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  ACR pier Taylor Drive Red Deer

Forth Junction Project
Society Annual Report
2011
 

 
Forth Junction Project Vision Trails, Rails, Transit Heritage Centre Interpretive
Park
Historical Model
Rail & 3001 Project
Railway Heritage
Preservation
Historical Perspective

Why the name
Forth Junction?

Downtown Themes,
Alexander Way and 'The Arches'

Frequently Asked Questions

100 Year Milestones
1910-1913


Forth Junction south of ACR pier 1955




















































































































 

 
Forth Junction Heritage Society logoForth Junction Heritage Society
Annual General Meeting October 20, 2011, Red Deer

Annual Progress Report
2011

 
The Forth Junction Heritage Society has focused over the past year on refining and clarifying its objectives and strategy in relation to proposed major tourist attractions for Red Deer and area based on the role of trails, railways and transit in the development of Western Canada.

In January, a rewarding visioning and strategic plan workshop was held for all members of the Society with a community development officer from Alberta Culture and Community Spirit and held at the new Red Deer Transit administrative building.

The result was the creation of a strategic vision for the Society: "to be Central Alberta's world-class heritage destination celebrating the past, present and future of trails, trains and transit", and a mission statement: "to preserve, promote and share the transportation heritage of our community and region; and to pass that heritage to future generations in a sustainable and interactive way through education, advocacy and nurturing a passion for the continuous evolution of trails, rails and transit." The primary values of the Society were determined to be collaboration, history, education and sustainability. Several short, medium and long term strategic goals were also established.

Application for charitable status was sent to the Canada Revenue Agency in December. In June we received a letter indicating conditional denial of the application due to several objectives and purposes of the Society not being compliant with the Income Tax Act for charitable purposes. Some reasons given were that many of our objectives were tourism-oriented and some commercial in nature. After replying by letter and telephone, another letter was received in August that indicated that if the Society was willing to modify its purposes, consideration would be given to approve the application, provided that it was received by early October including proof of acceptance of those changes by Service Alberta Registries.

A special meeting was held in early September to consider a special resolution to rescind the original purposes and adopt new purposes of the Society as follows:
a) To educate the public on the evolution of the railway, historic trails and transit in the settlement and development of Western Canada through workshops, displays and interactive interpretation;
b) To preserve the trail, rail and transit heritage of Central Alberta through the acquisition, preservation and restoration of railway and other ground transportation artifacts.
The special resolution was passed unanimously by those present, sent to Alberta Registries and a certificate of change has been received and sent to CRA. We are now still waiting for a response from CRA.

As a result of the amended purposes for charitable status, the Society will restrict itself to education and preservation activities relating to the past, present and future of rails, trails and transit in Central Alberta. Those activities may include the collection, storage, display and interpretation of artifacts; the publishing of self-guided tour booklets and a history of ground transportation in Central Alberta; interactive miniature replications of historic transportation scenes of Red Deer and area; a reduced-size detailed operational replication of Jubilee locomotive 3001 that headed 'high-speed' passenger service through Red Deer from 1936 to 1955; and, operate interpretive centres based on historic trails, heritage railway landmarks and the evolution of public transit in Central Alberta.
aerial view of Mintlaw trestle
The Society is also advocating for the use of the abandoned Alberta Central Railway lines, including the historic Mintlaw trestle, as linear heritage parks in collaboration with Central Alberta Regional Trails Society. A meeting of officials of the City of Red Deer, Red Deer County and the Town of Sylvan Lake with the two societies took place during the summer with the idea of the concept being promoted as a centennial project in 2013. Although that is now unlikely, continued discussions are taking place for the eventual use of the rights of way for future linear parks including the possible use of the Mintlaw trestle as part of the Trans Canada Trail.

The Society will also continue to support the transformation of Alexander Way to a pedestrian and transit corridor linking the downtown with the river and beyond.

In addition, the Society will support future high-speed rail transportation corridors linking Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton as well as regional transit systems in Central Alberta in collaboration with the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce of which the Society is now a member. An article in the chamber magazine last winter featured the Forth Junction Project.

In order to fulfill the original objectives of a major signature tourist attraction based on the theme of the evolution of trails, trains and transit, the Society is investigating the creation of a separate new entity, possibly in the form of a non-profit corporation in co-operation with municipalities, the private sector and other organizations. The new entity could promote a variety of 'non-charitable' activities including an indoor and/or outdoor theme park, retail/regional gathering centre, guided heritage tours, railway nature park and railway station and transit heritage resort.

Originally, the Society proposed the concept of two sites for these visitor and community destinations, one of which would be located in the redeveloped Riverlands district west of historic downtown Red Deer and the other in an unidentified location in Red Deer County. Although the Society still believes that Riverlands is an excellent location for such an attraction, it is now exploring alternative sites both within and outside the city for either a single facility combining all the ideas or a series of future interpretive centres at different strategic locations.

Forth Junction Development Plan ProposalThe first goal in establishing all these objectives will be a Feasibility and Destination Study that will include consultation with stakeholders and the general public to get feedback on some of the concepts as well as potential locations. Further discussions are forthcoming with the study consultant to modify the original intent of the study that was focused on Riverlands.

The website is continuing to evolve and is now attracting around 1,475 page views (hits) per month or an average of almost 50 per day. Mostly due to the website, the Society is more and more frequently being contacted by historical enthusiasts and the media as the authority on trail, rail and transit history in Central Alberta.

2010 Red Deer Model Train & Hobby ShowThe Society participated for the second year at Supertrains in Calgary and will participate in the Red Deer Model Train and Hobby Show at Westerner Park next week. In addition, the Society will have a modest display at the Springbrook Agency Fair next week.

Also during the year, the Society received a letter of support from the Central Alberta Historical Society. However, support from the City of Red Deer and Tourism Alberta were denied partly due to the Society's focus on Riverlands where it is still probably several years away from having a site suitable for a major tourist attraction.

The Society had 24 memberships during the year. Three field trips were held including the Mintlaw trestle, Innisfail Historical Village and the Alberta Central Railway Museum near Wetaskiwin.

All in all, it has been a very productive year in getting ourselves prepared for the next stages that include the feasibility study, fundraising for specific projects, identifying a site or sites for future facilities and finding a storage facility for major artifacts.

Paul Pettypiece, President

 

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