Stars Align for Experiential Tourism Project in Church Point

Université Sainte-Anne is introducing new experiential tourism infrastructure to its Church Point campus over the next year. It is collaborating with the Municipality of the District of Clare and les Dames Patronesses de la Colonie Jeunesse Acadienne to execute the project, which includes an observatory, camping facilities and trail signage.

The Government of Canada is investing $442,871 in the project through ACOA's Innovative Communities Fund (ICF) to create a cluster of attractions to draw students, researchers and tourists to the area.

Allister Surette, recteur et vice-chancelier de l'Université Sainte-Anne
Greg Kerr, député de Nova-Ouest
Ronnie LeBlanc, préfet de la municipalité de Clare
François Bélanger, représentant de la CJA

The new observatory will be equipped to accommodate visitors on guided or self-guided tours, showcasing dark skies, tides and wildlife such as bird habitats. It will be located on a coastal look-off area, providing an excellent vantage point for astronomical observation and sightseeing. In addition to attracting visitors, the observatory will serve as an academic and research facility for students and researchers.

The University will install two yurts, or domed outdoor camping facilities measuring 30 feet in diameter. Each durable, efficient structure will accommodate 20 people, enabling the University to house visitors, students and researchers for both short-term overnight stays and academic activities. The Municipality of the District of Clare will market the facilities to outdoor enthusiasts to develop experiential tourism in the area. Les Dames Patronesses de la Colonie Jeunesse Acadienne has agreed to take responsibility for the structures to ensure their sustainability and will use them to re-launch its Acadian youth camp.

The University will also install interpretive signage along le Petit Bois trail system, marking focal points including Acadian historic and cultural sites that date back two and a half centuries. They will add panels, signs, entrance and exit gates and engage in marketing activities for the trail including website integration, social media, drone photography, print ads and tradeshows.

Quick Facts

  • Université Sainte-Anne was founded in 1890.
  • It is the only francophone post-secondary educational institution in Nova Scotia.
  • The University comprises five campuses, 500 students and 140 employees.
  • Les Dames Patronesses de la Colonie Jeunesse Acadienne is a non-profit organization established more than 50 years ago to offer youth an opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities in French, through overnight and day camps.
  • In December 2014, UNESCO's Starlight Foundation declared Acadian Skies and Mi'kmaq Lands (Argyle, Clare and Yarmouth municipalities) North America's first Starlight Reserve and Tourism Destination.


"In addition to contributing to the vitality of Nova Scotia's official language communities, Université Sainte-Anne contributes to the economic vitality of our region. Our Government is pleased to support the University as it embraces new economic development opportunities, by adding experiential tourism infrastructure to its campus. This project will further position the campus as a tourism and research destination."

- Greg Kerr, Member of Parliament for West Nova, on behalf of the Honourable Rob Moore, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)


"Université Sainte-Anne is actively engaged in a number of projects that focus on sustainable community economic development. Our new experiential tourism initiative sharpens that focus, as we work with community partners such as the Municipality of the District of Clare and les Dames Patronesses de la Colonie Jeunesse Acadienne to generate new opportunities for our region."

- Allister Surette, President and Vice-Chancellor, Université Sainte-Anne

Associated Links


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

Paul Moore
Communications Manager
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-426-3470 / 902-222-3360 (cell)

Allister Surette
President and Vice-Chancellor
Université Sainte-Anne
902‑769-2114 / 902‑769-7494 (cell)