Determining what constitutes heritage

Social, spiritual and cultural values are the building blocks of community’s heritage.

Heritage workshop participants pour over historical photos in Lake Country. The workshop is part of the province’s mandate to get local governments to better manage historic places within their jurisdiction.

The District of Lake Country has released a report detailing how historic buildings in Lake Country will be valued when it comes to preserving the heritage of the community.

The Heritage Values Workshop report was released last week, detailing the criteria of what makes a building a heritage building and what values are used in identifying the historic value of a building or homestead.

The report recognizes that the age of a site is not its most valuable asset; instead, it is what a place says about the social, spiritual and cultural values of a community at a particular time which should be conserved.

The report was put together after the district and the Lake Country Heritage and Cultural Society held a heritage workshop, which was facilitated by the provincial government earlier this year.

Part of the province’s mandate is to build capacity at the local government level so that communities can better manage historic places within their jurisdiction.

“The focus of the workshop was to gather local knowledge about what major factors and processes influenced the Lake Country’s heritage resources and made it the vibrant community it is today,” said Steve Schaffrick, director of community and customer services.

“With a wide variety of community stakeholders participating in the workshop, the district gained a better understanding of what parts of the community people value most.”

The one‐day workshop brought community members together to identify heritage values and begin to identify historic places and what should be conserved.

From there, decisions can be made on how to best conserve places that the community identifies as embodying heritage values.

It will also layout how to respond to these values in planning for the future development of the District of Lake Country.

“The workshop enabled the district to learn from the past to plan for the future,” said Shaffrick. “This is the first step towards developing a heritage conservation program for Lake Country.”

The district, along with the Lake Country Heritage and Cultural Society, will now be working on a list of key sites that will be presented to council for further action and identification.

“The workshop inspired some great discussion on community identity,” said Shannon Jorgenson, of the Lake Country Heritage and Cultural Society.

“It was a terrific opportunity to celebrate the things that make Lake Country unique.”

A copy of the Heritage Values Workshop Report and photos from the workshop are available at www.okanaganway.ca/municipal by clicking on the Quick Link for Heritage.

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