Nova Scotians will be able to show pride in their communities through a new registry of declarations that celebrates unique aspects of the province’s culture and heritage. The registry will be established by the Community Spirit Act introduced today, Nov. 24, by Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister David Wilson. “Promoting strong communities is another way we are making life better for families and the Community Spirit Act will support that by building civic pride,” said Mr. Wilson. “Nova Scotians know that honouring our diverse culture and heritage leads to vibrant communities and we look forward to working with municipalities to develop the registry.” An example of a community that could benefit from the new registry is LaHave in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, which is home to Fort Point Museum located at Fort Ste. Marie de Grace, a national historic site. The area was mapped by French explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1604, and established as the first capital of New France in 1632. The Fort Point Museum commemorates more than 400 years of history for Nova Scotians and visitors and has built a connection with the Mi’kmaq community. Billing itself as a living museum, it also tells the story of the LaHave light station and plays host to many community groups and events throughout the year. The museum’s oral history project records the stories and experiences of local elders and makes them available to visitors and the community. The registry would provide an opportunity for the community to work with the municipality to recognize this aspect of its heritage through a provincially-registered declaration. “Nova Scotia has a diverse culture and heritage and the registry will help raise the profile of communities that have a local story to tell,” said Donna Malone, president of the Lunenburg County Historical Society, which operates Fort point Museum. “The registry will enable communities to officially promote their uniqueness to a much wider provincial and national audience.” When the registry becomes active, municipalities will be able to approve declarations about unique qualities associated with their communities and request provincial registration. Once approved by the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage, the declarations would be added to the registry, which will be available online. Declarations can highlight important events or elements of culture and heritage that distinguish communities and add to the quality of life enjoyed by residents. An application process for registration will encourage municipalities to consider legal, historical and cultural factors before approving declarations and submitting them to the province for registration. Application forms and the registry will be available online beginning in spring 2012. Information about Fort Point Museum is available at www.fortpointmuseum.com.