Creating a Future for Alberta’s Historic Main Streets

Training in the Four-Point Approach®

Attendees at the AMSP Training Session

Twenty-five participants representing accredited Alberta Main Street Program communities from across Alberta gathered at Lougheed House in Calgary on June 25th and 26th for essential training in the Four-Point Approach® – Design, Organization, Marketing, and Economic Development.

Wainwright, Uptowne Olds and Downtown Lethbridge are currently accredited as Main Street communities, meaning they have completed Municipal Heritage Inventory evaluations to assess their local heritage values and places, and have also committed themselves to the Alberta Main Street Program’s Standards of Performance on an ongoing basis.

Participants listening to tour guide Murray Ledarney during our walk through Inglewood.

We were especially pleased to have Todd Barman, Program Advisor for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, come up from the U.S. to tell us more about Economic Restructuring for Main Street. While we did lots of learning, we also had some “hands on” educational opportunities, with a tour of historic Inglewood on Monday evening.

Members of the Alberta Main Street Program participate in an active network with other communities looking to help their historic commercial areas to thrive. The program provides training, coordination, and also project-based grants, available to member communities, on a project-basis.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Alberta Main Street Program can feel free to contact me, Matthew Francis, anytime.

Written by: Matthew Francis, Manager, Municipal Heritage Services

Tipping our Hats to the Town of Olds

On Thursday January 26th Matthew Francis and I were privileged to attend the Top Hat Ceremony in the Town of Olds. Hosted by Uptowne Olds, the Top Hat Ceremony honored the nine Municipal Historic Resources designated by the Town of Olds, to date. Search the Alberta Register of Historic Places to learn more about these sites. (Four of the sites are listed so far and the Town is working on the documentation to list the rest).

The crowd in Olds was buzzing with excitement and the ceremony was great fun. I can honestly say it was the only event I’ve attended (so far) that began with a proclamation read by a town crier. Each property owner was given a plaque in recognition of their stewardship of one of the town’s historic resources.

Matthew Francis had the pleasure of announcing that Olds has been accredited as an Alberta Main Street Community for 2011. Olds is only the third municipality to be accredited since the Alberta Main Street Program was re-launched in 2008. Accredited means that Olds has met the ten standards of performance needed to fully participate in and benefit from the Alberta Main Street Program.

The Alberta Main Street Program helps municipalities conserve and market their historic commercial districts. Expect to hear more about this exciting aspect of our work over the next year.

Written by: Michael Thome, Municipal Heritage Services Officer