Video: Kate Westbury: Protecting the heritage features of the Centre Block

Meet Kate Westbury, an employee in charge of managing heritage elements in the Centre Block. She is working to ensure we protect and preserve elements such as murals and carvings during construction.

Transcript of Kate Westbury: Protecting the heritage features of the Centre Block

Start of video

[Music plays]

(Text on screen: Public Services and Procurement Canada)

(Text on screen: This footage was recorded prior to the Government of Canada’s physical distancing guidelines. Canadians are encouraged to continue to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines.)

[Wide shot of Kate Westbury standing look at the camera]

[Shot of Kate Westbury, speaking wearing a white construction hat]

(Text: Kate Westbury PSPC Heritage Lead, Science and Parliamentary Infrastructure Branch Public Services and Procurement Canada)

My name is Kate Westbury. I'm the PSPC heritage lead for the Centre Block rehabilitation program

[Shot of Peace Tower with clock and gargoyles]

[Top-to-bottom pan shot of workers in the House of Commons on scaffolding with chandeliers hanging from ceiling]

Centre Block is the most important building in Canada.

[Shot of workers on scaffolding holding a large painting of a canon]

[Shot of Kate Westbury speaking with white construction hat]

The protection of it during this unprecedented rehabilitation is something that's critically important.

[Shot of mural and decorative wood carvings]

[Shot of decorative stone archways and lights]

[Close-up shot decorative wood carvings]

[Wide shot of decorative wall sculptures and columns]

[Close-up of decorative wall sculptures]

The heritage building fabric in Centre Block are all irreplaceable works of art by some of Canada's finest Craftsmen and tradespeople.

[Shot of Kate Westbury speaking with white construction hat]

[Shot of old white brick with metal rods exposed]

[Shot of wooden beams with metal brackets]

[Shot of workers spraying crown moulding with purple paint with white plastic and blue tape covering other parts]

We must balance the need for protection with all of the interventions that are required to modernize and update this heritage structure.

[Close-up shots of artwork moulds covered in pink and purple]

[Close-up shot of artwork mould]

[Shots of plywood]

(Text: “In Situ” = “Heritage Conservation Completed Onsite”)

[Shot of hallway with plywood covering bottom part of wall and around door frames]

The decisions around removing or protecting in situ are weighed on a case-by-case basis here at Centre Block.

[Shot of Kate Westbury speaking with white construction hat]

[Pan shot of murals]

[Shot of workers on the ground in a hallway]

And in some cases the risks to remove heritage materials are far greater than to protect them in place.

[Shot of workers at the top of the stairs with one worker holding a large, rectangular piece of material]

[Shot of worker putting material on wall under a window]

[Shot of wooden crates in a hallway with workers walking in the background]

And in those cases a team of experts have been brought in to determine whether or not they should be protected in situ or to be removed for their protection.

[Shot of Kate Westbury speaking with white construction hat]

The role I fill on this project is an absolute dream job for me and every day I come to work just with an enormous sense of gratitude to be entrusted by Canadians to fulfill this role.

(Text on screen: Check us out:,,,

[Music stops]

(Public Services and Procurement Canada signature)

(Canada Wordmark)

End of video

Related links

The Centre Block project

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