Track 5: CANADA 150 – INDIGENOUS HERITAGE, DIVERSITY, and NEW DIRECTIONS / Volet 5: Canada 150 – Patrimoine autochtone, diversité et nouvelles orientations

Getting Creative with Policy: Rethinking the Policy Space for Heritage

Saturday, October 14
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Heritage policy has typically been directed towards regulatory systems and financial tools to influence behaviour, and econometrics to make a case for heritage conservation.

While these are extremely important, heritage also plays a crucial social role in bettering communities. What happens when we cannot derive optimal social good from transaction-based incentives? Using major challenges in Vancouver such as retaining neighbourhood character and sustaining Chinatown as a springboard, this presentation looks at rethinking non-transactional, social “tools” (community engagement and planning tools categories under the Historic Urban Landscape) in innovative ways to try and achieve these social goals. Imaginative policy in this realm has been implemented in many domains by entities as diverse as the Province of Ontario, the World Bank, the US and Canadian governments. This conceptual Spark presentation will look at applying this thinking to the policy space for heritage.

Bill Yuen

Heritage Vancouver Society

Bill completed a degree in Arts at The University of British Columbia (UBC) and went back to complete the accounting program. Bill is particularly interested in the role that markets, normative economics, and behaviour play in heritage, heritage policy, and social outcomes. He has been with Heritage Vancouver Society since 2014 and is involved with all areas of the Society from research, writing, and project development to administration and planning. He is the lead on a report commissioned by UBC to examine ways to sustain the intangible aspects of Vancouver Chinatown’s intangible heritage.


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Tom Urbaniak, PhD

Tom Urbaniak, PhD, is the past chair of the National Trust for Canada’s board of governors. He has championed the Trust’s role as a high-profile, accessible, engaging organization, which links heritage to social justice, sustainability, reconciliation with Indigenous nations, and cultural diversity. He is a political scientist at Cape Breton University and also teaches in CBU's MBA program in Community Economic Development. Tom is the director of CBU’s Tompkins Institute. He is the author of four books, including Action, Accommodation, Accountability: Rules of Order for Canadian Organizations and Her Worship: Hazel McCallion and the Development of Mississauga. He recently co-edited the book Company Houses, Company Towns: Heritage and Conservation, working with authors from across the country. Tom has spearheaded demonstration projects in affordable housing using vacant historic properties, helping to set up a revolving fund and the Affordable Housing Renovation Partnership. Tom serves on the board of the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia. He is active in Nova Scotia's Polish community, and chairs the parish council of St. Mary’s Polish Church in the multicultural community of Whitney Pier, where he resides. He has been working with the community to rebuild the historic church following a devastating fire. Tom has served as a Canadian election observer in Ukraine. He is a past board member for Centre communautaire Etoile de l'Acadie.


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Getting Creative with Policy: Rethinking the Policy Space for Heritage

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