2019 Ontario Heritage Conference

May 30-June 1, 2019 ~ Bluewater/Goderich, ON  

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Programming Highlights

Friday, May 31 at  7:00 pm

Knights of Columbus Hall

Gala Dinner

Anthony Wilson-Smith

President and CEO

Historica Canada


Anthony has been in his present position since joining the organization in 2012. Prior to that, he had a long career in journalism, serving as a national and foreign correspondent and then Editor-in-Chief of Macleans Magazine.  After leaving journalism, he held senior executive roles at a major federal Crown Corporation and one of Canada’s largest financial institutions  A Montreal native, Anthony has worked in more than 35 countries abroad as well as all of Canada’s provinces and territories, and appeared as a political and social commentator on national and international media on networks including CBC, CTV, Global Television, Radio-Canada, Great Britain’s BBC and ITV, and C-SPAN and ABC television news in the United States, along with the Moscow News in Russia. He has been honored for his work in the mental health sector and for encouraging diversity, and in 2018 was awarded The Sovereign’s Medal For Community Service.

Historica Canada offers programs you can use to explore, learn, and reflect on our history and what it means to be Canadian. Last year its programs reached more than 24 million Canadians, making it the largest national organization of its kind. Historica Canada's best-known offerings include the Heritage Minutes, a collection of more than 90 vignettes recounting stories of important people and events, and The Canadian Encyclopedia, an online resource with more than 20,000 authored, accurate and continuously updated articles.

Friday May 31 at 1:45 pm

Goderich Marine Harbour Walk

View Goderich's amazing vistas from the lofty perch of Canada's first Lighthouse on Lake Huron, followed by a stroll along the marine heritage walking trail bordering the Port's scenic waterfront. Tour will be led by Goderich Heritage Member Bob Davis and Marine Heritage Advocate Jan Hawley.

Bob Davis, Member of the Town of Goderich Heritage Committee

Before retiring to Goderich 18 years ago, Bob taught high school in Kitchener. A life -long interest in history, geography and architecture has supported his 15 years of volunteering on the Goderich Municipal and Marine Heritage Committee. His main job on that committee has been to design and publish the local walking tour brochures.

Jan Hawley, Economic Development Officer, Municipality of Huron East

After moving to Huron County almost four decades ago, Jan became interested in heritage conservation, co-founding the Goderich Marine Heritage Committee in 1998. She has co-edited several marine publications, and was a member of the underwater exploration team that first discovered "The Wexford" a ship lost during the Great Storm of 1913.

Friday, May 31 at 10:45 

Heritage Conservation Districts with panel presenter Dr. Wes Kinghorn. He is the founder of an urban research/digital imaging/project design communication company based in London, Ontario. For over 20 years Wes has worked with city planners, engineers, neighbourhoods and the development community on unique urban design projects across Canada and around the world. Wes holds a PhD in Urban Geography from Western University, with a research focus on Heritage Conservation Districts and sense of place.  He has taught urban social geography at Western University as well as digital imaging for urban design at Fanshawe College. Wes is the past President of the Urban League of London (a registered charity/umbrella organization that includes over 40 neighbourhood associations and community organizations) and he remains on the Board of Directors.  He is also the past Chair of the London Advisory Committee on Heritage, and past Chair of the Woodfield Community Association.


Saturday June 1 9am Session

Lime Burning in Ontario – Characteristics and Cultural Value

Christopher Andreae

Historica Research


Ontario’s lime burning industry, dating from c1830 to c1930, is scattered across much of southern Ontario.  Public awareness of its cultural value ranges from oblivious to curious.   The industry was located primarily in rural areas and generally did not leave adverse environmental impacts on the countryside - unlike many other industrial activities.  Heritage planning issues associated with lime burning are applicable to most other “old” provincial industrial sites.

Christopher Andreae has more than 40 years of professional experience in historical archaeology, built heritage assessments and cultural heritage landscape studies.  He has worked on a wide variety of projects including domestic commercial and industrial buildings, road and railway bridges and other historic transportation infrastructure. He is a founding member of Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals, a former president and currently a director.

Friday, May 31 at 10:45 When Disaster Strikes

Disaster Strikes: Lessons Learned from Post-Tornado Goderich

Communities across Ontario have faced disasters in their heritage downtowns whether it be fire, floods or other. In August of 2011, the Town of Goderich was tasked with responding to the greatest disaster ever to impact a heritage conservation district in Canada, an F3 tornado which devastated many parts of the town, including the historic Square. So what was learned? This session will focus specifically on the impacts on the Square, the challenges and opportunities encountered, and the lessons learned through the rebuilding process and in the years since. Hear from: Town Chief Administrative Officer, Larry McCabe; local architect and affected landowner, Allan Avis; local insurance broker and affected landowner, Wayne Lyons; and County Planner, Denise Van Amersfoort.

Saturday, June 1 1:45pm session - 

A Farm Fresh Take on Rural Tourism

Hear about three projects that are re-positioning agriculture and rural heritage into new tourism products.  The Ontario Barn Quilts Trail (barnquilttrails.ca) draws attention to Canada’s disappearing rural landscapes, timber frame barns, and the family farm. These eye-catching folk art works attract visitors and helps rural communities put themselves on the map. The Bruce-Huron Produce Auction is a seasonal food hub owned and operated by members of an Old Order Mennonite community. Their goal is to increase family farm revenue by working together to offer their produce in wholesale lots to attract retailers, restauranteurs and wholesalers. Learn how this aggregation and distribution of locally produced product feeds an authentic value chain, so important to culinary tourism. Taste of Huron (tasteofhuron.com) is a brand that identifies local food products and fresh and delicious food & beverage experiences in Huron County.  Recently revitalized – Taste of Huron is the long time Huron County culinary tourism brand and its value is recognized by local producers and consumers alike.

Friday, May 31 - 10:45am session - Dave Pullen

Natural Infrastructure and the Huron County Economy - Two Centuries of Change

From unbroken forest cover to a highly advanced agricultural economy, join Dave for an insightful look at how Huron County’s natural ecosystems have provided livelihoods and resilience for generations past and present.

Saturday, June 1 10:45 session

An armchair tour of Mills along the Maitland River, Huron County’s Railway Stations and a link to Queen Victoria’s Prince Albert, along with a few of John Rutledge’s restoration projects.

Friday, May 31 9am

Opening Keynote

We are very fortunate that Kelly will be one of our keynote speakers, presenting us with his analysis of the economic impact of heritage tourism. 

Hill Strategies Research is widely respected across Canada and internationally as a leading authority on arts and culture research, with nearly 20 years of research experience in this area. Founder & President, Kelly Hill has an unparalleled knowledge of the Canadian arts sector and arts-related statistics. Since founding Hill Strategies in 2002, Kelly has prepared nearly 400 reports and presentations on the arts and culture, involving quantitative and qualitative arts research.  

Friday, May 31 - 1:45 pm

Agriculture Photographic Exploration Bonnie Sitter

Bonnie will take us on a visual journey of the province’s various agricultural commodities. The significant recent evolution in farming methods will be illustrated with particular attention paid to changes brought about by advances in technology.  Production methods and interesting "did you know" facts will be included.

Bonnie Sitter has co-authored 2 coffee table books, 'The Beauty and Bounty of Huron County' (2013) and 'Agriculture Today: A Portrait of Family Farms in Ontario' (2017).
Her articles and photographs are regularly published in The Rural Voice and often involve history with an agricultural flavour.
Stay tuned for 'Onion Skins and Peach Fuzz: Memories of Ontario Farmerettes', book release anticipated later this year.

Saturday, June 1 - 10:45am Dave Gillians

The Bayfield River Flats Campaign

Dave Gillians is a graduate from Mt. Allison University and Wilfrid Laurier University. He is retired from TDCanada Trust.

Dave was one of the founders of the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association, is a past President of the Bayfield Historical Society and was the fundraising chair of the Bayfield River Flats acquisition team. 



This conference is an initiative by Community Heritage Ontario to provide information, education, points of view and opinions to maintain and enhance the competence of and inspire individuals working in the heritage field, whether professionals or volunteers.  The presentations and sessions during this conference do not, however, represent or embody any official positions of or statements by Community Heritage Ontario, or its directors and officers, except where this is specifically indicated.  The participants at this conference acknowledge and agree that Community Heritage Ontario does not accept any responsibility or liability for the content of any verbal or written presentations by third parties.  In addition, the presentations and sessions at this conference do not attempt to set forth definitive methods or standards or provide legal advice.  Any materials provided are intended to be used thoughtfully by participants, as nothing presented at this conference relieves participants of their responsibility to consider the content in the light of their own judgment and experience.