"Building on our diverse cultural
heritage, the Western Valley Development Authority (WVDA) will work with
the community to create a vital, prosperous, and self-reliant region where
the people have ample opportunity for a full and satisfying life."
-mission statement of the WVDA
The history of the Western Valley reaches back
more than 11,000 years, to a day when some unknown Mi'kmaq explorer first
set foot in what was to become Nova Scotia. The first step into untouched
territory was probably a difficult one. What lay in the dark forests, or
sheltered around the next curve or shoreline? In a sense, our region is
the crossroads where Canada originated... where First Nations, French and
British first came together. And in every case, the peoples who came here
made a step into the unknown.
That spirit lives on in the Western Valley today.
Mi'kmaq, Acadian, Loyalist, Free Black - our founding peoples were risk
takers and forward lookers. They were adventurers and dreamers. And their
dreams drives us still...
Tidal Generating Plant located in Annapolis Royal
The last few years have been difficult ones for
coastal communities in the North Atlantic. The fisheries have collapsed,
and with the disappearance of the fish, industries like boat building have
faded. Times have been hard, and the going has been tough. But if you've
read some of the stories in this web site already, you know that our people
are used to tough times and rough water. We are the descendants of peoples
who pulled a living from the land and from the sea. We are the children
of peoples who made a home out of a strange new land.
That history of achievement, of success in the
face of adversity, drives us still. The Western Valley Development Authority,
which coordinates economic development activity in the region, sees it as
the key to the future. Although we have faced tough times, our unique heritage
has prepared us for this new century.
For starters, we've taken new tools and applied
them to old problems. We've digitally mapped our fishing grounds and coastal
resources using Geographic Information Systems technologies. We generate
electricity using tidal power. We have a state-of-the-art Passive Solar
Aquatic Wastewater Treatment facility that uses greenhouse plants to clean
our sewage. And we have a series of 20 Public Access Internet Sites stretched
across our region to make information technology and tools available to
Solar Aquatics Facility
But our future isn't just about using new tools
to try to do old things - the Western Valley is finding old ways to do new
things. We used to build fiberglass fishing boats - but now our fiberglassers
are building virtual reality training chambers for firefighters across North
America. We used to train Canadian Navy personnel - but now we train senior
officers from around the world to be international peacekeepers at the Pearson
Peacekeeping Training Centre. Our future is filled with our past, and as
we focus on the skills and experiences that made us strong, the opportunities
continue to grow.
We're proud of our accomplishments, and we're proud
of our past. But we're even prouder of the future that we're building for