Heritage Canada The National Trust’s annual conference will be in Calgary in 2015, at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel from October 22-24. Our annual Municipal Heritage Forum takes place in the fall as well. This convergence offers a unique opportunity: we are exploring the possibility of offering the Municipal Forum in conjunction with the Heritage Canada Conference that year.
For those of you who don’t know what Heritage Canada is and what they do, I’ll provide a little background. Heritage Canada The National Trust (formerly known as the Heritage Canada Foundation) is “a national charity that inspires and leads action to save historic places, and promotes the care and wise use of our historic environment.” For the past 40 years, Heritage Canada has organised the only major annual conference for Canada’s heritage conservationists.
Heritage Canada’s annual conference provides an opportunity to network with others working to conserve historic places, and to learn what innovative things are happening in other provinces and territories. In the 1980s and early 1990s, the Government of Alberta partnered with Heritage Canada to help develop the Main Street model for revitalizing historic commercial districts in Canada. Our Alberta Main Street Program was created as part of this partnership.
I had the pleasure of attending this year’s conference in Ottawa. It was titled Regeneration: Heritage Leads the Way. Khalil Shariff delivered the opening keynote and his talk set the tone of the conference. Mr. Shariff is the C.E.O. of the Aga Khan Foundation Canada. He spoke of how historic places were an important part of the foundation’s strategy to improve economic prospects and social cohesion in cities in Asia and Africa. The individual sessions explored ideas of how heritage conservation builds community and fosters economic growth. There were sessions on how heritage enabled community development, and that provided examples of how to finance and organise conservation projects. You can see a complete list of the conference presenters (with links to their presentations) on the Heritage Canada conferences page.
Before making firm plans for our 2015 forum, we would like to know what you think. Please take a look at the programs from Heritage Canada’s 2012 and 2013 conferences to get a sense of the presentations, and then take our survey. If you complete our survey before January 15, 2014 your name will be entered in a draw to win a 2014 Family Annual Pass to visit Alberta’s Provincial Historic Sites, interpretive centres and museums.
If you have further comments or questions, feel free to email us at albertahistoricplaces [at] gov [dot] ab [dot] ca .
Written by: Michael Thome, Municipal Heritage Services Officer
* By “Win a Prize”, we mean that your name will be entered into a draw for the prize if you complete the survey.