A new operating contract for the Bluenose II guarantees the legacy of the province’s famous schooner will be preserved and promoted for the benefit of all Nova Scotians. The province and the Lunenburg Marine Museum Society signed the new five-year contract today, June 14, during a ceremony in Lunenburg. “Improved accountability and transparency are two of the highlights of this new agreement,” said Rodney MacDonald, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. “It also establishes the framework for a true working partnership between the province and the Lunenburg Marine Museum Society.” The new contract clearly defines the responsibilities of both the society and the province in the operations of Bluenose II. The society will develop an annual operating budget and operating plan while the province will provide $650,000 a year to the society. Members of the society board are all from the Lunenburg area and represent a wide range of marine and business experience, including vessel maintenance, engineering, fabrication, retailand accounting. Capt. Wayne Walters, who served as captain of the Bluenose II, is now director of operations for the vessel. Mr. Walters is the grandson of Capt. Angus Walters, the captain of the original Bluenose. The society also operates the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic in Lunenburg. “We are delighted that Lunenburg will continue to be the home port and base of operations for the Bluenose II,” said Graham Bailly, chair of the Lunenburg Marine Museum Society. “The members of our society and the staff and crew for Bluenose II are dedicated to ensuring the vessel’s symbolism as a provincial ambassador is maintained.” The society took over operations of the Bluenose II on April 1, and prepared it for this year’s sailing season, which will include visits to Lunenburg, Halifax, Port Royal, Terence Bay, North Sydney and Port Hawkesbury as well as Gloucester and Marblehead, Mass., and Saint John, N.B.