Special Fort Anne ‘Hands around the Fort’ souvenir picture now available! 

A very special thank you to everyone that participated in Fort Anne’s Hands Around the Fort event this past summer. Over 531 folks joined hands on Saturday, August 5th to give Fort Anne a big hug in honour of its 100th Anniversary as Canada’s oldest National Historic Site.

As a special thank you to everyone that participated, Parks Canada is pleased to provide a special aerial photograph for you to download:

Thank you again for joining us in marking this very special milestone and helping celebrate Canada’s 150th! We look forward to seeing you again in 2018! 100 years as historic site, more than 3000 years of history!



Thank you to the Hands around the Fort Participants

Fort Anne celebrates 100

One hundred years since it became the foundation of Canada’s system of national historic commemoration. Its story reaches back more than 3,000 years, weaving together a tapestry of history that includes the Mi’kmaq, French, Scots, British, African Nova Scotians and Acadians. Over the centuries, it has been a camp site, farmland, seat of government and battlefield, and it remains an outstanding example of a Vauban-style fortification.

Today, Fort Anne continues to be a community gathering place. Local residents and visitors alike have a strong connection to the site enjoying the grounds for exercise and relaxation.

New interactive exhibit

Through working with the communities that played major roles in the history of the site such as the Mi’kmaq, Acadians, and African Nova Scotians, the new exhibit reflects the social, cultural and military story of all of the peoples involved in shaping the site, the town, and ultimately the country. Innovative technology also allows visitors to tailor their experience and delve deeper into the stories that interest them the most.

Citizens unite in conservation

In the 1880s, the fort’s blockhouse was torn down without prior notice. In response, the citizens of Annapolis Royal successfully petitioned the Government of Canada to protect the site so that on January 24, 1917, through an Order-in-Council, Fort Anne became the first operated national historic site in the country. Its designation initiated a protection and conservation movement that now counts almost 1,000 historic places being protected across the country.

Historic Sites and Monument Board

It is also of note that by 1825, “Fort Anne” became the generally accepted name; however, during the process to designate Fort Anne, a controversy over its name was the impetus for the formation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board which, still to this day, continues the work of recommending heritage designations.

Men digging on hillside with building being built and old cars parked on site.(Left) Fort Anne restoration and excavation. (Right) 1920s restoration staging around Officers' Quarters vintage cars in foreground.

Aerial view of Fort Anne grounds with town in background.1930s - Aerial view of Fort Anne grounds with town in background.