Four heritage sites from across BC are among the 10 finalists in the National Trust’s Next Great Save competition: Duncan Train Station, Historic Hope Station, Rossland Drill Hall, and Abbotsford’s Turner House.
A public online vote will be held from Jan. 20 to Feb. 22 at https://nationaltrustcanada.ca/what-you-can-do/nextgreatsave/competition2022. The heritage site with the most votes becomes the Next Great Save and wins the $50,000 prize to be used to help save and revitalize the heritage place. The winner will be announced on Feb. 23.
People across Canada love their heritage places. These sites tell the stories of our communities and our country. But many are at risk of disappearing. They need loving care and investment to restore, rehabilitate, and reincarnate. This is a call-out to all British Columbians to show their support for heritage by voting for our BC sites starting Jan. 20.
Duncan Train Station TLC
The Duncan train station, a federally and municipally designated heritage building, is an iconic landmark in Downtown Duncan. This 111-year-old wooden structure is showing its age and desperately needs some TLC, both inside and out. The Cowichan Historical Society, charged with maintaining this treasure, needs financial help to fulfil its promise and save the station from falling into disrepair. The Cowichan Valley Museum, located in the train station, contains precious artifacts chronicling the history of the Cowichan Valley.
Phase 1: TLC would replace the HVAC system and an aged electric furnace with two modern units (2022 price estimate of $39,000). These would SAVE the Society the cost of electricity, SAVE the environment by curtailing emissions, and SAVE the artifacts in the museum by maintaining atmospheric control in the building.
Phase 2: Would see custom storm window fabrication and installation as well as added insulation (2022 price estimate of $15,000). RDH Building Sciences Inc., who conducted an energy audit of the train station, suggests that Phase 1 and 2 changes generate a 74 per cent savings on greenhouse gas emissions. Duncan Train Station TLC can save an important heritage building, priceless artifacts, and the environment.
Historic Hope Station Rehab Project
In 2020, a grassroots community campaign rose up to save the historic 1916 Hope CNR Train Station from demolition. The train station was much loved for a century but needed a new location, a new purpose, and a loving facelift. The result: Tashme Historical Society in partnership with the District of Hope put together a plan to rehabilitate the station into a one-of-a-kind historic community hub with museum and visitor centre, restaurant and co-work office space.
The vision: to become a “Gateway to our stories, a Gateway to hope”. One of those stories is the Japanese Canadian connection: over 8,000 Japanese Canadians crossed the train platform in 1942 on their way to interior internment camps, including 2,644 men, women and children who were forcibly sent to Tashme Internment Camp, 10 miles away.
Historic Hope Station in Japanese, のぞみ駅 (nozomi-eki) means station of hope. The rehabbed station will give the gift of hope and community belonging to all who visit and a space for stories untold. The grand prize will cover the heritage architect consultant fees for the full set-of building drawings by a local highly respected heritage architect so the work can begin.
Rossland Drill Hall / Rossland Arts Centre
Overlooking the bustling downtown core of this charming BC mountain town, a shuttered and empty building, steeped in the history of a gold mining town, is about to be revived. Originally used as a military training site, Rossland’s historic Drill Hall was constructed in 1904. Over the last century, this drill hall has adapted to serve many community purposes including housing the Legion, youth and community programs, recreation clubs, and most recently, as an annex for a local school. It has been vacant since 2014, and its demolition has been debated.
The Rossland Arts Centre Society intends to restore and reopen this beloved heritage building for the community as a hub for all creative pursuits. Extensive renovation work and code upgrades will be necessary. With the funds from the Next Great Save competition, the focus will be on the foundation and roof of the Drill Hall, in addition to the outstanding code upgrades.
The original granite foundation is in need of repair, and the roof will need new support trusses. The group will be working with Heritage BC to solicit a list of qualified consultants to determine how best to carry out this work while preserving the heritage character of the building. The restored Rossland Drill Hall Arts and Innovation Centre will be a community hub for learning, teaching, collaborating on, showcasing, and creating art across all disciplines. Help restore Rossland’s historic Drill Hall for public use! Support the rehabilitation of a beloved, yet neglected, community building and its transformation into the Rossland Drill Hall Arts and Innovation Centre for all to enjoy.
Turner House (Abbotsford)
Did you know that historic buildings have a smaller carbon footprint than new buildings? A restored historic building is more energy efficient, and produces less waste, making them even greener options than an unrestored historic building! Heritage Abbotsford Society entered National Trust for Canada’s Next Great Save contest in the hopes of promoting environmental greening through preservation. If the community won, it would use the prize money to fund the preservation and restoration of Abbotsford’s oldest home, Turner House.
When this home was built, all roads did not lead to Rome – they lead to Turner House! People
from all parts of what is now Abbotsford helped construct it, and we should all feel ownership of
this culturally important place. The prize money would cover the cost of the materials and local labor to create a community facility where we would teach red-listed heritage crafts and skills to community members and students. This will include lectures, workshops, and interactive activities, as well as field trips, even as we work, so that you can see preservation in action. This is public archaeology and UNDRIP in action.