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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Heritage grants boost preservation projects provincewide

The Historic Bellevue Coal Mine was established in 1903 and operated until the early 1960s
Government of Alberta

Albertans are protecting local historic landmarks and sharing the story of province’s past with help from the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation.

Alberta Culture, through the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation, is providing 82 grants totaling $1.48 million to support community heritage preservation and conservation projects across Alberta. Grants are awarded twice annually to individuals as well as municipalities, nonprofit organizations and businesses to support heritage preservation projects ranging from conservation of designated historic buildings to research projects, publications and heritage inventories.
“The history of Alberta and its people matters to Albertans. Investments that help preserve our past are creating cultural, social, and economic benefits that help build strong communities for the future. We are proud to partner with the organizations and individuals who work to protect and promote history in communities across the province.” - Heather Klimchuk, Minister of Culture
Examples of funding provided through the foundation’s grant programs include:

Grier Block (Fort Macleod)
Grant amount: $4,880

The Grier Block was the first and largest commercial building in Fort Macleod housing multiple businesses. Its construction reflected the town's prosperity after the arrival of the Calgary and Edmonton Railway in 1892, and its role in the culture and economy of southern Alberta. The upper floor was initially used for professional offices and meeting space for fraternal organizations such as the Masons, and later converted to apartments, while businesses such as a saddlery, druggist, butcher and newspaper took advantage of the wide storefronts at street level. The building was named for Bruce Grier, a former North West Mounted Police (N.W.M.P.) officer, cattleman and farmer, who financed the construction of the Block. In addition to varied business interests, Grier served as mayor between 1900 and 1918, when many of the public services such as electrical power, water, sewer and natural gas were installed.
Renwick Building (Fort Macleod)

Grant amount: $16,310: In 1910, William Renwick constructed a two-storey brick and sandstone building with a full basement. He operated his hardware business from the main floor while residential apartments occupied the second floor. Constructed of locally-quarried sandstone, the Renwick Building features a number of architectural elements typical of commercial buildings of the period, including the large ground floor display windows with transoms, the centrally-located, recessed entryway, and the parapet with an entablature bearing the year of construction. In the 1930s, William Renwick sold the building to W. G. Andrews, who continued to operate it as a hardware store. Its long-standing use as a retail space and its association with numerous other historic sandstone and brick buildings make it a vital contributing element to the heritage character of Fort Macleod’s commercial core.

Bellevue Underground Mine
Grant amount: $11,850

Established in 1903 by West Canadian Collieries, the Bellevue Mine operated until the early 1960s and today represents the underground mining practices and technologies used to extract steam-grade coal in the Crowsnest Pass, once a leading coal-producing region in western Canada. Tours of the mine now allow thousands of visitors annually to experience the workings and environment of a historic coal mine, which was designated as a Provincial Historic Resource in 2011. The grant is to develop a plan to conserve distinctive concrete portals as an important feature of the historic site and landmark on Highway 3.

2014 Crowsnest Pass Doors Open and Heritage Festival
Grant amount: $5,000

This grant will help support the annual five-day event spotlighting the architectural heritage and history of the Crowsnest Pass. The festival features open houses, tours, a street festival and numerous other activities showcasing local museums, historic sites and other community organizations.

The Alberta Historical Resources Foundation assists Alberta Culture in promoting public awareness and enjoyment of Alberta's heritage and is the Government of Alberta's primary window for heritage preservation funding.

Click here for a complete list of grant recipients and projects

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