Old School Workshops & Courses

Join us in the fall for 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.

Sign up for our bi-monthly e-newsletter for course updates.

About Webinars:
Please note that a selection of future events will be offered online only as a webinar. If you are unsure about attending a webinar and would like more information please contact us at mail@vancouverheritagefoundation.org. To help with our scheduling, please feel free to let us know if you have preferred times or days for webinars. Please check back for new events!

Notice Regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
VHF is conscious of changing health considerations for individuals attending public events due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) and are closely monitoring the situation and public health advice. VHF will advise registrants directly if changes become necessary. If you have any questions regarding upcoming events please contact us via email.

VHF Event Plans Survey

We invite you to participate in a short (5-10 minute) survey that will help us shape our programming in the coming months. We are interested to know the type of events you are interested in and/or comfortable attending in the near future. Please respond to the survey by June 10th, 2020 at 5pm. At the end of the survey you will be able to enter your name into a draw for a chance to win a $30 VHF gift certificate.

Thank you for your feedback.
Click here to take the Event Plans Survey

NEW DATE! Heritage 101: An Introduction to Heritage Conservation
Saturday, October 24th, 9am – 5pm
St Mary’s Kerrisdale, 2490 W 37th Ave
Register here, $115 (includes a light lunch)

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 of St Mary’s Church in Kerrisdale. Presentations on key topics, on-site visual observation exercises and group work will all be part of this collaborative experience with lots of discussion.

This workshop earns 7 Core LUs AIBC and/or 3 credits towards VHF’s Heritage Conservation Certificate.

This event is sponsored by the Lohn Foundation.

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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 several 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.

Testimonial: ‘As a licensed realtor, a former member of the Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee (4 years) and current Commissioner for the Richmond Heritage Committee I want to express my thanks and gratitude for your course. There are many courses on heritage that I have taken and continue to take however your one day program was more valuable than any other, and that is saying a lot.

The quality of the instructors and their commitment to the conservation of heritage was great. The different disciplines of the instructors was also great as we heard and saw different views.’

– Larry Traverence, Commissioner for the Richmond Heritage Committee

(Postponed) Sustainability Forum: Improving Energy Efficiency in Older Homes and Buildings
Thursday, April 2nd, 6:30pm – 9pm
303 E 8th Ave

Due to the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 (coronavirus) we have had to make the decision to reschedule this event for a future date. Registered participants have been notified and further updates will be posted on our website and social channels when possible. Thank you for your patience at this time.

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We regret that the venue is not an accessible space. We will be in the Luxe Hall at the Western Front Society which is located on the second floor up two flights of stairs with no elevator. For more information, please contact the office.

Bring your questions and join VHF and an expert panel for a lively evening of presentations and discussion about improving the energy efficiency and sustainability of heritage and character homes. Each presenter will have 15 minutes to share their expertise on how to improve the energy efficiency of an older home or building, reduce energy bills and cut greenhouse gas emissions. Light refreshments will be provided.

Older homes and buildings often have lots of potential to improve energy efficiency through a range of retrofits. Measures to decrease heat loss or upgrade heating devices can make a big difference to carbon emissions, heating costs and comfort in the home. However, before making investments in retrofits, it is important to have the information you need to make the right decisions for your home or building, including understanding how it is different to modern construction.

While the program will focus on older homes and particularly those with heritage character, it will also be relevant for other small heritage buildings. Homeowners, building owners, and design and construction professionals are encouraged to attend. Information about current incentives including the Heritage Energy Retrofit Grant, and provincial and municipal rebates will be offered.

Presenters and panelists:

Judith Mosley – Executive Director, Vancouver Heritage Foundation – Introduction to Heritage Homes and Energy Efficiency; HERG program.

John Quinton – President, Quinton Construction – Implementation of retrofits

Keri Briggs – General Manager, Vintage Woodworks – Improving the performance of historic wood windows

Matt Tarnowski – Associate, Integral Group – Heat pumps for space and water heating

Chris Higgins – Green Building Planner, City of Vancouver – Incentives and regulations

Beth Ringdahl – Manager, Conservation and Energy Management Residential, Fortis BC – Incentives and rebates for improving energy efficiency – natural gas

This event earns 2.5 Core LUs AIBC and/or 1 credit towards VHF’s Heritage Conservation Certificate.

This event is sponsored by Fortis BC.

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Old School Program Opportunities

For students: Are you currently enrolled in an educational program and 16-30 years of age? Sponsored seats for students are now available for the spring Old School sessions. Learn more about the program here or email us if you are interested in attending.

Professional Development Credits: Most workshops can qualify for Professional Development Credits: Our courses are recognized by AIBC, PIBC, BCAAIC, BCSLA, IDIBC and BOABC. All Professional Development Credits except AIBC are self reporting - talk to your professional body to inquire how to register your attendance.

VHF Heritage Conservation Certificate: You can receive this certificate by taking 18 units worth of courses. Download more information about requirements for the Certificate here. You can also email harriet@vancouverheritagefoundation.org for more information.

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


June 10 - Researching the History of a Building Online

May 21 -  Planning a Heritage Garden Webinar

February 29 - Professional Historical Colours Analysis Workshop


November 21 - Researching the History of a Building at Aberthau Mansion

November 6 - Creating a Heritage Conservation Plan

May 2 - Planning a Heritage Garden

March 16 - Maintenance and Repair of Wood Windows

March 2 - Heritage 101: An Introduction to Heritage Conservation


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

November 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

April 14 - Heritage 101: An Introduction to Heritage Conservation

March 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