On Friday June 5, 2015, Sandra Beaudoin, President of the Hanna Roundhouse Society, received official notification from the Minister of Culture & Tourism, David Eggen, of the designation of the 1913 Canadian Northern Railway Roundhouse in Hanna, Alberta as a Provincial Historic Resource! As of June 1, 2015, “the site (1913 Canadian Northern Railway Roundhouse) is subject to the provisions of the Historical Resources Act”.
What is the benefit of a Provincial Historic Resource Designation? “Section 20 of the Historical Resources Act (R.S.A. 2000) empowers the Minister of Culture to designate and protect Provincial Historic Resources.
To qualify for this level of designation, historic places must normally:
-Be associated with an important aspect of Alberta’s natural or human history
-Be of outstanding provincial significance
-Be situated in their original location
-Retain the physical site features necessary to convey their significance
“Owners of Provincial Historic Resources are obligated under the Act to be good stewards of their heritage properties. No person can destroy, disturb, alter, restore, repair or remove any historic objects from a Provincial Historic Resource without approval in writing from the Minister of Culture. However, Provincial Historic Resources can be and often are altered for a number of valid reasons if such actions do not disturb or destroy the significant heritage fabric of the site.”
“In order to protect and promote Provincial Historic Resources, the owners of these sites are offered a number of incentives, including:
-“Eligibility for matching funds from the Alberta Historic Resource Fund, based on the size/scale of the historic resource and scope of the proposed conservation work
-“Access to the technical expertise of Heritage Conservation Advisors, who can ensure that conservation work is carried out in a manner that considers both owners’ needs and resource sensitivity
-“Promotion of the site for tourist and/or educational purposes through placement on the Alberta Register of Historic Places and possible placement on the Canadian Register of Historic Places
-“Identification of the site as a Provincial Historic Resource through a plaque which communicates both the significance of the historic place and the owner’s interest in the preservation of Alberta’s heritage.
The designation of Alberta’s most significant historic places as Provincial Historic Resources ensures that these sites will be sensitively and responsibly administered and remain cultural treasures for future generations.” (Ref:http://culture.alberta.ca/heritage-and-museums/programs-and-services/historic-places-research-and-designation/historic-places-designation-program/#designation).
Now that the Hanna Roundhouse is a Provincial Historical Resource, it is protected by the Provincial Government. The Hanna Roundhouse Society will be restoring this historical building under the guidance of Alberta Culture & Tourism & will be stewards of this site. “Any person deliberately damaging or altering a Provincial Historic Resource without Ministerial approval may be held accountable under Section 52(1) of the Historical Resources Act. Penalties include jail time (up to one year), or fines (up to $50,000), or both. Designation confers legal protection” indicated by Stefan Cieslik, Heritage Conservation Adviser, Historic Resources Management Branch, Alberta Culture and Tourism.