Winter at Fort Anne

Fort Anne National Historic Site is a gem located in historic Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Worth a visit during their operating season, but also great in the off season… even in the winter!






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Want to know more about Fort Anne? See some stunning footage, historic views and beautiful photographs? Follow the link below From Jan 28 – Feb 4 and watch this production by Heritage Places Television.



Celebrating our Heritage: Feb 17-20



ANNAPOLIS ROYAL, NOVA SCOTIA, February 9, 2012 – Parks Canada is proud to work with the Historical Association of Annapolis Royal, the Annapolis Heritage Society and the Historic Gardens to celebrate Heritage Day in Annapolis Royal with a “Heritage Weekend” from February 17th to 20th.

The Heritage Canada Foundation theme for this year’s heritage day is the Heritage of Power Generation.  The 2012 Heritage Day theme celebrates the past, but also looks forward as the world’s attention turns to energy-use reduction and new sources of green energy.

Activities planned in Annapolis Royal over the weekend to highlight the heritage of power generation, include:

Friday February 17th:  At the Annapolis Royal Fire Hall, the 2012 Queen Annapolis Royal fund raising dinner celebrates Heritage Days. Alan Melanson will provide the Heritage perspective, and Linda Bailey will be the keynote speaker.

Saturday February 18th: At the Historic Gardens, winter home of the Annapolis Royal Farmers’ and Traders’ Market check out the fresh local goods 9am-12noon. From 10-12, enjoy some traditional forms of energy at the bonfire & marshmallow roast and try your hand at blacksmithing with Brad Hall… and meet Alan Melanson at the Acadian House.  From 1p.m. until 4p.m. there will be family snowshoeing (conditions permitting) and hot chocolate for all. For details, follow this link…

Sunday February 19th: 2:30 p.m. at the Annapolis Royal Library: The Triumphs and Trials of writing for Children with Joyce Grant-Smith.

HERITAGE DAY – Monday February 20th

 Fort Anne National Historic Site:  11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.:  At the Fort Anne Officers’ Quarters visitors can take in a behind-the-scenes look at the Fort Anne Library and the curatorial collection to learn about how these valuable documents, scrapbooks and artifacts are stored, catalogued, and cared for.  The Fort Anne Officer’s Quarters, in its early years, was a repository of community history thanks to many community residents who donated items that have been added to the collection.  Experts, namely a conservator and librarian, will be on hand to share their knowledge.

Tidal Power Generating Station 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.: An opportunity to learn behind the scenes about the science and technology of this unique Energy generating system

Town of Annapolis Royal Town Hall 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.: Open house and Heritage Building awards presentation.

 Clean Annapolis River Project (CARP) 10:00 to 3:00 at the Old Train Station in Annapolis Royal:  An open house featuring energy efficiency in a heritage setting. There will be energy efficient light bulbs (CFLs) and other energy saving products to give away. CARP staff will greet guests and discuss energy saving techniques.

O’Dell House Museum:  Launch of the causeway construction archival photo display from the 1960’s — on display for two weeks.

All sorts of things to experience this weekend in Annapolis Royal. Join us!

Annapolis Royal becomes a GHOST TOWN!

Annapolis Royal becomes a GHOST TOWN!

While it is not normally a title to brag about, the Town ofAnnapolis Royalwill proudly call itself a GHOST TOWN this October!

From October 21 to November 1, Annapolis Royalwill take on ghostly aura as the spirits of the past take over the Town for a Halloween-inspired festival. There will be a spook-tacular array of activities including a Haunted House at the Sinclair Inn Museum, A Skeleton Revealed at Fort Anne, and Ghostly Gardens After Dark at the Historic Gardens. Goblets & Goblins, on October 28, promises a bewitching evening of wine & scotch in the hauntingly boo-tiful Historic Gardens. Alan Melanson will lead his renowned Candlelight Graveyard Tours, and there will be a special launch of Wayne Kerr’s book about theGarrisonCemetery.

Add to that some great Halloween parties, a Haunted Seek & Find, Ghostly Geo-Caches, and some ghoulish sales and specials byAnnapolis Royal’s businesses… and you are sure to have a grand time when you visit… if you dare!

For further information, and the very latest schedule of events, visit or call 532-7018.


Welcome Wharf Rat Rally – August 31 – Sept 5

It is time to haul out the leather and rev up the engine for another edition of Digby’s famous Wharf Rat Rally.  This event has quickly grown to become an important part of the local tourist season and Annapolis Royal is ready to welcome the Wharf Rats to town.  As in previous years, some of the local businesses and attractions have planned events to compliment the large gathering in Digby.

If you are looking for a chance to ride, there will be a couple of opportunities to experience our region.  The Annapolis Royal to Bridgetown Rat Run is a self guided tour that takes riders through some of the prettiest countryside in Nova Scotia.  The Rat Run works as a treasure hunt where riders search through participating locations to find the Roger Rat logo.   Participating locations include Bainton’s Tannery, Ye Olde Towne Pub, End of the Line Pub, the O’Dell House Museum, HistoricGardens, FortAnne, The Leather Barn and more.  For those looking for a guided tour, on Saturday and Sunday a group will leave Digby and travel to various destinations around Annapolis Royal.  Registration for this tour takes place at the  2 Canadian Army Veterans motorcycle club (2CAV) Booth, shared with the 74th Crusaders motorcycle club which is Located Across from The Wharf Rat Rally headquarters.

Annapolis Royal also offers Wharf Rats the greatest photo opp ever! At the Historic Gardens you and your bike will have the chance to go “Hawg Wild in the Gardens”.  Imagine rumbling in to get your photograph taken among the flowers.  For the ‘You & Your Bike” photo opp, here are two options: Self Serve & Full Service. Self Serve allows you to bring your motorcycle into the Gardens and take your own photos, while Full Service provides VIP treatment with preferred locations and a photographer to accompany you. It’s a terrific and unique opportunity in one of Nova Scotia’s treasures.

If you are looking for some all ages fun there will be a Cow Patty Bingo at the Legion. At 2pm on September 3 the cow will be let loose in the field behind the Legion.  When the cow lets loose (the cow patty) a winner will be declared.  For those who like their vehicles with three wheels and without motors, Kings Theatre will be showing the Smurfs on Friday night at 7:00pm and again on Sunday afternoon at 2:00pm.

Check out our Annapolis Royal Welcomes Wharf Rats Schedule of Events!

And then be sure to visit the official Wharf Rat Rally Website for information on all the great activities!

Heritage in Unusual Places

Have you ever experienced Heritage in Unusual Places?

While Annapolis Royal has a reputation as a heritage-minded town, there are still some stories that are not told on a regular basis. This festival is your chance to meet some of the craftspeople, storytellers and other caretakers of our community’s unusual history. Pay special attention for Wilfrid Cartier who refers to himself an “Uncle of Confederation”. He will be making a number of spontaneous appearances through the weekend.

Check out the Schedule!

Annapolis Royal’s Heritage Days Dig into our History

Annapolis Royal’s Heritage Days Dig into our History

There is no doubt that Annapolis Royal is a community with a lot of history.  On a daily basis you can look at historic buildings as you walk down the streets or visit one of our many museums.  What is less visible and perhaps less known is the amount of history that still exists under our feet. During Annapolis Royal’s Heritage Days, February 18-21, there will be a series of presentations highlighting the importance of local archaeology as well as some fun events for the family. Annapolis Royal’s Heritage Days are a co-operative effort of the Annapolis Heritage Society, Historical Association of Annapolis Royal, Historic Gardens and Parks Canada.

On Friday February 18, Dr. Marc Lavoie of Universite Ste Anne will give a presentation on his archaeological work at the Acadian community of Belleisle.  These digs have been very important in establishing the material culture of the Acadians who lived in the Port Royal / Annapolis Royal area.  A second part of this evening will be a discussion by Robert Surette about the process to have the Belleisle marsh protected under the Nova Scotia Special Places Act. This presentation will take place at St. Luke’s Anglican Church Hall.

On Saturday February 19, the morning’s activities shift to the Historic Gardens.  In addition to the regular Winter Market (9am – noon) the maison Acadienne will be open for a special interpretive program.  Alan Melanson, dressed in proper period costume, will discuss Acadian history and lifestyle from 10am – noon.  It should be a fun time with the wood fire burning and the stories flowing. And there will be snowshoes on hand for those who wish to borrow them to walk the Gardens.  On Saturday afternoon from 2pm – 4pm there will be family games and activities at Fort Anne National Historic Site.  From sledding on the ramparts to a game of snow soccer on the infield, there will be a variety of activities.   This is a great opportunity to experience the fun of one of Canada’s most historic landscapes.

The Town of Annapolis Royal’s Planning and Heritage Advisory Committee will be holding a meeting at Town Hall on Monday February 21 at 9:30am.  The public is invited to this meeting which will have a heritage theme.  On Monday afternoon Rebecca Duggan, Parks Canada Cultural Resource Manager for Mainland Nova Scotia, will discuss the archaeology of Fort Anne National Historic Site.  This site has been used by the Mi’kmaq, the Scots, the French and the British and has archaeological remains from each of these groups.  This presentation will start at 2pm at St Luke’s Anglican Church Hall.

For further information on any of these events please call the O’Dell House Museum at 532-7754 or email

Winter Fun at Fort Anne

Most think of Fort Anne and all the other local attractions as being “summer” locations. But they have an incredible charm in the winter that reminds us of times long ago, when the first European settlers struggled to survive their first winters in this land.

While it is fun to explore the grounds of Fort Anne in the winter, the local kids can tell you how much fun it is to toboggan on the hills at the Fort, a tradition for generations of young people in the area.

On February 19, during Heritage Day Weekend, the Fort Grounds will be a centre for outdoor winter activity with family-oriented events. It was loads of fun last year (Annapolis Royal Winter Olympics) as seen in this video, and promises to be another great time in 2011.

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