Ottawa chips in $60,000 for AR 300th celebrations
By Lawrence Powell, Spectator
When the bell tolls midnight December 31, 2009, Annapolis Royal will switch into party mode as it begins a year-long celebration of the 300th birthday of the renaming of the town from Port Royal in 1710 by Francis Nicholson -- the same man who renamed Providence, Maryland to Annapolis.
On Thursday, Nov. 12 the town celebrated a bit of good news as West Nova MP Greg Kerr stopped by King's Theatre to hand over $59,600 to help Team Annapolis, 300th anniversary festivities organizers, make the party just that much bigger and better.
"Our government is proud to support Team Annapolis," said Kerr on the King's Theatre stage, flanked by Mayor Phil Roberts in period costume and Team Annapolis's Linda Brown -- plus Town Crier Peter Davies who introduced Kerr. "By partnering with communities to support activities that celebrate our shared history and our rich cultural diversity, we are fulfilling our commitment to strengthen our communities and support arts, culture, and heritage.
"The funds were release through the federal government's Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program.
Brown said 2010 will be a year of great excitement and described her team as an amazing group of dedicated people and noting that while most events will take place in Annapolis Royal, other events are scheduled for Granville Ferry, Bridgetown, and the nearby Annapolis Royal Golf and Country Club.
Kerr described Annapolis Royal as a town of firsts, including the fact that it was the first capital of Nova Scotia. Roberts said the town has so much history that residents can wake up any morning and it's a day to celebrate the history of something.
It was also noted that the Anglican Church will celebrate a similar anniversary in 2010 with, among other events, the commeration of the first Anglican Church service in Canada.
SELLING THE TOWN
Those in attendance were also updated on a unique new fundraiser in which Team Annapolis sells the entire town at $10 per 20-metre-square blocks -- and there are 7,677 blocks, making it a potentially lucritive money-maker. Using the geograpic information system at the Annapolis District Planning Commission, the town was divided into the blocks with notional or virtual deeds correspoding with each block. Doug Dockrill bought the first deed -- the farmers' market. The Spectator bought part of King's Theatre. Professionally prepared deeds match each block.
Residents and business owners in the town will be given a chance to purchase the block or blocks that correspond with their own property up to December 31.
EVENTS ALREADY PLANNED
Team Annapolis has already nailed down a number of events:
-- A New Years Levee will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on January 1 at St. Luke's Anglican Church Hall with Bishop Sue Moxley, 'Queen Anne,' and Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough.
-- Queen Anne's birthday will be celebrated on February 6 at the Annapolis Royal Golf and Country Club, and includes dinner and music.
-- Heritage Day is February 15 when the Heritage of Sport and Recreation in Annapolis Royal will be celebrated.
-- On April 18 will be the Dedication of St. Luke's Anglican Church Anniversary Garden with the planting of Bishop Pippin apple tree.
-- A combined concert with A Royal Consort and the Annapolis Basin Community Band will be held at St. Luke's Anglican Church on May 16. Music includes Annapolis Royal Suite and Birthday Ode to Queen Anne -- 'Eternal Source of Light Divine.'
-- On June 4 and 5 the Nova Scotia Built Heritage Conference will be held and includes presentations on historic Nova Scotia architecture and tours of Annapolis Royal properties. Also planned is a barbecue at North Hills Museum when the building officially receives its plaque as a provincially registered heritage property.
-- June is also the 300th anniversay of Sinclair Inn.
Other events include the Morin Family Reunion, Mi'kmaq Heritage Day, Queen Anne's Picnic at Bishop's Park on Highway 201, African Heritage Day, Town Criers' Performance in connection with Paint the Town, and a European Heritage Weekend with the Lieutenant Governor in attendance and a garden Party at O'Dell House. In September a delegation from Royan, France will arrive with dinner planned at Garrison House and celebrating 300 years of wine making. A biography of Francis Nicholson will be part of events at Fort Anne in September, and a community thanksgiving dinner is set for October. More events are in the works and will be unveiled as they are finalized.
And the caption under the picture above reads "Anne Crossman, Peter Davies, Greg Kerr, Phil Roberts, and Linda Brown pose behind this antique picture frame that by some time in 2010 will be filled with a portrait of Queen Anne. Rick Zenkner of Westside Studio volunteered to paint the portrait for anniversary celebrations of the renaming of Port Royal to Annapolis Royal." photo by Lawrence Powell