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?