By David Siebert, Researcher, Heritage Saskatchewan
In September, 2022 Ingrid Cazakoff, CEO of Heritage Saskatchewan, became the Chair of the Board of Governors for the National Trust for Canada (NT). Ingrid and I sat down to talk about the role, the work the National Trust does, and why working with other organisations is important.
About the role of Chair, Ingrid says she looks forward to learning from and working with a great team of people. She is able to bring her experiences not only in the heritage field, but also in governance and leadership. The Heritage Reset that the National Trust has undertaken moves the heritage discourse in the right direction with the framework of "people, places, planet". This is a direction that Ingrid is eager to help with: "I'm excited by the opportunity for voices that haven't been heard from in the past becoming part of the collective story and expanding the perspective of heritage."
Further, the work of the National Trust matters and resonates with people. The 'Next Great Save’ competition received 200,000 votes from the public. "This demonstrates that people do care," says Ingrid. During the pandemic, the National Trust held webinars that connected heritage practitioners from across the country, sharing stories and successes, and providing an opportunity to learn from each other. Ingrid is grateful to the donors who can make projects like the Next Great Save or the Launch Pad program possible, helping communities to safeguard places that matter to them. “When some places go, communities aren’t just losing a building,” says Ingrid, “the community loses a place where they can foster belonging and build relationships.” The Grand Theatre in Indian Head, a Launch Pad alum, shows this. When the community heard the theatre was going to be up for sale, they purchased it in 2014, saving both the tangible building, but also creating a gathering place, fostering arts and culture, and contributing to community wellbeing.
Is this work relevant to Saskatchewan? "On a personal level", Ingrid says that "working with people [on the NT Board of Governors] from across Canada, you hear different perspectives about heritage." Ingrid believes that Heritage Saskatchewan’s contributions and work with the NT demonstrates the importance of working together to address similar issues. By participating with others, it not only highlights the work of our organisation but also establishes relationships and networks for future collaboration. Ultimately, Ingrid believes, being a part of a larger community allows for strength in numbers, and a chance to learn from each other: "we're all dealing with similar issues; we don't need to stand alone."
Heritage Saskatchewan's work has always been through partnerships, and our participation with organisations in different jurisdictions is an extension of that. We are proud of the work Ingrid does with the National Trust, and value our relationship with them.