Courtenay heritage group ‘encouraged on many fronts’

"Celebrate the past. Look toward the future."
That's how Lawrence Burns, chairman of the City of Courtenay Heritage Advisory Commission (COCHAC), started his annual report to Courtenay council Monday.

“Celebrate the past. Look toward the future.”That’s how Lawrence Burns, chairman of the City of Courtenay Heritage Advisory Commission (COCHAC), started his annual report to Courtenay council Monday.The COCHAC advises council on heritage conservation matters, as well as undertakes and provides support for such activities as benefit and provide for the advancement of heritage conservation in the city, explained Burns.”Heritage conservation ensures that the legacy of the past will be preserved for the future,” he said. “We are encouraged on many fronts, as we see significant increase in the interest in heritage by our local politicians and administrations, residents, businesses and tourists, but the importance of doing more is an ongoing challenge. It requires a determined commitment and political will to encourage our people to share in protecting, conserving and honouring our irreplaceable heritage.”The COCHAC, which began in May 1984, has 29 members, including a city staff person.During his report, Burns spoke about the four levels of heritage activities in which the COCHAC is involved.There is the Heritage Inventory, which is an inventory of buildings constructed prior to 1939. The inventory includes more than 200 residences and more than 50 businesses.The COCHAC is continuously working on compiling historic information, construction dates, builders, owners and other information on these places, explained Burns.The COCHAC is also involved in installing commemorative heritage plaques.The COCHAC identifies the significance of the building or site and obtains the owner’s permission for installation. Then, through press release and public ceremony, the public awareness of its significance is made, explained Burns.Twenty-three plaques have been installed to date, the latest being the Old Creamery Steam Whistle, placed on its original site, now home to the Courtenay library.The COCHAC is also involved in the City of Courtenay Heritage Register.The register is an official listing of properties, identified by the community as having heritage values or character, complete with a Statement of Significance.These will be part of the Canadian Register of Historic Places, following submission to the Province of B.C., explained Burns.The first phase of this register began in June 2008 and was approved by council in August 2009. It includes 20 locations, and the COCHAC is in the process of adding one more site, the Sandwick Veterans Memorial Cairn, Burns told council.The fourth level is heritage designation bylaws.To further protect “real property in whole or in part” from alteration or demolition, without prior approval of plans, a designated building is identified by a bylaw, explained Burns.Three such bylaws have been passed in years past — including the E&N Railway Station — and one more is in the works, he noted.”Heritage BC has been working on a ‘Call to Renew BC Heritage Programs,’ and it has been emphasized that ‘a revitalized heritage program will be a sound investment, a boon to B.C.’s diverse and growing tourism industry and a commitment to a sustainable future. It will also fulfill the pact with the people of B.C. to protect, conserve and honour our irreplaceable heritage,'” said Burns.”We believe heritage is good business, whoever you are. It is inspiring and challenging, and we are working together for this, so let’s celebrate the past and look toward the future.”Councillors expressed gratitude toward the COCHAC for its work.”I think it’s an honour to the city that so many people who have a heart for the community maintain this commitment by serving on this commission, which is a real partnership between citizens and city staff,” said Coun. Doug Hillian.Coun. Jon Ambler thanked COCHAC for its efforts.”I’ve always believed if you live in a community and don’t know its history, it’s like being a leaf and not knowing that there was a tree,” he said. “When our heritage, especially our physical heritage, is lost, it’s lost forever. It’s absolutely irreplaceable, and the work of this committee, the hard work you do and the passion you put into it, enables citizens, both those newly arrived to the Comox Valley and those who have lived here all their lives, to be part of that history.”

Just Posted

Mark Henderson’s exhibit, “Bikes and Barbies,” is now showing at Artful : The Gallery on Cumberland Road in Courtenay. Photo supplied.
New exhibit at Courtenay art gallery

Artful : The Gallery is showing art by Mark Henderson until Saturday,… Continue reading

Charles Hawkswell, Commander, of the Cape Lazo Power and Sail Squadron, presents a $1,000 cheque to the Comox Valley Marine Rescue Society. File photo
Comox removing moorage fees, hydro for Comox Valley Marine Rescue Society

Last year, the unit and society responded to more than 50 rescue missions in the past year

A Saanich man received almost 10 years in Supreme Court in Courtenay for a shooting incident from 2018. Record file photo
Shooting incident north of Courtenay nets almost 10-year sentence

Richard Daniel Vigneault was arrested without incident and faced 16 counts

Dr. Aref Tabarsi, a general pathologist at the North Island Hospital Campbell River Hospital Medical Laboratory, spoke about the issue of service in the region at a meeting in February 2020. Black Press file photo
Comox Strathcona hospital board wants pathology service back

UPDATED: Board supports move for chair, vice-chair to engage with Island Health on issue

Danielle Egilson has been awarded a $40,000 post-secondary scholarship with The Cmolik Foundation. Photo supplied
Student from Courtenay’s Vanier Secondary lands prestigious scholarship

Cmolik Foundation provides opportunities for youth who’ve experienced adversity

While the route to get there is a little different, downtown Courtenay is open and accessible right now. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Bridge — and downtown Courtenay — are open, say businesses

Incoming BIA president Sean Ferguson says parking is available

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The only access to 5th Street bridge heading east (toward Lewis Park) is via Anderton Avenue. Photo by Terry Farrell.
Single lane alternating traffic controls on Courtenay bridge now in effect

Single lane alternating traffic on the 5th Street Bridge is now in… Continue reading

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Most Read