“Hooked on Tancook” – Week 4

Our “Hooked on Tancook” project is in its fourth week and continues to be a success. Bringing together experienced rug hookers with residents from both Big and Little Tancook interested in learning is providing all of us with an opportunity to learn from each other, share and generally have an enjoyable social time together.  This week, we were joined by one of the younger residents of the island who left with a project to work on until next week.

We were fortunate these past two weeks that Sherry Chandler, a rug hooker from the Chester area joined us. She is a certified rug hooking teacher and has shared some valuable tips and strategies with us. This week, she demonstrated how to use a punch needle which was fascinating to all of us, especially Alana who left with punch needle “homework”.  As well, Verta, our resident rug hooker extraordinaire showed us her technique for finishing a rug. One of the highlights of our time together is the willingness of people to share.

We plan to continue meeting through the months ahead at an agreed upon  time and place.

The Big Tancook Island Recreation Centre Association recognizes the support of the Province of Nova Scotia through the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage. We are pleased to work in partnership with the Province of Nova Scotia to develop and promote our cultural resources for all Nova Scotians.

Day Park Project – We’d Love to Hear From You

Construction of a small day use park has begun on the right of way of the former Southeast Cove ferry wharf.  The park construction committee is gathering stories, history and photos of the wharf, buildings and roadways.  If you have anything in your family archives that would help us tell this story, we’d love to hear from you.
The attached photo was provided by Diane Crooks.  “Wharf at Southeast Cove”

TNC Internet Update

TNC, Tancook’s newest Internet provider, caused quite a stir a week or so ago when the ferry arrived with their fibreglass tower sections overhanging the back of the ferry.

A recent check of the tower site on Reef Road found the 120 foot tower assembled and bedrock exposed at the tower location and  three guy wire anchor points.
It will be exciting to see how TNC stands up the tower and anchors it to the bedrock.  Even more exciting will be the day when the tower is ready and island customers are connected.
Here are a couple of photos of the tower.  The first is taken from the top end and shows the racking for attaching the Internet receiving microwave dish and transmitting panels.  The second photo shows the length of the tower sitting on its temporary support blocking.

Check Before You Burn

From March 15 – October 15, you must check https://novascotia.ca/burnsafe/ daily to find out whether it is safe to have a fire. This website is updated every day at 2 pm. All domestic brush burning and campfires must adhere to daily Nova Scotia burning restrictions as indicated on the burnsafe website.

If the website indicates that it is safe to burn, the Fire Chief recommends that you make a call to BTIERA’s duty phone just to let them know your burn plans. This is especially true for residents who live in the interior or more remote parts of the island. The number is 902-277-1379.

If you see smoke and suspect that it is an uncontrolled fire call 911.

“Hooked on Tancook”

We are pleased to announce that a recently approved grant from the Province of Nova Scotia’s Communities, Culture and Heritage will support a new island project entitled “Hooked on Tancook”. This project aims to rejuvenate the longstanding art of rug hooking on the Tancook Islands.

Our seniors hold the history and heritage of our island. Currently, Tancook is home to only a handful of local residents who hook rugs in the style and tradition of their ancestors. In order to preserve this centuries-old tradition, we plan to form an intergenerational island cooperative through which new and long-term residents and local youth will have an opportunity to learn this craft in order to keep it alive. We will build relationships and make valuable connections between our youth and senior residents; full-time residents with part-time residents; Big and Little Tancook islanders and experienced rug hookers with those who wish to learn.

This project will include regular rug hooking gatherings and workshops throughout the year.  We will also organize and host an exhibition in the summer of 2020.

Additionally, we will document existing hooked rugs that can be found in many homes on Tancook. Most often these rugs are 50+ years old and the patterns were locally designed. We believe that preserving these historical rugs in photos with any additional information we can uncover, will create a legacy for future generations.

For the remainder of the summer, we will meet at the Rec Centre on Tuesdays from 11:30 – 1:00. In the fall and winter months we will continue to meet at a time and place to be determined. Please join us if you are interested in learning rug hooking.


The Big Tancook Island Recreation Centre Association recognizes the support of the Province of Nova Scotia through the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage. We are pleased to work in partnership with the Province of Nova Scotia to develop and promote our cultural resources for all Nova Scotians.

“Hooked on Tancook”

We are excited to announce a project entitled “Hooked on Tancook.” This project will bring together lifelong Tancookers with newly arrived residents to revitalize the art of rug hooking for which Tancook was once well known.

Throughout the remainder of the summer, we will meet at the Rec Centre on Tuesdays from 11:30 – 1:00. This will enable any interested Little Tancook residents to participate. Please join us and bring a project to work on.  If you don’t have an interest in rug hooking, please bring another project.

It is our hope that we can continue to meet throughout the year at a place and time to be determined.  

Old Government Wharf Day Park

Big Tancook Island
Old Government Wharf Day Park

The Municipality of the District of Lunenburg
through a Management Agreement with the
Big Tancook Island Recreation Centre Association
and its Park Development Committee
are working jointly on this park

After the completion of a couple of years of conceptualization and administrative background planning, work has started on the construction of a small day use park on the property that was deeded to the municipality from the Government of Canada in 2013. The property is the former Right of Way to the Southeast Cove Ferry Wharf, ruins of which can still be seen at some low tides.

It is planned that Initial park work will be carried out this year in:
• Phase 1 – Clearing
• Phase 2 – Earthwork
• Phase 3 – Carpentry

The following grants are funding the development of the park:
• Municipality of the District of Lunenburg
• Province of Nova Scotia – Communities, Culture and Heritage

Once the above phases are completed, the development of the park will continue with volunteers working to install final landscaping, signage, interpretive story boards and other creative elements.

Although the public is welcome to walk and enjoy the park, dawn to dusk daily, please be respectful of ongoing work operations. Unfortunately, and for safety reasons, the park is closed to the public when contractors are working.

Park Development Committee

Tancook Hospitality

A quote by Maya Angelou says “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”

Three years ago, we had the pleasure and privilege of catering a lobster dinner to Andriy Shevchenko, Ukrainian Ambassador to Canada, as well as his wife and friends. Last week, his friend Phil Hunt shared these words with me: “Just had lunch in Ottawa with my friend, Tom. He invited a surprise guest: the Ukrainian Ambassador to Canada. He told us that after 3 ½ years in Canada, the visit that they made to Tancook has been far and away their most memorable experience while visiting Canada. He says he has told the story hundreds of times at gatherings both here and in the Ukraine. Only a few weeks ago, he was at an international military security conference in Halifax. At a fancy dinner, someone tried to show him how to crack his lobster. He said, ‘I already know; they taught me how to do this on Tancook’.”

We must be doing something right!