The CHRS Team

A variety of members work together to administer and deliver the Canadian Heritage Rivers program. Their roles are described below.

The Canadian Heritage Rivers Board

The CHRS is administered by the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board, which is made up of representatives appointed by the federal, provincial and territorial government agencies responsible for the program. The Board is governed by a Charter and manages the program according to a Ten-Year Strategic PlanA list of participating government agencies and contact information for each Board member is available on the Contact  page.

The federal government is represented on the Board by Parks Canada, which has federal leadership for the program and also manages six Canadian Heritage Rivers within its national parks and national historic sites. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada also has a seat on the Board, as it shares responsibility for approving the nomination and designation of rivers in Nunavut with the territorial minister.

Twelve provincial and territorial agencies have seats on the Board. They are responsible for supporting the nomination, designation and monitoring of rivers within their jurisdictions. Many of these agencies also manage Canadian Heritage Rivers in provincial or territorial parks. Quebec does not participate in the CHRS. It promotes and protects rivers within its own system of Aquatic Reserves.

The CHRS Team

Parks Canada provides secretariat support for the Canadian Heritage Rivers. This includes providing policy guidance and logistical support to the Board, financial support for the nomination and designation of Canadian Heritage Rivers, and developing national communications products, such as this website.

The Technical Planning Committee

The Technical Planning Committee includes a representative from each of the provincial, territorial and federal agencies participating in the CHRS program. This committee advises the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board on policy development, nominations, designations and monitoring reports. Technical Planning Committee members also provide guidance to proponents of river nominations and are the main point of contact for managers of Canadian Heritage Rivers within each jurisdiction.

River Managers and River Stewardship Groups

When rivers are designated to the CHRS, the group that is responsible for implementing the designation document is considered the “River Manager.” The CHRS includes a wide variety of river managers, ranging from federal, provincial and territorial parks agencies, to environmental non-governmental organizations, to community-level and volunteer-based, and not-for-profit groups. River managers are identified on the rivers pages.

Some rivers in the CHRS do not have a formally recognized river manager, but may instead have a variety of stakeholder groups and partners who are involved in the stewardship of the waterway. These groups could include municipalities, Aboriginal communities and organizations, community groups and local river advocates.

Canadian Heritage River Communities

As the CHRS program is non-legislative, all conservation actions on Canadian Heritage Rivers are voluntary, so the program relies on citizen engagement and support. Explore Success Stories to read about some of the benefits reported by communities with Canadian Heritage Rivers, including enhanced tourism opportunities, increased community involvement and pride in the river, better coordinated river management, and improved river health.