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Restoring 120 Years of History

Lunenburg Academy “Repurposes” with Interior Upgrades

February 12, 2015 – Lunenburg, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Since its establishment in 1895, the Lunenburg Academy has remained one of the Town of Lunenburg’s most treasured structures. Funding for new interior upgrades, announced today, will enable the Town of Lunenburg to quickly act on an opportunity to repurpose the Academy, an 18,000 square foot heritage building, into a revenue-generating multi-purpose facility.

Locally known as the “Castle on the Hill,” the Lunenburg Academy is a designated national historic site, a popular tourist stop and a prominent landmark within the Town of Lunenburg. In its day, the Academy was considered state-of-the art and many of the interior aspects remain unchanged. In the spring of 2012, the Academy stopped operating as a public school and the Town of Lunenburg assumed full responsibility for operating, maintaining and sustaining the building.

The conversion of this iconic heritage asset will enable the Town of Lunenburg to enhance local tourism, offer opportunities to develop a cluster of culture-related businesses and organizations, and preserve and strengthen a key piece of community heritage and infrastructure. Through necessary interior infrastructure upgrades, such as electrical and plumbing upgrades, and the provision of new washroom facilities, this project will lead to sustainable and viable economic activity. The proposed upgrades include conversion of the interior space into offices for business and community tenants, a heritage experiential classroom, and venues for community events.

The Government of Canada is contributing $420,000 toward the project, through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund (ICF). Additional support includes $180,000 from the Town of Lunenburg and $150,000 from the Lunenburg Academy Foundation. In April of last year, the restoration process started with much-needed exterior repairs of the building, when the Government of Canada approved a total of $64,823 through the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF).

Quick Facts:

• The Lunenburg Academy was designed by H.H. Mott, a well-known architect from Saint John, NB.
• The construction of the Lunenburg Academy began in the fall of 1894 and cost $30,000 to complete. The Academy opened its doors to over 650 students on November 7, 1895.
• The Academy was the first structure in Lunenburg to be recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada.
• It is the only 19th century Academy building still intact in Nova Scotia.
• Currently, the venue is home to the Lunenburg Academy of Music and Performance (LAMP). As a music education program for graduates of music, the organization attracts prestigious talent from all over the world.
• In 1995, the Town of Lunenburg was recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site.

Quotes :

“Built during the Victorian era in the eclectic tradition, the Lunenburg Academy is the only building of its kind in Nova Scotia. Preserving this architectural treasure and converting it to an active mixed-use building demonstrates the value the Town of Lunenburg and the Lunenburg Academy Foundation place on built heritage. Through this initiative, our Government is pleased to support the Town in its vision to repurpose the Academy, ensuring it remains a functional and prominent landmark for visitors and residents alike.

     - Gerald Keddy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture, to the Minister of National Revenue and for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Member of Parliament for South Shore-St. Margaret’s, on behalf of the Honourable Rob Moore, Minister of State (ACOA)

“With today’s funding announcement the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency has demonstrated an understanding of the remarkable opportunity for local economic development resulting from the successful repurposing of the Lunenburg Academy.  Along with funding from the Lunenburg Academy Foundation and the Town of Lunenburg, ACOA’s investment will see the Academy attain a new significance for the Town while growing the regional economy.”

     - Rachel Bailey, Mayor, the Town of Lunenburg

Related Products:

• We’ve Got It Covered: Extensive repairs completed to the Lunenburg Academy (ACOA News Release, 2014)

Associated Links:

• The Town of Lunenburg
• The Lunenburg Academy
• The Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (LAMP)


Kelsie Corey
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Alex Smith
Director, Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-426-9417 / 902-448-2748 (cell)

Rachel Bailey
The Town of Lunenburg