Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site of Canada

Site Management

Management Planning

Fishing boats in front of the Gulf of Georgia Cannery
Gulf of Georgia Cannery
© Parks Canada

What is a Management Plan?

A management plan is forward-looking document that provides a vision for the national historic site at its future best and the strategies for getting there.

They are more than a document. They are a part of every Canadian’s legacy and Parks Canada’s commitment to protect, manage and plan for the future of Canada’s special heritage areas.

2011 Management Plan

Executive Summary

National historic sites are places of profound importance to Canada. They bear witness to our nation's defining moments and illustrate our human creativity and cultural traditions. The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site of Canada (NHSC) is one of more than 2,000 places, people and events commemorated by the Government of Canada. Together, these commemorations make up what is known as the system of National Historic Sites of Canada.

Perched on a wharf and piling structure over the South Arm of the Fraser River, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery is a commanding structure in the village of Steveston, a small community in Richmond, British Columbia. The Cannery was built in 1894 and was the largest cannery in the province at the time. It stopped canning salmon in the 1930s but remained active as a net loft, fish depot and later as a herring reduction plant until its closure in 1979.

Gulf of Georgia Cannery NHSC commemorates the history of Canada’s West Coast Fishing Industry. The site is nationally significant because of its association with the fishing industry, from the 1870s to the modern era; its location in Steveston, historically the most important fishing village on the West Coast; and the Cannery buildings and extant resources which reflect the industry’s development.

Collaboratively written with the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society, and shaped through stakeholder and public involvement, this management plan amends and replaces the management plan tabled in 2003. This plan contains a five-year implementation strategy with targets and actions, and is the primary reference document for decision-making and accountability for the site.

Integrating the three elements of Parks Canada’s mandate, the protection of heritage resources, the facilitation of visitor experiences and the provision of public outreach education, this plan introduces an update site vision. It also includes three key strategies and an area management approach:

  • Weathering the Storm focuses on improving the conservation of the Cannery and its collections, ensuring our heritage can be shared with present and future generations. This key strategy aims to improve the health of the site.
  • The Steveston Experience builds ties between the Cannery and community, so both can grow together. The site intends to nurture current and new relationships to enhance promotions and programs, making the Cannery the anchor of the ‘Steveston Experience’.
  • Explore the Cannery, in person or from afar, and get Caught up in the Real West Coast. This strategy aims to ensure continued connection with the hearts and minds of Canadians through a program offer which responds to the needs and expectations of visitors, in addition to creating new and improved outreach education opportunities and products for people who may not visit the site.
  • The Cannery can be mistaken for an active commercial fishing operation. The area management approach focusing Outside the Cannery Walls, will enable the site to welcome visitors and improve wayfinding and branding, and investigate new experiences and products outside the Cannery complex.

Annual reporting will report on progress made towards achieving the plan’s objectives and vision. This plan will be formally reviewed in five years to ensure that it remains relevant and effective for the management of the Gulf of Georgia Cannery NHSC.

Click here to download the management plan  (PDF, 3.58 MB) in its entirety.