Our vision

We envision a Vancouver where everyone acknowledges, comprehends and values the diverse ways in which people forge deep connections to place through identity, cultural practices, history and memory.

Our purpose

Guided by values, deeply embedded in the community and proudly independent, our purpose is to foster conversations about the meanings of places, help communities tell stories that encourage honest conversation and reflection, and inspire an urbanism rooted in connections to place and identity in a changing city.

Our mission

Our mission is to provide educational programming and public commentary that explores the many layers of heritage in relation to urbanism.

We work with diverse communities on cultural projects that help the public get to know and better understand the pasts and identities of others.

We provide consultation on city planning based on culture and heritage.

A wide public understanding of how broad and relevant heritage is to everyone is our goal. Therefore, we amplify the voices of underrepresented communities and challenge traditional notions about heritage and its applications within an urban context. 

Our guiding principles


Independence from government, moneyed interests, and power has been a hallmark for the 25+ years we have existed. We are guided by our own values. This is so that we can speak firmly for heritage from a principled and informed position


Our understanding, approach to, and assessment of heritage needs to be reasoned, principled and based on current heritage best practices: values based heritage, cultural landscapes, and Historic Urban Landscape (HUL).

This is the understanding that heritage:

  • is comprised of a variety of values that lead to significance and local communities have expertise in what is of value
  • recognizes holistically both tangible and intangible heritage and the interrelationships between people, place, objects, rituals, practices, ideas, and cultures
  • is a foundation of a guiding framework to how development is approached in city building

Inclusive & collaborative

Perspectives of members of diverse communities are essential to understanding heritage and unique sense of place. Engaging with and working together with them at the community level is key to our approach to heritage


Diverse peoples value aspects of Vancouver’s environment as part of their heritage in diverse ways whether something is formally recognized or not. This diversity and its representation is fundamental to our approach to heritage


Heritage has a large social role and benefits the wider community and the whole of society. Our work in heritage aims to contribute to civic processes and address city issues.

Member based

The Society is member based, and actively engages with them on the state of heritage in our city and how they can participate