St. Saviours Pro-Cathedral in Nelson is one of many local heritage buildings to benefit from the Columbia Basin Trust’s Built Heritage program. Photo submitted

St. Saviour’s receives grant to improve heating system

The $137,000 project is funded by Columbia Basin Trust and Heritage BC


Columbia Basin Trust and Heritage BC recently announced the awarding of a Built Heritage Grant of $137,071 to St. Saviour’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral in Nelson to upgrade their heating system.

Launched in 2017, the Built Heritage Grants are a three-year commitment by Columbia Basin Trust to help groups preserve, rehabilitate and restore heritage buildings with grants administered by Heritage BC. In this intake, the Trust is supporting 17 projects with $2.4 million.

Church heritage advisor and local historian Greg Scott is pleased to see the number of grants awarded churches in the latest Trust awards.

“There are seven grants to various churches or repurposing of church buildings in the area,” he says. “This is important as has been recently pointed out by the National Trust for Canada these churches are our heritage and the buildings integral parts of our community and not just religious institutions.”

St. Saviour’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral, a City of Nelson by-law designated heritage building built in 1899 and rebuilt in 1929 after a disastrous fire, desperately needs of a new heating system.

The existing natural gas-fired boiler was last upgraded in the early 1990s and in recent winters, parts of the system, such as pumps, have failed.

Urgent replacement is necessary in order to keep the building warm, not only during normal church services but also during the numerous concerts and events hosted by the church. With the current project, a combination of technologies will be used to heat the building and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

St. Saviour’s has signed on to support the West Kootenay EcoSociety’s 100% Renewable Kootenays initiative and has committed to be using all renewable energy in their operations by 2050.

Future steps on the path to renewable energy will be the improvement of the building insulation and draft proofing, as well as taking advantage of future technological improvements. The grant will allow the church to proceed on a project costing upwards of $250,000.

The balance of funds has been raised over the past five plus years from fundraisers, donations and bequests. One ongoing fundraiser has been the sale of chocolates and drinks by the Church ladies during concert intermissions hosted in the church. A sigh of relief has been heard from them as they do not have to sell another 137,000 chocolates!

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