Heritage Conservation Program - Update and Review

We are reviewing our current Heritage Conservation Program to ensure that the priorities and partners are still relevant, and determine how we can work better with our partners and the community to conserve Nanaimo's heritage. 

  • Progress

    The public input phase of the Review and Update process is now complete and staff are working to summarize and evaluate the results of this input.  It is anticipated that a report providing a summary of the input received and recommendations with respect to updating the Program will be submitted to Council for consideration in the Fall of 2017.

    2017 - Community Vitality Committee formed by Council 

    2015 - Heritage Conservation Program Update & Review

    • Public Open House
    • Pecha Kucha Night: Mines & Yours - Honouring Heritage in Nanaimo
    • Public Workshop (Heritage Basics)
    • Stakeholder Interviews

    2015 - Culture & Heritage Commission formed by Council

    2014 - Identified need to review the status of heritage conservation program with a "cultural lens"

    2012 - Council identifies "cultural vitality" as one of the four pillars of sustainability

    2010 - Heritage Action Plan reviewed and updated (formally adopted in 2002)

    2002 to 2010 - Implementation of Heritage Action Plan objectives, which forms our current Heritage Conservation Program

    • Adoption of a Community Heritage Register (COMPLETE)
    • Adopt a consolidated set of conservation principles and standards (COMPLETE)
    • Create a Downtown Heritage Conservation Area (COMPLETE)
    • Adopt a Heritage Procedures Bylaw (COMPLETE)
    • Create a Landscape Conservation Policy (COMPLETE)
    • Expand Heritage Commission role and responsibility (COMPLETE)
    • Create Archaeological Sites Policy (COMPLETE)
    • Create City Records Management Policy (COMPLETE)
    • Create Heritage Building Documentation & Salvage Policy (COMPLETE)
    • Create a Cemetery Conservation Master Plan (ALMOST COMPLETE)
    • Review Heritage Register program and policies every three years (COMPLETE)
    • Creation of incentive programs to encourage building conservation (Heritage Façade Grants, Heritage Home Grants, Heritage Tax Exemptions) (COMPLETE)
    • Promotional materials to raise community awareness of heritage (COMPLETE)
    • Create an Old City Heritage Conservation Area (DID NOT PROCEED)
    • Adopt an Anti Neglect Bylaw (DID NOT PROCEED)
    • Adopt a Heritage Stewardship Policy for city-owned heritage buildings, and individual heritage conservation plans for each building (NO COMPREHENSIVE ACTION)
    • Review and update Zoning in Old City area to encourage conservation of heritage resources (DID NOT PROCEED)
    • Update 1984 Heritage Building Design Guidelines (PENDING)

    1998 - Heritage Action Plan created (Heritage Action Plan)

    1996 - Heritage Commission formed

    1994 - Heritage Strategy completed

  • Documents

    For more information, contact Culture & Heritage at 250-755-4483 or cultureandheritage@nanaimo.ca.

  • Details

    The purpose of the review and update is to:

    • Seek input from residents and stakeholders regarding heritage values.
    • Identify collaborative opportunities and synergies related to our culture and heritage.
    • Explore the connection between heritage and culture - where do these sectors overlap?
    • Review, renew or update program initiatives that support community values and priorities.

    How can we strengthen the existing Heritage Conservation Program?  In short, we want to know:

    • What does Nanaimo value most about its heritage?
    • How could we better connect “culture” and “heritage”?
    • Are there any policy or action improvements that would strengthen the current Heritage Conservation Program, or expand its scope? If so, what are they? 
    • Could we improve the way it celebrates, remembers or promotes Nanaimo’s heritage? If so, how?
  • Background

    In 1994, the City of Nanaimo Heritage Strategy was completed.  The strategy outlined heritage issues and opportunities as well as goals, objectives and priorities for a heritage program, and recommended actions.  Building on this (and other studies), a Heritage Action Plan was developed which sought to:

    • Promote the conservation of heritage resources (including buildings, structures, sites, cemeteries, landscape features, and objects);
    • Enable Nanaimo’s heritage resources to contribute effectively to Nanaimo’s prosperity and quality of life for its citizens;
    • Facilitate the development process by removing elements of uncertainty;
    • Take advantage of the regulatory tools contained in the Province’s 1994 Heritage Conservation Legislation; and
    • Promote flexibility in the City’s response to applications.

    The Heritage Action Plan was completed in 1998 and included a survey of significant heritage resources (Heritage Register) as well as a blueprint for implementing a comprehensive municipal Heritage Conservation Program.  The project was coordinated through the City’s Community Planning Section, and involved consultation with city staff expected to be part of the management process.  For the duration of this project, a separate steering group, the Heritage Futures Committee (HFC) was formed.  The Nanaimo Community Heritage Commission (NCHC) was also involved throughout the project.  The public-at-large was engaged through a call for public nominations of significant historic resources, and through a series of open meetings which were widely advertised. 

    Two drafts of the plan components were circulated to staff and interested parties for comment.  The action plan was formally adopted by Council in 2002, and over a period of eight years the plan objectives were implemented, including adoption of a Heritage Register, creation of incentive programs to encourage conservation of recognized heritage buildings, and the production of numerous promotional materials designed to raise heritage awareness in the community.

    In November, 2010, the City of Nanaimo’s Heritage Commission hosted an open house as part of its review and update of the Heritage Action Plan.  The purpose of the open house was to provide a summary of the results of the review and to solicit public input with respect to where the City should be focusing its resources next as they pertained to heritage conservation policy and action. 

    This review and update reflects the approaches and commitments made through the2014-2020 Cultural Plan for a Creative Nanaimo to engage the community with its culture and heritage in various waysto ensure currently identified priorities and partners are still relevant and to identify areas where we can work better and / or differently with our partners and the community.

    The purpose of the update is to:

    • seek input from residents and stakeholders regarding heritage values;
    • identify collaborative opportunities and synergies related to Nanaimo’s culture and heritage;
    • explore the connection between heritage and culture - where do these sectors overlap?; and
    • review, renew or update program initiatives that support community values and priorities.

    How can we strengthen the existing Heritage Conservation Program?  We’d appreciate your input.  In short, we want to know:

    • What do you value most about Nanaimo’s heritage?
    • How could the City of Nanaimo better connect “culture” and “heritage”?
    • Are there any policy or action improvements that would strengthen the current Heritage Conservation Program, or expand its scope? If so, what are they? 
    • Could the City of Nanaimo improve the way it celebrates, remembers or promotes Nanaimo’s heritage? If so, how?

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