Heritage Management Strategy

The District of Squamish has embarked on the exciting process of developing a Heritage Management Strategy, 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 will conclude with a completed Heritage Management Strategy in the summer of 2023.


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 and is now closed. 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 can be well documented and considered as the Strategy develops. 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. Engagement with Squamish Nation started in summer 2022 and will be ongoing until the final project phase.

Next Steps

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

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

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

The project team will continue to engage with District staff, heritage interest groups, and Squamish Nation throughout this phase.

Phase 3: Complete the Heritage Management Strategy (Winter 2023 – Summer 2023)

The project team will return to Council in early 2023 to present policy recommendations and seek direction before moving into Phase 3 of the project - completion of the Heritage Management Strategy.