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Grants support County built heritage projects

The County Foundation Board of Directors approved $14,000 in Built Heritage Grants supporting projects County-wide.

The many grant applications were assessed and award recommendations were made by the County’s Christmas House Tours Committee which provides funds for the grants.

“The number of grant applications for this year surpassed expectations and exceeded available funding, making for strong competition,” said Marily Lauer, committee chair. “Difficult choices had to be made, and they were. “We were elated with the number of applications the Built Heritage Fund received this year, and we only wished we could have given even more money to applicants.”

Decisions on whether to give larger amounts to fewer organizations or to “spread the wealth” landed in favour of the latter, to the delight of the added grant recipients.

Save The Day grants of $4,000 each were awarded to:
– Glenwood Cemetery Chapel – primarily masonry/building restoration
– Cooper House (Music At Milford) – masonry work

Additional grants of $2,000 each were awarded to:
– Vic Café @ Regent Theatre – window replacement
– Athol Town Hall – original entrance front door restoration

Further Additional grants of $1,000 each were awarded to:
– The Wellington Hotel – to contribute to the intricate external woodwork/cornices
– The Green Barn Renovation at Ameliasburg Museum – to house the De Vries Taxidermy collection

The Christmas House Tours have been ongoing since 2010 and are held on the first Sunday in December.

Ameliasburg Heritage Village, Green Barn project: the barn will become the future home of the De Vries taxidermy collection, housed in an inner structure to provide appropriate climatic conditions to preserve the collection. The collection will enhance the learning at this pioneers’ site, drawing tourists, artists and school visitors to its many and varied displays. Curator and enthusiastic leader Janice Hubbs points the way. Her response to the grant was “This will definitely help us to get this done.” Jennifer Lyons, Head Curator – Museums, on hearing of the grant award, said “Thank you very much. You just made my day! Bravo to the PEC Built Heritage Grant and The County Foundation – it’s such important work they do.”

Kelly and Matt Buckingham stand before the 150 year residence which is being converted into a hotel in Wellington. The grant was awarded for a Cornice project at the main roof line. Some of the existing cornice can be seen high above Matt’s left shoulder. Kelly’s comment on hearing of the grant success said “Thank you so much for this, it will really help.” Bringing an older home up to today’s standards and codes, while restoring it’s original features, is a bold venture and an expensive endeavour. Construction is now well under way and Matt is adding the Cornice project to his agenda, seeking talented wood craftsmen with the skills to perform this intricate work.

Music at Port Milford (MPM) takes place at the Cooper House, owned by Meg Hill, who is the Managing Director of Music at Port Milford chamber music festival and summer school. Here, Greg Garrett, Board Chair of Music at Milford discusses the masonry project on the Cooper House, with members Libby Crombie and Marilyn Lauer from the Christmas House Tours Committee. The foundation wall restoration project will be funded by a Built Heritage Grant recently awarded to MPM. The grant is funded by the Christmas House Tours. When notified of the grant, owner Meg Hill said “This is wonderful news. We are thrilled. Thank you for your support.”

Glen Wallis is the project leader for the Athol Town Hall front entrance and door restoration project. A grant from the Built Heritage Fund is an important contribution to funding this project, and Glen is showing design sketches to members Marilyn Lauer and Peta Shelton of the Christmas House Tours Committee, at the Hall site. When informed of the grant, Wallis said “This is such great news”. The project completion date is the coming Fall, in good time for celebrating the Hall’s 150th anniversary in 2020.

“This is amazing news!” was the reaction from Rick Szabo, joint proprietor with wife Sonya, of the Vic Café at The Regent Theatre on hearing they had received a grant from the Built Heritage Fund last week. A valued contribution toward the cost of window replacements at the Vic, the grant will help them complete the project by year end, before the really cold weather occurs. Existing windows have a condensation problem in the winter which hampers visibility from inside our outside the café. Thermal window replacements which maintain the existing heritage features of the building will be installed. Rick and Sonya enjoy a very brief late afternoon rest at the café last week.

At the main entrance to its 62 acre scenic and rolling landscape in Glenwood Cemetery sits the heritage Chapel. Built in 1901 the Chapel provides a peaceful retreat for celebrations of life, quiet reflections, and varied musical events. The Chapel windows are in need of restoration work as the wood window frames are deteriorating.

Sandra Latchford, Chair of the cemetery’s volunteer Board of Directors, responding to news that the Built Heritage Fund had awarded the project a grant to contribute to restoration costs wrote “Thank you so much for sending us such good news. We are thrilled that the Glenwood Chapel has been chosen to receive financial assistance for this restoration project.”

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