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City shares building heritage

The importance of Nanaimo’s historic houses, buildings and neighbourhoods and the contributions they make to the general community will be highlighted next week as the city’s heritage organizations recognize National Heritage Week.

B.C.’s version, titled Good Neighbours: Heritage Homes and Neighbourhoods, runs from Feb. 18-24. Chris Sholberg, Nanaimo’s heritage planner, said the city’s rich heritage background will be the focus of events during the week, all of which the general public are welcome to attend.

“We’ve got a few neighbourhoods that are very special and we’ll be taking an example from each of them and talking a bit about them,” said Sholberg.

“We’ll feature the Old City, but we’ll also talk about some south end residences, Newcastle Avenue residences and some in Harewood as well. They’re all special in their own ways and listed on our heritage registry.”

Nanaimo’s Heritage Commission is scheduled to host a heritage summit at the Nanaimo Museum from 7-9 p.m. on Feb. 20. to heighten community awareness on the value of heritage buildings in the community. The summit will consist of two parts, the first being a presentation on Nanaimo’s historic residences and neighbourhoods, while the second part will be devoted to a roundtable discussion allowing heritage groups to provide information about recent accomplishment and upcoming projects.

“And what’s great about these historical buildings is people buy them because there is an interest or a passion for that history and from what I’ve noticed they’re willing to put a lot of resources into them as far as rehabilitating them goes,” added Sholberg. “That shared passion really helps strengthen the neighbourhood.”

To help reveal hidden and untold stories about Nanaimo’s heritage homes, the Nanaimo Museum will also be hosting a presentation on historic homes and the interesting people who lived in them.

Aimee Greenaway, the museum’s program and volunteer coordinator, said the stories will take listeners back in time and remind listeners of the city’s roots and where we come from.

“This year’s theme covers an aspect of history that many people in the community can relate to,” said Greenaway. “Many of the homes have a timeless appeal and remind us of how people lived in past generations. The presentations are a great opportunity for both longtime and new residents to learn about the history of the era.”

The presentation includes archival and contemporary photos of several historic homes, focusing on the Old City neighbourhood.

“Many of the heritage homes that we see every day while walking or driving by have incredible stories to tell,” added Greenaway.

The  museum’s presentation is scheduled for Feb. 19 from 1-2 p.m. and Feb. 21 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. The cost is $5 per person and registration is required by phoning 250-753-1821.

Nanaimo established its Community Heritage Registry in 2002 as a means to retain the city’s architectural past. Of the more than 160 sites, objects and structures on the registry, private residences make up 86 entries.

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Community Events, August 2014

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