News Release Archive

Provincial industry and government representatives will join an
estimated 40,000 Bostonians on Saturday, Dec. 6, to light up a
Nova Scotia Christmas tree at the 26th annual Prudential Center
Christmas Tree Lighting.

The special tree is a gift to the people of New England for their
generosity and goodwill in response to the Halifax Explosion.

The result of a collision between a munitions ship and a
freighter in Halifax Harbour during the First World War, the
explosion killed or seriously injured thousands and left
thousands more homeless.

Among the first to respond with much-needed aid were the people
of Massachusetts, who sent a complete relief expedition. This
year marks 80 years since the explosion and the 26th year that
Nova Scotia has donated a tree.

"During this annual ceremony, we get to say thanks to the people
of Boston for their generosity. We also get to build on the
traditional links we share with our New England neighbours," said
Premier Russell MacLellan, who'll deliver greetings from Nova
Scotia at the lighting ceremony in Boston on Saturday. 

Finding the perfect tree is a mission in itself. For the past six
years, the honour has gone to Peter Romkey, a tree specialist
with the Department of Natural Resources.

"The gift we send to Boston is an icon in the city during the
festive season. The tree and its 18,000 lights have brought
smiles to the faces of children and families for the past 25
years, and I'm happy to be part of this Christmas tradition," Mr.
Romkey said. 

This year, the 60-foot Douglas fir came from the Eden Golf Club
in West Paradise.

"I spotted the tree while returning from Digby. Its location
between two fairways made it quite visible from the road. The
golf club was thrilled with the prospect of sending the tree to
Boston," Mr. Romkey said.

Two classes from Bridgetown Elementary School, near the golf
course, were also excited and designed a Christmas card for the
people of Boston. Premier MacLellan will hand-deliver the
students' card Saturday.

While in Boston, the Nova Scotia delegation is busy promoting
Nova Scotia tourism. 

At a presentation Thursday night, more than 100 Massachusetts
tour operators, travel agents and media were introduced to what's
new for 1998 in the province's festivals, attractions, activities
and events. 

"New England is an important market for us. In 1997 alone, nearly
100,000 New Englanders visited Nova Scotia," said Economic
Development and Tourism Minister Manning MacDonald, who will join
the premier in Boston.

"These meetings are key to increasing the number of tourists from
the New England area," Mr. MacDonald added.

The delegation includes representatives from the Nova Scotia
Marketing Agency, Tourism Cape Breton, Tourism Halifax and
Enterprise Cape Breton Corp., as well as industry people from BMT
Canada, White Point Beach Resort, Prince of Fundy Cruises, The
Westin Nova Scotia, Atlantic Ambassatours, the Nova Scotia
International Tattoo, Ledgehill Learning and Educational Centre,
the Thistle Down Country Inn, Fortis Group and Elwood Lodge

One event that will be particularly important in 1998 is the
Hector Festival in Pictou. Next year marks the 225th anniversary
of the arrival of Scottish settlers aboard the Hector, Nova
Scotia's equivalent of New England's Mayflower.

It's also the second year of Nova Scotia's Celebration of Music
program. The American Bus Association has recognized Nova
Scotia's musical heritage by choosing the du Maurier Atlantic
Jazz Festival in Halifax and the Celtic Colours International
Festival in Cape Breton as two of its top 100 events in North
America next year.

At the ceremony in Boston on Saturday, participants will get a
preview of Nova Scotia music when a video is featured on a giant
screen above the crowd. The video, co-produced with the Music
Industry Association of Nova Scotia, features some of the
province's best artists, interspersed with greetings from those
involved in finding and sending the tree. 



In Halifax: Angela Poirier
            Economic Development and Tourism

In Boston:  Marsha Andrews
            Nova Scotia Marketing Agency

Note to TV editors: Betacam footage of this year's tree cutting,
bailing and shipping is available.

ngr                  Dec. 5, 1997               3:30 p.m.