Funding Announcement Kick Starts Phase Two of 100 Wild Islands Tourism Advancement Partnership

April 3, 2017

The second phase of the 100 Wild Islands Tourism Advancement Partnership will begin in the Eastern Shore (Musquodoboit Harbour to Sherbrooke) this month. On April 1st, Sean Fraser, Member of Parliament for Central Nova, announced a Government of Canada investment of $261,000 for Destination Eastern and Northumberland Shores Nova Scotia Association (DEANS) in support of the project. The Government of Nova Scotia also presented DEANS with a contribution of $40,500, and the Halifax Regional Municipality participated with a contribution of $37,200.

         WITAP-web

Photo submitted by: Destination Eastern and Northumberland Shores Nova Scotia Association

 

DEANS will lead phase two, which will focus on a cultural, historical and archaeological analysis of the 100 Wild Islands Archipelago, as well as community workshops and the development of a branding framework for the area. The archipelago sits just one hour from downtown Halifax and is home to white sand beaches, rainforests and hundreds of kilometres of shoreline, as well as thousands of sensitive species of flora and fauna. It has largely sat untouched for over 10,000 years. 

Cindy Mackinnon, Managing Director for DEANS says, “This next phase will continue to be led by the community focusing on implementing the strategy and the development of the area as a sustainable tourism destination that will provide increased economic benefits and increased tourism visitation.” 

The conservation of this unique treasure began with the Nova Scotia Nature Trust’s 100 Wild Islands Legacy Campaign in 2016, which raised $7 million for the preservation, conservation and ongoing maintenance of this land. To date, the Nature Trust has protected 80% of this sensitive land, with over 7,000 acres of land protected in a unique public-private partnership. 

Alongside this initiative, local community leaders including DEANS began working together in 2015 to form a tourism alliance under ACOA’s Strategic Tourism Expansion Program (STEP). Rural Eastern Shore communities have struggled with the decline of their primary resource industries. In an area largely known for fishing, mining and forestry, local community members are now turning to tourism as the economic driver for the region. 

The Halifax Partnership has been actively involved in this tourism initiative since July 2015. With the announcement of the new wave of funding, DEANS has already had local entrepreneurs express interest in starting tourism-based businesses. The Partnership, through the SmartBusiness program, supports local businesses by acting as a concierge service of the multitude of programs and resources available to business owners in rural Halifax. The SmartBusiness program will be supporting local business development workshops and the creation of a business resource guide.

If you or someone you know is looking to start a business in rural Halifax, please contact SmartBusiness Account Executive Molly Connor for more information on how the SmartBusiness program can help.

-30-