Alberta Historical Resources Foundation

AHRF Board goes to Drumheller

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.

Sitting from left: Matthew Wangler, Kurt Paterson, Josh Traptow, Joe Friedel, Leah Millar. Standing from left: Carina Naranjilla, Michael Dougherty, Fred Bradley, Larry Pearson, Lorne Simpson, Aimee Benoit, Laurel Halladay, Bob Gaetz, Geraldine Bidulock.

Sitting from left: Matthew Wangler, Kurt Paterson, Josh Traptow, Joe Friedel, Leah Millar.
Standing from left: Carina Naranjilla, Michael Dougherty, Fred Bradley, Larry Pearson, Lorne Simpson, Aimee Benoit, Laurel Halladay, Bob Gaetz, Geraldine Bidulock.

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.

Heritage Energized Oct. 22-24, 2015! – Save the Dates

Which of you RETROactive readers out there doesn’t love the annual Municipal Heritage Forum? What started in 2007 as a small “Summit for Stakeholders,” has grown into something which has brought Alberta’s heritage community together, building connections and raising the bar. We have received lots of positive feedback on the Forum over the years, and – we have to be honest – it’s also a lot of fun to put on!

Well, this year, as we announced at the Forum in Lacombe that the 2015 event would have a whole different spin, a whole new energy – Heritage Energized! 

HeritageEnergizedConf-15-6-1

Mark your calendars now – October 22-24th – we are linking up our already dynamic Forum with the premier, Canada-wide heritage conservation conversation. We’ll converge in Calgary, one of Canada’s most energetic cities, for a few days of exploration, engagement, and inspiration.

Fred Bradley, Chair, Alberta Historical Resources Foundation

Fred Bradley, Chair, Alberta Historical Resources Foundation

At the 2014 Lacombe Forum, Fred Bradley, Chair of the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation, announced that the Foundation would be assisting 120 Albertans – including municipal heritage advisory boards, Main Street communities, students, and others – to attend the Heritage Energized through sponsored registrations. Henry Maisonneuve, Alberta Governor of Heritage Canada the National Trust, thanked the Foundation for their strategic partnership in this way, stating that he looked forward to a strong contingent of Albertans participating. Stay tuned to RETROactive for additional information on how you may be eligible for one of these spaces.

 

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:

Program

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 michael.thome@gov.ab.ca or 780-438-8508 and questions regarding HPPP can be directed to Carina Naranjilla, AHRF Grant Program Coordinator at carina.naranjilla@gov.ab.ca or 780-431-2305.

Written by: Rebecca Goodenough, Municipal Heritage Services Officer.

Municipal Heritage Projects Receive Support from Foundation

The new year is getting into full swing, and 2015 will see communities across Alberta conserving and celebrating their valued historic places.

This past Fall, several local governments applied for Municipal Heritage Partnership Program (MHPP) Grants from the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation. At the Foundation Board’s November 29, 2014 meeting, five municipalities received funding for strategic heritage planning projects. These initiatives will help to create a meaningful future for key heritage resources.

Municipal Heritage Partnership Program grants were awarded to five communities across Alberta.

Municipal Heritage Partnership Program grants were awarded to five communities across Alberta.

The City of Lethbridge is continuing its heritage planning work with a Phase III project to add information to its Heritage Inventory. This smaller project will evaluate approximately properties from the City’s “Places of Interest” List. Lethbridge received a matching grant of $5, 500 in MHPP funding.

Over the past few years, the Municipality of the Crowsnest Pass has completed Phases I and II of their own Heritage Inventory, documenting and evaluating the communities of Coleman, Frank, and Blairmore. This year, they will be working on the former Village of Bellevue, Hillcrest Mines, Passburg, and the rural area to the eastern-most boundary of the municipality. For this comprehensive project, Crowsnest Pass received a matching grant of $30, 000 in MHPP funding.

Moving up to central Alberta, Strathcona County has long partnered with the Municipal Heritage Partnership Program. They are continuing their Heritage Inventory work with a Phase III project evaluating additional properties from their Places of Interest List. Evaluating a smaller number of priority sites is a budget-friendly way for a municipality to continue its heritage planning work. Strathcona County received a matching grant of $6, 000 in MHPP funding.

The Town of High River, valiantly soldiering on with its heritage work after the catastrophic floods of 2013, applied to continue with Phase III of their evaluation work as well. This Phase will supplement the previous projects, which laid a great foundation for the future. High River received a matching grant of $20, 000 in MHPP funding.

Taking a jog out west, Yellowhead County is doing something different this time around. While the other grant recipients prioritized evaluation work, the County is preparing its first Heritage Management Plan. Having completed a few rounds of Heritage Survey and Inventory work already, the time has come to focus on policy and strategy. Yellowhead county received a matching grant of $20, 000 in MHPP funding.

What these projects demonstrate is the increasing skill and capacity of local governments across Alberta to evaluate and manage their own, top-notch heritage programs. The increasing number of historic places being protected and conserved as Municpal Historic Resources is a testimony to the excellent work being done at the local level – all over Alberta. Congratulations!

2014 AHRF awards

Alberta Historical Resources Foundation Heritage Awards

The Alberta Historical Resources Foundation gives out Heritage Awards biennially. The Heritage Awards recognise individuals and groups work to conserve, protect and interpret Alberta’s rich and diverse heritage. The 2014 awards ceremony took place in Red Deer on October 16th.

Our colleagues over at the Alberta Culture and Tourism blog just published an article detailing the award winners (see Heritage Award recipients give Albertans a prize). It contains details of the event, including a list of award winners. You should check it out!

The ceremony was a great night where some very worthy Albertans were recognized for their work in conserving and interpreting Alberta’s heritage. Our very own Gary Chen, Heritage Conservation Advisor (and shutter-bug extraordinaire) was on the scene. We have some great pictures from the awards ceremony we’d like to share with you.

The staff of the Historic Resources Management Branch congratulate each and every award winner. The tireless work they do in preserving Alberta’s heritage is welcome and appreciated, by us and many, many other Albertans. We couldn’t do what we do without the support and encouragement of people such as these.

Written by: Michael Thome, Municipal Heritage Services Officer.

Alberta Historical Resources Foundation Meets in Pincher Creek

The Board of the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation met in Pincher Creek, September 12th-13th, 2014. Since this meeting was not one where the Board was actively adjudicating many grant applications, the focus was more on policies and other planning to help conserve and celebrate Alberta’s heritage.

The Board of the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation, on the steps of Lebel Mansion, the Town of Pincher Creek's first designated Municipal HIstoric Resource.

The Board of the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation, on the steps of Lebel Mansion, the Town of Pincher Creek’s first designated Municipal HIstoric Resource.

As is their custom, Board members took the opportunity to explore some of the local historic places in the community where they met. The Town of Pincher Creek’s Director of Community Services, Diane Burt Stuckey, and Curator of the Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village Museum, Farley Wuth, led an informative tour of locally significant historic places, as well as two community museums.

Some of the historic places featured on the driving tour included an historic buffalo jump site on the west side of town, and also the Lebel Mansion, newly designated by the Town as as Municipal Historic Resource. Originally built as a grand residence by the merchant Timothee Lebel, the building later served as hospital, and now as the home for the Allied Arts Council. It is a great example of another historic place serving the cultural community in Alberta.

After a visit to Heritage Acres Farm Museum, where the Board was able to see first-hand the extensive collection of agricultural equipment, Board Chair Fred Bradley facilitated a meaningful conversation with local heritage-sectors leaders and municipal officials, including Town of Pincher Creek Mayor Don Anderberg, and M.D. of Pincher Creek Reeve Brian Hammond. The Foundation was able to hear and discuss issues that are important to local communities working hard to conserve their heritage.

After a busy day of seeing the sites and learning more about the history of Pincher Creek, the Board settled in for its day-long meeting, involving a broad range of issues affecting the heritage community across Alberta. Future posts will showcase some of the decision made in Pincher Creek, so stay tuned to RETROactive!

The next meeting of the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation will take place in Edmonton, November 28th-29th.

 

 

 

In Service of Historic Alberta: A Decade on the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation’s Board of Directors

Languishing historic downtowns were revived, once again attracting businesses and customers. Modest but beloved churches were repaired to continue to serve their congregations and communities. An exquisite sandstone prairie mansion where history was made, the Lougheed House, was painstakingly restored to become a vital museum and events venue. These were some of the highlights of Tom Clark’s ten-year stint on the Board of Directors of the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation.

Tom applied to join the Foundation’s board while serving on the Clearwater County Council for two terms and while chairing the Nordegg Historical Society (which he still does). His experience working with community groups and addressing heritage conservation concerns prepared him well to fill a spot on the board.

Tom Clark, former Director of the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation.

Tom Clark, former Director of the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation.

While the Foundation supports a number of programs, “the big thing was the adjudication of funds that people have applied for over the years for their different projects,” Tom explains. “There is an awful lot in the province…that needs restoration,” he notes. To maintain their integrity, historic places need the injection of funding and technical expertise that the AHRF can bring them.

The Foundation—which gets its money from the Alberta Lottery Fund—provides funding to projects that preserve historical resources or raise awareness of heritage in Alberta. Grants are awarded through three programs: the Heritage Preservation Partnership Program, the Alberta Main Street Program, and the Municipal Heritage Partnership Program. The last two programs are specifically for municipalities, but grants from the Heritage Preservation Partnership Program are available to anyone working to conserve or increase public awareness of a historic resource. They are awarded in five categories: Historic Resources Conservation, Transportation/Industrial Artifact Conservation, Heritage Awareness, Publications, and Research. There are also two scholarships: the Roger Soderstrom Scholarship and the Bob Etherington Heritage Trades Scholarship.

Tom saw a wide range of grant recipients during his time on the board: from “a local ladies’ group that want[ed] to restore the roof of a church” to National Historic Sites such as the Medalta Potteries of Medicine Hat, and the main streets of towns such as Camrose, Lethbridge, and Olds. “We’d get the people involved who owned these buildings,” Tom remembers. “We’d give it a facelift, and people would start coming [to the historic downtowns] again. It revitalized whole communities.”

In addition, the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation oversees the Provincial Heritage Markers Program (“if you’re familiar with those big blue historic markers throughout the province,” Tom says, “we were responsible for [selecting the topics for] those”). Tom explains that the Foundation is “also responsible for [approving recommendations for] the naming of places—if you wanted to name a mountain after your grandmother [while Tom was on the board], we reviewed it” (and probably rejected it).

Grant awards and other decisions that come before the board for approval are first reviewed by subject specialists on the staff of the Historic Resources Management Branch, who make recommendations. The Branch’s staff “put together a presentation and take it to the board, and we discuss it” at one of the quarterly meetings, Tom explains. “We do a bit of background [research] on it…and we ‘yea’ or we ‘nay’ it.”

One of the most memorable aspects of the Foundation’s meetings, from Tom’s perspective, was they are held in different spots around Alberta. As a result, Tom says, “In the ten years I’ve seen an awful lot of this province, and [have seen first hand] the projects that people were doing.” Last February, the board met in the town of Olds, where board members saw several properties that have benefitted from conservation grants from the Foundation, including the Dr. Hartman Residence, the Brown Residence, the Kemp Block, and Maybank Drug Store. The Town of Olds has received much help from the Municipal Heritage Partnership Program over the years, including funding and advising to produce a heritage survey, inventory, and management plan.

Tom adds that the board is ever-mindful that its “main objective is to try and preserve as much history in the province as we possibly can—with the cooperation of others. They’re not our projects—the project belongs to the group that’s applying. It’s their project; we just help them along.”

Tom, for many years, has driven forward just such a community project. As chair of the Nordegg Historical Society, Tom has helped marshal a “good strong volunteer program” that is restoring the Nordegg/Brazeau Colliers Minesite. As Tom explains, “Nordegg was a coal-mining town, and by 1955 the need for coal had diminished. In 1955 the town shut down. There was no pride of ownership there, because it was a company town.” The site stayed closed until the late 1960s and early 1970s, when it was used as minimum security camp for adolescents. After that, “It was basically a ghost town.”

Tom continues: “In the late 1980s, the Nordegg Historical Society formed and proceeded to work diligently to try to preserve some of that [history]. Over the years, we got it to the point where we can take tours of it.” It is now both a National Historic Site and a Provincial Historic Resource.

Tom’s involvement in the restoration of Nordegg/Brazeau Colliers Minesite—when a deserted coal-mining town’s heritage was resurrected, explored, and celebrated—gave him a unique perspective on how heritage can be preserved and promoted through community initiative. Tom enjoyed all aspects of serving on the Foundation: “Everything. The whole gamut. The publications, [researching] the history on different things. The naming of places—we sat and discussed the naming of spots in the mountains.” Unsurprisingly, though, given his own participation in the Nordegg restoration, Tom found the work of the AHRF in aiding individuals, community groups, and municipalities in undertaking their own heritage restoration projects the most compelling of all the Foundation’s endeavours. “It’s one of the boards [I served on] that I will truly miss,” Tom concludes. “It was certainly educational.”

Written by: Gretchen A. Albers