Alberta Historical Resources Foundation’s next grant application deadline: September 1st

If you happen to visit a restored heritage property; come across a heritage plaque or marker; or read a community history book, chances are the project was supported by the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation.

As the Government of Alberta’s primary window for heritage preservation funding, the Foundation’s Heritage Preservation Partnership Program provides matching grants and scholarships to support initiatives that preserve and interpret Alberta’s rich heritage. The next grant intake is just around the corner. Next application deadline is September 1st.

If you wish to know more about the program or access the guidelines and application forms, please visit or contact the Program Coordinator at or 780-431-2305 (toll-free by first dialling 310-0000).

2015 Alberta Historical Resources Foundation Application Deadlines

A new year means a new round of funding opportunities through the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation (AHRF). Grants are available under the the Municipal Heritage Partnership Program (MHPP) for municipally-led heritage survey, inventory and management plan projects and are reviewed and issued four times per year. The Heritage Preservation Partnership Program (HPPP) includes grants for conservation heritage awareness, publication and research projects; as well as two heritage scholarship categories with applications reviewed twice per year. The chart below outlines the 2015 deadlines for the two programs:


Please refer to the links above to access the grant guidelines for each funding program. Questions regarding MHPP can be directed to Michael Thome, Acting Manager of Municipal Heritage Services at or 780-438-8508 and questions regarding HPPP can be directed to Carina Naranjilla, AHRF Grant Program Coordinator at or 780-431-2305.

Written by: Rebecca Goodenough, Municipal Heritage Services Officer.

Raymond works on a context paper

On April 16th I had the pleasure of attending an open house hosted by the Town of Raymond. They presented the penultimate draft of their historical context paper, drafted with the assistance of consulting firm Donald Luxton & Associates. The open house is the culmination of a process Raymond began with MHPP over two years. Several dozen people attended the event over the course of the evening and all were excited by the result of all this work.

Image of people attending the open house in Raymond discussing the context paper.
Attendees discussing Raymond’s heritage.

The context paper outlines 16 themes (people or groups, or economic or social forces) that shaped the community and, by extension, the physical environment of the town. The context paper will help Raymond identify historic places: a place is locally significant, and therefore worth preserving, if it somehow reflects the influence of one or more of these themes.

While context papers do not explain the full history of a community, each one can provide a visitor (like me) with a glimpse of how a community evolved over time and Raymond’s is no exception. The town was formed by Jessie Knight who financed the purchase of land in the area, helped establish sugar beets as an important crop, and helped start a sugar refinery in Raymond. The community was settled by Jessie’s son Raymond Knight (the town’s namesake) and other members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The town quickly grew to include members of a variety of faiths, including Japanese Buddhists as early as 1902.

I was particularity fascinated to learn about the towns plan of survey, completed in 1901. It’s a unique combination of the urban planning ideas of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Georges-Eugène Haussmann, who redeveloped much of Paris in the 19th century. Haussmann’s plan for Paris—emphasising boulevards radiating out from central plazas—can be seen in the design of the central square and the radiating boulevards. Joseph Smith’s Plat of Zion—which emphasises large residential lots—is visible in the residential areas. The plan is unique, as far I know. Although it was never followed exactly, you can still see its influence in the width of the streets, the orientations of several buildings and the location of public buildings (like schools, the town hall and churches)

An image of the original plan of survey laying out Raymond.
The original plan of survey for what would become Raymond

This project is scheduled to conclude shortly. We look forward to seeing what transpires as Raymond moves to begin identifying historic resources.

Written by: Michael Thome Municipal Heritage Services Officer.

New Uses for Old Places – King Edward School, Calgary

New Uses for Old Places is a RETROactive series in which we are looking at examples from around Alberta of historic sites that have found interesting new uses for spaces that were originally designed for other purposes. In this last installment we will be looking at King Edward School in the neighbourhood of South Calgary as an example of adaptive reuse project underway to repurpose the building as a mixed-use arts incubator (a place that nurtures the growth and development of artists and arts organizations).

King Edward SchoolThe King Edward School was constructed in 1912 as a four-storey building that features a symmetrical design, rock-faced sandstone walls and a dressed sandstone front entrance. During its time as an institution of learning, the School also functioned as a community hub, hosting dances and other events. The school operated as versions of both King Edward Elementary/Junior High School and South Calgary High School. The school closed in 2001 and sat empty…until now.

In 2011, cSPACE Projects was established by the Calgary Arts Development Authority and the Calgary Foundation for the purpose of promoting opportunities for artist and non-profit arts/community groups. cSPACE became the new owners of the property and is now embarking on an ambitious rehabilitation effort.


The project involved the removal of a 1960s addition that was deemed to be non-character-defining to the historic value of the place as well as the construction of a new addition and two adjacent art studio pavilions. Modelled around the concept of providing a ‘creative commons’, ‘learning commons’ and ‘community commons’, the finished product will include facilities for artistic production, exhibition and rehearsal and will serve as home to a range of arts organizations and independent artists.

To learn more about this project, watch this video:

As part of the project the owner and the City of Calgary have entered into an agreement to ensure that the King Edward School will be designated a Municipal Historic Resource.

(A related example is that of the Hudson’s Bay Company Stables / Ortona Armoury in Edmonton’s Rossdale Neighbourhood that is operated by the Ortona Armoury Tenants Association, a group established to coordinate the involvement of the wide range of artists and related groups currently utilizing the space. The property was designated as a municipal historic resource in 2004.)

Written by: Rebecca Goodenough, Municipal Heritage Services Officer.

New Heritage Conservation Advisory Service Areas and Grant Deadlines for 2014!

Happy New Year everyone! With 2014 underway, I thought that it would be a good idea to provide a little update on the Heritage Conservation Advisory Services Program.

The Heritage Conservation Advisory Services Program provides technical advice and information to the owners or stewards of historic buildings on how best to maintain and conserve their historic resources. A Heritage Conservation Adviser will help you apply the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada to your project, regardless of whether or not the building is designated.

In addition to providing free conservation advice, Heritage Conservation Advisers develop the recommendations to approve alterations to Provincial Historic Resources or Registered Historic Resources on behalf of the Minister of Culture. Owners of Registered or Provincial Historic Resources need ministerial permission, under the Historical Resources Act, before altering or repairing their property. Municipal Historic Resources require the permission of their municipality.

Heritage Conservation Advisory Services Program -- H.C.A. Regions of Responsibility (Nov 2013)
Heritage Conservation Advisory Services Program — H.C.A. Regions of Responsibility (Nov 2013)

Please take a look at the attached map. We have changed the boundaries of the areas that individual Heritage Conservation Advisers cover. We re-draw the boundaries now and again based on the location of expected or ongoing heritage conservation projects in Alberta so as to try and share our work load equally and consequently serve our clients better.

Owners or stewards of municipally or provincially designated historic resources must consult with a Heritage Conservation Adviser before undertaking any work that they intend to seek financial assistance for from the Historic Resource Conservation grant program. This is to ensure that eligibility requirements are met and to advise on the most effective way to take advantage of this program.

The Historic Resource Conservation grant program is operated by the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation’s Heritage Preservation Partnership Program. The next application deadline for eligible conservation projects is Monday February 3rd, 2014. The Foundation will award a second batch of grants this fall. The deadline for applications for the fall grant cycle is Tuesday September 2nd, 2014.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Heritage Conservation Adviser for your area with any questions. We will do everything possible to help you, the owner or steward of a piece of our built heritage, to make the most out of your historic place. It is always our pleasure to hear from you.

Written by: Carlo Laforge, Heritage Conservation Adviser.

MHPP and AMSP Application Dates Set for 2014

MHPP logo

The Municipal Heritage Partnership Program and the Alberta Main Street Program do not have formal deadlines for grant applications.


To maximize flexibility for communities, program staff receive applications from interested municipalities on a ongoing basis throughout the year. That said, since MHPP projects are funded by the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation, it is convenient for stakeholders to coordinate their applications with meetings of the Foundation’s Board, which generally take place on a quarterly basis. This allows time for staff to review applications and prepare recommendations for the Board, and for the board members to review materials in advance.

Please note that the Heritage Preservation Partnership Program does maintain formal deadlines, of February 1st and September 1st of each calendar year.

At the Nov. 29-30th meeting of the Foundation, the Board established its meeting schedule for 2014, which in turn gives us the requested dates for submission of MHPP and AMSP grant applications.

  • For the February 21-22 meeting in Olds, submit by January 27th.
  • For the May 9-10 meeting in Fort McMurray, submit by April 14th.
  • For the September meeting 12-13 in Pincher Creek, submit by August 18th.
  • For the November 28-29 in Edmonton, submit by November 3rd.

If you have any questions about MHPP or AMSP applications, please feel free to contact us.

Written by:  Matthew Francis, Manager of Municipal Heritage Services

Alberta Historical Resources Foundation meets in St. Albert

Alberta Historical Resources Foundation

The Board of the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation met in St. Albert, Friday November 29th and Saturday November 30th. The Board met to adjudicate grant applications for the Heritage Preservation Partnership Program, which supports:

In addition, the Foundation also considered grant applications from the Municipal Heritage Partnership Program, and the Alberta Main Street Program.

Starting on Friday afternoon at St. Albert Place, the major civic centre for the City of St. Albert, and a Douglas Cardinal-designed Municipal Historic Resource, the Board was greeted by Mayor Nolan Crouse. The mayor, a committed supporter of heritage, spoke eloquently about the City’s storied past since its founding as a Catholic mission over 150 years ago. He also brought the AHRF Board members up to date about recent heritage happenings in St. Albert.

Departing from Council Chambers, Board members embarked upon a tour of the Musee Heritage Museum. They then headed out into the snow under a bright Alberta blue sky to visit the Little White School and the City’s Mission Hill area, home to multiple Provincial Historic Resources, including the Bishop’s Palace and the Father Lacombe Chapel.

Members of the AHRF Board and Alberta Culture Staff outside of the Father Lacombe Chapel, St. Albert.
AHRF Board Members and Alberta Culture staff outside of the Father Lacombe Chapel in St. Albert; (Left to Right: Bob Gaetz, Leah Millar, Don Totten, Laurel Hallliday, Board Chair Fred Bradley, Tom Clark, AHRF Grants Program Coordinator Carina Naranjilla, Executive Director Matthew Wangler, and Manager, Municipal Heritage Services, Matthew Francis)

The afternoon was capped off with an informative tour of St. Albert’s designated Alberta Grain Company Grain Elevator complex.

Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator, St. Albert
Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator, St. Albert

The Board got down to business with Saturday’s meeting, where numerous grant applications were reviewed and key funding decisions made. Board Chair Fred Bradley was very pleased to welcome the Honourable Heather Klimchuk, Minister of Culture, who joined the meeting for a lunchtime discussion of key issues. Minister Klimchuk offered thanks to the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation for their dedicated work, and recognized several members who are completing their terms of service.

Stay tuned to RETROactive for further updates on funding decisions made by the Board at their November meeting!

Want to attend Forum 2013? Register NOW before it’s too late!

Forum 2013 - Header Image

We are thrilled at the eager response to our upcoming Municipal Heritage Forum – the “ABC’s of Conservation,” taking place September 19-20th.  That’s two weeks away! It’s going to be a great time of learning, inspiration, and fun. Registrations have been pouring in, and there are limited spaces remaining. Be sure to register online ASAP to reserve your place! The Forum is free of charge to all attendees.

Registration will close September 12th, or before if we reach our capacity.

Forum participants are invited to attend the Alberta Museums Association’s Opening Reception, Thursday evening,September 19th. Tickets (for the reception only) are $40 each and can be purchased here.

There are also opportunities to participate in the Forum:

Show and Tell opportunities at the Forum

Municipality Show & Tell: Medicine Hat Heritage Resources Committee
Municipality Show & Tell: Medicine Hat Heritage Resources Committee at Forum 2012

Has your community been involved in some really compelling heritage work this year? Is there a conservation project you are eager to share with others?

Back by popular demand, this year will feature our community “show and tell” sessions on both Thursday September 19th at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village and Friday September 20th at Knox Church in Old Strathcona. While we have already lined up some excellent updates from communities, we do have room for a few more, and would like to give you this opportunity to get involved and showcase your community’s good work.

“Show and tell” presentations should be:

  • No more than 15 minutes long
  • Fun
  • Accompanied a few slides or images – a picture’s worth a 1000 words!
  • Can be about facing community heritage challenges, not just success stories;
  • About a heritage project undertaken within the last year – it can be completed, or a work-in-progress.

If you are interested in “showing and telling,” your heritage happenings, contact Matthew Francis at or (780) 438-8502, toll-free by first dialing 310-0000.

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:

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

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

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