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Projects promoting heritage plaques, art, historic clock tower get council’s support

During its April 8 regular meeting, council received the heritage advisory committee’s recent meeting minutes, which included three motions for adoption. 

City council has adopted several heritage-related motions that preserve and promote community history, focusing on heritage plaques, art displays and a historic clock tower.

During its April 8 regular meeting, council received the heritage advisory committee’s recent meeting minutes, which included three motions for adoption. 

Heritage plaques

The committee has been working for more than two years to install new heritage plaques, while it has also been working to install QR codes on the plaques so passersby can scan them and watch videos about that site.

The group has been creating informational videos while the city is hosting the short clips on its website. Further, students from Saskatchewan Polytechnic have offered to provide video-editing support this fall.

Wakamow Valley Authority is also looking for help since some of its plaques have deteriorated; it will provide the committee with more information soon.

During its meeting, the committee heard from Jessica McNaughton, owner of the online company memoryKPR. This business provides a digital asset management solution to help individuals and businesses save, store, protect and tell stories virtually.

McNaughton demonstrated the service and said memoryKPR was launching a storytelling and digital content pilot project in April. 

The committee discussed participating to help enhance the plaques/QR code project before recommending that council consider taking part, with the committee funding the initial costs. The group also recommended that council invite McNaughton to a future council meeting to discuss the project.

“(This program) … would probably be one of the easiest and quickest ways to collect this (historical) data and have it in a format that is super easily accessible to the public … ,” said Coun. Crystal Froese, council’s rep on the committee. 

Coun. Dawn Luhning was concerned about the motion’s wording of the committee’s offer to “initially fund” the pilot project and wondered what the cost was.

“I don’t know if I really want to approve something without knowing the budget,” she said. “So I have some hesitancy on that part because when we start a project like this … council needs information about the budget and how it might turn out.”

The cost to participate in the pilot project is $500, said Froese. Also, this motion only asks council to consider the project, so the committee won’t proceed until it has approval.

Council then unanimously approved the two motions.

Art gallery project

The committee also discussed a request from the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery (MJMAG) about installing a picture box on the building’s exterior to display art, which requires council approval since the building is a municipal heritage property. 

The group recommended that the MJMAG be allowed to take this action.

Council voted 6-1 to approve the request; Luhning was opposed.

Clock tower

The committee heard from tradesman John Trodd, who repairs clock towers. He discussed his plan to repair the north face of the heritage-designated CPR Station clock tower and replace the light fixtures surrounding the structure. Meanwhile, funding is coming from Canadian Pacific Kansas City Ltd. (CPKS) and the building’s owner.

Trodd also said he wants to eventually install a wireless connection to change the colour of the lights on the clock towers at the former train station and at city hall. 

Trodd and Murray Rimmer used a crane on April 2 to remove the old lights, along with the clock’s north-facing hour and minute hands. They plan to find modern lights to install that don’t ruin the structure’s aesthetics.

Based on the committee’s recommendation, council voted 6-1 to approve the replacement of all light fixtures on the old CPR Station clock tower, with funding coming from the building’s owner and CPKS, and the committee having final approval of the new light fixtures before the tradesmen install them.

Luhning was opposed. 

The next regular council meeting is Monday, April 22. 

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