City of Nanaimo
2011 Prince of Wales Prize - Honourable Mention
Over the past 30 years, this small city of just over 80,000 people has been working to create a robust heritage conservation program. Nanaimo is one of British Columbia’s oldest settlements and boasts a rich history in the coal mining and resource industry.
Examples of community based heritage conservation efforts date back to the early 1900s when Nanaimo’s iconic Bastion (an octagonal shaped log fortification built by the Hudson’s Bay Company between 1853 and 1855 to defend its coal mining operations) was preserved by the Native Sons of Nanaimo. It was not until the early 1970s, however, that groups like the Nanaimo Historical Society and the Nanaimo Heritage Advisory Committee were created, formalizing advocacy work in the city. Conservation efforts accelerated in the 1980s with financial assistance from two initiatives of the B.C. Provincial Government: Heritage Area Revitalization and Project Pride.