July 6, 2021 · Lochaber, Nova Scotia · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)
Atlantic Canada’s tourism industry is vital to the region’s economy and supports thousands of local jobs and businesses. That is why the Government of Canada is helping the Lochaber Community Development Association to improve the athletic infrastructure on Lochaber Lake, building the area’s reputation as a world-class venue for hosting rowing regattas.
Federal government supports infrastructure upgrades in rural communities
Today, Sean Fraser, Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, and Member of Parliament for Central Nova, announced a non-repayable contribution of $100,000 to the Lochaber Community Development Association (LCDA). The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.
The investment will support upgrades to the Lochaber Centre and the Lake’s race course, allowing the LCDA to attract and host large rowing competitions and community events throughout the year. Improvements will include the replacement and installation of the new course infrastructure such as buoys and anchor lines, repairs to the Centre’s heating and mechanical systems, a wifi system, expanding the medal presentation area, a new storage shed, and upgrades to public amenities.
The St. Francis Xavier University (St.FX) and Antigonish Rowing Clubs are also supporting this project through fundraising efforts.
Investments like this one demonstrate the Government of Canada’s commitment to support projects and initiatives that boost local tourism and help the industry prepare for a strong and swift recovery as travel restrictions are lifted.
“Investing in facilities that support tourism and community development in rural areas is important to Canada’s economy and future. The Government of Canada recognizes the tremendous value of the tourism industry and the importance of being ready to host national and international events as soon as it is safe to do so.”
– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA
“Lochaber Lake is one of Canada’s premier rowing lakes. These improvements will enable the Lochaber Centre to host more large-scale rowing events, make it a better venue for competitors, and improve the visitor experience for rowing audiences and other users of the facilities. It’s exciting to see investments like these reach communities like ours in rural Nova Scotia.”
– Sean Fraser, Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, and Member of Parliament for Central Nova
“This initiative allows local residents to continue to be involved in rowing and to showcase first class rowing performances right here in our own community with friends, neighbours, Nova Scotia, Canada and the world. These events bring lots of excitement and many benefits to our community and surrounding areas.”
– Carolyn MacDonald, President of Lochaber Community Development Association
“The partnership between the rowing community and the LCDA has been a long and fruitful one, and we are more than pleased to receive support from our government for the next phase of development. We have taken great pride in being able to use our sport to contribute meaningfully to the local economy over the years, and are committed to continuing that work going forward.”
– Dr. Katie Edwards, Head Coach, StFX Rowing; President, Antigonish Rowing Club; President, Row Nova Scotia; and President, Canadian University Rowing Association
Lochaber Lake is the only course in Atlantic Canada capable of hosting international rowing regattas.
The Lochaber Community Development Association operates and maintains the Lochaber Centre, a multipurpose facility that hosts and supports a wide range of community events and athletic activities.
Rowing competitions primarily take place in the fall, providing a boost outside of the peak summer tourism season for tourism operators and other businesses in surrounding communities.
Lochaber Lake is home to the St. Francis Xavier University and Antigonish Rowing Clubs, and was the location selected for the 2014 Canadian-American-Mexico (CanAmMex) International Regatta and the 2015 Canadian University National Rowing Championship.