VANCOUVER’S HERITAGE SCHOOLS
Under Pressure Schools and school buildings are an important part of the heritage and history of every community. Vancouver, as British Columbia’s largest city, has a lot of schools. There are 109 active school sites within the Vancouver School Board, and a great many more individual buildings. Schools are more than just buildings, just warehouses full of classrooms. The 2007 report, “Vancouver Schools: Establishing Their Value”, prepared for the School Board by Commonwealth Historic Resource Management Limited, noted: “When communities could afford them, schools were more than expedient classrooms. They were public buildings that expressed the community’s aspirations. Most school buildings were substantial in appearance as well as in size, reflecting architectural styles of their day.” Caring for this legacy of significant heritage icons is a challenge. Costs are going up, money is hard to find, and the Vancouver School Board this year is projecting a large deficit, something it is not supposed to do. With demographic shifts we are seeing schools in many communities heading for closure. And the provincial seismic upgrading fund for schools, which should be a boon to vintage buildings, is in some cases turning out to be an unintended threat. . . . more on pages 7-8 ThE eight-room school building, completed in 1909, is one of three historic structures at Sir Guy Carleton Elementary that may be closed by the Vancouver School Board. Photo: Barbara Van Hee
fall 2010 HERITAGE WEEK 2011 heritage bc awards 2 HERITAGE IN CRISIS 3 PEOPLE IN THE NEWS 4 HERITAGE TOURISM ALLIANCE 100 HBC WORKSHOPS 5 SAVING THE SYBIL ANDREWS COTTAGE 6 VANCOUVER HERITAGE SCHOOLS 7-8 AROUND BC 9 MESSAGES 10-11 CHC CONFERENCE NOVEMBER 27 2010 12
heritage week Heritage Week : FEBRUARY 21-27 2011
Crossroads of History
the first suspension bridge in 1868
The Alexandra Bridge Provincial Park in the Fraser Canyon was established in 1984 largely because of the importance of the site to transportation history.
The 2011 Heritage Week poster features Alexandra Bridge Provincial Park in the Fraser Canyon. The park was established in 1984 largely because of the importance of the site to transportation history. Simon Fraser travelled through the narrow river gorge during his historic 1808 expedition. Four decades later, the Anderson Brigade trail started near here,but that route was soon abandoned due to the difficulty of the terrain. When the Fraser River Gold Rush of 1858 brought a sudden influx of prospectors,Yale Magistrate J. W. Hicks set up a ferry service to cross the river at this point. The ferry service was made redundant when Joseph Trutch, Commissioner of Public Works, built the first road bridge in 1861 as part of the new Wagon Road linking the coast with the Cariboo District. He named it after Alexandra, Princess of Wales. Alexandra Lodge close by is one of the few remaining original road houses along the historic route to the gold fields. The Royal Engineers in 1863 reconstructed Trutch’s crossing, a suspension bridge that lasted until flood waters destroyed it in 1894. There was little motivation to replace the bridge as the Wagon Road was superseded by first one and then a second railway. But after WW1 the Cariboo Highway was constructed to accommodate the advent of the automobile, crossing the Fraser here by means of a second suspension bridge, completed in 1926. Decommissioned in 1964, the second suspension bridge still stands today. From the bridge deck visitors can look downstream to see the third Alexandra Bridge, part of the Trans Canada Highway, two kilometers to the south. TELL US WHAT YOUR COMMUNITY or group PLANning TO CELEBRATE ‘A Century of Conservation: Parks & cultural landscapes’ for HERITAGE WEEK 2011
HERITAGE BC AWARDS
Awards Season Approaches The March 1 deadline for Heritage BC award nominations probably looks to be a long way off. But before you know it, Christmas will have come and gone, and we will be into a new year with a brand new ‘to do’ list.
awards CHECK OUT THE NEW CHANGES! Submit your nominations online bY MARCH 1, 201i
There are some changes to the Heritage BC Awards Program for 2011. 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. Good photographs that tell the story are an important part of your submission. You can now upload more images up to 5 MB file size. Please remember to label each slide with the project name. While the deadline is March 1, you can submit a nomination at any time. See the website for procedures and a convenient online nomination form.
heritage in crisis A CALL TO RENEW BRITISH COLUMBIA’S HERITAGE PROGRAM
Gathering More Support The mailing of hundreds of copies of ‘A Call to Renew British Columbia’s Heritage Program’ has prompted responses from many quarters. Premier Gordon Campbell and (former) heritage minister Kevin Krueger have written to HBC in reply, but unfortunately did not have much of substance to offer. Other politicians have written or asked for meetings, including the opposition critic for Tourism, Culture and Heritage, NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert. Heritage BC is making presentations to several community heritage commissions this fall, seeking the support of mayor and council and asking them to add their voices to ours. Meanwhile, the Heritage BC board met early October to consider options for next year, based on an assumption of significantly reduced revenues. While it will be possible to keep most services and programs going, the budget will be cut back by over 30%. The Heritage Legacy Fund, now supporting Heritage BC operations, has had to curtail its grants budget, which was exhausted within the first two months of the current fiscal year. There is no possibility of considering new applications for at least six months. At this point there are already 16 projects lined up with applications, with several more behind them hoping to get an application form.
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The provincial government, meanwhile, has continued to be absorbed with its own heritage-related problems, particularly the Heritage Properties. The concept of a new provincial heritage trust that will unite several or all of the Properties with the Royal B.C. Museum and the Provincial Capital Commission has stayed at the top of the agenda, although this may change because of the cabinet shuffle. Anyone who wishes to raise their voice in support of a revitalized provincial heritage program is urged to do so. Please write to the Premier and the new Minister Margaret MacDiarmid. Pay your MLA a visit. Raise some support in your community. MINISTRY OF TOURISM, TRADE AND INVESTMENT
The New Line Up A new minister has taken responsibility for heritage following the recent cabinet shuffle on October 25, within a revamped ministry. The Honourable Margaret MacDiarmid is the Minister of Tourism, Trade and Investment. A family physician for 23 years, she is a rooky MLA for Vancouver Fairview, who has already served over a year as education minister. Her new portfolio has a strong business focus, and includes tourism strategy, aboriginal tourism, and heritage conservation. Heritage may appear a little out of place, teamed up with international trade policy and export market development. However, this is a large and important ministry as the B.C. government makes economic recovery the top priority, and Dr. MacDiarmid clearly has the confidence of the premier and her colleagues. Arts and culture are split from heritage – an unusual arrangement. They are with the new Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. Given that this ministry also holds local government, it might seem a more logical home for heritage. The new alignment indicates that the government sees heritage as a significant element to the province’s tourism industry and an economic contributor.
The Honourable Margaret MacDiarmid the Minister of Tourism, Trade and Investment
The new alignment indicates that the government sees heritage as a significant element to the province’s tourism industry and an economic contributor.
people in the news
Eric Pattison Appointed to HLF Architect Eric Pattison will join the board of the Heritage Legacy Fund of B.C. Society at the next meeting on November 19. The HLF board has six voting directors, appointed by Heritage BC and The Land Conservancy. Don Tonsaker, a founding member of the board first appointed by Heritage BC in 2004, finishes his final term as of the AGM this fall and Eric will replace him. The HLF board, among other things, adjudicates applications for financial assistance.
A British Columbia architect since 1990, Eric’s practice in New Westminster has been involved in heritage projects ranging from Queens Park homes to the rehabilitation of the 1911 B.C. Electric Railway Depot. He teaches heritage conservation planning in the Vancouver Heritage Foundation’s Old School Program. He is also a director of Heritage BC since 2009. Eric’s work has been recognized with numerous awards including a Heritage BC Outstanding Achievement Award in 2008 for the BCER Depot.
Pixie McGeachie Pixie McGeachie of Burnaby passed away on August 14. She was eight-eight. A resident of Burnaby for over 60 years, Pixie developed a keen interest in writing about history while developing columns and books throughout a successful career as an author. She wrote numerous newspaper columns and produced her first Burnaby book “Bygones of Burnaby” in 1974. She was selected to author “Burnaby – A Proud Century” which celebrated the City’s centennial in 1992, and ten years later wrote “Land of Promise: Robert Burnaby’s letters from Colonial B.C.”
PIXIE McGeachie (right) receives the Ruby Nobbs award from Pat McAllister in 2008
Pixie served as the community volunteer archivist for 20 years, and six years on the Burnaby Community Heritage Commission. She was President of the Burnaby Historical Society from 1991–1993. One of Pixie’s most valuable contributions was taking charge of Friends of Interurban 1223 just when the project to restore one of the last interurban trams needed a leader. The City of Burnaby honoured her as Citizen of the Year in 2002, and she received the Heritage BC Ruby Nobbs Award in 2008. A well-attended celebration of Pixie’s life was held on August 30 at the Burnaby Village Museum’s Tram Barn.
Helen Edwards Elected Heritage Canada Governor for B.C. Helen Edwards has been elected as the Governor for British Columbia on the board of the Heritage Canada Foundation. Passionate about heritage preservation, Helen Edwards has devoted 30 years to the cause. She raises funds for Hallmark Society projects in Victoria and works as their chief researcher and manager. She was a Director of Heritage BC for eight years and recently completed her third term as President of the Heritage Legacy Fund of BC Society. She is a member of the Heritage Canada Educators’ Roundtable. HELEN EDWARDS Governor Heritage Canada
Helen is also a writer, researcher and heritage consultant. Since graduation from the University of Victoria in 2001, she has worked on projects for government and private clients, independently and in collaboration with other firms. Helen is past president of the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals, and was instrumental in establishing their B.C. Chapter. Helen’s contribution to the local heritage scene was acknowledged in 2005 when the Victoria YM/YWCA named her a Woman of Distinction.
HERITAGE TOURISM ALLIANCE
Looking Ahead On October 14 the Heritage Tourism Alliance of BC (HTA) gathered in Victoria to spend a day looking at progress to date and planning for the future. The HTA is a province-wide initiative to integrate heritage into the tourism industry. Working with industry partners, the HTA is striving to increase visitation to facilities, locations and experiences that feature British Columbia’s history and heritage. The HTA consists of an informal working group with representation from the BC Museums Association, Heritage BC, provincial tourism and culture departments, The Land Conservancy of BC, the Alliance of BC National Historic Sites, the Business Improvement Areas of BC, Parks Canada, and independent heritage operators. The first significant accomplishment of the HTA was a Heritage Tourism Marketing Plan adopted in 2007. Since then there have been further achievements: • A travel media campaign in 2008 was picked up by Global TV and major newspapers
• A professional photographer developed a database of thousands of images for HTA and Tourism BC’s Image Bank profiling heritage travel experiences in 2009 • A new heritage tourism website ‘Time Travel BC’ was launched in 2009 • New Heritage Tourism Market Ready Standards came out this year • A “Cultural and Heritage Tourism Development Handbook” is in development The session renewed the commitment to the HTA concept, but also confirmed that there is still a long way to go before we can take for granted broad recognition and acceptance of heritage as a significant contributor to tourism in B.C. In particular, heritage must build stronger links to the tourism industry, including such important players as District and Regional Marketing Organizations.
HERITAGE BC WORKSHOP PROGRAM
One Hundred Workshops! This fall, the 100th grant from the Heritage BC Workshop Program went to the Ama Liisaos Heritage Society for a workshop on wood window conservation. The session will help train staff and volunteers before they tackle a major project on the Church of the Holy Cross National Historic Site at Skatin. Jim Stiven of Vintage Woodworks will do the training. The program started in 1997 and workshops have now been supported in well over 50 communities. The provincial government contributed a total of $85,000 to the program over several years, and the Heritage Legacy Fund has put in $14,000 in the past 12 months. Any community heritage organization or local government can apply for funding. Grants cover the cost of a trainer or facilitator – professional fee and travel. The maximum is $2,000; the average grant has been just under $1,000. Just about any topic related to heritage conservation or organizational development is eligible. The most common topic to date has been how to get your community heritage program up and running. The application procedure is simple and the turn-around time for approval is short. Guidelines are available on our website.
THE HERITAGE BC WORKSHOP PROGRAM provides funding, advise and support for educational workshops around the province
» www.heritagebc.ca/education 5
Sybil Andrews’ Cottage by Heather Hughson Magee, courtesy of the artist
HERITAGE LEGACY FUND
Saving the Sybil Andrews Cottage
This process illustrates very clearly how important it is for us to have a culture and heritage policy.
The Heritage Legacy Fund has now supported over 100 projects in B.C. While we believe that all of them are very worthwhile, some truly exemplify what community-based heritage conservation is all about. A grant to the City of Campbell River earlier this year for the rehabilitation of the Sybil Andrews Cottage is a case in point. Artist Sybil Andrews was born in England in 1892. After extensive training she emigrated with her husband, Walter Morgan, to Canada in 1947, and settled in Campbell River. Taking up residence in a modest cottage, she continued her art career and eventually developed an international reputation. She was an excellent print maker and was particularly noted for her remarkable linocuts. Her distinctive style combined many influences of 20th century modernism, which she used to great effect to create striking images of her new homeland: working people, native culture, and the land. One of her fine prints was used in the 2002 Heritage Week poster that celebrated industrial heritage. Ms. Andrews died in 1992. Almost 95, she had worked until the last, still giving lessons to local students. The cottage became the property of the City of Campbell River. The City had no heritage register at the time, and the cottage itself did not exactly shout “heritage”. Built in 1942, the artist’s home was a simple wood frame structure, like many another in the community. In time, the City proposed bulldozing the house and adjacent shed, used as a workshop by Mr. Morgan who was a machinist and boat builder, and erecting a gazebo. The waterfront property has unobstructed views of Quadra Island. However, a group of citizen’s dedicated to the memory of the internationally recognized artist understood the significance of her home, which included her studio. They banded together to form the Sybil Andrews Heritage Society, and in time not only convinced council that the cottage should not be bulldozed, but in 2008 had the satisfaction of seeing the property listed as the first entry in a new Campbell River Heritage Register. “We’ve come a long way from four or five years ago when the plan was to bulldoze Sybil Andrews’ Cottage,” said Councilor Andy Adams. Councilor Morgan Ostler said the cottage is an example of why a Heritage Register is important. “At that time we didn’t have a heritage policy and we also lacked the understanding of how significant her property would become. It’s a fortunate thing that an organization rose up, eventually formed the Sybil Andrews Society, lobbied effectively and persuaded us that we were making a poor decision. It was much appreciated that they came forward and guided us along through this process. This illustrates very clearly how important it is for us to have a culture and heritage policy”. A conservation and feasibility plan was prepared for the City by Commonwealth Historic Resource Management Limited in 2009. Earlier this year the City applied for and received a grant of $25,000 from the Heritage Legacy Fund towards the replacement of the foundation of the Sybil Andrews Cottage. The cottage is now home to the Campbell River Arts Council and the Sybil Andrews Heritage Society.
VANCOUVER HERITAGE SCHOOLS UNDER PRESSURE
The Battle to Save Carleton Elementary Last spring an intense campaign was underway to save the original two-room schoolhouse at Sir Guy Carleton Elementary in Vancouver from demolition. Now the fight has expanded to the entire complex of buildings as the Vancouver School Board (VSB) threatens to close them all. The first building that went up at the Carleton Elementary site was built in 1896. Originally called the Vancouver East School, it is said to be Vancouver’s oldest surviving school building, and is listed as an “A” heritage resource on Vancouver’s heritage register. The school suffered a serious fire in 2006. Closed since then, the VSB last year proposed to turn it into an early learning centre, but the provincial government refused to put up the estimated $625,000 required, saying there was excess capacity in the area already. The Education Ministry in fact offered $75,000 toward the cost of demolition. Without funding, and facing a projected $17 million deficit in the VSB budget this year, staff recommended last March that the building should come down, but trustees voted to allow a couple of months for an alternative proposal. A campaign was mounted to save the historic school. The Collingswood neighbourhood is very heritage conscious and was not ready to give in easily. With the brief 60-day reprieve in place, Heritage BC wrote to the VSB in April, urging more time be allowed to find an alternative plan. Six months later the school is still standing, but the threat has now changed. The School Board has announced that it would like to close the entire complex because of low student enrollment in east Vancouver. Trustees had warned of this possibility last spring during the demolition discussion. The complex includes two more vintage school buildings, one constructed in 1908 and the other in 1912. The Collingswood neighbourhood wants to keep its heritage buildings, and its schools open. A petition has garnered over 6,000 signatures. Heritage BC has again written to the VSB President, this time to raise a concern about the consequences of closing historic buildings for extended periods. The VSB is hosting neighbourhood consultation meetings with parents and the community this fall. A final decision will be made about Carleton by the end of December.
Historic Kitsilano Secondary On July 5 the Vancouver School Board (VSB) voted to approve a rehabilitation plan for Kitsilano Secondary. At cost of $66 million, the plan calls for the retention of three facades of the original 1927 block, and the demolition of the rest of the structure. The concept proposal is before the provincial Ministry of Education which must approve the funding. Kitsilano Secondary is on the City of Vancouver Heritage Register. The plan approved by the VSB caused Heritage Vancouver to list Kitsilano as “number one” on their 2010 “Top 10 Endangered List”. Later, the Heritage Canada Foundation followed suit, putting it on their own endangered list.
One of the worst fates for an historic property is dereliction. A closed, empty and unused building is a very low priority for expenditure and seldom receives the necessary attention and investment required to fend off the processes of decay, which move quickly and aggressively in our west coast environment. Unused buildings are also targets for vandalism and much more vulnerable to fire. Carleton Elementary is a highly significant part of Vancouver’s dwindling collection of historic schools. Heritage BC is very concerned that closure and moth-balling will inevitably lead to a much higher risk of eventual demolition. We urge the VSB to choose another future for Carleton.
Heritage BC letter to Patti Bacchus, Chair of the Vancouver School Board
Heritage Vancouver lays the blame for the fate of Kitsilano Secondary on the misuse of a provincial program to seismically upgrade schools, and a general lack of interest in heritage on the part of the VSB. 7
at risk HISTORIC KITSILANO SECONDARY
...Reduced to Three Facades “Many of these beloved community landmarks are now threatened with demolition, for reasons that defy common sense. The Vancouver School Board has stated that heritage is not high on their list of priorities, as they have already demonstrated through the demolition of Sir Charles Dickens School.”
Without appropriate recognition of their historic values in their communities, and an active willingness to find creative solutions for retention, we can expect to see their stock diminished over time by attrition, neglect and demolition.
The Education Seismic Mitigation Program provides funds to make B.C. schools safer during an earthquake. This is clearly a good thing, especially for schools built before building codes considered earthquake resistance. The program, however, stipulates that if the projected cost of upgrading is more than 70 per cent of the cost for new construction, then a replacement building must be considered. This opens the door to a demolition-and-build-new approach instead of upgrade and rehabilitate. Vancouver has 109 active schools sites, according to a 2007 study by Commonwealth Historic Resource Management Limited. The study was commissioned by the VSB and the City of Vancouver to identify heritage values in the city’s stock of school buildings. Before the study, 35 schools were on the city’s Heritage Register. The study recommended the inclusion of 26 more, but nothing has happened to date. The Ministry of Education has an important role in the decision to retain or demolish schools. But the provincial government is still undeclared In terms of its commitment to heritage conservation. A new Provincial Heritage Strategy was supposed to be announced at the Heritage BC annual conference last June, but the minister pulled back at the last moment. The strategy remains in limbo. Meanwhile, historic schools, in Vancouver and elsewhere, remain under pressure. Without appropriate recognition of their historic values in their communities, and an active willingness to find creative solutions for retention, we can expect to see their stock diminished over time, by attrition, neglect and demolition.
NEW WESTMINSTER DOWNTOWN COMMUNITY PLAN
A Visionary Plan The International Downtown Association has recognized the City of New Westminster with a 2010 Downtown Merit Award for the New Westminster Downtown Community Plan. The Plan is a comprehensive strategy that outlines sustainable, high density growth in the city’s downtown core while respecting heritage resources, and provides for new amenities such as parks, cultural and recreational services, improved access to the Fraser River and promotes transit oriented employment. “The Downtown Community Plan is a visionary document that reflects the participation of over 1,000 individuals, including local businesses, community organizations, residents, and other key stakeholders”, said Lisa Spitale, Director of Development Services. “We are very proud of this plan and are excited by the transformation that is taking place in the Downtown”. The Washington, D.C., based International Downtown Association is a champion for vital and livable urban centres and strives to inform, influence, and inspire downtown leaders and advocates. THE COMMUNITY HERITAGE COMMISSION (CHC) CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD IN NEW WESMINSTER ON NOVEMBER 27. SEE the BACK COVER FOR MORE!
around b.c. PUBLIC ART AND HERITAGE
Statues Attract Funds Statue of Emily Carr Unveiled in Victoria A large crowd was in attendance to witness the unveiling of a new statue of Emily Carr in Victoria on the morning of October 13, during Women’s History Month. Situated at the corner entrance to the grounds of the Fairmount Empress Hotel, directly across from the Legislature building, the larger-than-life statue celebrates one of Canada’s greatest artists. Carr is already a well known figure. Her memory is enshrined at Carr House National Historic Site just three blocks from the new work of public art, and through significant art collections at several B.C. institutions. But there was no physical reminder of one of the capital city’s greatest figures in the downtown core. A campaign to raise the $400,000 needed to complete the project launched last January was remarkably successful, especially considering the state of the economy. The fund raising was complete by the time of the unveiling, with more than 200 donations received from across the country and beyond – the largest a $100,000 contribution from Shaw Communications. The project was spearheaded by Anne Geddes, president of the Victoria Parks and Recreation Foundation. Alberta artist Barbara Paterson sculpted the work, which shows Carr in her later years, with her pet monkey, Woo, and her dog, Billie. Carr was born in Victoria in 1871 and died there in 1945. 150th Anniversary COMMEMORATION
The Father Pandosy Statue This year marks the 150th Anniversary of the official establishment of the Father Pandosy Mission in the Okanagan. The Pandosy Mission was the first non-native settlement in the region and led to the eventual establishment of the City of Kelowna.
Photo: Crystal Przybille
To lastingly commemorate this important anniversary, the Okanagan Historical Society is working with local artist Crystal Przybille to create a lifesized bronze sculpture of Charles Marie Pandosy, “Father of the Okanagan”. A drawing and maquette were unveiled during a 150th Anniversary celebration at the Pandosy Mission on August 7th.
A tradition of commemorating historic figures in works of public art is alive and well, and in fact appears to be enjoying something of a renaissance. The combination of history, art, and personality seems to be a potent emotional mix which attracts admiration, and substantial funds, particularly when the subject in question is a sentimental favorite.
The artist’s goal is to honour both Euro-Canadian and First Nation culture, while at the same time capturing Pandosy’s character. The sculpture will be gifted to the Kelowna’s Public Art Collection and will be installed in a public park. Fund raising is currently underway and a major gift of $49,000 has already been received from the federal Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program. The grant will match donations received from the community, a substantial step toward covering the $112,000 project budget. In addition, the artist-signed 40cm maquette will be cast in bronze in a limited edition of 20. To be sold at $5,000 a piece, these sculptures will help secure funds for the full-sized art work. There is more information online – just google “pandosy sculpture”. 9
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
Board Members 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
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 Board, and to welcome our new HBC Board member Zlatan Jankovic to the discussions. It is not too early to start thinking about how we can all celebrate ‘A Century of Conservation: Parks & Cultural Landscapes’ as part of Heritage Week 2011. 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. As this is being written today, announcement has been made that 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 “Mom liked you best!” Anyone who remembers television in the 60’s will be familiar with this catch-phrase. Tommy Smuthers, hapless half of the Smuthers Brothers comedy, team, would always throw this accusation in the face of his straight man brother, Dicky, to conclude yet another losing argument. The on-stage wrangling was part of the comedy duo’s act. Between musical numbers, they would squabble over old grievances, as brothers often do. Tommy, the dumb but lovable one, always lost. After getting hopelessly entangled in the argument, as a last resort he would shout, “Mom liked you best!”. And, while the smiling, unruffled Dicky took it all in good humour, you couldn’t help feeling that Tommie was probably right – mom did like his brother best. In reality, Tommie was the brains of the very successful comedy team that starred in their own prime time show. But I can’t help identifying with his own-stage persona a little bit, at least when I look at the long-standing family relationship of heritage and the arts.
Heritage and the arts do seem to belong together, under the general rubric of “culture” (whatever that may be). We have generally been lodged, like family, in the same ministry. Heritage, however, has always found itself at the wrong end of the dining table – by the time the pot gets to us, it’s empty. Better luck next time. So the new line up of ministries and departments established by the October 25 cabinet shuffle may turn out to be a good thing for heritage. The arts and culture are in one ministry – Community, Sport and Cultural Development – while heritage stays with tourism in the new Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Investment. It feels a little strange not to be together after all this time, but then maybe it will good for us to get out on our own.
Heritage Canada Governor’s Message
RICK GOODACRE EXECuTIVE DIRECTOR Heritage BC
It is a real pleasure for me to be once again a part of the Heritage BC Board.* My first exposure to the Heritage Canada Foundation Board of Directors was the annual conference held at St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador from September 30 – October 2. I also attended the pre-conference Built Heritage Leadership Forum on behalf of Heritage BC and presented an update on the state of heritage in our province. Delegates were given copies of the latest newsletter and ‘A Call to Renew British Columbia’s Heritage Program’. Generally, people were dismayed at the lack of provincial support for heritage and could hardly believe that a program that was once the best in Canada was now on its last legs. On September 30, I attended two special sessions. The first was the National Main Street Summit where delegates from across Canada learned about the drive to reinstitute the Main Street program in some form. There was general agreement that something needed to be done to bring preservation back to the grassroots. There should be some more news from Heritage Canada on this concept within the next year. In the afternoon, I was part of the Heritage Educators’ Roundtable. In my former position as Education Chair of the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals, I have been part of this group since the Edmonton conference. This year, we had a guest speaker, Thomas Visser (Associate Professor, Historic Preservation University of Vermont) and executive member of the National Council on Preservation Education (NCPE). His presentation/discussion explored how NCPE has developed as a network and how it has helped transform preservation education in the United States. This was most enlightening and provided the basis for a discussion of how some of these ideas could be used in a Canadian setting.
HELEN EDWARDS Governor Heritage Canada
The conference program presented a series of interesting discussions, some with a bit of controversy. It was often difficult to make a decision of what session to attend; they all had their good points. Lest people think that all we did was work, nothing could be farther from the truth. We had an opening reception at City Hall, an Awards Night reception at an historic theatre, a Rum and Rascals tour (you had to be there to understand this one), and a closing party at a night spot affiliated with a brewery. * Heritage Canada’s B.C. Governor is an ex officio member of the Heritage BC board.
HEritage BC 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
TRB Architecture Inc Vintage Woodwork Inc. Zeidler Partnership Architects
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Register Now! Download the program and registration form at Heritage BC: » www.heritagebc.ca/events