For Immediate Release
Today, Karen Ludwig, Member of Parliament for New Brunswick Southwest, on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, announced that the Government of Canada will be investing $735,000 in 2017 -18 towards the conservation of Ministers Island through the National Cost-Sharing Program for Heritage Places.
The funding will go towards completing the restoration of the historic barn. Restoration of the barn is part of the new, three–phase business plan that was unveiled in July.
“Our government has taken a leadership role in the protection and promotion of the region’s invaluable and irreplaceable heritage such as the Van Horne Estate on Ministers Island,” said Karen Ludwig, Member of Parliament for New Brunswick Southwest. “This investment is another important development in the long-term vision for Ministers Island, making it a cultural tourism experience on the Bay of Fundy that will create jobs, small business opportunities and economic growth.”
A contribution of $735,000 from Tourism, Heritage and Culture brings the total investment to $1.4 million dollars in realizing the new vision for Ministers Island as a world-class tourist destination.
“Tourism is a key part of your government’s economic vision,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister John Ames. “Investing in Ministers Island is part of our strategy to create an integrated world-class Fundy Coast experience and that will create jobs and increase tourism to our province, the Bay of Fundy area and to our nation’s premier seaside resort town of Saint Andrews.”
The massive and architecturally significant barn was designed and constructed in 1899 by architect Edward Maxwell of Montreal. Maxwell was well known throughout Canada and the United States for his distinct style. He also designed the McAdam Railway Station and many homes in Saint Andrews. Two of the many character-defining elements of the barn on Ministers Island are the twin silos with asymmetrical and unique ventilators, which were damaged during a storm in 2016. Water leakage over time also lead to the deterioration of the barn structure.
The vision for Ministers Island is for the barn to be opened up to the public and experiential elements of the Van Horne Story. With additional renovations, the barn could also be used as a space for heritage programming, artisan workshops, performing arts and community events.
“The livestock barn reflects the importance Van Horne attached to both architecture and agriculture. With its significant architectural detail it presents visitors with a striking visual impact upon entry to the Heritage Park. Under its Dutch gable roof, the hayloft is vast and constructed of massive timber trusses that reflect the shipbuilding traditions of New Brunswick craftsmen,” said Brian Usher, Chair of the Van Horne Estate on Ministers Island Board. “Once stairs and handrails are installed the public will have access to view the unique cathedral-like timber arch construction. Our hope is that eventually this feature of the barn can be developed as a performance area for a wide range of cultural, heritage and arts events.”
Previous investments include $239,000 through the Canada150 Community Infrastructure Program, $100,000 through Parks Canada and $250,000 from the provincial government.
Through ACOA’s Business Development Program, the Government of Canada is also investing $185,000 to support the development and implementation of a business plan.
Director of Communications, Office of MP Karen Ludwig