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1999 Maxwell Studentship Recipient - Kerry Lake

INSPIRED BY RESEARCH I CONDUCTED for my Bachelor degree at Memorial University in St. John's, Nfld., on managing cultural landscapes, namely the lighthouse landscape, I joined the Master's program in Canadian Heritage and Development Studies at Trent University and expanded my focus of regional icons to include grain elevators.

Broadly, the study areas chosen include the Atlantic coast for lighthouses, and the Prairies for grain elevators. More specifically, I am focusing on the Cape St. Francis, Ferryland, and Cape Race lighthouses along Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula, and on grain elevators in Killaly and Fenwood, Sask., and Inglis, Man. I have conducted extensive on-site fieldwork, numerous interviews and held community meetings in the study areas.

My research investigates community reaction to changes in the cultural landscape and to the loss of prominent features, such as the lighthouse and grain elevator. It examines how these features are remembered and preserved once they are lost. My thesis attempts to gain a better understanding of how these features function as significant regional icons that contribute to Canadian identity, but does not compare the lighthouse and grain elevator as architectural entities. The comparison, in fact, lies in the reaction to the demise of these two landmarks, the efforts being made to preserve and protect them and the manner in which the change and loss of these two distinct landscapes is dea

Essentially, my goal is to raise awareness about the contribution that familiar landmarks make to the lives of the people who associate with them, and that a connection to these icons also exists regionally, provincially and nationally. The heritage in small communities demands attention. Once all the lighthouses and grain elevators disappear, it will be too late to study how significant they are to the Canadian ethos.

— Kerry Lake
Masters Student
Frost Centre for Canadian Heritage and Development Studies
Trent University

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