British Columbia

Historic Prince Rupert-area cannery seeks over $2M for restoration work

“The pilings and structural components are pretty decayed. We’d be restoring those to preserve the stories that they tell and the importance of those stories to the shaping of this region and to the whole country.”

Regional district asked to support grant applications

North Pacific Cannery is seeking over $2 million in grant money for restoration work. (northpacificcannery.ca)

A piece of history in northern B.C. is seeking over $2 million in grant money to fund restoration work.

The North Pacific Cannery — located in Port Edward, about 15 minutes from Prince Rupert — operated for almost 90 years until the mid 70s and is now a national historic site.

It consists of numerous waterfront buildings and boardwalks, but now needs to undertake eight renovation projects to stay afloat.

"A lot of this work we're doing is intervention work: saving buildings that are at high risk of damage," conservation manager Steve Milum told Radio West host Audrey McKinnon.

"The pilings and structural components are pretty decayed. We'd be restoring those to preserve the stories that they tell and the importance of those stories to the shaping of this region and to the whole country."

Milum says those stories include those of a diverse workforce brought together in one place, including many First Nations workers.

He says the cannery site predates the city of Prince Rupert and was established in a then-remote location to take advantage of the plentiful fish stocks.

Milum says the cannery should be viewed as a formative part of B.C.'s history.

Before the cannery, he says, raw resources like furs and logs were about the only exports from the province, shipped to Europe for processing. Canned salmon was one of the first manufactured, processed goods to be shipped abroad from Canada.

North Pacific Cannery management is asking the Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District to help them by writing letters of support for grant money.

With files from CBC Radio One's Radio West


To listen to the segment, click here.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story misidentified the location of the North Pacific Cannery as in Prince Rupert, B.C.
    Feb 19, 2017 8:40 AM PT

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