Enhancements for Historic Lunenburg Academy

News release

Minister Jordan at Lunenburg Academy

Government of Canada investments conserve historic and cultural value of significant heritage building

August 29, 2019 – Lunenburg, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

The visitor economy represents one of Atlantic Canada’s most important growth opportunities. To benefit from tourism, communities must protect and develop characteristics that make them special. That’s why the Government of Canada is supporting the restoration of the iconic Lunenburg Academy, a registered heritage property, national historic site, and source of community pride.

The Town of Lunenburg is restoring the front façade of the Academy to its original look and design, improving accessibility, and creating a heritage classroom to provide visitors with a new high quality, interactive and authentic tourism experience.

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Member of Parliament for South Shore – St. Margarets, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), announced support for the project today.

Minister Jordan also announced funding to support professional arts training at the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (LAMP), an international centre for advanced studies of music interpretation and performance housed inside the historic Lunenburg Academy. LAMP, also known as the Rossini Opera Festival of Nova Scotia, offers one-to-two-week academies for emerging professional musicians under 35 years of age who have completed university or conservatory music programs.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting tourism-based initiatives and attracting more international visitors to Canada. It is investing in key pieces of infrastructure to create middle class jobs, grow Canada’s economy and bring new opportunities and pride to communities looking for a chance to show the world what they have to offer.


“Lunenburg Academy is at the heart of our beautiful and admired town. It is a privilege to help support initiatives to renew a cherished landmark for visitors and community members to enjoy for years to come. Congratulations to everyone involved in bringing these projects to life.”

-       The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Member of Parliament for South Shore – St. Margarets, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“Our government is proud to invest in professional arts training projects like those found at the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance. Organizations like LAMP play an essential role in preserving our identity and promoting artistic growth and culture. The training they provide helps our Canadian artists succeed not only at home, but on the international stage as well.”

-       The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism

“The Lunenburg Academy is a beloved local landmark, an architectural masterpiece, and a nationally significant historic building. Today’s funding announcement demonstrates that our federal government recognizes the value of investing in this unique community asset, both to honour the past and to secure a prosperous future. We are grateful for their partnership in the continuing work of repurposing this building for the enjoyment and enrichment of visitors, local citizens and the growing number of visitors who become citizens.”

-       Rachel Bailey, Mayor, Town of Lunenburg

“With the support of the Canadian Arts Training Fund, the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (LAMP) provides high level training to young Canadian artists, thus preparing them for successful professional careers on national and international stages.”

-       Burt Wathen, Artistic Director, Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is providing $498,599 (non-repayable) to the Town of Lunenburg for upgrades to the Lunenburg Academy through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund, and $100,000 (non-repayable) through Parks Canada’s National Cost-Sharing Program for Heritage Places. The Town of Lunenburg also received $500,000 (non-repayable) from Canadian Heritage for the project, which was announced in June.  

  • Canadian Heritage is investing an additional $65,000 in the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance through the Canada Arts Training Fund (CATF). The CATF provides financial support for the ongoing operations of Canadian arts organizations that specialize in training artists for professional national or international artistic careers, at the highest levels.

  • Lunenburg Academy, a National Historic Site, was completed in 1895 and opened for the 1895-1896 school year. It operated as a school until its closure in April 2012, at which point the building was turned over to the Town of Lunenburg.

  • The Town of Lunenburg, with support from the Lunenburg Academy Foundation, has repurposed the Academy into a community cultural centre and creative hub. Classrooms are rented to tenants in the arts and heritage sectors.

  • The Lunenburg Academy of Music and Performance provides emerging artists with a focused, multi-disciplinary environment where they can both explore and be exposed to new repertoire, performance styles and musical genres. It attracts prestigious talent from all over the world.

Associated links


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

Simon Ross
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Rachel Bailey
The Town of Lunenburg

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