The Rossland Arts Centre Society is rallying residents to vote for the Rossland Drill Hall in the the Next Great Save competition, a contest designed to help revitalize outstanding heritage sites. (Photo: Shauna Davis)

The Rossland Arts Centre Society is rallying residents to vote for the Rossland Drill Hall in the the Next Great Save competition, a contest designed to help revitalize outstanding heritage sites. (Photo: Shauna Davis)

Rossland Arts Society looks for support in Next Great Save contest

Go online and vote for Rossland Drill Hall in national contest to help restore heritage buildings

The Rossland Arts Centre Society is calling on the community to help make their Drill Hall dream a reality.

The National Trust for Canada, in partnership with Ecclesiastical Insurance, is running the Next Great Save competition, a contest designed to help revitalize outstanding heritage sites across the country.

The Society’s Drill Hall was selected as one of 10 entries and, through a voting process, is eligible to win a grand prize to help complete their project.

“We are fortunate that our project, the Rossland Drill Hall Arts and Innovation Centre, has been chosen to compete for the generous prize,” said Society director Sarah Taekema-Slot. “The competing heritage place with the most public votes will receive $50,000 towards their project.”

The Arts Centre Society formed in 2018, and out of a need for a space to make art and to save a landmark heritage building, they officially adopted the Rossland Drill Hall in 2022.

The Arts Society board has been working steadily on this project for the last five years, and will spend the next few years rehabilitating it into the Rossland Drill Hall Arts and Innovation Centre.

“In the short-term, we are seeking funds to do a feasibility study to determine how to design and program the building, and we’ve laid out a multi-year renovation plan which will give the building a new life as an accessible, community arts and innovation hub.”

The Drill Hall was built in 1904 for training the Rossland militia cohort of the Rocky Mountain Rangers. The building was built to last, constructed of brick and granite, it is the last of five drill halls remaining in the area.

It still has the original copper roof tiles, each embossed with a maple leaf, and some of the original eucalyptus flooring is preserved in the main hall.

“But, it’s been closed to the public since 2014 so some renovation work needs to be done before we can open it back up to the public,” said Taekema-Slot.

If the Society is successful in winning the Next Great Save contest, they will use the funds to undertake an assessment of the granite foundation, roof trusses, and complete code upgrades.

“When this work is completed, we should be able to open the building back up and start offering programming and generating income to help with future renovation costs.”

As of Wednesday morning, the Drill Hall had almost 1,400 votes and counting, but trailed six other buildings in voting, so community support is needed.

“And don’t just vote once! You can vote once one per day from January 20 to February 22,” urges Taekema-Slot. “Write ‘Vote Today’ on a post-it note and put it somewhere you will not forget.

“We really need hundreds of people to vote every day to be contenders in the contest.”

To help save this incredible building, click this link: https://nationaltrustcanada.ca/…rossland-drill-hall and vote for the Rossland Drill Hall.

“The Rossland Arts Centre Society looks forward to showing you, and other folks across Canada, that the Rossland Drill Hall deserves to be saved.”

*Please note: once you click VOTE, you will be sent a confirmation email, and you must click once more on that link to complete the process.

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