FOR BROADCAST USE Nova Scotia will host the 2011 African Diaspora Heritage Trail Conference next fall. The international event will bring visitors and officials to Halifax from Africa, North America and the Caribbean. African Nova Scotian Affairs Minister Percy Paris says the conference will help promote Nova Scotia as a destination for tourists interested in African culture and heritage. He says it’s good timing to host the conference in 2011, the United Nations International Year for People of African Descent. -30- Nova Scotia will host visitors and dignitaries from North America, Africa and the Caribbean when the African Diaspora Heritage Trail Conference comes to Halifax next fall. “We are thrilled to be hosting this event next year,” said Percy Paris, Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs. “Not only will it bring scores of international visitors to Nova Scotia, but it opens the door for further partnerships throughout the African Diaspora. “It’s a huge step toward our goal of marketing Nova Scotia as a destination for visitors interested in culture and heritage of African descent.” The African Diaspora Heritage Trail brings together countries affected by migration to and from Africa, beginning with the enslavement period. Cultural organizations such as the Smithsonian Institution, UNESCO, the Africa Travel Association and the Caribbean Tourism Organization also participate. Mr. Paris, who is also Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, presented at the 2010 ADHT conference two weeks ago in Bermuda, where Nova Scotia was awarded hosting rights for 2011. The African Diaspora Heritage Trail Foundation was founded in Bermuda in 2002. The conference became an annual event in 2006, and has been held in Bermuda four times, as well as the Bahamas in 2007 and Tanzania in 2009. The Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs was a sponsor of the 2010 event in Bermuda. “Nova Scotia played an integral role in the 2010 conference, and we congratulate the province on being selected as the host site for 2011,” said Michelle Burrows, executive director of the ADHT Bermuda Foundation. “We look forward to attending the conference in Halifax and experiencing the unique cultural assets and heritage sites in Nova Scotia.” Mr. Paris said it is especially timely for Nova Scotia to host the conference in 2011, which the United Nations has designated the International Year for People of African Descent. “From Mathieu Da Costa and the Black Loyalists to recent immigrants who come to Nova Scotia to study, work, and raise their families, our province has a deep connection to the African Diaspora,” Mr. Paris said. “In this very special year, we have the opportunity to step up on the world stage and be a leader when it comes to celebrating the International Year for People of African Descent.” The African Diaspora Heritage Trail conference dates and location for 2011 will be announced at a later date.