Heritage Management Strategy

The Heritage Management Strategy is a comprehensive plan for Squamish to assist in managing its heritage resources, including best-practice policies, actions and tools for heritage management that are informed and guided by community values. The project began in the spring of 2022 and was endorsed by Council on February 20, 2024.

View the endorsed Heritage Management Strategy


Squamish’s 2040 Official Community Plan (OCP) outlines the future vision for Squamish. The OCP identifies the need for a heritage inventory and register, heritage evaluation criteria, heritage assessment in development review and community planning, and adaptive reuse and rehabilitation of heritage features to identify, increase awareness and appreciation for, and protect local heritage assets. The 2020 Arts, Culture, and Heritage Strategy further outlines tactics for a heritage protection framework and the desire to collaborate with heritage groups.

On February 8, 2022, the District endorsed a Heritage Scoping Study and directed staff to include the creation of the Squamish Heritage Management Strategy in the 2023 Budget process for consideration. Following a successful grant application in February 2022 to the Heritage BC 150 Time Immemorial Grant program, work on the Strategy was able to begin immediately.

Where We Are At

Phase 1: Understand the Historic Place (Spring 2022 – Fall 2022)

Phase 1 of the project focused on public engagement. The key objective of this phase was to listen and learn from the whole community and interested and affected parties on heritage themes, values, priorities, and vision so input could be well documented and considered as the Strategy developed.

Residents were able to participate by filling out the survey (online via the Let’s Talk webpage and paper distribution), or by attending a drop-in session at the 55+ Centre or Public Open House at Squamish Adventure Centre. A list of 20+ stakeholders was developed in collaboration with District staff, who were invited to participate in the project by one-on-one interviews.

Phase 2: Identify Squamish’s Heritage Places (Fall 2022 – Fall 2023)

Community input was collected into a “What We Heard Summary” that was presented to Council for information on October 11, 2022. The summary informed deliverables in Phase 2 of the project. Phase 2 focused on analysis, research, and development of policy recommendations. Recommendations include heritage conservation planning tools (as per the Local Government Act & Community Charter); such as:

  • Community Heritage Register (a list of places with heritage value)
  • Development Permit Areas & Design Guidelines
  • Tree Protection Bylaw (protection and maintenance of trees)
  • Heritage Designation (legal protection to not alter property without a Heritage Alteration Permit)
  • Heritage Revitalization Agreements (voluntary agreement between property owner and local government)

Throughout this phase the project team engaged with District staff, heritage interest groups, and Squamish Nation.

Phase 3: Complete the Heritage Management Strategy (Fall 2023)

In this phase, the project team developed a heritage program unique to the District and a draft Heritage Management Strategy was presented to Council for feedback.

Completed February 20, 2024.

Next Steps

Actions identified in the Strategy may now be incorporated into the day-to-day operations of staff. Some policies and actions require additional resources, and budget will be allocated according to priority and timeline.