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Funding to help preserve heritage treasures in flood-impacted communities

The Alberta government is helping communities preserve valuable historic resources impacted by the floods of 2013.

Heritage organizations and owners of designated historic resources will have access to $10.5 million in grants to help in flood rebuilding efforts in southern Alberta and the Fort McMurray area. An additional $1.5 million in funding will be targeted for the collection and protection of archaeological and palaeontological resources unearthed by flooding.

“Museums, archives as well as historic buildings are significant to preserving the irreplaceable evidence of Alberta’s past and are part of the unique character and identity of the community,” says Heather Klimchuk, Minister of Culture. “Today we are committing funding that not only helps us build Alberta, but also ensures these historic treasures and the remarkable history they represent will be preserved and passed on to future generations.”

Funding will be allocated to three primary areas:

•Historic Buildings: $4.5 million to support owners of legally protected (designated) heritage properties for flood related conservation work not covered by the Disaster Recovery Program or insurance. Organizations and heritage property owners can apply for funding through this temporary funding program administered by the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation.

•Museum and Archives Conservation Assistance: $6 million to support the conservation of artifacts and archival materials at museums/archives affected by flooding. Applications for funding will be administered by the Alberta Museums Association and the Archives Society of Alberta.

•Archaeological and Palaeontological Sites: $1.5 million to support existing Alberta Culture programs to collect fossils and artifacts as well as establish protective measures for archeological and palaeontological sites affected by flooding.

“Today’s announcement is a tremendous step forward in helping Alberta’s museums, archives and heritage sites recover from the devastating effects of last summer’s floods,” says Barry Finkelman, President of the Alberta Museums Association. “These funds will certainly assist my colleagues in the museum and heritage community with the high costs of recovering, restoring and rebuilding their collections and facilities to their former level of distinction.” 

“The Museum of the Highwood, like so many museums across the province, serves as a cultural hub, connecting long-time residents, newcomers and visitors alike to the rich heritage of our community and our province,” says Irene Kerr, Director and Curator of the Museum of the Highwood in High River. “The funding announced today will help our Alberta museums to continue to preserve our history, share the stories of our past and help strengthen the spirit of community in the wake of the flood of 2013.”

Alberta Culture