Board members of the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation (AHRF) recently held their first meeting for 2015 in Drumheller. The two-day meeting kicked off late Thursday afternoon with a walking tour of downtown. Though held under frigid temperatures, the tour was led with a warm welcome from the Town’s staff.
Friday morning was dedicated to a strategic planning session at the Royal Tyrrell Museum. Thanks to Fred Tyrrell, a Community Development Officer from Alberta Culture and Tourism, who served as our facilitator. Topics explored included: promoting greater appreciation for Alberta’s heritage among new Albertans; ensuring that the not-for-profit and voluntary sectors so essential to our province’s heritage facilities and sites are sustainable and strong; and developing innovative and compelling ways to share Alberta’s story.
As part of the foundation’s efforts to reach out to the local heritage stakeholders, Julia Fielding, Executive Director of the Atlas Coal Mine Historical Society came and chatted with the board about the challenges and opportunities faced by the Atlas Coal Mine, a Provincial and National Historic Site in East Coulee.
The afternoon continued with a conference call with our colleagues from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts who provided us a glimpse of how they operate. Then it was time to get up for a special treat – a behind the scenes tour led by Don Brinkman, Director of Preservation and Research of the Royal Tyrrell Museum. Don showed us the intricate and exciting process of preparing fossils after being collected from the field.
Saturday was another busy day, starting with presentations from the five Provincial Heritage Organizations (Alberta Genealogical Society, Alberta Museums Association, Archives Society of Alberta, Archaeological Society of Alberta and Historical Society of Alberta) that AHRF supports. This gathering provided an excellent opportunity for networking and future collaboration. The rest of the afternoon was the main board meeting where a number of general business items and applications from the Municipal Heritage Partnership Program and Alberta Main Street Program were discussed.
Those two productive days emphasized the need for strategic thinking, collaboration, engagement, and sustainability in order to preserve Alberta’s heritage.
Written by: Carina Naranjilla, Grant Program Coordinator, Alberta Historical Resources Foundation.