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Federal funding to help attract more visitors to Annapolis Valley, improve accessibility

Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie Minister Melanie Joly, right, announced federal funding for Valley tourism initiatives at Lightfoot and Wolfville Vineyard on July 9.
Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie Minister Melanie Joly, right, announced federal funding for Valley tourism initiatives at Lightfoot and Wolfville Vineyard on July 9. - Contributed

Contributions for WANS, Devour!, Halls Harbour announced

WOLFVILLE, N.S. —

WOLFVILLE, NS - The federal government has announced funding to help support tourism in the Annapolis Valley and improve accessibility.

Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie Minister Melanie Joly announced a total federal government investment of $584,732 for three tourism initiatives on July 9. The funding was announced at Lightfoot and Wolfville Vineyards.

Joly said these investments enable communities and businesses in the Valley to develop tourism products and experiences to attract more tourists year-round.

“This will help communities tap into the Valley’s rich wine and food traditions along with the spectacular coastline to reap the benefit of a global tourism boom by diversifying their economies and creating good jobs for middle-class families,” Joly said.

SUPPORT FOR WANS

The Winery Association of Nova Scotia (WANS) is receiving $280,500 for the development and marketing of Nova Scotia as a wine tourism destination. The non-profit industry association will target visitors who are known wine enthusiasts and promote the products and experiences offered within the province.

This investment is being made through the Canadian Experiences Fund (CEF). Through the Department of Agriculture, the provincial government is also providing a $30,000 grant to WANS.

WANS executive director Jerry White said food, wine and tourism are a natural fit. Engaging wine enthusiasts and encouraging them to share our story will help continue the “incredible growth” of the industry.

“What better thing to pair with Nova Scotia food than wine from right here in this province?” White said. “Nova Scotia is producing award-winning wines, which are becoming increasingly popular and well known around the world.”

CONTRIBUTION FOR DEVOUR!

Joly announced a three-year contribution of $180,000 to Devour! The Food Film Fest through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) Business Development Program. The non-repayable funding will help Devour! expand and bring in more visitors during the tourism off-season. Devour! is one of the world’s largest film festivals devoted to food and wine.

The provincial Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage is providing $80,000 to Devour! This is the third installment of a three-year investment. In the two previous years, the provincial department provided a total of $165,000 to Devour!

ACOA has supported Devour! since 2014. Devour! executive director Michael Howell said they laud ACOA’s ongoing commitment to support cross-sectoral growth in the rural economy.

The support has fostered the growth of the festival in myriad ways, always with the goal of becoming an impactful Canadian festival that attracts visitors, investment, cultural expression and pride in being Atlantic Canadian.

“The ability to showcase the great events, great talent and great opportunities that exist here is of importance to our future hospitality and tourism workforce and artists in film, television and digital media,” Howell said.

FUNDING FOR HALLS HARBOUR

Joly also announced a non-repayable contribution of $124,232 to the Halls Harbour Community Development Association. The CEF funding will help the association upgrade the inner harbour boardwalk.

The Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage is providing a $40,000 contribution to the Halls Harbour Community Development Association through its Recreation Facility Development program.

Halls Harbour Community Development Association president Darrell Houghton said the combination of beautiful wineries and the highest tides in the world provide a unique experience for visitors to the area.

“In Hall’s Harbour, the inner harbour boardwalk provides the ideal place to witness the high tides with accessibility and safety, which definitely enhances the experience,” Houghton said.

The Municipality of the County of Kings provided $55,000 to the Hall’s Harbour Community Development Association and provides grant support to Devour! The towns of Wolfville, Kentville and Windsor also provide grant support to Devour!

Kings West MLA and Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leo Glavine said they are leading the province forward in growing the economy, enhancing diversity and celebrating our culture.

“Investing in Devour! and the Halls Harbour boardwalk contributes to Nova Scotia’s ever-growing culture sector while showcasing our province’s unique culinary talents and tourism destinations for all local, national and international audiences to enjoy,” Glavine said.

The federal funding supports Joly’s earlier announcement of Canada’s new tourism strategy, Creating Middle Class Jobs: A Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.

The strategy highlights the importance of Canada’s tourism sector as an economic driver for communities across the country. It was developed based on feedback from Canadians and the work of the Advisory Council on Jobs and the Visitor Economy.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • In 2018, Nova Scotia had approximately 1,200 acres of vineyards in production.
  • In 2018, the province’s 23 licensed wineries produced 1.5 million litres of wine valued at more than $23 million.
  • Tourism represents more than two per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product.
  • Tourism supports more than 1.8 million jobs in Canada.
  • Canada has six regional development agencies supporting economic development in every region of the country.

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