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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.”


Carbon plans centennial celebration

    The Village of Carbon has something to celebrate next year as it cements its place in Alberta history, celebrating its centennial.
    The village nestled in the valley has survived while many communities have fallen by the wayside.
    The spirit that started the community has helped it endure.
    Originally a centre for a post office when the land was being settled by ranchers, the community boomed when they found the black rocks in the banks of the creek held some value.
    Before the community was incorporated as a village in 1912, there was already significant activity. A post office was established in 1904 along with a store. It was about the same time the coal in the valley was being used in trade. The first to set up a small coalmine was the Eucharist Grenier family in 1894. Not long after an experienced miner from England, Tom Hunt, opened a commercial mine. In 1904 the Kneehill Coal Company was established.
    The community grew quickly. By 1906 a school, hotel, a grocer, blacksmith and even a police detachment were established. By 1909 a formal request to incorporate as a village was made to the provincial government. It was turned down as at the time there were only 16 dwelling and there need to be 25 houses in place.
    By 1912, there were 35 dwelling and the board of trade proceeded with the petition of incorporation. They were successful, and so was the village.
    The village enjoyed prosperity during the 1920’s.  Agriculture was hit hard as prices plummeted in the 1930’s. Demand for coal remained, however the prices fluctuated. This was just one of the many challenges that Carbon has faced as the community built its resolve.
    The community soldiered on and in 1948 a community group that today is still a driver in Carbon was formed. This was the Lions Club.
    Following the pattern of many communities, as the demand for coal waned as oil and gas began to be developed, Carbon too saw a shift in industry.
    Today oil and gas still plays a great role in the community as does agriculture.
    Donna Hay, co-chair of the Centennial Planning Committee said the community has a lot to be proud of.
    “We have a really strong volunteer base,” said Hay. “The Lions Club is strong  and is supportive, as is the Ag Society and the Recreation Board, and it is also not all the same people on the boards.”
    She said the village is already planning its centennial celebrations. They have selected August 9-12 for the party.
    “Our theme is ‘Return to Remember,’” said Hay.
    She said while many have moved away from the valley, the family roots are still strong and connected. There maybe a few “save the date” notices in Christmas cards this year.
    The four-day celebration will include a homecoming,  and many chances to reminisce. There is also an entertainment slate being planned, which will include local talent.  They are also busy compiling local history.
    They have been able to secure some funding for the celebration.
    The committee expects it to  be quite a party. When the village celebrated its 85th anniversary, Hay said there were about 1,200 people.
    “We’re gearing for good numbers,” she said.
    To leave a lasting mark on this achievement they are planning to build a Lions Centennial Park. Look for details in future editions of The Drumheller Mail.

The Little Prince playing at Rosebud Studio Stage

     Second-year students at Rosebud School of the Arts (RSA) opened their show The Little Prince on December 1. 
    As well as performing the myriad of characters in this heartwarming story, students have been involved with various production elements, everything from putting up lights to sewing costumes.
    RSA graduate Kelsey Krogman writes this adaptation of The Little Prince.
    “Coming back to The Little Prince after not reading it for over 30 years has been incredibly rewarding,” says director Paul F. Muir. “I’ve been struck by the depth and profundity of Antoine de Saint Exupery’s story. Working with this keen bunch of second-year RSA students has allowed all of us to rediscover pieces of our childhood. It’s been a great adventure and I hope many people will share it with us.”
    This famous tale tells the story of a young prince who travels the universe and discovers that what is truly essential can only be seen with the heart. This show is bound and determined to capture the imagination of anyone willing to remember what it was like to see the world through the eyes of a child.
    The Little Prince lands on the Rosebud Studio Stage from December 1 – 22, 2011. For tickets, call 1-800-267-7553. www.rosebudschoolofthearts.com
    Shows run Thursday to Saturday at 4:30 p.m. on December 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, and 17.  The week before Christmas we will run Tuesday to Thursday 20, 21 and 22 at 4:30 p.m.


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