Nova Scotians and visitors to the province will be able to see and board the tall ships when they visit in July 2017. Premier Stephen McNeil announced today, May 13, that tall ships would be part of the province’s Canada 150 celebration. Nova Scotia has been confirmed as a Rendez-vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta venue and the start of the final leg of the race. “We’re pleased to have tall ships back in Nova Scotia,” said Premier McNeil. “We look forward to welcoming sailors and visitors from around the world to our shores in 2017.” An outport program is being developed that will see some of the ships visiting several coastal communities in the province. Government will provide $1.5 million over two years to help those communities welcome visitors and tall ships to their ports. Rendez-vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta is a 7,000-nautical mile transatlantic race, visiting six countries. Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador Bluenose II will also take part in the tall ships visit. “Nova Scotia has a proud tradition of hosting tall ships events and we are known internationally as a welcoming port of call,” said Jennifer Angel, acting CEO, Waterfront Development Corporation, lead organizers of the event for the province. “With our rich Maritime history, the tall ships backdrop our community in celebration as we showcase our best entertainment, food, artists and history.” Tall ship visits have contributed greatly to Nova Scotia’s economy in the past. In 2009, the Sail Training International event attracted 94,000 tourists and $32 million in economic impact. That impact is felt across the province as ships visit other ports, drawing visitors to rural communities. More than half of visitors to Halifax and other host ports reported in 2010 that tall ships was a large part of the reason they had travelled to Nova Scotia. “Sail Training International is thrilled to be working again with our friends in Nova Scotia and to be part of the Canada 150 celebrations,” said Doug Prothero, chairman and founding trustee of Sail Training International. “Our fleet has enjoyed great Nova Scotia hospitality over many decades of our collaborations. The captains, crew and trainees are keen to visit once again in 2017 when they will be here making final preparations for the race back to Europe.” Dates for events and specific location of visits by the ships to other Nova Scotia ports will be confirmed over coming months.