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Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia
Nouvelle-Écosse (French)
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: Munit Haec et Altera Vincit
(Latin: One defends and the other conquers)
Capital Halifax
Largest metro Halifax
Official languages English (de facto)
Demonym Nova Scotian
Type Constitutional monarchy
Lieutenant Governor John James Grant
Premier Stephen McNeil (Nova Scotia Liberal Party)
Legislature Nova Scotia House of Assembly
Federal representation (in Canadian Parliament)
House seats 11 of 308 (3.6%)
Senate seats 10 of 105 (9.5%)
Confederation July 1, 1867 (1st, with ON, QC, NB)
Area  Ranked 12th
Total 55,283 km2 (21,345 sq mi)
Land 53,338 km2 (20,594 sq mi)
Water (%) 2,599 km2 (1,003 sq mi) (4.7%)
Proportion of Canada 0.6% of 9,984,670 km2
Population  Ranked 7th
Total (2011) 921,727 [1]
Density (2011) 17.28/km2 (44.8/sq mi)
GDP  Ranked 7th
Total (2011) C$37.015 billion[2]
Per capita C$39,025 (11th)
Postal NS
ISO 3166-2 CA-NS
Time zone Atlantic: UTC-4
Postal code prefix B
  Red spruce
Rankings include all provinces and territories

Nova Scotia (Latin for "New Scotland", pronounced ; French: Nouvelle-Écosse) is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and constitutes one of the four Atlantic Canada provinces.[3] Located almost exactly halfway between the Equator and the North Pole (44º 39' N Latitude), its provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the second-smallest province in Canada,[4] with an area of 55,284 square kilometres (21,300 sq mi), including Cape Breton Island and another 3,800 coastal islands. As of 2011, the population was 921,727,[1] making Nova Scotia the second-most-densely populated province in Canada.


  • Etymology 1
  • Geography 2
    • Climate 2.1
  • History 3
    • Overview 3.1
    • 17th and 18th centuries 3.2
    • 19th century 3.3
  • Demography 4
    • Population since 1851 4.1
    • Counties by population 4.2
    • Ethnic origins 4.3
    • Language 4.4
    • Religion 4.5
  • Economy 5
  • Government, law and politics 6
  • Culture 7
    • Fine arts 7.1
    • Film and television 7.2
    • Literature 7.3
    • Music 7.4
    • Sports 7.5
    • Endemic cuisine 7.6
    • Tourism 7.7
  • Education 8
  • See also 9
  • Notes 10
  • Bibliography 11
  • External links 12


Nova Scotia means New Scotland in Latin[5] and is the recognized English-language name for the province. In French it is called "Nouvelle-Écosse," which is a literal translation from Latin to French. In Scottish Gaelic, the province is called Alba Nuadh, which also simply means New Scotland. The province was first named in the 1621 Royal Charter granting the right to settle lands including modern Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and the Gaspé peninsula to Sir William Alexander in 1632.[6]


Map of Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia is Canada's second-smallest province in area after Prince Edward Island. The province's mainland is the Nova Scotia peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, including numerous bays and estuaries. Nowhere in Nova Scotia is more than 67 km (42 mi) from the ocean.[7] Cape Breton Island, a large island to the northeast of the Nova Scotia mainland, is also part of the province, as is Sable Island, a small island notorious for its shipwrecks,[8] approximately 175 km (110 mi) from the province's southern coast.


Nova Scotia lies in the mid-temperate zone and, although the province is almost surrounded by water, the climate is closer to continental than to maritime. The temperature extremes of the continental climate are moderated by the ocean.

Described on the provincial vehicle-licence plate as Canada's Ocean Playground, Nova Scotia has a climate that is primarily influenced by the sea. Nova Scotia's cold winters and warm summers are modified and generally moderated by ocean influences. The province is surrounded by four major bodies of water: the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to the north, the Bay of Fundy to the west, the Gulf of Maine to the southwest, and Atlantic Ocean to the east.



The province includes regions of the Mi'kmaq nation of Mi'kma'ki (mi'gama'gi).[9] Nova Scotia was already home to the Mi'kmaq people when the first European colonists arrived.[10] In 1605, French colonists established the first permanent European settlement in Canada and the first north of Florida at Port Royal, founding what would become known as Acadia.[11][12]

The British Conquest of Acadia took place in 1710. It was formally recognized in 1713 by the Treaty of Utrecht. Cape Breton Island (Île Royale) was returned to the French in the Treaty of Utrecht. What is now New Brunswick was still a part of the French colony of Acadia. The name of the capital was changed from Port Royal to Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. The capital of Nova Scotia was changed from Annapolis Royal to the newly established Halifax in 1749. In 1755, the vast majority of the French population (the Acadians) were expelled and replaced by New England Planters who arrived between 1759–1768.

In 1763, most of Acadia (Cape Breton Island, St. John's Island (now Prince Edward Island) and New Brunswick) became part of Nova Scotia. In 1769, St. John's Island became a separate colony. Nova Scotia included present-day New Brunswick until that province was established in 1784 after the arrival of United Empire Loyalists.[13] In 1867 Nova Scotia was one of the four founding provinces of the Canadian Confederation.[14]

17th and 18th centuries

Fort Edward – The oldest blockhouse in North America (1750).

The history of Nova Scotia was significantly influenced by the warfare that took place on its soil during the 17th and 18th centuries.[15] The Mi’kmaq had lived in Nova Scotia for centuries. The French arrived in 1604, and Catholic Mi’kmaq and Acadians were the predominant populations in the colony for the next 150 years. During the first 80 years the French and Acadians were in Nova Scotia, there were nine significant battles as the English and Scottish (later British), Dutch and French fought for possession of the colony. These battles happened at Port Royal, Saint John,[16] Cap de Sable (present-day Port La Tour, Nova Scotia), Jemseg and Baleine. During the 17th Century there was the Acadian Civil War (1640–45).

Beginning with King William's War in 1688, there were six wars in Nova Scotia before the French were defeated and peace was made with the Acadians and Mi’kmaq:

Edward Cornwallis, first governor of Nova Scotia.

The battles during these wars were primarily fought at Port Royal, Saint John, Canso, Chignecto, Dartmouth, Lunenburg and Grand-Pré. Despite the British Conquest of Acadia in 1710, Nova Scotia remained primarily occupied by Catholic Acadians and Mi'kmaq, who confined British forces to Annapolis and Canso. A generation later, Father Le Loutre's War began when Edward Cornwallis arrived to establish Halifax with 13 transports on June 21, 1749.[17][18] A General Court, made up of the governor and the Council, was the highest court in the colony at the time.[19] Jonathan Belcher was sworn in as chief justice of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court on 21 October 1754.[19] The first legislative assembly in Halifax, under the Governorship of Edward Cornwallis, met on 2 October 1758.[20] During the French and Indian War (North American theatre of the Seven Years' War), the British deported the Acadians and recruited New England Planters to resettle the colony. The seventy-five-year period of war ended with the Burial of the Hatchet Ceremony between the British and the Mi'kmaq (1761). After the war, some Acadians were allowed to return and the British made treaties with the Mi’kmaq.

Sambro Island Lighthouse – oldest lighthouse in North America (1758)

The American Revolution (1775–1783) had a significant impact on shaping Nova Scotia. At the beginning, there was ambivalence in Nova Scotia, "the 14th American Colony" as some called it, over whether the colony should join the Americans in the war against Britain and rebellion flared at the Battle of Fort Cumberland and the Siege of Saint John (1777). Throughout the war, American privateers devastated the maritime economy by capturing ships and looting almost every community outside of Halifax. These American raids alienated many sympathetic or neutral Nova Scotians into supporting the British. By the end of the war a number of Nova Scotian privateers were outfitted to attack American shipping.[21] British military forces based at Halifax were successful in preventing American support for rebels in Nova Scotia and deterred any invasion of Nova Scotia. However the British navy was unable to establish naval supremacy. While many American privateers were captured in battles such as the Naval battle off Halifax, many more continued attacks on shipping and settlements until the final months of the war. The Royal Navy struggled to maintain British supply lines, defending convoys from American and French attacks such as the fiercely fought convoy battle, the Naval battle off Cape Breton.

After the British were defeated in the Thirteen Colonies, its troops helped evacuate approximately 30,000 United Empire Loyalists (American Tories), who settled in Nova Scotia, with land grants by the Crown as some compensation for their losses. (Nova Scotia was divided and the present-day province of New Brunswick created). The Loyalist exodus created new communities across Nova Scotia, including Shelburne, which was briefly one of the larger British settlements in North America, and infused the province with additional capital and skills. However the migration also caused political tensions between Loyalist leaders and the leaders of the existing New England Planters settlement. The Loyalist influx also pushed Nova Scotia's Mi'kmaq People to the margins as Loyalist land grants encroached on ill-defined native lands. Approximately 3,000 members of the Loyalist migration were Black Loyalists who founded the largest free Black settlement in North America at Birchtown, near Shelburne. However unfair treatment and harsh conditions caused about one-third of the Black Loyalists to resettle in Sierra Leone in 1792 where they founded Freetown and became known in Africa as the Nova Scotian Settlers.

19th century

Statue of Joseph Howe, Province House (Nova Scotia), created by famed Quebec sculptor Louis-Philippe Hébert

During the War of 1812, Nova Scotia’s contribution to the war effort was communities either purchasing or building various privateer ships to lay siege to American vessels.[22] Perhaps the most dramatic moment in the war for Nova Scotia was when HMS Shannon escorted the captured American frigate USS Chesapeake into Halifax Harbour (1813). Many of the prisoners were kept at Deadman's Island, Halifax.

During this century, Nova Scotia was the first colony in British North America and in the British Empire to achieve responsible government in January–February 1848 and become self-governing through the efforts of Joseph Howe.[23] Nova Scotia had established representative government in 1758, an achievement that was later commemorated by erecting the Dingle Tower in 1908.

Welsford-Parker Monument, Halifax, Nova Scotia – Only Crimean War Monument in North America

Nova Scotians fought in the Crimean War.[24] The Welsford-Parker Monument in Halifax is the second oldest war monument in Canada (1860) and the only Crimean War monument in North America. It commemorates the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–1855).

Thousands of Nova Scotians fought in the American Civil War (1861–1865), primarily for the North.[25] The British Empire (including Nova Scotia) was declared neutral in the struggle between the North and the South. As a result, Britain (and Nova Scotia) continued to trade with both the South and the North. Nova Scotia’s economy boomed during the Civil War.

Immediately after the Civil War, Pro-Confederation premier Charles Tupper led Nova Scotia into the Canadian Confederation on July 1, 1867, along with New Brunswick and the Province of Canada. The Anti-Confederation Party was led by Joseph Howe. Almost three months later, in the election of September 18, 1867, the Anti-Confederation Party won 18 out of 19 federal seats, and 36 out of 38 seats in the provincial legislature.

In the 19th century, Nova Scotia became a world leader in both building and owning wooden sailing ships in the second half of the 19th century. Nova Scotia produced internationally recognized shipbuilders Donald McKay and William Dawson Lawrence. The fame Nova Scotia achieved from sailors was assured when Joshua Slocum became the first man to sail single-handedly around the world (1895). This international attention continued into the following century with the many racing victories of the Bluenose schooner. Nova Scotia was also the birthplace and home of Samuel Cunard, a British shipping magnate, born at Halifax, Nova Scotia, who founded the Cunard Line.

Throughout the nineteenth century, there were numerous businesses that were developed in Nova Scotia that became of national and international importance: The Starr Manufacturing Company (first skate manufacturer in Canada), the Bank of Nova Scotia, CIBC, Cunard Line, Alexander Keith's Brewery, Morse's Tea Company (first tea company in Canada), among others. (Early in the 20th century Sobey's was established as was Maritime Life.)


Population since 1851

Year Population Five Year
% change
Ten Year
% change
1851 276,854 n/a n/a
1861 330,857 n/a 19.5
1871 387,800 n/a 17.2
1881 440,572 n/a 13.6
1891 450,396 n/a 2.2
1901 459,574 n/a 2.0
1911 492,338 n/a 7.1
1921 523,837 n/a 6.4
1931 512,846 n/a −2.1
1941 577,962 n/a 12.7
1951 642,584 n/a 11.2
1956 694,717 8.1 n/a
1961 737,007 6.1 14.7
1966 756,039 2.6 8.8
1971 788,965 4.4 7.0
1976 828,570 5.0 9.6
1981 847,442 2.3 7.4
1986 873,175 3.0 5.4
1991 899,942 3.1 6.2
1996 909,282 1.0 4.1
2001 908,007 −0.1 0.9
2006 913,462 0.6 0.5
2011 921,727 0.9 1.5

Counties by population

County 1991 1996 2001 2006 2011
Halifax County 332,518 342,851 359,111 372,858 390,328
Cape Breton County 120,098 117,849 105,968 105,928 101,619
Kings County 56,317 59,193 58,866 60,035 60,589
Colchester County 47,683 49,262 49,307 50,023 50,986
Lunenburg County 47,634 47,561 47,591 47,150 47,313
Pictou County 49,651 48,718 46,965 46,513 45,643
Hants County 37,843 39,483 40,513 41,182 42,304
Cumberland County 34,284 33,804 32,605 32,046 31,353
Yarmouth County 27,891 27,310 26,843 26,277 25,275
Annapolis County 23,641 22,324 21,773 21,438 20,756
Antigonish County 19,226 19,554 19,578 18,836 19,589
Digby County 21,250 20,500 19,548 18,992 18,036
Inverness County 21,620 20,918 19,937 19,036 17,947
Shelburne County 17,343 17,002 16,231 15,544 14,496
Queens County 12,923 12,417 11,723 11,212 10,960
Richmond County 11,260 11,022 10,225 9,740 9,293
Guysborough County 11,724 10,917 9,827 9,058 8,143
Victoria County 8,708 8,482 7,962 7,594 7,115

Ethnic origins

According to the 2006 Canadian census[27] the largest ethnic group in Nova Scotia is Scottish (28.3%), followed by English (28.1%), Irish (19.9%), French (17.7%), Aboriginal origin (10.2%), German (10.0%), Dutch (3.9%), Black (2.3%), Italian (1.3%), and Acadian (1.2%). Almost half of respondents (47.4%) identified their ethnicity as "Canadian".

Nova Scotia has a long history of social justice work to address issues such as racism and sexism within its borders. The Nova Scotia legislature was the third in the Canada to pass human rights legislation (1963). The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission was established in 1967.[28]


Mother tongue in Nova Scotia: Red – majority anglophone, Orange – mixed, Blue – majority francophone.

The 2011 Canadian census showed a population of 921,727.
Of the 904,285 singular responses to the census question concerning mother tongue the most commonly reported languages were:

1. English 836,085 92.46%
2. French 31,105 3.44%
3. Arabic 5,965 0.66%
4. Algonquian languages 4,685 0.52%
Mi'kmaq 4,620 0.51%
5. German 3,275 0.36%
6. Chinese languages 2,750 0.30%
Mandarin 905 0.10%
Cantonese 590 0.06%
7. Dutch 1,725 0.19%
8. Spanish 1,545 0.17%
9= Tagalog 1,185 0.13%
9= Persian 1,185 0.13%
Peggys Cove Harbour

Figures shown are for the number of single language responses and the percentage of total single-language responses.[29]


In 1871, the largest religious denominations were Presbyterian with 103,500 (27%); Roman Catholic with 102,000 (26%); Baptist with 73,295 (19%); Episcopal with 55,124 (14%); Methodist with 40,748 (10%), Lutheran with 4,958 (1.3%); and Congregationalist with 2,538 (0.65%).[30] According to the 2001 census, the largest denominations by number of adherents were the Roman Catholic Church with 327,940 (37%); the United Church of Canada with 142,520 (17%); and the Anglican Church of Canada with 120,315 (13%).[31]


Lobster fishing boats in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

Per capita GDP in 2010 was $38,475, significantly lower than the national average per capita GDP of $47,605 and a little more than half that of Canada's richest province, Alberta. GDP growth has lagged behind the rest of the country for at least the past decade.[32]

Nova Scotia's traditionally resource-based economy has diversified in recent decades. The rise of Nova Scotia as a viable jurisdiction in North America, historically, was driven by the ready availability of natural resources, especially the fish stocks off the Scotian Shelf. The fishery was pillar of the economy since its development as part of the economy of New France in the 17th century; however, the fishery suffered a sharp decline due to overfishing in the late 20th century. The collapse of the cod stocks and the closure of this sector resulted in a loss of approximately 20,000 jobs in 1992.[33] Other sectors in the province were also hit hard, particularly during the last two decades: coal mining in Cape Breton and northern mainland Nova Scotia has virtually ceased production, and a large steel mill in Sydney closed during the 1990s. More recently, the high value of the Canadian dollar relative to the U.S. dollar has hurt the forestry industry, leading to the shut down of a long-running pulp and paper mill near Liverpool. Mining, especially of gypsum and salt and to a lesser extent silica, peat and barite, is also a significant sector.[34] Since 1991, offshore oil and gas has become an increasingly important part of the economy, although production and revenue are now declining[32] Agriculture remains an important sector in the province, particularly in the Annapolis Valley.

Nova Scotia’s defence and aerospace sector generates approximately $500 million in revenues and contributes about $1.5 billion to the provincial economy annually.[35] To date, 40% of Canada’s military assets reside in Nova Scotia.[36] Nova Scotia has the fourth-largest film industry in Canada hosting over 100 productions yearly, more than half of which are the products of international film and television producers.[37]

The Nova Scotia tourism industry includes more than 6,500 direct businesses, supporting nearly 40,000 jobs.[38] 200,000 cruise ship passengers from around the world flow through the Port of Halifax, Nova Scotia each year.[39] This industry contributes approximately $1.3 billion annually to the economy.[40] The province also boasts a rapidly developing Information & Communication Technology (ICT) sector which consists of over 500 companies, and employs roughly 15,000 people.[41] In 2006, the manufacturing sector brought in over $2.6 billion in chained GDP, the largest output of any industrial sector in Nova Scotia.[42] Michelin remains by far the largest single employer in this sector, operating three production plants in the province.

As of 2012, the median family income in Nova Scotia was $67,910, below the national average of $74,540;[43] in Halifax the figure rises to $80,490.[44]

Nova Scotia has a number of incentive programs, including tax refunds and credits that work to encourage small business growth.[45] The province is attracting major companies from all over the world that will help fuel the economy and provide jobs; companies like Blackberry (formerly Research in Motion (RIM)) and Lockheed Martin have seen the value of Nova Scotia and established branches in the province.[46]

Though only the second smallest province in Canada, Nova Scotia is a recognized exporter. The province is the world’s largest exporter of Christmas trees, lobster, gypsum, and wild berries.[47] Its export value of fish exceeds $1 billion, and fish products are received by 90 countries around the world.[48]

Government, law and politics

Nova Scotia is ordered by a parliamentary government within the construct of constitutional monarchy; the monarchy in Nova Scotia is the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.[49] The sovereign is Queen Elizabeth II, who also serves as head of state of 15 other Commonwealth countries, each of Canada's nine other provinces, and the Canadian federal realm, and resides predominantly in the United Kingdom. As such, the Queen's representative, the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia (presently John James Grant), carries out most of the royal duties in Nova Scotia. In 1937, Everett Farmer was the last person hanged (for murder) in Nova Scotia.[19]

Halifax, the provincial capital

The direct participation of the royal and viceroyal figures in any of these areas of governance is limited, though; in practice, their use of the executive powers is directed by the Executive Council, a committee of ministers of the Crown responsible to the unicameral, elected House of Assembly and chosen and headed by the Premier of Nova Scotia (presently Stephen McNeil), the head of government. To ensure the stability of government, the lieutenant governor will usually appoint as premier the person who is the current leader of the political party that can obtain the confidence of a plurality in the House of Assembly. The leader of the party with the second-most seats usually becomes the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition (presently Jamie Baillie) and is part of an adversarial parliamentary system intended to keep the government in check.[50]

Each of the 51 Members of the Legislative Assembly in the House of Assembly is elected by single member plurality in an electoral district or riding. General elections must be called by the lieutenant governor on the advice of the premier, or may be triggered by the government losing a confidence vote in the House.[51] There are three dominant political parties in Nova Scotia: the Liberal Party, the New Democratic Party, and the Progressive Conservative Party.

The province's revenue comes mainly from the taxation of personal and corporate income, although taxes on tobacco and alcohol, its stake in the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, and oil and gas royalties are also significant. In 2006–07, the province passed a budget of $6.9 billion, with a projected $72 million surplus. Federal equalization payments account for $1.385 billion, or 20.07% of the provincial revenue. The province participates in the HST, a blended sales tax collected by the federal government using the GST tax system.

Nova Scotia no longer has any incorporated cities; they were amalgamated into Regional Municipalities in 1996.


Fine arts

Hector Pioneer by internationally renowned Nova Scotian sculptor John Wilson, Pictou, Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia has long been a centre for artistic and cultural excellence. The capital, Halifax, hosts institutions such as Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Neptune Theatre, Two Planks and a Passion Theatre, Ship's Company Theatre and the Symphony Nova Scotia. The province is home to avant-garde visual art and traditional crafting, writing and publishing and a film industry.

Lion carved by Welsford-Parker Monument

Much of the historic public art sculptures in the province were made by the renowned New York sculptor stone sculptor who also built many landmark buildings in the province, perhaps most notably he created the Welsford-Parker Monument.

Some of the province's greatest painters were William Valentine, Maria Morris, Jack L. Gray, Mabel Killiam Day, Ernest Lawson, Frances Bannerman, Alex Colville, Tom Forrestall and ship portrait artist John O'Brien. Some of most renowned artists whose works have been acquired by Nova Scotia are British artist Joshua Reynolds (collection of Art Gallery of Nova Scotia); William Gush and William J. Weaver (both have works in Province House (Nova Scotia)); Robert Field (Government House), as well as leading American artists Benjamin West (self portrait in The Halifax Club), John Singleton Copley, Robert Feke, and Robert Field (the latter three have works in the Uniacke Estate).

Two famous Nova Scotian photographers are Wallace R. MacAskill and Sherman Hines.[53] Two of the most accomplished illustrators were Bob Chambers (cartoonist) and Donald A. Mackay.

Film and television

Nova Scotia has produced numerous film actors. Academy Award nominee Ellen Page (Juno, Inception) lives in Nova Scotia; five time Academy Award nominee Arthur Kennedy (Lawrence of Arabia, High Sierra) called Nova Scotia his home; and two time Golden Globe winner Donald Sutherland (MASH, Ordinary People) spent most of his youth in the province. Other actors include John Paul Tremblay, Robb Wells and John Dunsworth of (Trailer Park Boys).

Nova Scotia has also produced numerous film directors such as Thom Fitzgerald (The Hanging Garden), Daniel Petrie (Resurrection—Academy Award nominee) and Acadian film director Phil Comeau's multiple award-winning local story (Le secret de Jérôme).

Nova Scotian stories are the subject of numerous feature films: Margaret's Museum (starring Helena Bonham Carter); The Bay Boy (directed by Daniel Petrie and starring Kiefer Sutherland); New Waterford Girl; The Story of Adele H. (the story of unrequited love of Adele Hugo); and two films of Evangeline (one starring Miriam Cooper and another starring Dolores del Río – see movie excerpt on YouTube).

There is a significant film industry in Nova Scotia. Feature filmmaking began in Canada with Evangeline (1913), made by Canadian Bioscope Company in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which released six films before it closed. The film has since been lost. Some of the award winning feature films that have been made in the province are: Titanic (starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet); Bowling for Columbine (starring Michael Moore); and The Shipping News (starring Kevin Spacey and Cate Blanchett). Other films include K-19: The Widowmaker (starring Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson) and Amelia (starring Hilary Swank, Richard Gere and Ewan McGregor).

Nova Scotia has also produced numerous television series: This Hour has 22 Minutes, Don Messer's Jubilee, Black Harbour, Haven, Trailer Park Boys, Mr. D, and Theodore Tugboat. The Jesse Stone film series on CBS starring Tom Selleck is also routinely produced in the province.


Original cover 1900.

There are numerous Nova Scotian authors who have achieved international fame: Lesley Choyce (Nova Scotia: Shaped by the Sea), Thomas Raddall (Halifax: Warden of the North), Donna Morrissey (Kit's Law), Frank Parker Day (Rockbound).

Nova Scotia has also been the subject of numerous literary books. Some of the international best-sellers are: Last Man Out: The Story of the Springhill Mining Disaster (by Melissa Fay Greene) ; Curse of the Narrows: The Halifax Explosion 1917 (by Laura MacDonald); "In the Village" (short story by Pulitzer Prize–winning author Elizabeth Bishop); and National Book Critics Circle Award winner Rough Crossings (by Simon Schama). Other authors who have written novels about Nova Scotian stories include: Linden MacIntyre (The Bishop's Man); Hugh MacLennan (Barometer Rising); Ernest Buckler (The Valley and the Mountain); Archibald MacMechan (Red Snow on Grand Pré), Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (long poem Evangeline); Lawrence Hill (The Book of Negroes) and John Mack Faragher (Great and Nobel Scheme).


Nova Scotia has produced numerous musicians. The Holly Cole, opera singers Portia White and Barbara Hannigan, multi-Juno Award nominated rapper Classified, Rita MacNeil, Matt Mays, Sloan, Feist, The Rankin Family, April Wine, Buck 65, Joel Plaskett, Grand Derangement, and country music singer Drake Jensen.

There are numerous songs written about Nova Scotia: The Ballad of Springhill (written by Peggy Seeger and performed by Irish folk singer Luke Kelly a member of The Dubliners, U2 – See video on YouTube); numerous songs by Stan Rogers including Bluenose, The Jeannie C (mentions Little Dover, NS), Barrett's Privateers, Giant, and The Rawdon Hills (See Video on YouTube); Farewell to Nova Scotia (traditional); Blue Nose (Stompin' Tom Connors); She’s Called Nova Scotia (by Rita MacNeil); Cape Breton (by David Myles); Acadian Driftwood (by Robbie Robertson); Acadie (by Daniel Lanois – See video on YouTube); and My Nova Scotia Home (by Hank Snow).

Nova Scotia has also produced some significant song writers such as Hank Snow whose songs have been recorded by The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash.

Music producer Roy Orbison, Glen Campbell, Don Williams, Jesse Winchester and Linda Ronstadt.[55] Another noted writer is Cape Bretoner Leon Dubinsky, who wrote the anthem, "Rise Again," among many other songs performed by various Canadian artists.[56]


Sport is an important part of Nova Scotia culture. There are numerous professional sports teams. The Halifax Rainmen of the National Basketball League of Canada are one team that calls Nova Scotia home. The Province has also produced numerous athletes such as Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame.

Endemic cuisine

The cuisine of Nova Scotia is typically Canadian with an emphasis on local seafood. The only truly endemic dish (in the sense "peculiar to" and "originating from") is the "donair", a distant variant of the doner kebab, that is made from thinly sliced beef meatloaf and uses a sweet condensed milk sauce.


Nova Scotia's tourism industry showcases Nova Scotia's culture, scenery and coastline.

The Cabot Trail viewed from the Skyline Hiking Trail

Nova Scotia has many museums reflecting its ethnic heritage, including the Glooscap Heritage Centre, Grand-Pré National Historic Site, Hector Heritage Quay and the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia. Others museums tell the story of its working history, such as the Cape Breton Miners' Museum, and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

Nova Scotia is home to several internationally renowned musicians and there are visitor centres in the home towns of Hank Snow, Rita MacNeil, and Anne Murray Centre. There are also numerous music and cultural festivals such as the Stan Rogers Folk Festival, Celtic Colours, the Nova Scotia Gaelic Mod, Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, the Atlantic Film Festival and the Atlantic Fringe Festival.

The province has Citadel Hill (Fort George) in Halifax.

Nova Scotia has two national parks, Kejimkujik and Cape Breton Highlands, and many other protected areas. The Bay of Fundy has the highest tidal range in the world, and the iconic Peggys Cove is internationally recognized and receives 600,000 plus visitors a year.[57]

Cruise ships pay regular visits to the province. In 2010, Halifax received 261,000 passengers and Sydney 69,000.[58]

A 2008 Nova Scotia tourism campaign included advertising a fictional mobile phone called Pomegranate and establishing website, which after reading about "new phone" redirected to tourism info about region.[59]


The Minister of Education is responsible for the administration and delivery of education, as defined by the Education Act[60] and other acts relating to colleges, universities and private schools. The powers of the Minister and the Department of Education are defined by the Ministerial regulations and constrained by the Governor-In-Council regulations.

Nova Scotia has more than 450 public schools for children. The public system offers primary to Grade 12. There are also private schools in the province. Public education is administered by seven regional school boards, responsible primarily for English instruction and French immersion, and also province-wide by the Conseil Scolaire Acadien Provincial, which administers French instruction to students for whom the primary language is French.

The Nova Scotia Community College system has 13 campuses around the province. The community college, with its focus on training and education, was established in 1988 by amalgamating the province's former vocational schools.

In addition to its community college system the province has 10 universities, including Dalhousie University, University of King's College, Saint Mary's University (Halifax), Mount Saint Vincent University, NSCAD University, Acadia University, Université Sainte-Anne, Saint Francis Xavier University, Cape Breton University and the Atlantic School of Theology.

There are also more than 90 registered private commercial colleges in Nova Scotia.[61]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, 2011 and 2006 censuses". January 24, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Gross domestic product, expenditure-based, by province and territory (2011)". Statistics Canada. November 19, 2013. Retrieved September 26, 2013. 
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  7. ^  
  8. ^ Maritime Museum of the Atlantic Sable Island Lifesaving and Ship Wrecks Info Sheet. (1999-07-27). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  9. ^ the Nation of Mi'kma'ki also includes the Maritimes, parts of Maine, Newfoundland and the Gaspé Peninsula.
  10. ^ Info Sheet – The Mi'kmaq. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  11. ^ Desmond Morton (30 November 1999). Canada: A Millennium Portrait. Dundurn. p. 19.  
  12. ^ Nova Scotia Archives – An Acadian Parish Remembered. (2009-12-01). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  13. ^ In 1765, the county of Sunbury was created. This included the territory of present-day New Brunswick and eastern Maine as far as the Penobscot River.
  14. ^ The other two provinces were New Brunswick and the Province of Canada (which became the separate provinces of Quebec and Ontario).
  15. ^ John G. Reid. An International Region of the Northeast: Rise and Decline, 1635–1762. In Buckner, Campbell and Frank (eds) The Acadiensis Reader: Volume 1. Third Edition. 1998. p. 31
  16. ^ Until 1784, New Brunswick was considered part of Nova Scotia.
  17. ^ Grenier, John. The Far Reaches of Empire. War in Nova Scotia, 1710–1760. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 2008
  18. ^ Thomas Beamish Akins History of Halifax, Brookhouse Press. 1895. (2002 edition). p 7
  19. ^ a b c "Timeline History of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court"
  20. ^ Statutes at Large of Nova Scotia, Volume 1, 1758–1804.
  21. ^ Roger Marsters (2004). Bold Privateers: Terror, Plunder and Profit on Canada's Atlantic Coast, p. 87–89.
  22. ^ John Boileau. Half-hearted Enemies: Nova Scotia, New England and the War of 1812. Halifax: Formac Publishing. 2005. p.53
  23. ^ Beck, J. Murray. (1983) Joseph Howe: The Briton Becomes Canadian 1848–1873. (v.2). Kingston & Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN 0-7735-0388-9
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  28. ^ Bridglal Pachai, (Ed). Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission: 25th Anniversary: A History 1967–1992. 1992.
  29. ^ Detailed Mother Tongue (186), Knowledge of Official Languages (5), Age Groups (17A) and Sex (3) (2011 Census)
  30. ^ A history and geography of Nova Scotia by John Burgess Calkin: p. 88
  31. ^ "Religions in Canada". Retrieved October 6, 2010. 
  32. ^ a b Province of Nova Scotia
  33. ^ Fish in Crisis. "The Starving Ocean". Retrieved April 26, 2007. 
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  36. ^ Nova Scotia Business Inc. Defence, Security & Aerospace.Retrieved on: April 16, 2010.
  37. ^ Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation Production Statistics for the 12 Month Period Ended March 31, 2008. Retrieved on: October 10, 2008.
  38. ^ Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia. Tourism Summit 2008. Retrieved on: October 10, 2008.
  39. ^ "Going Global, Staying Local: A Partnership Strategy for Export Development". Government of Nova Scotia. Retrieved October 10, 2008. 
  40. ^ Nova Scotia Business Inc. "Key Facts". Retrieved April 16, 2010. 
  41. ^ Trade Team Nova Scotia. "Information and Communications Technology". Retrieved April 16, 2010. 
  42. ^ Invest In Canada. "Nova Scotia". Retrieved April 16, 2010. 
  43. ^ "Median total income, by family type, by province and territory". Statistics Canada. 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2014. 
  44. ^ "Median total income, by family type, by census metropolitan area". Statistics Canada. 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2014. 
  45. ^ Canada Business. "Tax Refunds and Credits". Retrieved April 16, 2010. 
  46. ^ Nova Scotia Business Inc. "Locate Your Business in Nova Scotia". Retrieved April 16, 2010. 
  47. ^ Tower Software. "The Nova Scotian Economy". Retrieved April 16, 2010. 
  48. ^ Trade Team Nova Scotia. "Fisheries & Aquaculture". Retrieved April 16, 2010. 
  49. ^ Canadian Heritage (February 2009). "Canadian Heritage Portfolio" (2nd ed.). Queen's Printer for Canada. pp. 3–4.  
  50. ^ Library of Parliament. "The Opposition in a Parliamentary System". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved May 23, 2011. 
  51. ^ Dawson, R. MacGregor; Dawson, WF (1989). Ward, Norman, ed. Democratic Government in Canada. University of Toronto Press. pp. 16–17, 59–60, 66.  
  52. ^ "RootsWeb: CAN-NS-GUYSBOROUGH-L JOHN WILSON, Sculptor, 1877–1954". Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  53. ^ Sherman Hines Museum of Photography: Macaskill Collection. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  54. ^ "The Emmylou Harris Story". September 19, 1973. Retrieved December 13, 2011. 
  55. ^ Ahern, Brian. "Brian Ahern – Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  56. ^ Cooke, Stephan (2012-10-01). "Talented artist loved family, music". The Chronicle Herald (Halifax, Nova Scotia). Archived from the original on 2012-12-28. Retrieved 2012-12-28. 
  57. ^ "Peggy’s Cove: Assessment of Capacity Issues and Potential Tourism Opportunities". THE ECONOMIC PLANNING GROUP of Canada. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  58. ^ "2010 Nova Scotia Tourism Indicators". Province of Nova Scotia. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  59. ^ Pomegranate phone? Nova Scotia ad budget goes to cellphone concept video – (2008-10-30). Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
  60. ^ Government of Nova Scotia (1996). "Education Act". Retrieved April 26, 2007. 
  61. ^ "Registered Colleges for 2010–2011". Province of Nova Scotia. 2010. Retrieved July 26, 2010. 


  • The Nova Scotia Atlas. Nova Scotia Geomatics Centre (Province of Nova Scotia). 2006.  
  • Brebner, John Bartlet. New England's Outpost. Acadia before the Conquest of Canada (1927)
  • Brebner, John Bartlet. The Neutral Yankees of Nova Scotia: A Marginal Colony During the Revolutionary Years (1937)
  • Creighton, Helen (1966). Songs and Ballads from Nova Scotia. Dover Publications.  
  • Griffiths, Naomi. E. S. From Migrant to Acadian, 1604–1755: A North American Border People. Montreal and Kingston, McGill / Queen's University Press, 2004.
  • Grenier, John. The Far Reaches of Empire. War in Nova Scotia, 1710–1760. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 2008. (ISBN 9780806138763)
  • Landry, Peter. The Lion & The Lily. Vol. 1, Trafford Publishing, Victoria, BC., 2007. (ISBN 1425154506)
  • Murdoch, Beamish. History of Nova Scotia, Or Acadie. Vol 2. BiblioBazaar, LaVergne, TN, 1865.
  • Pryke, Kenneth G. Nova Scotia and Confederation, 1864–74 (1979) (ISBN 0-8020-5389-0)
  • Thomas Akins. History of Halifax, Brookhouse Press. 1895. (2002 edition) (ISBN 1141698536)

External links

  • Government of Nova Scotia
  • Nova Scotia at DMOZ

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