Who we are


Heritage Vancouver is an independent charitable non-profit society, helping communities understand and participate in sustaining Vancouver’s heritage.

Heritage Vancouver Society was founded in 1991/1992 when members of the Community Arts Council’s Heritage Committee decided the time was right to create a dedicated organization focusing solely on Vancouver’s heritage buildings. 

The organization started to embrace a broader approach to heritage in the early to mid 2010s, and has since had a pivotal role in changing the narrative around heritage on a local and provincial level.

Heritage Vancouver Society is a voice for heritage and urban matters in the city, and has had seats on the Vancouver Heritage Commission and the Chinatown and Gastown advisory committees. Successes celebrated by the organization include involvement in the protection and conservation of Stanley Theatre, Lions Gate Bridge, Mole Hill and Burrard Bridge, the implementation and continued use of the Historic Building Permit Database, and its role as a trustworthy source of information and facilitator for community engagement.

What do we mean when we say heritage?

We believe that heritage is an essential part of culture. Heritage is about places where people live and experience their everyday lives. Heritage contributes to local identity and a sense of place for communities and is multi-layered: old and new, physical and non-physical elements represent the layers of time that have made the city into what it is today.

What we do

Heritage Vancouver Society promotes public engagement and dialogue on changes to significant aspects of our city’s cultural heritage.

We advance a comprehensive understanding of heritage that captures the diverse ways people establish meaningful connections with the environment around them—whether they be built, cultural, natural or social.

We do this through representations to the City of Vancouver on development and policies in the city, our Shaping Vancouver public dialogue series, our presentations, programming and public talks with community members, our research, and our annual Top10 Watch List. 


Specifically, we:

  • Provide a voice for the diverse stories of diverse peoples and places that shape Vancouver
  • Advance a broad public understanding of what heritage and heritage conservation is, and why it matters through online resources and a range of informative and affordable events, talks and tours
  • Contribute to dialogue and the exchange of views through our public forums, in order to stimulate thinking around important civic issues and be a source for people to be informed 
  • Act as a prime source of reliable and timely information that identifies, monitors and informs on significant changes to the city’s cultural heritage
  • Focus on the present and the creation of heritage in its many forms to be taken forward to future generations
  • Publicly comment on city heritage issues and policies
  • Provide opportunities for communities to understand and participate in sustaining Vancouver’s heritage