This Lighthouse Matters prize fund of $250K draws 25 applicants
Many of the province's coastal icons are badly in need of repair
More than two dozen Nova Scotia lighthouses are now entered in a competition for $250,000 in prize money to repair and restore lighthouses.
This Lighthouse Matters is part popularity contest and part crowd-fundraiser.
But whatever you call it, non-profit community groups across Nova Scotia have seized on it to try to and save their lighthouses.
Terence Bay, with its 112-year-old lighthouse, was one of the first in the race.
The structure is badly in need of restoration, said Pam Corell of the Terence Bay Lighthouse Committee. Her group is one of 25 competing for a share of the funds.
"Whenever I talk to anybody elsewhere, internationally, they always comment on the lighthouses in Nova Scotia, we're known for that," Corell said at the site of the lighthouse, about 30 kilometres outside of Halifax.
"We're hoping to win enough money to do all the extensive repairs we need to do. Restoration of the lighthouse, back to its original glory."
The federal government declared almost all lighthouses surplus five years ago. They are deteriorating on the outside and inside. At the Terence Bay structure, for example, the wood rafters in the ceiling are crumbling.
The lighthouse groups have had help.
Four women — including two former Maritime lieutenant governors — used their personal networks to raise prize money. Another $10,000 has been raised through an individual crowd-funding option available on the website.
Prize money will be awarded mid-July to three winners in three categories.
With only nine winners, the other 15 or 16 entrants will have to depend on crowd funding.