Historic Trust expands initiatives to celebrate Vancouver’s history

Trust offers abundant educational and volunteer opportunities

Providence Academy
Courtesy of The Historic Trust

The Historic Trust (formerly known as the Fort Vancouver National Trust), in tandem with its rebranding efforts, has recently expanded its initiatives to inspire civic pride and economic vitality.

The Trust’s program initiatives are focused around education, preservation and celebration of the community’s unique history. This mission relies heavily on the organization working to create memorable opportunities that allow city residents to gain new perspectives and connect with both the community and rich history that Vancouver has to offer.

“The spirit of national pride is strong in our community, and the Trust plays an important role in creating opportunities to demonstrate that pride,” said Mike True, president and CEO of The Historic Trust. “The Trust is committed to developing strong partnerships, and to working collaboratively with other like-minded organizations to produce celebrations and observances that bring people together to share our collective experiences and those of our ancestors.”

Educational initiatives currently happening include leveraging expertise gained at Pearson Field Education Center, where the Trust intends to expand gateways that allow kids to embrace science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects through aviation. In addition, the Trust introduced a series of walking tours and talks this year, which included tours of Providence Academy, Officers Row, the West Barracks and an exhibition of the Vancouver Tapestry. They are working on more diverse and robust events in 2018 to help engage visitors to learn more about Vancouver’s history.

Further, the organization is working to create a virtual reality history experience at Providence Academy through its partnership with Washington State University (WSU) Vancouver.

“The Trust and WSU Vancouver have always had a collaborative relationship, but the new augmented reality project is a great step forward in the two organizations working together on a project that will help transform the way the Trust engages the community in history and experiences,” True said.

The augmented reality experience will create 10 episodes that start with Mother Joseph – the architect and founder of Providence Academy, welcoming people to the building. There will be self-guided learning opportunities that allow the public to access mobile devices that have multi-dimensional, moving images that convey history and heritage in a highly interactive way.

The Trust has also recently worked with the city of Vancouver to complete renovations on four buildings in the West Vancouver Barracks and by the end of the year, the organization will have completed the first phase of renovating the exterior of the Providence Academy. Next year, the Trust will begin the first phase of renovating the interior of the Academy.

True also explains that the Trust has a strong strategic plan in place to help create volunteer opportunities for people in the community.

“The Trust has a strong strategic plan and has been refining its focus on introducing new, innovative and interactive programming to engage visitors and communities in the history of our region,” True said. “As part of this, we have been focused on creating volunteer opportunities that match people with their passion. Walking tours bring lovers of history to tell the stories of the past. Craftspeople assist with preservation. Teachers who are knowledgeable in STEM subjects instruct at Pearson Field Education Center. Patriotic and proud community members help celebrate our heritage at events, such as Independence Day. We believe perspective breeds perspective, and we want to incite our collective to make history.”

To learn more about the Historic Trust, visit https://thehistorictrust.org/.