Ottawa is a veritable heritage hub: the ancestral territory of the Algonquin Anishinabeg; a logging town at the confluence of three rivers, transformed to serve as the seat of Canada’s national government; and a modern research, academic and high tech hot spot, alive with innovative conservation, construction and development projects led by both “Town & Crown,” private and public sectors. The conference will capitalize on this rich blend of history, place, ritual and expertise for a truly memorable and inspiring event.
Reflecting this diversity, CAPITALizing on HERITAGE will provide an extraordinary opportunity with seven conference tracks organized into three technical tracks, three cultural/community tracks and one track exploring the intersection of policy and technical issues. The papers within each thematic track will range from macro to micro in scale, with subject matter as diverse as cultural landscapes, non-destructive testing, heritage advocacy, engineering, sustainability, and project financing. Conference tracks include:
Track 1: Documentation and Diagnostics – Understanding Historic Places. To succeed in rehabilitation and preservation, we must first fully understand the existing condition. This track covers the evolving and latest research, documentation, measurement, non-destructive evaluation, testing, modeling and diagnostic tools for the historic preservation of buildings, engineering structures, and cultural landscapes.
Track 2: Design – Planning the Conservation of Historic Places. The ongoing evolution of current building and energy codes and other regulatory requirements means that there is potential for “bad things happening to good buildings.” This track discusses preserving heritage fabric through advanced materials conservation, and sensitive integration of new systems to meet contemporary programmatic requirements and improve performance.
Track 3: Delivery – Intervening in Historic Places. All the understanding and planning of a preservation project for a historic place can be thwarted if there is a failure of execution. Collaboration between the consulting and construction teams is critical to ensure that actions are carried out correctly both on site and in managing/administering the project. This track explores best practices for achievement, through case studies and vetting the latest guidelines.
Track 4: Policy and Practice. Conservation practice, government actions, regulations and standards, and community concerns are intertwined. Together they create a “climate” for conservation that shapes what is possible, which projects get done and how they turn out. This track will explore the role governments, heritage advocates, practitioners, and professionals at all levels can and must play in creating a culture of conservation.
Track 5: Canada 150 – Indigenous Heritage, Diversity, and New Directions. Canadian Confederation’s 150th anniversary and other milestones – the US National Historic Preservation Act (1966), Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (1919) – present an occasion to reflect on the future relevance of conservation in Canada, the US, and beyond. While the heritage preservation movement has worked to empower people to share the meanings of the places that matter to them and to work for their protection, not all perspectives/traditions have been given equal consideration. How do we better integrate diverse meanings and approaches to cultural, heritage and property ownership to build a movement relevant to our future? How do we demonstrate more clearly the connection between heritage conservation and broader societal goals?
Track 6: Integrating Old and New – Buildings, Districts, and Landscapes. Infill, additions, façade retention, new construction in historic landscapes – heritage advocates and practitioners continue to wrestle with what makes a “successful” preservation project. Conservation standards in both the US and Canada are based on the principle that new additions be compatible with, subordinate to, and distinguishable from historic places. In practice, evaluating proposed interventions against these standards creates tensions. Where does value lie, and what constitutes quality, context-sensitive design?
Track 7: Regeneration – Community, Economics, and Equitable Places. Historic places are at their best when they do more than reflect a static past. They truly shine when they tell a story that resonates today. The gold standard: a private development that meets the bottom line while engaging its community, a downtown revitalization that strikes the perfect balance between commercial success and vital public space, or a historic site that rediscovers its relevance by integrating traditional narratives with those of the neglected/oppressed or finds creative new revenue streams that are “on mission.” But how to navigate the choppy waters of this regeneration process?