Coast of Bays Arts & Exploration Centre Takes Regional Approach to Tourism

by NationTalk on May 5, 2009730 Views

Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
May 5, 2009

The Miawpukek First Nations-Conne River Band Council, operator of the Coast of Bays Arts & Exploration Centre, is developing a multi-year business plan that supports increasing the area’s tourism capacity.

Supported by a Provincial Government investment of $13,950, the business plan will better position the council to capitalize on the area’s unique culture and increase opportunities for local entrepreneurs.

“Through the Coast of Bays Arts & Exploration Centre, the band council is taking necessary steps to increase tourism opportunities in the Coast of Bays region,” said the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development. “Coast of Bays offers visitors a unique and authentic cultural experience. Through increased planning, the band council is able to identify opportunities that enable local businesses to take advantage of the region’s heritage.”

As part of the band council’s planning, it will outline an expanded role for the Coast of Bay’s Arts & Exploration Centre and position it as being a central component of the area’s tourism industry. The plan will also address such areas as marketing and communications, market research, and human resources needs, availability, and training.

“Our vision is to position the Arts and Exploration Centre as the focal point for information in the region,” said Gerard Joe, Manager of the Department of Economic Development, Conne River Band Council. “To achieve our objective of attracting local, national, and international visitors to the Coast of Bays region, Provincial Government support is important.”

Constructed in 2004, the Coast of Bays Arts & Exploration Centre houses heritage displays, provides space for performing arts, promotes the development of artistic skills, and preserves the region’s historic artifacts.

“The distinct Aboriginal culture and attractions in the region set the stage for developing an authentic brand of tourism,” said Tracey Perry, MHA, Fortune Bay-Cape LaHune. “There are many opportunities to increase visitation to the region, which will ultimately create new business and employment opportunities.”

The Miawpukek First Nations of Conne River was officially recognized as an Indian Band and given reserve status in 1985. Since that time the band council has worked to capture and celebrate cultural, linguistic and spiritual traditions.

This initiative was funded through the Regional/Sectoral Diversification Fund (RSDF), which through Budget 2009 was increased to an $8 million fund. Administered by the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development, the RSDF provides non-repayable contributions to economic development agencies for initiatives that address regional and sectoral development and diversification.

Media contacts:

Scott Barfoot
Director of Communications
Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
709-729-4570, 690-6290 Donna Ivey

Communications Manager
Government Members Office
709-729-0898, 697-1424

Gerard Joe
Manager of the Department of Economic Development
Conne River Band Council

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