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Thunder Bay to Participate in Keewatin Centennial

July 4, 2007 – City of Thunder Bay Manager of Tourism, Paul Pepe will represent the City at the 100th Anniversary celebration of the SS Keewatin this Friday, July 6 at its current home in Michigan.

“There is a strong interest in this ship in our community,” says Councillor Mark Bentz, Chair of the Waterfront Development Committee. “This is another opportunity to investigate the feasibility of bringing the vessel here and its potential as a waterfront tourist attraction.”

City Administration will meet with the ship’s owner along with Tourism Minister Jim Bradley to further explore the possibility of bringing the vessel to Thunder Bay. At the direction of Council, City Administration is currently evaluating the condition of the vessel and its programming potential as a financially sustainable visitor attraction.

“Participating in the Keewatin’s Centennial celebrations is an excellent opportunity to discuss the project with the owner and tourism officials,” says Paul Pepe, Manager – Tourism. “This will give us a snapshot as to its popularity with visitors and a glimpse into the age of steamship travel on the Great Lakes.”

The SS Keewatin is a passenger liner; launched July 6, 1907 that once carried passengers and freight between Port Arthur/Fort William to Port McNicoll, ON for the Canadian Pacific Railway's Great Lakes Steamship Service. As passengers opted for faster modes of travel, the Keewatin was retired from passenger trade in 1965. A few years later, the SS Keewatin was purchased by a West Michigan entrepreneur and was towed to Saugatuck, Michigan for use as a museum. The Keewatin is the last unmodified Great Lakes Passenger Liner in existence and is an example of Edwardian elegance once common on passenger vessels.

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Contact: Councillor Mark Bentz – Chair, Waterfront Development Committee 628-6910
              Paul Pepe, Manager – Tourism, 625-3880