Agenda for the Municipal Heritage Forum

Forum 2013 - Header Image

The Municipal Heritage Forum 2013 begins in a few days!

We just finalized the agenda. Here, hot off the (electronic) press, is the event program and a list of the breakout sessions offered. Please be green and don’t print these documents if you’re attending the forum. We’ll provide you with copies of each when you register.

Matthew, Val and I look forward to seeing many of you on Thursday and Friday.

And, if you can’t attend, don’t fret, We’ll recap the highlights on the blog over the next several weeks.

Written by: Michael Thome, Municipal Heritage Services Officer

Todd Babiak talk about how historic places embody our stories

Municipal Heritage Forum 2013–meet one of our keynote speakers

A photograph of Todd Babiak.
Todd Babiak

Todd Babiak is a Canadian writer and entrepreneur living in Edmonton. Todd understands the important place stories hold in our lives and the power of historic places to help us understand the stories that make up our identity as individuals and as a community.

Todd is co-founder of Story Engine, and has published three bestselling novels. His first novel, Choke Hold, was a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the winner of the Henry Kreisel Award for Best First Book. His second novel, The Garneau Block, was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Alberta Book Award and itwon the City of Edmonton Book Prize. His third novel, The Book of Stanley is in development as a television series. His screenplay The Great One, co-authored with Jason Margolis, won a Praxis Screenwriting Fellowship. Todd Babiak’s fourth novel, Toby: A Man, was published by HarperCollins in January 2010. It was shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour and won the Georges Bugnet Award for best work of fiction by an Alberta author. He was, for 10 years, a columnist at the Edmonton Journal.

Have you registered for the 2013 municipal heritage forum yet? Space is limited. Space is limited, so please register online today.

Bernard Flaman talk about the ABCs of conservation

Municipal Heritage Forum 2013–meet one of our keynote speakers

a photograph of Bernard Flaman.
Bernard Flaman (Don Hall, 2013).

Bernard Flaman will deliver a keynote address at the 2013 Municipal Heritage Forum: The ABC’s of Conservation. He is a registered architect with a great deal of experience in heritage conservation. He will talk about some of the projects he’s worked on to illustrate how the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada are used to make timely and wise conservation decisions.

Bernard’s primary research area focuses on modernist architecture, and he has publications about the Saskatchewan Power Corporation Headquarters in Regina and the design of Canadian airports in the 1960’s. He has participated in the development of UNESCO’s policy on the inclusion of modern heritage into the World Heritage Sites program. His book Architecture of Saskatchewan: A Visual Journey, 1930-2011 was published in 2013.

Bernard’s advocacy for appropriate heritage conservation extends beyond the professional and academic. The renovation of his 450 sq. ft. condo in a designated Municipal Heritage Property (Saskatchewan’s version of a Municipal Historic Resource) in Regina was published in the September 2009 issue of Canadian Architect magazine and has received both a Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governors Heritage award and a Prairie Design Award.

Have you registered for the 2013 municipal heritage forum yet? Space is limited. Space is limited, so please register online today.

2013 Forum Registration Now Open!

Forum 2013 - Header Image

Registration is now open for the 2013 Municipal Heritage Forum: The ABC’s of Conservation.

You are invited to attend the Forum, September 19-20th, 2013, taking place at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village and at Knox Church in the Old Strathcona Provincial Historic Area in Edmonton. The agenda and information package is available below:

2013 Municipal Heritage Forum Agenda and Information Package – Final Version

This year will feature not only informative and inspiring keynote presentations from Bernard Flaman and Todd Babiak, but also hands-on demonstrations of conservation practices. RETROactive will keep you informed about Forum workshops, schedule, and details.

Space is limited, so please register online today.

We look forward to seeing you at the Forum!

Help us put on a great forum!

Strathcona Branch, Edomonton Public Library
Strathcona Branch, Edomonton Public Library

The 7th annual municipal heritage forum is coming up fast. We strive to present relevant and useful information for the municipalities we work with. Here in Old St. Stephen’s College, Matthew and I are busy planning two intensive, information-filled days.

The forum is the Municipal Heritage Partnership Program’s signature event. Many past participants have used what they’ve learned to improve their own municipal heritage conservation programs. We hope to build on that success.

We were wondering if you could help us? We’d like to hear a little about what you hope to learn at this year’s forum. Please take a few minutes to participate in our online survey. The information you provide will help us organise the best forum yet.

Take Our Survey.

Written by: Michael Thome, Municipal Heritage Services Officer

Heritage Forum 2013 – Save the Dates!

Strathcona Branch, Edomonton Public Library
Strathcona Branch, Edomonton Public Library

WHAT: Our 7th annual Municipal Heritage Forum!

WHERE: The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village and the Old Strathcona Provincial Historic Area

WHEN: Thursday September 19th at the Ukrainian Village & Friday September 20th in Old Strathcona

WHY: To help create a future for Alberta’s historic places.

While each year we try to carefully minimize scheduling conflicts with other important happenings on the heritage scene, sometimes overlaps occur. Some RETROactive readers will want to know that this year’s Forum is taking place at the same time and in the same fair city (Edmonton) as our friends from the Alberta Museums Association are hosting their Annual Conference. Please keep in mind that both the AMA Conference and our Municipal Heritage Forum allow for single-day registrations. This may allow some  attendees to maximize their trip to Edmonton to take in the best of both great events. We will also be co-hosting a reception with the AMA on Thursday evening, Friday 19th.

Full information on Forum 2013, schedules, and registration materials will be available soon! Stay tuned to RETROactive for details.

Stephen Avenue – One of Alberta’s Unique Cultural Landscapes

Stephen Avenue - where the historic meets modern.
Stephen Avenue – where the historic meets modern.

Back at our Place Matters! Municipal Heritage Forum in November 2012, we heard a dynamic presentation from City of Calgary Senior Heritage Planner, Darryl Cariou, about Stephen Avenue. He described – with his usual wit – the history of the Avenue from its early days through the various “pedestrian mall” concepts popular from the 1960s through the 90s. One of the most compelling aspects of the presentation was the juxtaposition of images and photographs of the Avenue over the decades.

Stephen Avenue Walking Tour (Municipal Heritage Forum 2012)
Stephen Avenue Walking Tour (Municipal Heritage Forum 2012)

Here is a link to Darryl’s image-rich presentation of Stephen Avenue.

Numerous Provincial and Municipal Historic Resources line Stephen Avenue. What some of you may not know is that this historic district is actually a National Historic Site of Canada, commemorated as such by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada in 2001. The Parks Canada website describes the importance of Stephen Avenue as:

Calgary’s Stephen Avenue provides a direct link to the unique circumstances that shaped the character of urban development on the Canadian Prairies between the 1880s and 1930.

The typical prairie city was a distinct entity from the beginning: built according to a gridiron plan oriented to the convenience of the railway and its station, with a spatial organization that placed retail and financial businesses close to the station, industry on the outskirts of the core, and residential areas in outlying suburbs that were serviced by streetcar systems. The combination of rapid growth, gridiron plan and distinct commercial, industrial and residential zones distinguished western cities from their older eastern counterparts.

During Calgary’s “sandstone era,” entrepreneurs converged on Stephen Avenue, building rows of commercial blocks in brick and stone that reflected the dramatic growth in the retail sector of the Canadian economy at that time. This street became the hub of Calgary’s retail district, strategically situated near the station and rail yards, and at the convergence point for streetcar lines leading to the city’s outskirts.

The remarkable thing about Stephen Avenue is that it continues to perform its original function as Calgary’s main street, despite the dramatic changes that have transformed retailing and urban cores across the country. Today, the rows of two to six storey commercial buildings that line both sides of the street continue to house a broad range of retail services, while their designs reflect the architectural revival styles of a bygone era, in sharp contrast to the office towers that now encircle the area.

Saved from redevelopment through the efforts of far-sighted Calgarians in the 1970s, the buildings along Stephen Avenue serve as reminders of the central role that retail streets have played, and continue to play, in sustaining the vitality of Canada’s cities.

Whether you stroll Stephen Avenue this summer as a tourist, rush along the street during your lunch break or dine in one of the many restaurants along the Avenue, perhaps the next time you experience Stephen Avenue you will take a moment to breath in the history and heritage of this significant cultural landscape!

Written by: Matthew Francis, Manager of Municipal Heritage Services

Barrier Free Access to Historic Places: the Little White School

At the 2012 Municipal Heritage Forum Ann Ramsden, Director of Heritage at the Musée Héritage Museum, provided a presentation on the conservation work completed at the Little White School. Specifically, she spoke about ensuring barrier free access. Thank you, Ann, for sharing this case study.

Little White School, St. Albert
Little White School, St. Albert

The Little White School is a two-room schoolhouse in the City of St. Albert. It was constructed by the St. Albert Roman Catholic School District #3 in 1946 and used as a school until 1987. It was designated as a Municipal Historic Resource in 2009 because it is valued for what it can tell us about Roman Catholic public education in St. Albert. The school is now owned by the City of St. Albert and managed by the Arts and Heritage Foundation.

When the museum acquired the building, it needed some conservation work. The stucco, doors and windows needed to be rehabilitated. The shingles were replaced and a ventilation system was incorporated into the roof to prevent condensation. Water was also leaking into the basement through the foundation. The biggest challenge, however, was ensuring barrier free access to the building.

Rear view of the Little White School, St. Albert
Rear view of the Little White School, St. Albert

The Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada not only provides advice on how to rehabilitate building elements like stucco, windows or a roof, it also provides advice on planning additions (or other alterations) needed to accommodate changing uses of a historic place. Historic places certainly do not lose their integrity by adding a means of barrier free access. Additions that are compatible with the historic place, yet visually distinguishable from and subordinate to it are welcome, especially if they help ensure the continued use of the place.

Classroom, Little White School, St. Albert
Classroom, Little White School, St. Albert

The Little White School gained an addition that contains a wheel-chair accessible entrance and elevator. This is now the main entrance and provides room for students who visit the school to store their coats and boots. The classrooms received a preservation treatment; one of the classrooms is now being interpreted as a 1940s era classroom. The Musée Héritage Museum invites primary school classes to the school to learn more about St. Albert’s history. Students can come and spend a day at the historic school and learn how students from the 1930s thru to the 1950s experienced school. (The Musée Héritage staff has developed several lesson plans around various themes in St. Albert history.)

Download Ann Ramsden’s presentation: Little White School, St. Albert.

Written by: Michael Thome, Municipal Heritage Services Officer

Using the Standards and Guidelines

How do you determine whether or not a proposed change (what we call an intervention) is appropriate for a historic place? Would a fresh coat of paint preserve the heritage value of an old house? Does painting the brick affect its heritage value as a Municipal Historic Resource? How do I choose the colour of paint?

Using the Standards and Guidelines_Page_10Answers to these questions and more are found in the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada (or the S&Gs for short). Introduced in 2003 and revised extensively in 2010, the S&Gs are the definitive framework for heritage conservation in Canada, having been widely adopted by municipal, provincial, and federal authorities as a tool for determining how to conserve and manage change to historic places.

The S&Gs provide a foundation of conservation principles organized around fourteen standards, a standardized vocabulary of conservation terms, a straightforward decision-making process, and practical conservation guidelines for a wide range of resource types. Used in conjunction with Statements of Significance, the S&Gs also play a role in determining if work is eligible for conservation grants from the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation.

The presentation below, from the 2012 Municipal Heritage Forum, offers an overview of the S&Gs as a tool for municipalities to manage the historic places identified through surveys and inventories and subsequently protected as Municipal Historic Resources.

PRESENTATION: Using the Standards and Guidelines

Written by:  Fraser Shaw, Heritage Conservation Adviser.

Century Homes Calgary wins Governor General’s Award

Century Homes Calgary logoAt the Place Matters! Municipal Heritage Forum back in November 2012, we heard about a highly successful community program called “Century Homes Calgary.” This initiative engaged hundreds of Calgarians in showcasing the unique heritage of their 100-year old homes, with over 500 homes participating.

In June 2012, the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation awarded a Heritage Awareness Grant for this creative initiative.

Recently, the Century Homes Calgary project, and its parent organization the Calgary Heritage Initiative Society, received recognition as the 2012 English winner of the prestigious Governor General’s Award for Community Programming.

A house participating in Century Homes Calgary
A house participating in Century Homes Calgary

Here are the two presentations made at the Forum about the Century Homes Calgary project:

The group’s presentation at our Forum generated a lot of interest from other communities to learn how they could develop similar events.

Congratulations on your award and thank you for being an inspiration!

Written by: Matthew Francis, Manager of Municipal Heritage Services