ICOMOS Canada has been active in a number of programs over the past year, including the sustainable development goals and the urban agenda at Habitat III in Quito; the Nature-Culture journey at IUCN in Hawaii; the delivery of training to candidate sites to Canada’s renewed Tentative List; and the Minister of the Environment’s roundtable in Ottawa. The technical meetings in Halifax build on that momentum especially as these programs relate to our three thematic priorities – Climate Change, Cultural Landscapes and Aboriginal Heritage.

ICOMOS Canada members are invited to register and join these activities.




Objective of the Technical Meetings

These technical meetings are designed to advance the thinking on important subjects, engage the expertise of a broad spectrum of members, and orient ICOMOS Canada’s actions.


Format of the Meetings

The meetings are designed to encourage collaboration, explore technical issues, and advance work on the questions raised so that practical orientations can emerge.

All ICOMOS Canada members are invited and encouraged to participate. The organizers of each Technical Meeting have designed effective ways to carry out the conversations and invited key presenters to help with the discussions.


Summary of Technical Meetings


  • Meeting of the World Heritage Sites and sites on Canadas Tentative List – Organizers: ICOMOS Canada World Heritage Steering Group

ICOMOS Canada traditionally has a role in the nomination and monitoring of condition of World Heritage sites in Canada, by providing input, perspective and assessments to the International Secretariat’s work.

This meeting with the site managers of the World Heritage sites in Canada designated for their cultural values is an opportunity to learn about ICOMOS Canada’s role and network of professionals as well as about our country’s experience with these designations. It is an opportunity to create a network of practitioners and explore ways to better support the management of these places of outstanding universal value.


  • National Conversation on Cultural Landscapes – Coordinators: Angela Garvey, Sharon Hong, Gerry McGeough, Lisa Prosper, Tatum Taylor, Eve Wertheimer

Presentation: The Places We Need for the Future We Want by Victoria Dickenson.

Understanding the ‘sense of place’ – that indefinable feeling that certain places are significant – has an immediate practicality. Join Victoria Dickenson as she shares findings that have emerged from initial conversations in five Canadian cities around our need to define better what makes particular places resonant, ensuring that we know how to recognize them and their attributes, and that we develop strategies to preserve and enhance them. The audience is invited to join this conversation, to share their own experience of place, and their ideas about the kind of places we need for the future we want.

NCCL Workshop In 2015, a group of ICOMOS Canada members began a national conversation among practitioners to share experiences and perspectives on cultural landscape practice in Canada. Through an online discussion series, the NCCL has facilitated exchanges between practitioners and invited guests to explore some of the developments in the theory and practice of cultural landscape approaches and conservation. This workshop will take stock of the work of the NCCL to date as well as prepare for Canada’s contribution on the topic in Delhi.


  • Indigenous Heritage Advisory Group – Co-chairs: Christophe Rivet and TBD

In 2015, the ICOMOS Canada Board of Directors discussed the priorities for the organization at its strategic retreat. The matter of defining best practices and influencing policy on Indigenous heritage was discussed at length. It was agreed that ICOMOS Canada would benefit from guidance on how to best address the subject in an objective, inclusive and forward-looking way.

The meeting is a first step towards building the organization’s capacity to provide guidance by bringing together heritage practitioners from Indigenous communities as well as cultural heritage practitioners with extensive experience working with Indigenous communities. The objective is to create a discussion environment to approach these issues for ongoing advice to ICOMOS Canada when matters relating to Indigenous heritage arises within the World Heritage Convention and in general policy development. The group will discuss two case studies of Indigenous sites and identify some of the challenges and opportunities of identifying, recognizing, managing, and conserving sites with Indigenous values.


  • Sustainable Development Goals and UNESCO Recommendations – Organizer: Christophe Rivet

Following ICOMOS Canada’s work in Quito as part of the Canadian delegation to Habitat III in October 2016, this technical discussion builds on the international work that ICOMOS, IUCN, and the UCLG have since undertaken together to address the implementation of the Urban Agenda, the UN’s SDGs, and of UNESCO’s recommendations on the role of culture in making cities sustainable. Based on case studies from Canadian cities and perspectives from practitioners, the discussion aims to understand the scope of the SDGs in Canada, identify key aspects that are relevant to the Canadian experience and begin the development of a strategy to support their implementation nationally.


  • Culture/Nature Journey Knowledge Café – Co-organizers: Fergus MacLaren and Lisa Prosper

ICOMOS Canada contributed to the Nature-Culture Journey at the IUCN World Congress in Hawai’i in September 2016. We shared case studies from Canada and helped to develop Malama Honua, a statement of commitment signed by Journey participants. This Knowledge Café continues to build on the exchange of knowledge begun in Hawai’i in preparation for the Culture/Nature Journey at the ICOMOS General Assembly in Delhi in December 2017. The objective is to articulate key ideas associated with the relationship between culture and nature as experienced in Canada.


  • Trades, Materials, and Sustainability – Co-organizers: Alison Creba, Austin Parsons, Ann Shaftel

The current debate in heritage circles around sustainability is in part the result of a contemporary push towards relevance by the discipline and a community interest in adaptive reuse. This leads to questions about the skills, the research, the materials, and the methods required to address this perceived shift from minimal intervention to reuse. This technical discussion introduces these questions within the context of presentations that touch upon connection between ‘mind and hand’ exhibited by skilled tradespeople; research in conservation methods in relation to materials; reversibility of interventions; and architectural waste resulting from values-based approaches.


  • SMALL / Walking Tour – Co-organizers: Philip Evans, Jasmine Frolick

SMALL partners with communities in transition across Canada to facilitate the adaptive reuse of landscapes, communities and buildings in order to re-envision the community planning process. Cultural assets, tangible and intangible, define the landscapes of these communities: historical buildings and landscapes, skills related to natural resource extraction (like fishing), folk architecture (like barns), and traditional crafts (like weaving). Alongside efforts to reuse and revitalise these characteristics, small-scale entrepreneurs across Canada have developed viable businesses that leverage the unique place-based cultural assets in their communities. Through their multiplicity of voices, local stakeholders are democratizing the decision-making and management of cultural heritage landscapes as well as engaging in placemaking. These individuals are the cultural economic drivers that are shaping the evolution of local identity and industry.
This walking tour begins with a short introduction and then moves on to explore Halifax’s cultural landscapes with a focus on cultural economic drivers.


  • Sustainability and Cultural Heritage Conservation: A mutual relationship – Organizer: Rosa Milito

In 2015 ICOMOS Canada identified Climate Change amongst its three thematic priorities. In parallel to the increased evidence of how Climate change impacts cultural heritage, the need for sustainable approaches to heritage conservation is expanding.

Last year, at the ICOMOS Canada AGM, a group of ICOMOS members launched the idea of establishing a working group to stimulate debate at a National level on the topic of Sustainability and Heritage Conservation with the objective of influencing best practices and policy development. The proposed conversation addresses key references, debates and case studies from International and National perspectives and multiple stakeholders.

Key to our growing conversations has been the participation by ICOMOS Canada at Habitat III, in October 2016, as part of the Canadian delegation, as well as participating in events and discussions within the ICOMOS International working group on Sustainable Development goals.  The complex themes of Sustainability and Climate Change and their inter-relationships embrace multiple disciplines and perspectives.  Our priority involves promoting conversations on possible mutual reinforcements between these topics and Cultural Heritage conservation.

This session will continue the discussion of the mutual and reciprocal roles of Cultural Heritage conservation within Sustainable Development and the broader context of Climate Change.  An emphasis will be placed on the historic urban environment, International and Canadian current practices and case studies, as well as an insight on the status quo of policy frameworks.

A workshop /discussion will follow a presentation by Peter Cox, president of the ICOMOS ISC on Energy and Sustainability and Climate Change, with contributions by Rosa Milito, Susan Ross and Seamus McGreal.


  • Meeting of the International Scientific Committee Members – Organizer: Jim Molnar

This meeting of Canadian members of International Scientific Committees (ISCs) will continue the conversation with members begun last year. Points to be covered will include formalizing the list of ISC members and communicating the work of ISCs to the membership of ICOMOS Canada. ISC members will have a chance to provide updates regarding their activities.