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NLIS 3
April 27, 2000
(Tourism, Culture and Recreation)


Vikings! 1000 Years Make The Journey events unveiled

Brian Tobin, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, announced today the official list of major events and festivals that are being held as part of the Vikings! 1000 Years celebrations. The announcement took place at a lively ceremony at the St. Johnís Arts and Culture Centre. Also on hand for the unveiling were Barb Genge, president of the Viking Trail Tourism Association, and Gerry Byrne, Member of Parliament, Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte, speaking on behalf of Sheila Copps, minister responsible for Parks Canada. Tourism, Culture and Recreation Minister Charles Furey acted as host for the event.

"The Vikings! 1000 year promises to be our most successful and exciting tourism season ever, for both our visitors and the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador," said Premier Tobin. "All the details necessary to plan a Viking vacation or sample a Viking experience are now available, by visiting our new web site at www.gov.nl.ca/vikings. As well, in cooperation with the Viking Trail Tourism Association, a Vikings festivals and events guide will be sent to every household in the province over the next few weeks."

"This is an outstanding, province-wide event that will continue to draw visitors in the years to come. The Vikings are here to stay, as demonstrated by the recent articles in such high profile publications such as Newsweek, National Geographic and enRoute magazine," the premier said.

"It has been an honour for the federal government to serve as stewards of the cultural heritage represented at LíAnse aux Meadows National Historic Site," said Sheila Copps, Minister of Canadian Heritage. This important archaeological site was declared to be of national historic significance in 1977. One year later, UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage Site.

"I hope that Canadians will take advantage of the Vikings! 1000 Years celebrations to learn more about the Viking presence in North America, and about Canadaís celebrated and distinguished system of protected heritage areas," said Minister Copps.

Ms. Genge noted that Vikings! 1000 Years represents a great opportunity for the Viking Trail. "This event builds upon the legacy of the Viking Trail Tourism Accord, which was our blueprint for tourism development. Since then, we have enjoyed steady growth in visitation and at the same time, we have seen new infrastructure developments that place the Viking Trail on a par with any region in Canada. The event will help us grow to the next level of visitation and is the foundation upon which our region will prosper through the tourism industry. I would like to note that none of this would have been possible without the strong partnerships we have established with the provincial and federal governments and local partners, especially our members."

The major events for the Vikings! 1000 year include:

Voyage of the Islendingur: (July 28-Aug. 21)

The famous Viking longship recreates Leif Ericsonís journey, and takes part in a spectacular arrival ceremony at LĎAnse aux Meadows on July 28

Full Circle: First Contact, Vikings and Skraelings in Newfoundland and Labrador: (June 2-Oct.9)

                   A thrilling multi-media exhibit led by the Newfoundland Museum

Norstead: (July 17 - Sept.8)

Get involved as re-enactors bring a Viking village to life.

Viking Sail 2000: (July 23-Aug.4)

A group of Viking vessels from around the world will sail from Labrador, then rendez-vous with the Islendingur at LíAnse aux Meadows.

Snorri Explores Vinland: (July 1-28)

The original Snorri crew returns to sail the Viking Trail

Viking Trail Sno-Tour: (winter 2001)

A guided snowmobile tour of the northern peninsula and southern Labrador snowmobile trail system

A full description of these events accompanies this release. An entertainment showcase will also take place at each of the 10 official Ports of Call of the Voyage of the Islendingur, and will feature childrenís entertainer Sonya Abbott, the popular musical theatre group Spirit of Newfoundland, and headlining the concert will be the Fables. A fireworks display will cap off each evening of top-notch entertainment.

There are also 10 Viking affiliated events, including the Vikings International Symposium and the Viking Millennium Monument, that are fully outlined in a following document. Further information can also be found on our new web site: www.gov.nl.ca/vikings/

Vikings! 1000 Years: Make the Journey is a project of the Department of Tourism, Culture, and Recreation, Parks Canada and the Viking Trail Tourism Association. The Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Millennium Bureau of Canada are the funding partners for Vikings! 1000 Years. The three major corporate sponsors for the Vikings! 1000 Years celebrations are Petro Canada, NewTel and Newfoundland Power. Supporting sponsors include Dominion, Eimskip, FMC Kongsberg Subsea, Atlantic Lottery Corporation, the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board and Interprovincial Airlines.

Visit the three partners web sites:

Tourism Newfoundland and Labrador www.gov.nl.ca/vikings/ or www.gov.nl.ca/tourism/
Viking Trail Tourism Association www.vikingtrail.org
Parks Canada www.parkscanada.pch.gc.ca (See LíAnse aux Meadows National Historic Site)

Media contact:

Heidi Bonnell, Premierís Office, (709) 729-3564.
Tara Laing, Communications, Vikings! 1000 Years, (709) 729-3813.
Damon Clarke, Communications, Viking Trail Tourism Association, (709) 454-8888.
Jane Brewer, Communications, Parks Canada, (709) 458-2417.

2000 04 27 1:55 p.m.

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