The Green Beacon project aims to make the community centre, and the communities of Main-à-Dieu & area, sustainable - both fiscally and environmentally - as well as a model for other coastal communities wishing to 'go green'. Read more»

Recent Blog posts
November 6, 2014

ACAP – Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the Marconi Trail

Hi Everyone,

As most of you are aware, we held a workshop series at the Centre last week surrounding a Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the Marconi Trail, hosted by ACAP Cape Breton. One of the main topics revolved around coastal erosion.

We have a map of the Main-À-Dieu area, and we are asking the community to take a moment to stop by the Board Room and mark in any areas you know to have had erosion happen. You can draw on it, write on it, or whatever you have to do to show any area’s you know which have been affected.

Ashley Shelton with ACAP will be picking the map up next Thursday, November 13th, so please stop by and make your markings before then


September 23, 2014

Community Banner Workshop

If you or someone you know is interested in attending this free workshop, please do one of the following:
- Visit the Facebook event page by clicking here.
- Contact Nicole McNeil, Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design, for any inquiries or to register for the event
(902) 539-7491 EXT. 115 (t) (e)
- Contact Julian O’Neil, Coastal Discovery Centre, for any inquiries or to register for the event
(902) 733-2258 (t) (e)


October 7, 2014

A Day on Scatarie Island…

On Monday October 6, I was amongst the group of individuals who were invited to the beautiful island of Scatarie, to get a site tour around the wreck of the M.V. Miner.

At 8:45 AM, we left the Coastal Discovery Centre and met at the Main-A-Dieu harbour, where two vessels (one bought by the contracted company, and another, an upgraded local fishing vessel which had the correct permits in place to legally transport individuals to the site) were awaiting to commence the approximate 40 minute boat ride. The sun was shining, and skies were as blue as the ocean we rode out on, to reach our arch nemesis – The M.V. Miner.

As we approached the island, the first bit of activity we saw was the enormous crane they were using to transport scraps from inside the ship. At this point, you could not see the ship itself, but only the massive arm of the crane moving back-and-forth. As we turned the corner and began to see the Miner, the view was astonishing. The 222 meter wrecked-ship was really a sight to see with your own eyes – pictures and video do not do it justice.

Five people at a time were transported from the two vessels (which brought almost 20 people to the wreck), in a small motorized boat. The boat then had to drive through an opening of the ship, which was one of the most amazing views for me. To drive through it really gave a sense of how massive this ship really is and to see how much it has deteriorated out over the last three years was truly breath-taking.

Once everyone was on dry-land, had signed in at the main office, and put their proper safety equipment on, we commenced a tour around the camp-site. We were shown their kitchen area, where cook Jackie Kennedy was preparing the meal for the evening (which was haddock, may I add). We were able to walk amongst the camp, where each trailer served a purpose (bathrooms, showering areas, living quarters, offices, etc).

It wasn’t long after scouting the camp that we were able to walk around and view all of the heavy equipment on the island. The piece that stood out to me were the shears which they will soon be cutting the ship apart with: as I have never seen such massive shears for cutting metal before. When dealing with the size of the ship, however, I should not have been as surprised.

We were then invited to take a tour on the bow of the Miner, where everyone seemed to sense the same “ghostly, abandoned feel”, as they walked through the chambers.  “It was truly an experience in itself” said Sean Howard, representative of the Main-A-Dieu Community Development Association, “the wreck is so monstrous, and this is why we fought so hard for so long, even when we thought it was a lost cause”.

Minister of Transport, Geoff MacLellan, summed up the Governments’ commitment to the project: “For us to just leave this vessel rotting here, wouldn’t be responsible” explained MacLellan, “it’s never been fair for taxpayers to foot this bill alone, and I hope that the Minister (Raitt) will take those things into consideration, and to still take a look at the M.V. Miner file to see where they can help out financially, but in the long run, really take a hard look into the Canada Shipping License”.

-Julian O’Neil, Program Coordinator with the MCDA.

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October 29, 2014

Main-À-Dieu Public Workshop Series – Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the Marconi Trail

On Thursday October 30, the Coastal Discovery Centre, in partnership with ACAP Cape Breton, will be hosting the first of two workshop series surrounding climate change and adaptation plan for the Marconi Trail.
The meeting will begin at 6:00pm, and light refreshments will be provided.

Main-a-Dieu Public Workshop Poster



Right to Heat

A government knows it’s got an ‘election issue’ on its hands when even the so-called middle class is talking about it. Indeed, it seems the high cost of fuel – and what it will mean for the cost of home heating this winter – has made it onto just about everyone’s agenda. Read more»


Heating Assistance Rebate Program

A rebate of up to $200 for low- and modest-incomers who heat their home with oil, electricity, wood, propane, wood pellets, natural gas or coal. Applications have been mailed to 54,000 Nova Scotians who received the rebate last year. You can download the application form here.

Past, Present & Future in a Rural Fishing Village: Sustainable Communities in the 21st Century

The Boats of Main-à-Dieu
A multimedia narrative history

Follow a boat from its building to its blessing; listen as generations of local residents share their memories of fishing and the sea; witness the area's transformation in light of the era's cultural, economic and technological developments.

Time & Tide
A people's history of Main-à-Dieu & area

Based on original footage and interviews, augmented by a wealth of archival material from local residents, the film revolves round four main themes: fishing and the sea, community and church, war and peace, daily life and leisure.

Green Beacon, Bright Future
5-year Plan & Sustainability Vision

An experimental development model for the Coastal Discovery Centre, and a 'green-print' for other communities wishing to go green and reduce operating costs. Read the document, discuss it, and send us feedback.