There was standing room only in the Chapel of the Music Centre in Barbadoes Street for the inaugural Christchurch Heritage Awards. This support from all sections of the community boded well for the future of the Awards. The ceremony was the culmination of months of planning and the success mirrored the enthusiasm of all participants as to why our heritage is important to us. The finalists and all participants were recognised in an evening to be remembered. There has been nothing on this scale for heritage achievements done before in the city. Because of this the Trust has been recognised as an agent for positive heritage outcomes – a position it wished to aspire to through the introduction of the Awards.
The 2010 Awards recognised the achievement of heritage conservation, categories included: Built Heritage, Heritage Tourism Award, Heritage Education and Interpretation Award, Heritage Advocacy Award, Heritage Landscape Award, and Heritage Innovation Award.
In light of the Christchurch and central Canterbury region earthquakes and aftershocks from 2010 and continuing, and with the resulting devastation to buildings, the Trustees decided to put the 2011 Heritage Awards on hold. Heritage buildings in Canterbury suffered immeasurably and whilst ensuring the safety of people as the first priority it is now time to focus on the repair and restoration of what heritage remains.
To this end the Trust looks forward to the 2012 Awards, which will be expanded, geographically from Christchurch and Banks Peninsula to now include the Canterbury areas of Waimakariri and Selwyn. These were the areas designated by government most affected by the many earthquakes and aftershocks from 4 September 2010 onwards. This expanded area for the Awards will include some extraordinary heritage heretofore unrecognised beyond local interests. There will be new Awards to take into account the extraordinary aspects of heritage caused by the earthquakes.
I would like to finish this report by thanking the hundreds of people who became involved in the 2010 Awards – nominators, applicants, heritage supporters, sponsors, volunteers and heritage advocates – they collectively contributed to the success of the inaugural awards.
Anna Crighton QSO, JP, MA (Hons)
Trustee and Chair
Christchurch Heritage Awards Charitable Trust