Old Becomes New in Baddeck

Economic Development and Tourism (to July 99)

June 7, 1999 9:50 PM

The old post office in Baddeck is opening its doors again, but it
won't be processing mail. The historic building will house the
new Bras d'Or Lakes Interpretive Centre with help from the
Travelways Enhancement Program.

"We see the interpretive centre as not only an important element
for attracting tourists, but also as the starting point for
tours, classes and lectures for kids and adults," said John
Langley, executive director of the Bras d'Or Preservation
Foundation. "The interpretive centre will bring the whole
history, culture, ecology, geology and environment of the lakes
into the community, and help create a constituency for
conservation of this unique but fragile resource."

The foundation is using $166,667 in funding to develop
interactive displays that will inform visitors of the lakes'
history from their earliest use by the Mi'kmaq through to
settlement of the area by Europeans. The ecology of the lakes and
human impact on it will also be featured.

"This facility will be a valuable resource to visitors who sail
the Bras d'Or Lakes and arrive in Baddeck with many questions
about the lakes, the local culture and history, and the
surrounding environment," said Premier Russell MacLellan at a
joint announcement of the funding. "We're pleased to support this
project, which will have a positive economic impact in this
community while educating residents and visitors alike about our
beautiful lakes and all that graces their shores."

The old post office is a designated provincial heritage building
designed by Thomas Fuller, the same architect who designed
Canada's Parliament Buildings. The interior and exterior of the
building underwent massive restoration after the north wall
collapsed in 1996. The building is now partially occupied by the
foundation, which will share the space with the new interpretive
centre.

"The Bras d'Or Lakes are a unique geographic feature of Cape
Breton, and the centre will be an excellent addition to the
wonderful mix of tourism attractions offered by the island to our
many visitors. The continuous enhancement of attractions for
visitors will help keep Cape Breton's strong tourism sector
growing," said Senator Al Graham, Leader of the Government in the
Senate and Minister responsible for Nova Scotia, on behalf of
Fred Mifflin, Secretary of State for Enterprise Cape Breton Corp.
and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

Funded by the Canada/Nova Scotia COOPERATION Agreement on
Economic Diversification, the Travelways Enhancement Program
helps communities increase the quality of their scenic travelways
by providing interpretation of their attractions. The agreement
is managed federally by Enterprise Cape Breton Corp. and the
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and provincially by Nova
Scotia Economic Development and Tourism.


NOTE: The following is intended for use by broadcast media.


     The old post office in Baddeck is opening its doors

again, but not for the mail.

     The historic building in Cape Breton is set to house

the new Bras d'Or Lakes Interpretative Centre.

     About 167-thousand dollars will be spent on interactive

displays that will inform visitors about the area, dating

back to early Mi'kmaq settlements.

     The ecology of the lakes and human impact will also

be featured.

     The Bras d'Or Preservation Foundation will run the

centre.

     Funding comes from provincial and federal agencies.

     The post office was designed by Thomas Fuller, the same

architect who designed Canada's Parliament Buildings.

-30-

Contact: AdŠle Poirier
         Economic Development and Tourism
         902-424-5836
         E-mail: poiriead@gov.ns.ca

         Marcie Stanley
         Enterprise Cape Breton Corp.
         902-564-7876

         John Langley
         Bras d'Or Preservation Foundation
         902-295-1922
arc                      June 5, 1999                 10:00 a.m.