The Grist Mill, one of the Similkameen region's most prized historic gems, will have a vibrant future with a new site operator and conservation management plan, announced Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson.
The Grist Mill Conservation Management Plan lays out the goals and strategies for transitioning the site toward a more economically sustainable operation.
The new site operator, Chris Mathieson of Mathieson Heritage Services, was chosen through a request for proposal process. Mathieson has an extensive and successful background as a 14-year veteran of the B.C. museum community. Most recently, he helped increase visits to the Vancouver Police Museum from 4,000 to 21,000 visits annually. Mathieson's skills and experience will help to ensure the long-term success of the historic Grist Mill site.
The site operator term runs April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014, with an option to renew for an additional year. This term provides the Heritage Branch time to explore new business model options with the operator and to consider the recommendations of the conservation management plan.
The B.C. government's recently released Heritage Strategy for British Columbia: Our Heritage, Historic Places outlines the Province's future plans to ensure B.C.'s historic places remain an active and dynamic part of B.C. communities.
Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations -
"Having a forward looking plan and innovative site operator are essential to help ensure the Grist Mill remains a vibrant and alluring part of the Keremeos community. I look forward to hearing the innovative ideas Mr. Mathieson has for the site."
New site operator, Chris Mathieson, Mathieson Heritage Services -
"The Grist Mill is a real treasure and there's a deep sense of community pride in what the site represents and a strong desire to see it thrive. I look forward to working closely with the community and the people at the Heritage Branch to bring new life to the site."
- Opening in 1877, the mill and store served the needs of local ranchers, First Nations, miners and travellers on the historic Dewdney Trail.
- The 6.9-hectare site includes organic gardens, three historic buildings and a modern building currently used as a visitor centre, as well as some bare land.
- The Grist Mill is one of 23 provincially owned heritage sites, 11 of which are open to the public and operated by third-party community agencies under heritage site management agreements.
- B.C.'s historic buildings, structures and cultural landscapes attract over 200,000 visitors annually from around the globe, creating jobs for British Columbians and supporting sustainable communities.
Heritage Strategy for British Columbia: Our Heritage, Historic Places: http://ow.ly/hHiYt
Grist Mill at Keremeos: http://www.bcheritage.ca/drawings/sites/site12/site12.html
Grist Mill Conservation Management Plan: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/heritage/library.htm
Heritage Branch: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/heritage/
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations