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Cheticamp
This fishing village on the western coast of Cape Breton Island has become known as a model community for its leadership in community development and organization. Although the fishing was good, we knew that we needed to diversify our economy. When "Le Portage Golf Club" was officially opened during the celebrations of Cheticamp's 200th anniversary in 1985, we had turned that corner. It was well on its way to become the ideal destination for golf enthusiasts, history buffs, naturalists and purveyors of nature's finest scenery. The village of Cheticamp is poised with confidence for its leadership role in the budgeoning tourist industry in the Province of Nova Scotia.
The 18-hole Portage Golf Course, a coveted member of "The Fabulous Foursome", with its 6,751 yards of fairway, has nested itself within the village boundaries, standing proud with its majestic view of the setting sun behind Cheticamp Island at port arms and with the backdrop of the Cape Breton Highlands and the Jim Campbell Barrens at starboard.

On a star-swept evening, the Boardwalk echoes the lively cadence of French Acadian music, toe-tapping Scottish fare and impromptu dancers. Overlooking Cheticamp Harbour, which Nature and Whale-watching tours call their home berth, the Boardwalk has entertained thousands of fun-seeking visitors.

Le Festival de l'Escaouette, the annual Acadian-styled celebration has been one of Cheticamp's main summer attractions for more than 20 years. It features folkloric and contemporary French music, fiddle jigs and reels, local arts and crafts, and abundant French Acadian cuisine. Cheticamp boasts some of the finest dining on Cape Breton Island. Great hospitality as well as fresh succulent seafood are at their best!

The last day of the festival is always the first Sunday in August. The traditional mass service followed by the Village Parade on Main Street kick things off. This leads to and evolves into a large family community gathering at the local arena and parking lot behind Les Trois Pignons. Stories are told and experiences are shared, local dishes are sampled and the music is never far. When the chords start to vibrate, everyone is lured to the floor to make it an event to remember.

Cheticamp is, indeed, the rug-hooking capital of the world. Its artisans' world-famous hooked rugs in beautiful shades of hand-dyed wool and locally inspired patterns and designs which come in various sizes can be purchased in all the local boutiques. Local entrepreneurs have sales networks extending to cities throughout North America. Large tapestries produced in Cheticamp are found on dignitaries' walls, in corporate offices and private collections in Canada, the United-States and in Europe.

A renewed interest in large tapestries recently has produced a magnificent 10'6" X 15' hooked rug destined for Rideau Hall. The design was inspired by the former Chief Curator of History - N.S. Museum, Marie Elwood, who had a fondness for Cheticamp hooked rugs; the final design was a product of her collaboration with Marian Jameson of the Canadiana Fund, Tim Dickinson, with the Vascular Plant Herbarium of the Royal Ontario Museum who provided technical support, and local artists, Marie Claire Doucet, Gerard Deveau and his son, Gilles. Gilles drafted various proofs to arrive at the design which met with the approval of the Canadiana Fund, a non-profit foundation tasked with the decor of the Official Residences. This tapestry has a central floral cluster made up of the wildflowers of the ten Provinces and two Territories adorned with a leafy scroll border on a natural wool background.

"The Four Evangelists", a 4' X 6' tapestry made by Cheticamp artist, Yvette Muise, was unveiled on St. Patrick's Day, 1998 at Saint Mary's University. This tapestry incorporates the mysterious symbols from the Book of Kells -the Lion, the Eagle, the Ox and the Winged Man.

The creative genius of local artists who have endured a legacy of craftsmanship par excellence is reflected in Elizabeth LeFort's oeuvres d'art. She is known and deserving of her recognition as Canada's Artist in Wool, acquiring her prominence in this artistic form with her work being exhibited in Buckingham Palace, The Vatican, The White House, Clarence House and numerous private collections.

Truly, Cheticamp combines all the amenities visitors expect and appreciate. So, enjoy the natural beauty of this Acadian seacoast on The Cabot Trail, the serenity of St-Peter's Church, the friendly smiling faces of this French-Acadian community and the ambience of what is .... Cheticamp.

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