Elevator Restoration Work Is on Its Way!

Release date May 24, 2024

The Spruce Grove & District Agricultural Society has exciting news! We have been chosen by the Edmonton Community Foundation to receive a grant of $50,000 for restoration work on the Tri-Municipal Region’s historic grain elevator, located in Spruce Grove. 

The Edmonton Community Foundation supports a vibrant community by encouraging innovation, visionary thinking, and leadership. They believe that with the right resources, it is possible to strengthen community in Edmonton and the surrounding area. They have spent years building strong relationships with donors, charities, volunteers, and community leaders. This helps to provide the right resources to the right people, projects, and places. 

We are thrilled as our Society and the restoration of the Elevator are seen as the "right people and project” for this important funding!

Backgrounder:

The Government of Alberta declared the Spruce Grove Grain Elevator building to be a Provincial Historic Resource in October of 2000 after members of the local Agricultural Society applied for this prestigious title. The Historic Designation document says,” The Alberta Wheat Pool (1958) Grain Elevator, Spruce Grove, is provincially significant because it is an excellent representation of themes in Alberta’s history relating to agricultural production and the grain trade. It is an excellent, intact working example of a wooden grain elevator - an increasingly rare building type that played an important role in Alberta and which has long been recognized as an iconic landmark within the province and across Canada.” 

The Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator was built in 1958 after a fire destroyed one of three working elevators in Spruce Grove. In 1995 this elevator, the only one remaining, was closed and was due for demolition. The Ag. Society decided to purchase it, seeing the tourism potential for the building. Over the years members have cared for the building, providing preventative maintenance and fundraising for repainting about every 5 to 7 years.  Other restoration issues arise, as wind and rain begin to affect the integrity of the wooden surface of the building. 

With the assistance of Carlo Laforge, Heritage Conservation and Protection, Government of Alberta, an assessment was completed last summer. This has enabled the Ag. Society to plan much needed restoration work that will protect the building for many more years.  

Work includes hand scraping the old paint from the wooden siding, applying one or two coats of special paint, repainting of the Alberta Wheat Pool logo, replacement of broken and damaged siding with specially milled wood, replacement of part of the roof that was damaged by winds last year, repair of water damage to the foundation of the building, and removal/repair or replacement of the windows. The work will also enhance the economy of the community by bringing in workers and providing work to local industries. 

This is anticipated to be a huge project with costs of over $145,000. This grant from the Edmonton Community Foundation, supplements recently received funds from the Government of Alberta, Community Facility Enhancement Program grant for $52,815.00 in “cost shared” funds for restoration work. Successful fundraising of over $26,000.00 has been achieved by the Ag Society membership and volunteers, with over $12,000.00 from the Winter Blooms Gala and nearly $14,000.00 from the recent Spring Carnival! 

This results in fundraising and grant totals of nearly $129,000.00, which is 89% of our goal! We are so thankful for such support from the Province of Alberta, the Edmonton Community Foundation, and our amazing local community! Efforts continue with the launch of an online 50/50 draw and other fundraising, with the goal of raising the remaining $16,500.

The Spruce Grove & District Agricultural Society is committed to preserving this iconic building which represents our agricultural heritage.  Go to www.sprucegroveagsociety.com for more information or purchase a 50/50 cash raffle ticket online! 

The Spruce Grove & District Agricultural Society is a non-profit organization, formed in Spruce Grove in 1972 through grants from the Alberta Government to support rural infrastructure. The intent of Agricultural Societies is to encourage improvement in agriculture and in the quality of life of persons living in an agricultural community. We do this by developing programs, services, and facilities based on the needs of this community. Learn more at SpruceGroveAgSociety.com.

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