Backgrounder of 2018 recipients - Ontario Heritage Trust

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Backgrounder of the recipients for the 2018 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards

The annual Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards recognize exceptional contributions to cultural and natural heritage conservation, environmental sustainability and biodiversity.

Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Lifetime Achievement

Cyril Fry and Marion Fry (nominated by the Town of Gravenhurst Municipal Heritage Committee):

For over 60 years, Cyril and Marion Fry have contributed significantly to the heritage of the Town of Gravenhurst. They have dedicated significant amounts of time and resources to heritage conservation in Gravenhurst as leaders and volunteers who are always willing to contribute. Their mutual passion for heritage conservation dates back to the late 1950s. Over the decades since, they successfully inspired and recruited passionate, likeminded people who were interested in heritage preservation, and have been involved in countless local initatives and heritage projects. Examples of their achievements are the creation of the Gravenhurst Archives in 1978, and their instrumental roles in the preservation and operation of the Segwun Steamship Museum. The legacy of the Gravenhurst Archives will continue to impact future generations for years to come.

Lawrence Lamb (nominated by Waterloo Region):

Lawrence Lamb is a botany and ecosystem restoration expert, a well-known advocate for naturalizing gardens and landscapes, and an active supporter of natural heritage conservation within the Region of Waterloo and throughout Ontario. Over his 41-year career and throughout his retirement, Lamb has generously shared his expertise and professional and community connections to influence the way that natural heritage features are identified, valued and protected. Lamb was integral to approximately 50 important and innovative natural heritage conservation initiatives, through which he has demonstrated his significant specialized scientific knowledge and a commitment to working collaboratively with others.

Elsa Ann Pickard (nominated by King Township):

Since 1986, Elsa-Ann Pickard has worked tirelessly to preserve and interpret the history of the Township of King. She began her volunteer career in heritage with the local historical society, and has since served as secretary, treasurer and director-at-large in the society. She was an integral part of the creation of the King Township Archives in 2000, and has continued to volunteer and help that organization grow since. Pickard’s dedication to the King Township Museum has been steadfast and strong, and she has provided ideas, hard work and initiative to a small community museum. Her steady work ethic is an example to young people. At 83 years of age, she is still involved in many initiatives, including programming at the museum.


Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Youth Achievement

Individual awards and recipients of the Young Heritage Leaders scholarship:

Amy MacFarlane (nominated by Township of Machar):

Amy MacFarlane, as a Grade 11 student, developed a solution to save Almaguin-area lakes through her “Bloom Busters” project. Several local lakes have experienced blue-green algae blooms, which Amy first experienced as a working student at Mikisew Provincial Park where blooms were discovered in Eagle Lake in the late summer of 2017. MacFarlane has conducted experiments that place small “floating islands” of vegetation in local lakes in order to extract and modify algae-causing nutrients. Her project demonstrates an innovative, simple and cost-efficient solution to an issue of pressing natural heritage significance. “Bloom Busters” has sparked interest in the local municipality, and MacFarlane has presented her project to council.

Nathalie Picard (nominated by Carleton University, Public History Department):

Nathalie Picard, a student in the Carleton University Masters in Public History program, developed the “Ottawa's Old Chinatown” website, which is available as a public online resource. It introduces visitors to Ottawa’s Chinese community in the early 20th century using digital conservation techniques. The website maps the locations of Chinese businesses, societies and restaurants from the 1920s to the 1960s along Albert Street, which was then the centre of a vibrant Chinese community (the street has few tangible built remains). Through a projection video tool designed to be cast onto the side of an Albert Street building, the project also unearths and re-imagines the contemporary urban environment and reminds passersby of the neighbourhood’s origins.

Group awards:

Academie Ste. Cecile Student Contributors for Essex County Hidden Cemeteries (nominated by Academie Ste. Cecile):

This project was established to locate headstones of Black cemeteries in Essex County in order to create an interactive digital map that contains the location, condition and appearance of each marker. The teachers and students of the Academie Ste. Cecile partnered with local historians, churches, societies, GIS specialists and the Town of Essex to develop location plans, technology integration, a web portal and historical significance to the region. Every effort was taken to show respect to the headstones and their surrounding environment. Students learned new digital conservation tools and were able to collect data to be presented at a town council meeting.The results of this project are posted on the Town of Essex website as a publically available heritage resource.

The Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute Spirit of the Drum Traditional Pow Wow 2017 and 2018 Student Participants (nominated by Smiths Falls District Collegiate):

At Smith Falls District Collegiate Institute, the students of the Indigenous Studies Program and local Indigenous youth have hosted two Pow Wow ceremonies in the Town of Smiths Falls in June 2017 and 2018. The purpose of the Pow Wow is to bring people together, to connect the school with the community and to share, teach and celebrate Indigenous culture and traditions. The Pow Wow welcomed the Akwesasne Mohawks as well as the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation, from which over 100 members attended. The Pow Wow connects the school and local community – Indigenous and non-Indigenous – in a celebration of learning, teaching and reconciliation. It demonstrates how experiential learning fosters a deeper connection for students as they learn about other cultures, with 3,000 people attending the 2018 Pow Wow.


Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation

Bonnie Devine and OCAD Indigenous Visual Culture Program Students for Uncover/Recover (nominated by Bonnie Devine, OCAD University):

Over the course of the 2017-18 academic year, eight undergraduate students from OCAD University’s Indigenous Visual Culture Program worked with Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) curators and others to create an educational, interactive, accessible and informative multimedia exhibition as an online vehicle to celebrate Indigenous peoples’ creative legacy – past, present and future. The students, inspired by Indigenous objects that they selected from the ROM’s collection and archives, conceived and designed a multimedia experience that will be hosted on the ROM’s website. Students learned new digital and creative processes, engaged with senior Indigenous scholars, knowledge keepers and museum workers, and analyzed their chosen objects. Their work uncovered and recovered the objects’ original purposes and re-engaged them in the work of Indigenous social reconstruction and restoration. The resulting artistic responses range from humorous to poignant, analytical to emotional, and provide a unique picture of contemporary Indigenous thought and creation.

ERA Architects, NADAAA and the University of Toronto for One Spadina Crescent (nominated by ERA Architects):

One Spadina Crescent is one of Toronto’s most prominent architectural sites. The historical building, site rehabilitation and new addition re-establishes One Spadina as a gateway to the University campus and reintroduces it to the public perception. Beginning in 2006, ERA Architects worked with the University of Toronto to advise on heritage issues related to the site’s redevelopment. Since 2011, they have also worked closely with the project’s prime architects, NADAAA.The recent renewal of the south-facing 19th-century Gothic revival building and contemporary addition – home to the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design – is a showcase for the city and an international focal point for education and research on architecture, art and the future of cities. The rehabilitation and new addition at One Spadina Crescent provides a significant expansion to the heritage building for use by the faculty and its students as design studios, fabrication shops, a multi-functional principal hall, library programs, social spaces and offices.

Frank Perissinotti and St. Clair College Students of Architectural Technology for the Doors Open Windsor Walking Tours (nominated by Joanne Hoppe, Chair, Doors Open Windsor):

During Doors Open Windsor 2018, and as part of three prior Doors Open Windsor events, St. Clair College students in the Architectural Technology program volunteered their time to conduct guided walking tours as part of the event program. Under the guidance of Professor Frank Perissinotti, they researched and chose three neighbourhoods of historical and architectural significance. During Doors Open Windsor, the students took groups of visitors on these walks, highlighted significant buildings and explained why the neighbourhood and its past residents were important to the city's heritage and development. The students' choice of neighbourhoods has reflected the diversity and heritage of Windsor, and is a creative approach to increasing youth engagement with local heritage.

Gilberto Fernandes for City Builders: a History of Immigrant Construction Workers in Postwar Toronto (nominated by the Department of History, York University):

City Builders is a public history project aimed at recording, examining and divulging the history of Toronto's immigrant construction workers and their labour organization after the Second World War. Between November 2017 and September 2018, after securing funding from Laborers' International Union of North America Local 183, Dr. Gilberto Fernandes led a team of part-time and independent workers toward delivering his bold vision of an integrated exhibition, website, oral history series and documentary. Its output includes a travelling multimedia exhibition that features large displays and artifacts, a website that includes 30 extensive biographies about its oral history interviewees, data maps and story maps, and a two-part documentary, among other audio and visual features. The project has contributed to the conservation of the individual and collective memories of all Torontonians, but especially of the hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers, their families and communities.

The Regional Municipality of York, Natural Heritage and Forestry Division, for the Green Infrastructure Asset Management Plan (nominated by the Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition):

York Region manages 2,300 hectares (5,700 acres) of forest and over 61,000 trees along regional roads. It has worked diligently to transform perceptions regarding these forests and trees to ensure that they are viewed as valuable assets in their communities. A significant achievement in this transformation was the completion of a Green Infrastructure Asset Management Plan in late 2017. York Region is the first of any level of government in Ontario to complete a Green Infrastructure Asset Management Plan. The plan asserts that green infrastructure assets require care and proper allocation of resources like any other traditional infrastructure assets. With their plan, York Region has pioneered a creative and innovative approach to planning for the protection, management and allocation of resources to maintain and grow their valuable trees and forests. York Region has shared their expertise at provincial and national workshops and conferences, supporting and influencing conservation beyond its jurisdiction.

The Manitoulin Island Summer Historical Institute for their 2018 Program (nominated by Dr. Carolyn Podruchny, York University):

The seven-day Manitoulin Island Summer Historical Institute (MISHI) 2018 explored Anishinaabe ways of knowing and knowledge through site visits, lectures, stories and activities on Manitoulin Island. Co-sponsored by the History of Indigenous Peoples Network within the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies at York University and the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation (OCF), the summer institute brought together 32 established and emerging professors, graduate and undergraduate students, administrators, archivists, Elders and knowledge-keepers. MISHI created opportunities for Anishinaabe Elders and knowledge-carriers to teach university faculty and students, and for faculty and students to then employ Anishinaabe ways of knowing in their research and teaching. After the summer institute ended, participants then incorporated their new knowledge in their home context, and Anishinaabe ways of knowing and knowledge are now being disseminated to academics through publications, to York University students through the transformation of courses, to Anishinaabe youth in the creation of knowledge materials, and to the general public.

Mudtown Station for the Restoration of the Former Canadian Pacific Railway Station (nominated by Mudtown Station Inc.):

Owen Sound's former Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) station was constructed in 1947 as one of four stations as a part of the CPR's postwar modernization program. lt is the only CPR station from this era that remains intact and is one of the earliest examples of modern architecture in Ontario.The CPR station building in Owen Sound sat empty for approximately 30 years until Mudtown Station Inc. leased the facility from the City of Owen Sound and transformed it into a brewery and restaurant. The interior of the building has been revitalized through 595 hours of in-kind labour, overcoming significant challenges – such as significant fire damage. Mudtown Station brought their vision and resources to adaptively reuse a modern train station for a contemporary commercial purpose. The restaurant and brew pub is drawing more people to Owen Sound's harbour area, and has created a destination.

Museum London and Bimadoshka Pucan for ”Voices of Chief’s Point” (nominated by Museum London):

Voices of Chief’s Point is a connection-building project undertaken over seven years between Museum London and Anishinaabe scholar, Bimadoshka Pucan, the Saugeen First Nation and Anishinaabe communities in southwestern Ontario. It began with the digitization of eight wax cylinders and seven lacquer-covered transcription discs. Recorded in 1938, these cylinders contained songs and stories of great cultural and medicinal importance to the Anishinaabeg. Guest curator Pucan consulted with Elders to understand the digitized songs and stories. She returned to Museum London where she and staff developed an exhibition to highlight the richness of Anishinaabe culture, including an exploration of five of the songs and stories. Pucan continues to share the digitized content with Anishinaabe communities, where the content contributes to language teaching and broadens lost cultural knowledge.

Signal Brewing Company for the Restoration of Five Former Corby Distillery Buildings (nominated by Tankhouse Developments):

The Signal Brewing Company project restored five shuttered Corby Distillery buildings in Corbyville. The buildings had been vacant since 1989. Over a challenging four-year restoration process, alongside a team of skilled tradespeople and engineers, Signal successfully built a 325-square-metre patio along the Moira River, a 465-square-metre microbrewery and a 230-square-metre event space to celebrate craft beer, community and the arts. Historical elements from the former Corby Distillery shell were reused throughout the design of the space. Shutters on windows became tables now used in the event space, pillars that once supported massive vats of whiskey became the supporting structure built into concrete floors, and measuring sticks used for excise tax are now sticks for beer flights. The restoration has created a destination in the community and has attracted over 10,000 visitors since it opened in July 2017.

The University of Windsor and Partners for the Restoration of the Windsor Armouries (nominated by the Office of the Mayor, City of Windsor):

The University of Windsor transformed the 1901 Windsor Armouries, once home to the Essex Fusliers, into a state-of-the-art learning centre for the creative arts. The transformation was made possible by the collaboration and co-operation of both the Government of Ontario and the City of  Windsor. Over a four-year construction period, the restoration of the Windsor Armouries was carefully undertaken to pay homage to the building’s historical military past. Interior and exterior bricks were restored to their original natural red, and localized masonry repair and window replacement was conducted. The original floor, which once supported tanks, was removed for the new construction of a three-storey interior structure, fully contained within the Armouries, which now houses 6,224 square metres of new space for students, including classrooms, performance spaces and a theatre. About 500 students, faculty and staff moved into the restored Armouries and an adjacent building in January 2018. The restoration is playing a key role in the revitalization and diversification of Windsor’s downtown, has given a new focus to Windsor’s military history, and has provided significant additional learning space for the creative arts.


For more information:

Contact: David Leonard
Telephone: 416-314-3586
Email: david.leonard@heritagetrust.on.ca