The Seamen’s Memorial in Canso was constructed in 1976 to mark the 75th anniversary of the incorporation of the Town of Canso by the Canso Lions Club with donations from the Lions and the community.
The Seamen’s Memorial highlights four centuries of the fishing heritage of the Canso Area and contains numerous names of fishermen and women who have lost their lives while engaged in the fishery.
The Memorial sits on a compass base and is framed by a rib structure like the frames found in many fishing vessels. In 1989 the Canso Lions Club Memorial Chair Lion Ray White worked with the provincial government to promote awareness of the challenges and hazards of the sea and the remember the lives lost at sea by fishermen and fisherwomen from many coastal communities in Nova Scotia.
In 1989 The Seamen’s Memorial Day Act was proclaimed setting the second Sunday in August as Seamen’s Memorial Day the Canso Lions Club hosts the Provincial Seamen’s Memorial Service at the Seamen’s Memorial site in Canso. Each year during the interfaith service the names on the Memorial are read as wreaths are placed in memory of lost fishermen and fisherwomen from the Canso area and from other communities.
Each year federal, provincial and municipal representatives from around Nova Scotia attend the Provincial Seamen’s Memorial Service. On the third Sunday in August the wreaths at the Memorial are taken to sea for a final blessing and tribute to lost fishermen and fisherwoman. The 43rd Seamen’s Memorial Service and the Provincial Seamen’s Memorial Service will be held at the Seamen’s Memorial in Canso on Sunday August 11th at 2 PM.