The Future of Main Street: A New Paradigm
The Alberta Main Street Program provides a membership network, funding and expertise to municipalities to help restore historic integrity and architectural character to traditional main streets across Alberta. Under a new paradigm, AMSP aims to establish a strong network of accredited Alberta Main Street communities, committed to conserving their historic places.
History of AMSP, Heritage Canada Foundation, National Trust
The Alberta Main Street Program was initially established in 1987 by a three party agreement between the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation, the Heritage Canada Foundation, and Alberta Culture and Community Spirit (then Alberta Culture and Multiculturalism). Supported by the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation funded by lottery fund proceeds, the program provides professional advice, resources and expertise to communities committed to conserving their historic commercial districts. This led to the appropriate rehabilitation of storefronts in Alberta'â€™s historic downtown areas. The program uses the "Four-Point Approach" — Organization, Design, Marketing and Economic Development — to celebrate the unique historic and architectural character of main streets throughout Alberta. Main Street communities capitalize on their heritage resources as a grassroots mechanism to increase local pride, generate business opportunities, and enhance the marketability and economic drivers to help solidify the image of their historic main street area.
HPI and The Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada and the Alberta Register of Historic Places and the Canadian Register of Historic Places
Under the new paradigm, the Alberta Main Street Program (AMSP) has adopted the "Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada" as the primary document to guide all building rehabilitations in historic main street areas. The "Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada" is the result of a major collaboration effort among federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments, heritage conservation professionals, and heritage developers across Canada. The document is the country's first comprehensive, nation-wide benchmark of conservation principles and practices. It sets out a clear approach for the assessment of conservation projects and the identification of appropriate interventions. The Standards and Guidelines are firmly rooted in widely accepted heritage conservation principles, and provide principles and sound, practical advice for the long-term conservation of our rich and irreplaceable built heritage. Following the "Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada" ensures appropriate rehabilitation practices are employed, and enhances eligibility for cost-shared funding for approved conservation work through the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation's Heritage Preservation Partnership Program (HPPP).
Municipal Heritage Partnership ProgramIn the new paradigm, AMSP works closely with the Municipal Heritage Partnership Program (MHPP) which helps municipalities manage their historic places. MHPP provides opportunities for municipalities to access funding, expertise and resources to help them establish or maintain an ongoing municipal heritage conservation program. This program is the gateway to becoming an "accredited" Alberta Main Street community. As a member of the Main Street network, and with the achievement of accreditation status, communities have access to ongoing support for heritage planning. Owners of designated historic places listed on the Alberta Register of Historic Places become eligible for matching conservation funding.