Nova Scotia’s main streets will be lined with new flower beds or a freshly painted bench as part of the province’s community revitalization program, Mainstreet 2.0, announced today, July 26. Mainstreet 2.0 is a companion to the First Impressions program that is part of the province’s tourism strategy. Both aim to support the development of attractive, distinctive and visitor-friendly downtowns and main streets. “Nova Scotians have great pride in their communities and the original main street program was a great success helping make a few small improvements with big impact,” said Public Service Commission Minister Marilyn More, on behalf of Communities Culture and Heritage Minister Leonard Preyra. “By having a balanced budget the province is now able to look to the future and support initiatives that help make life better for families and their communities.” Mainstreet 2.0 will provide grants of up to $1,000 to help community groups and municipalities beautify their main streets. Total funding will be $1.5 million dollars a year. “Our main streets are the first thing to greet families and visitors,” said Ms. More. “A town could use a grant to purchase flower beds, hanging plants or a new coat of paint for doors or benches. The province is pleased to stand with local communities and bring this program back.” “Our downtowns represent the heart and soul of our communities and are crucial to the economic and cultural success of the province as a whole,” said Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities president Russell Walker. “Reinstating the Mainstreet Program demonstrates the province’s commitment to maintaining and reinvigorating our downtowns.” “I am excited to see these grants will be available here and across the province.” says Dartmouth resident Derek Simon. “I’ve been involved in small-scale grants like these and they make a big difference for community projects. These are exactly the kind of initiatives government should be supporting.” Program applications will be available this winter and grants will be approved in the spring.