Big Boat Shed


Completed Big Boat Shed to open in 2021

January 19, 2021; Lunenburg, NS

The Lunenburg Marine Museum Society (LMMS) and its partners are very pleased to announce the completion of the Big Boat Shed project. The space and additional exhibits willbe part of the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic’s (FMA) programming for the summer of 2021 and forward.

Thanks to the work of the LMMS, and support from the Atlantic Canada OpportunitiesAgency (ACOA) and the Province of Nova Scotia, the space will again host traditional boatbuilders while allowing the public to experience a piece of Nova Scotia’s boat building historythrough new viewing areas, exhibits and interactive workshops.

“The Big Boat Shed offers us another outstanding tool for telling the story of our province’sfishing and boat building heritage,” said Angela Saunders, the general manager for the FMA.

“Given Lunenburg’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a workingwaterfront, we are proud to be able to give visitors a front row seat to living history. Not manyplaces are able to offer that hands on experience. When paired with the Bluenose 100celebrations this year, there’s much to look forward to in 2021.”

The project was announced in 2019 and included the restoration and expansion of the BigBoat Shed, the main boat building facility for the famous Smith & Rhuland Shipyards. Morethan 270 ships ​— ​including Bluenose II, the Bounty and the Rose ​— ​were constructed at thesite over its history.

Develop Nova Scotia oversaw the project as part of its work with the community to revitalizethe waterfront. The Big Boat Shed is identified as a key project in the working waterfrontmaster plan and dovetails with the town’s strategic planning.

LMMS President John Meisner noted the Big Boat Shed is another opportunity for theSociety, which operates both the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic and Bluenose II on behalfof the province, to preserve and showcase a key piece of Lunenburg’s history.“

This project has been quite the undertaking and I am incredibly thankful for the dedicatedwork of our board members, museum staff and our strategic partners,” he said.

As previously announced, funding for the Big Boat Shed project was made possible withsupport from the Government of Canada through ACOA, and the Province of Nova Scotiaincluding Tourism Nova Scotia’s Tourism Revitalization of Icons Program. The $1.5 million infunding supported work to stabilize the building structure, re-construct the floor and install afull-length slipway.

A new addition to the original Big Boat Shed building was also constructed and willaccommodate a hands-on small boat building facility and interpretation centre, programmingand new exhibits under the operation of FMA.

“For centuries Lunenburg’s rich seafaring heritage has drawn tourists from around the world.The new interpretation centre at the Big Boat Shed will give visitors one more reason to visitand remember Nova Scotia’s iconic South Shore. Investments like this in Atlantic Canada’stourism sector will help ensure that the industry will emerge from this pandemic evenstronger and more prosperous,” said the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister ofFisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast, and Member of Parliament for South Shore - St.Margarets, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Developmentand Official Languages.

“The Big Boat Shed is an iconic piece of the Lunenburg waterfront and a symbol of thetown’s rich shipbuilding heritage. This work, and our partnership, builds on the community’svision for their working waterfront and has been supported by the tireless work ofcommunity-led organizations like the Lunenburg Waterfront Association,” said JenniferAngel, President and CEO of Develop Nova Scotia.

“The success of projects like the Big Boat Shed are measured, not by what we build, buthow we build it, so we’ll know we’ve got it right when local community members love theplace that we’ve built together and feel it contributes to the authenticity of Lunenburg.”

The Honourable Suzanne Lohnes-Croft, MLA for Lunenburg and Minister of Communities,Culture and Heritage, also shared her excitement at the project’s completion.

“Our province is proud to have invested $1 million in Lunenburg’s iconic working waterfront.The revitalization and enhancement of the Big Boat Shed will help further highlight ourshipbuilding heritage, generate new business around the site and enhance the overallexperience for visitors. I look forward to attending many events in the facility,” she said.

For her part, Saunders said she and museum staff look forward to welcoming visitors fromacross Nova Scotia to the completed facility.

“This is a good news story at a time when people need a little good news,” she said.The FMA is part of the Nova Scotia Museum, Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

More Information

Follow the Fisheries Museum on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn more about its exhibits and programming for the upcoming season.

More information about the Big Boat Shed project and the 2019 announcement is available at

Media Contact:

Penny Zwicker
Fisheries Museum

News release - Completed Big Boat Shed to open in 2021 (PDF 58 kB)