June 9, 2009
ST. STEPHEN (CNB) - The new Chocolate Discovery Centre, an expansion to the popular Chocolate Museum, was officially opened here yesterday.
"New Brunswick is known for its world-class cultural activities and fascinating historic sites and museums," said Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet. "The Province of New Brunswick is proud to invest in this important tourism and cultural project for St. Stephen and Charlotte County. It will create another opportunity for tourists and visitors to experience."
This expansion will give the Chocolate Museum, a not-for-profit organization co-owned by the Town of St. Stephen and Ganong Bros. Ltd., more flexibility and space for school, tour bus and group visits, which are expected to more than double by 2010.
"The Government of Canada is committed to investing in projects such as this expansion, which will advance long-term economic opportunities in this community," said Keith Ashfield, minister of state responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). "Our investment of more than $411,000 in this project has helped the Chocolate Museum to expand, increasing its capacity for visitors and giving these visitors the opportunity to see first-hand how hand-crafted chocolates are produced."
The federal government invested $411,216 through ACOA's Innovative Communities Fund. The provincial government contributed $200,000 through the Regional Development Corporation and the Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport. The Town of St. Stephen invested $152,429 through loan guarantees, while Ganong Bros. Ltd. contributed $112,200 (in kind) for a total project valued at $875,845.
"This major reinterpretation and significant expansion provides a unique state-of-the-art tourist attraction in the heart of downtown St. Stephen," said Maria Kulcher, chair of the Museum's Operating Committee. "Its 38 exhibits celebrate the wonder of chocolate. They also tell one of our province's most important business success stories, that of Ganong Bros. Ltd.
"We are delighted and honoured to have representatives from the four funding partners here to help us celebrate our grand re-opening today as well as our 10th anniversary this month."
MEDIA CONTACTS: Bruce Macfarlane, Regional Development Corporation, 506-444-4606; Sharon Stanford-Rutter, communications, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (New Brunswick), 506-451-2677; Maria Kulcher, Chocolate Museum Operating Committee, 506-466-5416.