Revitalizing your Downtown


The economic, social and cultural health of traditional downtowns is central to the long term health of our communities.  Learn from the 40+ years of experience of applying our Main Street approach to the revitalization of downtowns.

Case Study: Highland Arts Theatre Fundraising Campaign

Sustaining a performance venue and professional theatre is a daunting and complex task in normal times, but the pandemic has made it exponentially more challenging.

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Tip Sheet: Regenerating Canada’s Downtowns

Drawing on the lessons learned from success stories from across the country, here are some of the key activities that can help you regenerate your downtown.

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Tip Sheet: Telling Your Story to Donors

Everyone loves a story – and heritage places have stories to tell. The story of your heritage place is a crucial piece of your fundraising plan. It will carry over to all your materials [flyers, website, e-mails, and donor appeals]. Telling it in a compelling, emotional, engaging and inspiring way will win you donors.

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Tip Sheet: Special Events

Special events can be a great way for organizations to raise funds, create public awareness and build volunteer base. They range from big to small, from car washes, to golf tournaments, charity auctions and gala dinners. Careful planning and execution are needed to ensure your organization achieves its goals for your event.

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Tip Sheet: Social Enterprise: A tool to sustain your heritage site

Social Enterprise is a much misunderstood concept, particularly because it has no one single definition. However, in all the many definitions, there are always three key elements, as follows: The primary guiding purpose of the business must be to address a social need or gap* in our society.

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Blog Post: On Heritage in Quebec

On the occasion of June 24, Quebec’s fête nationale, we asked Dinu Bumbaru, Policy Director at Heritage Montreal for his thoughts on heritage in Quebec.

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Blog Post: Main Street Boost Diaries: Virden, MB

When the National Trust comes to town for a Main Street Boost, expect the unexpected. Prior to visiting Virden, I mapped out a schedule with our Manitoban contacts. It’s similar to the schedule I follow in other cities and towns.

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Blog Post: Why Main Streets are Important

Since the 1980’s I’ve been travelling into and hanging out on every “Main Street” I come across from one side of this vast land to the other. Then, I worked for the National Trust’s (then Heritage Canada Foundation) Main Street Canada initiative that was being implemented in over 100 towns and cities. That experience altered my life and perspective on communities forever.

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Blog Post: The Stories of Main Street

In my ongoing work with the National Trust’s Main Street program, so much of what I do is seeking people out, hearing their stories and helping them understand what Main Street is about. Main Street is about more than buildings: it’s about people.

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Blog Post: Are Historic Sites Still Relevant?

When I tell people my job at the National Trust is all about promoting and supporting the regeneration of historic sites, I get some puzzled looks. For us heritage types who use the Standards and Guidelines, we can understand that regeneration includes all the activities under the conservation umbrella. But for most people, the light bulb only really goes off when I say that our objective is to revitalize historic sites in a sustainable way that makes them relevant to today’s society.

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Blog Post: What 52 Projects Taught Me About Crowdfunding

Behind every great heritage place is a passionate group of people united by a shared conviction that their place matters. One of the great joys of helping to organize This Place Matters, the National Trust’s new crowdfunding platform, is the opportunity to get to know these people and their projects.

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