A community’s size is a major factor in considering possibilities for an overall community heritage plan.
As any experienced heritage group knows, local population numbers determine the pool of possible volunteers, available financial support, range and type of skill sets, and resources like schools and libraries.
Heritage Manitoba has determined that there are three distinct community sizes that determine likely prospects for local heritage planning and action.
Populations Over 5,000
Manitoba communities in this category—like the cities of Brandon, Portage la Prairie, Flin Flon and The Pas, and rural municipalities like Gimli, Hanover and St. Clements—will typically have the widest range of support infrastructure, and the greatest amount of flexibility in determining actions and opportunities.
Populations of 1,000 to 5,000
Manitoba communities in this category—like the towns of Carman, Minnedosa, Melita, Virden, Winnipeg Beach and rural municipalities like Argyle, De Salaberry, Morris and Pembina—will typically have a more modest range of support infrastructure. But it will still be possible to carry out a wide and sophisticated range of projects and activities.
Populations Under 1,000
Manitoba communities in this category—like Birtle, Hartney, Manitou, Wawanesa—will typically be the ones that need to think carefully about what they can reasonably accomplish. This is not to say that such communities cannot accomplish a great deal of important and impressive local heritage work – only that the limits of population and resources need to be carefully considered in planning exercises so that human resources are not over-burdened and that resources are strategically targeted.