Back in August, we announced on this blog that the “cool little town” of High River was one of four communities to be approved for funding from the Municipal Heritage Partnership Program. Over the next year High River will be completing a Municipal Heritage Inventory project. Shortly after the funding announcement, I met with Town staff in High River, and since then the community’s heritage planning efforts have gotten off to an excellent start.
Over the Summer, a key staff appointment was made by the Town. Vidya John, a new member of the Planning and Development Team, and High River’s new Heritage and Cultural Planner, will lead and guide the Town’s Heritage initiatives. Vidya brings with her a background both in the arts, as well as in urban planning – a stellar combination to help a community create a future for its historic places.
One of the key assets to any community in carrying out a project like a Municipal Heritage Survey or Inventory is a Heritage Advisory Body, or “H.A.B,” for short. This group, which may otherwise be known as a “Committee,” “Board,” “Commission,” “Group,” or “Team,” is formally appointed by a municipal council, and provides strategic advice to Council on heritage-related matters.
On September 26th, High River’s Town Council approved the creation of a Heritage Advisory Board, which will provide community-based advice on the Inventory project. Soon the HAB members will be selected and High River’s Heritage conservation work will be off to a great start with their Heritage Inventory project.
Great job, High River!
Written by: Matthew Francis, Manager of Municipal Heritage Services