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Local Group Eyes Funding for Heritage House

The Elkington House at Oak Park sits on 50 acres in the Garry Oak Preserve and is owned by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC).

The Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team website said there is less than five percent of the Garry Oak Ecosystem left in the province and the area in Maple Bay is protected by the NCC.

However, Elkington House itself is in disrepair.

Director of the Oak Park Heritage Preservation Society Paul Gowland said Elkington House needs a lot of work, including a new roof, siding, and windows.

Gowland said they’ve requested funding, that if approved, will allow renovations to the 126-year-old house to begin.

“Just a bit over $300,000, but that’s only a small portion, probably half or less than half of what it’s going to ultimately take to fix the house,” said Gowland. “If we do get that funding then we hope to go out to the community, do a membership drive to get more people into our society, raise more money where we can, and finish off the renovations.”

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Gowland said council has agreed to send a letter of support, in a request for funds from the BC Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program.

The Cowichan Valley Regional District said Elkington House showed up on the big screen. It was featured in Light of my Life, starring Casey Affleck. The local screening generated upwards of $200-thousand dollars for the local economy.

That movie was released in February of last year and Elkington House is seen in the trailer.

Elkington House. Photos supplied by Paul Gowland.

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