Kamloops, BC – Long-awaited heritage restoration work at the Old Courthouse in Kamloops will now move forward thanks to a $494,065 grant from the provincial government as part of BC’s economic recovery efforts related to COVID-19.
The City was among 68 communities to receive heritage infrastructure funding from the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP), which has allocated up to $100 million to support community economic resilience, tourism, heritage, and urban and rural economic development.
The grant will be used to restore the Old Courthouse’s slate roof, rehabilitate interior and exterior woodwork, and restore exterior retaining walls—work that had been previously identified but had not yet moved forward because of competing City priorities.
“When the City purchased this historic building in 2007, it did so with knowledge of damage to the heritage integrity,” said Barbara Berger, the City’s Recreation, Social Development, and Culture Manager. “At that time, the goal was to rehabilitate as many heritage attributes as possible and now, with this grant, we will be able to restore some of the property’s most prominent elements.”
The restoration work will start this spring and will provide multiple benefits to the community and region through the creation of jobs and through the sourcing of local and BC-based project materials that conform to the building and property’s original character. The project will also strengthen opportunities for local businesses and the tourism community to encourage visits to the Downtown, when it is safe to do so, and will support the artists and the arts and cultural groups who rely on the Old Courthouse for their livelihoods.
“Funding heritage and cultural projects throughout British Columbia is vital for communities and their well-being. It allows them to remain connected to their past, and it helps to support their cultural organizations,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “This funding also helps communities recover from the pandemic with investments in programs that benefit the whole community.”
The heritage infrastructure funding stream, part of the overall CERIP program, represents the province’s largest one-time infusion of funds into the heritage sector.
Read the provincial news release here.