Old St. Vital Church makes national ‘endangered places’ list

The local talking point of Old St. Vital Church has gone national.

The old church made the National Trust for Canada’s Top 10 endangered places list, according to a June 18 news release.

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According to the release, the endangered places list “shines a spotlight on historic places at risk due to neglect, lack of funding, inappropriate development or weak legislation.”

National Trust for Canada is a national charity. The organization has taken on initiatives including a crowd funding competition to raise money for endangered heritage sites.

Gil Bellavance of the Battlefords North West Historical Society said he was “delighted” the local church made the list.

The matter of the future of the church came to Battleford town council a few times last year.

At one point, $35,000 had been budgeted for church’s demolition, although councillors said the funds could be directed elsewhere.

An engineering report was presented to council in November listing different options and corresponding prices.

Costs ranged from $50,000 for a basic level of preservation, to around $470,000 to $750,000 for more complex renovations.

Bellavance said he’d like Battleford town council to make a decision, adding the building is built with logs in “a rare way.”

He also said it’s one of three buildings in Battleford built before the North West Rebellion in 1885. The other two, Bellavance said, are the Queen’s Hotel and the old Land Titles Building located south of Battleford.


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