Establishing and Maintaining a Successful Municipal Heritage Committee in Minden Hillls


Establishing and Maintaining a Successful Municipal Heritage Committee in Minden Hillls


Giltenan, Tom

Host Organization

Host contact: Green, Marjorie

Supervising Faculty

Brunger, Alan; Skinner, Mark
Department: Geography

Reference Number




Location of Document

U-Links Office and online




Heritage buildings in rural communities


This project is focused on the potential for creating a mechanism for reviewing and advocating for heritage buildings in rural communities. It aims to answer the questions: What are heritage committees? How are they formed? What are the approaches that have been successful in preserving local heritage? What recommendations are there in relation to issues being faced by the host community?


This project investigates the process of establishing a municipal heritage committee (MHC) and tries to apply the findings to Minden Hills. Currently the Ontario government supplies a lot of information on how to create a municipal heritage committee but does not go beyond policy recommendations. This project seeks out specific recommendations for Minden Hills in establishing and maintaining a successful, effective, and long lasting organization. The project uses a mixed methods approach to investigation. A literature and policy review reveals that open lines of communication between committee and council is vital and can be achieved by having a council member sit on the committee. Also, having a council member sit on the committee helps to ensure a positive relationship between committee and council and is another major asset to maintaining a successful municipal heritage committee. By categorizing and sorting the municipal heritage committees of Ontario, the importance of a concise, well-defined, and accurately reflecting name becomes evident. This should help people understand what the municipal heritage committee does at a glance and with little contemplation. Through personal observation and information provided by the Minden Hills Heritage Walking tour, the region should be taken seriously as a heritage community. Proper representation of the community’s heritage can be achieved through a municipal heritage committee. Finally, interviews with existing municipal heritage committee representatives confirm that communication between council and committee, and ultimately the community, is one of the most effective means to a successful and long lasting municipal heritage committee. Some difficulty came when trying to recruit interviewees from existing MHCs. This resulted in candidates apart from my first choice. Though disheartening, this did not impact the project significantly since the main focus of the 5 interviews was to gain evidence of both successful and unsuccessful MHC stories in order to refine the recommendations made to Minden Hills. The interviews conducted during this project produced some valuable information. The main points emerging from the interviews are 1) that a MHC must co-operate with Council and not opposed to it, 2) that clear flowing communication between MHC, Council and the Community is maintained, and 3) that support from the community and Council is essential in the establishment of a MHC


Trent University



Giltenan, Tom, Establishing and Maintaining a Successful Municipal Heritage Committee in Minden Hillls, Trent University, 2008