The Village of Burns Lake and the Lakes District Museum Society have taken the first step toward reopening St. John’s Heritage Church as a multi-use public facility.
The two parties recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the St. John’s Heritage Church Redevelopment Project. Under the terms of the MOA, the Lakes District Museum Society will complete a business plan to determine the conditions under which it could assume responsibility for managing the structure. As part of that work, the society will engage potential users to determine what modifications could be made to the building beyond those required to reopen it.
If the business planning process confirms the feasibility of having the society manage the building, and the two parties can reach agreement on a management structure, the municipality will undertake the work necessary to reopen the church as a multi-use facility.
Both the society and the municipality concur that building should be preserved and publicly accessible. Society officials believe that changes to the structure should be minimal, and not compromise its character, profile, or inherent value as a heritage building.
Mayor Funk said, “We are excited to collaborate with the museum society to rejuvenate and reopen this building as an important and vibrant community asset for all to enjoy.”
“We look forward to working with the village on this project,” said Russ Skillen, president of the Lakes District Museum Society. “This building should be preserved and open to the public.”
Located at 125 First Avenue, St. John’s Heritage, then Anglican Church was constructed in the late 1920s. It opened to the public on Aug. 25, 1929, which makes it the oldest – and arguably the most beautiful surviving public building in Burns Lake.