At the joint National Trust for Canada and Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals awards ceremony in Ottawa last month, I received an Award of Excellence for the blog in the Heritage Awareness, Education and Scholarship category.
It is a great honour and pleasure to have been recognized by CAHP with this award.
For those curious about how the blog came to be, here is the story.
OHA+M was launched in the depths of February 2015 — Heritage Week to be precise. 2015 marked the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Ontario Heritage Act in 1975 and the 10th anniversary of comprehensive amendments to the Act in 2005. As former senior policy advisor with the Ontario culture ministry and the lead policy expert on the 2005 changes, I wanted to write a behind-the-scenes account of the province’s long and tortuous path to stronger heritage legislation over the 30 years between.
- “WOW - another super article from your blog. Great to see the Gore Park reference so I am forwarding it to all the heritage groups in Hamilton — Friends of the Gore, Heritage Hamilton, HeritageWatchHamilton, etc — and it should go to the Councillors.” Carol Priamo, Hamilton, on a post about a redevelopment project on Gore Park.
- “I enjoyed reading your blog post on the Building Code. Your explanation was clear and it was well illustrated.” William Gerard, Senior Policy Advisor, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport
- “Great update Dan, thanks for your diligence. I especially liked the quotes from parliamentarians on all sides.” Amy Calder, Vancouver, BC, on a post about Bill C-323.
- “The blog is a great general resource for topics in heritage; I definitely recommend becoming a subscriber.” Samantha Irvine, ERA architects
- “A very logical and succinct analysis Dan! Bravo and thank you. Let us hope it garnishes the attention it deserves!” Dave Colby, President, Rondeau Cottagers Association, on a post about the situation at Rondeau Provincial Park
- “Thanks again for your great postings — most enjoyable.” Owen Scott, Guelph
If I had to describe (in typical bureaucratic fashion) the goal of OHA+M, it would be to develop an increased awareness and understanding of Ontario heritage policy through:
- the publication in an on-line format of information on the historical development of the province’s policy and programs,
- analysis of and commentary on current heritage issues, including court and tribunal decisions, and
- providing an on-line forum for stimulating discussion of current heritage policy and issues.
- not much of a forum — in part this is because the Google Blogger commenting function is awkward, contributing to few reader comments (most feedback is received by me via email rather than through comments posted on the blog)
- statistics on who/how many are subscribing to and reading the blog are limited
- promotion is weak (mostly word-of-mouth)
- limited research capacity, as the blog relies on one person (me, a volunteer)