SAINT JOHN (GNB) – The provincial and federal governments today announced support for the Saint John Port Authority to establish a container village on existing port property consisting of vendors from the retail and hospitality sectors.

“By investing in this type of infrastructure, we are positioning the tourism sector for a strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Environment and Climate Change Minister Gary Crossman, who is also the minister responsible for the Regional Development Corporation. “This shipping container village, combined with other recent investments in uptown infrastructure and the Fundy Quay development, are transforming the city and will help build a better New Brunswick.”

The federal government, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), is providing a non-repayable contribution of $1,295,000. The provincial government is providing $450,000 through the Regional Development Corporation.

“For the tourism industry to come back strong, we need the support of the community,” said Saint John-Rothesay MP Wayne Long. ”That is why we are proud to develop tourism infrastructure like the container village in Saint John, which will help reposition Atlantic Canada as a destination of choice and prepare the region to welcome more visitors when the time is right.”

Long spoke for federal Economic Development and Official Languages Minister and minister responsible for ACOA, Mélanie Joly.

The shipping container village is intended to increase public access to the waterfront, introduce new tourism experiences for cruise ship passengers, support events like the AREA 506 Waterfront Series, attract local tourists and support local businesses.

“We are pleased and excited today to share in this announcement of a new and permanent container village on Water Street, adjacent to our primary cruise terminal. This development, and our partnership with the AREA 506 team, represents a unique opportunity to expand waterfront access to both residents and visitors,” said Captain Chris Hall, interim CEO for the Saint John Port Authority. “The development will provide engaging retail opportunities, outdoor performance areas, and community-oriented spaces that both elevate and complement the great existing attractions in our Uptown core as well as those currently in development in our port city. With our partners at Area 506 we thank both the Government of Canada and Province of New Brunswick for their support in creating this new attraction for the waterfront.”

“Since our inception in 2016, Port Saint John has been an incredible partner and we could not be happier to work with them to develop a new, permanent home to elevate the experience for cruise passengers, as well as to create an incredible new destination for local residents and regional tourism,” said Ray Gracewood, founder and chair of AREA 506. “We are excited to extend the AREA 506 experience across the entire season to provide a place for live entertainment, waterfront drinks and incredible retail experiences beginning next spring.”