News Release Archive

Nova Scotia's music industry will be the platform for new
business and tourism opportunities as the start of a new
millennium nears.

A two-year Celebration of Music, launched in Sydney today by
Richie Mann, minister of economic development and tourism, is
designed to build on Nova Scotia's thriving music industry and to
develop a number of activities based on the rich music and
cultural traditions of the province.

The $3.5-million initiative includes cultural and tourism events
and promotions throughout the province, along with national and
international marketing efforts. Specific projects announced
today include a new Learning Vacation tourism product, a registry
of Nova Scotia Musical Ambassadors, and the creation of a
website. The initiative is funded through the Canada/Nova Scotia
COOPERATION Agreement on Economic Diversification.

Some of the province's best-known musicians, including The Barra
MacNeils, Buddy MacMaster, Dutchie Mason, Sylvie Proulx,
Morningstar and Les Habitants, launched the celebration in style
before a crowd of music and tourism industry representatives.

"In Nova Scotia, A Celebration of Music is also a celebration of
economic growth," said Mr. Mann. "Our music industry is growing,
which means more opportunities to showcase our talent and to
boost tourism at the same time. In the end, that means more jobs
for Nova Scotians."

The province's music industry generates $88 million a year and
employs 2,500 full- and part-time people. Musicians in Nova
Scotia -- a province with just 3.6 per cent of Canada's
population -- receive 14 per cent of all music royalties paid to
Canadians and 60 per cent of the total paid in Atlantic Canada.

"Nova Scotia is known round the world for the distinct sound of
its music and the quality of our musicians," said Robbie
Harrison, minister of education and culture. "Our ability to host
A Celebration of Music is a testament to the abilities of our
music schools, conservatories and educators to produce
world-class musicians. I challenge all our music educators to
continue sharing their wisdom and enthusiasm with young Nova

A 1996 discussion paper released by Economic Development and
Tourism reported the number of cultural visits is on the rise.
Cultural events are becoming more important for travellers when
choosing a vacation destination.

"Our strong musical culture is an increasingly important factor
when visitors choose to come to Nova Scotia," said Peggy
Anderson, president of the Tourism Industry Association of Nova
Scotia. "Cultural visitors also tend to stay longer and spend
more, so A Celebration of Music will certainly help boost the
tourism industry."

Studies show that visitors who come to experience the province's
culture stay an average of seven days and spend $765, twice as
much as the non-cultural visitor. A recent survey indicated more
than half of participants would choose Nova Scotia for a vacation
if a wide variety of music events were available.

Throughout 1997 and 1998, Nova Scotians and visitors can look
forward to a combination of specially staged celebrations,
expanded festivals and other events that showcase the province's
musicians and unique, varied musical styles. A new festival was
included in today's announcement. The Celtic Colours
International Festival will bring some of the best-known Celtic
performers from round the world to the Cape Breton Highlands this
fall to play with Nova Scotia stars.

"We're very pleased to be working with government to market the
vast pool of musical talent in Nova Scotia, from recording
engineers to producers to performers," said Gerry Boudreau,
president of the Music Association of Nova Scotia. "Projects
started as a result of A Celebration of Music will create a
legacy lasting well beyond the two-year theme."


Contact:  Steve Fairbairn
          Economic Development and Tourism

          Catherine MacIsaac
          Department of Education

trp                     Apr. 25, 1997 - 4:35 p.m.