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SYDNEY (NS) – January 23, 2009 – The Whitney Pier Historical Society is upgrading its museum thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia.
The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency), and the Honourable Murray Scott, Minister of Economic and Rural Development, announced $80,000 in funding today for a series of improvements including structural changes to make the museum wheelchair accessible and the addition of new washrooms. The project is being administered by the Cape Breton County Economic Development Authority (CBCEDA).
“The Government of Canada is pleased to invest in projects that strengthen and benefit local communities,” said Minister Ashfield. “This project will result in a more sustainable cultural attraction, while complementing other government supported initiatives to revitalize the commercial district of this unique community.”
“This unique and diverse museum is one of the ways we attract visitors from around the world to this beautiful area of our province,” said Minister Scott. “We are continually investing in vibrant and healthy communities through preserving and rejuvenating facilities such as this that create a positive economic impact.”
The aim of the Whitney Pier Historical Society is to preserve the history and diverse culture that make Whitney Pier a unique part of Cape Breton.
Housed in a former synagogue, the Society’s museum is dedicated to the multicultural community that developed around the Sydney Steel Plant and Coke Ovens. “The Pier” became home to people from all parts of the globe who came in search of a new life and economic opportunity. They brought with them the traditions of their respective homelands, which left an indelible mark on the history and culture of Cape Breton Island.
Renovations to the museum facility will complement the existing building and address the needs of the increasing number of visitors to the site, especially a growing number of cruise ship visitors.
The total cost of the museum upgrades is $90,000. Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation is providing an investment of $60,000, while the Department of Economic and Rural Development is providing $20,000. The Cape Breton Regional Municipality is contributing $6,000 to the project.
Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation offers programs in support of economic development initiatives and is responsible for delivering ACOA’s programs on Cape Breton Island and in the Mulgrave area.
Cape Breton County Economic Development Authority
NS Economic and Rural Development