Government of Canada announces investment to support tourism in the Annapolis Valley

Winery Association of Nova Scotia, Devour! The Food Film Fest, Hall’s Harbour to attract more visitors, improve accessibility

July 9, 2019 – Wolfville, Nova Scotia – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

Tourism is an inclusive sector that showcases Canada’s culture, diversity, natural beauty and unique experiences to the world. It delivers economic benefits across the country by supporting one in ten jobs. That’s why the Government of Canada is investing in our tourism sector’s businesses and assets.

Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages, and La Francophonie, announced a total Government of Canada investment of $584,732 for three important tourism initiatives in the Annapolis Valley.

An investment of $280,500 is being provided to the Winery Association of Nova Scotia (WANS)for the development and marketing of Nova Scotia as a wine tourism destination. The non-profit industry association will target visitors who are known wine enthusiasts and promote the products and experiences offered within the province. This investment is being made through the Canadian Experiences Fund(CEF), which supports Canadian businesses and organizations seeking to create, improve or enhance tourism products, facilities and experiences.

Minister Joly also announced a three-year contribution of $180,000 to Devour! The Food Film Fest. The non-repayable support, provided through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)’s Business Development Program, will help Devour!, one of the world’s largest film festivals devoted to food and wine, to expand and bring more visitors to a rural region in the tourism off-season.

And Minister Joly announced a non-repayable contribution of $124,232 to Hall’s Harbour CommunityDevelopment Association. The CEF investment will enable the group to upgrade the Inner Harbour Boardwalk which provides wheelchair accessibility and safety, so that all Canadians can enjoy access to viewing the world’s highest tides.

The Province of Nova Scotia, through its Department of Agriculture, is providing a $30,000 grant to WANS.

The Province of Nova Scotia, through its Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage, is providing $80,000 to Devour! in the third year of a three-year investment. Investments from the provincial government in the two previous years totalled $165,000.

The Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage is also providing a $40,000 contribution to Hall’s Harbour Community Development Association under its Recreation Facility Development Program (RFD).

The Municipality of the County of King’s provided $55,000 to the Hall’s Harbour Community Development Association and also provided funding to Devour!

Other funding partners for Devour! include the Town of Kentville, Town of Windsor and the Town of Wolfville.

Thanks to government support for these initiatives, more Canadians and visitors to Canada will be able to experience Nova Scotia’s rapidly growing wine industry and unique wine-themed events, such as Devour!

This announcement supports Minister Joly’s earlier announcement of Canada’s new tourism strategy: Creating Middle Class Jobs: A Federal Tourism Growth Strategy. The Strategy, which was developed based on feedback from Canadians and the work of the Advisory Council on Jobs and the Visitor Economy, highlights the importance of Canada’s tourism sector as an economic driver for communities across the country.


“These investments enable communities and businesses in the Annapolis Valley to develop tourism products and experiences to attract more tourists year-round. This will help communities tap into the valley’s rich wine and food traditions along with the spectacular coastline to reap the benefit global tourism boom by diversifying their economies and creating good jobs for middle-class families.” – The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie

“Innovation doesn’t only happen in big cities; it happens in all regions of Canada. That’s why our regional development agencies play an important role in helping businesses turn innovation into economic growth and good jobs for Canadians. Through the Canadian Experiences Fund, our government is investing in the development of our tourism sector and the economic potential of our vibrant communities.” – The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“Through our Culture Action Plan, we are leading the province forward in growing our economy, enhancing our diversity and celebrating our culture. Devour! The Food Film Festival has become an international world class event. Investing in Devour! and the Hall’s Harbour boardwalk contributes to Nova Scotia’s ever-growing culture sector while showcasing our province’s unique culinary talents and tourism destinations for all local, national and international audiences to enjoy.” – The Honourable Leo Glavine, Nova Scotia Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage

“What better thing to pair with Nova Scotian food than wine from right here in this province? Nova Scotia is producing award-winning wines, which are becoming increasingly popular and well known around the world. Engaging wine enthusiasts and encouraging them to share our story will help us to continue the incredible growth of this industry. Food, wine, and tourism are a natural fit.” – Jerry White, Executive Director, Winery Association of Nova Scotia (WANS)

“ACOA has supported Devour the Food Film Fest since 2014. That support has fostered the growth of the festival in myriad ways, always with the goal of becoming an impactful Canadian festival that attracts visitation, investment, cultural expression and pride in being Atlantic Canadian. The ability to showcase the great events, great talent and great opportunities that exist here is of importance to our future hospitality and tourism workforce and artists in film, television and digital media.  We at Devour laud ACOA’ s ongoing commitment to support cross-sectoral growth in the rural economy.” – Michael Howell, Executive Director, Devour! The Food Film Fest

“The combination of beautiful wineries plus the highest tides in the world provides a unique experience for visitors to our area. In Halls Harbour the Inner Harbour Boardwalk provides the ideal place to witness the high tides with accessibility and safety which definitely enhances the experience. ” –  Darrell Houghton, President of the Board of Directors, Hall’s Harbour Community Development Association

Quick facts:

  • Tourism represents more than 2% of Canada’s gross domestic product.
  • Tourism supports more than 1.8 million jobs in Canada.
  • Regional development agencies areone of Canada’s four flagship platforms supporting innovation, along with the Industrial Research Assistance Program, the Strategic Innovation Fundand the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service.
  • Canada has six regional development agencies supporting economic development in every region of Canada.
  • In 2018, Nova Scotia had approximately 1,200 acres of vineyards under production.
  • The province’s 23 licensed wineries produced 1.5 million litres of wine valued at more than $23 million.
  • A large concentration of the province’s wine industry, which employed more than 700 in 2018, is in the Annapolis Valley.
  • Devour! is slated for October 22 to 27, 2019. The festival will include more than 100 events and screen more than 80 films in Wolfville, Kentville, Windsor and Kings County
  • According to Tourism Nova Scotia, 13,000 people attended Devour! in 2018 with a total economic impact in the province of more than $2 million.
  • Devour! was awarded the 2017 Canadian Treasures award for Innovation in Hospitality by The George Brown Centre for Culinary Arts and in 2018 was awarded the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia Culinary Ambassador Award.
  • Hall’s Harbour is a Nova Scotia Tourism Destination Area. It is the third most visited harbour in Nova Scotia, with more than 100,000 annual visitors.

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Jeremy Ghio
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie
Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Chris Brooks
Director, Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-426-9417 / 902-830-3839 (cell)

Lynette MacLeod
Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage

Follow Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on Twitter: @ISED_CA

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