Government of Canada

Government of Canada

June 14, 2013 09:30 ET

Open Hearth Park Unveiled as Name of New Sydney Park

SYDNEY, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - June 14, 2013) - Canadians have spoken. With twice as many votes as any other finalist, Cape Bretoners and friends and family from across the country have chosen Open Hearth Park as the name of the new park taking shape on the site of the former tar ponds in the heart of Sydney.

The name was submitted by Rob Sinclair's Grade 6 class at MacDonald Elementary School from the community of Dominion in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

The Sydney Park Project campaign was launched in March 2013 and invited Cape Breton students to submit a name for the park.

"Many students and teachers from across Cape Breton used this campaign to learn about the history of the steel plant, the diverse cultural backgrounds of the men and women who worked here, and the importance of protecting and preserving our environment and Canada's natural heritage," said the Honourable Senator Michael L. MacDonald on behalf of Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women. "The name, Open Hearth Park, is a fitting reflection of our community's proud steel-making heritage."

Deputy Premier Frank Corbett said that giving local youth the opportunity to name the new park gave them a meaningful role and voice in shaping the community's future.

"Many of the names submitted through this campaign not only honoured the area's proud past, but also provided a fresh perspective on how today's youth and tomorrow's leaders want Cape Breton to move forward with themes of rebirth, innovation and a greener and more prosperous future," said Corbett. "We are thrilled by the enthusiastic support of Cape Bretoners and friends and family from across Canada in selecting the park's new name by voting online."

During the naming announcement, Corbett also announced details about a highly anticipated community celebration event to mark the successful end to the remediation of the former tar ponds and coke ovens site, and officially open the new park.

The community celebration will kick off on Friday, August 30, with a formal announcement, followed by two days of events including, on the Saturday following, a drum circle; a multicultural festival, including a Mi'kmaq cultural village; musical performances from some of Atlantic Canada's top musical acts; and fireworks and, on the Sunday following, a multi-faith service and family picnic, followed by Right Some Good, one of Canada's ultimate dining events.

When the park opens on August 30, Sydney-area residents and visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy new sports fields, an outdoor stage, a playground area, a dog park, a skating area, trails and more. The overall project remains within its budget and ahead of schedule.

More information about the community celebration event will be available soon on the Sydney Park Project website at www.sydneyparkproject.ca. People can also visit the Sydney Park Project's Facebook page, and follow the project on Twitter.

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BACKGROUND

Sydney Park Project: Official Naming Announcement

Background:

The Sydney Park Project was a provincially led campaign that invited Cape Breton students to submit names for the new community park currently being constructed over the successfully remediated Sydney tar ponds site. It was launched in March 2013 in a grade-three classroom at Cusack Elementary School in Sydney by the Honourable Gordie Gosse, Speaker of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly and MLA for Cape Breton Nova. Students were asked to send in names for the park and explain their submissions in an original essay, song, photo, video or work of art.

The campaign involved schools under the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board, Strait Regional School Board and Scolaire Etoile de l'Acadie; First Nations schools in Eskasoni, Membertou, Potlotek, Whycocomagh, and Wagmatcook; the Cape Breton Christian School and Harbourview Montessori School; and home-schooled students registered with the Province of Nova Scotia living in Cape Breton.

Students were able to send in their park name suggestions until April 27th and the campaign received more than 200 names from all over Cape Breton. In May, the top names, as chosen by a selection committee of project and community representatives, were posted to the Sydney Park Project website, where all Canadians were invited to vote for their favourite.

With a social media presence on Twitter and YouTube, and with more than 3,000 likes on the official Facebook page, the campaign engaged the local community and people from all over the country. Votes came pouring in from Cape Breton and the rest of Canada, with the campaign receiving more than 8,000 online votes by its deadline of June 3rd. The results were then narrowed down based on the criteria of removing any more than one vote for the same name originating from the same IP address, and within the same 24-hour period. This brought the total number of eligible votes to 4,387.

Current Status:

Canadians have spoken. With twice as many votes as any other finalist, Cape Bretoners and friends and family from across the country have chosen Open Hearth Park as the name of the new park taking shape on the site of the former tar ponds in the heart of Sydney.

Next Steps:

A community celebration to mark the completion of the project will kick off on Friday, August 30, with a formal announcement, followed by two days of events including, on the Saturday following, a drum circle, a multicultural festival, a Mi'kmaq cultural village, musical performances from some of Atlantic Canada's top musical acts, and fireworks and, on the Sunday following, a multi-faith service and family picnic, followed by Right Some Good, one of Canada's ultimate dining events.

Sydney-area residents and visitors can now look forward to sports fields, an outdoor stage, a playground area, a dog park, a skating area, pedestrian bridges, trails and more when the park opens to the public in the fall of 2013. The overall project remains within its budget and ahead of schedule.

Contact Information

  • Amber Irwin
    Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
    819-997-5421

    Media Relations
    Public Works and Government Services Canada
    819-956-2315

    Pam Menchenton
    Communications Advisor
    Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and
    Infrastructure Renewal
    902-424-1750
    menchepm@gov.ns.ca