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What to See & Do

The Black Loyalist Heritage Centre & Historical Site 
Open June 1st to October 15th daily from 10am to 5pm.  October 16 to May 31 Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm- call 902-875-1310 or 902-875-1293.


glass window resizedOne of Canada’s best kept secrets, the largest free Black settlement in the 1780’s where people voted with their feet for freedom. This unique historical site is nestled in beautiful Birchtown Bay on the western shores of Shelburne Harbour, the third largest natural harbour in the world.

It’s a history few in the region know much about.
CBC Reporter Jon Tattrie looks at whether a new building can help change that.  Click on the link to listen to an audio clip. http://www.cbc.ca/atlanticvoice/2016/02/08/birchtown/

Come and enjoy a guided tour, search for your ancestral roots and learn about these courageous Nova Scotians.birchQ5832

Depending on the weather you may want to bring a picnic lunch and nourish yourself before you begin this extraordinary experience of the old and new.

Climb up the Shaw Turret where we commemorated all Black Loyalist communities as you overlook Birchtown Bay. Enter into the centre’s Lindsay Gallery and dive into the multimedia presentation of the Black Loyalist journey from Africa to the US then to Nova Scotia and back to Africa. Explore the virtual copy of the Carlton’s Book of Negroes and search for your ancestor who may have experienced part of this incredible journey.

birchQ5764Also explore our amazing archaeological pit which embodies this extraordinary narrative of the past and present. Have fun examining the archaeological artifacts excavated here in Birchtown.

Before you leave us please take the time to create a virtual quilt square that will tell us about your experience and how this story has impacted you and what you have learned.

Please continue to explore our site and visit our historical buildings including the Old School House and Saint Paul’s Church where you can view our Bunce Island exhibit and movie, the National Historic Monument that commemorated the 1783 Black Loyalist Landings of Nova Scotia, explore our Heritage Trail and visit the Pit House.

Be prepared to spend some time with us.

Admission is $9.20/adult; $5.75/senior (ages 65+); $5.75/youth age 6-17 and free for children 5 and under.  We also offer a Family Passes for $23 which includes 2 adults and maximum 3 children.  Prices include HST.

Please contact the Tour Administrator Kaitlyn Wesley at the  administrative office to schedule a group tour or for tours in the off season by calling 902-875-1310. 

To download a PDF of the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre brochure, please click here: BLHC Brochure 2015

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

Canada 150 – Journey Back to Birchtown July 15-16 2017

The Black Loyalist Heritage Society will be hosting a two day cultural festival July 15-16 to celebrate our culture, diversity and the significant contributions of African Nova Scotians as part of the Canada 150 celebrations. We will be honouring the legacy of Dr. Carrie M. Best with the unveiling of her portrait by artist Beverly Bowden. The festival will consist of readings, quilt display, spoken word and poetry, children’s activities and interactive sessions featuring African Nova Scotian artists.   There will be musical presentations highlighting past and present winning artists from the African Nova Scotia Music Association.  Vendors will be on site selling food, crafts and artifacts.

July 15 – Festival 12pm to 6pm: Confirmed performers for Saturday include Women of the Shore, Capt. Ret’d George Borden, Juanita Peters, Mark Riley, Alphie Bright, Patrick & Joanna Jarvis, Andre Fenton, Nova Scotia Mass Choir, Allysa Flint, Dr. Sylvia Hamilton, Berma Marshall, Maritime Centre of African Dance, J-Bru, Louise Delisle, Ced, Marty & Dave.

July 16 – Memorial Church Service & Gospel Concert 12pm to 6pm: There will be a memorial church service with music ministry by the Cherry Brook Mass Choir, candlelight vigil, children’s activities including face painting, bouncy castles and scavenger hunt.  Sunday’s line up includes Reverend Wayne Desmond, Reverend Deborah Hill, Reeny Smith, Sanctified Brothers, Joel Cook, Halifax Multicultural Drummers and Wayn & Khalifa Hamilton.

Free admission to all events!

Here is the detailed schedule:

Saturday, July 15th (12pm – 6pm) – Main Stage (outside)

12:00pm Processional – Drumming of dignitaries

Oh Canada & Lift Every Voice by Vanessa Fells

Welcome  – Charla Williams , MC
Remarks:

– Chuck Smith, President of BLHS

– Rev. Dr. Lennett Anderson – Moderator of the AUBA

– Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard, Senate of Canada

– Minister Leo Glavine, Dept of Communities, Culture and Heritage

Capt. Ret’d George Borden – Poem, The Lonesome Messenger
J-Bru – R& B/Hip Hop
1:00pm Juanita Peters – Reading – The Mother Club
Maritime Centre Of African Dance
 Nova Scotia Mass Choir
2:00pm

 

Remarks:

– Kim Masland, MLA for Queens-Shelburne

– Karen Mattatall, Mayor, Town of Shelburne

– Penny Smith, Warden, Municipality of the District of Shelburne

Patrick and Joanna Jarvis – Drumming
Maritime Centre Of African Dance
Alphie BrightCountry music
Gloria Wesley – Reading, Textured Memories in Cloth
Mark Riley – Gospel
3:00pm Remarks:

Joel Cook, Interpretation and Outreach Intern, Southern Campaign of the American Revolution Parks Group,  Cowpens National Battlefield, in Gaffney, South Carolina– skit “The Scipio story”

Women of the Shore – Singing and drumming
Volunteer Recognition – Barb & Hank Falk
Andre Fenton – Spoken word
J-Bru– Musical performance
4:00pm Honoring Dr. Carrie Best
  Allysa Flint – Spoken Word & reading an excerpt from Dr. Best
Berma Marshall – Tribute to Dr. Carrie Best
Unveiling of the portrait – Beverly Bowden, Artist & Berma Marshall
  Louise Delisle – Historical Enactment
5 :00pm Ced, Marty & Dave – Musical performance
  Closing Remarks: Charla Williams & Chuck Smith, Pres. BLHS
Door Prizes to will be drawn throughout the day!
Please note: times and location may be subject to change.

 

 

Sunday, July 16th, 12pm – 6pm (Main stage)

  Service
12:15 Processional – Drumming of dignitariesWayn Hamilton and Khalifa Jalloh Hamilton
Welcome – Charla Williams

Choir selections – Cherry Brook Mass Choir

Opening Prayer – Rev. Wayne Desmond
Hymn  
Sermon – Rev. Wayne Desmond
Choir selections
1:30-2:30 BREAK – visit the vendors, walking trail, exhibits, displays, scavenger hunt, face painting & bouncy castle.

Joel Cook, Interpretation and Outreach Intern, Southern Campaign of the American Revolution Parks Group,  Cowpens National Battlefield, in Gaffney, South Carolina– skit “The Scipio story”

2:30 Gospel Concert
Drummers from Home (interactive drumming)
Louise Delisle – Historical Enactment
Sanctified Brothers
Reeny Smith
3:30pm Halifax Multicultural Drummers
Sanctified Brothers with Reeny
Sanctified Brothers
4:30pm Vigil
 History – Pastor Deborah Hill
Reading of the names of the ancestors
Moment of silence
Closing prayer – Pastor Deborah Hill
Closing Remarks & Thank you’s
Drummers from Home
5-6pm Time on your own: Enjoy the Black Loyalists Heritage Centre, Vendors, walking trail, quilt display, scavenger hunt, face painting, bouncy castle.
6 pm Event Concludes
Door Prizes to will be drawn throughout the day!
Please note: times and location may be subject to change.

 Download the schedule and site map here: Event map and program schedule (2)

 

 Birchtown Summer Cultural Day Camp July 24 to 28

Looking for something fun and educational for the kids to do this summer? Bring them to Birchtown for a week of crafts, nature, and play while learning about different cultures.  Activities include Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo, Crossfit, Jamin’ with Jackie, and SouWest Nova Metis. The camp is for children ages 5-12. Cost is $70/child. Snacks and beverages provided. The camp begins at 9am and ends at 4pm and is held at the Birchtown Community Centre.  We ask that children bring a brown bag lunch Monday through Thursday. On Friday the children will be treated to a BBQ for lunch.  We also ask that you pack sunscreen for your children.  Bursaries are available.

Day Camp Subsidy application 

 

 

 

History on Shelburne Harbour for 2 – The Cooper’s Inn

Discover the rich history of Shelburne with this 2 night package. Harbour Package includes two nights at the Cooper’s Inn (king, queen or twin accommodation); welcome visit with your hosts between 5&6pm social hour along with a complimentary beverage and full menu breakfast each morning; deluxe welcome basket in your room; dinner and beverage at award winning Charlotte Lane Restaurant ($200.00 certificate); 3 hour Harbour Boat Tour with Captain Ken & First Mate Sherri; and 2 passes for three Shelburne Museums.

Tour Ross-Thomson House & Store. See how our Loyalist ancestors lived. Learn about the history of the Shelburne Dory and see one being built and finally peruse the collection of artifacts the museum has collected over the years.

2 passes for the Black Loyalist Heritage Society’s Historical Site and Museum in Birchtown.

One of Canada’s best kept secrets, the largest free Black settlement in the 1780’s where people voted with their feet for freedom. The unique historical site is nestled in Birchtown Bay on the western shore of Shelburne Harbour, the third largest natural harbour in the world.

A copy of the book “King’s Bounty: A History of Early Shelburne Nova Scotia” by Marion Robertson.

$749.00 per couple (all taxes included)

Conditions: Advance booking is required with Visa or MasterCard guarantee.  Cancellation policy on this package is 7 days in advance of booked arrival date. Fewer than 7 days notice or no show and the full accommodation will be charged along with a $100 administration fee.

 

Harbour, History and More for 4 in the Harbour Suite – The Cooper’s Inn

History on the Harbour for Four

Two couples sharing The Harbour Suite accommodation will start off their adventure with check-in at The Coopers Inn B&B between 3 & 8 PM on the day of arrival.

  • Two nights accommodation
  • Full menu breakfasts for four each morning
  • Enjoy a welcome visit with your hosts and other guests between the 5 & 6 PM Social Hour along with a complimentary beverage. Early check-in (3PM-5PM) to take advantage of the Social Hour.
  • Deluxe Welcome Basket for four in your room.
  • Four Passes for three Shelburne Museums. Tour the Ross Thompson House and Store. See how our Loyalist ancestors lived. Learn about the history of the Shelburne Dory and see one being built, and finally peruse the collection of fascinating artifacts that the museum has collected over the years.
  • Four Passes for the Black Loyalist Heritage Society’s Historical Site and Museum in Birchtown. One of Canada’s best kept secrets, the largest free Black settlement in the 1780’s, where people voted with their feet for freedom. This unique historical site is nestled in Birchtown Bay on the western shore of Shelburne Harbour, the 3rd best natural harbour in the world.
  • Three hour Shelburne Harbour Boat Tour on board the MV “Brown Eyed Girl“. Learn some of the Shelburne History from the Harbour perspective.
  • A copy of the book “Kings Bounty, a History of Early Shelburne Nova Scotia” by Marion Roberts.
  • Charlotte Lane Restaurant Dinner/Beverage Vouchers, a $340.00 value (Surf or Turf on the Harbour {evening cruises only} option may be used as a partial offset on the Dinner Voucher of $80.00).

History on the Harbour for four people, all taxes included $1299.00*

Inquire for availability and booking information. Advance booking is required along with Visa or Mastercard guarantee. Cancelation policy: Administration fee of $200.00 with notice of 7 days or more in advance of booked arrival date. With less than 7 days notice or no show the accommodation will be charged in full.

Looking for something a little different? Ask about customized packages.

More information can be found at: http://www.thecoopersinn.com/packages.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

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