Heritage Regions Programme - Programme régions de patrimoine

[click] Programme description 1991 with illustrations (pdf)

(Links to various documents are at the end of the introduction / On peut accéder à divers documents concernant ce programme et le tourisme culturel après l'introduction)


The Heritage Regions Programme was launched by Heritage Canada in 1988. At that time there were several one-industry areas in Canada that were dying. Their economy was based on one industry such as agriculture, lumber, mining, or fishing. It is easily understood that when such industries are in demand, everyone supporting them is doing fine. But when the demand for their resource falls or the natural resource is exhausted (no more trees or fishes), then everyone suffers; the region begins to decline economically and the younger generation leaves to find work elsewhere. Heritage Canada developed the Heritage Regions Programme (originally called the Heritage Tourism Programme) on the basis of its experience with the Main Street Canada Programme to help the people in such regions use their heritage as a new source of income and development.

Here is how a Heritage Region project would typically begin. A small group of community leaders from a one-industry area having heard about the Heritage Regions Programme would contact Heritage Canada asking for help. We would meet. We would ask the community leaders to first define their "region" for us. At first, they were a bit perplexed, but when we told them that they should think in terms of a "territory" similar to what wild animals do. Animals define the limits of their "territory" with a scent and within this territory they can find enough food and other resources to survive. Beyond these limits, it is another animal's territory. The same applies to a one-industry region. Certain communities are part of the "family" while others are not. Defining the "region" was the first step.

The second step required them to be pro-active. We told them to organize a two-day visit of the "region" for us in the following way: hire a standard 45-seat bus; reserve five seats for Heritage Canada representatives and fill the remaining forty seats with two representatives from twenty different communities that are part of the "region" as identified in step 1.

The morning of the first day, we wanted to visit a "natural" site in the region, a natural area, and farm or garden that if it disappeared or was significantly altered, they would feel that they had lost something very important to them. Someone knowledgeable from that specific area would need to be the guide for this first morning's visit. Lunch would be in the area and comprise local foods or specialties.
The afternoon of the first day, we wanted to visit a "built" area in the region, a village with typical architecture or an industrial site that they considered to be significant. Again, someone from that specific area would need to be the guide for this afternoon's visit. Supper would be in the area and again comprise local foods or specialties.

The morning of the second day, we wanted to meet "living treasures" in another area of the region; these would be people who have a particular skill (craftsmen, musicians, painters, writers, athletes etc.) or a long-time knowledge of the region's history. Lunch would be in the area and comprise local foods or specialties.

The afternoon of the second day, we wanted to experience a regional "tradition" again in another area of the region, a tradition that we would not be able to experience elsewhere. Supper and a wrap-up session would be organized in a local hotel pending the return to base on the following morning.

By this time, the participants have forgotten that we were there; they were talking to each other with great emotion, several openly crying. They cannot believe that there was so much interesting and engaging rich heritage in their region. They are touched. When asked if they would pay several hundred dollars to be part of another similar tour, they answer with a resounding "yes".

Well, there is no need to convince them now that they have plenty of heritages in their region, that it is fantastic, and that any visitor from another part of the country or even from a foreign country would also be touched by what the group has experienced during the past two days. There is no need also to explain to them that heritage can be natural, built, living or intangible; they have experienced it. All we really need to do now is to continue to identify this heritage, ensure its protection and package it in such a way that it can be shared profitably with visitors. This is when the Heritage Regions strategy implementation begins.

Hyperlinks / Hyperliens

[click] Regional Heritage Tourism Strategy (former name for Heritage Regions) promotion material 1988
[click] Regional Heritage Tourism Strategy Description 1988
[click] Heritage Regions Programme Description 1991
[click] Heritage Regions Programme brochure
[click] Un tourisme nouveau au Canada - La FCPP, mars 1988
[click] Heritage Regions Programme Summary Report 1988-89
[click] Heritage Regions Programme Summary Report 1990-91
[click] Programme régions de patrimoine - Rapport annuel 1990-91
[click] Programme régions de patrimoine, article, Continuité, No. 45, 1989
[click] The Ontatio Heritage Regions Projects - 1989-1991 Final Report
[click] La stratégie de tourisme culturel en milieu urbain, un projet novateur
[click] La revitalisation des régions rurales - Le patrimoine comme outil - 1994

[click] logoNewfoundland and Labrador - Labrador Straits Heritage Region Project
[click] Baccalieu Trail Logo Newfoundland and Labrador - Baccalieu Trail Heritage Region Project

[click] Cowichan-Chemainus Logo British Columbia - Cowichan-Chemainus Valleys Ecomuseum Project

[click] Ontario - Lanark County Heritage Region Project

[click] Ontario - Manitoulin Island Heritage Region Project

[click] Regional Natural Parks of France and Heritage Regions of Canada: Two Practical Approaches for Developing Sustainable Tourism Attractions

[click] Régions de patrimoine (Canada) et parcs naturels régionaux (France): des approches qui rejoignent les attentes des résidents et celles des visiteurs