When the Guild Hall first was built, it was only supposed to be lumber thrown together long enough to film a movie.
The makers of The Scarlet Letter, who were responsible for creating the set piece in 1994, couldn’t have imagined the Guild Hall would gain greater popularity than the movie itself.
“It might have come to the town by accident but it became the heart of the community," said Shelburne's chief administrative officer, Dylan Heide.
It was devastating to learn that the Guild Hall could not continue in its original form, he said, but it was never supposed to last. The set, which transformed Shelburne’s waterfront into 17th-century Salem, had to be closed after it fell into disrepair and was deemed unsafe.
The town, along with Atlantic Community Opportunities Agency (ACOA), funded the construction of a new building with a price tag of $300,000, ensuring new memories in the heart of the town for years to come.
Now it's time to celebrate and the town is throwing a weekend-long celebration from May 26 to 28 at the newly-rebuilt Guild Hall.
There will be cake, a ribbon cutting, music, a farmers' market, interactive displays, activities for young and old, dancing, CrossFit, meditation, karate and a swing band.
It's an eclectic mix of activities, and it was planned to be exactly that, said Julie Ferguson, the special project co-ordinator for the town.
“We wanted to show different ways the Guild Hall could be used,” she said.
The launch, she hopes, will inspire the community and showcase the many ways residents can use the space this summer and in subsequent years.
“Instead of becoming useful accidentally, we want it to become purposefully useful,” said Heide.
Go online: A full list of activities can be found at the town’s website: https://www.town.shelburne.ns.ca/