WARDS BROOK - As work continues on the expansion to the Age of Sail Heritage Centre, the museum has received provincial funding for an interpretive plan to help blend the expanded area with the existing space.
The museum was one of 14 projects from across the province to receive funding from the Strategic Development Initiative Program, announced Jan. 6.
The interpretive plan will include new signage and other visual aids to enhance what is already in the main museum building, as well as the new Wind & Wave building, kiosk and boardwalk that are being constructed as part of the museum's expansion, according to curator Oralee O'Byrne.
"When you come back through the main building and into this building, it will be like walking into a ship," said O'Byrne, pointing to the Wind & Wave building, which has only the bottom portion constructed so far. "So this building will concentrate on the sailing aspect... what it was like to be on ship, where they went, the different ports they went to and the different routes."
Camus Productions of Halifax has been chosen to do the interpretive plan, a project that will be spread over the next couple of years, according to O'Byrne. The museum will receive $15,000 from the recent grant announcement, on top of funding already announced from the federal Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the provincial Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage last month.
The ACOA and Department of Tourism funding requires that the work must be completed by the end of March this year, and that will include the construction of the upper portion of the Wind & Wave building, she explained.
When complete, the building will house the art display now in the original building, as well as an archives and a research area. It will also be used as a public meeting place year-round.
The expansion project has created an air of excitement around the museum, according to O'Byrne, who said she was thrilled to see business people from along the shore attend the recent funding announcement.
"It's nice to see something happening," she said. "It's been a long time in the planning. I think it's nice for the community to see something going on. It's nice to know the whole area is excited about it.
"The hope is that it gives people another reason to be here," she added.
The Strategic Development Initiative provides $200,000 in shared funding to not-for-profit groups, community museums, archives, regional development authorities and municipal governments for heritage projects.
"Increasing access to our shared history strengthens communities and makes life better for Nova Scotia's families by encouraging life-long learning," said Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister David Wilson.
© Andrew Wagstaff - The Citizen-Record
Age of Sail Heritage Centre curator Oralee O'Byrne stands along the boardwalk that is part of the museum's expansion project.