Saskatchewan renews Main Street program to continue successful community revitalization
Heritage Canada The National Trust has announced that Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport has recently renewed Main Street Saskatchewan and established it as an ongoing program. The new Main Street Saskatchewan program is accepting applications from communities by September 5, 2014 for its Accredited and Affiliate levels of participation.
Heritage Canada The National Trust’s trademarked Main Street® program is a comprehensive and proven community revitalization strategy that empowers elected officials, merchants, residents and other citizens to shape the destiny of their downtown, capitalizing on the community’s unique identity, historic buildings and cultural traditions as ready-made tools to generate economic, social and cultural activity. Saskatchewan’s program joins successful province-wide Main Street® programs in Quebec and Alberta. All three programs were established with the assistance of the National Trust.
“Main Street is a powerful tool in the National Trust’s regeneration toolkit,” says Executive Director Natalie Bull. “We are pleased to see the program putting down roots in Saskatchewan, and look forward to deeper and broader collaboration with the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport. The ultimate goal is to offer a holistic and sustainable approach for community regeneration that breaks down silos, optimizes financial and volunteer efforts, and enlivens and amplifies the heritage that communities value, in all its forms.”
The decision to continue the program was based on the success of the Government of Saskatchewan’s demonstration program. Launched in 2011, the demonstration program included four pilot communities: Indian Head, Wolseley, Maple Creek and Prince Albert. Over three years, the government invested $1.65 million and the program generated impressive results including 22 new business starts, $6.5 million in property acquisitions and $4.9 million in commitments to historic building and streetscape improvements, including $3.9 million in private investment.
The National Trust has been a proud supporter of this initiative through its initial research study on program design, and through training, resource planning teams, and evaluation of the four pilot projects and their progress on the National Trust’s accredited Main Street® approach. Watch the National Trust’s film Regeneration on Main Street at www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeqLEz2CgYg&feature=youtu.be to see how this successful approach took hold in the four Saskatchewan pilot communities.
For more information about this program, please visit www.tpcs.gov.sk.ca/MainStreet. And for more information about obtaining Main Street services for your community, or to explore the creation of a Main Street program for your province, please contact Jim Mountain at 613.237.1066 x226 or at [email protected].