Nova Scotia increases competition for major sports and entertainment 

News release

Government of Canada boosts the Rath Eastlink Community Centre’s capacity to attract major events

July 9, 2019 – Truro, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Tourism is thriving in Canada, bringing in record numbers of international visitors in 2017 and 2018, and the federal, provincial and territorial governments are collaborating on shared opportunities to unlock the visitor economy. Supporting sustainable growth in sport tourism will help position Canada as a top destination for sport and entertainment in the increasingly competitive global entertainment market.

Having successfully built a national-scale portfolio, hosting events including the Grand Slam of Curling, the World Down Syndrome Swimming Championships and the upcoming IIHF Women’s World Championships, the Rath Eastlink Community Centre (RECC) is undertaking new upgrades to further its profile as a key tourism venue for major events in the region. The project will include the addition of six multi-purpose suites with national broadcasting capabilities, a fully serviced community room, new storage facilities and upgraded lighting throughout the RECC.

Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, announced a contribution from the Government of Canada to support the project.

This announcement supports Minister Joly’s earlier announcement of Canada’s new tourism strategy: Creating Middle Class Jobs: A Federal Tourism Growth Strategy. The Strategy, which was developed based on feedback from Canadians and the work of the Advisory Council on Jobs and the Visitor Economy, highlights the importance of Canada’s tourism sector as an economic driver for communities across the country.


“Investments like this one will enable communities and businesses in all regions like Colchester County to develop tourism products and experiences to attract more tourists year-round. This will help communities big and small reap the benefits of the global tourism boom to diversify their economies and create good jobs for middle-class families.”

     – The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie

“Innovation doesn’t only happen in big cities – it happens in all regions of Canada – and so do major events. That’s why our regional development agencies play an important role in helping businesses turn innovation into economic growth and good jobs for Canadians. With projects like this, our government is investing in the development of our tourism sector and the economic potential of our vibrant communities.”

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

“In 2017, Nova Scotia launched its first ever action plan, Let’s Get Moving to foster active healthy living, and increase inclusion and access to recreation for all Nova Scotians. Investing in the Rath East Link Community Centre’s new programing space is another step to ensure our communities have more opportunities for a healthy lifestyle.”

     – Karen Casey, Finance Minister, on behalf of Leo A. Glavine, Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister

“We are happy to support this exciting project. The RECC is a very important facility that not only serves our local residents but is also a significant economic driver for Colchester County. This expansion will open the door to a variety of new recreational and event hosting opportunities that will provide lasting benefits to our region.”

     – Christine Blair, Mayor, Municipality of the County of Colchester

“The Rath Eastlink Centre, since opening in Truro/Colchester, has continued to expand its reach both in recreation and entertainment. The facility has a proven record of hosting major events that have a positive effect on our communities economically and socially. This project will add much needed capacity and flexibility so that we can continue on this very positive track and open up even greater opportunities.”

     – Bill Mills, Mayor, Town of Truro

“There is no doubt that hosting major events bring the world together. It provides a platform for national unity and community pride. As an innovative hybrid facility that boasts a growing membership base and an extensive event hosting portfolio, we are truly pleased to get started on this capital expansion, create more memorable experiences and continue to drive local tourism.”

     – Matt Moore , RECC General Manager & Events Truro-Colchester Chairman

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada contributed $344,984 towards this project, through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund. The Province of Nova Scotia, through the Department of Communities Culture and Heritage contributed $40,000 and the Town of Truro and the Municipality of the County of Colchester each contributed $50,000 to the project.

  • The Rath Eastlink Community Centre (RECC) is managed by the Central Nova Scotia Civic Centre Society and is recognized as one of the few rural markets in Nova Scotia that has the demonstrated capacity to host larger scale world-class event.

  • In 2015 the sports tourism market contributed over $6.5 billion to the Canadian economy, and has continued to be the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry in Canada. As such, the community has adopted major event hosting as a viable strategy for local economic development, generating substantial visitation and spending within the region.

  • The RECC is undertaking new facility upgrades for team and sponsor servicing, national broadcasting and scouting and LED lighting to support nationally and internationally televised events and to meet or exceed major event hosting requirements.

  • In 2018, Canada welcomed a record 21.1 million international tourists, surpassing the previous record of 20.9 million established in 2017 by 1.2%.

Associated links


Jeremy Ghio
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Tourism,
Official Languages and La Francophonie

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and
Economic Development Canada

Chris Brooks
Director, Communications and Outreach                             
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-426-9417 / 902-830-3839 (cell)

Matt Moore
General Manager

Josée Gallant
Administration and Events Coordinator
Town of Truro

Lynette MacLeod
Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage
Province of Nova Scotia
902-229-0785 (cell)

Devin Trefry
Research, Policy, and Community Engagement Officer
Municipality of the County of Colchester
902-897-3182 / 902-956-3239 (cell)

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