Nova Scotia gives $3M for hockey heritage centre

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil delivers his state of the province address. (Andrew Vaughn/CP)

WINDSOR, N.S. — The Nova Scotia government has announced up to $3 million for the construction of a hockey heritage centre in Windsor N.S., which has long claimed to be the birthplace of hockey.

Greg Kelley, president of the Long Pond Hockey Arena Society, said the Windsor Hockey Heritage Centre will celebrate Canadian hockey and bring the world to the small Nova Scotia town where the sport was born more than 200 years ago.

"Windsor is the cradle of hockey. We want to build a shrine to the game that can be celebrated by hockey fans around the world," said Kelley in a phone interview on Saturday. "We just want a place like Cooperstown, which celebrates baseball in the U.S. We want a place that we can call our Doubleday Field, and it’s Long Pond."

Premier Stephen McNeil made the funding announcement Saturday on Long Pond in Windsor, where students from a local college developed the game around 1800. Kelley says several boys went to the pond and adapted the field game of hurley for ice.

The province says building will include an ice rink, sports fields, indoor track and a hockey history museum.

McNeil said the centre will reaffirm the province's longstanding connection with one of the country's favourite sports.

"With government's support in place, we expect the Long Pond Hockey Arena Society will be able to leverage other support and to further their fundraising efforts," said McNeil in a statement.

The society also plans on asking the federal government for funding and will try to raise the rest of the $14.7 million needed to build the facility, said Kelley

They're aiming to open the Windsor Hockey Heritage Centre in Sept. 2017.