Committee plans Bluenose centennial celebrations in 2021

by Keith Corcoran

  • <p>KEITH CORCORAN, PHOTO</p><p>Emily Sollows and Alan Creaser of the Bluenose 100 committee listen to a question from a town councillor following a presentation January 28.</p>
  • Bluenose ll under sail in Halifax Harbour

A committee organizing and planning a plethora of events marking the 100th birthday of the launch of Canada's most famous ship expects massive numbers of visitors to the region next year when celebrations are in full gear.

Beyond the special birthday event in Lunenburg on March 26, 2021, and a jammed-pack weekend of activities in town during the third weekend in August 2021, the Bluenose centennial takes on a national flavour.

The famed fishing and racing schooner, already engraved on the dime, will be featured on limited vintage, and commemorative coins produced by the Royal Canadian Mint in honour of the vessel's birthday, said Emily Sollows of the Bluenose 100 committee, during a presentation to town council January 28.. Canada Post may also produce a commemorative stamp, Sollows added.

There will be an educational component to the celebration, including an online portal where people can log on and share stories, along with a partnership that will see a lesson plan going to 24,000 teachers across the country.

A community dinner will encompass part of the March 26 launch event next year. The signature attraction will be a Bluenose 100 schooner festival during the August 19 to 22 weekend in 2021. "It will kind of be a kind of a tall ship festival with live music and performing arts, waterfront activities, fireworks, visiting schooners, and tall ships," Sollows explained.

Mayor Rachel Bailey said the occasion sounds like a great time all around.

"It's going to be exciting for the town; it's a very significant milestone for our beloved Bluenose," she told LighthouseNOW. "We're looking forward to the so many things that will be happening."

The Bluenose II will be in Lunenburg 80 of 125 days in the 2021 season. There will be 60 days of harbour tours and the Bluenose II will have 100 days of harbour tours to celebrate 100 years, each sail with a themed story [about the] Bluenose. The original Bluenose was hauling freight when it struck a reef near Haiti in 1946 and sank.

"The objective is to tell the story of the legacy of the Bluenose in our province, and in our community, and across the country - and that's the goal of the committee - through music, arts, and culture," committee chairman Alan Creaser told council.

Among other potential aspects of the 2021 celebrations: Night markets, a street festival, dory and schooner races, and parades of sail. Sollows said the schooner Columbia, a replica of the vessel that raced against the Bluenose in the 1920s, will also be present.

It's also anticipated the Lunenburg's Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic will expand and revise its Bluenose exhibit to mark the celebration.

Word is travelling fast about Bluenose 100.

"We are expecting very high numbers of people," Sollows said. "We've already had people - without any advertising - reach out to us wanting to know what's going on and when so they can book their accommodations."

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