Nova Scotians from across the province are invited to welcome the world and come on board as volunteers for the Tall Ships Nova Scotia Festival 2009. The Waterfront Development Corporation Limited and festival organizers opened a call today, Feb. 4, for volunteers to assist in the production of the international event. It will draw visitors from around the world to the event in Halifax Regional Municipality on July 16-20. Volunteer opportunities for events throughout the province will be organized through individual communities. “Nova Scotians are world renowned for their spirit of giving,” said Waterfront Development Corporation president Colin MacLean. “The enthusiasm of volunteers is invaluable and it takes a team to host the world.” The Atlantic Superstore contributed $100,000 to cover the cost of volunteer meals for the event. “We need 800 to 1,000 volunteers to stage the event and we’re about halfway there,” said festival director Leanne Strathdee. “We’re excited to make the 2009 gathering of Tall Ships as inclusive as possible for all Nova Scotians and we hope that many will take the opportunity to participate as a volunteer.” The event will be the largest Tall Ships gathering in North America in almost a decade. Forty to 50 ships from 30 countries, more than 2,000 crew and up to one million visitors are expected for the festival. The 2007 festival generated $27.5 million in direct economic benefits for the province, including $2.5 million in direct provincial tax. “Tall Ships reminds us all of our centuries’ old reputation as one of the most welcoming ports in the world,” said Phil McNeill, vice president merchandising, Loblaw Atlantic, which includes Atlantic Superstore. “We are delighted to support the very people who will act as ambassadors as we once again open the port to international visitors ship-side and shore-side.” After the Tall Ships festival, part of the Sail Training International Atlantic Race Challenge, a number of ships will tour ports around the province until July 29. For more information on volunteer opportunities, which range from crew services and cultural activities to the kid’s pirate zone and marine security, visit www.tallshipsnovascotia.com or call 902-405-7700.