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CDC to build statements of significance as major priority in 2019

Timothy Schafer
By Timothy Schafer
January 23rd, 2019

The new year is expected to put arts, culture and heritage back on the map in Nelson.

With several statements of significance in the works for the city’s arts and cultural sector, those selected areas could gain more prominence locally and provincially.

The city’s cultural development officer, Joy Barrett, and Sydney Black, the Cultural Development Committee chair pointed out that in 2019 — directed by the city’s Heritage Working Group (HWG) and with some input from city staff — a total of 16 statements of significance and heritage planning documents will be produced by historian and archivist Jean-Philippe Stienneto.

Stienneto — the archivist and collections manager of Touchstones Nelson — is the only person trained in the city to write the statements, said Touchstones executive director Astrid Heyerdahl. He will provide the research for and the history of the buildings.

“(Stienneto) will be looking not only at its architectural significance and its architectural detailing as to why it should or ought to be preserved, but also the significance of the building within the community,” she said.

The statement of significance is the writing of that up where it then goes into the heritage registry of Nelson, and there is then the opportunity for that statement to move on to the B.C. level or, potentially, the federal level.

“The hope is that it helps to maintain these buildings,” said Heyerdahl.

The CDC will also be working on heritage protection and obtaining a grant through the CBT to facilitate that and “see what we can do to better protect and preserve our history.”

The statements can take many forms, said city manager Kevin Cormack.

“It doesn’t have to be a building, it can also be a place,” he said, noting that Baker Street has a statement of significance, as do two city parks.

The HWG has requested $6,000 from the city, while the Cultural Development Committee budget request was $40,900, both figures in line with the amounts asked for and received in prior years.

CDC sets its priorities

The priorities of the CDC for the current year include heritage plaques for at least two locations within city parks, writing a Columbia Basin Trust heritage grant for heritage planning in the city, and reviewing city planning, development and heritage documents “to ensure rigorous heritage protection.”

More of the same for NDAC

The city’s arts council is looking for more of the same from the city as it prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Nelson and District Arts Council executive director Sydney Black said the NDAC board will be presenting a multi-disciplinary arts extravaganza for all to enjoy in the fall of 2019.

Overall, the NDAC has requested the amount of $5,000 from city council for its activities, including $2,500 allocated to operations.

Nelson International Mural Festival

The impact of the Nelson International Mural Festival should be increased this year, said Black.

The mural festival organizers are looking at increasing the musical and educational aspects of the festival, she added.

“Funding permitting, we hope to be presenting two full days of music for all community members to enjoy, featuring both locals and out-of-town performers,” Black said.

“We will also be coordinating free workshops with Oxygen Arts Centre and additional artist panels with the Civic Theatre.”

Towards that end, the arts council is asking for another $25,000 from the city — the same amount as in 2018 — to go to staging the festival again this year.

What is NDAC?

A group of eight dedicated board members committed to upholding the mandate of the Nelson and District Arts Council: “to stimulate, broaden, encourage and facilitate the continuing development of artistic and cultural opportunities, projects and activities in Nelson and District.”

  • NDAC is a registered non-profit organization that was formed in 1969 as the Kootenay Columbia Arts Council.
  • NDAC is committed to providing artists in the Nelson and District with opportunities to enrich their crafts, whether that be through creating showcasing opportunities, offering business and grant writing support and education opportunities, giving funding assistance through bursaries, scholarships and grants and liaising with the City of Nelson on their behalf.

— Source: City of Nelson

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