Industrial Heritage: Medalta Potteries Field School

PART OF: Diploma in Cultural Resource Management

Course description

Industrial plants can bring with them a whole series of challenges, both from a technical and philosophical perspective. This course will use the Medalta Pottery Site at the Medicine Hat Historic Clay District as a premier case study to analyze a series of approaches to industrial heritage site conservation. Through this course you will develop techniques for examining and understanding the processes and products of industrial plants in order to determine and establish their values and significance. This immersive six-day course will examine the issues surrounding industrial sites through first-hand experience within the context of a functioning site undergoing conservation.

This course provides up to 36 hours towards CAHP's self-reporting Continuing Professional Development program.

Learning objectives

  • Develop an historic profile that is based on an understanding of the raw materials, manufacturing processes, logistics and products affiliated with the industrial plant.
  • Establish significance and commemorative values to an industrial site.
  • Document and record significant aspects of an industrial site.
  • Provide a condition assessment of extant equipment and structures.
  • Produce a conservation master plan.


Note: though not required, prior experience in a cultural organization would be an asset for success in this course.

Please contact the Program Coordinator, Tusa Shea, directly at if you have any questions or concerns.


Lorne Simpson, conservation architect, is the senior partner with Simpson Roberts Architects in Calgary. He completed a MA in the Conservation of Historic Structures at the Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies, York, England and has completed conservation projects throughout southern Alberta for the past 25 years. His earlier career working in the mining industry has provided the understanding and insight for his great interest in industrial sites.

Medicine Hat Clay Industries National Historic District is a 150-acre Canadian National Historic Site in Medicine Hat, Canada. Today the Medalta factory is a state-of-the-art contemporary ceramic artists' studio facility and industrial museum. The Medicine Hat Clay Industries National Historic District provides educational programing, artist-in-residence programs, and research opportunities for scholars.

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