The Canadian Government will be reimbursing $100,000 spent on preserving the North Pacific Cannery in Port Edward.
The announcement came from Peter Kent, Canada’s Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada and James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages and Regional Minister for British Columbia, on Jan. 18.
“Our national historic sites are vital to our history, our identity as Canadians and our tourism industry. By investing in these sites and by building lasting relationships with the community groups that operate them, we ensure they will continue to help support local economies and encourage more Canadians to explore and discover our national heritage,” Minister Kent said.
The Government made the donation through Parks Canada’s National Historic Site Cost-Sharing Program to support conservation work on some of the cannery’s threatened cultural resources.
The news was well-received by the Port Edward Historical Society, the group overseeing the preservation of the cannery.
“The restoration and conservation of the North Pacific Cannery is an exciting opportunity to restore a National Historic Site with significant historical and cultural heritage value and will provide opportunities for the public to engage with and learn about the unique history of the Pacific North Coast,” Steve Milum, manager of conservation and operations for the Port Edward Historical Society, said.
The donation is reimbursing money spent by the Historical Society to restore a section of the working dock, stabilizing a rotten platform a reduction tanks sits on, as well as updating siding and replacing structural components of the reduction plant.
All three structures were at severe risk of collapsing, causing damage or loss to themselves and other heritage structures in close proximity.
Work has been underway since the fall and is expected to be complete before summer. Once updates are complete, the Historical Society hopes it can move on to other projects that need addressing, such as completing the remainder of the working dock and updating another platform holding up a reduction tank.
“We’ve got a huge amount ahead of us, but every little bit counts,” said Milum.
The North Pacific Canning Company Ltd. was first established in 1889 and today is the oldest remaining intact fish cannery on the West Coast of North America.