Rebecca Goodenough

Wainwright Hotel

This post was originally published on RETROactive on August 2, 2011. The last paragraph is an addition from another blog post featuring the Wainwright Hotel, New Uses for Old Places – The Wainwright Hotel, published on March 20, 2014.

When the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway completed its line between Saskatoon and Edmonton in 1908, vast tracts of land in east central Alberta south of the Canadian Northern line were opened up for homesteading.  At key points along the line, the GTP erected stations and subdivided townsites. One of these was near a small community called Denwood, where a post office and store had been opened in 1907. The new townsite, to where Denwood residents and businesses now moved, was called Wainwright, after the second vice-president of the GTP. One of the structures moved from Denwood to Wainwright was the Denwood Hotel, which soon became the Wainwright Hotel. It was owned by M.L. Forster, a strong community minded individual who served on the first village council and was mayor of the Town of Wainwright from 1927 to 1935. (more…)

Main Streeting in Camrose

The Main Street crew standing outside the historic Bailey Theatre

The Main Street team standing outside the historic Bailey Theatre.

The Alberta Main Street Program members met in Camrose on March 5th for the first quarterly meeting of 2015. After getting an update on the activities of each of the five Main Street communities (Camrose, Lethbridge, Old Strathcona – Edmonton, Olds and Wainwright), we were led on a walking tour of downtown Camrose by the architect and Main Street Camrose member, David Roth. The walking tour concluded with a reconnaissance of the lovingly restored historic Bailey Theatre.

After lunch we were able to connect via Skype with Charles Ketchabaw of the Tale of a Town initiative. Charles and his team are working their way across Canada collecting stories about main streets in advance of the nation’s 150th anniversary celebrations in 2017. The Tale of a Town ‘story-mobile’ will be visiting Alberta in 2016 and Charles is looking for communities interested in contributing to the initiative. Watch this video to learn more.

A few of the Coordinators are off to experience Main Street, America-style at the 2015 National Main Streets conference being held in Atlanta, Georgia. We look forward to hearing all about it at the next group meeting to be held in Wainwright in May.

And speaking of Main Street, we’d like to remind you that you still have until the end of March to enter Heritage Canada the National Trust’s I Love My Main Street contest.

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Written by: Rebecca Goodenough, Municipal Heritage Services Officer

Celebrate Heritage Day

Heritage Day Poster

We all know that next Monday February 16th is Family Day in Alberta and a time for us to get together and appreciate our loved ones; but did you know that Heritage Canada The National Trust has another reason for you to celebrate next Monday? February 16th is also Heritage Day. The theme for this year’s Heritage Day is Main Street at the Heart of the Community and is a chance to appreciate our historic districts and the vibrancy they bring to our lives. Heritage Canada the National Trust has also launched their I Love My Main Street contest. Check out the link to learn how you can participate.

We believe Alberta’s main streets have many stories to tell and that their continued success contributes to healthy, diverse and aesthetically pleasing communities. As many of you are aware, the Alberta Main Street Program is designed to assist historic commercial areas across Alberta. The program is founded on the understanding that properly conserved heritage areas are destinations in themselves. When conservation is coupled with efforts to attract business, host events and otherwise create an animated public space, historic downtowns can have continued life. The Alberta Main Street Program currently has five members – Camrose, Lethbridge, Old Strathcona (Edmonton), Olds and Wainwright – who are working to ensure their main streets remain the heart of their community. The next time you travel to these communities take the time to stop and stroll the main street – you won’t regret it!

This Family Day take a moment to appreciate your local history and perhaps consider taking your family to a historic district to enjoy the sights and sounds. While you are at it, don’t forget to stop and consider the people, the businesses, the streetscape and the beautiful historic buildings which, collectively make it such a special place to be.

Written by: Rebecca Goodenough, Municipal Heritage Services Officer

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.

Visitor Friendly Main Streets

It was a blustery day for a Main Street Coordinator’s meeting but thanks to the magic of Skype we were able to be together in the same room – either physically or digitally – last Thursday in Old Strathcona.

Main Street Meeting attendees (from left to right): Shelly Hall Zenew, Henry Maisonneuve, Karen Tabor, Murray Davison, Rebecca Goodenough, Michael Thome, Donna Poon, Matthew Francis

Main Street Meeting attendees (from left to right): Shelly Hall Zenew, Henry Maisonneuve, Karen Tabor, Murray Davison, Rebecca Goodenough, Michael Thome, Donna Poon, Matthew Francis

Our friends in Lethbridge, Olds, Wainwright and Camrose joined in online while the Main Street Coordinator’s updated each other on what they have been up to since our last meeting. Everyone seems to be gearing up for a promotion or event to usher in the holiday season.

Our guest speaker for the day was Donna Poon with Visitor Friendly Alberta. The Visitor Friendly program assists communities with increasing their tourist attraction by providing an assessment of the tourist experience and recommendations for how a community may become more “visitor friendly”. The program evaluation is built around five key areas: ambiance and visual appeal; wayfinding and signage; quality of service and professionalism; public services and amenities and; visitor information.

Two of the Alberta Main Street communities, the Town of Olds and the City of Camrose, have completed the Visitor Friendly program and are currently working towards implementing the recommendations of the program. Priority projects include improving wayfinding, data collection and promotion/marketing of the Main Street story.

Donna suggested tackling a few ‘quick win’ projects to build momentum in the local community. The outcomes of the successful implementation of the program often include an increase in resident pride, a positive reputation of the community more broadly and, perhaps most importantly, repeat visitation by tourists to the community.

Visitor Friendly Alberta can be undertaken as either a self-directed project or as a facilitated project led by a qualified consultant. For more information on the program or to learn how to apply, please contact the program at visitorfriendly@gov.ab.ca.

Written by: Rebecca Goodenough, Municipal Heritage Services Officer

2014 Municipal Heritage Forum Was A Huge Success

A big thank you to everyone who helped to make our first Municipal Heritage Forum held outside of Edmonton and Calgary a huge success! We are very grateful for all of you who took the time to attend, contribute presentations or assist with logistics. We hope everyone had an enjoyable time, met some new people and learned about Alberta’s historic places.

Forum attendees in front of Lacombe’s first Municipal Heritage Resource, St. Andrew’s United Church

Forum attendees in front of Lacombe’s first Municipal Heritage Resource, St. Andrew’s United Church

We look forward to seeing many of you at the 2015 Municipal Heritage Forum that will be held in conjunction with the Heritage Canada The National Trust conference in Calgary from October 22-24. Stay tuned for information on how you can access one of the free registration passes to what is sure to be a fantastic event.

Written by: Rebecca Goodenough, Municipal Heritage Services Officer

2014 Municipal Heritage Forum Program Finalized

MHF v1

There are just over two weeks left until the Municipal Heritage Forum gets underway in Lacombe. After upping our numbers (twice!) we have approximately 20 spots left for those of you who haven’t yet registered. Online registration closes Tuesday October 7th at 11PM.

This year we have another great mix of speakers to get you thinking about heritage conservation in Alberta. In addition to our keynote speakers Kayla Jonas Galvin and Larry Laliberte who will be showcasing our theme of “Conservation Through Technology and Innovation”, we will have nine Municipal Show & Tell presentations and ten break-out sessions. Speakers will be talking about all things heritage including: mapping projects, alteration approvals, heritage awards programs, social media and sustainability (among others), as well as case studies from several Alberta communities who are being creative in their approach to heritage awareness and conservation initiatives.  In addition to the presentations, the Lacombe and District Historical Society will be hosting us on a walking tour of historic downtown Lacombe. This year we have the additional fortunate to have the Forum coincide with the biennial AHRF Awards ceremony.

Click here to access a copy of the Forum program, including descriptions of the presentations.

There are always new people to meet and great conversations to be had. We look forward to seeing you there!