HALIFAX 2017 – Tour of the World Heritage Site of Grand-Pré

Participants to ICOMOS Canada’s Halifax 2017 meeting had the opportunity to visit The Landscape of Grand-Pré, Canada’s 16th World Heritage Site, inscribed by UNESCO in 2012. Guided by Christophe Rivet (right), ICOMOS Canada President, and Beverley Palmeter (left), Treasurer and Secretary of the Grand-Pré Marsh Body, ICOMOS Canada members were accompanied by Peter Cox (centre), Vice-President of ICOMOS Ireland and President of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Energy and Sustainability (ISCES), and Andrew Potts, former Executive Director of US/ICOMOS and contributor to the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The 13 square-kilometre site of Grand Pre is located on the Bay of Fundy’s Minas Basin.The Landscape of Grand Pré is an exceptional living agricultural landscape, claimed from the sea in the 17th century and still in use today applying the same technology and the same community-based management. Grand Pré is also the iconic place of remembrance of the Acadians who lived in harmony with the native Mi’Kmaq people before the Expulsion which began in 1755. Its memorial constructions form the centre of the symbolic re-appropriation of the land of their origins by the Acadians, in the 20th century, in a spirit of peace and cultural sharing with the local area community. (http://www.paysagedegrand-pre.ca)

Today’s dykeland owners, many of whom are Planter descendants, are members of the Grand-Pré Marsh Body, the organization of landowners created in 1949 to protect and maintain the dykelands for agricultural purposes.

After lunch at the Domaine de Grand Pré, participants visited Benjamin Bridge Winery where Keltie MacNeill, Talking Room Manager, explained how the Terroir of the Gasperau Valley nurtures the winery’s philosophy and production.