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August 22, 2006
For immediate release

Funding to Help Roma at Three Rivers Attract More Visitors

Development and Technology

Tourists will have an even greater reason to visit eastern PEI thanks to the announcement today of federal and provincial funding for Roma at Three Rivers. This historical site brings to life the stories of the 18th century French settlers who established the first commercial enterprise on PEI in 1732.

Three Rivers Roma Inc. completed Phase I of development at the site in 2004, which introduced basic infrastructure and established the site as a tourism destination. The funding announced today represents Phase II and includes work on nature trails and landscaping, interpretive signage and the addition of a BBQ shelter with a period brick bread oven, decking, benches, a viewing tower, and expanded parking.

“This project is an example of all partners working together for the benefit of Eastern PEI,” said Bill Casey, Member of Parliament for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, Nova Scotia, on behalf of the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). “Roma at Three Rivers preserves the story of one of PEI’s earliest settlements, and these investments will help draw even more visitors to the site and the surrounding area.”

“The Government of Prince Edward Island is pleased to support a community-driven project that builds on the strengths of our province’s rich cultural history to grow our tourism product,” said the Honourable Pat Binns, Premier of Prince Edward Island. “Roma at Three Rivers pays tribute to the many positive contributions of the French settlers to our Island culture and our government is pleased to be a willing partner in its continued development."

“We’re thrilled with the public reaction to the site so far,” said Edgar Dewar, Chair of Three Rivers Roma Inc. Project Committee. “As Roma at Three Rivers develops, more people will come to appreciate the history of the site and how it is a symbol of true pioneering spirit and entrepreneurship. We want to make the history live so our visitors will experience it, not only read about it. Our group is grateful for the financial support we’ve received from both the Government of Canada and the Province of Prince Edward Island.”

The second phase of the project will be made possible with assistance from a number of partners. ACOA, through its Innovative Communities Fund, will contribute $329,000; Service Canada will provide $77,745 through the Canada/Prince Edward Island Labour Market Development Agreement, co-managed with the provincial Department of Development and Technology; and the Prince Edward Island Department of Development and Technology will contribute $40,000 through the Community Development Bureau.


History of the site:

The first large successful commercial business on PEI was established in1732 at Brudenell Point (Trois Rivières) by Jean Pierre Roma. Roma was director of a company of French merchants that had been deeded the land by the French Crown.

The site started modestly with 80 workers who cleared land, erected buildings, and farmed and fished. It soon became a busy trade centre for French interests in the region, and became part of a network which extended to Louisbourg, Quebec, France, and the West Indies. The settlement was destroyed by the English in 1745. In the early 1800’s, two Macdonald brothers established a store and built at least eight ships at the Point. Andrew Archibald MacDonald, one of the Fathers of Confederation, was born here. It was designated a National Historic Site in 1933.

About Three Rivers Roma Inc.:

Three Rivers Roma Inc. is a not-for-profit group established to develop the Three Rivers/Jean Pierre Roma Site. Its purpose is to make the site a popular destination for people interested in nature, archaeology, and history. It was incorporated in 2002 and is managed by a volunteer board of directors.

Media Contact: Dennis King
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