January 24, 2017; Liverpool, NS: The Council of the Region of Queens Municipality voted in support of several motions that invest in tourism, recreational opportunities, arts and culture, and support a vibrant community. A new tenant for the Town Hall Arts and Cultural Centre, development of innovative new technology for the Liverpool Visitor Information Centre, funding for a sporting event and support to bring an international event to the community, were all approved at their Regular Council Meeting on January 24, 2017.
“The motions approved today in Council are the culmination of several months of work by Council, staff and the proponents, and are reflective of our Council’s strategic priorities focusing on attracting and growing our population, and growing our economy,” said David Dagley, Mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality.
A motion was approved to enter into a three year lease with Julie Babin, and her business The Welcome Matte Frame Shop, as a tenant of the facility. The lease provides Babin with space in the Town Hall Arts and Cultural Centre in exchange for her coordinating with artists and the public to provide art shows, workshops and being a welcoming presence in the Cultural Centre.
“Julie brought forward an unsolicited proposal outlining her solution to fill a gap in service at the Town Hall Arts and Cultural Centre. Council is pleased with how the proposal fits our vision of a vibrant, active Town Hall Arts and Cultural Centre, which serves as a cultural hub in our downtown area,” said Dagley. “We look forward to seeing even more activity in the building, to have her on site to assist artists with their shows, and to greet and welcome locals and visitors to the Cultural Centre as well as to the community.”
The lease outlines an agreement with Babin to have exclusive use of the workshop room, as well as shared use office space and shared use storage space. There are no additional budget expenditures being made by the Region of Queens Municipality, and the sales and commission splitting in the lease agreement will provide a small revenue stream. The Astor Theatre and the Sipuke’l Gallery are also tenants of the Town Hall Arts and Cultural Centre.
“The Town Hall Arts and Cultural Centre is such a fantastic facility that appeared to be underutilized. I thought I would submit a proposal, and if it was accepted, it would be a great way to contribute to the community while promoting arts and culture in a gorgeous setting. I am very excited to work with the arts community to help this facility reach its full potential,” Babin said.
Innovative new technology from local entrepreneur and recently retired professor of computer science, Rex Woollard, will be embraced by the Region of Queens as a tool to aid those visiting the area in learning about the best Queens County has to offer. Woollard is developing software for an interactive, self-serve visitor information program that will be developed into a touch screen visitor centre kiosk. The prototype will be tailor made for Queens County and located at the Liverpool Visitor Information Centre upon completion.
“We are pleased that Mr. Woollard will introduce his leading edge technology here in Queens and that it is the model that he will be able to replicate this technology for other communities across Nova Scotia,” said Dagley. “It is an exciting project and Mr. Woollard will be breaking new ground in enhancing visitor experiences.”
“Queens has much to offer local residents and visitors from around the world - its cultural richness, its deeply rooted history, its spectacular shoreline, its expansive lakes and rivers, and its diverse entertainment outlets. Queens faces the challenge of promotion. The Visitor Information Centre (VIC) has been a great promotional resource for years, but it is not staffed as an information centre throughout the year,” said Woollard. The kiosk he is developing will be available year round, even when visitor centre staff is not available. He developed similar computer solutions for the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology and Algonquin College, both based in Ottawa, and is eager to apply these skills to celebrate the unique charms of Queens. In the future, the VIC kiosk could be replicated at a very low cost at other important locations in the community.
Council also made decisions that will assist community organizations to make Queens County an active, engaged community pertaining to recreation and entertainment. Council requested that staff prepare a report on the possible direction to be followed after the presentation by the Queens Community Aquatic Society, which summarized the Aquatics survey conducted in the fall of 2016.
As well, Council approved a grant in the amount of $500.00 for the Liverpool Curling Club to host the Under 15 Juvenile Curling Championship from Feb. 10 – 12, 2017. The Championships will bring 29 teams of youth, their coaches, and families from across the province for the three day tournament.
In keeping with drawing visitors to the area, Council also approved support for the Kings Orange Rangers to develop an International Re-enactment Event on August 10, 11, and 12, 2018 in Liverpool, NS. In addition to their own members, the Kings Orange Rangers plan to have representatives from many groups throughout Nova Scotia and North America, which may include the 84th Regiment of Foot (Windsor, NS), 3rd New Jersey Volunteers (Shelburne, NS), Royal American Fencibles (Yarmouth, NS), 2nd Delanceys (Saint John, NB), and a number of American member groups affiliated under the Brigade of the American Revolution. As Council has provided support in principle, the next steps for the Kings Orange Rangers will be to develop a project committee, clarify roles and responsibilities, recruit volunteers, source additional funding and develop the preliminary event schedule.
“Today’s Council meeting saw the approval of several initiatives which will result in increasing the capacity of our community to offer residents and visitors a quality experience while having a positive impact on our local economy. Lively activities encourage people to relocate or visit an area for quality of life, business and recreational opportunities, also supporting a positive lifestyle for current and future residents,” said Dagley.