The Calgary Heritage Authority sent out a survey a few weeks ago but the form timed out on me and my response was lost. I thought the questions were important, however. So here they are:
The Calgary Heritage Authority (CHA) is an advisory board to the City of Calgary and advises City Council on heritage matters and promotes the public awareness and appreciation of Calgary’s heritage. The CHA also evaluates potential heritage sites for inclusion on the Inventory of Evaluated Historic Resources, which identities properties that have significance in the history of our city. The CHA also hosts the biennial Lion Awards and runs a community plaque program. The CHA works to ensure that the Calgary heritage sector is well organized, collaborative and efficient in its efforts to promote understanding of and broaden citizen participation in Calgary’s heritage.
1. Candidate Name
2. Campaign Email
3. What are you running for?
City Council Ward 3
4. What is your understanding and position on heritage matters in the ward/city you are running for and in the City of Calgary as a whole?
Ward 3 comes across as a 30 year old experiment on how to stuff as many residences in an area as possible without much regard to access to amenities. Unfortunately, there isn’t much in terms of heritage appreciation in the area, aside from a cairn dedicated to Reverend George McDougall in Panorama Hills. It was placed there before the area was developed, and was subsequently developed around, leaving it in a difficult to find location.
Elsewhere in Calgary, there is a lot more of our heritage to see, and I believe it’s important that these landmarks and points of interest are preserved for both current and future generations. With my background in anthropology, I include the oral history and artifacts of the original peoples of this area, as well as prehistoric fossils, in the heritage I want to protect and educate people with – not just since European settlers arrived. I realize this is outside the mandate of the CHA but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth protecting.
As we develop the Keystone Hills area of Ward 3 between Stoney Trail and Balzac, it’s important that we protect artifacts and fossils of note that are discovered during construction, as well as any historical sites.
5. Why is preserving Calgary’s heritage important to you and to the ward/city you are wanting to represent?
Heritage preservation provides context to our lives and the city we live in. It connects us with our past and fosters an appreciation of both the progress we have made towards the future and the incredible lives and history that we are building that future from. In addition to this, heritage conservation lends interesting and notable sites and architecture to our city and is an important aspect of city building.
6. What is your favourite heritage site/resource? Please consider both tangible heritage sites and intangible heritage resources like the Calgary Stampede.
That’s like asking me what my favorite food or song is! It can change over time and depending on my mood. Consistent favorites include: The Hose and Hound Pub (said to be haunted), Heritage Park, The Lions at the Centre Street Bridge, and the Calgary Stampede.
7. If elected, what do you hope to accomplish in the way of heritage preservation and raising heritage awareness in the City of Calgary?
I will work towards ensuring that funding for the maintenance of heritage sites is in place, through a combination of city, provincial and private sector funding. Further, encouraging heritage awareness of the public through tourism, school, and public education programs. Finally, communicating to heritage asset owners about programs and sources of funding that may be available to them that they may not be aware of.
8. Thinking of specifics, how will you achieve these objectives and how will you expand current efforts for heritage preservation and raising heritage awareness to be at par with, or surpass cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver?
Although I do take note of ideas and projects in other places for inspiration, I prefer to set standards, not follow them. Calgary should do the best we can with what we have, and let other cities seek to catch up with us in the areas we excel in. For example, I was involved with the Virtual Museum of Canada, and would like to see a more robust online heritage collection for Calgary that makes it easier for people to find and appreciate our heritage.
9. Would you like to make any other closing comments pertaining to our city’s heritage matters?
I’m a big fan of the Lion Awards and would like to thank the CHA for organizing it!