Built in 1908, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church has been important to the community of Field for more than a century. The building was decommissioned as an active religious facility in 2015 and sold to the Field Recreation Advisory Association (FRAA) in 2017.
With conceptual plans, public consultation, and environmental assessments in hand, and $45,625 in funding from Columbia Basin Trust through the Community Initiatives Program to complete architectural review and engineered drawings, the FRAA is preparing the Parks Canada Development Permit application, tender packages to hire a contractor and more grant applications to move on to the construction phase. Renovations will be extensive and include a new foundation, washrooms, windows, insulation, electrical, plumbing and heating, to bring the building into the 21st century without sacrificing the beauty and charm of this beautiful early 20th century structure.
When complete, the building will be a multifunctional space to serve residents of Field and visitors to Yoho National Park for community events like music, theatre, education, art and craft classes, farmer’s market, yoga, book exchange, art gallery, and a space for quiet contemplation. Expenses to run the facility will be covered by its use as a wedding chapel.
The FRAA is very thankful for the support given to this project by the Community Initiatives Program of Columbia Basin Trust. There have been challenges that we have met and resolved, and anticipate there will be more challenges as the project moves on to the next stages. Patience and consultation have proven valuable tools. Without funding from Columbia Basin Trust, we wouldn’t have made it this far. Thank you to Columbia Basin Trust and Golden and Community Foundation for helping the community of Field revitalize a beautiful landmark in our village.