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Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee

Who We Are

The Gimli Heritage Advisory Committee is a sub-committee of the Rural Municipality of Gimli Council and provides advice to the Council on local heritage issues. The Committee is dedicated to ensuring that Council and the citizens of the R.M. of Gimli have the necessary information to make good decisions that affect the rich heritage we have inherited from the past.

Municipal Heritage Advisory Committees (MHACs) are established through the Heritage Resources Act of the Province of Manitoba. Gimli is one of about 50 MHACs that have been created in Manitoba. Key powers provided to MHACs and municipalities under The Act are for the designation of sites of major historic significance and the provision of commemorative markers for events, people and themes that have shaped the history of our communities. The Gimli MHAC takes these responsibilities seriously and develops the necessary processes and protocols to ensure that our rich heritage is properly researched, analyzed and celebrated.

The composition of the Committee, with representation from many occupations and areas in the municipality, ensures that a broad perspective is brought to all our work. The Gimli MHAC is presently comprised of the following individuals:

Wally Johannson - Retired Teacher and Former MLA - Presiding Member
Rick Lair - Parks Canada conservator
Steffie Hykawy - Local heritage activist
Ernest Stefanson - Past President Canadian Pharmacists Association
Don Steinmetz - Local contractor
Claire Gillis - Local pharmacist
Thora Palson - Councillor
Chris Brooks
Johanne Kristjanson

What We Do

The Gimli Heritage Advisory Committee undertakes many traditional heritage projects to ensure that our community has the range of information and tools to undertake this important work: inventories, plaques, tours, a monument etc. See other parts of this website for the results of this activity.

But we are a creative and determined group, and have hired an architecture student to develop locally-relevant guides on architecture and heritage site conservation, conducted research on cottage designs and carpenters, developed a museum exhibit which included a film, PowerPoint and 14 pictorial panels, hosted the annual conference of Community Heritage Manitoba, held annual “Heritage Open Houses” to further dialogue with local heritage building owners and enthusiasts.. These innovative and useful initiatives are also highlighted on this website.

The Gimli MHAC meets every month to discuss the progress of various projects, to develop responses to current heritage issues and to discuss ideas for new initiatives. The MHAC also works closely with the Historic Resources Branch of Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, to ensure that our work and plans reflect the most current thinking about heritage, and especially heritage management.

The Gimli Heritage committee has been blessed with very able and active members. As a result, It has become one of the most active MHACs in the province. Its achievements include:

• Inventory of heritage sites 2007–2010
• Heritage Plaques at Best Sites
• Heritage Open Houses & Heritage Tours
• Monument to victims of smallpox epidemic of 1876–77
• Hosted Provincial Conference Community Heritage Manitoba 2007
• Exhibit at New Iceland Heritage Museum Manitoba Day 2008
• Published Handbook for Heritage Cottage Owners
• Published Andy Blicq Construction Study 2011
• Booklet on Berlo
• Booklet on Loni Beach Heritage Community
• Booklet on History of Gimli Public School
• Currently in process of publishing 3 more historical booklets and designing heritage interpretive panels

Heritage Management Plans

An important aspect of work of the Gimli Heritage Advisory Committee MHAC) is the creation of management plans that help guide our work over a three year period. Following is the Plan for 2008-2010. The MHAC is currently developing its next three-year plan, for 2011–2014.

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