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County celebrates local heritage advocates

Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson, left, and Ken Dewar, chair of the Prince Edward County Heritage Advisory Committee, flank the 2020 Prince Edward County Heritage Award winners, from left: Mark Stabb, Program Director, Central Ontario – East, Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), Amanda Tracey, Coordinator Conservation Biology – Central Ontario – East, NCC, storyteller Janet Kellough, and Scott Bailey and Lindsay Reid of Branch Architecture, who accepted the award on behalf of the Armoury Group.

Champions of local heritage were honoured as recipients of the 2020 Prince Edward County Heritage Awards.

“The goal is to identify what we call heritage champions,” said Ken Dewar, chair of the Prince Edward Heritage Advisory Committee (PEHAC). “We know that it’s easy to take other routes;, that it’s easy to tear down a building, or ignore it… but we know there’s another route… We wanted these awards recognize those individuals who took that path less travelled, more difficult perhaps, but stuck to it with the commitment and the strength of character to make heritage a part of our lives in our community.”

At a gathering at Shire Hall Thursday morning, members of PEHAC, and Mayor Steve Ferguson honoured recipients in three categories.

“Congratulations to this year’s winners,” said Ferguson. “Their hard work and effort preserving and promoting the County’s heritage deserves much praise and recognition. They have set an outstanding example for others to follow.”

Scott Bailey and Lindsay Reid, of Branch Architecture, receive the award from Mayor Steve Ferguson.

The Armoury Group received the Conservation of Built Heritage Award for renovation of the Picton Main Street landmark.

Many of the building’s features have been uncovered and returned to their original condition. The armouries building, which was constructed in 1913 as a home for the 16th Prince Edward Regiment, has been modernized into a commercial multi-use space that includes retail, office, and public-use facilities.

Scott Bailey and Lindsay Reid, of Branch Architecture, accepted the award on behalf of the Armoury Group.

“The owners have taken on an heroic task restoring the building and bringing it back to life,” said Reid. “It makes our job much easier when you have owners that are pro-active and enthusiastic about the project,” added Bailey.

Janet Kellough receives the award from Mayor Steve Ferguson

The County’s Janet Kellough accepted the Heritage Awareness and Advocacy Award for her decades of work as a novelist, storyteller, playwright and performer.

She has spent a lifetime capturing County heritage and its unique people through live performances on stage and in concerts, audio recordings, articles and interviews for many years as a reporter with the County Weekly News and as editor with The County Guide. Her many books, including the popular murder mystery Thaddeus Lewis series, showcase local and area history.

“Growing up here was quite spectacular and there’s many reasons for that, but one is that I was always surrounded, and awash, in history, legend and stories,” said Kellough. “When I moved into adulthood here, I began to realize how quickly things were changing in this community. It occurred to me that a community is defined, in many ways, by the stories it tells about itself, and so I set about working with some of these wonderful stories.”

When she first started, she thought she was saving the stories to remind the vast inter-related, inter-connected kind of core population of Prince Edward County at the time.

“But I discovered something really interesting. I discovered that the people who have moved into the community are just as enthusiastic, and just as fascinated with these stories, as the people who grew up here. So the thing I’m most proud of is the fact that anything that I have done has tended to bring this community together, rather than to divide it.”

Mark Stabb and Amanda Tracey receive the award from Mayor Steve Ferguson

The Natural Conservancy of Canada (NCC) received the Preservation of Cultural Heritage Landscapes Award for its contributions to the Hudgin-Rose project.

NCC and its partners worked together to create a new 31-hectare (76-acre) conserved area on Ostrander Point Road in South Marysburgh. The unique landscape has a long human and natural history. Originally settled by the Moses Hudgin family, the property is home to a historic log house that dates back to 1865. The Rose family later cared for the land and the building, and their stewardship led to the heritage designation for the home.

Mark Stabb, NCC area program director, noted the acquisition was NCC’s first project in the County proper, and as it turns out, the first NCC project in the province, if not the country, where NCC acquired a property with an historically designated building.

“It’s just not what we normally do,” said Stabb, thanking the many people in the community who assisted the project to fruition. “This help convince the NCC that we could take on such an important heritage property… With such support I am confident the community, with the support from the Hudgin family, will fulfill their dreams of someday having the building open for visitors and having it become a hub of learning about the Hudgin family, and the great cultural heritage of the south shore of Prince Edward County.”

2019 awards
https://www.countylive.ca/heritage-awards-honour-dedication-of-community-members/

2017 awards
https://www.countylive.ca/heritage-awards-a-highlight-in-two-days-about-yesterday-event/

2013 awards
https://www.countylive.ca/awards-recognize-people-behind-preserving-countys-heritage/

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