The Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia (RANS) is offering grants to support the seasonal extension of patios for dine-in restaurants across Nova Scotia thanks to a contribution from the federal government.

Patios are becoming a stronger piece of the dine-in restaurant experience. This trend has been evolving over recent years, but the pandemic has accelerated the usage and consumer acceptance of dining outdoors.

We are looking at assisting operators who can extend their season beyond their current operation to have patios open longer (in the fall and an earlier opening in spring). The outdoor experience is here to stay, and we want to encourage dine-in restaurants to adapt and join this trend. Due to the financial strain restaurants are facing from the several lockdowns during the pandemic, we feel that any additional fiscal support for their operations will be of great value.

The Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), is providing a $200,000 non-repayable contribution to RANS, through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), towards this initiative.

The Patio Extension Project will offer grants up to $1500 to support the extension of patio seasons in the specific areas (1) overhead awnings/ coverings (2) side walls/ weather buffers and (3) propane/gas/electrical heaters.

This project will be available across Nova Scotia for eligible restaurants (small, medium, and large) and be distributed fairly across the seven tourism regions of the province.

For more information on eligibility and how to apply, please contact the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia.


“Restaurants have faced a multitude of challenges throughout the pandemic, with a loss in revenue being one of the most prominent. With patio season well on its way, the reopening of dine-in service, and vaccinations on track; we are hopeful that the restaurant industry can begin to recover. We are incredibly pleased to have received funding from ACOA to provide these grants for patio extensions and help restaurants attract customers and provide them an incredible patio experience,” said Gordon Stewart, Executive Director of RANS.

“Dine-in restaurants across Nova Scotia have faced the challenges of three lockdowns with resilience and ingenuity. Our government is happy to help them extend their patio season so they can attract more customers with outside dining options. This will help ensure businesses are equipped to bounce back as the economy reopens,” said Darren Fisher, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (ACOA) and Member of Parliament for Dartmouth – Cole Harbour, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minster responsible for ACOA.

About RANS

RANS represents more than 30,100 people including chefs, cooks, owners, managers, suppliers, wait-staff, sommeliers, kitchen help, caterers and more that make your food experience more memorable. The Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia (RANS), established in 1947, addresses the needs of both members and non-members in the foodservice sector. RANS charity of choice is Feed Nova Scotia and The IWK Foundation.