Created in 1973, and given the mandate to preserve and demonstrate and encourage the preservation and demonstration of the nationally significant historic, architectural, natural and scenic heritage of Canada with a view to stimulating and promoting the interest of the people of Canada in that heritage” the Heritage Canada Foundation has a long track record for raising awareness for heritage conservation, saving heritage properties across Canada, and engaging Canadians in keeping their own historic places alive. The Foundation has successfully encouraged governments at all levels to adopt programs, policies and legislation for the protection and stewardship of historic places, heritage buildings and cultural landscapes. Programs like Main Street Canada trained a generation of heritage practitioners and continue to help communities revitalize their downtowns.
Engaging and inspiring Canadians
Our beautiful quarterly magazine Hēritage celebrates places that matter to Canadians, provides in-depth coverage of current heritage issues and success stories, and shares practical tips for homeowners.
HCF’s National Heritage Awards Program recognizes individuals and organizations whose work gives new life to Canada’s historic places. HCF awards include those created in collaboration with His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Madame Gabrielle Léger, and Canada’s Lieutenant Governors.
Doors Open Canada provides tools to help communities run their own Doors Open program – presenting buildings of architectural and historical significance to the public for a day or a weekend.
HCF leads the nation in celebrating Heritage Day on the 3rd Monday in February each year.
HCF members can visit Historic Places owned and operated by HCF and its partners in Canada, as well as in the United States, Australia, England, Scotland and Wales.
HCF’s Top Ten Endangered Places List is released annually to bring national attention to sites at risk due to neglect, lack of funding, inappropriate development and weak legislation. It has become a powerful tool in the fight to make landmarks, not landfill.
Sharing tools and resources
HCF’s website, www.heritagecanada.org,is a national clearinghouse of information about historic places, conservation issues, best practices, tool kits and success stories, with links to local organizations, funding sources and more.
HCF’s annual National Heritage Conference is the premier educational and networking event for members of Canada’s heritage conservation practitioners and advocates. Participants will include architects, municipal planners, developers, public policy makers, elected officials and property owners.
HCF’s Main Street Program offers a downtown revitalization methodology that differs from typical community and economic development endeavours because it uses ‘heritage’ (in its broadest sense) as a tool for economic development. The Main Street Approach helps property owners, municipal governments and other stakeholders define, evaluate, interpret, conserve, enhance and market their local assets –their heritage. The impacts include job creation, private sector investment, increased heritage tourism potential, and increased pride and ‘sense of place’ for residents. Main Street Programs are currently operated in Quebec by La Fondation Rues principales and in Alberta by the Alberta Main Street Program.
HCF supports careers in heritage through the Young Canada Works program, which gives students and recent graduates the opportunity to acquire valuable work skills and experience in the field of heritage, and helps heritage organizations complete important projects.
Agora-L is a free, e-mail based tool for discussing issues and exchanging ideas about heritage conservation in Canada.
Building coalitions and partnerships
Influencing policies and laws
Read HCF’s 35th Anniversary Retrospective.
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