Big Tancook Island Receives Community Spirit Award

Rosa Cross receives the Lieutenant Governor’s Community Spirit Award on behalf of the community of Big Tancook Island, from Lt.-Gov. Arthur LeBlanc, at a ceremony on the island on Sept. 6. (Contributed)

Big Tancook Island receives Community Spirit Award

DENISE SURETTE Chronicle Herald
 September 12, 2017 – 10:38am
 September 12, 2017 – 10:40am

A tiny community received a big award last week.

Big Tancook Island is this year’s recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Community Spirit Award, which celebrates volunteerism and community engagement in Nova Scotia.

The little village of just 200 permanent residents is an active group, working together, formally and informally, on a number of different issues. Rosa Cross, a permanent resident who is active in the community, says island residents share a mutual interest and love of the island and its long history, resulting in a team effort that supports the community.

“Within our small community, many of our volunteers help on more than one association, so it is essential that we all work well together. Some of the best partnerships are the informal ones, the ones that get formed out of a mutual desire to accomplish something, whether it is a marketing plan for the island, a need for infrastructure improvements or how to maintain our emergency response services,” says Cross.

Lt.-Gov. Arthur LeBlanc presented the award on Wednesday, Sept. 6, in a ceremony on the island, which sits on the outer edge of Mahone Bay. LeBlanc says he is pleased to present the community with such an important award.

“Vibrant and caring communities are an outstanding characteristic of Nova Scotia and it is this community spirit that makes this province one of the finest places to live in Canada,” says LeBlanc.

Residents of Big Tancook Island have come together through the years to maintain its one-room schoolhouse, continue and improve the ferry service to the island, encourage tourism, host local events and support emergency services. Many of the residents who live on the island and support the community can trace their heritage on Big Tancook back hundreds of years, and still pursue their livelihood through fishing and lobstering.

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Honourary Tancooker Ceremony

One of the highlights of the weekly lunch provided to the Backroads hikers by the Tancook Rec Centre is  being sworn in as an Honourary Tancooker.

It’s not every day that one gets the opportunity to kiss a lobster and be banded.


BTIERA – Things you might like to know

BTIERA has two divisions — the Medical First Response team (MFR) and the Defensive Fire Service (DFS). DFS receives funds from the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg through fire taxes paid by property owners and grants. The MFR division relies on fundraising and donations.In case of emergency, transportation is by ferry or by LifeFlight. Our LifeFlight field is above the Recreation Centre, surrounded by marking cones. BTIERA kindly requests that people avoid driving on this field to keep it clear and clean. 

Twice a year, BTIERA holds a bottle drive to raise funds. If you have recyclables to donate, let us know so we can pick them up during the bottle drive. Alternatively, you may drop them off yourself anytime at the Recycling Depot building, located beside Patsy Nettles’ home (722 Big Tancook Island Road).

The DFS fire siren is tested on the second Tuesday evening of each month that a regular monthly meeting is held, usually around 6:30pm.

Backroads – “My highlight was a homemade lunch on Tancook Island.”

Every Thursday throughout the summer and early autumn, Backroads will be introducing a group of hikers (mainly from the USA) to Tancook with a guided hike through the woods and along the coast of our beautiful island.

Following the hike, these lucky travelers will enjoy a lobster lunch prepared by the hardworking women who so generously give their time and culinary talents to make this venture such a success.

After being wined and dined, the Backroads hikers participate in the Honourary Tancook ceremony where they make a pledge and seal it with lobster kiss.

“This trip was fabulous. Our guides Martin and Tal made the trip incredibly fun, as well as informative and packed with beautiful scenery that I will remember forever. My highlight was a homemade lunch on Tancook Island with fresh cooked lobster, homemade potato salads and PIE, mmmm homemade blueberry pie!”


Wishing Stones Studio and Gallery

Wishing Stones Studio and gallery is located at 151 Southeast Cove Rd. on Big Tancook Island.
This unique gallery is a must-visit if you are planning a trip to Tancook. (If you are walking, it will take you about 30 minutes from the ferry.)

Owner and artist Hillary Dionne will welcome you and share some of the interesting history and artifacts of this special island. Her beautiful photography captures the natural wonder of this island.

Wishing Stones offers home-made jams; locally hooked, one-of-a-kind hooked mats; beach glass jewellery; and other unique gifts and souvenirs you will not find anywhere else.


Big Tancook Island is a unique community. “Our island is close-knit and our residents help each other and look out for each other.  We celebrate together and promote and support each other in our daily ventures. We socialize and stay connected because that’s the easiest and most enjoyable way to do things here.”    ~ Hillary Dionne

This website is intended to help both seasonal and full-time residents stay connected and up-to-date on the latest news and happenings on Tancook Island.