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BADDECK (NS) – February 5, 2009 – The Government of Canada, the Province of Nova Scotia and the Municipality of the County of Victoria have joined forces to assist the Silver Dart Centennial Association in its efforts to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first flight of a manned flying machine in Canada. The investment was announced today by the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency), Keith Bain, MLA for Victoria the Lakes and Victoria County Warden, Bruce Morrison.
“In February 1909, the Silver Dart took to the air above the frozen waters of the Bras d’Or Lakes in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, marking the first powered, heavier-than-air flight in Canada. Our Government’s investment of $570,000 in the work of the Silver Dart Centennial Association not only serves to commemorate the birth of Canadian aviation, it provides a signature event for Cape Breton’s 2009 tourism season that will generate positive economic benefits for the local economy,” said Minister Ashfield.
“The province strongly believes in the importance of the legacy of Alexander Graham Bell and the Aerial Experiment Association and its appeal for residents and visitors to Nova Scotia,” said Mr. Bain. “I would like to acknowledge the hard work of the members of the Silver Dart Centennial Association and their supporters as they have moved forward with planning for the 2009 anniversary.”
To celebrate this special anniversary, the Silver Dart Centennial Association will organize a series of events throughout 2009 reflecting Canada’s proud aviation heritage and the accomplishments of Canadians in aviation and space over the last 100 years.
“From air performances and flight simulators, to a kite festival, musical celebrations and a host of community activities, there promises to be something for everyone during the 2009 celebration,” said Eleanor Anderson, Project Manager for the Association.
This Silver Dart Commemoration Society is a volunteer community organization established to promote, plan and manage the 100th anniversary celebrations. Canadian astronaut and scientist, Dr. Roberta Bondar, is the Honorary Chair. Planned activities for 2009 include an historic fly past, the Silver Dart Centennial Air Show featuring Canada’s Snowbirds, Youth in Aviation Week, Harvest Home Picnic, a kite festival and much more.
The total cost of the project is $2 million. The Government of Canada, through Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation, is investing $570,000. The Province of Nova Scotia is providing $250,000 through the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage and the Municipality of the County of Victoria is providing $20,000.
Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation offers programs in support of economic development initiatives and is responsible for delivering ACOA’s programs on Cape Breton Island and the Mulgrave area.
Silver Dart Centennial Association
Director of Communications Department of Tourism,
Culture and Heritage