Miners Museum exploring depths of immersive displays 

News release

Government of Canada investment honours Cape Breton’s history with authentic cultural experience

March 14, 2018 – Glace Bay, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Helping Atlantic Canada’s tourism industry take advantage of growth opportunities offered by emerging markets and new tourism products and experiences allows the region to remain a global leader in a highly competitive industry. That is why the Government of Canada is supporting the Cape Breton Miners Museum’s efforts to revitalize its interpretive displays to capitalize on experiential activities that provide more impactful insight into miners’ daily lives.

Rodger Cuzner, Parliamentary Secretary for Employment, Workforce Development and Labour and Member of Parliament for Cape Breton – Canso, announced on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, a contribution of $1,550,781 to create an enhanced, experiential-based visitor experience at the museum.

The $775,781 non-repayable ACOA contribution is being made through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund. The fund helps Atlantic communities develop competitive, productive, strategic industry sectors, and invest in projects that enhance communities’ capacity to overcome economic development challenges and take advantage of their strengths and assets.

The funding from Canadian Heritage was provided through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, which supports the improvement of physical conditions for artistic creativity and innovation. In Budget 2016, the Government of Canada dedicated an unprecedented $168.2 million to the Fund over two years. This was followed by an additional $300 million over 10 years in Budget 2017.

The Cape Breton Miners’ Foundation will be able to purchase the equipment necessary to create thematic and orientation displays to depict a coal miner’s daily reality. The displays will include an immersive simulator that mimics travelling underground in a rake car, along with the creation of a briefing room and lamp house to re-create the miners’ path to and from the mines.

This investment builds on commitments made by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic Provinces to drive economic growth in the region through the Atlantic Growth Strategy, which involves targeted actions to create long-term growth and position the region to take advantage of emerging tourism opportunities. 


“The Government of Canada is committed to growing the tourism industry and creating economic opportunity and prosperity in all regions. Our investment will help the Cape Breton Miners’ Foundation preserve and honour the history of the brave men who forged the region’s future in the coal industry, and will continue to attract visitors who benefit from being exposed to their story.”

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“Our government is proud to support organizations like the Cape Breton Miners’ Foundation, which plays a vital role in preserving Cape Breton’s rich coal mining heritage. The upgrades at the Cape Breton Miners Museum will ensure that visitors can enjoy enriching experiences for years to come. By investing in our cultural institutions, we continue to create jobs, grow the economy and build stronger communities.” 

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“This government believes in preserving the history of the people and industries that defined our past and also helped shape the future of Nova Scotia. Cape Breton has a well-earned reputation for developing a world-class tourism product, and I’m pleased that our support will help the Cape Breton Miners Museum continue to build on its experience and ability to showcase the region’s past.”   

Rodger Cuzner, Parliamentary Secretary for Employment, Workforce Development and Labour and Member of Parliament for Cape Breton – Canso

“Thanks to the funding provided by ACOA and Canadian Heritage, Cape Breton Miners Museum is taking an exciting step into our future. Phase 1 of our Interpretive Renewal Plan will offer new and innovative experiences for our visitors. We are especially thrilled with the development of a simulator that will allow our patrons with mobility issues an underground experience without actually going underground.”

Mary Pat Mombourquette, Executive Director, Cape Breton Miners Museum

Quick facts

  • The first large mine, the Hub Shaft of Glace Bay, opened in 1861.Several other mines in Glace Bay and Sydney Mines opened within the next few years. In total, Glace Bay had 12 coal mines. In 1873, there were eight coal companies operating in Cape Breton. 

  • In 1894, the government gave exclusive mining rights to an American syndicate, the Dominion Coal Company, and by 1903, the Dominion Coal Company was producing 3,250,000 tonnes per year.

  • By 1912, the company had 16 collieries in full operation and its production accounted for 40 per cent of Canada’s total output. 

Related products

Associated links


Alex Smith
Director of Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Phone: 902-426-9417 / 902-830-3839 (cell)
E-mail: alex.smith@canada.ca

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

Mary Pat Mombourquette
Executive Director
Cape Breton Miners Museum
Phone: (902) 849-4522 / 902-565-1942 (cell)

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: