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November 20, 2013
For immediate release

New programming among reasons for big jump in museum attendance

Tourism and Culture

New programming combined with a record year for cruise ships led to a big increase in visitation at provincial museums in 2013, says Minister of Tourism and Culture Robert Henderson.

“Staff at the provincial museums work very hard to develop programming that not only reflects the Island’s heritage and culture, but also motivates Islanders and visitors alike to learn about the Island’s past by visiting our museums,” said Minister Henderson. “That new programming, combined with record cruise ship numbers led to a 23 percent increase in museum visitation in 2013. Staff in our museums deserve a lot of credit for the work they did this year to help increase visitation.”

The Basin Head Fisheries Museum saw the highest number of visitors of all provincial museums in 2013. More than 15,000 people visited that site over the summer, which contributed to a 27 percent increase compared to 2012. Both the Fisheries Museum and the Green Park Ship Building Museum celebrated their 40th anniversaries this year.

The Eptek Centre saw the biggest increase in visitation in 2013. Almost 11,000 people visited the museum in 2013 which accounted for a 35 percent increase over 2012. Officials credit a very popular rug hooking show as a major reason for the increase.

All other museums saw increases in visitation between eight and 34 percent compared to 2012. No museums saw decreased visitation.

“Increased cruise ship numbers certainly helped contribute to a 14 percent increase in visitation at Beaconsfield in Charlottetown, and having Basin Head beach named best beach in Canada went a long way toward improving numbers at both Basin Head and Elmira,” said Museum and Heritage Foundation Executive Director David Keenlyside. “But we’ve also worked very hard to develop programming that attracts Islanders and visitors alike who are interested in learning more about the Island’s history. That work will be on full display with new programming planned for 2014.”

For more information on the provincial museums, visit

Media Contact: Andrew Sprague
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