BRING­ING HER­ITAGE TO LIFE

Ex­pe­ri­ence Canada through its his­toric places

The Walrus - - A SPECIAL NATIONALTRUST FOR CANADA SUPPLEMENT -

The gen­tle splash as a ca­noe hits the wa­ter—it is a sound so Cana­dian it’s prac­ti­cally a cliché. But ex­plor­ing the coast of Tofino, Bri­tish Columbia with T’ashii Pad­dle School is a trip un­like any other. From a dugout ca­noe carved out of cedar that is na­tive to this rugged, re­mote place, vis­i­tors pad­dle Van­cou­ver Is­land’s tran­quil coves and in­lets. More than a mere boat ride, the tour is an im­mer­sion in an en­vi­ron­ment that the Tla-o-qui-aht First Na­tion have revered for mil­len­nia. In ad­di­tion to en­joy­ing the pine- and salts­cented air, guests learn first-hand about the an­cient philoso­phies of the peo­ple who call this re­gion home and about their re­spect for the mag­nif­i­cent sur­round­ings. Canada’s spec­tac­u­lar nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment and cul­tural her­itage are just two rea­sons au­thor­i­ties such as the New York Times named our coun­try the top global des­ti­na­tion of 2017. There’s no bet­ter way to get in touch with the peo­ple and cul­tures that make up this na­tion than by ex­pe­ri­enc­ing its his­toric places. The Na­tional Trust for Canada leads the way. A char­ity that brings her­itage to life, the Na­tional Trust fea­tures Pass­port Places in­clud­ing T’ashii Pad­dle School, Toronto’s Enoch Turner School­house, and Cal­gary’s Lougheed House, a man­sion that of­fers a glimpse of up­per-class Prairie life in the late 1800s. Na­tional Trust mem­bers en­joy free ac­cess or spe­cial dis­counts at these and other tourist at­trac­tions that tell the

story of Canada—and at Na­tional Trust prop­er­ties abroad. For those look­ing to dine or stay in his­toric sur­round­ings, the Na­tional Trust pro­motes Vin­tage Des­ti­na­tions, a cu­rated list of iconic es­tab­lish­ments across the coun­try that mem­bers can en­joy at a dis­count, in­clud­ing Que­bec’s Fair­mont Le Château Mon­te­bello, which is the largest log cabin in the world, and Grant Hall, a reimag­ined rail­way-era ho­tel in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Cana­dian her­itage re­sides not just in ur­ban ar­eas but also in small and re­mote com­mu­ni­ties, where grass­roots vol­un­teers strug­gle for scarce fund­ing. Through the Na­tional Trust’s in­no­va­tive crowd­fund­ing pro­gram This Place Mat­ters ( this­place­mat­ters.ca), places like the Cape Forchu Light­sta­tion near Yar­mouth, Nova Sco­tia, the Potato House in Wil­liams Lake, Bri­tish Columbia, and the Wel­land Canal’s Lock One in Port Dal­housie, On­tario have found new fund­ing and vi­tal­ity. To date, over $725,000 from donors and fun­ders has ben­e­fited sixty-four sites, and there is an­other $250,000 avail­able for com­mu­ni­ties to win this sum­mer. As Cana­di­ans cel­e­brate this mile­stone year with pride, it’s im­por­tant to mark not only the coun­try we are now but also the peo­ple and places that brought us here. For the Na­tional Trust, her­itage sites are more than mere his­tory; they’re liv­ing records of our vi­brant young na­tion.

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