Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia - Where History Meets Opportunity

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Message from the Mayor

What can I say, but wow! It was an incredible summer of exciting events in the Town of Annapolis Royal. Canada Day weekend raised the bar as we celebrated the 150th Anniversary of Confederation with a visiting delegation from our twin city of Royan in France, incredible music and ceremonies, plus a sit down dinner of free lobster rolls for 500 people on the town wharf. Our Canada 150 Community Leader Zeynep Tonak joined us for many of the special events this summer.


Our Natal Day weekend – always a highlight of the summer – kicked off with a street dance on St. George Street with the music of local favourite Focus and Merimac from Halifax. The encampment of historic re-enactors at Fort Anne National Historic Site and the Sunset Ceremony by the cadets of HMCS Acadia are always a highlight of the Natal Day Weekend – during which we saw the coronation of Brenda MacDonald as our new Queen Annapolis Royal. It was my great honour to march in the Natal Day Parade as your Mayor – joined by Councillors Holly Sanford and John Kinsella.


History surrounds us in Annapolis Royal. It lies hidden beneath our feet and is reflected in the heritage buildings and national historic sites within our town. This summer history was also reflected on our waterfront as Annapolis Royal hosted a sail-past of the Canada 150 Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta. For centuries tall ships sailed in and out of this port – and it was from this same waterfront in 1605 that the Mi’kmaq saw the tall ships of French explorers Pierre Dugua and Samuel Champlain sailing into these waters to establish the first permanent European settlement. The tall ships of Rendez-vous 2017 (including Bluenose II) sailed through the same waters and channels navigated centuries earlier by Champlain. As if seven tall ships weren’t enough, that very same day we enjoyed events and music in the amphitheatre and on the Town Wharf, Pirates from Halifax, a second Sunset Ceremony by the cadets of HMCS Acadia, and a colossal display of fireworks off the Town Wharf.


It is important to acknowledge that all of these incredible events were the results of tireless work and dedication by Town staff and volunteers – and in the case of the sail-past of the tall ships blossomed from the inspiration and initiative of a single individual. Digby was originally intended as the last outport of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, until Ron Wesman – a resident of the Municipality of the County of Annapolis – successfully lobbied the organizing body (Waterfront Development Corporation) to include a sail-past Annapolis Royal. The stunning fly-over of the Lockhead CF-140 Aurora aircraft during the sail-past was also conceived by Ron. Equally significant was that Digby Mayor Ben Cleveland offered his support for the sail-past and provided ongoing assistance – for which the Town of Annapolis Royal is forever grateful. Limited space restricts my ability to thank each and everyone who contributed to a summer in Annapolis Royal to be remembered.