VICTORIA - A new gangway and dock at the Point Ellice House heritage site will increase tourist activity by allowing safe and easy water access, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson announced today during a ribbon-cutting celebration.
More than 70 per cent of visitors to the Point Ellice House heritage site prefer to visit the site by water access. The new gangway and dock provide the public with safe and comfortable water access and increase the ability for visitors and tourists to experience the history this site has to offer.
The B.C. government provided approximately $60,000 to refurbish the gangway and dock, and build new fencing. The funding is part of $110,000 the B.C. government is providing to the Point Ellice House Preservation Society, operators of the site, for capital improvements planned for 2012-13 to help ensure the site's economic sustainability and enjoyment for future generations.
This year, the Point Ellice House Preservation Society also is receiving over $94,000 from the government for the site's annual operating costs. This funding will support the continued successful operation and popularity of this significant piece of Victoria heritage. This year the B.C. government also committed $21 million over three years to ensure the province's heritage sites receive the funding necessary for successful operation.
The project is part of continued conservation and restoration work taking place at Point Ellice House. Other completed projects on the site include a new roof for the historic house, restoration of external walls, and the addition of fencing and handrails as well as considerable work to the site's beautiful gardens.
Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson -
"This government is proud to assist with the protection and enhancement of heritage sites across the province. We are grateful to community partners such as the Point Ellice House Preservation Society for taking care of this valuable heritage site."
Point Ellice House Preservation Society president Lisa Mort-Putland -
"The society and its volunteers are grateful to the B.C. government for their strong support in preserving the Point Ellice House heritage site. This funding has allowed us to enhance site conditions, public safety and overall public enjoyment."
- Point Ellice House was built 151 years ago and holds one of North America's largest collections of objects from one 19th century family (the O'Reilly family).
- Visitors to Point Ellice House can enjoy afternoon tea, a game of croquet and a tour of the house with an audio tape that dramatizes some of the O'Reilly family's events from over 100 years ago.
- Point Ellice House is one of 23 provincial heritage sites throughout the province, 11 of which are open to the public and operated by third-party community agencies under heritage site management agreements.
- B.C.'s historic buildings, structures and cultural landscapes attract over 200,000 visitors annually from around the globe, creating jobs for British Columbians and supporting sustainable communities.
Point Ellice House: http://www.pointellicehouse.ca/
For more information on B.C.'s provincially owned heritage sites, visit: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/heritage/historic_sites/site_list.htm
Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Director and Operations Liaison
Port Ellice House Preservation Society