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Heritage BC optimistic about continuing work in Kootenays

The executive director of Heritage BC is hopeful the organization will continue to work with the Columbia Basin Trust.

It follows the completion of a five-year contract that saw Heritage BC employ a heritage planner stationed in Nelson to strengthen the local heritage, museum, and archives sector.

Jennifer Dunkerson, who held the position from 2017 until 2022, is now employed by the Trust as a benefits delivery manager.

While the contract has not been renewed, Heritage BC executive director Kirstin Clausen noted the Trust is in the midst of reviewing is priorities.

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“Heritage BC continues to have an interest in the heritage of the Kootenays,” she said.

“Once Columbia Basin Trust completes its strategic planning, I’m sure the conversation around the needs of heritage in that region will continue.”

Heritage BC is a non-profit organization that advocates for the heritage sector across the province.

Clausen said while she believes there is a willingness to explore options, it has to align with the Trust’s priorities.

Under its Built Heritage program from 2017-19, the Trust provided $6 million to support dozens of heritage restoration project.

In a unique partnership, the Trust also funded the heritage planner position to provide support to local organizations.

Clausen said anyone who valued the work done through those programs should let the Trust know.

“We’re encouraging people to be engaged in the process,” she said. “They have to hear firsthand from people who received funding or are hoping for that kind of funding about the benefit it provided.”

(CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said the heritage planner position was based in Castlegar.)

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