Tourism, Culture and Recreation
November 24, 2006
Plans for Development of Colonial Building
Plans for the restoration and development
of an important historic landmark for the province are now underway. The
Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation,
today announced the appointment of an advisory committee to provide
guidance to the Provincial Government on its plans for development of
the Colonial Building. These plans include the restoration of the
building and the interpretation of the political history of Newfoundland
�The Colonial Building is an icon of the physical and historical
landscape of this province,� said Minister Hedderson. �The expertise of
the members of the advisory committee will be of tremendous benefit as
we move forward with plans to develop this significant landmark.�
Shane O�Dea, professor of English at Memorial University and St. John�s
heritage advocate, will sit on the committee, along with George Chalker,
executive director of the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and
Labrador, and Marilyn Dawe, an interpretation specialist with Parks
Canada. They will be joined by officials from the Department of Tourism,
Culture and Recreation and the Department of Transportation and Works.
Minister Hedderson also announced the awarding of two contracts
associated with plans for the Colonial Building. The first is for the
development of a historic structure report, awarded to the PHB Group of
St. John�s. The second will provide an interpretation plan on the
province�s political history and has been awarded to Apropos Planning of
Ottawa. The company will collaborate with Dunbar Studios of St. John�s
and local archivist, Bert Riggs.
�This work will provide us with a solid foundation on which to move
forward with the restoration of the Colonial Building and the
development of an innovative approach to interpreting the province�s
fascinating political history,� added Minister Hedderson. �To that end,
a request will be made to our federal counterparts for a contribution of
funding for this very important project.� Minister Hedderson also noted
that the public will have the opportunity to provide comments on the
proposed development, with details to be announced at a later date.
Biographies of Advisory Committee Members
Shane O�Dea, professor of English
and public orator at Memorial University, has long been involved with
preservation in Newfoundland and Labrador. Mr. O�Dea has become a
recognized authority with respect to the built heritage of the province.
Not only has he demonstrated knowledge of the architecture, building
forms and techniques of the province�s domestic, vernacular and public
buildings and structures, he has committed considerable energies to
their conservation, preservation and reconstruction. Having served on
innumerable national and provincial boards dealing with matters relating
to the arts and heritage, Mr. O�Dea has played a significant role in the
majority of preservation efforts and activities that have taken place in
the province over the past 30 years. In 2005, Mr. O�Dea was inducted
into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador.
George Chalker has been involved with the built heritage of St.
John's for over 26 years. In 1984, he received the Newfoundland Historic
Trust Southcott Award in recognition of his significant contribution in
restoring several residential properties. Since 1988, he has served as
executive director of the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland, the
provincial agency responsible for the designation and granting of
provincial heritage structures. Mr. Chalker serves as the provincial
representative for the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada
and is a long-time member of the Newfoundland Historic Trust. In 2006,
he was elected chairman of the Board of Governors of the Heritage Canada
Marilyn Dawe is a cultural resource management specialist with
Parks Canada, with an extensive background in interpretation planning
and development. Her work projects have included both provincial and
national histories sites, such as the Signal Hill Visitor Centre,
Hawthorne Cottage, Ryan Premises, and Cape Bonavista Lighthouse. Ms.
Dawe is a member of various associations concerned with the preservation
of culture and heritage.
Consultants Involved in
the Planning of the Colonial Building Development
Apropos Planning is a Canadian
consulting firm specializing in exhibit research and development, as
well as interpretive planning and strategic planning for museum
development, science centres and visitor centres. Their work includes
the interpretation of political history on such sites as the Canadian
Parliament Buildings, Rideau Hall, and Province Hall, Prince Edward
The PHB Group Incorporated is an architecture, design and project
management firm with an extensive portfolio of related projects,
including those carried out throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. These
include work on the Basilica of St. John the Baptist, Government House
and The Rooms.
Dunbar Studios specializes in graphic and exhibit design, with
services in exhibit and interpretive planning, design and installation.
Previous work projects / sites include The Rooms Provincial Museum,
Admiralty House Museum and Archive, the St. Lawrence Miner�s Memorial
Museum and Terra Nova National Park.
Bert Riggs is a well-known local archivist with Memorial
University and has a wealth of experience in the preservation of
Newfoundland and Labrador history and culture. Actively involved in the
archival community, he has been president of the Association of
Newfoundland and Labrador Archivists and the Newfoundland and Labrador
Council of Archives. He is also a member of the Association of Canadian
Archivists, and of the National Archival Appraisal Board of Canada.
Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation
2006 11 24