This past fall saw some significant impacts to the heritage landscape in Alberta, driven by changes put in place by the provincial government. This includes folding the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation, cuts to the Provincial Heritage Organizations (including the Historical Society of Alberta), and cuts to certain grant streams. At the moment, none of these have impacted EDHS directly.
One of the biggest challenges we anticipate in the short term is that grant funding will become more competitive. More broadly, we are concerned about the impact these cuts are having on the heritage landscape in Edmonton (and Alberta). They are affecting archives, museums, and the genealogical and archaeological communities, as well as built heritage and interpretive programming. It may also have impacts on how municipalities deal with heritage, that we have yet to see.
This new reality makes the work the board does on behalf of our members all the more important. The past couple of months we have been busy working behind the scenes to ensure our current programming continues to be delivered according to the high standards we have set. We also hope to see some programs, particularly History in the Classroom and the annual Edmonton Historic and Doors Open Festival, grow and evolve to better serve our community.
We applied for two grants recently, and hope to find out if we were successful in the coming months. These grants will help support the 2020 Festival as well as a new book we are publishing this year by Dr. Gordon Moyles on the Gold Rush in Edmonton and northern Alberta.
We look forward to another year of delivering quality programming and promoting, preserving, and celebrating the history of Edmonton and area on behalf of you, our members. I hope to see you all out at our upcoming speakers events in the New Year, and hope you can make it to the AGM in April.