This is a round-up of some of the landscape-related news that caught my eye this week.

Grand Pre is closer to getting UNESCO designation as a world heritage site.

Two stories about Main Street-related initiatives:

First, Main Street in Dartmouth. There have been efforts for a few years to give Main Street a bit of a facelift. The Main Street and Area Dartmouth Business Improvement District just hired an executive director. The group is affiliated with HRM’s design plan for Main Street.

The second Main Street item of note is from Liverpool. The mayor there recently asked council to consider improvement projects for their Main Street, and look into whatever provincial or federal monies there might be for the work. The proposal sounds entirely hypothetical for now so there isn’t much detail to go into, but I thought this part interesting:

“He added some merchants have started on their own accord, through painting bright colours on their buildings. He wants to build on this start, making the Main St. more comfortable, conducive to new development, and be attractive to both residents and visitors.”

A small example of how the “Small Atlantic Canadian towns have colourful buildings” idea is ubiquitous. Bright colours on wooden buildings communicate a clear message to tourists and locals – that a business is locally owned, maybe boutique, evokes “the past,” and is tourist-friendly.

Finally, I love hearing about film crews in the province. I relish how easily we relinquish our belief in Nova Scotia’s unique landscape when producers ask it to stand in for every place but itself. Newfoundland? Sure. Viking Norway? You bet. Puritan Boston? Of course! Generic New England Towns? We have it covered! The latest bit of landscape casting news comes from Windsor, where our fair province is said to have an uncanny resemblance to Iowa:

Locations manager Jason Van Houten said when considering where to film, he was struck by remarkable similarities between Windsor and the scripted landscapes of Iowa they wished to recreate.

Ah, movie magic and government tax credits. Love it. This phenomenon isn’t new, by the way. In the 1920s, we pretended we looked like Norway or Switzerland to attract the tourists. Now we do it to attract the film industry.

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