CIHC at the TICCIH Congress

REPORT ON THE TICCIH CONGRESS August 28 to September 03, 2022.

John Kneale, Board Chairman of CIHC

TICCIH is The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage. CIHC’s President, Christina Han, and I attended the TICCIH International Congress which was held this year in Montreal after two postponements. Delegates to the Congress were from all over the world, attracting over 300 registered delegates, less than the typical 400 to 500 but quite impressive in light of current travel restrictions and complications. Naturally the largest contingent was from Quebec.

Delegates' registration packages contained synopses of all the presentations at the Congress and detailed contact information on the presenters, as well as the complete program. This will be valuable reference information for CIHC since we are planning a conference for next year.

Theme of the Congress was Industrial Heritage Reloaded. Participants were invited to take part in the renewal of research, policies and practices in industrial heritage, and discuss the future of industrial heritage. Topics included Deindustrialization and the Politics of Our Time.

I found all the presentations I attended to be of a routinely high quality. The Congress was well run and well attended but limited by its focus on Montreal and Quebec. One of the keynote speakers was a prominent representative of Parks Canada, whose lecture was billed as "A Glimpse of Industrial Heritage in Canada"; in fact, it was almost entirely about southern Quebec. Christina chaired two panels on Eastern Canada. The two sessions were well-received.One of our reasons for attending the Congress was to meet contacts, make people aware of CIHC and the need for TICCIH Canada to represent our industry from coast to coast; as well, to meet Dr. Miles Oglethorpe, President of TICCIH, from England. There were some prominent delegates from Canada, such as Steven High from Concordia and Susan Ross from Carleton. I had interesting discussions with both the American and Australian National Representatives, which could lead to useful cooperation.

I met Professor Lucie Morisset, organizer of the event and Canada Research Chair in Urban Heritage at l'Université du Québec à Montréal. In her opening remarks, Lucie thanked me and the CIHC board for our repeated offers to help with a tour of important industrial heritage sites in Ontario, though in the end this had to be canceled because of high participant costs.

For his part, Dr. Oglethorpe expressed interest in the CIHC project and in our long-standing efforts to create a national chapter of TICCIH. I will follow up with him by email. I'm a bit mystified as to what exactly is TICCIH's focus. In one short period they "officially" approved the regional event in Quebec and an earlier conflicting thematic or sectoral event in Petrolia, Ontario, the Fairbanks' Heritage Oilfield site, which was to be part of our Ontario tour. What the role of CIHC should be and what we should focus on will be the main theme of my future communication with Dr. Oglethorpe.

John Kneale, Board Chairman CIHC