Fo­cus world­wide at­ten­tion on our prov­ince

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE -

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.”



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.


Den­nis Flynn photo

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.

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