News Column

The Sod is Turning in Support of Learning

July 22, 2014

OTTAWA, Ontario, July 22 -- The government of Canada released the following news on behalf of Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency:

After years of hard work, planning and fundraising, the New Ross community gathered for a ground breaking ceremony today for the Ross Farm Learning Centre. The new facility will allow the New Ross District Museum Society to expand its programming, host more workshops, and attract more visitors to the farm and the region. The Learning Centre will also help to foster awareness of heritage agricultural practices and provide much- needed meeting space for local groups.

The building itself will be unique as it will be constructed (or bermed) into the side of a hill making part of the roof really and truly "green." In addition to being environmentally friendly, this 16,000 square foot facility will also be energy efficient through the installation of a geothermal energy system.

The Learning Centre will consist of public spaces including an entrance and foyer, programming rooms, washrooms, meeting rooms, an open hearth room, a commercial kitchen, a gift shop, staff/administration space, a period costume area, a Historical Society office and research space, and controlled storage for artifacts.

In 2010, the Government of Canada, through ACOA's Innovative Communities Fund (ICF), made an investment of $1,000,000 toward the first phase of the Learning Centre's construction. Today, Parliamentary Secretary and local MP Gerald Keddy was pleased to announce an additional $250,000 in ICF funding to assist the Society in completing the centre, which will now include a geothermal energy system.

The Government of Nova Scotia is contributing $1,250,000 through the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage. The Municipality of the District of Chester, local corporations and individuals are also contributing to the effort, and the Society is close to reaching its $1,700,000 fundraising goal.

Quick Facts:

- Ross Farm Museum is located on 60 acres of the original 800-acre grant given to Captain William Ross in 1816. Five generations of the Ross family lived and worked on Ross Farm between 1816 and 1970.

- The New Ross District Museum Society purchased the property in 1970 and opened a museum to interpret the authentic experience of a typical 19th and early 20th century working upland family farm in Nova Scotia.

- The Society's mission is to preserve the physical fabric of the farm and to interpret the stories, practices and values of farm life. The Society encourages an understanding of the contemporary relevance of traditional agriculture by demonstrating sustainable agricultural practices.


"Our Government is pleased to help commemorate the ground breaking of the new Learning Centre at the Ross Farm Museum. After tireless fundraising efforts, this is a pivotal moment for the community and for the museum. Our Government's investment in the Learning Centre will support Ross Farm's efforts to expand its programming and attract visitors to the region."

- Gerald Keddy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Member of Parliament for South Shore-St. Margaret's, on behalf of the Honourable Rob Moore, Minister of State (ACOA)

"Ross Farm is Nova Scotia's window into the past of the province's rich agricultural history and an asset for the future of agricultural development. The learning centre at Ross Farm Museum will give visitors from all over the world more opportunities to learn about and become immersed in the province's diverse culture."

- The Honourable Tony Ince, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage

"Though the journey to this day has been long, we have created many valuable partnerships along the way and have the community by our side. The learning centre will provide us with the building block we need to expand our program and offerings, attracting new audiences to our Farm and our community."

- Lisa Wolfe, Director, New Ross District Museum Society

Related Products:

- Government of Canada Invests in Ross Farm Museum: MP Keddy Announces Job Creating Investment, Benefits Regional Economy

Associated Links:

- Ross Farm Museum

- New Ross Community

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Source: Targeted News Service

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