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The Periodical of the Black Business Initiative

Minister Percy Paris

Also in this Issue • BBI AGM Recap • E.C. Glass Ltd. • Cultural Expressions Symposium Summer 2009 u Number 43

“A dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia Business Community.”

Black to Business

Message from the Board of Directors

Message from the Board


Message from the Chief Executive Officer



FEATURE STORY E.C. Glass Limited


Artmomma Creations Kim Cain


TRAILBLAZERS New Religious Leaders


CULTURE BEAT African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia


J.M.S. Driving Academy Steve Lawrence


BBI 13th Annual AGM


Music in the City


Break Into Business Summer Camps


Horace Construction James Dowmey


BBI Honours Senator Donald Oliver


ACOA Renews Core Funding Support to the BBI


Cultural Expressions 2009


BBI 2009 Training Schedule


People & Business on the Move


Business & Community Events


Regional Reports Central


Business Development







Training Report

Cassandra Dorrington, Chair, Black Business Initiative Paul Adams

In this Issue

COVER STORY Hon. Percy Paris

The Cost of Progress


s the months pass by in 2009, I look back at what has been accomplished and I am very pleased to say that the Black Business Initiative (BBI) team (inclusive of board and staff) has been hard at work and we are delighted to announce a number of key accomplishments that will facilitate BBI, the organization, in moving forward. This year has been very busy to date and I anticipate it will continue to be busy as we round the corner towards 2010. It is important to note that while BBI’s future will not look exactly like the past, one thing is certain – that we will continue to build on our strengths and our successes as we move forward.

The year began with the undertaking of our second organizational evaluation report. In 2000, we completed our first evaluation based on the initial mandate of the Black Business Initiative. With almost 10 years of operations under our belt since that time, we undertook a second evaluation to assess our progress since the initial report. While we knew we had made considerable accomplishments, it is always rewarding to hear from our stakeholders that they too see the positive growth as a result of BBI efforts. In the words of the consultant undertaking the evaluation report, the conclusion was as follows:

While we note substantial progress against many of the issues identified by the Task Force, it would be remiss to suggest that the work of the BBI is done or that it will be completed in the near term. The steps taken by the BBI to both better serve the Black business community and to ensure its ongoing presence are well-founded. We believe the past progress made by the BBI in addressing the problems and obstacles faced by the Black business community warrant continued support from the public sector and its ongoing work toward the vision of “A dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia business community”. continued on page 6>

within the Nova Scotia Business Community.

The Black Business Initiative Centennial Building Suite 1201,1660 Hollis Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 1V7 Phone: 902-426-2224 Fax: 902-426-8699 Toll Free: 1-888-664-8698 E-Mail: bbi@bbi.ns.ca Web Site: www.bbi.ca

For Advertising Information, Rates, Submitting Stories, Notices or Community Events, or for More Information, call: 902-426-2224

Published by: the Black Business Initiative Editor in Chief: Rustum Southwell Design & Layout: Design North Production by: Mirabliss Media Productions Cover Photograph: Province of Nova Scotia

Black to Business is the official periodical of The Black Business Initiative and is published quarterly spring, summer, fall, and winter. Its goal is to support the BBI as it fosters a dynamic and vibrant Black presence

Mailed under Canada Post Publications Mail Sales Agreement no. 0040026687

Summer 2009


Black to Business


Summer 2009

Message From the Chief Executive Officer

Peter Marsman

S. I. Rustum Southwell


uring the recent annual general meeting and one day event, which included the Bizshow luncheon workshop and evening Gala, we used the theme The Art of Excellence, because we believe that excellence is a process and not merely a destination. Like any other form of art it takes time, patience and practice to become effective and admirable.

And if you believe we are not making gains and excelling, all you needed to do was look around the room of some 300 guests to see the successful business owners who are artists in their own right. For if excellence is an art form then the innovative entrepreneur is an artist par excellence. Let’s take five of the top companies at the event, in combination they represent in the region of 330 jobs and between $50-to-$60 million in sales. These five companies headed by seasoned and tested entrepreneurs are models and mentors for the rest of us: Larry Gibson, President and CEO of DANTRA Specialty Products; Barbara Manning, President and CEO of IT Interactive Services Inc.; Dr. Abbey Kirumira, President and CEO of Biomedica Diagnostics; Glen Carvery, President Carvery’s

Construction Limited; and Robert Loppie, CEO Sales & Marketing The Bin Doctor Ltd. There is no doubt that there is currently a better class of Black business owners now operating in Nova Scotia. This is a fact, reported in the last issue of Black to Business, confirmed by the 2006 Statistics Canada census data which states that, “Black Businesses with employees grew 57.7 percent, significantly more than the 1.1 percent growth for businesses with employees in the province as a whole.” This significant growth in Black-owned businesses that are creating jobs indicates encouraging movement in the community toward more growth oriented business development, confirming that our plan is indeed working. Many of these companies are operating in traditional and nontraditional sectors. Juice Eh!, owned by Donna Gaskin and Jeannie Jones, a juice bar offering freshly squeezed juice and smoothies and Just Right Child Care owned and operated by Glynis Simms are two businesses operating in the more traditional sectors. Paul Adams owner of Adams Photography Services, Cassandra Dorrington President of Vale and Associates Human Resource Management and Consulting, and Bruce Johnson Partner Manager of City Drug Store are some of the Black enterprises highlighting the inroads we are making into “non-traditional” sectors. Although there are others, these are the types of companies who are quickly becoming employers in the Nova Scotian economy. At the Gala Cassandra Dorrington in her role as Chair of the Black Business Initiative (BBI) recognized several noteworthy individuals who have participated in the progress and successes of the BBI and the Black business com-

munity as a whole. The board of directors of the BBI presented the first ever Special Board Award of Excellence to Senator Donald Oliver, who has continued to advocate for human rights and equality for Black Canadians which is reflected both in his community and public speaking engagements and his overall commitment to the economic prosperity of all Canadians in particular the Black business sector. At the time of this recognition he had served the people of Canada for 6,868 days or 18 years, 21 months and 9 days. Her Honour Mayann Francis presented the award to Senator Oliver who was very touched by the gesture. The 2009 Entrepreneur of the Year award went to Bruce Johnson of City Drug Store a Yarmouth business in operation for more than 20 years. Four others were recognized for 10 years of service: Brian Watson (Nova Scotia Economic and Rural Development), Mike Hayes (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency – ACOA) are resource board members and Dan O’Brien (Design North) and Carol Dobson are part of the longstanding and original team responsible for publishing the Black to Business magazine. When Debbie Windsor, Vice President ACOA Nova Scotia, announced the federal government’s renewed funding commitment of $3.25 million over five years that confirmed to us the path we are on is one that is recognized as creating a positive shift in the Black business community towards a dynamic presence in the Nova Scotian economy. Our board and staff promises to our partners at ACOA to never betray their trust. Since we realized early on that powerlessness corrupts and empowerment is vital to high performance and excellence, and how a culture of pride differs from a culture of mediocrity in encouraging innovation continued on page 10 >

Black to Business

Summer 2009

Honourable Percy Paris Prov. of N.S.

First African Nova Scotian Minister of the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs seconds, but it seemed like five minutes, before I told him that I would be honoured to accept the invitation.”

Hon. Percy Paris, Swearing in Ceremony June 19, 2009.


hen the newly elected premier of the province, Darrell Dexter, called his newly re-elected member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank, time appeared to stand still. “He called me one morning and said he would like to invite me to the Executive Council table,” the Hon. Percy Paris recalls. “I was sitting at the other end of the line and not saying a word. Finally, I heard ... ‘Percy, are you still there?’ Then he started inviting me to accept the portfolios of African Nova Scotian Affairs, Economic and Rural Development, and Tourism, Culture, and Heritage. It took me a couple of

Paris and the other 31 New Democratic Members of the Legislative Assembly made history on the night of June 9 when they became the first ever NDP provincial government elected east of Ontario. Not only that, but Paris is also the first African Nova Scotian to hold the ministry of African Nova Scotian Affairs.

“The people in this province have long recognized how unfairly African Nova Scotians have been treated,” he says. “Now there is the opportunity to be able to explain things in the House and to be able to respond to those concerns. It’s not a slight to those who have held this portfolio before but I’ve lived the experience, I’ve walked in those shoes and will for the rest of my days. I say that with pride.” His other two portfolios have their challenges as well. Tourism is a major economic generator in this province, yet it is feeling the effects of the recession. On the plus side, there are activities this summer which will contribute to the industry’s bottom line, such as rock concerts, the Tall

Prov. of N.S.


Nova Scotia’s New Cabinet

Back row, from left: Graham Steele, Marilyn More, Sterling Belliveau, Percy Paris, Denise Peterson-Rafuse, Ramona Jennex and Ross Landy. Front row, from left: John MacDonell, Frank Corbett, Premier Darrell Dexter, Maureen MacDonald, Bill Estabrooks.

Ships Challenge, local festivals and events. In the next two years, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Canadian Naval Service and the 2011 Canada Games should prove to be strong anchors for the industry. In terms of his Economic and Rural Development portfolio, he freely admits the worldwide economic situation is having an impact. However, his community economic development background tells him that “There are certainly lots of opportunities for Economic and Rural Development – in some cases we will have to seize the opportunity, in others we will have to make it.” “People who get involved in politics get involved because they want to be at the table,” he says. “Because I’ve been on the opposite side of the House, I’m fully aware of the challenges that are faced by ministers. In that role, I’ve been happy to offer advice, and in some cases it’s been taken. Now that I’m on this side of the House, I’m willing to accept advice from the other side. Often two heads are better than one and three is even better.” Even though he’s a political veteran, he admits being amazed at being part of political history. “It was such a convincing win, and it surprised a lot of people. However, I had confidence in an NDP win and I didn’t think it was going to be so decisive, so the whole thing was a little bit surreal. Sometimes I think there’s going to be a loud bang and I’m going to wake up.”

Black to Business

Summer 2009


Passion for his work Paul Adams

E.C. Glass Limited

Carol Dobson the curtain walls of the building – one of the most challenging projects he’s worked on. E.C .Glass was started 23 years ago in 1986. Prior to opening his own business, he worked for another company but it closed. E.C. Glass carries all types of glass for residential and commercial applications and can repair or custom cut glass to suit its customers’ needs. “I thought I’d try something on my own, so I went out, found some customers and went from there,” he says.

Edward Crawley, E.C. Glass Ltd.


ou can hear the passion for his work when Edward Crawley, of E.C. Glass Ltd. talks about some of the projects he’s worked on.

“There’s the fire station in Fall River and then there’s a condominium building on Russell Street,” he says. “I did the windows and doors for them. Those two jobs turned out really great. I also did the windows for the strip mall on Barrington Street, where the Metro newspaper is, across from the shipyard.” He says the Fall River fire station was extra special because the windows were all custom designed to fit into

Today, he has four people working for him and a customer base that extends around the province, including Truro, the Musquodoboit Valley, and Metro Halifax-Dartmouth. The company supplies and installs windows for both commercial and residential customers. As a small business owner, he admits that there are times when “being your own boss isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. There are long hours involved in growing your company and when everyone else has gone home, you’re still there. But, it’s all I know how to do.” “One of the biggest problems is getting good men to work for me, people who

“There are long hours involved in growing your company and when everyone else has gone home, you’re still there. But, it’s all I know how to do.”

want to do a nice job so I don’t have to go back and do it all over again,” he says. He adds that he’s often thought of expansion – adding new machinery that would enable him to tackle larger and more diverse projects. Crawley is very soft spoken, almost reticent, when he talks about himself, but, when he does talk about the work he and his employees do for their clients, the pride he takes in his work shines through strong and clear. “All I want to do is a good job for my customers,” he says.

Edward Crawley Dartmouth, N.S.

Phone: 463-5944 456-5484

Black to Business

Summer 2009


Artmomma Creations

Shauntay Grant

Paul Adams

“My art became the canvas of my strife, “I think I was born an artist,” she says. political views, historical reference, and “My quest for learning is the fuel that keeps my craft fluid and ever-changing. meditative discoveries.” I need to be fed constantly – through Cain’s views are quite varied, however literature, conversation... Then I make there are themes that keep recurring in art!” her work. From her first memories of making “One is the fight of the Black students in art in kindergarten, Cain’s obsession education,” she says. “I am living the grew throughout her life and in 1999 reality that our children need a place she graduated from the Nova Scotia where the alternatives that are created College of Art & Design with a Bachelor have them specifically in mind. So the of Fine Arts degree. She would later last painting I did – “Eyes of a segreearn a Bachelor of Education degree gated school marm” – is based on the and a Master in Education degree from black student past, present and future. Mount Saint Vincent University. Historically I’m a sucker for things that are old – old meaning the 1920s-1960s; Artmommma Creations is her greeting I love those eras. The clothing, furnicard, art commissions, and personal ture, cars, hats, etc. I love to paint in projects business. Cain founded the terms of the time capsule – going back company in 2007 after completing her into time with my 2009 sensibilities.” master’s degree.

Kim Cain, Artmomma Creations


t’s inspiring to watch visual artist Kim Cain work with students. She is energetic, encouraging, patient, and has an easy rapport with the youth. Moreover, she approaches her work as an arts educator with such openness and enthusiasm that the students are eager to create new works, no matter their level of experience.

“I love working with the youth,” says the junior high school art teacher and owner of Artmomma Creations. “[They] just give you raw emotion – no fluffy stuff. I really appreciate that kind of honesty. Sometimes I think I’m still in high school,” adds Cain. “I think that’s why I’m effective at the junior high level. Considering the demands of a fulltime teaching position, it’s hard to see where Cain can find time to work at her craft while balancing family and work responsibilities. But for Cain, it’s not really a matter of choice.

“I used my last elective credits to do an independent study in paint,” she says. “The study became a solo art exhibition entitled “Artmomma Resurrected”.

No matter how hectic life gets with teaching, family and other responsibilities, Cain is wholeheartedly committed to exploring new ways to create art.

Cain’s work has been featured in several exhibits including Home: The Art Of Preston (2000).

“I feel I am an artist through and through,” she says. “I find the ‘trial and error’ method of art creation is a process I adopt in all aspects of my life. I’m constantly thinking about how I can do something better.”

“My work is hanging in the Office of African Nova Scotian affairs. I also did a mural with the HRM located on Dresden Row in Halifax. I’ve sold work to David Woods and I sold a painting to the Art-bank of Nova Scotia in 2008.” Cain is a self-professed “materials manipulator”. “I think in some ways my work is a nonrepresentational portrait of myself,” she says. “It seems I can be painting the Queen of England and she will end up having brown skin and curly hair.” Cain uses her art as a canvas to explore her experiences as a black woman, single mother, and her struggles to be understood, respected and celebrated.

wedding portraits, art, logos  Kim Cain

902 444 4110

Black to Business REGIONAL REPORT Central Njabulo Nkala

Spring is historically a quiet business season as people prepare for summer vacation. This year was no different. However, there were a few activities to note. The Building for Growth Regional Information Session organized by the Department of Labour and Workforce Development was held at the NSCC Truro Campus in April. The wellorganized and attended event attracted different businesses and organizations big and small, showcasing what they do. This became a good opportunity not only for networking and meeting potential business partners and clients but also for small businesses to sell themselves. The Business is Jammin’ Summer Camps are also being held once again this year. The one-week, funfilled, interactive business camps take young people through the stages of starting and running a business. The participants also learn about their personal entrepreneurial traits. This year’s BIJ summer coordinator in the Central region is Tyrone Chase who has lined up a series of fun-filled business activities and events. Tyrone is based in Truro at the Community Enhancement Association Office on 105B Walker Street and can be reached at (902) 893-1911. This summer I will be making several trips to the region. I’m looking forward to meeting with current and potential clients as well as other blackowned business people and various stakeholders.

For any inquiries, additional information, suggestions and comments please contact me at (902) 426-4281 or by e-mail at: Nkala.Njabulo@bbi.ns.ca.

Summer 2009

6 Message from the Board of Directors continued from page 1

Since last quarter, BBI has taken the opportunity to revisit our strategic direction with a focus on capacity, partnerships and sustainability. Having listened to our stakeholders, it was necessary for us to document our strategic direction to address and facilitate the organization’s future planning. It is important to note that while BBI’s future will not look exactly like the past, one thing is certain – that we will continue to build on our strengths and our successes as we move forward. This year has seen the organization undertake and complete a number of other successful initiatives, such as: • The design and roll-out of an enhanced BBI website. • The successful introduction of the “Constructing the Future” project. BBI staff has worked extensively with key stakeholders to select and train approximately 20 persons for work in the trades. This initiative has been designed to address the adepa strategy to facilitate and support the growth and emergence of Black businesses in the construction sector. • The successful completion of Black Business Consulting’s (BBC) first international project. Given the success of the first phase, BBC is in discussion to undertake Phase Two. • The co-location of the BBI offices to facilitate a strong effective and integrated organization recognizing the synergies of the entirety of the staff together in one location.

• •

Implementation of enhanced board governance procedures to ensure the effective functioning of the board. In June of 2009, BBI held its annual Summit/ AGM/Gala evening event.

While the organization continues to make progress, there is much more to do. The mandate of the Black Business Initiative is neither simple nor short-term. In order to achieve its vision, there is a requirement that on a regular basis, the organization must sit back and regroup, revise its strategic priorities, if required, and continue to realign the ongoing activities to ensure they facilitate the goals of the organization. Each step BBI takes unearths another issue. The organization is in the throes of change and we ask that you, our stakeholders, join with us on our journey as we go forward. A special thanks to all board and staff members. You have made a considerable contribution both to our current achievements and to our foundation for our future. Remember that while we made progress, the road is not easy. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr.: “All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.”

Cassandra Dorrington, Chair

The BBI Board and Staff congratulate the Honourable Percy Paris on his historic appointment to the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs. We look forward to working with you! We would also like to thank Mr. Barry Barnet, former Minister of ANSA, for his unwavering support and dedication to the African Nova Scotian community and our organization during his tenure. We wish you all the best in your future endeavours!

Black to Business

Summer 2009


New Religious Leaders

Rev. Rhonda Britton

Cornwallis Street Baptist Church “We’ve decided to be present and available, to open doors, and look beyond the tradition of just being an African Baptist church. The face of our community is changing and we want to welcome everyone, no matter their race or ethnicity, we want to embrace everyone.”


here is a lot of history surrounding the Cornwallis Street Baptist Church, dating back to the day it was founded by the Rev. Richard Preston, and the present incumbent, the Rev. Rhonda Britton, has contributed to its history by becoming its first female pastor. “The congregation decided it was time to embrace a female pastor,” she says. “My predecessor, Rev. Lionel Moriah, was the pastor for 10 years. Then, there were two years when the church had an honest conversation with itself about what it would look for in a minister and it determined that gender wasn’t a problem. When you look at the demographics in churches today, women are making up the majority of the congregations.” She says her church has been examining its role in the community. While it has been a leader, through programs such as the hot lunch program and after school tutoring, she says it had not been “as present as we would have liked it to be.”

In August, Cornwallis Street Baptist will be the host of this year’s African United Baptist convention. There is a rotation among ministers as to who will be the keynote preacher and Britton says her turn was supposed to come next year. However, fate intervened, and this year will be her year instead. As the host church, she says, Cornwallis Street Baptist is planning some new events for the convention, including social activities such as a barbecue and a performance from a comedian, and moving the Sunday services to the Rebecca Cohn. During one of the services, the Rev. Richard Preston will be honoured by Parks Canada. “The theme this year is Reviving the Vision,” Britton says. “The Rev. Richard Preston had a vision for this church of gaining strength through fellowship. We are asking what we are doing to build on our strengths, to stretch ourselves, to go beyond what we have been in our past. We have to think out of the box and bring ourselves into the 21st century.”

Pastor Sherry Avery

Impact Ministries Church


ike the Biblical Samuel, Pastor Sherry Avery has learned to listen when the Lord speaks.

The Upper Hammonds Plains native had worked for the Toronto Dominion Bank for 30 years when His voice whispered in her ear. “I had received Jesus Christ as my Saviour and Lord in 1991 and was hungry for the word,” she says. “My husband passed away and when I was on bereavement leave, I got the message that the Lord had a plan for me.” That plan took her, in July 2000, to the Rhema Bible Training Center in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, where she not only received her training as a pastor but also met her second husband and fellow pastor, Leon. She felt, in her heart, that she had to preach at Emanuel Baptist Church in

Black to Business

Summer 2009


Carol Dobson Photographs: Peter Marsman

Hammonds Plains, and that vision came true. “When I drove up to the church, I heard the Lord tell me that I was going to be living in Nova Scotia and to sell my house in Toronto. He told me I wouldn’t be needing it because I wouldn’t be back there. As soon as we went in the door, I knew I was where I was supposed to be.” After pastoring at Emanuel Church, the Averys found themselves being led to plant their own church, Impact Ministries Church. They went searching and found a location on Caledonia Road in Dartmouth that was perfect for their needs – in a building that contained a police office, a doctor’s office, and a laundromat – and moved in to the location in October 2005. A second location, on Gottingen Street in Halifax, followed through a merger with a church that had been led by Pastors Gordon and Connie Thurber. Sadly, her husband, Leon, passed away in December 2008. “The people in my congregation were asking, ‘Is Pastor Sherry going to stay? Her close family is in Montreal and Toronto – is she going to move back to them?’ But, God had not told me to do that. I’ve had a challenging six months but I took time off to heal. I have three leaders, and the group took care of things.” She says women make up the backbone of the congregation, although men are starting to join and there is a strong children’s program. This program is rewarding because she says she is seeing personal growth in the young people who attend. “We’ve started a building fund. I want to stay on Gottingen Street. God is much needed here.”

Rev. Wayne Gray

New Beginnings Ministry 200. In 2007, we built a new building which will hold up to 550. God has blessed us in whatever we do.” The striking building is located at 26 Cherry Brook Road, directly behind the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia.


ike his Lord and Saviour, Wayne Gray started his working life as a carpenter. He says he was in the carpentry business for 15 years as a finish carpenter, when he was called to lay down his hammers and saws and become a minister of the Gospel. “When I was 30, I was called to the Christian ministry. I graduated from the Acadia Divinity College in 1980 with a Bachelor of Theology degree and pastored in Digby, and Saint John, Pennfield, and Pocologan in New Brunswick, before coming back to this side and a church in East Preston, where I ministered for two years,” he says. Twelve years ago, he decided to start his own church, New Beginnings Ministry, in the basement of his home. “We had 25 people for our first service,” he recalls. “Now we’re up to

His wife Kathy helps him with the ministry, helping with the music, the Sunday School, and the choir. When he started the church, he saw it as a church for all people, black, white, from a mixed racial background, rich or poor, people who were seeking for a non-traditional way of worship, where everyone could feel comfortable. “I felt the only way I could do that was start from scratch. I decided to pray, start small, and build big from there. I wanted a church where people could feel at home. So far, it’s been successful.”

“See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” – Matthew 10:16

Black to Business

Summer 2009


Peter Marsman

African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia

Alma Johnston, moderator of AUBA


n conjunction with this issue’s Trailblazers: Religious leaders in our community, we bring you a profile of one organization their respective churches belong to — the African United Baptist Association. In 1854, in the small community of Granville Mountain, history was made. Under the direction of Rev. Richard Preston and the Rev. Henry Jackson, as co-moderators, the African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia (AUBA) was born. Under its auspices, ministers were ordained, and ministers, deacons, and elders were licensed. But, that was just the beginning of the story. “It’s the oldest Black organization in the province and quite possibly in Canada,” Alma Johnston, the current moderator of AUBA, says. “The AUBA provides spiritual leadership for the Black community and is a unified voice for Black Nova Scotians in the wider community.”

One of the roles of AUBA, Mrs. Johnston says, has been to raise the consciousness of Nova Scotians towards the “socioeconomic and educational plight of Blacks in the province. We’ve always provided financial assistance to Black ministries, especially financial assistance to young men struggling to study for the ministry. We are still providing scholarships and bursaries for students.” The work of AUBA extended into the community, whether through lobbying the government on education matters, including the teaching of “domestic science” to girls and “manual training” for boys, financing a “Teachery” in North Preston to provide a home for teachers, opening up nurses’ training for young Black women, and encouraging public speaking and leadership skills through oratorical contests. It’s also been behind the foundation of many organizations throughout the province, including the Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children. The annual meeting of AUBA, Mrs. Johnston says, has always been a highlight of the year for many people. “It’s a date to look forward to because you’ll be seeing old friends and making new ones,” she says. “On many levels, the AUBA has provided spiritual and moral support to so many.”

This year’s annual meeting will be reconnecting with Rev. Preston. It will be held in Halifax from August 14 to 16, in the church Rev. Preston began so many years ago, the Cornwallis Street Baptist Church. “Our theme is ‘Revive the Vision’ and our meetings are built around First Corinthians, Chapter Three, Verse 10 – about the days of Elijah,” Mrs. Johnston says. “The preacher will be the Rev. Rhonda Britton, who is the current minister of the church.” She says the church services on Sunday will be held, not at the church, but at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium. One of the highlights will be the unveiling of a Parks Canada plaque in honour of Rev. Richard Preston. Mrs. Johnston says AUBA still has a strong role to play in Nova Scotia. In the years ahead, she’s seeing an organization with a more multicultural face, to reflect the changes in Nova Scotia’s society. She’d also like to see it governed by a committee of between 10 and 12 members, with ministers looking after specific issues – women’s issues, lay issues, evangelism, Christian education, social action, counselling, to name but a few, not to mention coming up with ways to surmount the two major challenges of this province-wide institution – distance and finances. But she has faith. “My father and mother were brought up in the AUBA. I was brought up in the AUBA and I lived for those three days every August where I could meet people from one end of the province to the other. I was involved with the services and I was involved with the young people. So, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I am now its moderator. God had ordained it and I followed him because I love it so much.”

Black to Business

Summer 2009


Message from the CEO


continued from page 2

we have determined that we will use well-thought-out strategies in determining our effectiveness when dealing with threats and opportunities. We remain focused on core strategies and continue to set annual targets for strategic projects. In this regard our track report is consistently good. Through our Balanced Scorecard, we established benchmarks in four key areas, including financial, employee learning and growth, internal process, and clients. And we’re achieving success in many of these areas. It has already begun to change how we do business and bring discipline into the organization. Our one brand composite business model – which includes Black Business Consulting, Business is Jammin’ and the Black Business Community Investment Fund –, is now in full operation, moving us that much closer to our strategic direction of sustainability, partnerships and capacity. Consequently, we achieved strong results on the big strategic project items in the past year by suc-

cessfully completing our funding proposals to acquire renewed funding from both levels of government, an independent external evaluation, a framework for a new strategic direction, and our office relocation and reintegration, and began the Business is Jammin’ fundraising campaign. We are pleased with where we are and confident about where we would like to go. The optimist sees the “Dream Catcher” as a spiritual firewall to ward off and quarantine evil and bad thoughts, the pessimist see it as a chance to continue living a nightmare. At the BBI we remain optimists as we will always wake up in a brighter day; A lute continua (the continuing struggle).

S.I. Rustum Southwell, CEO

Deep Panuke gas project business and career opportunities. For information on business opportunities with EnCana’s Deep Panuke natural gas development in Nova Scotia’s offshore, visit the Deep Panuke pages on the EnCana web site at www.encana.com/ operations/canada/deeppanuke/ businessopportunities/index.htm For information on employment opportunities at Deep Panuke, visit the Career Centre on EnCana’s web site at www.encana.com or the Career Beacon web site at www.careerbeacon.com

Gordon Doe

Year End The Black Business Consulting (BBC) and the Black Business Community Investment Fund Limited (BBCIFL) held their Annual General Meetings at the Marriot Harbourfront Hotel during the month of June. BBCIFL held its 6th AGM on June 18th and BBC held its 3rd the next day. Last year the Fund held off selling new shares due to the market downturn. We expect to go to market this year, and we hope you prepare to invest. Construction We are currently at the half-way mark of our 40-weeks construction training and job readiness program called “Constructing The Future”. BBI is running this four-phased program in partnership with the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Workforce Development with 20 participants. On Friday May 14th, 2009, 19 participants received certificates of accomplishment after successfully completing phases one and two in nine weeks. Participants were introduced to the Nova Scotia Community College where phase three of the program will be delivered. We are excited to partner with Floors Plus to deliver the flooring training. This will be a significant industry partnership that will ensure participants get industry best practice. At the end of each specific trades training, students are assessed to determine if they may progress to the next training. The final phase of the program will see students working for at least eight weeks with employers in the student’s chosen fields of interest. As always, please feel free to call me at 902-426-6985 if you have any questions.


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Black to Business


J.M.S. Driving Academy Creating a Better Generation of Drivers

Summer 2009 Sunjay Mathuria

Paul Adams

The school also offers courses to remove the “N” from Class 5 licenses. Whether it’s his music or the driving school, Lawrence says his main motivation is passion. “You got to be passionate and believe in what you do,” he says. While music is still his first love, Lawrence says he is happy staying put at J.M.S. Driving Academy for now. His dream would be “to have a successful business that takes care of itself.”

Steve Lawrence, J.M.S. Driving Academy

J.M.S. Driving Academy

cars have been making appearances throughout HRM over the past few years. And it is no surprise why this driving school has become so popular. As one of the fastest growing schools in the city with the cheapest rates, J.M.S. Driving Academy’s main goal is to have graduates with the safest driving records in the HRM. So for the past two years, J.M.S. Driving Academy owner, Steve Lawrence has been “creating a better generations of drivers” in Halifax. Apart from his music career as a singer/pianist, Lawrence has been busier than ever with his driving school. “I’m focussing more on the driving school now, trying to develop that more,” he says. With his in-class lessons, Lawrence hopes to make learning to drive a more enjoyable experience for new learners. “My methods are different from other schools. We try to make

the classroom more exciting and flexible for students. We try playing games. We try to have fun,” says Lawrence. It is becoming increasingly difficult to acquire a driver’s licence in Nova Scotia, with government regulations clamping down on conditions for new drivers. This is why Lawrence hopes to train his students to be safe, defensive drivers.

To new business owners, Lawrence provides some valuable advice. “Don’t take no for an answer. If the front door doesn’t work, knock on the back door.”

“But the main thing is to watch your own mistakes. Always know what you’re doing,” he says. And attending J.M.S. Driving Academy definitely has its advantages. After completing the in-class and in-car lessons, students can obtain their Class 5N Newly Licensed Driver’s License up to three months earlier than those who haven’t attended driving school.

J.M.S. Driving Academy Steve and Michelle Lawrence

902 209 8081 www.jmsdriving.com

Black to Business

Summer 2009


BBI 13th Annual General Meeting

Evan Williams Photography: Paul Adams


he BBI’s 13th Annual General Meeting was held on June 19th at the Harbourfront Marriott. The AGM was chaired by BBI Board Chair Cassandra Dorrington.

Once the business of the AGM concluded, the luncheon and “Biz Show” began. The Show was again hosted by Robert Upshaw. As always, Robert had fun interviewing several panelists including Cassandra Dorrington, BBI Board Chair and President of Vale and Associates; Glen Carvery, owner of Carvery’s Construction; Glynis Simms, owner and operator of Just Right Child Care; and Pat Ryan, Vice President and Chief Operation Officer of Nova Scotia Business Inc. Each panelist detailed their business, how and why they got into it, and shared a few of their greatest accomplishments and mistakes. The common theme was that each had to work hard and learn from their mistakes.

Construction and Bruce Johnston of City Drug Store. This year’s winner was Bruce Johnston of City Drug Store in Yarmouth. Congratulations to all of the finalists for being part of such an elite group of businesses. The Special Board Award of Business Excellence was awarded to Senator Donald Oliver. Senator Oliver received the award because of his commitment to promoting diversity in the Canada’s public service. In his tenure, Senator Oliver has not been afraid to speak candidly about racism in the work place. We thank him for his hard work and endless fight for respect and equality for visible minorities.

The 2009 “Biz Show” panel

Cassandra presents Entrepreneur of the Year award to Winner Bruce Johnson

The night concluded with the dance. Asia and Nu Gruv performed with their usual polished and smooth R & B and DJ “Mo Bounce” kept the crowd engaged with music selections from today and yesterday. With the support of BBI’s staff, board and event planner Tracey Thomas, they event was a success.

Her Honour Mayann Francis arrives on the red carpet.

During the evening Gala, BBI’s Entrepreneur of the Year award was presented and for the first time the Special Board Award of Business Excellence. The finalists for the Entrepreneur award were Jeannie Jones and Donna Gaskin of Juice Eh!, Glen Carvery of Carvery’s

The 2009 BBI Annual General Meeting at the Harbourfront Marriot

Dancing to the Asia & Nugruv Band at the AGM Dinner & Gala

Shauntay Grant

Music in the City contributed

The highly acclaimed group is the brainchild of Colonel Frank Lumsden. He is the elected chief of the Maroon settlement of Charles Town, which is one of four major Maroon settlements in Jamaica. This musical tradition is noted world-wide for its uniqueness, which is the ability to communicate through the rhythmic use of the Gumbay drum and the abeng (horn). Community Activist Lumsden says it is a form of communication that has withstood centuries of slavery and attests to the dedication and respect Maroon’s have for their culture. The group is made up of residents from the small settlement and recently the group has reached out to areas with a historical connection to the Jamaican Maroons like Nova Scotia. contributed

Atlantic Jazz Festival

The group will be in Halifax for a concert performance in August and while here they will participate in several summer events including the return of the Freedom Schooner Amistad and the Africville Homecoming Reunion Weekend. They will also deliver workshops in drumming and dancing.


Edo King Matwawana & Afro-Musica

This year the Atlantic Jazz Festival will welcome the African Harvey Millar Connexion party for a third time, celebrating the rich tradition of African music on Canada’s east coast.


The Charles Town Maroon Drummers and Dancers were formed to preserve, showcase and celebrate the Jamaican Maroon centuries-old musical heritage and culture to the world.


The Charles Town Maroon Drummers and Dancers

Afro-Musica will once again lead the lineup of seasoned performers, featuring Kodia Mpat, Shelley Hamilton, and Harvey Millar. Afro Musica’s bandleader Edo King Matwawana is happy to be coordinating the event. He says the event is key to celebrating and promoting artists from Nova Scotia’s black community. “I always thought that the black community in Nova Scotia was a musical goldmine,” he says. “It’s just a question of being able to give (artists) opportunities.

Nova Scotia summers do not tend to be long but what we get we make the best of and this summer is no exception. Below you will find a short sampling of what the season had and still has to offer.


“(JazzEast) always had a latin night, so I proposed that they introduce something that would not only have my band headline the night, but also have people of African descent join me onstage, promoting the community and groups that don’t really get the prime Shelley Hamilton spots (at the festival). So it’s a sign of respect on the part of JazzEast because I think we’ve worked hard for what we do” Matwawana hopes the African Connexion series will educate people about African culture and inspire the community with music. “Music is a universal language,” he says. “And so if we can use music to strengthen the community, why not?”


Asia & Nu Gruv Paul Adams

African Connexion III

Asia & Nu Gruv could easily be dubbed “the band that never sleeps.” “We’re gonna be performing in pretty much every festival in the city this summer,” says bandleader and bassist Nathan Symonds.

Apart from appearances at the Multicultural Festival, the Atlantic Jazz Festival, Natal Day and Canada Day celebrations, the band also has a string of performances lined up at Casino Nova Scotia (August 7-9, Halifax Marriott Harbourfront hotel) and Big Leagues Dining Room and Lounge (July 25). “It’s just been busy,” says Symonds. “You get a little time to yourself and the next thing you know you look at the calendar and you’re playing for the next three weekends. And we’re trying to do some recording but what do you do when the phones keep ringing? We don’t want to turn down any gigs.” The band’s blend of R&B, soul, funk, jazz and blues is in heavy demand. While they’re known for creating a party atmosphere by covering well-known songs, the band has been in studio working on a string of original tunes. “We’re a dance/party band so we have to keep learning the covers, but we gotta keep working on our own stuff too, cause before it’s all over and done we’d like to have a CD at the end of the day.” That is, if the phones ever stop ringing. But even still, Symonds isn’t complaining. “It’s been good and we’re just gonna keep (performing) as long as there’s a market for it and there’re requests.”

myspace.com/nugruvband continued >

Black to Business

Summer 2009


Cindi Cain

The Rebirth of… Cyndi Cain created Heracain Entertainment with one goal in mind.

Paul Adams

Paul Adams

Cindi Cain Heracain Entertainment

“I wanted to work on my CD,” says the songwriter and singer. Cain finally realized that dream when in May 2009 she released her first solo offering, “Essentially Cyndi” – a set of R&B/neo-soul inspired songs produced by James McQuaid (of MCJ and Cool G fame) and based on personal experiences. “What I’ve gone through and (things I’ve learned from) talking with girlfriends, even the kids I’ve met,” says Cain of the album’s themes. “It’s not just about me. I’ve got some songs on there about girls and prostitution. I’ve got songs about boys that think that they’re men. I work in a school and there’s a couple kids that I’ve worked with and they’ve gone astray. And I just see young girls acting a little bit too old – just growing up before their time – and I would rather see them enjoy their childhood.” Cain balances the difficult themes with other tracks like Let’s Make Love. Completing this project has been a lifelong dream for her. “It feels like I got my PhD,” says Cain. “It definitely feels good.” Look out for a follow-up CD launch event in August. And after that, Cain says her next project will likely be a gospel album. “That’s where it started from – that’s where I owe everything to.”


Gary Beals

In June Gary Beals performed for an enthusiastic standing-room-only crowd at Halifax’s Coconut Grove Nightclub, inspiring endless shouts of praise for songs from his new release, called The Rebirth Of… “For me it’s a rebirth of a lot of different things,” says Beals. “But really it’s a rebirth of a passion for music. Before I was just really treading the road – it was just me doing it because people wanted me to do it. And so I took a break because I didn’t want to

Black to Business

do music at all. I was really frustrated with the team of people I had. The industry is so cut-throat and I didn’t want it to be like that.”

The African Nova Scotian Music Association (ANSMA) is settled into its new home.

So Beals took charge of his own destiny. “I really did lose the passion (for music). But watching other artists perform, slowly that inspiration came back.” Beals teamed up with Aisha Wickham Thomas (former executive director of the Urban Music Association of Canada) who helped him fulfill his dream. “I’ve been involved in every aspect of the project, and it’s mine,” says Beals. This is Beals’ first project on his own new and independent label, Liberated Entertainment. “An independent label just stepping out on faith, and believing and persevering.” Beals says the new label and the new recording project has fully restored his passion for music. “This is a gift that God has blessed me with. So every opportunity I get to sing, I’m looking forward to it, just to be able to do it right.”


Summer 2009

Music Association gets new digs Paul Adams

Gary Beals


Lou Gannon

“We’re in our new home at the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia,” says ANSMA President Lou Gannon, one year after the big move. “We’ve helped them with their Annual General Meeting with entertainment, and we helped them to put together a few events.”

Gannon says the Cherry Brook location – which neighbours the communities of North Preston and East Preston – is perfect for ANSMA. “A lot of our members are from the Prestons,” he says. “And here we’re involved in an organization that has space that we can put events on. And when you think about it, there’s so many things that we can do together because we’re also a cultural organization.” ANSMA has a small recording studio, which it hopes artists will take advantage of for the purposes of recording demos, with special focus on creating opportunities for young and emerging artists in the community. Apart from the new space, ANSMA is helping to coordinate several high profile events this summer. July will see two concerts at the Black Cultural Centre highlighting local urban and gospel music artists. And August will see a string of events happening on the Halifax waterfront as part of Natal Day celebrations, and also Black Freedom 175, an event marking the 175th anniversary of the abolition of slavery, which will culminate in a visit from the Charles Town Maroon Drummers from Jamaica.


Black to Business


Break Into Business Summer Camps


s one of BBI’s composite group of companies, Business Is Jammin’ (BIJ) is a provincewide charitable initiative that focuses on motivating Black youth by developing and offering programs that stress the importance of education, entrepreneurial and personal development at the grassroots level.

Photos below are from: ‘Break into Busines Camps’ - March 2009

Cheyanne Gorman- Tolliver

I am pleased to say I have had my busiest regional activity in the past months and have labelled this latest round of activities as a sort of “refresher course” for all, on the BBI’s services.

In May, I participated in interviews for our BIJ summer youth coordinators. You can read more about the successful candidates and their activities in the BIJ youth camp report in this issue.

These business camps are facilitated by youth coordinators from across the province. Six coordinators were hired in partnership with Service Canada‘s Summer Job Program to run BIJ programs in Sydney, Truro, Halifax, Dartmouth, Kentville, and Yarmouth. Each coordinator works out of the Black Employment Resource Centres in their respective areas.

The camps are free and each coordinator is mandated to hold a minimum of four camps so there is plenty of opportunities to register your child. Many of the camps are underway now.


My continued involvement in the Antigonish/Guysborough Regional Education Work Group (REWG) has led to giving Business is Jammin’ (BIJ) entrepreneurship presentations in the region. In Guysborough I visited the Afrikan Canadian Heritage & Friendship Centre within the Chedabucto Education Centre and in Antigonish, I presented to students at Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School.

One of the more popular BIJ programs is the “Break Into Business” camps. The camps start during March break in the HRM area. The other sessions run during the summer months (July-August) throughout the province.

Each camp is five days of fun-filled interactive activities that takes the youth through the stages of starting and running a business. They learn through hands-on activities, field trips, and guest speakers, leading to the final “Business For A Day”, where the youth sell their products and/or services to the public.

Summer 2009

I participated in community forum sessions in Whitney Pier and Glace Bay as part of the African Nova Scotian Service Providers for the Sydney/Glace Bay area. The evening sessions were informal and included an exchange of ideas, lots of questions and discussion on the services offered.

For information on camps and

Finally I would like to congratulate my Metro clients Lyndon Hibbert & Mark Johnson on opening Caribbean Twist Restaurant (209-7942) and Brent Symonds of Friday’s Concrete Ltd. (209-3544) who continues to grow his business.

coordinators, contact Dorothy Fletcher 902 426 8688. We encourage you to join our ‘Business Is Jammin’ group on Facebook; www.facebook.com .

For more information or to arrange a meeting please contact me at 426-8685, toll free at 1-888-664-9333 or by email: gorman-tolliver. cheyanne@bbi.ns.ca

Black to Business


Summer 2009

James Downey stock

Making Nova Scotia winters more bearable

removal,” Downey lists off just a few of the services offered by Horace Construction, which is located in Middle Sackville. According to their website (www.horaceconstruction.com), Horace Construction is committed to quality and service within Nova Scotia. Providing services in Metro Halifax and Valley areas, Horace Constructions gets the job done “correctly” and “efficiently”. They also provide driveway tips and free estimates and customers can browse through pictures of projects Downey and his crew have worked on in the past.


hanks to Horace Construction, Halifax winters have become a bit more bearable. Snow and ice are no problem for Horace Construction owner, James Downey. “Our snow removal service is the one I’m most proud of,” says Downey.

Sunjay Mathuria

“It’s all about money management. It’s all about the dollar, good decisions and patience” he says. “Be patient, do good work, honour your work and trust others.”

“I enjoy the luxury of coming and going as I please. But also working through all the different challenges that come. It’s interesting,”

Along with his work at Horace Construction, Downey also lends a hand at other paving companies. Although the business leaves him with very little free time, Downey finds the work rewarding. “I enjoy the luxury of coming and going as I please. But also working through all the different challenges that come. It’s interesting,” he says.

But no matter what the season, Downey and his crew are always out making Halifax a more liveable and beautiful city.

If he wasn’t in the contracting business, Downey says his dream job would be to become a pro-basketball player. But even as a kid, Downey always knew he would end up in the business. “Fixing, building, playing outside in the gravel. That was me,” he says, with a laugh.

With over 10 years of experience, Downey has been keeping busy with the variety of services his company offers. “Paving, excavating, trenching, landscaping, snow

With his knack for the business, it is not surprising that Horace Construction has been so successful over the past 10 years. Downey’s secret?

James Downey Middle Sackville, NS

(902) 864-5071 (902)449-8341 horaceconstruction@hotmail.com www.horaceconstruction.com

Black to Business


BBI Honours

Summer 2009


Paul Adams

Senator Donald Oliver

Hon. Dr. Donald H. Oliver,

Q.C., B.A. Hons. (History), LLB, LLD Hons.

 Qualifications:

Acadia University B.A. (Honours) Dalhousie University Law School, LL.B Her Honour Mayann Francis presenting the Special Board Award to Senator Oliver


he Black Business Initiative announced today the recipient of the inaugural special Board of Directors Award of Business Excellence Senator Donald H. Oliver. “Senator Oliver couldn’t be more deserving of this recognition,” said Cassandra Dorrington, Chair of the Board of Directors. “He is a tireless advocate for human rights and equality for African Canadians, reflected in his community and public speaking engagements and his overall commitment to the prosperity of all Canadians, in particular the black business sector.” As a barrister, teacher, entrepreneur, advocate and statesman, Senator Oliver has served the people of Nova Scotia and Canada with honour, distinction and achievement for more than 40 years. “I am deeply honoured to accept this singular distinction,” commented Senator Oliver. “To be honoured by the Black Business Initiative means a great deal to me.”

Senator Oliver established and leads two companies, is considered an expert on corporate governance and is a director of or consultant to several Canadian corporations. He also continues to volunteer his time and expertise to community and cultural organizations throughout Canada and has earned three honorary doctorates and other prestigious awards in recognition of his service. “Senator Oliver has been and continues to be a true leader who will leave a lasting impact on Nova Scotians and indeed all Canadians,” continued Ms. Dorrington. The Black Business Initiative is a province-wide business development initiative committed to fostering the growth of businesses owned by members of the Nova Scotia Black Community. It mission is to positively influence the Nova Scotia business culture by promoting and assisting in the development of Nova Scotia Black-owned businesses.

 Place of Birth:

Wolfville, Nova Scotia Canada

 Occupations:

Farmer, Lawyer, Author, Developer, Professor, Senator

 Awards:

1996 Harry Jerome 2003 Honorary Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) Dalhousie University 2004 African Canadian Achievement Award for Outstanding Achievement in Politics 2006 Nova Scotian Human Rights Commission Human Rights Award 2006 Honorary Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) University of Guelph 2007 Honorary Doctor of Civil Laws (honoris causa) Acadia University 2009 BBI Special Board Award of Business Excellence

 Hobbies:

Author of a gourmet cookbook

Black to Business


ACOA Renews Core Funding Support to the Black Business Initiative Paul Adams


The Government of Canada has supported BBI from the start, and now the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) has furthered that commitment with a total of $3.25 million in funding over the next five years. The funding announcement was made today in conjunction with the BBI’s Annual General Meeting by the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of State for ACOA. “We are proud to support BBI’s work in areas such as Entrepreneurship and Business Skills Development, Innovation, Community Economic Development, and Access to Capital and Information,” said Minister Ashfield. “Furthermore, BBI shares our agency’s mandate to increase entrepreneurial opportunity in rural areas.”

REGIONAL REPORT Southern Greg Nazaire

“From its inception in 1996, the Black Business Initiative (BBI) developed and worked around a cluster of strategic objectives. These objectives were Debbie Windsor, V.P., ACOA Nova Scotia, makes the informed by announcement at the BBI AGM. our vision to foster an enduring presence within the he Black Business IniNova Scotia business community of a dynamic and vibrant Black tiative (BBI) has so far presence,” said Rustum Southwell, assisted more than 2,000 BBI CEO. “By developing business and job opportunities for African individuals and organizations Nova Scotians, we are helping since 1996 in helping foster ACOA to fulfill its mandate as well as our own.” a dynamic and vibrant Black

presence in the Nova Scotia business community.

Summer 2009

Among the tools BBI uses to create an entrepreneurial environment are: financing, training, mentoring, business counselling, and community economic development projects. All evidence points to the success of BBI’s strategy. Statistics Canada data outlines that between 2001-2006, the number of Blackowned businesses with employees grew 57.7 %, compared with 1.1% growth for businesses with employees in the province as a whole. As well, BBI investments have helped create approximately 570 full-and-part-time jobs.

We are getting ready to launch another series of workshops and information sessions with CBDC-Yarmouth and ACOA and this time we will involve more business professionals such as accountants, business consultants, and lawyers instead of strictly financial institution representatives. Another initiative under way is the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the renaming of the Town of Annapolis Royal in 2010. One of the projects we are working on is choosing a logo for this anniversary, which will represent our African Nova Scotian heritage. In this past quarter, I have visited several businesses in the southern region to assess their progress during the recession and I am happy to say many are doing well since most are small scale service providers. However, some communities have been affected, especially in the valley where African Nova Scotian youth have been affected the most. To address this, some community leaders in Windsor Plains have organized to assist the youth in overcoming economic and social hardships. Finally, I would like to congratulate Mr. James Downey, General Manager of Horace Construction on his company’s expansion. We hope his success will lead to a strong African Nova Scotian presence within the construction industry. Should you require further information or to book a regional visit please contact me at: (902) 426-1625 or toll free number at 1(800) 668-1010.

Black to Business

Summer 2009


Cultural Expressions 2009 Tourism and Heritage Symposium


he Black Business Initiative and the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs partnered in organizing and hosting a spring tourism symposium entitled ‘Cultural Expressions 2009’.

The weekend event was held May 29 to May 31, 2009 at the Park Place Hotel and Conference Centre - Ramada Plaza, in Dartmouth, NS. It consisted of youth workshops and a roundtable discussion for select stakeholders. In 2008, the Black Business Initiative commissioned a study to assess the tourism potential and market readiness for Black cultural experiences in Nova Scotia. One of the report’s recommendations was to form a cultural tourism development working group to look at what is currently available, determine what is missing, and then devise a way to put together and market an African Nova Scotian tourism package. The goal of this symposium was to initiate this objective. African Nova Scotian stakeholders across the province whose organizations already had a strong tourism component were invited to participate in the roundtable. An official from the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage presented available programs and best practice examples to the group.

Angela Johnson / Evan Williams Photography: Paul Adams

ages of 13 and 17 to work with professional artists in the creation and interpretation of works celebrating their cultural heritage. There were four different cultural art streams: African Dance, Theatre/ Spoken Word, Visual Arts and Handcrafts (basket weaving). African dance was facilitated by instructor and performer Mufaro Chakabuda, Theatre/Spoken word was facilitated by Shauntay Grant, Visual Arts by Kim Cain and Handcrafts (basket weaving) was taught by Clara Gough. To be selected for the workshops the youth wrote essays on what cultural expression meant to them.

Chelsie Skeete weaves a basket

The weekend concluded with a very moving presentation of WE ARE HERE, a performance showcase, highlighting the disciplines explored, and the work created by the youth involved. This symposium is the first of hopefully many other similar cultural expressions events.

Shay Anderson prepares a poem

Roundtable with community groups

Mufaro Chakabuda instructs dance

Shauntay Grant, Coordinator

Kim Cain, instructor

While the roundtable was occurring, 22 African Nova Scotian youth from across the province participated in Cultural Expressions workshops, coordinated by writer, artist and Nova Scotia’s poet laureate, Shauntay Grant. The workshops were an opportunity for African Nova Scotian youth between the

Black to Business

Summer 2009


Black Business Initiative

2009 Training Schedule for Metro Courses:




Simply Accounting


Sept. 3,10,17, & 24

6-9 pm

Marketing Your Business


Sept. 8,15, 22, & 29

6-9 pm

Creating a Winning Business Plan


Oct. 6, 13,20, & 27

6-9 pm

Bookkeeping I


Oct. 8, 15, 29 & Nov. 5

6-9 pm

Bookkeeping II


Nov. 12, 19, 26 6-9 pm & Dec. 3




Entrepreneurship 101

Wednesday Sept. 9


6-8 pm

Understanding & Keeping Credit Wednesday Sept. 16

6-9 pm

Business Etiquette

Wednesday Oct. 21

6-9 pm

Human Resource Management Wednesday Nov. 18

6-9 pm

Course Fee: Clients - $20.00, Non Clients : $40.00 Workshop Fee: Clients and Non Clients : $5.00 Registration is open to everyone. To register for any session, please call 426-8683 Note: Course and Workshop delivery times are subject to change.


The last few months have been fairly busy for the training centre. We hired six Business is Jammin’ youth coordinators in Sydney, Yarmouth, Truro, Kentville, Halifax and Dartmouth. The coordinators will offer Business is Jammin’ workshops, camps and summer business financing to Black youth in their selected regions and surrounding communities. We were able to offer Bookkeeping 1 and 2 (Bookkeeping 1 is the prerequisite for Bookkeeping 2) to 16 participants. 13 completed the courses. We also offered “Creating a Winning a Business Plan” to eight participants who all completed the course. We are investigating new strategies for offering our training. We will be looking to strengthen relationships with our partners to leverage more resources for our clients. We are also developing programs for existing business owners. Currently, many of our courses are designed for people that are new to business. BBI is now in its thirteenth year of operations and many of our clients have grown with the organization. We have realized that we have to cater to the needs of the existing business person as well. Our Gottingen street Training Centre has closed and all BBI offices have moved to 1660 Hollis St., Halifax. Although we do not have a dedicated training centre, training is and will continue to be a focus for the BBI. If you are interested in any of our training courses outside of Metro, please contact me at 902-426-8688 or toll free at 1-800-668-1010 or speak to the RBDM for your area.

Black to Business


Summer 2009

People & Businesses on the Move

DRUM headlined the national Canada Day ceremonies on Parliament Hill for the second year in a row. Producers Brookes and Fiona Diamond have also just released a DVD of the show, which was filmed last year at the Bella Rose Theatre. It will also be featured at this year’s Milwaukee Irish Festival. This year’s edition of the show will be at the Rebecca Cohn in Halifax in late September and will include two performances with Symphony Nova Scotia. Local entrepreneurs have started the Nova Scotia Black Business Alliance. Collins Ellison, of Verico Premiere Mortgage, is the founder. In an article in the ChronicleHerald, Ellison says he’s meeting with people across the province, gathering names for a database, and developing a strong business network. The East Preston Daycare Centre received the Early Childhood Care and Education Service Award from Childcare Nova Scotia to commemorate its more than 20 years of providing care and education to children and their families. Congratulations to Menderia Smith, of Saint Patrick’s-Alexandra School. She recently received the Junior Female Exemplary Participation Award from the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation. Faith Baptist Church, in Lower Sackville, marked the 400th anniversary of the Baptist Church

with a special service on April 26. The Windsor Plains United Baptist Church choir, directed by Darcelle Cromwell, participated in the weekend-long event. Shauntay Grant has added another title to her already impressive resume, that of Poet Laureate for the Halifax Regional Municipality. Her book, “Up Home”, received the Best Atlantic Published award at the 2009 Atlantic Book Awards in May. The prize includes $5000 from the Friesens Corporation, which is shared with Nimbus Publishing. Susan Tooke, who illustrated the book, also took home the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration. The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia celebrated the exhibition “Up Home” on April 30. It included a viewing of the original paintings for the book, an opportunity to meet the artists and a poetry presentation by students from Nelson Whynder Elementary School. The exhibition of the work for “Up Home” was on display at the AGNS until mid June. The Colchester County Sport Hall of Fame honoured the Clyke family at a special reception held at the Marigold Centre in Truro on March 20. The Africville Genealogy Society now has its own website (www. africville.ca). The site tells the story of Africville and includes an events section highlighting the society’s

activities throughout the year. The International Day for the Elimination of Racism was marked by a special concert at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Hammonds Plains. The concert featured the Nova Scotia Mass Choir, Marko Simmonds, Chelsea Nesbitt, Wade Smith, Kim Bernard, Rose and Stoney Fraser, James Ogden, and Perry Williams. Dr. Anthony Stewart, of Dalhousie’s Department of English, recently launched a new book, “You Must Be a Basketball Player: Rethinking Integration in the University”. Halifax’s Neptune Theatre joined with Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre, in association with Theatrefront, to create UBUNTU (The Cape Town Project) about a young South African, haunted by ghosts, whose search for his father brings him to this continent. The play was written collectively and performed by artists from Canada and South Africa. It combined a North American narrative with South African myth, legend, and music to create a unique cultural experience. It ran on Neptune’s second stage from March 10-29. The Citadel High Legacy Campaign held “An Evening with George Elliott Clarke” on April 9. Proceeds from the event will be directed towards dedicating the atrium in the new high school in memory of famed Nova Scotian

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opera singer Portia White. Earlier that week, Clarke read from his latest book “I & I” at the Alumni Hall of the University of Kings College.

Library, hosted by Pauline’s Beauty Care and Gwen Caine’s Bridal Boutique. The proceeds will be directed towards the 2010 Cotillion.

The Black Educators Association is proud to announce the appointment of its new Executive Director, Mr. Steven R. P. Carrington. Carrington is a graduate of the Nova Scotia’s Teachers College , St. Mary’s University and Acadia University. He has worked for 40 years in various capacities as a childcare counsellor, teacher, regional educator, program developer, race relations policy maker and advisor, Coordinator of Race Relations, Cross Cultural Understanding & Human Rights, and guidance counsellor.

Second United Baptist Church celebrated its 106th Anniversary on Sunday, May 17, 2009. The celebration included a broadcast of the 11 a.m. service over Radio Station ECFM 94.1, special music by the Community Gospel Choir from St. Thomas Baptist Church, North Preston, guest speaker, Licentiate Lloyd Grant, and the unveiling and dedication of plaques in memory of two of the first ministers of the church, Rev. William A. White and Rev. Wellington N. States.

Lawrence Hill, whose book, “The Book of Negroes” was the winner of the CBC’s 2009 Canada Reads contest, was the guest speaker at The Canadian Association for the Prevention of Discrimination and Harassment in Higher Education conference in Halifax. The theme of this year’s conference was Adjusting the Sails: Navigating Toward an Inclusive Environment in Higher Education. The Black Loyalist Heritage Society held a sweet celebration of Mother’s Day. The Society held a cheesecake bakesale at the Shelburne Mall on May 7. The annual Kamp Kujichagulia was held at Acadia University from July 5-10 for students of African Canadian descent ages 14-18 (Grades 9-11). A fundraising fashion & hair show for Black Women on the Move was held at the Halifax Memorial Public

Mrs. Edith Cromwell was awarded a doctor of civil laws during one of two spring convocation ceremonies at Acadia University in May. “From These Roots - Taking Up the Basket”, a documentary on the work of Clara Gough, was launched at the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia on May 14. The Black Cultural Centre held its 26th annual dinner at the Ramada Hotel in Dartmouth on June 20. This year’s dinner was themed “The Night of Heroes” and featured the music of Pat Watson. The Maritime Centre for African Dance held a DVD release party on May 26. As part of the celebration, a video of the MCAD’s performance in Washington in January was screened. Gary Beals released his second album, “The Rebirth of…” in early June. There were release parties in both Halifax and Toronto. (More on the Halifax party in this issue)

Summer 2009

Congratulations to John Beaton, a Grade 9 student at New Glasgow Junior High School, for winning the 2009 Regional Educators’ Spelling Bee, sponsored by the Black Educators Association of Nova Scotia. Jack Andrew, a Grade 8 student at Georges P. Vanier Junior High School in Fall River, took home second-place honours and Moataz (Mizo) Ibrahim, a Grade 8 student at Ridgecliff Middle School in Beechville, came in third place. Sixty five students from across the province competed in the event, which was held at Mount Saint Vincent and is open to African-Nova Scotian students aged eight to 15. A Taste of East Preston, hosted by the East Preston United Baptist Church, was held on June 27 at the East Preston Recreation Centre. The event featured several succulent East Preston dishes on the menu: - Oxtail, Pigtails, Peas & Rice, Curries, Fried & Baked Chicken, Fishcakes & Baked Beans, and Macaroni & Cheese Dishes. Vice-Admiral Dean McFadden, the Chief of the Maritime Staff (CMS), held a Town Hall meeting at the North Preston Community Centre on on June 29. It was designed to provide an excellent opportunity for church and community leaders to dialogue with a senior officer of the Canadian Force and to discuss the role of the Canadian Forces and how the men and women in our Black communities can make a contribution to Canada through the Canadian Forces.

Black to Business

Summer 2009


Business & Community Events July & August

August 12 - 15

September 29 - October 4

Summer School Of The Arts

Amistad Freedom Celebration 175


Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Classes for Children Ages 3 – teen Contact: (902) 424-7542

Public Tours & Youth Sails Shelburne, NS For info: 902-875-1310

July 30 - Aug. 4 2009 26th Annual Africville Festival Reunion Thur., July 30

- 6pm Welcome - 8 pm Documentary screening

Fri., July 3

6pm - Dinner/ Dance, Fleet Club $35 p/p; $60 p/c Dance: 9pm $10.

Sat., Aug.1

1 to 6pm Kid’s day, BBQ 8pm Emancipation Day Celebrations, Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Lwr. Water St. Halifax

Sun., Aug 2

2pm Memorial Church service w/ Rev. Rhonda Britton

August 17 - 21 Birchtown Multicultural Day Camp Black Loyalist Heritage Society For children 5-12 9am - noon daily Price: $35/child For info: 902-875-1310 www.blackloyalist.com

September 23 - 27 Nova Scotia Association Of Black Social Workers International Conference Ramada Park Place Hotel Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Theme: “Linking Borders” Contact: Veronica Marsman @ nsabsw@gmail.com

For info www.africville.ca

July 31st & August 1st The Halifax Dikita Women’s Festival 2009 Dance Workshop / Dinner Maritime Centre for African Dance Sat: Dinner Cost: $100 For info/to register: 902.407.3301; 902.225.9267; afrikandance2005@yahoo.ca No dance experience is necessary

Rebecca Cohn Auditorium Halifax, NS 902-494-3820 or toll free at 1-800-874-1669 artscentre.dal.ca/box.html

September 25 - 27 ABF Conference Atlantic Baptist Fellowship and First Baptist Church, Amherst, NS 400th Anniv. of the Baptist movement / First Baptist Church’s 200th Anniversary For info: 902-667-2001 ambapt@ns.aliantzinc.ca Web: www.amherstfirstbaptist.ca

October 2/3, 2009 INCLUDE Youth! Fall youth forum on Ethnic Diversity Saint Mary’s University For info: (902) 423-6534; events@mans.ns.ca

October 20 EXPO 2009 - Preparing For The Future 10am – 5pm WTCC, 1800 Argyle Street, Halifax, NS For info: Kristen@ halifaxchamber.com

Are you thinking about buying a home but want to stay in the neighbourhood and can’t find anything affordable? You should learn more about ….. GOTTINGEN TERRACE The Creighton/Gerrish Development Association proudly presents Gottingen Terrace - 48 beautiful 1, 2 and 3 bedroom condominium homes on Gottingen Street across from the Halifax North Memorial Public Library. Now available for pre-sale. Starting construction in 2010. Available for occupancy in 2011. Gottingen Terrace is not like other condominiums and the Creighton/Gerrish Development Association is not like other developers. The Creighton/Gerrish Development Association (C/GDA), is a partnership of four, non-profit, community-based organizations: the Black Business Initiative (BBI), the Metro Non Profit Housing Association (MNPHA), Harbour City Homes (HCH), and the Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia (AHANS). We incorporated in 1998 and since then have participated in the regeneration of the Old North End community through the development of decent and affordable housing for people who have a long-standing relationship with the neighbourhood. So far we’ve successfully developed a total of 37 new homes in three distinguished projects. The first building, a 19 unit structure, was completed and turned over to the MNPHA in early 2002. The second project, 6 semi-detached dwellings offering affordable, freehold ownership to area residents, was completed and sold in the fall of 2004. The third project, a 12 unit building at the corner of Creighton and Buddy Daye Streets, was completed and turned over to HCH in the summer of 2008. The Gottingen Terrace condominium is our fourth project. Its 48 dwellings will form a substantial and varied four storey terrace along Gottingen Street. The Terrace itself will consist of eight 6 unit buildings, each of which will provide: two 2 bedroom units at grade, each with its own private entry court; and on top of the two bedroom units, a pair of one bedroom dwellings; and above them, two three bedroom two storey family dwellings. The one’s and three’s will share a keyed vestibule accessible both from Gottingen Street and from the garden and parking at the rear. Not only are the 48 homes of the Gottingen Terrace condominium of the highest quality, because we are a non-profit society, our homes come direct to you without middlemen, without profit to our association, at prices affordable to households of modest means. The sixteen 1 bedroom units at Gottingen Terrace range in price from $124,500 to $128,900 per unit, the sixteen 2 bedroom units range from $139,500 to $143,900 per unit, while the sixteen 3 bedroom units cost between $189,500 and $193,900 per unit. These prices include 5 appliances, in-floor radiant heating, engineered-hard-wood and ceramic flooring, 1 parking space/unit, and much, much more. We are pleased to invite you to attend the Gottingen Terrace Community Information Meeting, at the Halifax North Memorial Public Library, 2285 Gottingen Street, Halifax, 6 August 2009 at 6:00 pm. Grant Wanzel, President, C/GDA Rustum Southwell, Secretary, C/GDA Tracey Jones-Grant, Board Member, C/GDA

Visit our website at www.ahans.ca and follow the links to Gottingen Terrace. OR make an appointment to visit the Gottingen Terrace Showroom at 2020A Gottingen Street by calling the C/GDA at 789-2432.

The Main BBI office at 1575 Brunswick Street, along with the Training office at 2101 Gottingen Street, and the ADEPA office at 202 Brownlow Avenue, have merged and moved.

Our new address is:

Black Business Initiative

Centennial Building, Suite 1201, 1660 Hollis Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada B3J 1V7 phone, email, website remain unchanged ‌ only the Fax and Toll-free phone numbers are new. Phone: (902) 426-2224 Fax: (902) 426-8699 Email: bbi@bbi.ns.ca Website: www.bbi.ca New Toll-free: 1-888-664-9333

If undeliverable return to: The Black Business Initiative Centennial Building Suite 1201,1660 Hollis Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 1V7

Publications Mail Agreement No.


numĂŠro de convention

0040026687 0040026687

Profile for Metro Guide Publishing

Black to Business – Issue 43 – Summer 2009  

Black to Business – Issue 43 – Summer 2009