Province joins united effort to preserve iconic Edmonton church
Plans to proceed with Provincial Historic Resource designation of the McDougall United Church have revived efforts to preserve one of the city’s most distinctive heritage landmarks.
A commitment by the McDougall United Church Council to pursue designation for the 105-year-old building will also see the creation of a new community partnership to help support conservation efforts.
“Even as we face the fiscal challenges of today, we recognize the need to conserve the richness of Alberta’s past. This partnership of government, the congregation and community is an example of what can be achieved by working together -- all for the preservation of one of Edmonton’s most cherished historic resources.”
Representatives of the Friends of the McDougall United Church, along with leaders of the city’s arts, heritage and business communities will collaborate with the city, province and McDougall officials on a fundraising strategy for the long-term preservation of the church. To help kick-start efforts, the Alberta government has pledged $750,000, with the City of Edmonton preparing a request for a further $500,000, subject to approval from Edmonton City Council, to address urgent repairs at the church.
“City Council, and indeed many Edmontonians, expressed real concern over the future of McDougall United Church, an important landmark in our city. Today’s announcement affords us the time and space to focus our conversations on the future of this building and the role it can play in our community going forward. There is still a lot of work to be done, but this is an important first step.”
“Our governments have given us genuine encouragement with this sum. It will kick-start the revitalization and I am hopeful the business community will come forward as we move to establish a framework that allows the building to remain a vital part of downtown Edmonton.”
Following publication of the Notice of Intention to Designate a Provincial Historic Resource in the Alberta Gazette, interested parties have 30 days to share any concerns in writing. If concerns are received, the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation will arrange to hear those concerns within 60 days. During this 60 day period, McDougall United Church Council will bring a motion before the McDougall United Church Congregation to approve designation of the church as a Provincial Historic Resource.
Built in 1910, the historic McDougall United Church serves not only as a place of worship for Edmonton’s downtown parishioners, but hosts several community service and arts organizations. The unique acoustics of the church has made it a favoured performance space for a range of musical acts, from contemporary to choral, and this year, the church will serve as one of the primary venues for the Kiwanis Music Festival.