COQUITLAM, B.C., July 29, 2020 – Coquitlam continues to move forward with its new Heritage Management Strategy, with stakeholder and public consultation to begin in late summer and fall.
In September 2019, the City began work on a comprehensive strategy to address heritage of all kinds – from historic buildings and landscapes to intangibles such as community identity – and guide how it is protected and celebrated in Coquitlam in the years to come.
The project team has now completed the first phase of research and analysis, and is preparing to engage the community as it works toward preparing a draft strategy by late 2020.
Bringing a Coordinated Approach to Heritage
A variety of plans, strategies and policies govern heritage in Coquitlam, including the 2001 Heritage Strategic Plan, a Community Heritage Register, Maillardville Heritage Inventory, Southwest Heritage Inventory and 15 Heritage Revitalization Agreements. Heritage guidance is also incorporated into some City plans and development guidelines.
Building on and consolidating this work, the new strategy is intended to:
- Establish a community vision for heritage;
- Create a comprehensive framework to guide how heritage is assessed, recognized and preserved;
- Identify pressing local heritage issues and solutions; and
- Increase public awareness and stakeholder involvement in local heritage matters.
Progress in the past several months has included retaining an experienced consultant, initial discussions with the Coquitlam Heritage Society, a review of existing City processes, consultation with City staff, engagement with the Kwikwetlem First Nation, and research of best practices in heritage planning.
A Modern Approach to Heritage Management
Based on the work to date, the project team has proposed to build the strategy, its policies and tools around seven themes that have shaped Coquitlam over time:
- Uplands to lowlands – the impacts of natural geography;
- Regional nucleus – governance and institutions such as the relocated downtown, Riverview, schools and Tri-Cities context;
- Diverse landscape, diverse people – the evolution of settlement and multiculturalism;
- Sustenance economy to commercial centre – changes to the local economy over time;
- Natural/cultural convergence – community life, events and parks;
- Canoe route to Skytrain – transportation and communication; and
- Evolving community identity – culture, local achievements and urban/neighbourhood identity.
The approach reflects a modern take on heritage management that goes beyond materials, aesthetics and architecture to incorporate broader community values. This values-based approach considers historical, culturalandsocial considerations – essentially, an inclusive reflection of the community behind heritage – and has been adopted by the provincial and federal governments.
Next Steps for the Strategy
With Council’s confirmation of the proposed approach and themes on July 27, the project team will proceed with engaging stakeholder groups and the public in order to amend or refine the themes and then develop the overall vision of the strategy.
In addition to ongoing engagement with the Kwikwetlem First Nation, key stakeholders to be consulted include City advisory committees, Coquitlam Heritage Society, School District 43, Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce, and various community and neighbourhood groups.
A public survey will also be launched in early fall to gather feedback from the community at large.
The final policy work will be completed over the fall, leading to the presentation of a draft strategy to Council by the end of the year. The Heritage Management Strategy is expected to be completed in early 2021.
Opportunities and updates will be posted at www.coquitlam.ca/hms. Those interested in staying up-to-date on the project can also subscribe to the Heritage Management Strategy email updates.