Nova Scotia

3.3795761079202 (2076)
Posted by r2d2 03/19/2009 @ 12:16

Tags : nova scotia, counties, canada, world

News headlines
The Nova Scotia election has spawned political ads with a call to get rid of the eight per cent tax on basic electricity. In my opinion, this suggestion is contrary to what is required. A tax on energy (especially on electricity in this province,...
Nova Scotia health officials said the toll-free information line for the public on the H1N1 virus is now a voice recording. No new cases of the influenza, initially known as swine flu, were confirmed in the province on Friday. The total number of cases...
Florida Panthers Ottawa Senators To Play Pre-Season Game In Nova ... - Bleacher Report
The Nova Scotia area is not unfamiliar to either team. Ottawa has played seven exhibition games in the maritime province (six in Halifax and one in Truro). One of those games was against the Panthers in 2002 and ended in a 2-2 tie....
Liberals promise February holiday -
"This will be a day for Nova Scotians to celebrate time spent with friends and family, and to enjoy living in Nova Scotia. This day off is in recognition that we all need help building that healthy balance between work and family," he said Friday while...
Tiger Woods to play charity event in Nova Scotia: source -
By Tom Harrington CBC Sports Tiger Woods is gearing up for the US Open in June. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images) He hasn't played the Canadian Open for seven years running, but Tiger Woods will be in Canada next month — on the prowl for charity....
Itineraries of the Nova Scotia party leaders in the 2009 election - The Canadian Press
HALIFAX, NS — Itineraries of the Nova Scotia party leaders for weekend of May 16-17: Stephen McNeil, Liberal party Saturday: IONA: Campaign with Victoria the Lakes candidate Gerald Sampson, 9:15 am DOMINION: Campaign with Cape Breton Centre candidate...
Adults need kindness as much as babies do -
EVEN WAY out here in Fort McMurray I can still feel the benefits of a Nova Scotia upbringing. I mentioned in my column last month that we had a tough time with our foster baby due to some medical issues, and had to spend most of a month in Edmonton at...
Itineraries of the Nova Scotia party leaders in the 2009 election - The Canadian Press
HALIFAX, NS — Itineraries of the Nova Scotia party leaders for Fri., May 15: Darrell Dexter, New Democratic Party BARRINGTON PASSAGE: Meet and greet with Shelburne candidate Sterling Belliveau Bay Side Home 96 Bay Side Dr, Barrington Passage 1:00 pm...
Provincial election delays contract talks with NS school boards -
Several Nova Scotia school boards have been forced to postpone or cancel collective bargaining with their employees because their funding has not yet been determined by the provincial government. Provincial school boards had expected to receive money...
Cattle farmers have beef with politicians -
By GORDON DELANEY Valley Bureau Political parties in the upcoming election are being asked to step up to the "auction block" with their vision for the future of Nova Scotia's beef producers. The cattle producers' annual sale day will take on a new...

Nova Scotia

Map of Canada with Nova Scotia highlighted

Nova Scotia (IPA: /ˌnəʊvəˈskəʊʃə/) (Latin for New Scotland; Scottish Gaelic: Alba Nuadh; French: Nouvelle-Écosse) is a Canadian province located on Canada's southeastern coast. It is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. Its capital, Halifax, is a major economic centre of the region. Nova Scotia is the second smallest province in Canada with an area of 55,284 km². Its population of 938,310 makes it the fourth least populous province of the country, though second most densely populated.

Nova Scotia's economy is traditionally largely resource-based, but has diversified since the middle of the 20th century. Industries such as fishing, mining, forestry and agriculture remain very important and have been joined by tourism, technology, film, music, and finance.

The province includes several regions of the Mi'kmaq nation of Mi'gma'gi, which covered all of the Maritimes, as well as parts of Maine, Newfoundland and the Gaspé Peninsula. Nova Scotia was already home to the Mi'kmaq people when the first European colonists arrived. In 1604, French colonists established the first permanent European settlement north of Florida at Port Royal, founding what would become known as Acadia. The British Empire obtained control of the region between 1713 and 1760, and established a new capital at Halifax in 1749. In 1867 Nova Scotia was one of the founding provinces of the Canadian Confederation, along with New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada (which became the separate provinces of Quebec and Ontario).

The province's mainland is the Nova Scotia peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, including numerous bays and estuaries. Nowhere in Nova Scotia is more than 67 km (40 mi) from the ocean. Cape Breton Island, a large island to the northeast of the Nova Scotia mainland, is also part of the province, as is Sable Island, a small island notorious for its shipwrecks, approximately 175 km (109 mi) from the province's southern coast. Nova Scotia is Canada's second smallest province in area (after Prince Edward Island). Nova Scotia is also Canada's most southern-centered province even though it does not have the most southern location in Canada, which is in Ontario. Because part of Ontario stretches far to the north, Ontario's centre is further north than Nova Scotia's.

Nova Scotia lies in the mid temperate zone and, although the province is almost surrounded by water, the climate is closer to continental rather than maritime. The temperature extremes of the continental climate are moderated by the ocean.

Described on the provincial vehicle licence plate as Canada's Ocean Playground, the sea is a major influence on Nova Scotia's climate. Nova Scotia is known to have cold winters and warm summers. The province is surrounded by three major bodies of water, the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to the north, the Bay of Fundy to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south and east.

Rainfall varies from 140 centimetres (55 in) in the south to 100 centimetres (40 in) elsewhere. Nova Scotia is also very foggy in places, with Halifax averaging 196 foggy days per year and Yarmouth 191.

Because Nova Scotia juts out into the Atlantic, it is prone to tropical storms and hurricanes in the summer and autumn. There have been 33 such storms, including 12 hurricanes, since records were kept in 1871—about once every four years. The last hurricane was category-one Hurricane Kyle in September 2008, and the last tropical storm was Tropical Storm Noel in 2007.

Paleo-Indians camped at locations in present-day Nova Scotia approximately 11,000 years ago. Native are believed to have been present in the area between 1,000 and 5,000 years ago. Mi'kmaq, the First Nations of the province and region, are their direct descendants.

It is most widely believed that the Italian explorer John Cabot visited present-day Cape Breton in 1497. The first European settlement in Nova Scotia was established more than a century later in 1604. The French, led by Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts established the first capital for the colony Acadia at Port Royal that year at the head of the Annapolis Basin. Also, French fishermen established a settlement at Canso the same year.

In 1620, the Plymouth Council for New England, under King James I (of England) & VI (of Scots) designated the whole shorelines of Acadia and the Mid-Atlantic colonies south to the Chesapeake Bay as New England. The first documented Scottish settlement in the Americas was of Nova Scotia in 1621. On 29 September 1621, the charter for the foundation of a colony was granted by James VI to William Alexander, 1st Earl of Stirling and, in 1622, the first settlers left Scotland. This settlement initially failed because of difficulties in obtaining a sufficient number of skilled emigrants, and in 1624 James VI created a new order of baronets. Admission to this order was obtained by sending six labourers or artisans, sufficiently armed, dressed and supplied for two years, to Nova Scotia, or by paying 3,000 merks to William Alexander. For six months, no one took up this offer until James compelled one to make the first move.

In 1627, there was a wider uptake of baronetcies and thus more settlers available to go to Nova Scotia. However, in 1627, war broke out between England and France, and the French re-established a settlement at Port Royal which they had originally settled. Later that year, a combined Scottish and English force destroyed the French settlement, forcing them out. In 1629, the first Scottish settlement at Port Royal was inhabited. The colony's charter, in law, made Nova Scotia (defined as all land between Newfoundland and New England) a part of mainland Scotland; this was later used to get around the English navigation acts. However, this did not last long: in 1631, under King Charles I, the Treaty of Suza was signed which returned Nova Scotia to the French. The Scots were forced by Charles to abandon their mission before their colony had been properly established, and the French assumed control of the Mi'kmaq and other First Nations territory.

In 1654, King Louis XIV of France appointed aristocrat Nicholas Denys as Governor of Acadia and granted him the confiscated lands and the right to all its minerals. English colonists captured Acadia in the course of King William's War, but England returned the territory to France in the Treaty of Ryswick at the end of the war. The territory was recaptured by forces loyal to Britain during the course of Queen Anne's War, and its conquest was confirmed by the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713. France retained possession of Île St Jean (Prince Edward Island) and Île Royale (Cape Breton Island), on which it established a fortress at Louisbourg to guard the sea approaches to Quebec. This fortress was captured by American colonial forces, then returned by the British to France, then ceded again after the French and Indian War of 1755.

Thus mainland Nova Scotia became a British colony in 1713, although Samuel Vetch had a precarious hold on the territory as governor from the fall of Acadian Port-Royal (Annapolis Royal) in October 1710. British governing officials became increasingly concerned over the unwillingness of the French-speaking, Roman Catholic Acadians, who were the majority of colonists, to pledge allegiance to the British Crown, then George II. The colony remained mostly Acadian despite the establishment of Halifax as the province's capital, and the settlement of a large number of foreign Protestants (some French and Swiss but mostly German) at Lunenburg in 1753. In 1755, the British forcibly expelled over 12,000 Acadians in what became known as the Grand Dérangement, or Great Expulsion.

At the same time the British Crown began bestowing land grants in Nova Scotia on favored subjects to encourage settlement and trade with the mother country. In June 1764, for instance, the Boards of Trade requested the King make massive land grants to such Royal favorites as Thomas Pownall, Richard Oswald, Humphry Bradstreet, John Wentworth, Thomas Thoroton and Lincoln's Inn barrister Levett Blackborne. Two years later, in 1766, at a gathering at the home of Levett Blackborne, an adviser to the Duke of Rutland, Oswald and his friend James Grant were released from their Nova Scotia properties so they could concentrate on their grants in British East Florida.

The colony's jurisdiction changed during this time. Nova Scotia was granted a supreme court in 1754 with the appointment of Jonathan Belcher and a Legislative Assembly in 1758. In 1763 Cape Breton Island became part of Nova Scotia. In 1769, St. John's Island (now Prince Edward Island) became a separate colony. The county of Sunbury was created in 1765, and included all of the territory of current day New Brunswick and eastern Maine as far as the Penobscot River. In 1784 the western, mainland portion of the colony was separated and became the province of New Brunswick, and the territory in Maine entered the control of the newly independent American state of Massachusetts. Cape Breton became a separate colony in 1784 only to be returned to Nova Scotia in 1820.

Ancestors of more than half of present-day Nova Scotians arrived in the period following the Acadian Expulsion. Between 1759 and 1768, about 8,000 New England Planters responded to Governor Charles Lawrence's request for settlers from the New England colonies. Several years later, approximately 30,000 United Empire Loyalists (American Tories) settled in Nova Scotia (when it comprised present-day Maritime Canada) following the defeat of the British in the American Revolutionary War. Of these 30,000, 14,000 went to New Brunswick and 16,000 went to Nova Scotia. Approximately 3,000 of this group were Black Loyalists, about a third of whom soon relocated themselves to Sierra Leone in 1792 via the Committee for the Relief of the Black Poor, becoming the Original settlers of Freetown. Large numbers of Gaelic-speaking Highland Scots emigrated to Cape Breton and the western part of the mainland during the late 18th century and 19th century. About one thousand Ulster Scots settled in mainly central Nova Scotia during this time, as did just over a thousand farming migrants from Yorkshire and Northumberland between 1772 and 1775.

Nova Scotia was the first colony in British North America and in the British Empire to achieve responsible government in January-February 1848 and become self-governing through the efforts of Joseph Howe. Pro-Confederate premier Charles Tupper led Nova Scotia into the Canadian Confederation in 1867, along with New Brunswick and the Province of Canada.

A motion passed by the Nova Scotia House of Assembly in 1868 refusing to recognise the legitimacy of Confederation has never been rescinded. Repeal, as anti-confederation became known, would rear its head again in the 1880s, and transform into the Maritime Rights Movement in the 1920s. Some Nova Scotia flags flew at half mast on Dominion Day as late as that time.

In addition, there were also 105 responses of both English and a 'non-official language'; 25 of both French and a 'non-official language'; 495 of both English and French; 10 of English, French, and a 'non-official language'; and about 10,300 people who either did not respond to the question, or reported multiple non-official languages, or else gave some other unenumerated response. Figures shown are for the number of single language responses and the percentage of total single-language responses.

The largest denominations by number of adherents according to the 2001 census were the Roman Catholic Church with 327,940 (37 %); the United Church of Canada with 142,520 (16 %); and the Anglican Church of Canada with 120,315 (13 %).

Nova Scotia's traditionally resource-based economy has become more diverse in recent decades. The rise of Nova Scotia as a viable jurisdiction in North America was driven by the ready availability of natural resources, especially the fish stocks off the Scotian shelf. The fishery was pillar of the economy since its development as part of the economy of New France in the 17th century. However, the fishery suffered a sharp decline due to overfishing in the late twentieth century. The collapse of the cod stocks and the closure of this sector resulted in a loss of approximately 20,000 jobs in 1992. Per capita GDP in 2005 was $31,344, lower than the national average per capita GDP of $34,273 and less than half that of Canada's richest province, Alberta.

Due, in part, to a strong small business sector, Nova Scotia now has one of the fastest growing economies in Canada. Small business makes up 92.2% of the provincial economy. Mining, especially of gypsum, salt and barite, is also a significant sector. Since 1991, offshore oil and gas has become an increasingly important part of the economy. Agriculture remains an important sector in the province. In the central part of Nova Scotia, lumber and paper industries are responsible for much of the employment opportunities. Nova Scotia’s defence and aerospace sector generates approximately $500 million in revenues and contributes about $1.5 billion to the provincial economy annually. Nova Scotia has the 4th largest film industry in Canada hosting over 100 productions yearly, more than half of which are the products of international film and television producers.

The Nova Scotia tourism industry includes more than 6,500 direct businesses, supporting nearly 40,000 jobs. 200,000 cruise ship passengers from around the world flow through the Port of Halifax, Nova Scotia each year. Halifax ranks among the top five most cost-effective places to do business when compared to large international centres in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

The government of Nova Scotia is a parliamentary democracy. Its unicameral legislature, the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, consists of fifty-two members. As Canada's head of state, Queen Elizabeth II is the head of Nova Scotia's Executive Council, which serves as the Cabinet of the provincial government. Her Majesty's duties in Nova Scotia are carried out by her representative, the Lieutenant-Governor, currently Mayann E. Francis. The government is headed by the Premier, Rodney MacDonald, who took office February 22, 2006. Halifax is home to the House of Assembly and Lieutenant-Governor.

The province's revenue comes mainly from the taxation of personal and corporate income, although taxes on tobacco and alcohol, its stake in the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, and oil and gas royalties are also significant. In 2006-07, the Province passed a budget of $6.9 billion, with a projected $72 million surplus. Federal equalization payments account for $1.385 billion, or 20.07% of the provincial revenue. While Nova Scotians have enjoyed balanced budgets for several years, the accumulated debt exceeds $12 billion (including forecasts of future liability, such as pensions and environmental cleanups), resulting in slightly over $897 million in debt servicing payments, or 12.67% of expenses. The province participates in the HST, a blended sales tax collected by the federal government using the GST tax system.

Nova Scotia has elected three minority governments over the last decade. The Progressive Conservative government of John Hamm, and now Rodney MacDonald, has required the support of the New Democratic Party or Liberal Party since the election in 2003. Nova Scotia's politics are divided on regional lines in such a way that it has become difficult to elect a majority government. Rural mainland Nova Scotia has largely been aligned behind the Progressive Conservative Party, Halifax Regional Municipality has overwhelmingly supported the New Democrats, with Cape Breton voting for Liberals with a few Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats. This has resulted in a three-way split of votes on a province-wide basis for each party and difficulty in any party gaining a majority. Progressive Conservative Premier Dr. Hamm announced his retirement in late 2005 and was replaced by Rodney MacDonald after MacDonald won a closely contested leadership convention, defeating former finance minister, and the race's frontrunner, Neil LeBlanc on the first ballot and Halifax businessman Bill Black on the second. MacDonald is the second youngest premier in Nova Scotia's history.

The last election on June 13, 2006 elected 23 Progressive Conservatives, 20 New Democrats and 9 Liberals, leaving Nova Scotia with a Progressive Conservative minority government.

Nova Scotia no longer has any incorporated cities; they were amalgamated into Regional Municipalities in 1996. Halifax, the provincial capital, is now part of the Halifax Regional Municipality, as is Dartmouth, formerly the province's second largest city. The former city of Sydney is now part of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

The House of Assembly passed a motion in 2004 inviting the Turks and Caicos Islands to join the province, should these Caribbean islands renew their wish to join Canada.

The Minister of Education is responsible for the administration and delivery of education, as defined by the Education Act and other acts relating to colleges, universities and private schools. The powers of the Minister and the Department of Education are defined by the Ministerial regulations and constrained by the Governor-In-Council regulations.

Nova Scotia has more than 450 public schools for children. The public system offers primary to Grade 12. There are also some private schools in the province. Public education is administered by seven regional school boards, responsible primarily for English instruction and French immersion, and also province wide by the Conseil Scolaire Acadien Provincial, which administer French instruction to students for whom the primary language is French.

The Nova Scotia Community College system has 13 campuses around the province. The community college, with its focus on training and education, was established in 1988 by amalgamating the province's former vocational schools.

The province has 12 universities and colleges, including Dalhousie University, University of King's College, Saint Mary's University (Halifax), Mount Saint Vincent University, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Acadia University, Université Sainte-Anne, Saint Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Cape Breton University, and the Atlantic School of Theology.

Despite the small population of the province, Nova Scotia's music and culture is influenced by several well established cultural groups, that are sometimes referred to as the "founding cultures".

Originally populated by the Mi'kmaq First Nation, the first European settlers were the French, who founded Acadia in 1604. Nova Scotia was briefly colonized by Scottish settlers in 1620, though by 1624 the Scottish settlers had been removed by treaty and the area was turned over to the French until the mid-18th century. After the defeat of the French and prior expulsion of the Acadians, settlers of English, Irish, Scottish and African descent began arriving on the shores of Nova Scotia.

Settlement was greatly accelerated by the resettlement of Loyalists in Nova Scotia during the period following the end of the American Revolutionary War. It was during this time that a large African Nova Scotian community took root, populated by freed slaves and Loyalist blacks and their families, who had fought for the crown in exchange for land. This community later grew when the Royal Navy began intercepting slave ships destined for the United States, and deposited these free slaves on the shores of Nova Scotia.

Later, in the 19th century the Irish Famine and, especially, the Scottish Highland Clearances resulted in large influxes of migrants with Celtic cultural roots, which helped to define the dominantly Celtic character of Cape Breton and the north mainland of the province. This Gaelic influence continues to play an important role in defining the cultural life of the province and around 500 - 2000 Nova Scotians today are fluent in Scottish Gaelic. Nearly all live in Antigonish County or on Cape Breton Island.

Modern Nova Scotia is a mix of many cultures. The government works to support Mi'kmaq, French, Gaelic and African-Nova Scotian culture through the establishment of government secretariats, as well as colleges, educational programs and cultural centres. The Province is also eager to attract new immigrants, but has had limited success. The major population centres at Halifax and Sydney are the most cosmopolitan, hosting large Arab populations (in the former) and Eastern European populations (in the latter). Halifax Regional Municipality hosts a yearly multicultural festival.

Nova Scotia has long been a centre for artistic and cultural excellence. Halifax has emerged as the leading cultural centre in the Atlantic region. The city hosts such institutions such as NSCAD University, one of Canada's leading art, craft and design colleges, and the Symphony Nova Scotia, the only full orchestra performing in Atlantic Canada. The province is home to avant-garde visual art and traditional crafting, writing and publishing, and a film industry.

Nova Scotia is arguably best known for its music. While popular music from many genres has experienced almost two decades of explosive growth and success in Nova Scotia, the province remains best known for its folk and traditional based music. Nova Scotia's traditional (or folk) music is Scottish in character, and traditions from Scotland are kept true to form, in some cases more so than in Scotland. This is especially true of the island of Cape Breton, one of the major international centres for Celtic music.

On mainland Nova Scotia, particularly in some of the rural villages throughout Guysborough County, Irish influenced styles of music are commonly played, due to the predominance of Irish culture in many of the county's villages.

1 1975 is the date of East Timor's Declaration of Independence and subsequent invasion by Indonesia. In 2002, the independence of East Timor was recognized by Portugal and the rest of the world.

To the top

Pictou County, Nova Scotia

Location of Pictou County, Nova Scotia

Pictou County is a county in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. It was established in 1835, and was formerly a part of Halifax County from 1759 to 1835. It had a population of 46,965 people in 2006, which represents a decline of 5.1 percent from 1991. It is the sixth most populous county in Nova Scotia.

The origin of the name "Pictou" is obscure. Possible Mi'kmaq derivations include "Piktook" meaning an explosion of gas, and "Bucto" meaning fire, possibly related to the coal fields in the area. It might also be a corruption of Poictou, an old province in France. Nicolas Denys named the harbour La riviere de Pictou in the 1660s.

Pictou County includes the towns of New Glasgow, Stellarton, Pictou, Westville and Trenton. The Municipality of Pictou County serves the remaining rural areas, including Pictou Island. Amalgamation of these six municipal units is occasionally considered.

Pictou Landing First Nation hass reserves at Pictou Landing, Fisher's Grant and Merigomish Harbour.

Pictou County District Planning Commission provides planning, development and waste disposal services to all the communities in the county.

Pictou County is wholly within the federal electoral district of Central Nova. It is divided into three provincial electoral districts.

Pictou County has been represented federally by Conservative MP's since 1957, with the exception of 1993-1997 when a Liberal MP was elected. It is currently part of the the Central Nova electoral district. In the Nova Scotia Legislature, the county is represented by one Progressive Conservative and two NDP MLAs.

Resource based industries include coal mining, forestry, fishing and agriculture. Manufacturing industries include Michelin Tire, Northern Pulp and Scotsburn Dairy. Convergys Inc operate a call center in New Glasgow. Tourism is an important part of the economy during the summer, and in 2006 employed 1200 people and brought 45 million dollar to the economy. Railcar manufacturers Trenton Works was closed in 2007 when owners Greenbrier moved production to Mexico. There are 2,400 small and medium-sized businesses that collectively generate more than 15,000 jobs.

Pictou Regional Development Commission is a partnership of the municipalities in Pictou County that works to stimulate business growth, build economic infrastructure and carry out community strategic planning. Pictou County Chamber of Commerce is a business advocacy group that speaks as a united voice on behalf of the business community.

Two highways designated as part of the national Trans-Canada Highway system provide the only controlled-access roads in the county. They are Highway 104, which traverses the county from west to east, and Highway 106 the short north-south spur to the Northumberland Ferries Limited terminal at Caribou.

The Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway is a freight line connecting Truro to Sydney, with spurs at Stellarton and Trenton serving local industries such as Trenton Generating Station. VIA Rail Canada abandoned passenger rail service in the county on January 15, 1990 following nation-wide budget cuts.

Acadian Lines provide motor coach service to New Glasgow, Sutherland River and Barney's River.

Northumberland Ferries Limited operates a seasonal passenger-vehicle ferry service from Caribou, Nova Scotia to Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island. A separate passenger-only ferry service is also operated seasonally from Caribou to Pictou Island.

Trenton Airport is a private commercial airport owned and operated by Sobeys.

Pictou County is served by the daily newspaper The News and the weekly newspaper The Advocate. The only locally based radio station is CKEC-FM, but stations in other counties and Prince Edward Island also provide coverage.

There are two performance spaces in the county, the DeCoste Centre in Pictou and Glasgow Square in New Glasgow. Read By The Sea is an annual one day literary festival held in River John. The Hector Festival in Pictou each summer is a celebration of the county's Scottish heritage. Many of the towns and villages host their own parades and events throughout the year.

Museums include the Northumberland Fisheries Museum in Pictou and the Museum of Industry in Stellarton.

There are claims by a Johnston family of Pictou, Nova Scotia that the Mad Trapper of Rat River was Owen Albert Johnston from Pictou County.

For a list of communities in Pictou County, see List of communities.

To the top

Geography of Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is a province located in eastern Canada fronting the Atlantic Ocean. One of the Maritime Provinces, Nova Scotia's geography is complex, despite its relatively small size in comparison to other Canadian provinces in the central and western portions of the country.

The province is defined by its ocean coast which delineates the peninsular mainland portion (attached to North America through the Isthmus of Chignecto) and various offshore islands, the largest of which is Cape Breton Island, forming the bulk of the eastern part of the province.

The geological history of the province spans from more than 1.2 billion years, defined by key events, including continental drift (the southern half of the province's mainland portion was once attached to Africa whereas the northern half, including Cape Breton Island, was once attached to Scandinavia and Scotland), glaciation, and sea level rise. Numerous hills, several low mountain ranges (the entire province is located within the Appalachian Mountains), lush river valleys, lakes and forests, windswept barrens, and a varied sea coast ranging from extremely rugged to broad sand beaches, can be attributed to these forces.

Nova Scotia has a great variety of coastal landforms. Most of the land in Nova Scotia is bedrock. As a result of erosion and transportation of unconsolidated material, landforms such as beaches and marshes are being formed. Unfortunately these deposits are being eroded and/or flooded by the rising sea level. Nova Scotia during the Quaternary Period has had an overwhelming effect upon the landscapes of Glaciations. These glacial deposits can vary thickness and form, in some they are up to 300 meters thick. The glaciers abraded and plucked at the bedrock during its advances across the country this is how the deposits were created.

Nova Scotia forms part of the southern shores of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and its sub-basin, the Northumberland Strait. The Cabot Strait lies north and east of Cape Breton Island. The main part of the Bay of Fundy lies off its northwestern shore, although large sub-basins including the Cumberland Basin, the Minas Basin and Cobequid Bay create major indentations into its coastline. The Gulf of Maine (of which the Bay of Fundy is a component) lies off the western shore. The South Shore and Eastern Shore, as well as the southern and eastern parts of Cape Breton Island constitute a pelagic coast, fronting the open Atlantic Ocean.

The Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia has numerous offshore fishing banks which are submerged sections of the continental shelf which were once attached to the mainland portion of the province. Rising sea levels since glaciation have inundated many parts of the coastline, including these areas on the continental shelf, providing rich habitat for marine life, as well as defining unique nearshore features such as various coastal islands, bays, harbours and the Bras d'Or Lake - an 1100 km² estuary that defines the central portion of Cape Breton Island.

Initially, settlement patterns in Nova Scotia were defined by water transportation routes for the Maritime Archaeic Indian civilization, followed by their descendants, the Mi'kmaq Nation who used nearshore coastal waters for seasonal marine fishing and rivers and lakes for freshwater fishing and hunting of land mammals.

European discovery during the 2nd millennium resulted in settlement by this civilization in protected natural harbours and along shorelines where convenient trade routes for sailing ships provided reliable transportation to markets in Europe, New England and the Caribbean. European settlers brought industrial fishing technologies and introduced large-scale forestry to sustain settlement construction and shipbuilding activities.

Wars between European military powers, notably Britain and France, resulted in various territorial claims and numerous defense works established along Nova Scotia's coastal settlements and inland trade routes. A French settlement at Port-Royal is currently the second longest "continuously occupied" European settlement in North America (after St. Augustine, Florida). The largest of these defensive installations was a French military fortified port at Louisbourg harbour on Cape Breton Island. The fortified military port of Halifax on Halifax Harbour was similarly founded to counter Louisbourg's presence.

Originally part of Acadia, after the French settlement in the Annapolis Valley at Port-Royal and various areas throughout the region, the territory fluctuated for several decades through competing claims from Scotland (under Sir William Alexander who gave the territory the name "Nova Scotia" in honour of his homeland) and England. France relinquished "Acadia" in 1713 under the Treaty of Utrecht, however boundaries were not delineated, thus Britain only gained control of present-day peninsular Nova Scotia, which was also termed the Acadian Peninsula at that time. Britain's colonial capital was established at Annapolis Royal, while France maintained control of Cape Breton Island (called Ile-Royale). French control of Ile-Royale fell to Britain for several years during the 1740s but was returned to France before the entire remaining French territory of Acadia and New France fell permanently to Britain during the Seven Years' War. The colonial capital was transferred from Annapolis Royal to Halifax in 1749 upon the establishment of that community.

Under British control, Acadian farming settlements that had been abandoned under the Great Upheaval were populated by decommissioning soldiers and settlers brought from New England. Foreign Protestants were actively recruited to settle Nova Scotia (which included present-day New Brunswick) as the Empire's "Fourteenth Colony" in America. The immense presence of the Royal Navy and British Army in the colony largely contributed to stability that saw the colony remain loyal during the American Revolutionary War. Following the war in 1784, Britain created the colony of New Brunswick to accommodate Loyalist refugees from the seceding American colonies. Cape Breton Island was also created as a separate colony, leaving Nova Scotia to its mainland peninsula once again. In 1820, the colony of Cape Breton Island was permanently folded back into Nova Scotia, resulting in the present-day provincial territory.

Terrestrial transportation networks in the form of canals (the Shubenacadie Canal) and later railways (the Nova Scotia Railway, followed by the Intercolonial Railway, the Dominion Atlantic Railway, the Halifax and Southwestern Railway and the Sydney and Louisburg Railway, contributed to a growing trend toward urbanization in the colony and province (following its entry into Confederation in 1867). Settlement patterns concentrated around major industrial towns and port communities.

Motor vehicle usage in the 20th century led to highway development and suburban sprawl around larger centres.

Traditionally, Nova Scotia's economy has been defined on natural resources in the primary sector, namely marine fisheries, mining (coal, gypsum, iron ore and gold), and forestry.

The economy has been undergoing a slow transition to a post-industrial service-oriented structure in recent decades.

Cape Breton Island is notable for its mining industry. When explorers and settlers arrived here in the 14th and 15th centuries, they were focused on the coal, which was discovered in rocks and cliffs. Coal was once used to heat houses and factories, used by blacksmiths to melt iron and later for train engines to produce steam to run the trains. However, it is not used as often because of the pollution it creates, causing mines to be are shut down. Despite this, Nova Scotia still gets most of its electricity from coal, most of which is imported. Some of Cape Breton's mines have been turned into tourist attractions (museums) and retired miners take people on tours of old mines.

Northumberland Strait between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island is 320 km (199 mi) long and approximately 14 to 50 km (9 to 31 mi) wide. The shoreline varies from sandstone and sand beaches in the west to granite rocky beaches in the east. The strait's fishing industry is currently in a decline of undetermined cause, however lobster remains a commonly-sought species.

The areas north of the Minas Basin contain extensive coal seams, with numerous mines in production since 1758, following the discovery of this mineral by The Reverend Dr. James MacGregor. There have been several disasters resulting in coal miners being injured or killed, the most famous being the Springhill Mining Disaster and the most recent being the Westray Mine Disaster.

Gypsum mining is an industry in central Nova Scotia south of the Minas Basin. Gypsum is processed into drywall which is used as a wall covering in building construction. Gypsum, ground up like powder and mixed with water, creates plaster. Crumbled up, gypsum is added to clay dirt to make it drain better and grow better crops.

Travelling from Dartmouth, to Cape Breton there are no large towns, only small villages and settlements. .

Places to visit include the Fisherman's Life Museum in Jeddore Oyster Ponds. The decline in the fishery has meant an outflow of people to larger urban areas, and other fishing villages in the province. Sheet Harbor with 900 people is the largest community.

There is fishing for trout, and Atlantic salmon serves as sport in rivers along the coast. At Eastern Passage there is a Fishermen's Village tourist attraction with a few stores.

In the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia the forests grow close to the water. A saw mill was constructed in about 1786. Since then, various saw mills were built and made lumber until big companies bought them. In 1971, Scott Paper had a big mill which was destroyed by Hurricane Beth. It would never open again since there was a huge mill in Pictou County.

Lunenburg's population is about 48,000 and about 6000 people are Acadian, and many others are related to the first German settlers. It is well known for its shipbuilding industry. . The well-known Bluenose was built here. Fishing is important also. For example, Highliner Foods that sells lots of frozen fish in supermarkets is in Lunenburg. It is now becoming well known for its tourism.

Mahone Bay has three churches — Trinity United, St. John Lutheran and St. James Anglican — which have marked its fame. Those three churches have stood by the head of the harbour for over one hundred years and remain in suitable condition. The word "Mahone" derives from "Mahonne". This in French were private ships that sailed by the shore of the Mahonne Bay.

Oak Island is also in Mahonne, which is not very big, but is believed to have treasures buried in it.

Peggys Cove is a small community known for its rocky shore and lighthouses, one of which serves as a Canada Post office during the summer. It is also the location of the Swissair Flight 111 memorial and a sculpture by resident William E. deGarthe which serves as a monument to Nova Scotian fishermen.

For Nova Scotia, mining has been historically important. Coal was extracted principally in the Sydney–Glace Bay area of Cape Breton Island, until mines were closed in 2001. Salt, Barite, and Gypsum are what is mined. The decrease in mining has caused a shift in focus to fishing in Nova Scotia. Fleet is operated on the continental shift, especially on the Grand Banks, and further out to sea. Although, years of various fishing have led to setbacks in production. Now, Lobster, scallops, and haddock are the biggest catches. As well, offshore deposits of natural gas have begun being exploited. Inland, forests yield spruce lumber and the province's industries produce much pulp and paper.

In the northwest, there lies dairying, which is the most important sector of Nova Scotia's agricultural economy. In addition, the region of Annapolis and Cornwallis contains fresh apple orchards. There also is significant grain, hay, fruit, and vegetable crops. The bay lowlands, which were reclaimed by dikes in the 17th century, are very productive.

Manufacturing is the largest sector in Nova Scotia's economy.Iron and steel are produced in Sydney. Also there is food processing (especially in fish), automobiles, tires, sugar, and construction materials. Halifax is a railroad terminus, as well as a year-round port. There are both hydroelectric and tidal (which is located at Annapolis Royal) power-generating plants. Coast, countryside, and historical sites are known to attract tourists.

Blueberries, which are native, are a famous Nova Scotian fruit. On January 11, 1996, the House of Assembly declared the wild blueberry the Provincial Berry of Nova Scotia. The blueberry mainly grows in northeastern North America. Unlike the cranberry, blueberries are very sweet.. It grows on a low bush. Wild blueberres grow best on abandoned farmland in the forest. In addition, wild blueberries grow well in acid soils that are well-drained.

Forests cover most of the Nova Scotia province.. In these woodlands, often nearly hidden with fallen leaves, grows a dainty, little plant with a delicate, spicy scent - the mayflower. The mayflower is also named trailing arbutus. It is an evergreen oval, shiny, green leaves, and clusters of delicate, trumpet-shaped flowers. It blooms in the spring in partly shaded areas. The plant grows a mere four inches high and spreads by shallow underground stems. It is a slow spreader because seeds do not form each year. Its woodlands, barren, and rocky lands provide suitable soil for mayflowers to grow. In cool, acid soil they grow best and are most commonly found.

Located on the east coast of Canada, the sea of Nova Scotia surrounds the peninsula of Nova Scotia, which heavily influences the climate. . Climates in other areas of the world are also influenced by how near they are to the oceans. Nova Scotia's maritime climate, however is influenced by the cold air masses passing from the centre of Canada and the warm air masses from the Atlantic Ocean.

Nova Scotia's climate, as well the other climates in the world, is affected by the distance it is located from the Equator and how high above sea level the land is.

Winters in Nova Scotia can be cold, harsh, and windy, but are usually relatively mild, especially in the southern regions. Warm air coming from the south usually brings rain while cold air from the north commonly creates snow.

To the top

Music of Nova Scotia

Music is a part of the warp and weft of the fabric of Nova Scotia's cultural life. This deep and lasting love of music is expressed the through the performance and enjoyment of all types and genres of music. While popular music from many genres has experienced almost two decades of explosive growth and success in Nova Scotia, the province remains best known for its folk and traditional based music.

Nova Scotia's folk music is characteristically Scottish in character, and traditions from Scotland are kept very traditional in form, in some cases more so than in Scotland. This is especially true of the island of Cape Breton, one of the major international centers for Celtic music.

Nova Scotia is one of three Canadian Maritime Provinces, or simply, The Maritimes. When combined with Newfoundland and Labrador the region is known as the Atlantic Provinces, or Atlantic Canada.

Originally populated by the Mi'kmaq First Nation, the first European settlers were the French, who founded Acadia in 1604. Nova Scotia was briefly colonized by Scottish settlers in 1620, though by 1624 the Scottish settlers had been removed by treaty and the area was turned over to the French until the mid-1700s. After the defeat of the French and prior expulsion of the Acadians, settlers of English, Irish, Scottish and African descent began arriving on the shores of Nova Scotia.

Settlement was greatly accelerated by the resettlement of Loyalists (called in Canada United Empire Loyalists) in Nova Scotia during the period following the end of the American Revolutionary War. It was during this time that a large African Nova Scotian community took root, populated by freed slaves and Black Loyalists and their families, who had fought for the Crown in exchange for land. This community later grew when the Royal Navy began intercepting slave ships destined for the United States, and deposited these free slaves on the shores of Nova Scotia.

Later, in the 1800s the Irish Great Hunger and Scottish Highland Clearances resulted in large influxes of migrants with Celtic cultural roots, which helped to define the dominantly celtic character of Cape Breton and the north mainland of the province. This Celtic, or Gaelic culture was so pervasive that at the outset of World War I reporters from London, England were horrified when some of the first regiments to arrive in England from Canada piped themselves ashore, styled themselves as "Highland Regiments" and spoke Scottish Gaelic as their primary language.

Scottish traditional music has remained vibrant on Cape Breton into the 21st century, and has produced several performers of international renown. The first major musician from the island was Rita MacNeil, a mainstream singer whose music did not draw deeply on Celtic traditions. She was followed by Stan Rogers, who was born in Ontario to a Nova Scotian family, and sang ballads of sea-going Maritimers, though again little reflecting the area's Scottish traditions.

The province is the heart of a vibrant and popular style of Celtic music and dance derived from the influence of its Highland Scottish settlement, concentrated especially on Cape Breton Island. The basic duo of fiddle and piano provide a strongly-accented dance music in small-town church and community halls. Sometimes a guitar is augmented, and Highland bagpipe music is also popular. In many ways the music and dance over two centuries of relative physical isolation provides a snapshot of Scottish music and dance as it was before its European base took other, more "refined" routes, and today Cape Breton fiddle music has taken a place as a major attraction at Celtic cultural festivals.

The first popular musician who showed Nova Scotia's Celtic heritage to the mainstream world was John Allan Cameron, a singer and guitarist, and son of legendary fiddler Katie Ann Cameron, who was herself the sister of the music collector Dan Rory MacDonald.

More recent performers with a Celtic sound in their music include the pop crooning of Sarah McLachlan from Halifax, Mary Jane Lamond and flautist Chris Norman.

Cape Breton has a well-known bagpipe tradition, and has produced some well-known pipers, including Angus MacDonald, Barry Shears and Jamie MacInnes.

It is, however, the fiddling tradition which Nova Scotia and Cape Breton is best known for, and the biggest name in this tradition is Winston "Scotty" Fitzgerald from Cape Breton. Also of his generation were a litany of names now known in the international scene, though renown came late for most; these include Joe MacLean, Bill Lamey, Buddy MacMaster, Alex Francis MacKay, Dan Joe MacInnes, Angus Chisholm, Dan Hughie MacEachern, Donald Angus Beaton, Theresa MacLellan, Joe Cormier and Paddy LeBlanc. Many of these were first given distribution outside of the area by American folk label Rounder Records, which began a Cape Breton unit in the early 1970s.

The Rankin Family did more than any group to bring Cape Breton folk music to mainstream audiences in Canada and abroad. They had performed as a family since childhood, playing traditional music that gradually became more modern as their fame grew.

Perhaps the most well-known modern Cape Breton fiddler is Natalie MacMaster, who comes from a line of musicians that includes Buddy MacMaster, Wendy MacIsaac and Ashley MacIsaac. Her cousin, Ashley MacIsaac, is notable for having achieved success playing both traditional music and radical musical fusions, exemplified by his Hi™ How Are You Today? (1995), a landmark recording.

In the south of Cape Breton, on the north mainland, due to the many Irish settlements, Irish influenced traditional music is often heard in the rural villages of Guysborough County and Antigonish County. Although fiddle and singing are popular, it is not uncommon to hear an accordion (often locally referred to as a squeezebox). Spoons, guitars and sometimes a bodhran are also used for rhythmic drive.

Despite the dominance of traditional based music, both as a form of cultural expression, and as a means to brand the tourism experience for visitors to Nova Scotia, the province also has a long history of producing successful popular music acts. Many notable, internationally known artists are from Nova Scotia, in a wide variety of genres.

As early as the 1930s the music of Nova Scotia was entertaining the world. Hank Snow, born and raised in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia, was signed to RCA Records in 1936, but became famous in 1950 when he was invited to appear at the Grand Ole Opry. That was also the year he released "I'm Movin' On," his first massive hit single.

Portia White of Truro, Nova Scotia, one of the greatest contralto voices in the history of Canadian classical music, made her stage debut in 1941. White went on to become an internationally known and respected performer.

The pop and country sounds of the 1970s were exemplified by Springhill, Nova Scotia native Anne Murray. She had a series of top 10 hits worldwide starting with "Snowbird" in 1970, and continues to be a major concert performer. Possibly the most famous rock band from the 1970s was progressive rockers April Wine, but other bands such as Peppertree, Dutch Mason and Matt Minglewood enjoyed a great degree of national and international success.

As the music scene in Nova Scotia started to coalesce around Halifax and its emerging underground scene, new sounds and new styles of music started to be heard. Both the punk and New Wave movements found fertile ground in Halifax, the latter producing a band whose lead singer, Sarah McLachlan, would be snapped up in the 1980s and moved to Vancouver, to later become a huge international star.

It was toward the end of the 1980s that the music scene in Nova Scotia seemed to truly become an industry, with Nova Scotians leading the creation of the East Coast Music Awards as well as establishing the Music Industry Association of Nova Scotia. Performers as diverse as rock band Blackpool, hip hop artists MC G and Cool J, and celtic pop darlings the Rankin Family all achieved national radio & video play, major label record deals, and national media recognition.

This was followed by the Halifax music explosion of the 1990s, which saw bands such as Sloan, Eric's Trip, Jale, Thrush Hermit and Newfoundland émigrés The Hardship Post obtain international recognition and recording deals with labels such as DGC and Sub Pop. Matt Mays & El Torpedo are also a popular band who are from Cole Harbour, across the water from Halifax, they have toured around Canada and part of the United States, they have released 3 albums as of 2007. It was during this time that the internationally known Halifax Pop Explosion music festival was founded (in 1993).

Though the initial excitement generated during this time has abated, Nova Scotia remains at the forefront of the internationally successful Canadian music wave, with artists who came out of that era, such as Joel Plaskett, Drowning Shakespeare and hip hop hero Buck 65 continuing to gain worldwide respect and attention. Other acts such as Antigonish's The Trews, and Halifax based Jimmy Swift Band have all experienced considerable success nationally.

In the past decade, a number of independent record labels, have emerged to support the growth of the indie rock. Dependent Music publishes music by popular acts such as Wintersleep, Jill Barber, and Holy Fuck. BelowMeMusic promotes the Jimmy Swift Band, Slowcoaster, and Grand Theft Bus.

While historically isolated from the Toronto-centric Canadian hip hop scene, Nova Scotia has an increasing number of nationally known acts. In the 1980s, bands such as Down By Law, MC G and Cool J, and Hip Club Groove experienced degrees of national success.

In the 1990s and early 21st century, many artists have achieved national success. Buck 65, from Mount Uniacke, has released several well received records internationally. Sixtoo is signed to and released several records on Montreal label Ninjatune. Universal Soul have seen considerable national exposure since being nominated for two MuchMusic Video Awards in 2003. Classified is an MC and producer nominated for a 2004 CUMA. The Goods, with members Kunga 219 and Gordski, have successfully toured across North America. Kaleb Simmonds achieved a national reputation after a showing in the Top Ten on the first season of Canadian Idol. Scratch Bastid came in second in the 2004 Canadian DMC finals in Winnipeg and won the 2004 Scribble Jam in Cincinnati.

DJ IV, DJ Lap One and Y Rush are some of the city's current hip hop djs who mix using old school, contemporary, and underground hip hop.

To the top

Source : Wikipedia