Nova Scotia
Nouvelle-Écosse, Alba Nuadh
New Scotland (English)
Flag of Nova Scotia.svg Coat of arms of Nova Scotia.svg
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: Munit Haec et Altera Vincit
(Latin: One defends and the other conquers)
Nova Scotia, Canada
Capital Halifax
Largest city Halifax
Largest metro Halifax Urban Area
Official languages English
Regional Languages Gaelic, French
Demonym Nova Scotian
Lieutenant-Governor Mayann Francis
Premier Darrell Dexter (NDP)
Federal representation in Canadian Parliament
House seats 11
Senate seats 10
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 (%) 1,946 km2 (751 sq mi) (3.5%)
Population  Ranked 7th
Total (2010) 940,482 (est.)[1]
Density 17.63 /km2 (45.7 /sq mi)
GDP  Ranked 7th
Total (2006) C$31.966 billion[2]
Per capita C$34,210 (11th)
Postal NS
ISO 3166-2 CA-NS
Time zone UTC-4
Postal code prefix B
Trailing arbutus 2006
Picea rubens cone
  Red Spruce
Rankings include all provinces and territories

Coordinates: 45°13′N 62°42′W / 45.217, -62.7 (Nova Scotia)

Nova Scotia (pronounced /ˌnvə ˈskʃə/; Latin: Nova Scotia; English: New Scotland; French: Nouvelle-Écosse; Scottish Gaelic: Alba Nuadh) is a Canadian province located on Canada's southeastern coast. It is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. Its capital, Halifax, is the major economic centre of the region. Nova Scotia is the second-smallest province in Canada with an area of 55,284 square kilometres (21,300 sq mi). Its population of 940,397[3] as of 2009 makes it the fourth-least-populous province of the country, though second-most-densely populated.

Nova Scotia's economy is traditionally largely resource-based, but has diversified since the middle of the 20th century. Industries such as fishing, mining, forestry and agriculture remain very important and have been joined by tourism, technology, film, music and finance.

The province includes regions of the Mi'kmaq nation of Mi'kma'ki(mi'gama'gi), which covered the Maritimes, parts of Maine, Newfoundland and the Gaspé Peninsula. Nova Scotia was already home to the Mi'kmaq people when the first European colonists arrived. In 1604, French colonists established the first permanent European settlement north of Florida at Port Royal, founding what would become known as Acadia.

The British Empire obtained control of the region between 1713 and 1760, and established a new capital at Halifax in 1749. In 1867 Nova Scotia was one of the founding provinces of the Canadian Confederation, along with New Brunswick and the Province of Canada (which became the separate provinces of Quebec and Ontario). It was named after Scotland, and today people of Scottish descent are still the largest ethnic group in the province.


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.[4] 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, approximately 175 km (110 mi) from the province's southern coast.

Nova Scotia-map-2

Map of Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is Canada's second-smallest province in area after Prince Edward Island. Nova Scotia is also Canada's most-southern-centred province even though it does not have the most-southern location in Canada, which is in Ontario. Because part of Ontario stretches far to the north, Ontario's centre is further north than Nova Scotia's.


Nova Scotia lies in the mid-temperate zone and, although the province is almost surrounded by water, the climate is closer to continental rather than 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, the sea is a major influence on Nova Scotia's climate. Nova Scotia's cold winters and warm summers are modified and generally moderated by ocean influences. The province is surrounded by three major bodies of water, the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to the north, the Bay of Fundy to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south and east. While the constant temperature of the Atlantic Ocean moderates the climate of the south and east coasts of Nova Scotia, heavy ice build-up in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence makes winters colder in northern Nova Scotia; the shallowness of the Gulf's waters mean that they warm up more than the Atlantic Ocean in the summer, warming the summers in northern Nova Scotia. Summer officially lasts from the first Sunday in April to the Saturday before the last Sunday in October.

Nova Scotia from space

A satellite photo of Nova Scotia

Rainfall changes from 140 centimetres (55 in) in the south to 100 centimetres (40 in) elsewhere. Nova Scotia is also very foggy in places, with Halifax averaging 196 foggy days per year[5] and Yarmouth 191.[6]

The average annual temperatures are:

  • Spring from 1 °C (34 °F) to 17 °C (63 °F)
  • Summer from 14 °C (57 °F) to 28 °C (82 °F)[7]
  • Fall about 5 °C (41 °F) to 20 °C (68 °F)
  • Winter about −20 °C (−4.0 °F) to 5 °C (41 °F)

Due to the ocean's moderating effect Nova Scotia is the warmest of the provinces in Canada. Nova Scotia also has a fairly wide but not extreme temperature range, a late and long summer, skies that are often cloudy or overcast; frequent coastal fog and marked changeability of weather from day to day. The main factors influencing Nova Scotia's climate are:

  • The effects of the westerly winds
  • The interaction between three main air masses which converge on the east coast
  • Nova Scotia's location on the routes of the major eastward-moving storms
  • The modifying influence of the sea.

Because Nova Scotia juts out into the Atlantic, it is prone to tropical storms and hurricanes in the summer and autumn. However due to the relatively cooler waters off the coast of Nova Scotia, tropical storms are usually weak by the time they reach Nova Scotia. There have been 33 such storms, including 12 hurricanes, since records were kept in 1871—about once every four years. The last hurricane was category-one Hurricane Kyle in September 2008, and the last tropical storm was Tropical Storm Noel in 2007 (downgraded from Hurricane Noel by the time the storm reached Nova Scotia).


Paleo-Indians camped at locations in present-day Nova Scotia approximately 11,000 years ago. Natives are believed to have been present in the area between 1,000 and 5,000 years ago. Mi'kmaq, the First Nations of the province and region, are their direct descendants.

It is most widely believed that the Venetian explorer John Cabot, sailing under the English flag, visited present-day Cape Breton in 1497.[8]

French Colony Edit

The first European settlement in Nova Scotia was established more than a century later in 1604. The French, led by Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts established the first capital for the colony Acadia at Port Royal that year at the head of the Annapolis Basin. Also, French fishermen established a settlement at Canso the same year.

In 1620, the Plymouth Council for New England, under King James VI (of Scotland) & I (of England) designated the whole shorelines of Acadia and the Mid-Atlantic colonies south to the Chesapeake Bay as New England.

Scottish Colony Edit

The first documented Scottish settlement in the Americas was of Nova Scotia in 1621. On 29 September 1621, the charter for the foundation of a colony was granted by James VI to William Alexander, 1st Earl of Stirling and, in 1622, the first settlers left Scotland. This settlement initially failed because of difficulties in obtaining a sufficient number of skilled emigrants, and in 1624 James VI created a new order of baronets. Admission to this order was obtained by sending six labourers or artisans, sufficiently armed, dressed and supplied for two years, to Nova Scotia, or by paying 3,000 merks to William Alexander. For six months, no one took up this offer until James compelled one to make the first move.

In 1627, there was a wider uptake of baronetcies and thus more settlers available to go to Nova Scotia. However, in 1627, war broke out between England and France, and the French re-established a settlement at Port Royal which they had originally settled. Later that year, a combined Scottish and English force destroyed the French settlement, forcing them out. In 1629, the first Scottish settlement at Port Royal was inhabited. The colony's charter, in law, made Nova Scotia (defined as all land between Newfoundland and New England) a part of mainland Scotland; this was later used to get around the English navigation acts. However, this did not last long: in 1631, under King Charles I, the Treaty of Suza was signed which returned Nova Scotia to the French. The Scots were forced by Charles to abandon their mission before their colony had been properly established, and the French assumed control of the Mi'kmaq and other First Nations territory.

French Colony Edit

In 1654, King Louis XIV of France appointed aristocrat Nicholas Denys as Governor of Acadia and granted him the confiscated lands and the right to its minerals. English colonists captured Acadia in the course of King William's War, but England returned the territory to France in the Treaty of Ryswick at the end of the war. The territory was recaptured by forces loyal to Britain during the course of Queen Anne's War, and its conquest was confirmed by the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713. France retained possession of Île St Jean (Prince Edward Island) and Île Royale (Cape Breton Island), on which it established a fortress at Louisbourg to guard the sea approaches to Quebec. This fortress was captured by American colonial forces in 1745, then returned by the British to France in 1748, then captured again during the French and Indian War, in 1758.

British Colony Edit

Nova Scotia stamp

During the colonial period, Nova Scotia issued its own postage stamps printed in England. This distinctive diamond shape (issued between 1851 and 1857) was also used by neighbouring New Brunswick.


Nova Scotia stamp issued 1860.

Thus mainland Nova Scotia became a British colony in 1713, although Samuel Vetch had a precarious hold on the territory as governor from the fall of Acadian Port-Royal (Annapolis Royal) in October 1710. British governing officials became increasingly concerned over the unwillingness of the French-speaking, Roman Catholic Acadians, who were the majority of colonists, to pledge allegiance to the British Crown, then George II. The colony remained mostly Acadian despite the establishment of Halifax as the province's capital, and the settlement of a large number of foreign Protestants (some French and Swiss but mostly German) at Lunenburg in 1753. In 1755, the British forcibly expelled over 12,000 Acadians in what became known as the Grand Dérangement, or Great Upheaval.[9] The Acadians were scattered across the Atlantic, in the Thirteen Colonies, Louisiana, Quebec, Britain and France.[10] Very few eventually returned to Nova Scotia.[11]

At the same time the British Crown began bestowing land grants in Nova Scotia on favoured subjects to encourage settlement and trade with the mother country. In June 1764, for instance, the Boards of Trade requested the King make massive land grants to such Royal favourites as Thomas Pownall, Richard Oswald, Humphry Bradstreet, John Wentworth, Thomas Thoroton[12] and Lincoln's Inn barrister Levett Blackborne.[13] Two years later, in 1766, at a gathering at the home of Levett Blackborne, an adviser to the Duke of Rutland, Oswald and his friend James Grant were released from their Nova Scotia properties so they could concentrate on their grants in British East Florida.[14]

The colony's jurisdiction changed during this time. Nova Scotia was granted a supreme court in 1754 with the appointment of Jonathan Belcher and a Legislative Assembly in 1758. In 1763 Cape Breton Island became part of Nova Scotia. In 1769, St. John's Island (now Prince Edward Island) became a separate colony. The county of Sunbury was created in 1765, and included the territory of present-day New Brunswick and eastern Maine as far as the Penobscot River. In 1781, the French Navy successfully fought the Naval battle of Louisbourg against the Royal Navy, as a result of the Franco-American alliance against Great Britain. In 1784 the western, mainland portion of the colony was separated and became the province of New Brunswick, and the territory in Maine entered the control of the newly independent American state of Massachusetts. Cape Breton became a separate colony in 1784 only to be returned to Nova Scotia in 1820.

Ancestors of more than half of present-day Nova Scotians arrived in the period following the Acadian Expulsion. Between 1759 and 1768, about 8,000 New England Planters responded to Governor Charles Lawrence's request for settlers from the New England colonies. Several years later, approximately 30,000 United Empire Loyalists (American Tories) settled in Nova Scotia (when it comprised present-day Maritime Canada) following the defeat of the British in the American Revolutionary War. Of these 30,000, 14,000 went to New Brunswick and 16,000 went to Nova Scotia. Approximately 3,000 of this group were Black Loyalists, about a third of whom soon moved themselves to Sierra Leone in 1792 via the Committee for the Relief of the Black Poor, becoming the Original settlers of Freetown.

Large numbers of Gaelic-speaking Highland Scots emigrated to Cape Breton and the western part of the mainland during the late 18th century and 19th century. In 1812 Sir Hector Maclean (the 7th Baronet of Morvern and 23rd Chief of the Clan Maclean) emigrated to Pictou from Glensanda and Kingairloch in Scotland with almost the entire population of 500.[15][16][17] Sir Hector is buried in the cemetery at Pictou.[17]

About one thousand Ulster-Scots settled in mainly central Nova Scotia during this time, as did just over a thousand farming migrants from Yorkshire and Northumberland between 1772 and 1775.

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. Pro-Confederate premier Charles Tupper led Nova Scotia into the Canadian Confederation in 1867, along with New Brunswick and the Province of Canada.

In the provincial election of 1868, the Anti-Confederation Party won 18 out of 19 federal seats, and 36 out of 38 seats in the provincial legislature. For seven years, William Annand and Joseph Howe led the ultimately unsuccessful fight to convince British imperial authorities to release Nova Scotia from Confederation. The government was vocally against Confederation, contending that it was no more than the annexation of the province to the pre-existing province of Canada:

"...the scheme [confederation with Canada] by them assented to would, if adopted, deprive the people [of Nova Scotia] of the inestimable privilege of self-government, and of their rights, liberty and independence, rob them of their revenue, take from them the regulation of trade and taxation, expose them to arbitrary taxation by a legislature over which they have no control, and in which they would possess but a nominal and entirely ineffective representation; deprive them of their invaluable fisheries, railways, and other property, and reduce this hitherto free, happy, and self-governed province to a degraded condition of a servile dependency of Canada."

from Address to the Crown by the Government (Journal of the House of Assembly, Province of Nova Scotia, 1868)

A motion passed by the Nova Scotia House of Assembly in 1868 refusing to recognise the legitimacy of Confederation has never been rescinded. Repeal, as anti-confederation became known, would rear its head again in the 1880s, and transform into the Maritime Rights Movement in the 1920s. Some Nova Scotia flags flew at half mast on Dominion Day as late as that time.


Population since 1851Edit

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

Top ten counties by populationEdit

County 2001 2006
Halifax (county) 359,183 372,858
Cape Breton (county) 109,330 105,928
Kings County 58,866 60,035
Colchester County 49,307 50,023
Lunenburg County 47,591 47,150
Pictou County 46,965 46,513
Hants County 40,513 41,182
Cumberland County 32,605 32,046
Yarmouth County 26,843 26,277
Annapolis County 21,773 21,438

Ethnic originsEdit

According to the 2001 Canadian census[19] the largest ethnic group in Nova Scotia is Scottish (29.3%), followed by English (28.1%), Irish (19.9%), French (16.7%), German (10.0%), Dutch (3.9%), First Nations (3.2%), Welsh (1.4%), Italian (1.3%), and Acadian (1.2%). Peoples of European descent thus make up approximately 96.8% of the total population. Almost half of respondents (47.4%) identified their ethnicity as "Canadian".


Nouvelle-Ecosse langues

Mother tongue in Nova Scotia.

The 2006 Canadian census showed a population of 913,462.
Of the 899,270 singular responses to the census question concerning 'mother tongue' the most-commonly reported languages were:

Rank Language Respondants Percentage
1. English 832,105 92.53%
2. French 32,540 3.62%
3. Arabic 4,425 0.49%
4. Mi'kmaq 4,060 0.45%
5. German 4,045 0.45%
6. Chinese 3,370 0.37%
7. Dutch 2,440 0.27%
8. Polish 1,570 0.17%
9. Spanish 1,305 0.15%
10. Greek 1,035 0.12%
11. Italian 905 0.10%
12. Korean 860 0.10%
13. Gaelic 799 0.10%
Peggys Cove Harbour 01

Peggys Cove Harbour

In addition, there were also 105 responses of both English and a 'non-official language'; 25 of both French and a 'non-official language'; 495 of both English and French; 10 of English, French, and a 'non-official language'; and about 10,300 people who either did not respond to the question, or reported multiple non-official languages, or else gave another unenumerated response. Figures shown are for the number of single language responses and the percentage of total single-language responses.[20]


The largest denominations by number of adherents according to the 2001 census were the Roman Catholic Church with 327,940 (37 %); the United Church of Canada with 142,520 (16 %); and the Anglican Church of Canada with 120,315 (13 %).[21]


YarmouthNS FishingBoats

Lobster fishing boats in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia's traditionally resource-based economy has become more diverse in recent decades. The rise of Nova Scotia as a viable jurisdiction in North America 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 twentieth century. The collapse of the cod stocks and the closure of this sector resulted in a loss of approximately 20,000 jobs in 1992.[22] Per capita GDP in 2005 was $31,344,[23] lower than the national average per capita GDP of $34,273 and less than half that of Canada's richest province, Alberta.

Due, in part, to a strong small-business sector, Nova Scotia now has one of the fastest-growing economies in Canada. Small business makes up 92.2% of the provincial economy.[24] Mining, especially of gypsum and salt and to a lesser extent silica, peat and barite, is also a significant sector.[25] Since 1991, offshore oil and gas has become an increasingly important part of the economy. Agriculture remains an important sector in the province. In the central part of Nova Scotia, lumber and paper industries are responsible for much of the employment opportunities.

Nova Scotia’s defence and aerospace sector generates approximately $500 million in revenues and contributes about $1.5 billion to the provincial economy annually.[26] To date, 40% of Canada’s military assets reside in Nova Scotia.[27] 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.[28] Recently, the video game industry has grown with the emergence of developers such as HB Studios and Silverback Productions. The province made international headlines with an investment by Longtail Studios in 2009.[29]

The Nova Scotia tourism industry includes more than 6,500 direct businesses, supporting nearly 40,000 jobs.[30] 200,000 cruise ship passengers from around the world flow through the Port of Halifax, Nova Scotia each year.[31] This industry contributes approximately $1.3 billion annually to the economy.[32] The province also boasts a rapidly developing Information & Communication Technology (ICT) sector which consists of over 500 companies, and employs roughly 15,000 people.[33] The Life Sciences sector in the province is flourishing; some of the most innovative life sciences companies in the world can be found in Nova Scotia.[34] In 2006, the manufacturing sector brought in over $2.6 billion in chained GDP, the largest output of any industrial sector in Nova Scotia.[35] There are currently over 360 firms in the Insurance Industry of Nova Scotia; there is a forecasted 25% growth in employment for this industry in the province over the next three years.[36]

The average income of a Nova Scotian family is $47,100, ranking close to the national average; for Halifax, the average family income is $58,262, which far surpasses the national average. This, along with the province’s highly affordable real estate, makes Nova Scotia a cost-effective place to live.[37] Halifax ranks among the top five most cost-effective places to do business when compared to large international centres in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.[24]

Nova Scotia has a number of incentive programs, including tax refunds and credits that work to encourage small business growth.[38] The province is attracting major companies from all over the world that will help fuel the economy and provide jobs; companies like Research in Motion (RIM) and Lockheed Martin have seen the value of Nova Scotia and established branches in the province.[39]

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.[40] Its export value of fish exceeds $1 billion, and fish products are received by 90 countries around the world.[41]

Government and politicsEdit


The government of Nova Scotia is a parliamentary democracy. Its unicameral legislature, the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, consists of fifty-two members. As Canada's head of state, Queen Elizabeth II is the head of Nova Scotia's Executive Council, which serves as the Cabinet of the provincial government. Her Majesty's duties in Nova Scotia are carried out by her representative, the Lieutenant-Governor, currently Mayann E. Francis. The government is headed by the Premier, Darrell Dexter, who took office June 19, 2009. Halifax is home to the House of Assembly and Government House, the residence of the Lieutenant-Governor.

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. While Nova Scotians have enjoyed balanced budgets for years, the accumulated debt exceeds $12 billion (including forecasts of future liability, such as pensions and environmental cleanups), resulting in slightly over $897 million in debt servicing payments, or 12.67% of expenses.[42] The province participates in the HST, a blended sales tax collected by the federal government using the GST tax system.

Nova Scotia has elected three minority governments over the last decade. The Progressive Conservative government of John Hamm, and Rodney MacDonald, has required the support of the New Democratic Party or Liberal Party since the election in 2003. Nova Scotia's politics are divided on regional lines in such a way that it has become difficult to elect a majority government. Rural mainland Nova Scotia has largely been aligned behind the Progressive Conservative Party, Halifax Regional Municipality has overwhelmingly supported the New Democrats, with Cape Breton voting for Liberals with a few Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats. This has resulted in a three-way split of votes on a province-wide basis for each party and difficulty in any party gaining a majority.


Halifax, provincial capital

The most recent election of June 9, 2009, elected 31 New Democrats, 11 Liberals and 10 Progressive Conservatives resulting in Nova Scotia's first New Democratic government, and first majority government in almost a decade.

Nova Scotia no longer has any incorporated cities; they were amalgamated into Regional Municipalities in 1996. Halifax, the provincial capital, is now part of the Halifax Regional Municipality, as is Dartmouth, formerly the province's second largest city. The former cities of Sydney and Glace Bay are now part of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

The House of Assembly passed a motion in 2004 inviting the Turks and Caicos Islands to join the province, should these Caribbean islands renew their wish to join Canada.


The Minister of Education is responsible for the administration and delivery of education, as defined by the Education Act[43] 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 administer 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 11 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, Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Cape Breton University and the Atlantic School of Theology.

There are also more than 90 registered private commercial colleges in Nova Scotia.[44]


Lighthouse in Nova Scotia

The lighthouse situated on Peggy's Point, immediately south of Peggy's Cove.

Despite the small population of the province, Nova Scotia's music and culture is influenced by well-established cultural groups, which are sometimes referred to as the "founding cultures".

The entire region comprising the present-day province was originally populated by the Mi'kmaq First Nation. The first European settlers were the French, who founded Acadia in 1604. Nova Scotia was briefly colonized by Scottish settlers in 1620, though by 1624 the Scottish settlers had been removed by treaty and the area was turned over to the French until the mid-18th century. After the defeat of the French and prior expulsion of the Acadians, settlers of English, Irish, Scottish and African descent began arriving on the shores of Nova Scotia.

Settlement was greatly accelerated by the resettlement of Loyalists in Nova Scotia during the period following the end of the American Revolutionary War. It was during this time that a large African Nova Scotian community took root, populated by freed slaves and Loyalist blacks and their families, who had fought for the crown in exchange for land. This community later grew when the Royal Navy began intercepting slave ships destined for the United States, and deposited these free slaves on the shores of Nova Scotia.

Later, in the 19th century the Irish Famine and, especially, the Scottish Highland Clearances resulted in large influxes of migrants with Celtic cultural roots, which helped to define the dominantly Celtic character of Cape Breton and the north mainland of the province. This Gaelic influence continues to play an important role in defining the cultural life of the province and around 500 to 2000 Nova Scotians today are fluent in Scottish Gaelic. Nearly all live in Antigonish County or on Cape Breton Island.[45][46]

Modern Nova Scotia is a mix of cultures. The government works to support Mi'kmaq, French, Gaelic and African-Nova Scotian culture through the establishment of government secretariats, as well as colleges, educational programs and cultural centres. The province is also eager to attract new immigrants,[47] but has had limited success. The major population centres at Halifax and Sydney are the most cosmopolitan, hosting large Arab populations (in the former) and Eastern European populations (in the latter). Halifax Regional Municipality hosts a yearly multicultural festival.[48]


Nova Scotia has long been a centre for artistic and cultural excellence. Halifax has emerged as the leading cultural centre in the Atlantic region. The city hosts such institutions such as Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University, and the Symphony Nova Scotia, the only full orchestra performing in Atlantic Canada. The province is home to avant-garde visual art and traditional crafting, writing and publishing and a film industry.

While popular music has experienced almost two decades of explosive growth and success in Nova Scotia, the province remains best known for its folk and traditional based music. Nova Scotia's traditional (or folk) music is Scottish in character, and traditions from Scotland are kept true to form, in some cases more so than in Scotland. This is especially true with Cape Breton Island, a major international centre for Celtic music. On mainland Nova Scotia, particularly in some of the rural villages throughout Guysborough County, Irish-influenced styles of music are commonly played, due to the predominance of Irish culture in many of the county's villages.

See also Edit

Portal.svg Nova Scotia




  1. ^ "Canada's population estimates: Table 2 Quarterly demographic estimates". 2010-06-28. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  2. ^ Gross domestic product, expenditure-based, by province and territory
  3. ^ Statistics Canada. "Canada's population estimates 2009-12-23". Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  4. ^ Ted Harrison (1993). O Canada. Ticknor & Fields. 
  5. ^ Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  6. ^ Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
  7. ^ Environment Canada - Atlantic Climate Centre - The Climate of Nova Scotia
  8. ^ John Cabot - Giovanni Caboto - June 1497. Retrieved 2010-05-04.
  9. ^ ; Ronnie-Gilles LeBlanc (2005). Du Grand Dérangement à la Déportation: Nouvelles Perspectives Historiques, Moncton: Université de Moncton, 465 pages ISBN 1897214022 (book in French and English)
  10. ^ Jean-François Mouhot (2009) Les Réfugiés acadiens en France (1758-1785): L'Impossible Réintégration?, Quebec, Septentrion, 456 p. ISBN 2894485131; Ernest Martin (1936) Les Exilés Acadiens en France et leur établissement dans le Poitou, Paris, Hachette, 1936
  11. ^ John Mack Faragher (2005). A Great and Noble Scheme: The Tragic Story of the Expulsion of the French Acadians from their American Homeland, New York: W.W. Norton, 562 pages ISBN 0-393-05135-8 (online excerpt
  12. ^ Thomas Blackborne Thoroton was married to an illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Rutland. He and other family members, including Thoroton's half-brother Levett Blackborne, a barrister, had close business and social relationships with Richard Oswald and James Grant, who were instrumental in the English colonies in East Florida and Nova Scotia.[1]
  13. ^ Representation to His Majesty with a List of Several persons for Grants of Lands in Nova Scotia, Representations of the Lords of Trade to the King, June 5, 1764,
  14. ^ The Florida Historical Quarterly, vol. LIV, No. 4, April 1976, Gainesville, FL
  15. ^ Cambridge University, Manuscripts - MacLean Sinclair 1899: p282
  16. ^ The Independent, 7 November 1998, County and Garden, Duff Hart-Davis, Saturday, Secrets of a mountain of wealth
  17. ^ a b [ A History of the Clan Maclean from its first settlement at Duard Castle, in the Isle of Mull, to the present period including a genealogical account of some of the principal Families together with their Heraldry, Legends, Superstitions etc". ... by J. P. MacLean, 1889, p263]
  18. ^ "Statistics Canada — Population". . Retrieved December 8, 2009.
  19. ^ Statistics Canada (2005). "Population by selected ethnic origins, by province and territory (Census 2001)". Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  20. ^ Detailed Mother Tongue (186), Knowledge of Official Languages (5), Age Groups (17A) and Sex (3) (2006 Census)
  21. ^ Religions in Canada
  22. ^ Fish in Crisis. / "The Starving Ocean". /. Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  23. ^ Government of Nova Scotia (2007). "Economics and Statistics". Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  24. ^ a b Carter, S. (ed.) Migrationnews Canada. 2007-2008 Edition. Oceania Development Group. Retrieved on: October 10, 2008.
  25. ^ Province of Nova Scotia, "Summary of Nova Scotia Mineral Production, 1994 and 1995"
  26. ^ Nova Scotia Business Inc. Defence, Security & Aerospace.Retrieved on: October 10, 2008.
  27. ^ Nova Scotia Business Inc. Defence, Security & Aerospace.Retrieved on: April 16, 2010.
  28. ^ Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation Production Statistics for the 12 Month Period Ended March 31, 2008. Retrieved on: October 10, 2008.
  29. ^ Leading-edge video game company comes to Nova Scotia [2]. Retrieved on: May 1, 2009.
  30. ^ Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia. Tourism Summit 2008. Retrieved on: October 10, 2008.
  31. ^ "Going Global, Staying Local: A Partnership Strategy for Export Development". Government of Nova Scotia. Retrieved October 10, 2008. 
  32. ^ Nova Scotia Business Inc.. / "Key Facts". /. Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  33. ^ Trade Team Nova Scotia. / "Information and Communications Technology". /. Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  34. ^ BioNova. / "Nova Scotia Biotechnology". /. Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  35. ^ Invest In Canada. / "Nova Scotia". /. Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  36. ^ Insureconomy. / "Nova Scotia's Insurance Industry". /. Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  37. ^ Nova Scotia Business Inc.. / "Quality of Life". /. Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  38. ^ Canada Business. / "Tax Refunds and Credits". /. Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  39. ^ Nova Scotia Business Inc.. / "Locate Your Business in Nova Scotia". /. Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  40. ^ Tower Software. / "The Nova Scotian Economy". /. Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  41. ^ Trade Team Nova Scotia. / "Fisheries & Aquaculture". /. Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  42. ^ Government of Nova Scotia. "Nova Scotia estimates 2006-2007" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  43. ^ Government of Nova Scotia (1996). "Education Act". Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  44. ^ "Registered Colleges for 2010-2011". Province of Nova Scotia. 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  45. ^ Nova Scotia Archives (May). "Gaelic Resources". Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  46. ^ Office of Gaelic Affairs
  47. ^ Nova Scotia Office of Immigration. "Nova Scotia". Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  48. ^ "Nova Scotia Multicultural Festival". 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-26. 

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