A modern meeting destination steeped in history

Harold Rennie

Marketing Novia Scotia

From the Thinker's Conference in Pugwash in 1957 (which launched the Nobel-winning Pugwash Movement), to the 1979 International Gathering of the Clans (the first time such a gathering was held outside of Scotland) and the 1995 G-7 Summit, Nova Scotia has a long tradition of welcoming business and professional travellers from around the world.

And no wonder! The seaside setting, a real draw for delegates, is matched by superb facilities, international cuisine and genuinely hospitable people. Accessible by land, sea and air, this maritime province of Canada offers accommodation and activities to suit a wide range of tastes and budgets. Just five hours by air from Europe and less from most parts of the USA, it contains scenic wonders and modern cities, comfortable inns and grand resorts.

The capital city, Halifax (pop. 360,000), has the largest meeting capacity. Of its 3,000 guest rooms, about 2,000 are within an easy walk of the World Trade and Convention Centre with its 100,000 ft2 of exhibition and meeting space. A few of the other venues that can host meetings and special events include: most of the other hotels, local universities, the Citadel (a former fort turned historic park), the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the huge Pier 22.

This province is proud of its Scottish heritage, and one of the places in which that heritage is most pronounced is Cape Breton. There are some 3,000 rooms available on the island. Most of the dedicated convention space is located in and around Sydney, a city of 30,000. Centre 200 is the largest facility on Cape Breton and can accommodate some 6,000 people in concert hall style. The Centre is a versatile arena hosting sports events, exhibitions, conventions and stage shows with modern sound and lighting systems.

The larger hotels in Sydney also have dedicated convention space and qualified staff. Many of them are located along the edge of Sydney's historic and restored waterfront. The University College of Cape Breton, just outside the city, has a variety of facilities and services.

Outside of Sydney there are meeting facilities in Port Hawkesbury, North Sydney and St. Peter's, and in the resort communities of Baddeck, Ingonish Beach, Dundee, Cheticamp, Margaree and Dingwall. The partially restored 18th-century Fortress of Louisbourg is a popular tourist spot that can also be used for various functions.

A number of resorts offer travellers peace and comfort in pristine natural settings. Among them are Liscombe Lodge, a rustic riverside retreat; the clifftop Keltic Lodge, on the world-famous Cabot Trail; and the Pines, at Digby, nestled in the Annapolis Valley. Special groups are always welcome, whether for banquets, meetings or conventions.

Other facilities less than two hours' drive from Halifax are the White Point Beach Lodge and Haddon Hall. The latter is the only four-star facility on the south shore.

For more information, contact Marketing Nova Scotia, Economic Development and Tourism, 1800 Argyle Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3N8. Fax (902) 424 2668, or visit the Web home page at http://explore.gov.ns.ca/. Media contact: Harold Rennie, Marketing Nova Scotia. Tel: (902) 424 0939 Fax: (902) 424 2668 e-mail: RENNIEHD@gov.ns.ca