Stratford and St. Marys to Host 2016 Ontario Heritage Conference


For four days next spring, May 12-15, more than 300 delegates are expected to be in Stratford and St. Marys to talk heritage.

Specifically, they will be discussing the preservation of heritage in a changing world, as the annual Ontario Heritage Conference comes to Perth County for the first time. It is sponsored by the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario and Community Heritage Ontario. ACO Stratford/Perth  County is taking the lead in planning, organizing and managing the event.

“We are in the process of putting together a wonderful team of volunteers,” says Rick Huband, chair of the local planning committee. “We are fortunate in our area to have so many people with such a variety of skills, and a willingness to use them to address the many needs of a conference such as this.”

The delegates, from across Ontario and Canada and beyond, will be a mix of professionals who work or teach in the heritage field, seasoned activists dedicated to recording and preserving our heritage, and younger people eager to learn more about our past and how they can involve themselves in preserving elements of it.

The theme chosen by the organizing committee, “Preservation in a Changing World,” will ensure the conference has something for everyone, says Huband. “It provides the basis for us to explore a variety of sub-themes through speakers and presenters, who will address, among other issues, the impact of climate change on preserving our heritage, new approaches to building our communities while preserving our heritage and cultural values, the effect of new technologies on the adaptive re-use of heritage properties, and the use of social media to more effectively organize heritage activism initiatives.”

The conference will also give Stratford and St. Marys an opportunity to showcase their built and cultural heritage.

“As well,” says Huband, “we are going to design our program to allow for delegates to experience local foods and arts and entertainment. So it should be a significant boost for the economies of Stratford, St. Marys and area.”

Further details about the conference will be released in the fall.


Dean Robinson




Building Stories 



The Building Stories website:

On April 30, 2012, the website was launched to enable Canadians to take a direct role in identifying important community heritage assets.

This on-line resource is now making thousands of original documents, photos and historical records available online from a wide variety of communities.

Building Stories is a partnership between the University of Waterloo’s Heritage Resources Centre and Computer Systems Group and the Centre for Community Mapping.

The mission of the Heritage Resources Centre is to promote a better understanding of natural and human heritage for the improvement of planning management and public policy through research, education, and extension work.


One Building Stories Podcast  features the Branch's Historic Plaque Program.

Host Amy Barnes interviewed ACO Stratford/Perth County's first president, Ted Hales.


Click here for the interview. It is fourth on the list.


Click here to see 196 Ontario Street


Building Stories Website