WENTWORTH - Participants and fans of the 2010 Canadian junior alpine skiing championships and the 2011 Canada Winter Games will receive a warm welcome when they arrive here.
Almost $87,000 was announced by the federal government yesterday for renovations and upgrades to the Wentworth Community Centre and a 130-year-old schoolhouse in anticipation of the athletes, coaches, planners, spectators and media coming to witness the events at Ski Wentworth.
The community centre will develop a wheelchair-accessible entrance and meeting rooms and storage in the centre's basement, while the retired schoolhouse will be given a modern foundation and brought up to code.
"Projects such as these build on established community assets that will stand the test of time for generations to come," Cumberland-Col-chester-Musquodoboit Valley MP Scott Armstrong said.
More than 27,000 athletes are expected to compete in the Canada Games, Armstrong said, and downhill skiing, one of the more popular events at the Winter Games, will take place in Wentworth.
The province and the Municipality of Cumberland County are also funding partners.
"It's really exciting Wentworth is hosting some of these events and today's announcement ensures the community will shine," Lenore Zann, Truro-Bible Hill MLA and Ministerial Assistant for the Department of Tourism, said.
The funding announcements mirrored the community's enthusiasm to play host to the games.
Betty Currie, who sits on the committees responsible for the centre and the schoolhouse, has lived in Wentworth her whole life and says the funding announcements are will help the community put its best foot forward.
"Never in my life would I think Wentworth would be honoured with the Canada Games," Currie said. "It's a dream come true. We don't know what we're facing yet, but it's wonderful."
The big winner at yesterday's announcement, however, was the community of Pugwash, which received a commitment of $250,000 from the federal government for the structural restoration and stabilization of the Cyrus Eaton Building, also known as Thinker's Lodge.
Designated a place of national historical importance, the province and county are kicking in $50,000 toward that project.
"This is the first phase of very basic structural restorations," Cumberland Regional Economic Development Association's Rhonda Kelly said.
The estate was home to talks designed to limit the nuclear arms race, known as the Pugwash Conference, in 1957. The long-term forecast for the building is to have it designated a place of world historical importance, Kelly said, as well as enhancing the number of conferences and visitors that come to the area.