Chris Clark, Guelph Tribune Editor, is being presented an award at the annual banquet of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario. For more on the award winners visit their on-line newsletter.
Recipient: Chris Clark, Editor, Guelph Tribune
Chris is well known for his passion for Guelph’s heritage and for local architectural conservancy efforts, as evidenced the Tribune’s promotion of historical walking tours and Jane’s Walks, and its coverage each year for Heritage Week when, working with local experts, Chris photographs and features local historical sites giving them full-page spreads. Chris also instituted a regular “Then and Now” feature for which he puts archival images of historic Guelph buildings beside meticulously photographed shots taken from the same angle and presented at the same scale so that readers can fully appreciate the changes over time. As well, the Tribune provided in-depth coverage of Loretto Abbey’s 2011 rehabilitation, which saw the previously threatened ecclesiastical site transformed into the new Guelph Civic Museum. This was a major boost for the museum’s fund-raising campaign, and ensured that Guelph’s citizens were aware of this signature adaptive reuse project.
Under Chris’s direction, the Tribune editorial team has covered everything from the debates over demolition of the Mitchell Farmhouse, consideration of the heritage elements of Guelph’s parks and rivers, the proposed designation of historical neighbourhoods, the refurbishment and repurposing of part of the old Memorial arena and Old City Hall as elements of the new City Hall complex, to the renovation of historic buildings on the University of Guelph campus. In his own editorials, Chris has gone further afield, commenting on key heritage battles elsewhere in Ontario, and on the importance of the ACO in preserving built heritage.
In sum, Chris has carried the torch for heritage. The Tribune’s coverage has sparked a high level of civic engagement among readers, spurring them to strongly support conservation of Guelph’s heritage; as well, it has served as a model for other community papers. For both his occasional and ongoing, regular coverage of heritage issues, Chris Clark has been named the ACO’s first Media Award recipient
About the ACO Media Award
For almost 80 years, the ACO has endeavoured to spread a strong message about the value of our built heritage. It has done so through print and in person. It has encouraged the formation of local branches, and it has worked with property owners to restore valuable heritage resources, with municipal governments to create heritage registers and designate buildings and districts, and with the Province of Ontario to develop the tools needed to conserve our patrimony.
Throughout this time, the organization has relied heavily on the media to make these efforts known to the public. Now, with the launch of ACO’s Media Award, we have a way of paying tribute to the eloquence of the journalists, editors, bloggers, and other writers or creators of new media who have researched the facts, collected opinions, and diligently told the stories that have promoted a greater understanding of heritage significance and controversies.