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And the 2021 Heritage Award winner is — Nelson Cares Society

Receiving the 2021 Heritage Award for Nelson Cares is, from left, Ron Little Nelson CARES board chair, Leisa Talbot Nelson CARES Property Manager, Jenny Robinson Nelson CARES Executive Director, Bill Lynch Project Manager, and Steffan Haake Nelson CARES staff WSP. — Photo courtesy Derrick Bruce, Nelson Fine Art Printing

The City of Nelson and its Heritage Working Group (HWG) are proud to present Nelson CARES Society with the 2021 Heritage Award for their significant restoration work on Ward Street Place.

The award comes with an $1000 honorarium.

This substantial initiative, with an approximate budget of $3 million, was done with great respect and care, honouring the building’s history and its current residents, both commercial and residential. Heritage expertise was hired, ensuring Canadian Conservation Institute preservation priorities were adhered to, and documenting the process thoroughly from start to finish.

The project included a complete redo of the building’s electrical systems, installation of a fire suppression unit, and increased livability within the building, particularly in the individual rental units. The original storefront Florentine glass transoms & entrance transoms were preserved, and restoration of the roofline cornice, entry doors, stairs and landings, basement unit, bulkhead and entrance windows, and increased visibility of storefronts & storefront bulkheads were all completed with remarkable attention to detail.

“This project – significant in both scale and impact – is of great benefit to the community, and as such is an extremely worthy recipient of the 2021 Heritage Award,” says HWG Chair Astrid Heyerdahl.

“Nelson CARES is very pleased that Ward Street Place is being honoured by this Heritage Award,” says Board Chair Ron Little.

“The refurbishment of the Annable Block has been a seven-year effort. It was made possible through the vision of Jenny Robinson, the guidance of Bill Lynch, the management of Leisa Talbot, the 'heritage eye' of Elana Zysblat, the craftsmanship of Steffan Haacke and Gregor Asch as well as the major financial support of BC Housing, Columbia Basin Trust and the Federal Government. The commercial tenants, key to the financial stability of Ward Street Place, have been very supportive through all the disruptions.

"Most importantly, it was the individuals and businesses of the community who, through our Room to Live campaign, made this project financially possible. We thank the community for recognizing the value of affordable housing in Nelson. Although this award acknowledges the building's exterior, the real story is the community it houses, the individuals who have modest, safe, stable and affordable housing.”

The City’s Heritage Working Group established this award in 2015 to recognize individuals, groups, businesses, or other organizations that have made an outstanding contribution towards the preservation and/or promotion of Nelson's heritage, and to reward and encourage initiatives in support of it.

Prevoius winners are Touchstones Nelson for its award-winning Cold War Bunker project, builder/restoration specialist Joern Wingender, author/designer Peter Bartl, historian Greg Scott, the Nelson & District Chamber of Commerce and local retailer Cartolina.