Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) announced last week that it is launching a new heritage program which will be funded with $6.75 million.
The funding will cover a three-year capital grants program for built heritage assets and introduce a professional position supporting heritage organizations in the Basin.
Castlegar & District Heritage Society manager Deb McIntosh is excited about the new program. “I think anything the Trust can do to enhance opportunities for heritage in the Basin is absolutely wonderful,” she said. “Not only does it speak to the cultural significance, but it also adds to employment, especially seasonal, and is a really good tie-in with the college for those that are taking tourism courses. I think it is a good thing and it is a wise investment.”
“This is the first time the Trust has developed a program specifically for the heritage sector,” said Johnny Strilaeff, Trust president and CEO. “It has three components: maintaining an inventory of heritage buildings and assets, the heritage position that will provide guidance and expertise, and the capital grant program.”
The Trust is also beginning a new partnership with Heritage BC to support delivery of the program. “They are a natural choice,” Strilaeff said. “Their expertise will make them an effective delivery partner for our heritage goals.”
CBT will finalize arrangements with Heritage BC in the spring, hiring for the heritage position will take place later this year followed by the first intake of grant applications.
Last year, CBT identified 155 built heritage assets within the Basin based on historical, aesthetic, architectural, cultural, social, spiritual and scientific significance. Eight sites in the Castlegar area are listed in the inventory: CPR Station Museum, Doukhobor Discovery Centre, Zuckerberg Island Chapel House, Provincial Police Station, Robson Community Church, Doukhobor Water Line, Union of Spiritual Community in Christ and Kinnaird Community Hall.