A pair of Oak Bay projects earned awards from the Hallmark Heritage Society at its annual awards Tuesday evening.
The Oak Bay Heritage Foundation had nominated the Tribute to J. Fenwick Lansdowne interpretive signage project in Queens’ Park; and Protect Oak Bay Heritage, a group that lobbied for creation of the community’s first designated Heritage Conservation Area.
Protect Oak Bay Heritage earned the Mark Madoff Award that recognizes extraordinary contributions in the area of heritage preservation. For years, the group campaigned to have the neighbourhood known as The Prospect officially designated, work that achieved success in 2020.
Deemed one of the most culturally significant neighbourhoods in Oak Bay, the HCA includes Francis Rattenbury’s 1898 house (now Glenlyon Norfolk School) and Annandale, built for Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper, former Minister of Justice for the Dominion of Canada.
The area referred to as The Prospect is bounded by San Carlos Avenue on the north, the Beach Drive shoreline on the east, York Place to the west and Prospect Place/Oak Bay Avenue on the south.
Residents involved in the Protect Oak Bay Heritage group since the start in 2016 include Karen Wallace-Prince, Michael Prince, Barb and Ken Grant, Robert and Barbara Longe, Jill and Richard Pollard and Sharman Minus.
Oak Bay unanimously approved a bylaw establishing the Prospect HCA in February 2020. The bylaw lists a schedule of historic features on 35 properties, such as stone walls, landscaping and patios. It applies to 55 private properties, as well as public spaces including Haynes Park and Rattenbury’s Beach.
The Fenwick Lansdowne Tribute project earned the Communication Award for exemplary work in communicating heritage information and values.
The interpretive signage in Queens’ Park celebrates the life and art of Lansdowne, a world-famous bird artist and longtime Oak Bay resident. It celebrates the local natural heritage that inspired him, as well as the Salish Sea shoreline where he discovered and studied many of the birds he painted. It promotes awareness, appreciation, preservation and protection of this heritage.
The nomination package specifically highlights the work of community members Jacques Sirois and Chris Garrett for conceiving the idea, guiding its design and campaigning for its realization; the Community Association of Oak Bay, for sponsoring and promoting the creation and installation; the Kiwanis Club of Oak Bay, Victoria Natural History Society and Nature Canada for financial support; and Chris Edley of Edley Signs in Esquimalt for creating a design that harmonizes with the natural setting.
The award presentations were streamed Tuesday evening at hallmarkheritagesociety.ca.