A Kelowna heritage house and a group that has been working on conserving the city’s heritage for over 35 years will be honoured by Heritage BC.
The distinctive Thompson House on Richter Ave. will receive a provincial Heritage Conservation Award while the Central Okanagan Heritage Society (COHS) education project, nominated by Lorainne McLarty, will be honoured with a Heritage BC Outstanding Achievement Award in the Heritage Education and Awareness category.
Heritage BC will present awards to two local recipients at this year’s Heritage Awards Gala Feb. 15 in Vancouver.
A little bit more about the two award recipients:
•The Central Okanagan Heritage Society is honoured as it celebrates the 35th Anniversary of the organization’s beginnings.
In 1982, a group of citizens led by Dr. Walter Anderson banded together to form the COHS. Their first project was to save and restore Benvoulin Heritage Church. Over the past 35 years, the COHS has worked to preserve the region’s architectural history and to provide public education programs about heritage conservation and restoration.
“This is a significant award for the COHS and for the community as a whole. Our organization and volunteers have worked incredibly hard for two generations to protect and preserve Kelowna’s built history,” said COHS president Don Knox.
•Built in 1911, the J.N. Thompson House is valued as a fine example of the Queen Anne Revival architectural style. Local contractor George E. Ritchie was the designer and builder of this prominent home. It has survived in virtually intact original condition and is particularly noteworthy for the rarity of its style in Kelowna and its imposing size and grand setting on a large lot.
This house is additionally significant for its association with owner John Nelson Thompson (1870-1956), a prominent Kelowna businessman. Thompson was involved in a number of activities in and around the city and made a significant contribution to the economic development of Kelowna. He was variously a tobacco grower, an orchardist in the Glenmore area, a founding member of the Central Okanagan Land and Orchard Company and a partner in the Morrison-Thompson Hardware Store.
The current owner, Shona Harrison, has restored this house back to its original charm, with traditional windows, new paint in heritage colours, a roof replacement, and repair of exterior wood elements. The property has been enhanced with the placement of old bricks making up a new patio and new fencing has been added. Also recognized in this award are Rob Wasylyshen of Rostka Enterprises Ltd and Jason McMurray, CertaPro Painters.
Since 1981, Heritage BC has recognized individuals, groups, organizations, government and the private sector for the outstanding and significant achievements in heritage conservation, planning, education and awareness in BC communities. Award winners have reflected the diversity of historic places, projects and people across BC.