Focus worldwide attention on our province
Tourism will hopefully be an economic driver in the financially strapped town, says Mayor Geraldine Curran. Curran said she thinks the celebration year will have a positive effect on the town’s
economy and the community itself.
“I suppose there’s no such thing as enough, but it’s a start, right?” she said.
Roy Dawe, chairman Cupids400 Inc. said: “We are delighted to have this final portion of funding confirmed. The province has been behind the Cupids anniversary project from the beginning and today’s announcement means our new Legacy Centre will be a world-class facility and an important attraction in the Northern Avalon region,” Dawe suggested. Fisheries Minister Tom Hedderson, who is also MHA for Harbour Main, noted the construction of the centre is expected to get underway next month (July). “The Cupids400 celebrations will focus worldwide attention on our province, and the Legacy Centre will serve as an anchor attraction to draw visitors to the area, said Tourism Minister Clyde Jackman.
“(Cupids400) is different. This is a very special event. This is not just a big party next year, it’s much more than next year.”
– PREMIER DANNY WILLIAMS
The provincial funding announced last week is in addition to federal funding also committed to the project. Standing in almost the same spot last August, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced $3.14 million to help Cupids celebrate its milestone.
At the time the PM noted the latest federal support “is on top of the funding our government earmarked in February for the Cupids Interpretation Complex.”
Harper was referring to the $1.5 million announced at the end of February 2008 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency (ACOA’s) Innovative Communities Fund. Combined with earlier start-up funds, the feds have spent or committed close to $5 million for the project. That would bring the total federal-provincial contributions to date to close to $9 million.
The total budget to design and construct the Interpretation Centre and to plan and carry out the Cupids400 celebrations was projected last year to run around $8.5 million.
The latest provincial commitment came just six months before the beginning of the calendar year 2010, when Cupids will mark its quadracentennial. It also comes after years of lobbying various levels of government, during which Cupids400 Inc. sometimes found itself caught in the middle of an ongoing provincial-federal feud over broken promises on the Atlantic Accord.
The events around the 400th anniversary celebrations in Cupids - which will culminate in a week of activities August 1722, 2010 - are projected to inject $15 million into the provincial economy and provide long-term tourism-related benefits to the town and region.
IN TUNE - Jana Cole of Marysvale and Maggie Burton, Brigus entertained the crowd with some jigs and reels during an event in Cupids last week.