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July 10, 2013
For immediate release

Basin Head Fisheries Museum to celebrate its 40th anniversary

Tourism and Culture

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Thousands of Islanders and visitors have learned about the fishery on Prince Edward Island by visiting the Basin Head Fisheries Museum which turns 40 years old tomorrow, says Minister of Tourism and Culture Robert Henderson.

“The inshore and offshore fisheries were integral to the formation of this province, and they have served as an important part of the Island’s economy since the time of the earliest settlers, the Mi’kmaq,” said Minister Henderson. “The Basin Head Fisheries Museum gives us a detailed history of the fishery using exhibits, displays, artifacts and stories. I encourage all Islanders to join us for the celebration on July 11 from 1 to 5 p.m.”

The Basin Head Fisheries Museum opened in 1973, but the history of the port there goes back to the late 30s and early 40s when it was a busy commercial fishing port and cannery. The use of Basin Head as a port slowed as boats grew larger, and by the early 80s only a small number of dories still used the port. Now Basin Head is far better known as a museum and beach destination.

“The museum’s first curator Regan Paquet was an artist who built and displayed the collection as it increased to fill the three floors of the museum,” said Basin Head site director Anne Garrett. “Since then much has changed. Boat sheds were added to display larger artifacts and examples of different boats were added to the site. A box factory was built to make and sell replicas of boxes and baskets used to pack and store fish and other items.”

The old cannery also became part of the expansion with aquariums and various exhibits. In 1995-96 a huge renovation was completed on site which included the addition of a board walk, a restaurant, gift shops, a gazebo and a playground.

Islanders and visitors alike are invited to join the 40th anniversary celebrations at the museum tomorrow, July 11, beginning at 1 p.m. There will be an open house, refreshments and entertainment until about 5 p.m. It will be a great opportunity to see how the museum has grown over the years and to celebrate everything the museum has done to preserve the history of the fishery on Prince Edward Island.

Media Contact: Andrew Sprague
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