Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

February 23, 2009 08:30 ET

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the First Flight in Canada: The Government of Canada Supports the Silver Dart Centennial

BADDECK, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 23, 2009) - On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, the Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, today announced funding for the Silver Dart Centennial Association to mark the 100th anniversary of the first powered flight in Canada.

A team led by Alexander Graham Bell launched the first flight of the Silver Dart from the frozen Bras d'Or Lakes on February 23, 1909. Today, National Aviation Day, a replica of the Silver Dart will be on display in Baddeck to commemorate the event.

The centennial anniversary is an opportunity for the Municipality of Victoria County to celebrate not only its history, but also the rich and diverse culture of Cape Breton Island. Activities include air shows and flypasts, a multimedia presentation on the story of the first flight, launches of a commemorative coin and postage stamp, gatherings honouring veterans and air cadets, the Salute to Mabel Bell Musical Celebration, and the Silver Dart Reception.

"The legacy of Alexander Graham Bell is an important part of Nova Scotia's history. It is important that future generations be aware of their origins and of Canada's rich and diverse heritage," said Minister Moore. "Our Government is proud to partner with communities to support activities that celebrate local history, arts, and heritage. Our recent budget continues our record of strong support for activities that promote local arts and heritage and strengthen local economies."

"This federal funding honours one of Alexander Graham Bell's greatest achievements and commemorates the history of Cape Breton. Baddeck, Nova Scotia, was a place where Mr. Bell could spread his wings and find inspiration," said Minister MacKay. "As a Nova Scotian, I share in the enthusiasm for this historic event."

"We very much appreciate the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program funding," said Shane MacFarlane, Chair of the Silver Dart Centennial Association. "This support will ensure that the Flight of the Silver Dart Centennial year-long celebration will be a resounding success, and aviation enthusiasts everywhere will have the opportunity to share in our rich heritage and visit Baddeck, the Birthplace of Canadian Aviation."

Funding of $65,494 is provided through the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage, which provides Canadians with more opportunities to take part in activities that present local arts and culture and celebrate local history and heritage. This program will benefit many community events and historic anniversaries in Canada this year.

This news release is available on the Internet at under Media Room.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and
    Official Languages
    Deirdra McCracken
    Director of Communications
    Canadian Heritage
    Atlantic Region
    Claudine Daigle
    Director, Regional Communications
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations