The authorities have focused special attention on Safeguarding Quebec’s religious heritage. Since 1995, the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications has paid $ 357 million to the Québec Religious Heritage Council under the Program for the protection, transmission and enhancement of Religion-based Cultural Heritage. With the financial participation of partners, some $ 514 million has been invested to date to preserve the most important assets of Quebec’s religious heritage.
A recent study has shown that, in addition to the leverage effect of investments from the community, funding from the Quebec government has generated significant benefits by involving citizens in other development initiatives and thus in local ownership of this heritage. How many fundraising activities have given people an opportunity to rediscover exceptional buildings in their neighborhood or village?
Since February 2014, the financial assistance program incorporates new parameters that will further increase these benefits. The opening made to non -profit organizations and private owners, in addition to municipalities and religious owners, is likely to encourage diversified projects including recycling of heritage buildings.
Finally, the recent agreement with the Ministry of Culture and Communications has a new element: the recognition of places of worship built between 1945 and 1975 with a declared incontournable (A) heritage value. These are now eligible for financial aid.
“The Council is indeed very conscious that the reuse of heritage buildings is essential for their conservation. This is why the Council is initiating actions to understand this growing phenomenon and create opportunities for joint action. This measure will be more inclusive and better adapted to needs and will help increase the remarkable success of this involvement by the Quebec government, which the Council, as a privileged partner, is proud to share.”
Jocelyn Groulx, Director of the Québec Religious Heritage Council