Government of Canada Invests in Louisbourg300 Celebrations

LOUISBOURG, NS, April 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Cape Breton's tourism industry is getting a boost with its efforts to attract more visitors to the Island. The Government of Canada is investing over $1.3 million in Louisbourg300 celebrations as organizers gear up to attract visitors to the Island and deliver special programming this summer for the 300th anniversary of the founding of Louisbourg. The Honourable Peter MacKay, Member of Parliament for Central Nova and Minister of National Defence, attended the launch of this government-wide effort and made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

"Louisbourg300 celebrations will honour and embrace all cultures with connections and legacies linked to 18th century Louisbourg," said Minister MacKay. "Our government is working to promote our cultural legacy, grow tourism in Nova Scotia by encouraging visitors from across Canada and the world, and build on Cape Breton's rich history."

"Our Government is pleased to contribute to the festivities surrounding the 300 years of Louisbourg," said Minister Kent. "These unforgettable events throughout the year, will recognize an important chapter of North American history and help better connect Canadians and visitors with the past, while enjoying activities at this national treasure, today."

"Commemorations such as the 300th anniversary of the founding of Louisbourg provide Canadians with an unprecedented opportunity to learn about the people and the events that helped shape our great country," said Minister Moore. "As we approach Canada's 150th birthday in 2017, let us celebrate all of the things that make Canada the united, strong, and free country we are today."

Parks Canada will host events to mark Louisbourg300 at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site from June to October to keep the young entertained and the "experienced" traveller captivated. Programming highlights include a cultural fair and encampment, culinary events, 300 fiddlers on the waterfront and the LouisRocks concert series with headline acts Joel Plaskett, Matt Anderson and JP Cormier. Parks Canada will also take Louisbourg300 on the road with events in communities across Cape Breton Island and in some of Canada's biggest cities.

"The Fortress of Louisbourg is one of the many treasures that makes Nova Scotia a world-renowned tourism destination," said Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Percy Paris. "We all know that the Fortress of Louisbourg has a special place in the hearts of Nova Scotians and their families who have enjoyed learning about the fortress and our province's history. Hosting major events like these helps grow our economy and attract new visitors to our province."

Funding by the Government of Canada will support this priority celebration through new and exciting visitor programs at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, and through efforts to promote Louisbourg300 celebrations. Funding from Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation and the Department of Canadian Heritage will support Destination Cape Breton Association and Fortress Louisbourg Association efforts to celebrate this milestone anniversary. Parks Canada is working closely with Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Fortress Louisbourg Association, Mi'kmaq, the community of Louisbourg and a number of other Cape Breton communities on Louisbourg300 events and activities.

To learn more about Louisbourg300 celebrations in 2013, visit www.pc.gc.ca/Louisbourg300.


BACKGROUNDER

Louisbourg 300

In 2013, Parks Canada is celebrating the 300th anniversary of the founding of Île Royale and the settlement of Louisbourg, which would become its capital. This summer, Louisbourg300 brings Parks Canada together with community, historical and cultural associations to host an unforgettable celebration of the people and stories that shaped Canada's future.

A Shared Story

In 1713, a group of displaced French colonists landed on the desolate shores of Île Royale (Cape Breton) with the goal of building a better life. Facing harsh conditions and the barren wilderness, they worked in harmony to overcome the immense challenge of establishing a strong community for their families. This community was Louisbourg, a thriving Fortress town that over the course of fifty years became a new-world hot spot for commerce and culture alike. Louisbourg was a vibrant place, buzzing with energy and action as cultures from all over the world came together to start a life in the land of opportunity. This meeting of cultures - and the interactions between the French and the English - set the course for this region, shaping the centuries that followed and life as we know it today.

Louisbourg was first attacked in 1745 following a declaration of war between Britain and France. Within 46 days of the invasion the fortress was captured by the British. Three years later, the town was restored to the French by the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. In 1758, Louisbourg was besieged a second time. Without a strong navy to patrol the sea beyond its walls, Louisbourg was difficult to defend. Attacking with 13,100 troops supported by a 14,000 crew on board 150 ships, a British army captured the fortress in seven weeks. The British proceeded to demolish the fortress walls.

The Reconstruction

The site would lay in ruins for nearly two centuries, with the exception of a small vibrant fishing community.But Louisbourg's history was far from forgotten. In 1926 Louisbourg was declared a national historic site. In the mid-1930s a modest museum was built to share Louisbourg's story. In 1940 the area was declared a national historic park. Then in 1961, Prime Minister John G. Diefenbaker announced the Government of Canada would invest in the partial reconstruction of Louisbourg. An unprecedented undertaking in Canada, the restoration project set out to reconstruct approximately one-fifth of the original town and fortifications. Focus was given to making the restoration as accurate as possible based on historical and archaeological resources. Today, visitors explore the buildings, yards, gardens and streets that were carefully recreated to look as they were during the 1740s, while costumed animators share the many stories of Louisbourg's 18th century residents.

Louisbourg Celebrates

Get ready for a celebration three hundred years in the making! Join us for Louisbourg300, a grande fête marking the 300th anniversary of the founding of Île Royale - now known as modern day Cape Breton Island - with Louisbourg as its capital.

Louisbourg has been perched on the edge of the continent for three centuries. It was once a bustling seaport, a hub for trade and commerce on the Atlantic, a multicultural, multilingual community and France's prize in the new world. Today it is North America's largest historical reconstruction, where thousands of visitors interact with costumed animators immersed in the sights, sounds and smells of this once mighty 18th century French fortress.

Located on Cape Breton Island, which is world-renowned for its beauty and the famous Cabot Trail, Louisbourg was named the best place to visit in 2013 by vacay.ca

SOURCE Parks Canada



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