Minister MacKay announces investments to create national-level rowing facility on Lochaber Lake

LOCHABER (NS) – October 26, 2012 – The only rowing facility east of Montreal capable of hosting national and international level regattas will soon be constructed on Lochaber Lake in Antigonish County.  The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Regional Minister for Nova Scotia, today announced support for the creation of Lochaber Centre on behalf of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Associate Minister of National Defence and Minister of State (ACOA) (La Francophonie).
“Our government’s top priorities are economic growth, job creation and long-term prosperity,” said Minister MacKay.  “A facility such as this has the power to diversify the local economy as Lochaber hosts events that welcome athletes and the world to this wonderful community.  This new facility will be one of only six facilities of its kind in Canada and will be comparable to some of the best in the world.”
A Government of Canada investment of $506,600 enables the Lochaber Community Development Association to create the new rowing facility which will overlook a two-kilometer, six-lane course.  The facility itself will feature meeting rooms, office space, washrooms and change areas, storage space for boats and other equipment, a medical storage area, and a medal-presentation area.  The ACOA investment also supports the construction of a dock suitable for launching rowing shells and buoys for the course.
Lochaber Centre will also serve as a community hall and replace the aging Sylvan Hall which has served the community for more than 91 years.
An additional investment of $75,000 was made by the Municipality of the County of Antigonish.
“This project is rapt with economic potential and is a catalyst for future recreation and business activity,” said Herbert J. DeLorey, Warden for the Municipality of the County of Antigonish.  “Our communities are ready and excited to welcome visitors and play host to world-class rowing competitions and training events here on the shores of Lochaber Lake.”
The Lochaber Community Development Association along with the residents of Lochaber, a small community of fewer than 1000 inhabitants, have also invested $350,000 in the project―the majority of which raised through fundraisers, pledges and other donations.
“This project would not be possible without the unwavering support and energy of the many volunteers and community supporters who have worked tirelessly to see the idea of Lochaber Centre become a reality,” said Brendan Brothers, Project Manager for the Lochaber Community Development Association.  “This is an exciting opportunity for Lochaber and the region in general and we are confident that this facility will become one of Canada’s premiere rowing destinations.”
Building on the momentum of the Regional University Rowing Regatta, which was hosted on the Lake earlier this month, the Lochaber Community Development Association is in the process of creating a proposal to host Rowing Canada’s 2014 Canadian Masters Championships as an initial step to market the facility further afield.
FOR BROADCAST USE:
Defence Minister Peter MacKay today announced a $506, 000 Government of Canada investment for the creation of a rowing facility on Lochaber Lake in Antigonish County.
Once complete, Lochaber Centre will be only one of six such facilities in Canada and the only rowing facility east of Montreal capable of hosting national and international level regattas.
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INFORMATION:
Jay Paxton

Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of National Defence
613-769-4217 (cell)
Christopher Brooks

Manager, Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-426-4790/902- 789-5184 (cell)
Brendan Brothers

Project Manager
Lochaber Community Development Association
902-783-3240

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