Municipal heritage advisory committees, often identified by the acronym MHACs, are key local heritage leaders. MHACs are advisory bodies reporting to municipal councils on heritage issues.
The formation of MHACs is legislated by the Province's Heritage Resources Act of 1986.These issues can be within the realm of traditional heritage work, like research, interpretation, promotion, tourism and education. A key legal role for which some MHACs are responsible is municipal designation – ensuring that the most significant examples are selected for this recognition, and that the broader community supports the selections. Some MHACs are beginning to develop conservation strategies to ensure that locally significant buildings have the appropriate tools to ensure their long-term viability.
MHACs in some communities are also dealing with larger and more complex issues that may affect the development and future of the community, and thus are beginning to focus on issues of planning, management, sustainability and economic viability. These MHACs often have a larger vision for local heritage work and its outcomes. And given their formal connection to local councils and administration, they often also have opportunities to assist with the development of local heritage policies and directions.
The most active MHACs are partners in Heritage Manitoba.
Some recent examples of MHAC activity include:
- Community Heritage Management Plans
- Regional Tourism Strategies
- Neighourhood Heritage Value Reports
- Social Studies Teachers' Education Resources
- Building Construction Research
- Selected Municipal Designations
- Heritage By-laws
- Heritage Districts
- Media Development
- Geo-caching Projects
- Community Heritage Websites
- Annual Heritage Events
- Homeowners' Conservation Handbooks