Nova Scotia

Memory Lane Heritage Village goes high tech to boost tourism

The Memory Lane Heritage Village in Lake Charlotte is getting a high tech upgrade thanks to a $300,000 contribution from all three levels of government.

Lake Charlotte museum wants 10,000 visitors a year

The Heritage Village includes a dozen buildings set in the 1940 to 1950 era depicting the typical life of a coastal Nova Scotia community. (heritagevillage.ca)

The Memory Lane Heritage Village in Lake Charlotte is getting a high tech upgrade thanks to a $300,000 contribution from all three levels of government. Officials hope it'll boost tourism for the entire area.

The Heritage Village includes a dozen buildings set in the 1940 to 1950 and depicts the typical life of a coastal Nova Scotia community.

The Visitor Experience Enhancement Project will involve the installation of QR smart tag codes. Visitors will use their smart phones to scan a bar code on a exhibit or artifact.

"For example, you might see a tractor with a mower on it," said Gordon Hammond, a special project volunteer for the Heritage Village. "We can't have it running all the time, but if that's something that interests you, on your smart phone you'll be able to see a video of the tractor actually running and being operated."

Attendance at the Heritage Village increase 20 per cent in 2013 and 23 per cent in 2014. Officials with the community hope to further increase the annual number of visitors to 10,000 within the three years.

"That's why we were able to get money from various sources to do this: because there is an economic goal to double our attendance." Hammond said. "And there's a huge spin-off."

Boost for entire Eastern Shore

David Hendsbee, the Halifax councillor who represents Preston-Chezzetcook-Eastern Shore, agrees.

"It's very significant in trying to generate more traffic along the number seven highway and through the Eastern Shore." Hendsbee said. "A majority of councillors felt this was a good regional project to try to develop tourism."

Halifax contributed $40,000. The federal government gave the project $210,000 and the province contributed close to $65,000.

Work on the project is already underway. Some of the information needed for the bar codes will be added in the spring.

"For example there might be a piece of equipment we don't have videotaped yet, or an interview with a key person we haven't done yet," said Hammond.

But officials expect the new technology to be in place for the opening of the Heritage Village's 2015 summer season in mid-June.

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