Big money for Bri­gus projects boost­ing tourism

Over $360,000 in fed­eral, provin­cial funds an­nounced Fri­day

The Compass - - News - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Ef­forts to en­hance Bri­gus’ long-ac­knowl­edged tourist ap­peal got a shot in the arm Fri­day with news of sub­stan­tial gov­ern­ment fund­ing for the town and a lo­cal non-profit.

The Town of Bri­gus and Bri­gus Her­itage — for­merly known as the Bri­gus His­tor­i­cal and Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety Inc. — are re­ceiv­ing a com­bined to­tal of over $360,000 to sup­port tourism op­por­tu­ni­ties and strengthen vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ences.

“What’s bet­ter than one fund­ing an­nounce­ment? Two fund­ing an­nounce­ments,” Bri­gus Mayor By­ron Rod­way joked Fri­day morn­ing, stand­ing on the wharf as prepa­ra­tions for the week­end’s Bri­gus Blue­berry Fes­ti­val went on else­where.

Just over $250,000 — $211,550 from the At­lantic Canada Op­por­tu­ni­ties Agency and the re­main­der of that sum from the provin­cial gov­ern­ment — will help the Town of Bri­gus im­ple­ment a plan to im­prove tourism as­sets and at­tract more vis­i­tors. It’s called Des­ti­na­tion Bri­gus. It will look at uti­liz­ing tech­nol­ogy, maps, sig­nage, trail and park­ing up­grades and the cre­ation of a per­ma­nent stage

and stor­age space for the Blue­berry Fes­ti­val and other com­mu­nity events.

“It’s so easy to put this stuff on pa­per, but at bud­get prepa­ra­tion time for the Town of Bri­gus, there’s only a cer­tain amount of tax dol­lars to ad­vance our tourism aims,” Rod­way said. “So the an­nounce­ment to­day, it will ex­pe­dite the process and put us years and years ahead of where we would have been try­ing to do it on our own.”

Bri­gus Her­itage is re­ceiv­ing $111,600 from the two lev­els of gov­ern­ment to help de­velop and op­er­ate Pinkston’s Forge, which opened in its new lo­ca­tion ear­lier this sum­mer with a trained black­smith. The money will also help with up­grades to the Old Stone Barn Mu­seum and new hik­ing and walk­ing tours.

“We have a very ca­pa­ble group of vol­un­teers who work be­hind the scenes and op­er­ate five prop­er­ties here in the town of Bri­gus, and we’re very for­tu­nate to have them work­ing here with us,” said Bri­gus Her­itage past-pres­i­dent David Collins, who went on to credit all lev­els of gov­ern­ment for the fi­nan­cial sup­port that al­lows the non-profit to do this.

In ad­di­tion to the two pre­vi­ously men­tioned sites, Bri­gus Her­itage also looks after Wil­cox Gar­dens, Payne Fam­ily Park and Vindi­ca­tor Park.

Avalon MP Ken Mc­Don­ald was on hand for Fri­day’s an­nounce­ment, along with Tourism Min­is­ter Christo­pher Mitchel­more and lo­cal MHA Betty Pars­ley.

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/THE COM­PASS

Chat­ting, from the left, are Avalon MP Ken Mc­Don­ald, Bri­gus Mayor By­ron Rod­way and Deputy Mayor Ralph Trick­ett.

Bri­gus Her­itage past-pres­i­dent David Collins.

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