ian Fawcett who had held the post for two years. Maureen is a former director of Heritage BC, and as HBC President signed the original Memorandum of Understanding that established the Heritage Legacy Fund in 2003. She has been very active in heritage in her home town for many years, and, with her husband Phaedon, is restoring her heritage home.
HERITAGE BC STOPS 8
Senior Posts Confirmed
The Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Investment has confirmed Heritage Branch staff Jennifer Iredale as Director and Richard Linzey as Manager of Heritage Programs and Services. Both had been in an “acting” capacity prior to the permanent appointments. Jennifer has over 30 years experience as a heritage professional, 25 of them in the public sector. She has a BA in history from UBC and a MA in Historic Preservation from Columbia University in New York. Highlights of her career include working as a curator at several Provincial Heritage Properties, including Barkerville, Point Ellice House and Carr House. Jennifer has written for provincial heritage publications on the topic of building conservation, curated exhibits and edited publications focussing on women in colonial B.C. As Senior Curator with the Branch she also took on responsibilities in heritage tourism and heritage and sustainability. Richard Linzey worked as an architect for English Heritage in the UK for fourteen years prior to emigrating to Canada. During the year he served as Acting Manager for the Branch, he and his team developed an innovative heritage planning program. His assignments have included working with the Department of Transportation and the Cowichan Valley Regional District to ensure the preservation and rehabilitation of the Kinsol Trestle. He also played a significant role in bringing about change in the Homeowner Protection Act to better protect heritage buildings being rehabilitated for residential purposes, and influencing the new green building code to protect heritage window assemblies in retrofitted buildings.
CALL TO RENEW
Campaign Gains Momentum As we enter the second year, the campaign to revive British Columbia’s heritage program is picking up momentum. Still, there have been few signs of response or even acknowledgement from the provincial government, and time is limited. Last summer, Heritage BC published ‘A Call to Renew British Columbia’s Heritage Program’. Since then, contacting local governments and Community Heritage Commissions has resulted in a number of letters of support to the Premier and heritage minister. Heritage groups have also made their voices heard, and an appeal to Architecture Canada has generated several letters from their members, as well as a petition. The City of Victoria is submitting a resolution to the Union of B.C. Municipalities to be considered at their fall convention. In the first week of January, Heritage BC once again contacted members, urging them to add their voices in support of ‘Call to Renew’, and many have already responded. A new page has been added to the society’s web site which includes excerpts from letters received so far, and a sample letter to the heritage minister. Late last year the government announced $8.7 million in new spending for heritage – all of it going to two of their own heritage sites, Barkerville and Fort Steele. This brought the total spent on the provincial Heritage Properties in less than two years to almost $17 million, while all other heritage priorities have received virtually nothing. In reply, Heritage BC put out a media release sharply criticizing this continued lopsided approach to heritage spending, and wrote to the new heritage minister, Margaret MacDiarmid, requesting a meeting. Her office is now in contact with HBC to fix a date. In the meantime, it is essential that the pressure be sustained and increased if there is to be any hope of a positive result. Please add your voice if you have not already done so.
“The provincial government should be a leader in heritage conservation and a strong partner with B.C. communities as they strive to conserve their irreplaceable historic resources. Our province once had the best heritage program in Canada, but little now remains. It is time to invest in and rebuild the provincial heritage program, for the sake of our communities and all British Columbians.” — Rob Gialloreto President and CEO, Tourism Victoria
A CALL TO RENEW: VISIT THIS New Section on our WEBSITE FOR THE LATEST NEWS, A SAMPLE SUPPORT LETTER, quotes from others...and more about what you can do!
HBC Conference & AGM Moved to Fall For the first time in over a decade the Heritage BC Annual Conference will take place in the fall. It will be held at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts in Burnaby on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1, 2011. The dates were chosen because the Shadbolt Centre was not available during the usual first week of June time slot. The Shadbolt is an excellent and familiar venue, and will also reduce conference expenses significantly, which allows lower registration fees. Putting the Annual General Meeting back three months means that the call for nominations to the board, which goes out 15 weeks prior to the meeting, will be later as well. Five positions on the board become open this year.
It’s Awards Time It’s heritage awards season again. Deadline for nominations is March 1. The Heritage Committee has made some revisions to the program this year. The number of nominations that may be submitted by any single nominator in a given year is now limited to two. Previously there had been no limit. Award categories have also been revised, including the addition of heritage planning and management. detailed information and nomination forms For the Heritage BC AWARDS PROGRAM can be found online: www.heritagebc.ca
New Office Hours 8:30am - 4:30pm Monday -Thursday Due to funding cuts, HBC has been obliged to reduce office hours. We will be closed on Fridays for the time being and will reply to email and phone messages first thing Monday morning.
Chinese Times Building in Vancouver received support from the Commercial Heritage Property Incentive Fund
THE HISTORIC PLACES INITIATIVE
A Lost Opportunity
“…we have seen the
dismantling of the pan-Canadian Historic Places Initiative, and the disappearance of funding announced for a new National Trust. Today, the federal role in heritage conservation is largely non-existent, with no statutory protection for national historic sites, no rehabilitation incentives, and no predictable sources of funding.”
— HERITAGE CANADA FOUNDATION
Ten years ago this spring, the federal government launched an unprecedented initiative. Contained within a multifaceted, billion dollar new arts and culture program, the heritage project, with a budget of only $30 million, might have seemed pretty inconsequential. But it wasn’t. The Historic Places Initiative was nothing less than the beginning of what should have become a new era in heritage conservation for Canada. Even the CBC appeared to understand this. ‘The National’ covered the story for a week, each night delving into the state of heritage conservation in a different part of the country. While some in British Columbia’s heritage community greeted the announcement with skepticism – after all, this was the federal government – Heritage BC took the view that the HPI was potentially the most important development at the national level in a generation. It made no sense to hold back: there was little to lose, and possibly much to gain. The Government of British Columbia, with its own heritage program at an all-time low, also jumped in with both feet. So ten years later, where do things stand? This stark assessment by the Heritage Canada Foundation last fall sums things up succinctly: “… we have seen the dismantling of the pan-Canadian Historic Places Initiative, and the disappearance of funding announced for a new National Trust. Today, the federal role in heritage conservation is largely non-existent, with no statutory protection for national historic sites, no rehabilitation incentives, and no predictable sources of funding.” So what happened? Before its demise last year, the HPI had some notable achievements. The Canadian Register of Historic Places was established. Parks Canada published the “Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada”. For some, most significant was the creation of the Commercial Heritage Property Incentive Fund, with a pilot-project budget of $30 million. In B.C., an immediate effect of the HPI was dollars, millions that flowed into the provincial Heritage Branch over several years. Many of these dollars streamed back out to local governments for much-needed work on community heritage programs, especially the creation, expansion and updating of heritage registers. The Incentive Fund also brought millions of dollars into a few high-profile rehabilitation projects. Overall, the HPI brought funding, training and skills, fresh ideas, and a renewed sense of purpose and capacity.
Looked at from a national perspective, the HPI achieved the almost unthinkable in bringing all the provinces and territories together to work collaboratively with the federal government on a shared vision for heritage conservation. In the end, the demise of the HPI was a question of politics. While there were some bugs that needed fixing, things were going pretty well. But then the Liberal Government, which had created the HPI, got mired in the sponsorship scandal and selfdestructed. The Conservative Government that took over in 2006 quickly moved to terminate the Commercial Heritage Property Incentive Fund as “wasteful spending”. The HPI limped along, but without essential political support. Last year, funding to the provinces and territories, the life blood of the project, ceased. In retrospect, the HPI brought a new, values-based approach to heritage conservation, and, for the first time, a unity of understanding across the country. Here in B.C., the multi-year infusion of cash gave new life to the provincial heritage program, and a lot of important work got done in many communities. But the great potential of HPI was not realized. We have a half-completed national heritage register, no national heritage incentive program (the key selling point for the majority of heritage advocates in B.C.), and the legacy of another cancelled government project, another good idea gored by politics. Those who really got behind this program can only feel let down. Heritage Canada’s uncharacteristically blunt assessment of our country’s heritage program today is all too accurate.
HERITAGE WEEK 2011
Ruckle Provincial Park Ruckle Provincial Park on Salt Spring Island offers a unique blend of history and nature. One of the most beautiful parks in the Southern Gulf Islands, it knits together the outdoors and history, past and present, in a seamless and pleasing patchwork. From Ireland, Henry Ruckle arrived on Salt Spring Island in 1872. He married Ella Anna Christensen five years later. Unbroken use of the land by Henry and Ella and their descendants up to the present day makes Ruckle’s the oldest continually operating farm in British Columbia. Although they donated most of their property to the province in 1974, the Ruckle family still raises sheep on land near the entrance to the campground. The old homestead was built by Henry prior to bringing his bride and her son Alfred to the farm in 1877. Their three children, Ella, Agnes, and Daniel Henry, were all born there. In 1931, Gordon Ruckle, grandson of Henry and Ella, inherited the house and lived in it with his wife, Lotus, and their children, Gwen and Henry. In 1967, shortly after electricity was installed, they moved to the fine Queen Anne house near the park entrance. Today, the historic farm site within the park includes a barn, a forge, the old pig sty, and the original homestead residence. Nearby Beaver Point is the site of a wharf built by Henry Ruckle, from which Islanders would row to Vancouver Island for supplies, until steamer service commenced in 1889. The wharf remained in use until the 1950’s when ferry service was moved to Fulford Harbour. A building at the wharf served as general store, post office and residence for Mr. and Mrs. William Patterson from 1915 until the 1950s. When the ferry service moved to Fulford Harbour, the Patterson business moved with it; the wharf and buildings were dismantled in 1960. There are 15 kilometres of hiking and walking trails within the park, camp sites, and many beautiful beaches and views. It is worth a visit. The First Ruckle family home and Farm outbuildings have been restored (PHOTOS : HBC)
“We have a half-completed
national heritage register, no national heritage incentive program...and the legacy of another cancelled government project, another good idea gored by politics.”
messages President’s Message ‘A Call to Renew British Columbia’s Heritage Program’ has been submitted to the Premier, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, all provincial MLA’s, and the Heritage BC membership. The submission is a clear and frank summary of the current state of heritage conservation in the province, and the immediate actions needed to help rectify that state. A follow-up program of activities is currently underway, seeking the voice of communities, agencies, and other heritage interests to be forwarded as letters of support for the proposal to the Province. LARRY FOSTER PRESIDENT Heritage BC
The Board of Heritage BC held in-depth meetings on October 1-2, focusing on potential 2011 budget provisions and allocations. The Board also worked on updates and refinements to the structure and tasks of the Society’s numerous committees. The Board was pleased to appoint Eric Pattison as one of our two HBC representatives to the Heritage Legacy Fund, and to welcome our new HBC Board member Zlatan Jankovic of Vancouver to the discussions.
HERITAGE BC Board Members
It is Heritage Week once again, with the theme, ‘A Century of Conservation: Parks & Cultural Landscapes’. Recognizing the centennial of our outstanding British Columbia provincial parks system, we also have the opportunity to celebrate the many benefits all the parks and cultural landscapes provide our citizens – community organization, municipal, regional, provincial and national. In an important relationship, many of our open space treasures also include significant natural or built heritage features that add special meaning for British Columbians. All our communities have strong connections to the public park systems, and the ways we celebrate them will doubtlessly be as varied as the landscapes themselves.
Larry Foster, President Kelowna 250.764.8418 email@example.com Leslie Gilbert,Vice President West Vancouver 604.469.4582 firstname.lastname@example.org Pat McAllister, Past President Vernon 250.558.1440 email@example.com Karen Russell, Secretary/Treasurer Vancouver 604.822.1586 firstname.lastname@example.org Shirley Gratton, Director Prince George 250.962.7055 email@example.com Eric Pattison, Director New Westminster 604. 525.3232 firstname.lastname@example.org Zlatan Jankovic, Director Vancouver 604.871.6448 email@example.com
Once again, a provincial government Cabinet realignment has been made that will have bearing on heritage conservation matters in B.C. The provincial news release provides that heritage conservation affairs will become part of the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Investment, with the Honourable Margaret MacDiarmid as Minister. Heritage BC will look forward to pursuing ‘A Call to Renew British Columbia’s Heritage Program’ with the minister in days ahead.
Executive Director’s Message What could be worse than having your house catch fire? Having it catch fire five minutes before a major earthquake. Don’t bother calling the fire department. It felt a bit like that last fall when B.C. politics started to come unglued. For a year we had been trying to get the government to focus on the state of the provincial heritage program. Then one political party self-destructed, then the other. Right now, there almost is no government.
EXECuTIVE DIRECTOR There is a tenuous relationship between all of these events. Heritage BC The economic meltdown that brought the heritage situation to a head also led directly to the HST fiasco, and the Liberal government implosion. Then that crisis seemed to send the NDP over the edge.
Whatever the reasons and connections, we are left trying to put out a fire during an earthquake. Sirens everywhere, but none coming this way. The situation now is that, thanks to the last-ditch cabinet shuffle, we have our third heritage minister in 18 months. The incumbent is also the Minister of Education, for the time being. When a new Premier is chosen at the end of February, there will be
yet another cabinet shake-up, and quite possibly another new minister responsible for heritage. Then if a snap election is called, we will start over once more, possibly with a different party in power. Like an earthquake, these are forces beyond our control. All we can do is soldier on, and try to make the best of a difficult situation. We have a program, and we are sticking to it. Somewhere in the middle of this maelstrom of political upheaval, and musical chairs in the provincial cabinet room, we need to make a connection with a government that is willing and able to make some necessary decisions and act on them – in other words, to lead. It’s going to be an interesting year.
Heritage Canada Govenor’s Message With two Heritage Canada Foundation board meetings under my belt, I am beginning to understand the complex issues the national organization faces. Perhaps the most exciting initiative is the continued evolution of what was once called the Built Heritage Leaders Forum of which Heritage BC has been an integral part since its inception. The name of this group has been changed to the National Council of the Heritage Canada Foundation – a name that will better reflect HELEN EDWARDS its work. The purpose is to shape and pursue shared goals and Governor achieve greater strength and effectiveness in protecting and Heritage Canada celebrating historic built and natural sites and communities. Communities with national, provincial, or territory-wide mandate are all invited to attend future sessions. These are held jointly with the annual conference and provide a forum for exchange of ideas. This is often the only chance that leaders get to share information and experiences with others with similar views. Meetings will also assist in shaping HCF programs and members will participate on national working groups on key issues. Another idea that is being explored is joint memberships with provincial and territorial organizations. This is still in its infancy but could provide real benefits to members, as individuals would become members of both their provincial and national organizations. In our scenario, individual members of Heritage BC would also become members of the Heritage Canada Foundation and would thus gain entry to historic properties all over the world at no cost or a reduced rate. Perhaps the most visible evidence of the revitalization of Heritage Canada Foundation is the development of a new website. This promises to be more user friendly and to provide opportunities for membership renewal and donations online. If we are to attract the preservationists of the future, it is vital that we use modern technology as the younger generation uses electronic media in almost everything they do. This site will also feature current events and concerns - and will broadcast these to a worldwide audience in a clean new format. Mark your calendars for October 12-16, 2011 for the 14th INTO International Conference of National Trusts. Co-hosted by Heritage Canada Foundation (HCF) and The Land Conservancy of British Columbia (TLC), the conference will be held in Victoria. Conference delegates will also have special access to the Association for Preservation Technology International (APTI) 2011 conference co-located at the Fairmont Empress Hotel and Victoria Conference Centre. Sessions will focus on building connections and sharing experiences to help organizations, communities and individuals charged with caring for special places meet the new challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. A key conference goal will be to identify innovative ways to successfully engage people and communities in this work.
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
Pack your bag and grab a ticket!
DEADLINE MARCH 1
Awards Nominations Do you know a project, person, organization or business that deserves to be recognized? Visit www.heritagebc.ca to submit your nominations and photos online. The deadline for Heritage BC Award Program is March 1, 2011. â€˘ Read about the 2010 Awards Recipients on our website too! Good people deserve to be recognized. You can make sure they are.
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Join us on a virtual history tour! Visit over 100 Stop of Interest Signs. Explore archive photos, stories, games, maps, lesson plans and more. Discover the interesting people, events and landmarks that have shaped our provincial heritage.
www.HeritageBCStops.com Off Cuts for Charity. www.hemlock.com
HBC Winter 2011 includes articles on Heritage Week 2011 and A Call to Renew British Columbia's Heritage Program.