Old School Workshops & Courses

Next Up - Heritage 101: An Introduction to Heritage Conservation

Old School courses teach homeowners, building owners and professionals skills and knowledge for the care and maintenance of older buildings. Courses can include topics such as best practices for researching the history of a building, how to manage a heritage project from start to finish, a thorough introduction to heritage conservation, and wood windows repair and maintenance.

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Spring 2019

Heritage 101: An Introduction to Heritage Conservation
Saturday, March 2nd, 9am – 5pm
NEW LOCATION! The Cultch, Jim Green House Studio, 1895 Venables St
Register Here, $115

Taught by experienced heritage professionals, Heritage 101 is a comprehensive one-day workshop that provides an introduction to heritage conservation with broad relevance for owners, design and construction professionals, municipal staff and the interested public. Heritage Consultants Donald Luxton and Judy Oberlander, and City of Vancouver Senior Heritage Planner Zlatan Jankovic will explore the history of heritage conservation, the guiding charters and regulations, and the regulatory environment at City Hall. Important topics including why heritage conservation is significant both economically and culturally, and its impact on communities will be covered. As a case study, we will touch on the history and adaptive reuse of The Cultch, a converted church which is now a popular theatre venue, and the adjacent Green House. Presentations on key topics, on-site visual observation exercises and group work will all be part of this collaborative experience with lots of discussion.

About the Instructors

Donald Luxton is founder and principal at Donald Luxton & Associates and has worked as heritage consultant on numerous projects over more than three decades. He is also an author and educator with prestigious literary and heritage awards to his name.

Judy Oberlander is a consultant who specializes in heritage conservation and cultural planning work. She has created community engagement & education programs across Canada in the public, private and non-profit sectors over the past 30 years.

Zlatan Jankovic is Senior Heritage Planner at the City of Vancouver with over 15 years of experience with heritage projects, municipal policy and regulations including recent work on the Heritage Action Plan.

This course earns 7 Core LUs from AIBC.

Maintenance and Repair of Wood Windows
Saturday, March 16th, 9am – 1:30pm
MakerLabs, 780 E Cordova St
This workshop is currently at capacity. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please call (604) 264-9642 or email.

Learn how to repair common issues and perform proper maintenance with Jim Stiven, founder of Vintage Woodworks. Windows are one of the key character defining elements of buildings, and with proper maintenance, they can have a life cycle of a hundred years before needing repair or replacement.  This workshop will discuss the design and construction of wood windows and practical considerations for their conservation and maintenance.

This course earns 4 Core LUs from AIBC.

Planning a Heritage Garden
Thursday, May 2nd, 6pm – 9pm
University Women’s Club at Hycroft, 1489 McRae Ave
Register here, $45 (includes light refreshments)

The beauty of a heritage home is enhanced by well-planned gardens. Christine Allen, Author of ‘Gardens of Vancouver’, will show you how to design a heritage garden including an overview of traditional garden styles and how they were interpreted in early Vancouver. Christine will share recent examples of heritage houses complemented by their gardens, and discuss the plants used to create various effects. Working collaboratively in groups, there will be time to work on ideas for your own project using a provided plant list, as well as a few templates of typical Vancouver lots and house footprints. Please bring photographs or sketches of your garden, and drawing materials. This course will be relevant for anyone planning or developing a garden for a heritage or character home.

While at Hycroft Manor there will be an opportunity to peruse the grounds and visit a new exhibition about the gardens.

Thank you to event partner University Women’s Club at Hycroft

About the Instructor

Christine Allen is a Life Member of the Master Gardeners’ Association of B.C. and a former president of the Vancouver Rose Society. She has taught in VanDusen Botanical Garden’s education program, and been a guest speaker at many garden clubs in B.C. and Washington. Christine is the author of several books including Roses for the Pacific Northwest and Gardens of Vancouver. Her most recent book is A Year at Killara Farm, an illustrated memoir of her garden in rural Langley.

All workshops can qualify for Professional Development Credits: most qualify for Core Learning Units with 1 Credit assigned for each hour of instructor time. Our courses are recognized by AIBC, PIBC, BCAAIC, BCSLA, IDIBC and BOABC. Shorter courses like Researching qualify for 2 Core LUs. All Professional Development Credits except AIBC are self reporting – talk to your professional body to inquire how to register your attendance.

Earn a Certificate in Heritage Conservation by taking 18 units worth of courses. Download more information about requirements for the Certificate here.

Old School Courses and Workshops won a 2009 City of Vancouver Heritage Award of Merit. Sign up and see why!

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Nov 20 - The Vancouver Heritage Register and Heritage Designation - and What It Means for You

Nov 13 - Researching the History of a Building: Vancouver Public Library

May 1 - Electrical Safety in Older Buildings

April 28 - Exterior Painting and Historic Colours Workshop

Apr 14 - Heritage 101: An Introduction to Heritage Conservation

Mar 13 - Researching the History of a Building: Vancouver Archives


Nov 28 - Paint Stripping and Prepping Interior Wood Surfaces

Nov 25 - Neighbourhood Zoning Walk: Kitsilano

May 13 - Masonry Workshop

Apr 11 - Researching the History of a Building: Vancouver Public Library

Apr 8 - Maintenance and Repair of Double-Hung Wood Windows

Apr 5 - Researching the History of a Building: Vancouver Archives

Apr 2 - Neighbourhood Zoning Walk: How We Got to Today's Chinatown

Mar 4 - Heritage 101: Understanding Heritage Conservation


Nov 22 - Researching the History of a Building: Vancouver Public Library

Oct 29 -  Neighbourhood Zoning Walk: Delamont Park

Oct 25 - Navigating City Hall

Oct 15 - Drafting a Statement of Significance

Apr 24 - Neighbourhood Zoning Walk: South Shaughnessy

Mar 5 - Heritage 101: Understanding Heritage Conservation

Mar 1  - Researching the History of a Building: Vancouver Public Library

Feb 23 - Researching the History of a Building: Vancouver Archives


Nov 25 - Researching the History of a Building: Vancouver Archives

Nov 19 - Drafting a Conservation Plan

Nov 14 - Neighbourhood Zoning Walk: Mt. Pleasant

Nov 3 - Researching the History of a Building: Vancouver Public Library

May 9 - Wood Window Restoration and Repair

April 25 - Heritage 101: Understanding Heritage Conservation

March 28 - Heritage Projects: From Idea to Completion

March 18 - Researching the History of a Building: Vancouver Public Library

March 11 - Researching the History of a Building: Vancouver Archives


November 19 - Knob & Tube Electrical

October 11- Kerrisdale Walk: How Zoning Shaped this Neighbourhood

October 8 - Researching the History of a Building: City of Vancouver Archives

October 1 - Researching the History of a Building: Vancouver Public Library

May 21 - Wood Windows & Storefronts Walk: Chinatown and Strathcona

April 9 - Interior Wood Paint Stripping

April 8 - Researching at the Archives

April 5 - Neighbourhood Zoning & History Walk: Strathcona

April 2 - Energy Retrofits for Older Buildings

April 1 - Researching at the Library

February 26 - & March 5 - Heritage 101: Introduction to Heritage Conservation

February 27 - Historic Paint Schemes