The Nelson Electric Tramway society has been presented with the 2023 Heritage Award by city council.
Nelson Heritage Working Group chair Astrid Heyerdahl recognized the Tramway Society for their efforts in restoring, and maintaining, Streetcar 23. She says restoration of this heritage piece is a symbolic piece of the community to both residents, and tourists.
“Operating solely by volunteers, the Nelson Electric Tramway Society restored Streetcar 23 to her original glory,” Heyerdahl says. “The society is run solely by volunteers, and collectively invested over seven thousand, annually, to ensure the well-being of the Tramway.”
The streetcar was restored beginning in 1982 with efforts from the Nelson Chamber of Commerce and Selkirk College’s Rosemont campus after the council of the day rejected the offer saying the restoration task was “hopeless and too expensive”.
Jean Carnie, of the Tramway Society, says the award shows just how important the streetcar is to the history of the city.
“The heritage award speaks volumes to the value of the streetcar to Nelson,” Carnie says. “We hear all the time of people who come to town to see the streetcar, and make it an event.
“We see the joy on people’s faces when it drives by, and how people are astonished by this piece of history.”
The award also comes with a $1,000 honorarium.
The streetcar was originally purchased in 1924 and remained in service in Nelson until 1949. It was placed back on track in 1992 and now operates seasonally between Lakeside Park and the Prestige Lakeside Resort.