Coquitlam Election 2018

Coquitlam Heritage wanted to hear Coquitlam Candidate’s positions on the City’s current level of support for a Heritage Centre.

The question was sent to all candidates listed on the City of Coquitlam’s election webpage. Responses received by 4pm on Friday, September 28th were included on this page.


The Heritage Centre supported by the City’s Arts, Culture, and Heritage Master Plan is not a traditional museum with static displays and artifacts, but a facility that educates and celebrates the diverse cultures of Coquitlam, past and present.

What is your position on the City’s vision for heritage, including plans for a Heritage Centre? (Max 100 words)

Mayor Candidates

Adel Gramar:

Coquitlam is a large, diverse city, with a rich cultural heritage.  

I believe strongly that our heritage enhances the community’s identity and pride; providing a sense of connection between the past, present and future and a Heritage Centre would help celebrate that.  

I’m concerned the City has placed a low emphasis on heritage. That being said, the city has recognized that it needs to come up with a clear position in the near future and I support the City’s Implementation Strategy.  

I appreciate the work the CHS has done and as Mayor I look forward to working closely with the CHS to create a Heritage Centre. 

Richard Stewart:

My French-Canadian mother and Scottish-Canadian father represented the two non-indigenous "founding nations" of Canada and Coquitlam, but today's population is much more than that, and I fully support the establishment of a facility to celebrate that diversity. This Council has supported heritage, established Coquitlam Archives, preserved historical artifacts (Riverview), protected heritage buildings. But a Heritage Centre is quite different from a museum, an archives or a heritage building.  

It’s now time to move forward with a Heritage Centre, as we’ve discussed with you, and as other communities have demonstrated. Our tremendous diversity provides much reason to celebrate our heritage.

Council Candidates

Craig Hodge:

As a past president of the Coquitlam Heritage Society, it has always been my goal to preserve our heritage and build a heritage centre. Once elected to council, I initiated the purchase of the historic Booth Farm House and championed the establishment of a city archive and heritage revitalization agreements that saved twelve heritage homes.  A heritage centre should be a community space with changing and interactive displays, but it begins with a good collection, built up over years. That is why I worked to save the Riverview collection, and advocated for the city to provide interim storage space. 

Steve Kim:

I'm a supporter of Coquitlam Heritage and believe our history plays a key role in our city. It's important for residents and organizations to understand, recognize and appreciate our past. Further, as someone who grew up next to Riverview Hospital and currently lives next to Mackin House in Maillardville, our heritage is something I embrace.

Regarding the city's vision for heritage, I need more information and discussion. I welcome the opportunity to meet with you to learn more.

Dennis Marsden: 

I fully support the development of a vibrant and interactive heritage centre to tell the story of Coquitlam’s past.

The Centre could be established through partnerships with developers and would have at its centre the Heritage centre, archives, and storage but also include a significant art gallery, a revitalized public library and an open, welcoming community activity space. A recent conference in Halifax showcased a number of examples to achieve this goal. The operation of the facility would be addressed by the many volunteers and not for profits that currently do such a great job in delivering these services to our community.

Robert Mazzarolo:

It’s important to know where we came from, and how we arrived where we are now. I support the Heritage Centre’s efforts to preserve, honour, and promote our city’s heritage. There is more to Coquitlam’s history than its 1891 incorporation, or the 1889 opening of Fraser Mills and the arrival of French-Canadian mill workers. The Coast Salish people were the first to call this region home, and the surge of working-class families that settled in our city throughout the 2nd half of the 20th century transformed Coquitlam to the thriving suburb of Vancouver it is today.  

Devan Robertson:

Thank you for seeking my opinion on such an important issue. A city's or regions cultural preservation is only as strong as those willing to safeguard it. Coquitlam retains a unique place in both our provincial and federal history, particularly with respect to the francophone culture that has been prevalent since its inception. I am a graduate of the French Immersion program here in Coquitlam and during those many years there was an abundance of cultural and historical teachings about that aspect of our Coquitlam. I am a strong supporter of having our very own heritage centre here in Coquitlam. It would not only serve to benefit our residents with educational workshops and events, but would be a place where students could be privy to the teachings of our history.

 Ian Soutar:

As someone who grew up in one of the oldest cities in BC, Chilliwack, it is clear to me that the importance of preserving the local history is paramount. I agree with the desire for a Heritage Center, provided that it is done with Truth and Reconciliation in mind. Whether they are stories, artifacts, homes or workshops, the history of Coquitlam is an important part of our city, both in preserving our cultures and in recognising how we can avoid repeating past mistakes. Wherever possible, I support the measure required to appropriately and fully preserve the heritage of Coquitlam.

 Nicola Spurling:

Heritage and arts are very important to me.  Having been raised with a historian for a father and an art librarian for a mother, I learned early on the importance of culture, arts, and maintaining historical records.  I fully support having a heritage centre, in a larger space, to display Coquitlam’s diversity of cultures, heritage, and traditions. 

Darryl Stickler:

It’s important to know where we came from, and understand how we arrived here today. That’s why I support the Heritage Centre’s efforts to preserve, honour, and promote our city’s heritage. There is more to Coquitlam’s history than its 1891 incorporation, or the 1889 opening of Fraser Mills and the arrival of French-Canadian mill workers. The Coast Salish were the first to call Coquitlam home, and the surge of working-class families that settled in our City throughout the 2nd half of the 20th century helped transform Coquitlam from an agrarian community to the thriving suburb of Vancouver it is today. 

Teri Towner:

Coquitlam is rich in heritage.  We have much to respect and honour in terms of our cultural history, our stories.  A strategy is in place to acquire, preserve and make accessible important community heritage collections and many steps have already been taken to accomplish this including both the treasured Riverview artifacts and the City Archives.  I support a facility that houses the Artifacts, the Archives and all of our important and valued heritage assets and collections.  An interactive way to learn from and appreciate these collections is the optimal way to celebrate our diversity – both past and present.

No other candidate for either Council or Mayor sent in a response.

School Trustees

Jennifer Blatherwick:

As a parent and volunteer in School District 43, I support a Heritage Centre in our city, especially one dedicated to the respectful, accessible exploration of all the cultures that make up our Coquitlam community. Under the current budget structure, no funds are available for transportation such as buses, and many parents are unavailable to drive, so field trips are challenging for many classes.  To ensure the maximum number of students were benefitting from this cultural education, I would also love to see rotating installations in school spaces such as libraries and lobbies, and many more ‘in-class’ field trips.   


Francis Mark Bucher: 

Thanks for contacting me Candrina. If elected as a school trustee and if this issue comes up at any meeting I will certainly vote in favour of preserving our heritage and for having a Heritage Centre. 


Barb Hobson:

I support the development of a heritage centre in the City. Teaching heritage will become so much more meaningful when students are able to experience the diverse cultures of Coquitlam in a dedicated heritage centre, learn how the community came to be and how it has developed over time. I am supportive of preserving artifacts and developing a plan to display and store them. As Maya Angelou said, “I have great respect for the past. If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going.” 

No other candidate for School Trustee submitted a response.