Municipal Heritage Partnership Program Grants

Helping Alberta’s municipalities identify, evaluate and manage locally significant historic places.

Alberta’s municipalities are now working on plans and budgets for 2014. I’d like to remind municipal stakeholders responsible for heritage about the grant programs offered through the Municipal Heritage Partnership Program (funded by the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation).

The Municipal Heritage Partnership Program offers three types of grants to help municipalities conserve locally significance historic places.

A municipality can apply for funding to complete a heritage survey. A survey gathers basic information about a municipality’s potential historic places. There are many articles on RETROactive describing survey projects municipalities have undertaken using these grants.

A municipality can also apply for funding to inventory historic resources. An inventory lists places that are locally significant, evaluates them to decide exactly why they are significant and creates the documentation needed to designate these as Municipal Historic Resources. You can also peruse RETROactive posts on municipal inventory projects that our partner municipalities have worked on.

A municipality can also apply for funding to develop a heritage management plan. A management plan helps the municipality conserve significant historic places, the highlight of which is policy on the designation of Municipal Historic Resources. You can read about different municipal heritage management plans on RETORactive as well.

The grant application consists of a written project proposal, which must include a budget. The foundation may award a grant that can cover up to half the cost of the project, up to certain maximum amounts.

M.D. or County City Town Village
Survey $30 000 $30 000 $20 000 $10 000
Inventory $30 000 $30 000 $20 000 $10 000
Management Plan $20 000 $20 000 $15 000 $7 500

The next grant deadline will be early in 2014, but it’s never too early to begin planning a project. You can learn more about the Municipal Heritage Partnership Program grant program by visiting the cost sharing page on the website.

If you’re thinking of undertaking a heritage conservation project, please contact us. We’d be happy to help you plan your next project.

Written by: Michael Thome, Municipal Heritage Services Officer.

Summer Idyll, Winter Wonderland

The Sturgeon River defines the St. Albert landscape

Earlier this year, the Alberta Heritage Markers Program installed a marker on the banks of the Sturgeon River in St. Albert. Our heritage markers can be found along walking trails and roadside pull-offs throughout Alberta, offering glimpses into the past.

This marker tells us how the people of St. Albert related to the Sturgeon River, which winds through their community.

An image of the new heritage marker along the Sturgeon River.
a new heritage marker along the Sturgeon River.

Summer Idyll, Winter Wonderland

Before it reaches St. Albert the Sturgeon River has meandered about 180 kilometres from its beginnings in Hoople Lake west of Isle Lake. After it leaves St. Albert the Sturgeon continues flowing eastwards to Fort Saskatchewan, and empties into the North Saskatchewan River.

For the people of St. Albert in the early 1900s the river was much more than an obstacle requiring bridges, much more than a method of winter transportation when snow blocked the roads. It became a place of wonder where small children watched tadpoles darting just beneath the surface and dragonflies glinting in the sun above it. It helped create memories not linked to the hard work of daily life. “Young men who were studying for the priesthood,” Jane Ternon Sherwood recalled, “paddled up and down the river … their Gregorian chanting drifting over the water on a warm summer evening was beautiful to hear.”

The Sturgeon River became landmark and destination, the passing of time measured by seasonal opportunities to have fun and build community. On its banks and in its refreshing summer waters families played, groups held picnics and went boating, and young people paddled Sunday afternoons away. “In the winter, it was our skating rink and landing spot when we slid down the bank on our sleds,” recalled Dorothy Bellerose Chartrand. It was a hockey rink too where tin cans and frozen horse manure stood in for pucks.

For a brief time a steamer, La Thérèse, chugged lazily up and down the river. “I believe the river was much bigger then,” Jane Ternan Sherwood reminisced in the 1980s, remembering riding in the steamer in 1912. Memory had made the Sturgeon wider and more exciting, rekindling the joy of a small child splashing happily at its edge.

If you’d like to visit the marker, it can be found here:

Prepared by: Michael Thome, Municipal Heritage Services Officer.

Interpreting an Icelandic Settlement

Markerville Tour Booklet Re-vamped and Re-launched!

cover of the Markerville & District Historical Tour booklet
Markerville & District Historical Tour booklet

The Stephan G. Stephansson Icelandic Society has just published a 3rd edition of the Markerville tour booklet. Re-named Icelandic Settlement: Markerville and District Historical Tour, the revised and re-designed booklet is packed with information and historic photographs.

Starting in the late 19th century, settlers of Icelandic descent arrived and started building a community on the banks of the Medicine River. The hamlet of Markerville never grew to any great size, but it was a vibrant community with several businesses as well as a church and hall. The Icelandic heritage of the early settlers gave Markerville a distinctive character.

Today, Markerville has four Provincial Historic Resources that help tell its story. The Stephan G. Stephansson Icelandic Society owns and operates three: the Markerville Creamery, the Markerville Lutheran Church, and the Fensala Hall. The Stephansson Memorial, located just across the Medicine River in Markerville Park, is also a Provincial Historic Resource.

Close by is another Provincial Historic Resource, the Stephan G. Stephansson House, home of an early settler who became famous for his poetry in the Icelandic language. The house is also the centerpiece of the Stephansson House Provincial Historic Site, one of the interpretative sites run by Alberta Culture.

Markerville is located southwest of Red Deer, at the centre of Alberta’s historic Icelandic settlement area. This part of the province is not only scenic, it has a wealth of historic interest as well.

The tour booklet provides background information, and a route map to guide you through the tour.

Alberta Culture assisted the Stephan G. Stephansson Icelandic Society in revising the tour booklet; the society also received funding from the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation to assist with the cost of its publication. Copies of the booklet are available from the Society at the Markerville Creamery Historic Site in Markerville.

Written by: Dorothy Field, Heritage Survey Program Coordinator

Alberta Historical Resources Foundation visits Nordegg

Board tours the Nordegg/Brazeau Collieries Mine Site.

With the September meeting of the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation held in Rocky Mountain House, board members and staff took the opportunity to visit the Nordegg/Brazeau Collieries Mine Site.

We enjoyed a great walking tour of the Nordegg/Brazeau Collieries Mine Site, led by the informative staff of the Nordegg Historical Society. Designated as a Provincial Historic Resource in 1993, the site of consists of several industrial structures, support buildings and related machinery associated with the coal-mining operations of the Brazeau Collieries between 1911 and 1955.

The site is being restored through a partnership between Clearwater County and the Nordegg Historical Society, with conservation funding from the Foundation’s Heritage Preservation Partnership Program. It was exciting to see this Provincial Historic Resource–large and complex with a variety of heritage values–steadily being restored and revitalized.

Here are a few photographs from our tour of the site:

touring the Nordegg site - 1st image
AHRF board beginning it’s tour of the Nordegg Mine Site.
touring the Nordegg site - 2nd image
Val Clark peeking into one of the mine shafts at Nordegg.
touring the Nordegg site - 3rd image
Several buildings at the Nordegg Mine Site.
touring the Nordegg site - 4th image
A coal chute.
touring the Nordegg site - 5th image
Two miner’s cabins, one of which has been restored.

Following the tour, we had an informal meeting with the society and representatives of the Clearwater County in the Nordegg Museum, where everyone learned a great deal about the restoration and interpretation of this historic mine site.

Written by: Carina Naranjilla, Grants Program Administration, Alberta Historical Resources Foundation

Help Shape the Future of Our Past

The Alberta Historical Resources Foundation board of directors has a few openings.

Alberta Historical Resources Foundation

We are accepting applications from people interested in joining the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation‘s board of directors.

Founded four decades ago, the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation has evolved into a complex agency that serves a range of stakeholders in many ways. The foundation is the primary source of Government of Alberta funding for heritage projects. The foundation focuses on a few key objectives:

  • providing financial and program support to individuals and organizations engaged in researching, preserving, and promoting greater appreciation for Alberta’s heritage;
  • naming geographical features in the province;
  • staging events that support the heritage community; and
  • acting as an appeal body for certain decisions made in Alberta Culture.

Members are appointed for terms of up to three years.  The board meets four times per year for about a day and a half per meeting at locations around the province. Board members are also occasionally asked to attend events within the heritage community.

Interested individuals can submit their applications through the Government of Alberta Careers website. The posting number is 1019525. The competition closes on October 3, 2013.

Should you have any questions about the board positions, please contact Matthew Wangler, Executive Director of the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation. Mr. Wangler can be reached at 780-438-8503 (toll-free by first dialing 310-0000) or matthew.wangler@gov.ab.ca.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Written by: Matthew Wangler, Executive Director, Alberta Historical Resources Foundation

Flood impacted owners get extension for heritage grant applications

Alberta Historical Resources FoundationRegular readers of RETROactive will know that owners of designated historic resources listed on the Alberta Register of Historic Places are eligible to apply for matching grants for approved conservation work.

The regular deadlines for owners of designated properties to apply for these grants are February 1st and September 1st. That means that the next grant application deadline is fast approaching!

But this year, for many Albertans, has been very different.

We know that many historic places have been seriously affected by flooding. In addition, some municipalities which have been severely impacted have had to push back scheduled processes, which, under normal conditions, would have already seen new Municipal Historic Resources designated.

As a result, the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation has extended its upcoming deadline for applications for Historic Resource Conservation grants, for flood-impacted applicants only. Applications from owners of flood-affected, designated historic properties will be received until September 30, 2013. In addition, flood-impacted properties that have been formally evaluated and are currently in the process of being considered for Municipal Historic Resource designation, but may not have completed the process, will be deemed as eligible, and are also encouraged to apply.

So, the application deadline has been extended for properties that:

  • have been directly impacted by flooding
  • are included on a formally adopted Municipal Heritage Inventory, with a Statement of Significance
  • have been issued a Notice of Intention to designate as a Municipal Historic Resource by the applicable municipality

The regular funding deadline of September 1, 2013 still applies to all non-flood-affected properties.

“Owners of historic buildings and sites that have been impacted by the severe flooding in northern and southern Alberta are still in the midst of recovery,” said Alberta Culture Minister Heather Klimchuk. “With the many challenges they are facing, extending the application deadline will ensure they will still have the opportunity to apply for grants to assist in their conservation efforts while allowing municipalities to complete their designation processes.”

If you have any questions relating to the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation’s grant programs, and the upcoming grant deadline, please contact Carina Naranjilla, Grants Program Coordinator at (780) 431-2305 or by email: Carina.Naranjilla@gov.ab.ca.

If you have any questions relating to the Municipal Historic Resource designation process, please feel free to contact Matthew Francis, Manager of Municipal Heritage Services, at (780) 438-8502 or by email at Matthew.Francis@gov.ab.ca.

These numbers are toll-free by first dialing 310-0000.

Alberta Historical Resources Foundation board steps out

Lacombe's main street from the alleyway
Lacombe’s main street from the alleyway

Foundation board tours the streets of Lacombe before heading back to the boardroom

The board of the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation held their spring meeting in Lacombe. Before heading to the boardroom, the members enjoyed a guided walking tour of Lacombe’s main street, seeing some beautiful Provincial Historic Resources : the Flatiron Building, the Roland Michener House and the Lacombe Blacksmith Shop. (Incidentally, all three properties are currently managed and interpreted by the Lacombe and District Historical Society.)

Matthew Wangler, the foundation's Executive Director, tired his hand at blacksmithing.
Matthew Wangler, the foundation’s Executive Director, tired his hand at blacksmithing.

Board members and staff enjoyed the unique opportunity to watch a blacksmithing demonstration (similar to this one) and experience “branding” at the Blacksmith Shop, and view the public murals that artistically captured the city’s rich heritage.

In its continuing efforts to reach out to its heritage stakeholders, the board also held an informal roundtable discussion with the talented members of Lacombe’s Heritage Steering Committee and the Lacombe and District Historical Society. The insights shared during the discussion revealed the strong commitment of this active community in meeting the many challenges and opportunities in preserving and promoting their local heritage.

The board would like to thank the Lacombe and District Historical Society for the tour. Our Kudos goes to the Lacombe community for all their hard work. The board definitely felt refreshed before heading to the boardroom to adjudicate grants.

Written by: Carina Naranjilla, Grants Program Administration, Alberta Historical Resources Foundation

The Alberta Historical Resources Foundation gives a financial boost to Alberta’s heritage

Nearly $1.3 million in funding awarded to help Albertans conserving and interpreting our heritage.

Alberta Historical Resources FoundationThe Alberta Historical Resources Foundation awarded nearly $1.3 million in support of 71 heritage projects through two grant programs. A scholarship was also awarded. This funding will be directed at applications submitted in February 2013 for the spring adjudication cycle.

Sixty-six projects will receive funding through the Heritage Preservation Partnership Program. This program provides financial assistance to individuals, municipalities and organizations working on projects that preserve or interpret Alberta’s heritage through conservation, heritage awareness, publications and research grants and scholarships.

Five municipalities will receive funding through the Municipal Heritage Partnership Program. These funds assist municipalities in identifying, evaluating, protecting and conserving locally significant historic places.

For a complete list of the projects funded please take a look at this Government of Alberta Information Bulletin. You can also find a complete list of grant recipients here.

It’s always interesting to see the range of projects Albertans are working on. This grant cycle brought forward a range of projects from all over Alberta. I look forward to seeing the applications submitted on September 1, 2013 for the next evaluation cycle.

Written By: Carina Naranjilla, Grant Program Coordinator, Alberta Historical Resources Foundation

Hospitality in High River

Bob Gaetz (AHRF board member) and Fred Bradley (AHRF Chair) check out a display at the Museum of the Highwood.
L-R: Bob Gaetz (AHRF board member) and Fred Bradley (AHRF Chair) check out a display at the Museum of the Highwood.

Four times a year the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation (AHRF) board meets in different municipalities throughout Alberta and takes the opportunity to experience aspects of that community’s history and heritage. On February 22nd and 23rd the board had its first 2013 meeting in the Town of High River. Visits to two different museums highlighted different aspects of High River’s local heritage.

A display at the Museum of the Highwood showcases the fire that caused significant damage.
A display at the Museum of the Highwood showcases the fire that caused significant damage.

At the Canadian Pacific Railway Station, a Provincial Historic Resource and home of the Museum of the Highwood, board members received a tour by Pat Markley and visited with members of the Museum’s board and also Town of High River staff and Heritage Advisory Board members. In 2010 a fire caused significant damage to the building. With Historic Resource Conservation funding assistance from the Heritage Preservation Partnership Program the railway station is now better than ever! At the 2012 AHRF Heritage Awards the Town of High River was celebrated for its successful conservation of the fire ravaged building.

AHRF board members and Town staff entering the Sheppard/Maccoy House
AHRF board members and Town staff entering the Sheppard/Maccoy House

AHRF board members also visited the Sheppard/Maccoy House, a one-storey, white-washed log house that was formally protected as a Municipal Historic Resource by the Town of High River in 2009, and is a central component of the Sheppard Family Park. The house is valued for its association with early settlement in the area and for its association with Ruth Maccoy, a resident of the house for seventy years whose, “baking and hospitality were renowned – the front steps of the cabin [are] worn with the footprints of the countless people who entered.” While at the Sheppard Family Park AHRF board members were treated to tea and scones at the MacDougall House – a tasty treat enjoyed by all!

Enjoying tea and scones! (L-R: Leah Millar, AHRF board member; Larry Pearson, Director of Historic Places Stewardship Section; and Tom Clark, AHRF board member)
Enjoying tea and scones! (L-R: Leah Millar, AHRF board member; Larry Pearson, Director of Historic Places Stewardship Section; and Tom Clark, AHRF board member)

A big thank you to both sites for hosting the board and for sharing aspects of High River’s heritage; the board appreciated the opportunity.

Future 2013 AHRF meetings will include visits to the City of Lacombe, the hamlet of Nordegg (in Clearwater County), and the City of St. Albert.

Written by: Brenda Manweiler, Municipal Heritage Services Officer

Long live heritage!

Presentation of the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation Heritage Awards (November 30, 2012)

“It’s very important to remember that heritage preservation is much more than paying tribute to our past, it is about building strong communities for our future …”  This was one of the key messages of Honourable Heather Klimchuk, Minister of Culture, as she paid tribute to the accomplishments of eight recipients of the 2012 Alberta Historical Resources Foundation (AHRF) Heritage Awards.

On the evening of November 30th, the historic McKay Avenue School in Edmonton was bustling with excitement, pride and nostalgia as Minister Klimchuk joined AHRF board, staff and guests in celebrating the achievements of heritage community members.

Honourable Heather Klimchuk presenting Dr. Carolee Pollock with plaque at the 2012 AHRF Heritage Awards.
Honourable Heather Klimchuk presenting Dr. Carolee Pollock with a plaque at the 2012 AHRF Heritage Awards.

In keeping with the theme of honouring excellence, the Minister first presented a plaque to Dr. Carolee Pollock in recognition of her nine years of service with AHRF as board member (since 2004) and Chair (since 2009).  As the night unfolded, Dr. Pollock then proceeded with the presentations of the AHRF heritage awards. Board member Joe Friedel graciously handed out the plaques.

Delegates from the communities of High River and St. Albert gathered to celebrate their successful conservation efforts, which earned them Heritage Conservation awards. These were presented to the Town of High River for excellence in the conservation of the Canadian Pacific Railway Station and the Arts and Heritage Foundation of St. Albert for outstanding achievement in the conservation of their two grain elevators (the Alberta Grain Company Grain Elevator and the Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator).

From L to R: Kermith Anderson; Lawrence Henderson, President, Lacombe & District Historical Society; Jamie Kinghorn, Councillor, Town of High River; Honourable Heather Klimchuk, Minister of Culture; Steve Christie, Mayor, City of Lacombe; Jack Manson; Trisha Carleton (receiving award for her mom, Judy Ann Carleton); Ann Ramsden, Arts & Heritage Foundation of St. Albert; Dr. Alan Murdock, Chair, Arts & Heritage Foundation of St. Albert; Dr. Carolee Pollock, AHRF Chair. Missing: Cathering C. Cole.
From L to R: Kermith Anderson; Lawrence Henderson, President, Lacombe & District Historical Society; Jamie Kinghorn, Councillor, Town of High River; Honourable Heather Klimchuk, Minister of Culture; Steve Christie, Mayor, City of Lacombe; Jack Manson; Trisha Carleton (receiving award for her mother, Judy Ann Carleton); Ann Ramsden, Arts & Heritage Foundation of St. Albert; Dr. Alan Murdock, Chair, Arts & Heritage Foundation of St. Albert; Dr. Carolee Pollock, AHRF Chair. Missing: Catherine Cole.

The community of Lacombe was beaming with pride as they took home two plaques this year:  a Heritage Conservation award went to the Lacombe and District Historical Society for their commitment to the conservation of the Lacombe Blacksmith Shop and the Municipal Heritage Preservation award went to the City of Lacombe for their successful multi-phased Heritage Management Program.

AHRF was also honored to recognize Catherine Cole with a Heritage Awareness award for her excellent work on Piece by Piece: the GWG Story.

Last but not the least, the stories of Outstanding Achievement award recipients filled the evening with fond memories of family life and dedication to conserving their community’s heritage.  The Outstanding Achievement awards were presented to Kermith Anderson of Scandia, Judith Ann Carleton of Blackfalds and Jack Manson of the Mulhurst area.

It is through the tireless efforts of these heritage community members that we and others continue to enjoy Alberta’s rich heritage.

On behalf of the AHRF board and staff of Alberta Culture, congratulations to all award recipients!

Additional information on award recipients as well as photographs, audio clips and videos of the awards ceremony are available at Alberta Culture’s newsroom.

Written by: Carina Naranjilla, Grant Program Coordinator