Municipal Government and Heritage Advisory Committees

The Heritage Resources Act encourages municipal governments to protect heritage resources of regional and local significance. The Act allows for a municipal council to establish, by way of a bylaw, a Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee (MHAC) to advise the council on heritage matters. Suggested membership for the committee might include a municipal councillor, business people, local architects and planners, museum or historical society volunteers and anyone else with a keen interest in the heritage of the area.

A Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee may recommend to council:

  • designation of sites as being municipally significant (protecting them from demolition and making them eligible for grant assistance)
  • commemoration through plaques or other methods, of themes, people and events which are municipally significant (making known to the public important aspects of local history)

To ensure the MHAC has the knowledge necessary to make informed recommendations to council, basic activities should be undertaken, such as:

  • preparing a heritage sites inventory - including sites, themes, people, and events worthy of conservation or promotion

  • doing site evaluations - assessing heritage resources of architectural, archaeological, and/or historical value

Municipal Heritage Advisory Committees have the power to initiate/undertake projects, which will promote the community's heritage resources. Some examples of popular initiatives include:

  • walking/driving tours
  • regional bus tours
  • plaques (commemorating important people, places, events, or themes)
  • oral histories (recording local history through the recollections of elderly citizens)
  • artifact preservation (ensuring that the community's material history is not lost)
  • special events (the nature of which are limited only by one's imagination)

Heritage Manitoba

Heritage Manitoba is an informal coalition of municipal heritage advisory committees and small urban and rural communities dedicated to helping anyone in Manitoba seeking guidance on developing a heritage project or initiative.

Their website contains the wealth of information required by any Manitoba community looking to capitalize on its irreplaceable resources and fascinating stories to create a meaningful local heritage presence.