Heritage inventory identifies 50 resources | DrumhellerMail
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Last updateFri, 14 Jun 2024 6pm

Heritage inventory identifies 50 resources

    A heritage inventory of the Town of Drumheller has been completed and has identified 50 priority sites of significance.
    The Town of Drumheller has undertaken a heritage management program. Heritage Consultant Laura Pasacreta, for Donald Luxton and Associates led the project and has been working since September to compile the inventory. Last Thursday night the heritage committee held an open house to present their findings.
    “It was an enormous amount of work in a short amount of time, but the resources are actually amazing,’ said Pasacreta.
    She explains that when the town undertook creating a heritage management program, it made a list of potential heritage sites. It was up to the heritage consultants to pare the list down to 50. These are structures that have heritage value, community value and an owner who is interested in being a part of the inventory.
    “We had no problems, the community is very supportive,” she said, explaining that Drumheller had participated in a Mainstreet Program in the past and many were aware of the process. This inventory takes a slightly different approach.
    “We are coming from a different angle, this is called values based heritage management and it differs from an architectural focus view of heritage…this takes in a larger range of heritage resources. This takes in bridges, trails, viewscapes, things that you would not normally think of heritage are included in a value management system.”
    The list of resources is diverse. Of the inventory, 41 are in central Drumheller while six are in East Coulee, and one each in Wayne, Rosedale and Nacmine. 
    Many expected sites, like a number of downtown business buildings, churches and schools are included. 
    A number of homes including the Mr. Drumheller residence, the Somerville residence and the Toshach residence, and the St. Angela’s convent, now a residential home on 3rd Street West were included in the inventory. Other resources such as the  Atlas Coal Mine Tipple, East Coulee Train Bridge, Jesus statue, Dinny the Dinosaur at the Rotary Splash Park, and the Drumheller Cemetery are on the list.
    She explains that any site that goes into a heritage inventory goes on a National Heritage registry, and this is often used for tourism.
    Being a heritage resource allows the owners of the building more resources to maintain the building.
    “There are some opportunities up to $50,000 per year in provincial funding, and it is renewable. It is on an annual basis and they use a lottery system, but it does give you funds when you didn’t have access to funds before. The problem with a lot of heritage buildings is that it costs more to restore a heritage building, so to have these extra funds available actually offsets the amount that it does cost to maintain,” said Pasacreta.
    “At the end of the year there are going to be 50 buildings on the heritage inventory. So that means the owners still have the right to do what they want to do. They do have to have a conversation with the Town if they want to make any major changes,” she said. "What it means is that any alteration to the building has to follow standards and guidelines of conservation of historic places in Canada.”
    She said this could lead to more employment.
    “This is a job creation program because instead of actually buying products from out of country, you are going to need local trades to do restoration,” said Pasacreta. “It happens very quickly, working with communities that have done an inventory last year and already there is a demand for heritage trades.”


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