Have you ever wanted to learn more about the Harbour City’s rich cultural heritage? The City of Nanaimo’s Heritage Commission is inviting the public to attend their annual Heritage Summit on Feb. 20 at the Nanaimo Museum from 7–9 p.m.

The 11th annual summit is part of National Heritage Week, Feb. 18–24, which raises awareness of heritage and history with activities across Canada. The summit also offers the community a chance to network with local organizations interested in heritage issues.

In recognition of Heritage B.C.’s 2013 theme of “Good Neighbours–Heritage Homes and Neighbourhoods,” the event will include a presentation by Christine Meutzner, who sits on the Heritage Commission and is also manager at the Nanaimo Community Archives and Chris Sholberg, Community and Heritage Planner, on Nanaimo’s unique historic residences and neighbourhoods.

“The Heritage Summit lecture this year will focus on predominant architectural styles in the Southend, Old City, Harewood and, Newcastle neighbourhoods,” Meutzner says. “It will also look at what makes each of those neighbourhoods unique.”

The remainder of the evening will be devoted to a round table discussion allowing community heritage groups in attendance to share information about their organization’s mandate, recent accomplishments and upcoming projects.

Sholberg adds that the event is mainly focused around the sharing of information between the various historical, neighbourhood, and cultural groups in Nanaimo, “the summit is very much about the exchange of information and is also an opportunity for the groups that participate to network.”

He says that the heritage issues raised at the summit vary from year to year but tend to focus on the recognition and promotion of Nanaimo’s diverse historical and cultural background.

“Nanaimo has a very interesting history, which includes thousands of years of Snuneymuxw First Nation’s history prior to European contact, then the City’s early settlement by the Hudson’s Bay Company on through to 100 years or so of mining history,” Sholberg says. “From the Heritage Register perspective, Nanaimo’s historic evolution as a city has left a diverse and interesting legacy of buildings which are tangible reminders of the City’s past.”

For more information, please contact Sholberg at 250-755-4472 or e-mail <chris.sholberg@nanaimo.ca>.

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