Nova Scotia’s tourism industry is receiving a funding injection from the federal government aimed at developing and promoting culinary products and experiences.
The $277,950 in funding is being provided through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Business Development Program and is being managed by Taste of Nova Scotia, the province’s culinary marketing program.
“I don’t need to actually convince anybody here of the importance of tourism because Nova Scotia has really, really been leading the way,” said Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, during Thursday’s announcement in Masstown.
While Nova Scotia may already have “a truly vibrant food and drink culture” that offers the “perfect recipe” of being a world-class culinary destination, the ACOA funding is intended to add to the province’s competitive edge in the Canadian tourism landscape by differentiating it from the rest of Canada.
The money will be used in a year-round marketing campaign that is committed to highlighting the best culinary products and experiences the province has to offer.
One essential ingredient in that initiative is to increase awareness of Nova Scotia’s three culinary trails: the Good Cheer Trail, the Chowder Trail and the Lobster Trail.
“I really hope this will really empower businesses to actually develop new products and new experiences to actually showcase the best of Nova Scotia (by attracting tourists from home and abroad)," Joly said.
The announcement was held in Masstown Market’s recently opened Butcher and Creamery centre to showcase the type of culinary experience the funding is intended to promote.
“And Nova Scotia has a truly vibrant food and drink culture, and it offers the perfect recipe of being a world-class culinary destination,” said Taste of Nova Scotia executive director Emily Haynes.
The three trails program is the only one of its kind in Canada and is spread out over all seven regions of the province, from Yarmouth to Sydney and all points in between.
The Good Cheer Trail is intended to promote and develop initiatives within Nova Scotia’s wine, brewery and distillery industry, while the Lobster Trail and Chowder trails are designed to do likewise for those industries.
“We have an endless coast line, rolling agriculture landscapes and we have the best people,” she said. “This provides a unique opportunity to tell the story of who we are and where we’re from through food and drink. Every bowl of chowder, every glass of wine, every lobster roll, every piece of apple pie tells our story.”
And Thursday’s funding announcement, she added, “recognizes the valuable role the local food and drink industries play in Nova Scotia’s and Canada’s tourism strategies.”
ACOA quick facts
– The Government of Nova Scotia is also providing a $40,500 contribution to the project through the Department of Agriculture and $30,000 through Tourism Nova Scotia.
– Taste of Nova Scotia, established in 1989, is a membership-based non-profit association with more than 200 members across the province.
– In the first eight months of 2018, Canada welcomed a record 14.8 million international tourists, an increase of 1.5 per cent over the same period in 2017.
– Tourism supports 1.8 million jobs across the country, more than the oil and gas, mining, agriculture, auto manufacturing and aerospace industries combined.