Vision Mission Objectives

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About The Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society
The Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society (NSLPS) was founded in 1993 by lighthouse enthusiasts while on a visit to Sambro Island. The Sambro Island Lighthouse (1758) is the oldest working lighthouse in North America. They were concerned about the condition of the lighthouse and the keeper's houses. They set up the non-profit society to benefit all the 150 lighthouses in Nova Scotia..

Now, in 2004, the Coast Guard is actively working to dispose of many lighthouses. NSLPS is trying to keep as many lighthouses as possible in the care of local communities because of their heritage value, their symbolic and social meaning to the nearby communities and the public coastal land where many of them are situated.

Governance and Finances:

  • Registered as a non-profit society under the Societies Act of Nova Scotia in 1994.
  • Received charitable status under the Canadian Customs and Revenue Agency in 2000.
  • Receipts for income tax purposes are given for memberships and donations.
  • Governed by a Board of twelve to fourteen directors elected each year by the membership.
  • An AGM, three to four public meetings and monthly Board Meetings are held.
  • An entirely voluntary group. Funding is from membership fees, donations and grants.
How We Save Lighthouses
We believe that non-profit community groups are the most suitable to preserve lighthouses because these are the people whose ancestors kept the lights and who care deeply about them. They are the most likely to develop the sites in a sensitive and appropriate manner. In parts of Nova Scotia public access to the shore is a significant issue. Ownership by community groups keeps the coastal land on which lighthouses are built available for public access.

We support non-profit community groups through:

  • giving information and advice
  • writing letters to the appropriate authorities
  • developing guidelines and policies
  • carrying out historical research including proper identification of buildings
  • lobbying the federal and provincial governments for heritage status for lighthouses
  • monitoring the methods used for disposal
  • raising public awareness of the importance of these structures
  • alerting the media about crisis situations
NSLPS's Major Accomplishments Over The Past Ten Years:
  • US$50,000, J.M.Kaplan Fund New York City, for the preservation of Nova Scotia's lighthouses
  • Two grants totalling $7,000.00,Halifax Regional Municipality, for oral history research
  • Three grants totalling $25,785.00 , Nova Scotia Department of Tourism and Culture to publish a total of 101,000 copies of the brochure Nova Scotia: Visit Our Lighthouses 1999 - 2004
  • $7,420.00, Nova Scotia Department of Tourism and Culture, for partial cost of new website

Saving Lighthouses

  • Federal Heritage Building listing for Sambro Lighthouse.
  • Lobbied successfully for repairs to Sambro Lighthouse.
  • Helped save Coffin Island Lighthouse and restore Port Greville Lighthouse to the community.
  • Supported transfer of Cape Forchu Light to the community.
  • Lobbied for repairs to Seal Island Lighthouse
  • Helped Port Bickerton, Hampton, Mabou, Cape George, Paddy's Head, Queensport, Port
  • Medway, Low Point and other community groups
  • Saved Low Point Keeper's House, Cape Breton, from destruction
  • Much correspondence, meetings, and many conversations with Department of Fisheries and Oceans concerning lighthouse divestiture
  • Established the Lighthouse Protection Act Committee, leading to the introduction of federal legislation in the Canadian House of Commons.
  • Initiated communications with the Department of Canadian Heritage about lighthouse preservation

Technology and Research

  • 2004: New Website at, using latest technology and with info about 168 lighthouse and much more. One of the largest lighthouse sites on the Internet.
  • Comprehensive database of Nova Scotian lighthouses.
  • Base of research and restoration guidelines and photo indexes.
  • Carried out research on many lighthouses and an in-depth oral history interviews with keepers and their families
  • Guidelines for buildings on heritage lighthouse sites, and for moving lighthouse buildings.
  • Lighthouse terminology index.


  • Nine years of publishing The Lightkeeper newsletter, now a journal with colour cover.
  • Encouragement and information to lighthouse groups across Nova Scotia.
  • Workshop weekends for lighthouse groups, 1999, 2001, Nov. 2003
  • Booths at Halifax International Boat Show, Mahone Bay Wooden Boat Show,
  • Lighthouse Day
  • Trips, programmes, children's workshops
  • Participated in every Atlantic Lighthouse Conference.
  • Provided advice and encouragement to other provinces starting lighthouse groups
  • Talks to schools, lighthouse groups, historical societies, Elderhostel
  • Assistance to individuals and groups in planning lighthouse trips
  • Assistance to Ann Kay, Halifax Regional School Board in establishing an educational unit based on lighthouses