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Heritage Funding Significantly Supporting East Kootenay Projects

Columbia Basin Trust is supporting 43 heritage projects through more than $2.8 million in grant funding, benefitting several community groups in the East Kootenay, including Kimberley’s Sullivan Mine & Railway Historical Society.

One of the largest recipients of the 2019 Built Heritage Grants from Columbia Bains Trust, the Sullivan Mine & Railway Historical Society is receiving $331,838 to preserve the Sullivan Mine Powerhouse.

“The mining railway sees over 10,000 visitors per year, and the Powerhouse facility illustrates the scale of the mining operation and Kimberley’s rich history,” said Mick Henningson, President of the Sullivan Mine & Railway Historical Society. “This very important preservation work will keep this heritage building in good shape for years to come, including all the heritage assets contained within it, for visitors to continue to learn from and enjoy.”

Built around 1924, the Powerhouse stores artifacts and treasures from over the years including a large hand-crafted mine model, massive, compressors, and a two-tonne high-grade ore sample that was exhibited in 1967 at the World Fair in Montreal.

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The preservation work will see full brickwork repairs and restoration of the Powerhouse’s 34 windows, which includes 3,200 total panes of glass.

Here’s the full list of local East Kootenay Project being supported through the 2019 Built Heritage Grants and the Heritage, Museum and Archive Grants:


  • St. Aidan Orthodox Church – $9,797
    • Restoration: St. Aidan Church, Cranbrook
      • Complete exterior restoration, including replacing the stained- glass window protection
  • Cranbrook Archives, Museum and Landmark Foundation – $7,328
    • Collections Software Upgrade Project
      • Update the current collection management database software to enable greater community accessibility
  • Cranbrook Community Theatre Society – $26,900
    • Studio/Stage Door Asset Condition and Statement of Significance
      • Do a heritage conservation plan for the Studio/Stage Door building, a noted local theatre venue located in a former Masonic Lodge built in 1909


  • Sullivan Mine & Railway Historical Society – $331,838
    • Preservation: Sullivan Mine Powerhouse
      • Repair flagged areas of the brickwork and windows on the 80-metre long powerhouse building to protect major mining artifacts preserved inside
  • Kimberley District Heritage Society – $6,060
    • Bringing Life to Kimberley’s Past
      • Digitize 800 images from the historical society’s collection for public use and research


  • Knox United Church – $133,356
    • Exterior Restoration Phase 1: Knox United Church, Fernie
      • Restore the bell tower and roof, including drainage and soffits, do exterior brickwork and replace the exterior window trim
  • Fernie & District Historical Society – $30,250
    • Collections Management Project, Phase 2
      • Correct past practices to create a carefully curated collection that provides a solid foundation for the future


  • Yahk Kingsgate Recreation Society – $4,701
    • Phase 1: Archive Assessment and Training
      • Hire a consultant to identify and create a work plan, provide training for volunteers and offer guidance on equipment needed to perform digital and other archival management tasks


  • St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church – $323,152
    • Rehabilitation: St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Creston
      • Repair and reinforce the roof and repair the stained-glass window on this 110-year-old church in the centre of town
  • Creston Museum – $2,075
    • History About Town Content Development
      • Offer a week of off-site programming celebrating local heritage, including tours and presentations; the pilot was held in 2018 and there will be new content, scheduling and programming for 2019
  • Creston Museum – $3,704
    • Creston Archives Reorganization
      • Consolidate, reorganize, upgrade storage, document and update the database for archival collection

“The ways people can preserve this region’s history, and make sure it remains relevant to future generations, are as varied as the history itself,” said Johnny Strilaeff, President and CEO of Columbia Basin Trust. “With input from Basin residents, the Trust developed a strategic priority to ensure the history and culture of the Basin is celebrated. Alongside our partner Heritage BC, we are pleased to support heritage and other organizations, whether they plan to acquire or conserve assets or better manage and promote what they already have.”

The project funding is part of the Columbia Basin Trust’s three-year, $7.8 million commitment to supporting the region’s heritage values.

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