The year 2012 marks the 25th anniversary of the Architectural Heritage Society of Saskatchewan (AHSS), and its president, Al Gill, told the mayors of Battleford and North Battleford Saturday it is working to improve support to municipal governments and property owners in conserving Saskatchewan’s architectural heritage.
Mayors Chris Odishaw of Battleford and Ian Hamilton of North Battleford were guests at the annual general meeting of the society held at the Gold Eagle Lodge Saturday. Also attending was North Battleford resident Richard Hiebert, a director of the society.
The AHSS aims to educate people and encourage, support and recognize the meaningful conservation of our province’s rich built heritage through publishing information, convening and adjudicating the annual Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan Heritage Architecture Excellence Awards, and granting financial assistance.
Its magazine, WORTH, is reaching an estimated 6,000 readers, awards have been presented since 1995, and many thousands of dollars have helped community-based organizations communicate the message of preservation and assess viability of local restoration projects. In 2011, $9,871 was awarded in grants by the society.
While, to date, grants have been awarded to member organizations for local or regional restoration projects, meetings and publications, Gill said the society is looking at ways to expand the granting process in support of non-member organizations and individual building owners.
This last goal is because the society understands the decision made in the conservation of architectural heritage need to be business-based decisions on what’s realistic, said Gill.
The society also plans, said Gill, to improve its capacity to handle public enquiries and referrals, building a real data base and directory service that includes its website as a resource.
Odishaw and Hamilton commended the society for its support of architectural heritage conservation, looking forward to additional support from their activities, especially if that support is helping to identify which properties should be considered for conservation.
The AHSS is a registered charity operated with ongoing funding from the Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund.