Meet CEO Ed Coleman & the Barkerville Team
Barkerville Historic Town and Park was declared a National Historic Site of Canada in 1924 and a Provincial Heritage Property in 1958 and Ed Coleman has been managing as Chief Executive Officer since 2014. The Barkerville Heritage Trust Board is committed to ensuring that Barkerville is efficiently managed, educational, entertaining to visit and is sustained as a premier heritage resource attraction in British Columbia.
Ed enjoys Barkerville because the town is a window into the past. “There is so much history that surrounds us here, there are endless stories to hear and interesting characters to meet,” said Ed. Barkerville is pleasantly located a little bit out of the way which means people don’t really just ‘pass by’ on their way to somewhere else, but rather have Barkerville as their intentional destination. “People travel far distances – sometimes across the world – just to come here and experience the awe-inspiring history and nature that surround us.”
Barkerville is a large operation and Ed credits all the hard working staff and the many dedicated volunteers with ensuring the historic town runs smoothly and efficiently. “During our summer season, we have approximately 150 staff working in a variety of roles including administration, marketing, curatorial, visitor experiences, operations, security, interpretive contract-holders and staff, business licensees and their staff as well as outside contractors,” Ed explained. He and the board are proud that Barkerville is in a constant state of improvement and he acknowledges the hard work of many people working together to make Barkerville the best experience it can be.
Ed appreciates being part of a supportive community where people are always ready to give a helping hand and where you can see the impact of your contributions either through work or volunteering. He has noticed more small businesses popping up and more young people coming to live, work and raise their families. Ed can see the positive impact Barkerville has on the local economy. Barkerville attracts tourists, provides jobs and offers an experience to people visiting that they can’t get anywhere else. “If we do an excellent job at providing a positive experience in Barkerville, it could provide positive benefit to our other businesses and partners in the community.”
Ed loves working in a small town because it’s peaceful. Barkerville and area has a sense of freedom and a feeling of spaciousness where the wild natural world is readily-accessible. He and his staff enjoy connecting with members of the local community and likes being active in the outdoors through fishing, hiking, biking, camping, skiing and skating. There is an impressive trail network that surrounds Wells and Barkerville that includes the historic Cariboo Wagon Road and the 1861 Pack Trail. “From Barkerville, you can walk past the Richfield Courthouse and all the way to the top of Mount Agnes which offers a spectacular view,” Ed said, “sometimes you can see all the way to the Coastal Mountain range from there.”
Engaging. Reminiscent. Unparalleled.
Barkerville is an authentic, unique, world-class heritage experience spread across over 1,130 acres. The Heritage Property and Park is owned by the Province of BC and is governed by Barkerville Heritage Trust. Barkerville has a unique streetscape style with over 100 heritage buildings containing authentic displays, satellite museums, shops and accommodations. There are over 200,000 artifacts in the Barkerville living-history collection. Barkerville is also a Government of Canada National Historic Site that attracts over 60,000 visitors per year. Guests of the historic town and park will be entertained and educated by the historical interpretation and fun filled activities throughout the town-site.
Barkerville is named for William “Billy” Barker who discovered gold in 1862 and spearheaded a 20 year industrial boom that helped to shape British Columbia. Barkerville, named in Billy’s honour, is a testament to B.C.’s golden beginnings.
Barkerville offers ongoing historical interpretation such as storytelling and presentations, while hosting school programs and special events as well. Guests are welcome to celebrate holidays and cultural events at Barkerville and Barkerville also plays host to workshops, retreats, reunions and weddings. There is on-site accommodation available in the historic town site as well as campsites and rental cabins near by.
Barkerville Historic Town and Park is a member of the Quesnel Chamber of Commerce, the Prince George Chamber of Commerce and is part of the Canadian Signature Experience and the Golden Raven Attractions.
Barkerville is the recipient of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2016 and 2015 as well as the RV West Reader’s Choice Award for 2016 and 2015.
Mention you saw Barkerville Historic Town and Park on Love Wells and receive a 15% discount on your next admission.
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