I’m not a big gardener unless you count my frenzied annual weeding ritual before my daughter’s birthday parties, but I threw on the gloves and participated in a clean-up of Belle Vue Saturday alongside members of the Fort Malden Horticultural Society.
We filled up a trailer with all kinds of waste and weeds and left the property in significantly better shape than we found it. There is a massive swath of land behind the house that you don’t see from Dalhousie Street but, when you do see it, you see the potential for something special.
At our council meeting in early May, Shirley Curson-Prue of the Belle Vue Conservancy provided an update and urged council to back the concept of a Conference/Event Centre on the site to help in the ongoing search for sponsors and funds.
“Recruiting sponsors to build the Conference Centre and upgrade the interior of the Belle Vue House would minimize or eliminate the requirement of the Town to fund the development using tax dollars,” said Curson-Prue in a report to council.
The vision for the Conference Centre outlined in Curson-Prue’s report includes a one or two-storey building on the property behind the historic house, with room enough for a ballroom to accommodate 300 people along with conference or break-out rooms.
As well, there could be boardrooms on the second floor of Belle Vue House themed to commemorate past tenants including the Reynolds family, the Johnston family, the Leighton family, the Mullins family, the World War I Veterans and the Ukrainian Catholic Church.
Council supported the vision and directed administration to seek out major sponsors or partners to build a Conference/Event Centre on the property behind the existing house.