Bluenose II, Nova Scotia's sailing ambassador, will officially relaunch in Lunenburg on Saturday, September 29, during an all-day celebration for Nova Scotians, Canadians and international visitors.
The official relaunch will lower the Bluenose II into the water from the 1,200-tonne marine railway and winch it out, link by link, to be towed beside the Fisheries Museum for the event.
'So many people have been waiting for this day to come, the excitement is at fever pitch,' said Leonard Preyra, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. 'We expect thousands of people to see the Bluenose II officially return to the water on Sept. 29. Massive wooden ship launches have changed significantly over the past 50 years. Safety is key nowadays so there isn't the big splash anymore.'
'Bluenose II is a Canadian icon that symbolizes Nova Scotia's prominence in the fishing and shipbuilding industries,' said Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. 'Our government invested in this project to spur economic growth, create jobs in Nova Scotia and preserve an important part of Canada's maritime history. I congratulate all those who worked so hard to make the Bluenose II relaunch possible.'
Highlights of the relaunch event will feature family entertainment and local talent in the afternoon. The evening Bluenose ll celebration will include top East Coast talent, a video and a fireworks presentation.
'Nova Scotians are bursting with pride for the relaunch of their most precious cultural icon. The people of Lunenburg, in particular, are looking forward to hosting this exciting event,' said Pam Birdsall, ministerial assistant for Communities, Culture and Heritage.
'It will be absolutely magical to see her back in the water,' said Laurence Mawhinney, Mayor of Lunenburg. 'We look forward to this wonderful event with great anticipation.'
'It will be the deepest launch ever out of the foundry in Lunenburg,' said Peter Kinley, president of the Lunenburg Foundry, and one of the partners in the Lunenburg Shipyard Alliance with Covey Island Boatworks and Snyder's Shipyard. 'She will then go to our foundry wharf at the head of the harbour to get rigged and commissioned.'
A redesigned website for the sailing icon has also been launched. For up-to-date information, visit bluenose.novascotia.ca!here!new.
Bluenose II is in a land-based slipway and will slide into the water, and be raised again, several times in the days before the relaunch for required tests, including watertight integrity.
Webcams providing Internet users around the world with a view of the work have been repositioned and will continue to stream images until the Bluenose II goes back in the water. There have been more than two million visits to the webcams since they began broadcasting in December 2010. To view the Bluenose II webcam, please visit here.
The total cost of the project was $15.9-million, with the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia each contributing $4,937,500 towards the eligible cost of $9,875,000 under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund. The province funded the rest of the cost.
Novia Scotia Government website