Trust Questionnaire: Clint Robertson
Clint Robertson is an urban heritage planner and part-time organic farmer from Calgary, AB. He is a longtime National Trust member and donor.
I got involved with the National Trust because I wanted to support the Trust’s advocacy voice – to advocate to elected officials for better policy and incentives to conserve heritage places.
I care about historic places because they add beauty and interest to our communities. Also, they recall our history and connect us to our past, making history and the past less abstract and much more real.
A historic place that matters to me is Billimun Church (St. Martins Roman Catholic) – a true landmark in my hometown community of Mankota, Saskatchewan. The 1927 church can be seen far and wide in the area, positioned on an elevated site, surrounded by fields of wheat. It is emblematic of prairie country churches in design, and recalls the sense of community and fortitude of the pioneers who built it. It’s the third church on the site, replacing one lost to fire immediately after its consecration. The church is now only very rarely used, most recently for a wedding in 2019.
The place that every Canadian should see at least once is Fort Walsh. Built in 1875, it features an impressive combination of history and natural beauty. This under-appreciated site – once headquarters of the North West Mounted Police – occupies a spectacular and atmospheric location in the Cypress Hills, an area of immense natural history value that was a rare unglaciated part of Saskatchewan. The site offers important insight into fort/ frontier life, the lawless era of whiskey runners, as well as this country’s relations with and treatment of First Nations people.
If I were a historic place, my architecture style would be: Skoki Lodge – the atmospheric 1930s backcountry lodge.
My idea of “heritage” is: Heritage makes the past less abstract and somehow helps you better understand it – which is both interesting and valuable.