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Seeking A New Vision for the Heritage Movement

National Heritage Summit 2012

Ottawa, ON – October 22, 2012 – Last week, nearly 300 delegates came together in Montreal for a National Heritage Summit organized by the Heritage Canada Foundation (HCF). The event brought together heritage organizations, advocates, architects, municipal planners, developers, public policy makers and property owners from across the country as a first step toward creating a new vision and action plan for the heritage movement in Canada.

“The heritage sector is experiencing a sea change,” said Natalie Bull, HCF’s executive director.  “The Summit was an exciting catalyst and forum for essential discussion about relevance and purpose, goals and methods.”

Over the course of two and a half intense days, National Heritage Summit participants applied their energy and experience to a range of issues and opportunities facing the heritage sector.

Here is some of what we heard:

  • We need to become enablers! Heritage will remain irrelevant as long as we’re seen as heritage protectionists.
  • A culture of conservation can be achieved by expanding the generational, social and economic relevance of heritage (e.g., social justice, sustainable development and urban agriculture).
  • Link the heritage message to the crisis of consumerism and disposability.
  • Conservation should be synonymous with innovation.
  • Move beyond buildings to include intangible heritage.

Responding to a discussion paper circulated in advance, Summit participants helped shape seven outcome statements articulating a preferred future or vision for the heritage movement. These statements are now online on a web platform that can record and share your comments with others across Canada. For those not at the Summit, we want to hear from you! For those who were at the Summit, please contribute your further thoughts and help keep the conversation alive.

To participate:


User Id (please type):             heritagesummit2012 

Password (please type):         october2012

Enter your Name (optional):  eg. “John Smith”

HCF is committed to engaging as many people as possible in this important exercise.  Over the coming weeks, HCF will offer additional online opportunities to provide input, and will convene working groups to review input and lead the development of an action plan.  Click here to volunteer your time and expertise.    

The Heritage Canada Foundation is a national registered charity dedicated to the preservation of Canada’s historic places. Your support is vital to our work. Please join or make a tax-deductible donation today.



Carolyn Quinn, Director of Communications,

Telephone: (613) 237-1066 ext 229; Cell (613) 797-7206