News release

Old Becomes New in Baddeck

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.

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Contact:

AdŠle Poirier
Economic Development and Tourism 902-424-5836 E-mail:
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.