Heritage Ottawa

Ottawa, Ontario

2017 Governors' Award

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Heritage Ottawa began in 1967 when a group of like-minded citizens banded together with a common goal – to ensure the preservation of Ottawa’s unique heritage character for future generations.

Heritage Ottawa sets a very high standard for awareness raising and public engagement, with extensive programs to promote the understanding and appreciation of Ottawa’s cultural places, including its popular Lecture Series, Sunday Walking Tours, and Workshops.

Heritage Ottawa also does an extraordinary job of speaking out for and heritage properties at risk of inappropriate intervention or loss. The Billings Estate, the East Block of the Parliament Buildings, and the Aberdeen Pavilion are just some of the properties that have benefited from Heritage Ottawa’s advocacy efforts.

Heritage Ottawa’s leaders have been and continue to be tireless campaigners and unflappable media spokespeople like David Flemming, Carolyn Quinn, Leslie Maitland and current president David Jeanes.  These and other knowledgeable and passionate people can be found at the centre of Ottawa’s important heritage issues, bringing a deep knowledge of history and architecture to bear.

In 2003, the City of Ottawa’s senior management cut the budget for arts and heritage to virtually zero. Heritage Ottawa, under President David Flemming, led a core group which activated some 2000 people and 100 community, heritage, museums, arts groups to push back. Advocacy efforts culminated in an epic speech on Heritage Day in February that year by David Flemming which made City leaders take notice. Not only was funding restored, but a Museums Sustainability Plan and a Renewed Arts and Heritage Plan were funded, and the rest is history: The plans went on to win awards, jobs were saved and new jobs created for a whole new generation of heritage staffers.

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