Ship Hector Society looking to make waves in Nova Scotia tourism

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Rejuvenation of Hector Heritage Quay Site to increase visitor traffic

The new year is full of promise for the Ship Hector Society.

The Government of Canada, the Province of Nova Scotia and the Town of Pictou are helping the Ship Hector Society develop an interpretive and operational plan to rejuvenate the Hector Heritage Quay site to enhance its significant tourism and cultural impacts for the area, leading to the 250th anniversary of the landing of the Hector in 2023.

Strengthening the Quay is expected to drive more tourists to the region and provide a boost to local businesses and the regional economy. The Hector Heritage Quay site, managed by the Ship Hector Society, is one of the area’s anchor tourist destinations. Pictou, site of the Hector landing in 1773, is heralded as the ‘Birthplace of New Scotland’. The community is prominently featured in the province’s economic and civic history and was a recognized centre for education in the 19th century.

On Dec. 18, Central Nova MP Sean Fraser, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced support to the Ship Hector Society for this project.

“The Hector Heritage Quay site is a significant part of Nova Scotia’s history and offers insight into the story of how the province was first settled,” Fraser said. “This site has been featured on the global stage and drives significant traffic to the region. This initiative will strengthen the Hector Heritage Quay, share this province’s rich history and ensure it lives on for future generations.”

This investment builds on commitments made by the federal government and the four Atlantic Provinces to drive economic growth in the region through the Atlantic Growth Strategy, which supports strategic investments in line with Canada’s Tourism Vision to make Canada a top-10 global tourism destination by 2025.

Laurie MacDonald, chair, Ship Hector Society, is thrilled with the announcement.

“The Society is extremely pleased that the Government of Canada through ACOA, and Nova Scotia’s Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage recognizes and supports the Society’s plan for the ship and site, and its importance to northern Nova Scotia, the province and the country. The Ship Hector is to Canada as the Mayflower is to the United States. The combined investment in this plan will help recognize the early Scottish settlers’ impact on North America’s development, as well as the importance of the strong relationship these settlers cultivated with the First Nations people which began with their arrival in 1773,” he said.

Pictou Mayor Jim Ryan is equally pleased.

“The Ship Hector and Hector Heritage Quay are signature attractions to the Town of Pictou and the Northumberland Shore for visitors from around the world. We are extremely thankful for the ongoing efforts of the Ship Hector Society and the contributions from all levels of government in preserving and enhancing this valuable cultural experience. The Town looks forward to partnering in planning for the future of this important infrastructure,” he said.