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FALL 2011

THE BLACK CULTURAL CENTRE After 28 Years, a Refresh

Also in this Issue:  ADHT Conference  Progressive Roots Network

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


Black 2 Business is the official periodical of The Black Business Initiative and is published quarterly - spring, summer, fall, and winter.

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Its goal is to support the BBI as it fosters a dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia Business Community. For Advertising Information, Rates, Submitting Story Ideas, Notices or Community Events, and for more Information, call: 902-426-2224

COVER STORY The Black Cultural Centre After 28 Years, a Refresh

Published by: The Black Business Initiative

1 Message from the Board

Editor in Chief: Rustum Southwell Design & Layout: Design North Production by: Mirabliss Media Productions

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5 Making Art her

Cover Photograph: Peter Marsman

Business Wendie Poitras

7 J&J Cleaning

Services Angela Simmons

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: 1-888-664-9333 E-Mail: bbi@bbi.ns.ca Web Site: www.bbi.ca

2 Message from the CEO

9 Geek Speak

Ross Simmonds

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11 TRAILBLAZERS

The Way Forward: Progressive Entrepreneurs

13 L&L Electrical Repairs and Service Lenworth Rose

Mailed under Canada Post Publications Mail Sales Agreement no. 0040026687


C O NTENTS 10 Northern Report Njabulo Nkala

20 BIJ Report

Mahogany Lucas

26 Central Report

Shakara Russell

28 Business Development Report Gordon Doe

30 Southern Report Greg Nazaire

18 Our Heritage, Our Future:

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N.S. takes the spotlight at African Diaspora Heritage Trail Conference

19 The Law

and Your Business

21 Maria's Place

Dr. Darlene Strong

23 People & Business on the Move

27 OUT & ABOUT with the BBI

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29 BBI boss retires 30 Canadian Youth

Business Foundation

31 Community & Business Events

The Black Business Initiative (BBI) is a province-wide business development initiative committed to fostering the growth of businesses owned by members of the Nova Scotia Black Community. The BBI places priority on educating Black business owners in the operation of their business - from marketing to budgeting to securing funding. The BBI is committed to growing the Black presence in a diverse range of business sectors including high-tech, manufacturing, tourism, and the cultural sector. In 1996, the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia set up the BBI to address the unique needs confronting the Black business community in Nova Scotia. For the first five years of its existence, BBI was funded under the COOPERATION Agreement for Economic Diversification, a joint agreement between the Federal and Provincial Governments. The BBI is currently funded by the federally administered Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Provincial Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. BBI Vision A dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia business community. BBI Mission To positively influence the Nova Scotia business culture by promoting and assisting in the development of Nova Scotia 2 Black-owned businesses....


Message from the Board of Directors

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Peter Marsman

he one thing in life that’s certain is that there are no certainties. You always have to leave room for the unexpected. That’s true in life, in business, and in the world of the Black Business Initiative (BBI).

Greg Browning Chair, Black Business Initiative

In 1995 a special task force appointed by the Province of Nova Scotia and the federal government identified the need for an African-Canadian led organization to help address economic inequalities in Nova Scotia. The following year, the BBI was formed. Many of the people who were part of that task force are still very active in our community today – my mother included. I can still remember the enthusiasm, anticipation and spirit of hope with which Mom and her colleagues viewed this fledgling organization. Fifteen years have passed, and I can safely say that despite our high hopes, no one could have foreseen the incredible rise of the BBI. The organization has grown into one of the province’s most dynamic economic development organizations, supporting 172 businesses that have in turn created more than 600 jobs. Many of our clients are leaders in their industries, and do business around the world. Our magazine, Black 2 Business, is recognized as a leader in corporate communications. Black business networks regularly approach the BBI to find out how to set up similar organizations in other parts of the country. We’ve launched numerous ads on Global TV and fostered the development of many wonderful employees. We have a lot to be proud of. Of course, there have been some growing pains. But what impresses me

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most is how the BBI has navigated through the challenges of growth. From a community investment fund to a youth charity, the BBI has gradually extended its offerings in order to more fully meet our mission to foster a vibrant and dynamic Black presence in the business community. This year, we unveiled a new corporate governance model, which clarifies our structure and offers greater transparency and accountability to our funders and partners. It’s a sign of the sophistication and maturity of the organization, and I’m so proud of the dedication of BBI staff and board members in bringing the governance model to fruition. You can’t talk about the rise of the BBI and not talk about people. From one end of our province to the other, I see Blackowned businesses – from international biotech firms to barbershops – that are thriving and contributing to the economic lives of their communities. At the BBI’s annual planning retreats, I see dozens of people representing all three levels of government and numerous partnering organizations who volunteer their time to help us be more effective. And at BBI social events, I see many former employees, retired board members, and associates who continue to renew their relationship with our organization. As chair of the board, with lifelong ties to the community and to the roots of BBI, I can tell you that 15 years after it first launched, the BBI is not what I expected it would be. It’s much more.

Greg Browning, Chair


Peter Marsman

Message from the Chief Executive Officer

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hen the Task Force turned over the strategic plan to the Board of Directors in 1996, they had no idea how far the initiative would go or how long it would last. These “projects� are sometimes short-sighted and designed to implode. Hence they are never elevated to, or given sufficient resources to deliver, a vision of excellence in service, accountability and results. This time was to be different.

S.I. Rustum Southwell CEO, Black Business Initiative

The founding board members acted immediately with a bold commitment to organizational excellence. From the outset a clear direction based firmly on business principles and entrepreneurial drive became the energy source of the initiative. Fifteen years later the Black Business Initiative (BBI) has stayed true to our business development mandate. A staff team with the same passion and vision that was willing to commit to excellence soon followed the board of directors. Currently, based on our results, we have grown into one of the country’s leading business development organizations, and the only Black organization of its kind in Canada. The BBI has always insisted that we must be active participants in all of the economic opportunities and limitless possibilities to do business in Nova Scotia. Through networking events, our business summits, business skills development, and communication strategy we are helping Black-owned companies develop their full potential. Of course this requires collaboration and partnerships on many levels.

A recent manifestation and an example of collaboration and partnership is the BBI-facilitated Cultural Tourism Strategy. In 2008, BBI completed the Nova Scotia Black Cultural Tourism Project, a market readiness and tourism potential analysis of Nova Scotia's Black historic and cultural experiences as part of the tourism product mix. The project was guided by a steering committee consisting of representatives of the BBI, the Department of Economic & Rural Development & Tourism , Parks Canada, the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs, and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). With tourists looking for new niche experiences, this has great economic potential for cultural tourism locations and the entire province. The report outlined steps required to bring the Black cultural tourism product to a market-ready state including specific recommendations for the Black Cultural Centre (BCC), Birchtown, Africville, and Mathieu DaCosta Trail. In late September 2011 the world was invited by the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs and the Department of Economic & Rural Development & Tourism to the shores of Nova Scotia to attend the 7th International African Diaspora Heritage Trail Conference. Against this backdrop, with pride in community collaboration, a new Black Cultural Centre Museum was unveiled and a ribbon cutting to the rebuilt replica of the Seaview Baptist Church on the rededicated Africville lands bookended the conference. As hundreds stood looking on from a variety of vantage points at the continued on page 26

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Cover Story

Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia 10 Cherry Brook Road Cherry Brook. NS

After 28 Years, a Refresh for

The Black Cultural Centre Dr. Leslie Oliver , Chair, Russell Grosse, Project Manager & Dr. Henry Bishop, Chief Curator

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Peter Marsman

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For 28 years the BCCNS has been a source of knowledge and inspiration for the black community. It was the vision of Wolfville’s Rev. Dr. William Pearly Oliver, who had sought to establish a centre that would preserve black culture in Nova Scotia and educate the youth. The museum and library complex opened officially on September 17, 1983, on Cherry Brook Road and since then has hosted concerts, lectures, plays, and guided tours. Today, Dr. Leslie Oliver, son of the late Rev. Dr. William P. Oliver, is chair of the Black Cultural Society of Nova Scotia’s (BCCNS) board of directors. “Before the Centre opened, there was no place to share those experiences,” he says of the Centre’s significance and legacy.

The inspiration for the Centre’s refresh came with the province’s decision to host the African Diaspora Heritage Trail (ADHT) Conference. “The province recognized the need to refresh the 28-year-old exhibits so that the Centre could communicate our cultural stories to international visitors,” explains Dr. Oliver.

by: Abena Amoako-Green

comments, “If it wasn’t for [Russell] the place would be in chaos.”

Peter Marsman

here, in the centre of the main auditorium 16 majestic banners extend from ceiling to floor, forming a circle. On each banner is a larger-than-life image of men or women who played a vital role in advancing the black community. They are considered heroes. Above their heads hangs a satellite image of the continent of Africa. “The psychological aspect is to raise your head up,” explains a proud Dr. Henry Bishop, the Black Cultural Centre of Nova Scotia’s (BCCNS) Chief Curator. “Whether you’re of African descent or not, you have to look up.” On the floor is the province of Nova Scotia and the symbolism speaks loudly: The continent represents a distant homeland, heritage, and relatives. The province represents the present ground. Those honoured in between are links to both realities and represent struggle and achievement.

One of the new exhibits

A typical 18- to 24-month project took only six months, according to senior designer and museographer Jean Pierre Camus of Camus Productions Ltd. “The institution had a big challenge on its hands,” he says with a chuckle. Dr. Oliver, Dr. Bishop, Pastor Brian Johnson, and Russell Grosse formed a project committee that guided the decision-making process of the renovation. As project manager, Grosse’s role was multi-faceted. “I was taking the comments and concerns from the committee back to the consultants, so I basically had to mediate and say, okay what we can do that makes both sides happy?” With the refresh occurring during peak tourism season, he and Dr. Bishop improvised to maintain a quality visitor experience in the midst of renovations. Dr. Bishop

Planning had been vital. “There was a vision we had in place for at least 10 years,” says Grosse. Lack of funding had always been an issue. But it came and they were ready. “We’re really grateful for the fact that Black Business Initiative was a strong part of helping facilitate that,” says Grosse. Despite a risky timeline, Camus Productions was supportive. “We prefer not to push the envelope as much as was done with the BCC, but sometimes there’s no choice.” Camus attributes the project’s success to the centre’s readiness with content. “By the time we arrived on the scene we had good strong background information to rely on.” Grosse adds, “The fact that we had a plan gave us the ability to do far greater than we had ever imagined.” This time around, the BCCNS gracefully demonstrates that less is more. “We didn’t want to flood the place like we did before” states Dr. Bishop. “It became chaotic.” All the artifacts have been kept for future use. “The old exhibits were the creation of many devoted people over the past 35 years,” says Dr. Oliver. “It was sad to remove things that our predecessors, including my own parents, had lovingly installed.” But he adds that a new strength is that the exhibits are self-guided. Similarly, Camus comments, “The exhibits don’t force visitors to move in a particular direction.” Scrapbooks allow for photos to be added to a continually evolving story. “We wanted to keep the ability to show that Black Heritage is dynamic,” says Dr. Oliver. “It is not a frozen point in time.” continued on page 14

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Wendie PoitrasMaking Art her Business Wendie Poitras , Owner, Bad Ass Art

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Paul Adams

T

he concept of journaling – keeping a visual record of one’s thoughts, ideas, reflections, observations – is often thought of as a literary expression, pages of words that serve to document moments in time.

But for Wendie Poitras, journaling can be both a literary and visual exercise. “I don’t remember a time when I didn’t create,” says the owner of Bad Ass Art. “Summertime was always writing or painting.” And while documenting her thoughts in pictures has always been central to Poitras’ life, apart from a couple of courses here and there, she is primarily a self-taught artist. “I’ve been loving art ever since I can remember, but I was never encouraged to do it, so it was never named,” she says. “Then one day someone named it for me: ‘That ain’t doodling girl, that’s art!’” What followed was an affirmation of herself as an artist through an outpouring of work done in a new medium Poitras calls “symbolic artwork.” She’s been working in this style for about four years. “When I first started doing this artwork I didn’t call it artwork at all,” she says. “But I found out later on that the work is very similar to a type of work that is used in West Africa with the Adinkra symbols.” Until then, Poitras says she didn’t know where the inspiration for her work came from. “Lots of people had asked whether or not I got my inspiration from calligraphy or Japanese art, and I was never really able to concretely answer that question until I did some research and stumbled upon the Adinkra symbols. And I realized that’s exactly where it comes from. That’s where our people would have come from. All this time and all

that distance between here and west Africa – it’s never really left us.” The simplicity, beauty and visual language of West Africa’s renowned Adinkra symbols are celebrated worldwide. And while connections can be made between Poitras’ work and the strong lines and inherent symbolism of the Adinkra, the Halifax artist clearly strives to push the boundaries of symbolism with her unique designs that will often embody multiple symbols, meanings, and interpretations. “I love showing people images and I love hearing what they see,” she says. “Because I don’t always see what they see.” Initially, Poitras had no plans to turn her passion for doodling into a business. But people started asking for copies of her work. So she decided to get her original drawings – created using India ink on paper – reproduced digitally on 100 per cent cotton rag paper for what she says is a richer, more permanent finish. “It’s archival paper so it will last a lifetime – up to 200 years,” says Poitras. “The pieces are expensive to reproduce, but it’s definitely worth it.” Apart from high-quality paper prints, Poitras also creates specialized designs for weddings, special events, company logos, even tattoos.” “(The designs) can be cast in jewelry, they can be worn on clothing, they can be molded into sculptures… there are so many things that can happen with the pieces.” Poitras credits New York artist and entrepreneur Keith Haring (1958 – 1990) as a source of inspiration. “I remember having my very first show on his birthday,” she says. “He was a brilliant artist. He had a huge following in New York, and then he decided to do something – he decided to massproduce his artwork.”

by: Shauntay Grant

During his lifetime, Haring painted murals and exhibited in museums and public spaces from New York to Paris, Australia to Amsterdam… then in 1986 he opened a retail store selling merchandise bearing his iconic images on t-shirts, toys, posters, buttons and other commercial objects. “People frowned upon it,” says Poitras. “But he wanted to make art available and affordable to everyone. He wasn’t interested in making a lot of money. He was just interested in sharing what he had with common folk who weren’t necessarily art collectors.” A belief Poitras herself shares as an artist and business owner. “I know it’s hard to make a business out of art, but it depends on what direction you plan on taking it. And if people are able to wear the pieces, I would be only too honoured to have them do that, regardless of what anyone thought.” Poitras has been selling mainly prints and greeting cards adorning her artwork, but she’s looking to expand to t-shirts and other products for 2012. And while she keeps busy raising a family and teaching full-time at Joseph Howe Elementary School, Poitras says managing the business side of her art feels “very natural.” “There’s no pressure on me to make this work,” she say. “I’m doing what I love, so no matter what happens as a result of this, I get to have a collection of artwork that I can pass on to my daughter.”

BAD ASS ART Interpretive, Cutting Edge Artworks Wendie L. Poitras, artist T. 902.449.7000 E. badassart@eastlink.ca Editor’s Note: Wendie Poitras’ artwork is being exhibited at The Company House at 2202 Gottingen St., Halifax, into the fall and winter 2011. Call ahead to confirm. 902-404-3050.

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J&J Cleaning Services Angela Simmons , Owner, J&J Cleaning Services

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Paul Adams

A

ngela Simmonds was raising three children and working full time as an employment youth counsellor at the Dartmouth Career Development Centre when she decided to leave her job and take over her father’s cleaning company.

“My father passed in 2005,” says Simmonds, owner of J&J Cleaning Services. “My mom tried to keep it going and was struggling a bit. So in 2006 I talked to my husband, Dean, and decided we would at least try to take it over and keep it running.” Simmonds’ father, Junior Sparks, started the company in 1985 with his wife Joanne. When her husband passed away, Joanne Sparks worked to keep the business going. But since her daughter’s involvement, she’s taken a step back.

Simmonds says the job has allowed her more flexibility to spend time with her family, and to pick and choose her workload. But in 2009 her load increased when she started working as a Student Support Worker with the Halifax Regional School Board. This led to some changes with J&J Cleaning Services. “We have had to downsize quite a bit,” says Simmonds. “The business was great and provided opportunities, but my long-term goal is to finish my education so I knew I had to get back into a workforce that would enable me to highlight my résumé as far as my professional career.”

Now five years later, Simmonds has proven herself

“Mom has been great,” says Simmonds. “She’s very supportive, and she definitely gave me confidence and kept saying, ‘You can do it.’”

to be a successful

Simmonds admits the career-shift was challenging in the beginning, but believes that continuing her father’s business was something that “had to be done.”

who has done her

“I needed to at least try it for him,” she says. “He worked so hard in ensuring we all had a great education and opportunities. I felt that if I didn’t at least try, I wouldn’t have done him any justice.” Now five years later, Simmonds has proven herself to be a successful business owner, and a daughter who has done her father very proud – J&J Cleaning Services continues to thrive as a family-owned company that services commercial business clients in Burnside, Dartmouth, downtown Halifax, and throughout Halifax Regional Municipality.

business owner, and a daughter father very proud – J&J Cleaning Services continues to thrive as a family-owned company... Simmonds says she plans to eventually study law. “That’s ideally what my father wanted,” she says. “And when he passed away I did not finish university as I wanted. So that is a goal for me, to go back and finish my degree.

by: Shauntay Grant

“The business and ideas and values it stands for will always be a priority and remain very important. However, if the business begins to suffer and becomes conflicting with our family and my longterm goals, I would have to reevaluate it. But it will always remain a high priority, because it was such a part of my father.” “This business has been a blessing,” adds Simmonds. “Even for my children – it’s teaching them about leadership and hard work.” Important values, Simmonds says, that stem from her father’s example. “Seeing him work 17 to 18 hours a day… (I didn’t really) appreciate him working so hard until I was doing it myself.” Simmonds’ tries to pass on to her own children these core values she learned from her father. “My 17-year-old works nights in the business,” she says. “And because he’s in grade 12, [working for the business] does not interfere with his studies or any opportunities that he has for scholarships, whereas other jobs may not be able to be as flexible. And [his schooling] is the priority.” Simmonds adds that all of her children often help out with J&J Cleaning Services. And she credits this familyfocus to being the key to the company’s 25-plus years of success. “I do think the fact that we are familyowned still sets us apart from the larger companies,” she says. “We are able to satisfy individual needs as opposed to a group. We don’t have to worry about people not showing up because it’s us. Especially in the winter time. If there’s a storm, I guarantee that we will be there. And I think that’s what sets us apart from the rest.”

J & J Cleaning Services Ltd. Angela and Dean Simmons 462 6532 / 401 4805 8 ...


I can remember visiting my aunt’s or grandmother’s house after school to find them watching shows like General Hospital or All My Children. It began with them scheduling the recording through a VHS and at the turn of the century it shifted towards the use of a DVR. But over time, I noticed they and the rest of the world watched the soaps less and less. Something had changed. Yes, more women were leaving home for the workforce, and yes, there was this new craze called reality TV that also had an impact in the decline of soap operas, but these were simply partners in crime to the true killer. The guilty party goes by the name of Facebook.

with Ross Simmonds

How Facebook killed the Soap Opera and got away with it

When Facebook first launched it was positioned as a social network for students. To enforce this, anyone who wanted to use Facebook needed a university email or they could not access the site. This lasted a few years until Facebook went mainstream and opened up to the masses. You see, as the world turns, businesses need to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves and this is exactly what Facebook did. As a result, their decision to open their network to cities and towns around the world changed the way people interacted, young and old alike. This move has been crucial to their success, as Facebook is now the largest social network with over 800 million users. There still tends to be a belief, however, that Facebook is a site made up of the young and restless. When in fact, more grandmothers and mothers are adding their children and grandkids to Facebook everyday. Recent studies show that 9 ...

the fastest growing demographic on Facebook is women over the age of 55. That’s right – Facebook is no longer just a site for the kids to talk to one another and plan weekend activities. Supporting this is the fact that Facebook has recently become the number one site for gaming online. To top it all off, studies show that the average user playing Farmville or other games on Facebook are 43-yearold women. So why are the soaps dying? Well, if the key demographic for soap operas is a woman above the age of 40 these numbers give us a brief insight into where they’ve shifted their attention. They are spending more time on Facebook looking at their friends’ photos and playing games than they are watching soaps. I mean, why would you watch a fake drama on television when you can watch a real one unravel on your computer? It’s kind of like voyeurism, to some degree.


For many, Facebook has become the new soap opera. Whether you’re watching old friends live their lives hundreds of miles away or watching your own young ones grow up. The same story lines that you could have found in a soap opera, plus interaction, can be found in the lives of the people within your network. You’re able to watch people get married, catch up with their lives, and see their children grow up. All of these things that were once solely attributed to the likes of General Hospital and All My Children are no more. At the end of it all, the perception of reality is what made soap operas compelling and successful. They allowed the viewers to connect with their cast on a daily basis and form make-believe relationships and connections. Today, however, the soap opera is dying. What was once Bold and Beautiful is now dull and dreary in comparison to true social interaction. After more than 50 years it would be an understatement to say that the soap operas had a good run.

Regional Report Northern Njabulo Nkala I would like to congratulate Chair Theresa Brewster and the Glace Bay Universal Negro Improvement Association for holding yet another successful Marcus Garvey Festival this summer. this organization remains a beacon for Black empowerment in the region and the community participation attests to that. Also, congratulations to Lenworth Rose of L & L Electrical Services in Sydney for being featured in the current issue of the Black 2 Business magazine. L & L, located at 296 Royal Avenue, has provided exceptional service to Cape Breton residents for over two decades. In business start up news, 902-Junk is a new junk removal business that launched this summer. The business, owned by Vincent ‘Juno’ Johnson and

Oniel Blackett received BBI financing for start up costs. They specialize in the removal of house junk and yard waste for residential and business customers in Halifax Regional Municipality. For a free quote call (902) 441-5773 or 2379377 BBI continues to support start up and existing Black businesses in Nova Scotia through financing, business counselling, mentoring, training and networking opportunities. I invite such businesses, particularly from the northern part of the province to contact me to learn more about these services. For any enquiries regarding BBI services in the Northern Region please contact me on (902) 426-4281 or e-mail at: Nkala.Njabulo@bbi.ns.ca

Ross Simmonds www.rosssimmonds.com contributed

Ross Simmonds is a graduate of Saint Mary’s University with a double major in Marketing and Human Resources/ Industrial Relations. The East Preston, Nova Scotia, native has his own digital marketing company, targeting small and medium-sized businesses. He’s also a member of the digital marketing team with the Halifax advertising agency, Colour.

For information on business opportunities with Encana’s Deep Panuke natural gas project in Nova Scotia’s offshore, visit the Deep Panuke pages on the Encana website at www.encana.com/deeppanuke/business

For information on career opportunities at Deep Panuke, visit the Careers section on Encana’s website or the Career Beacon website at www.careerbeacon.com

www.encana.com twitter.com/encanacorp

facebook.com/encana

youtube.com/encana

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The Way Forward:

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he Progressive Roots Network, in partnership with the Black Business Initiative (BBI), is an organization established to connect young Black professionals in the Halifax Regional Municipality. It’s all about helping young professionals move forward with their careers. The networking group started in April and held its official launch at La Trinidad in late October. In this issue, we introduce three professionals who are on the rise and they talk about the ways in which the network can and is playing a role in their lives.

progressive

Peter Marsman

Trailblazers

Progressive Entrepreneurs

Kenny Duncan

network

Kenny Duncan is the chair of the Progressive Roots Network. He moved to Halifax about a year ago from the Annapolis Valley, where he was a regular volunteer in the Black community. When he arrived in Halifax, Duncan talked to Rustum Southwell of BBI about ways to contribute to the community. When the opportunity arose, Duncan decided spearheading the network would be a great fit for him. “My job is primarily networking,” says Duncan, who manages the small business banking department at Scotiabank on Hollis Street. Duncan started off as a personal banking officer and now works in a team of three to help small business owners through providing guidance, helping them acquire loans, and referring them to others who can help them – such as lawyers and accountants.

Banking, however, was never Duncan’s plan. His first degree was in English literature with the goal of becoming a teacher. Seven and a half years ago a friend told him he should consider a career with the bank because of his people skills, and he did. “Quite honestly, the bank’s been pretty good to me,” says Duncan. “They’ve moved me along and given me a lot of educational boosts that I probably wouldn’t have had otherwise.” Duncan’s philosophy of work is “keep it light.” He says, “Fostering a positive work atmosphere is definitely one of my biggest objectives. I feel that someone who is happy, engaged, and challenged is going to do better in their role. My role is to do just that – to challenge my team to achieve more, to get more new customers, to provide them with better customer service. “The more we do that, the better off we all feel about what we’re doing. We actually feel like we’re contributing to our communities.” Last year, Duncan was voted by his peers as Best of the Best. The award was for his overall skill as a banker, including his contribution to the branch and service to the community. He’s happy to continue his contribution to the community through his involvement in the network. “By taking the skills I’ve learned in this role, I can help other people learn how to network and [learn] how important it is,” says Duncan. “Part of my role will be to make people realize what they bring to the table, what their skills are, what they’re good at, and how to make that first impression a good one.” 11 ...


Peter Marsman

by: Charlene Davis

Monica Njoku Monica Njoku is on the advisory board of the Progressive Roots Network. She says she’s there to provide support and sometimes brings “a feistier opinion than they always expect.” She wants to see the organization be one that’s open to everyone and not only about business networking, but also about fun. Njoku’s career as an event planner is very much about meeting people and sharing ideas. She’s an event planner who does contract work throughout HRM. Njoku originally went to school for public relations and marketing, but after having a few opportunities to event plan she fell in love with it and went back to school to take a course in event managing. Njoku thinks event planning is a great fit for her. She says it takes creativity, focus, organization and the ability to show up “and be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to work a 16-hour day and put on a great event. I’ve got the personality for it.”

Another part of having the personality for event planning is being great at remembering names and faces and being able to connect to many different types of people from diverse environments. All things Njoku thinks she’s good at. Njoku has been involved with FUSION Halifax for the last couple of years, an organization focused on engaging 20- to 40-year-olds in shaping the city of Halifax. One of Njoku’s most recent successes was their GO awards. Similar to the purpose of FUSION, Njoku sees the Progressive Roots Network as a place for “Black people who are young adults to get together and have a place where they can share ideas.” Njoku views the organization as a chance for young Black Haligonians to “figure out a way to work with each other … use each other as a resource.” She sees a disconnect between what she refers to as the three main Black groups in Nova Scotia – the Scotians, the Caribbeans, and the Africans. “The three groups don’t always get down with each other,” says Njoku. “I think it’s important that we create an opportunity for people to do their thing together and that we give people a chance to meet each other and make new friends … Why not unite?” Peter Marsman

progressive

Zahra Williams

network

Zahra Williams thinks the opportunity to connect with African-Nova Scotians through the Progressive Roots Network is a huge one. Williams is one of only three Black women that she knows of in the field of architecture in HRM, and one of those is currently in school. She says, “Having a venue or a medium where you can learn of the services of other young Black professionals gives us a platform to work together in a way that we ordinarily wouldn’t be able to.” Williams works as a freelance architectural designer. She primarily works in residential and commercial construction with an emphasis on interior renovations, however, she previously worked on institutional construction projects. continued on page 20

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L&L Electrical Repairs & Service Lenworth Rose , Owner, L&L Electrical Repairs and Service

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BBI

W

hen Lenworth Rose speaks, you can hear the cadence of the Caribbean in his words. Even after many years in Cape Breton, you can still hear the sounds of Jamaica in his voice. He was born on that beautiful Caribbean island and came north to another beautiful island to be with family and set down roots. Now his own kids are grown up and he speaks proudly of his son, also named Lenworth, who’s doing well as a software developer with Research in Motion in Fredericton.

When he first opened L&L Electrical Repairs and Service, he had a partner but bought him out and is now the sole proprietor, although he has kept the company’s original name. “Anything that’s electrical, we do it,” he says. The list includes power tools, air exchangers, vacuums, and home appliances." One thing he has noticed is that most home electronics today are not built to last, like they once were. With this disposable society, it’s reached a point where “it’s much easier to say junk it and buy a new one,” he admits. “It’s often cheaper to replace something than have it fixed.” Having said that, he does a good business in warranty work. That’s a great convenience for his customers who prefer to deal with someone local rather than ship their electronics off to Ontario and beyond for service, whether it’s covered by a warranty or is past the warranty’s expiry date but still can be fixed. Plus, with the cost of postage these days, it is much easier on the pocketbook when there is a local company where electrical products, like toasters and vacuum cleaners can be taken.

by: Carol Dobson

Business is steady and when Black to Business called to speak to him, he was busy with a project so had to set up a later time to speak. But he does enjoy the opportunities he has to speak to people from the Black Business Initiative. “Mr. Rustum used to drop in to say hello when he was in Sydney,” he says.

With this disposable society, it’s reached a point where “it’s much easier to say junk it and buy a new one,” he admits. “It’s often cheaper to replace something than have it fixed.”

In some ways, people who can take a broken down piece of electronics and nurse it back to health are becoming a dying breed. His skills harken back to days when you didn’t pitch something out when a circuit blew or a switch broke. Fortunately, for the people of Sydney, he is at their service.

L & L Electrical Repairs/Services Lenworth Rose Sydney 902 564 0125

The BCCNS continued from page 4

Dr. Bishop shares how the Many Rivers to Cross gallery speaks to the importance of community and knowing ones roots, “Really we’re country folk …so we had to give credence to our outside communities and not look at ourselves as being marginalized.” The Lift Every Voice gallery pays homage to the black church. Both galleries showcase archived static and slideshow images of community life. “We were excited to have a chance to incorporate some modern technology into the production and presentation of our exhibits,” says Dr. Oliver. For Grosse, doing the job well meant bringing forth the organization’s values: quality, professionalism, community, and inspiration. It was important that the information be accurate, that the centre remain a gathering place and instill pride among the people. “I’m proud that our story is told in a different way.” For him, he says, the completion of the refresh is a testament of faith. He credits Camus Productions and their special team for their work. “They really put in more than they had to. They were as convicted as we were to see the vision come to light.” Dr. Bishop expresses a sense of honour. “We had dreams about this stuff. We had nightmares about this stuff but now it’s a reality. That’s powerful.” As for next 25 years Dr. Oliver hopes the BCCNS will see increased use as an educational and inspirational centre for young people deciding how to live productive lives in Nova Scotia. “As an increasing number of youth are born with multiple heritages, we expect the BCC to be a beacon, reminding them that their African heritage is an important personal asset.” 14 ...


Our Heritage, Our Future: Nova Scotia takes the spotlight at African Diaspora Heritage Trail Conference September 22 - 24, Halifax, Nova Scotia

The ADHT conference drew about 350 delegates, representing 29 countries, to Halifax in September for three days of sharing, networking and experiencing African heritage and culture from around the world. The event brought together ambassadors and politicians, researchers and scholars, museum curators and tourism professionals from throughout North America, Africa and the Caribbean. Countries represented included Barbados, Cameroon, Mauritius, South Africa, and St. Kitts and Nevis. 15 ...

As she mingled with visitors from all over the globe, from best-selling author Lawrence Hill to UNESCO representative Edmond Moukala, Colley-Wedlock said she never felt more at home. “It was a phenomenal and inspiring event,” says Colley-Wedlock, a provincial civil servant. “There were many highlights, but for me it was being able to communicate with so many different people from all over the world, from all different educational and socioeconomic backgrounds, and feel equal to them. Everyone I met wanted to learn about me and my experiences, [and] actually listened to what I had to say.” She recalls sharing a meal with Ysaye Bardwell, an educator and member of the a capella group Sweet Honey in the Rock. “I pinched myself because I actually met her, laughed with her, had dinner with her. We chatted like

Paul Adams

She ended up having what she calls “among the top five life-changing experiences of my life.”

Paul Adams

Paul Adams

Cassandra Colley-Wedlock signed up for the seventh International African Diaspora Heritage Trail conference expecting to learn a few things and meet new people.

old friends and that’s what the whole conference was to me. It was like family meeting for the first time.” The concept of a global African Diaspora Heritage Trail began in Bermuda with the island nation’s former tourism minister, the late David Allen. Allen was white, but he recognized that Bermuda — where 70 percent of the population is black —had a lot more to offer tourists than beaches and golf. The island has a rich heritage that could draw visitors interested in exploring history and culture. The idea developed into an international project. Organizations like UNESCO, the Africa Travel Association, the Caribbean Tourism Organization, and the Smithsonian Institution have lent support. Wayn Hamilton, executive director of the Office of African Nova Scotian


Affairs, first encountered the ADHT when he attended the 2008 conference in Bermuda. As the weekend progressed, Hamilton says two things became clear: the ADHT was a great initiative with huge potential, and Nova Scotia would be an ideal host.

“For us, one of the signposts of success was to elevate the status of African Nova Scotian assets on the national and international stage,” Hamilton says. “It was about enabling ourselves to say we have things here that are worthwhile preserving, promoting and protecting.”

“I remember saying, ‘We could do this,’” Hamilton says.

The conference also hosted an International African Bazaar on the Halifax waterfront throughout the weekend, where guests and the public could browse for goods and

He and African Nova Scotian Affairs Minister Percy Paris returned and

When delegates arrived in Halifax their first stop was the Black Cultural Centre, which held the grand opening of its renovated exhibits on September 22 to coincide with the conference. Some visitors stayed over to take in the official opening of the Africville Seaview Church Museum on September 25 as well.

services offered by people of African descent. The weekend kicked off on Thursday evening with a ribbon-cutting at the Bazaar and a welcome reception at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Guests heard inspiring words from Minister Paris, Bermuda’s Tourism Minister Patrice Minors and South African High Commissioner Mohau Pheko, along with poems from Nova Scotian students—winners of a creative writing contest held in honour of the International Year for People of African Descent. On Friday the conference opened in earnest with a chorus of drums, a parade of flags and a specially commissioned video by Sylvia Hamilton called “We Are One.” A poetic trip through four centuries of African Nova Scotian history in roughly 10 minutes, the film earned a standing ovation. (It’s available for viewing at www.adht2011.com.)

Paul Adams

Operating under the theme “Our Heritage, Our Future: Preserve, Promote, Protect,” Hamilton and the host committee, which included several government representatives and the Black Business Initiative, saw the event as more than a conference. It was an opportunity to expose Nova Scotia’s African heritage and culture to the world.

Conference honourary chairman Senator Donald Oliver hosted the opening plenary session with Leslie Oliver of the Black Cultural Society and American scholar Molefi Asante that set delegates buzzing. Asante, often credited as the founder of the theory of Afrocentricity, was a popular draw throughout the conference.

Paul Adams

Paul Adams

presented at the 2010 conference, also in Bermuda. They came home with a commitment to host the 2011 event in Nova Scotia — the first time it would be held on continental North America.

by: Chad Lucas

Some of the weekend workshops included sessions on developing cultural tourism destinations, a youth panel, and a screening of the new film Long Road to Justice: the Viola Desmond Story, which will be available in Nova Scotia schools in January. Delegates got a literary treat on Friday evening at the event “We Are Here: Telling African Canadian Stories.” Award-winning authors Lawrence Hill, George Elliott Clarke and Shauntay Grant took the stage for readings and a conversation with host Anthony Sherwood, the Halifax-born actor, director and producer. On Saturday night, homegrown entertainers stole the spotlight at the closing gala. From spoken word performers El Jones and Afua Cooper to the hip-hip of J-Bru, from up-andcomers Marko Simmonds and Reeny Smith to soul veteran Dutch Robinson, from the intricate jazz of the Gary continued on page 17

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Paul Adams

Cheryl Mapp, executive director of the ADHT Bermuda Foundation, conceded that Nova Scotia raised the bar for future events. “Personally, I had never been involved with a more well run event… in my career,” she said. Kudos aside, Hamilton isn’t one to relax and bask in the post-event glow. He and colleagues are sifting through conference feedback and planning next steps to make sure the ADHT isn’t a high-water mark but the beginning of something bigger in Nova Scotia.

Paul Adams

“Just having everyone in the room together, we all felt connected to this thing called the trail,” he says. “There’s an old African proverb, Three stones cook the pot. And as we came together from Nova Scotia, Canada and the world to preserve, promote and protect, we really did cook the pot.” 17 ...

Paul Adams

Paul Adams

Steed Trio to the rousing gospel of the Sanctified Brothers, delegates were frequently lifted from their seats by a spectacular tour of what the African Nova Scotian music scene has to offer. By the end, high-ranking government officials and cabinet ministers were on the dance floor next to delegates from Cherry Brook to Cameroon. Wayn Hamilton echoed Cassandra ColleyWedlock’s sentiments that it felt like a family gathering.

Delegates had high praise for the conference. Wrote John Bien, an artist from Lafayette, Louisiana: “I return home with a sense of destiny, birthright and purpose for the remainder of my life. Can any other ‘conference’ offer so much spirituality, honor, philosophy … The most amazing thing is that it was fun! I saw it in the powerful use of image, music, the rich oral tradition, and most importantly in the smiles of the youth. I dropped the cane and rocked out at the closing! Such energy!”

“I don’t like those conferences where you feel good for a while and then you go home,” he says. “There’s still lots of things to be done, connecting people to ideas and working further on this idea of an African Nova Scotian tourism strategy. We have a voice in this African Diaspora, and we want to make sure visitors make a comeback.” If you missed the conference, or you’d like to revisit some of the highlights, you can find photos, video and presentation materials online at www.adht2011.com.


Caribbean plans to offer culture as tourist draw Diaspora event draws 360 delegates from at least 15 nations to Halifax Paul Adams

By David Jackson Provincial Reporter, The Chronicle Herald

promote the province, which has about 50 black communities. "This is going to open up so many opportunities for Nova Scotians, not just from a tourism perspective but also from an academia perspective," he said.

T

he allure of sun and sand serves the Caribbean well in attracting millions of visitors each year, but the region wants to add its culture to the list of reasons people should visit, a tourism official said Friday in Halifax.

Sen. Richard Skerritt, minister of tourism and international transport in St. Kitts and Nevis, said the region is looking at ways of enriching visitors’ experiences, from teaching about the origin of spices in preparing food to the types of beats in music. "We’re trying to get our own people and our visitors to learn more about what really makes the Caribbean the Caribbean, . . . that marries our nature, our culture and our history," said Skerritt, who serves as chairman of the 33-member Caribbean Tourism Organization. He said 24 million visitors came to the region last year but annual growth is a marginal one per cent. Skerritt is one of about 360 delegates from at least 15 countries attending the seventh annual African Diaspora

Heritage Trail conference in Halifax. It’s the first time the event has been held in Nova Scotia. He said came to the conference because he wanted to learn more about the African experience but also because he wanted to bring a message that other regions of the world can use their history and culture to their benefit. "They are business opportunities," he said. "They are opportunities to convert this wealth of the African experience and the knowledge and the documentation of it and interpret and present it in ways within the demands of tourism in a commercial way that can benefit in our countries and enhance the experience of our visitors." The conference started in Bermuda as an effort to explore ways of promoting travel to significant sites "identified as relevant and important to the global narrative of people and culture of African descent," says the conference website. African-Nova Scotian Affairs Minister Percy Paris said it’s a great chance to

"There’s so much expertise and knowledge here at this conference. The networking that’s going on today and the connections that people are making that’s going to (serve) them well into the future is just incredible. My palms get wet just thinking about it." Patrice Minors, Bermuda’s minister of business development and tourism, said the goal of the conference is to promote the heritage trail. "I think it will bring a wealth of attention to those destinations that are part of that trail." The conference started Thursday and wraps up Sunday with the opening of the Africville Seaview Church Museum. The province has contributed about $150,000 to the conference, including some in-kind support. That’s about half the conference’s budget. On Friday, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency announced $ 88,445 in funding to support Black cultural tourism. The money went into the newly renovated Black Cultural Centre in Cherry Brook, and the International African Village Bazaar, being held this weekend on the Halifax waterfront. Copyright © 2011 The Halifax Herald Limited Reprinted with permission from The Halifax Herald Limited

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I have been practicing law for nearly 15 years, and exclusively corporate law at Stewart McKelvey for 12 of them. During that time, I have helped many clients buy and sell businesses and professional practices. Regardless of the size and scope of the deal or the industry involved, when considering an acquisition there are several common elements that factor into our clients’ decision-making process. In the following paragraphs (and the next column) I have set out 10 things that should be front of mind if you are contemplating purchasing a business.

Ten Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Business – Part 1

The Law & Your Business

I have been practicing law for nearly 15 years, and exclusively corporate law at Stewart McKelvey for 12 of them. During that time, I have helped many clients buy and sell businesses and professional practices. Regardless of the size and scope of the deal or the industry involved, when considering an acquisition there are several common elements that factor into our clients’ decision-making process. In the following paragraphs (and the next column) I have set out 10 things that should be front of mind if you are contemplating purchasing a business.

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1. What do you want to buy?: Is your intention to continue the entire operations of an existing business or are you really only interested in certain parts of a multi-faceted business? Are you looking for a ‘tried and true’ franchise business? Is your primary goal to acquire an established customer base for purposes of expanding an existing business? Perhaps you only need specific physical business assets such as a building and equipment. Identifying what you want to buy will sharpen your focus and guide your negotiations with the seller, as well as the instructions you give to your professional advisors. 2. Structuring the deal: – shares or assets?: When you purchase the shares of a company, unless 19 ...

expressly excluded, you acquire all of its assets and liabilities, some of which may be unknown at the time of the purchase. In an asset purchase transaction, you can buy all or only certain parts of the business. More complicated transactions may involve the purchase of a combination of shares and assets. Your primary aim in this regard is to structure the deal in a manner that is the most advantageous to you from a tax and risk perspective, bearing in mind the seller will have the same objective. 3. Letter of Intent: If you have obtained preliminary information on the targeted business and remain interested, a letter of intent should be prepared, with the assistance of your lawyer and tax advisors, setting out the essential terms upon which you are willing to purchase the business. A letter of intent is usually nonbinding, but shows the seller you are serious. 4. Due Diligence: If well planned and executed, you will learn invaluable information during the due diligence phase of a transaction. Some of this information will be provided by the seller, and some will be collected from other sources, such as public databases. Effective business, financial and legal due diligence assists in several ways. For example, it confirms or discloses information


that aids in assessing the risks and benefits of the deal, and negotiating the terms of the binding agreement of purchase and sale. The sooner your due diligence is completed, the more time you will have to address any issues you discover with the seller. Involving accounting, tax and legal advisors during the due diligence phase will save you time, money and potential headaches in the long run. 5. Money, Money, Money: The financial health of the business you are considering, your personal financial position and your assessment of future risks versus benefits will all factor into the financial terms of the transaction. What is the business worth and how are you going to pay for it and keep it running? Has the seller had an independent valuation done? Can you pay the purchase price in cash with your own money or do you require institutional or private financing? Will the entire purchase price be paid on closing or will a portion be paid when you close and the balance paid over time? Should there be a holdback for post-closing adjustments? Make sure you (and/or the seller) have made financial projections for profitability and growth. To be continued… Disclaimer:

contributed

The information presented above is for informative purposes only. All information provided is of a general nature and is not intended as legal advice and does not address the circumstances of any particular person or business.

Candace L. Thomas, Partner, Corporate Group, Stewart McKelvey, Barristers, Solicitors & Trademark Agents

BUSINES IS JAMMIN’ REPORT Mahogany Lucas

Over 500 youth participated in our province wide Business is Jammin’ Summer Programs. Congratulations to those involved in our three youthrun community gardens on another successful year: Yarmouth Community Garden, North End Community Garden (Halifax), and the Nelson Mandela Spirit Garden (Glace Bay). Big congrats to the North End Community Garden on winning the 2011 Celebrating Communities Award for the efforts in excellence in community development. The 3rd Annual Business is Jammin’ Charity Golf Tournament was held on September 16, 2011 at Grandview Golf Club. Big thank-you to our sponsors; Clearwater, NS Power/Emera, Quarterback Communications, Union of Taxation Local 80004 (Sydney), UTE National, Enterprise, LED Roadway,

Wilsons, IMP Group International Inc., Boyne and Clarke, McInnes Cooper, WaterBury Newton, Investors Group, Halifax International Airport and Atlantic Signature. And also to those donated and the golfers. We would also like to thank and congratulate those who recently participated in the BIJ Film Academy. Finally, the Progressive Roots Network for young professionals and older youth launched in October. You can read more about this initiative in this issue. If you would like more information please contact the Business is Jammin' Youth Coordinator for this and other youth matters. by email: lucas.mahogany@bbi.ns.ca; by phone 902-426-8688 or join us on Facebook: BIJ page and on Twitter : BusinessisJamin

Trailblazers - continued from page 12

Her first degree is from Mount Allison University where she completed a Bachelor of Arts, major in Fine Arts. After returning home to the Caribbean to work for a few years, she came back to the East Coast and completed a Bachelor of Environmental Design with a major in Architecture at Dalhousie University. She plans to return to school to complete a Master in Architecture and become a fully licensed architect. Her grandfather was a carpenter and builder who designed and built houses, so she grew up with an understanding of building. With architecture she seems to have found her niche. “If you have an understanding of proportion and scale, and everything that comes with an artistic eye it almost makes sense. It’s

like a practical manifestation of an artist’s vision,” says Williams. “Architecture is the perfect combination of art and science.” Williams feels she has the ability to understand her clients’ needs and translate that into a built environment. She says, “Architects and planners have a really major role to play in community planning and community relations.” She sees the African-Nova Scotian community as an active one and believes having more architects and planners of African descent “adds another dimension … to what we’re able to do for our community.” She adds that having a medium such as the Progressive Roots Network “allows you to have access to people who are good and engaged in what they do.” 20 ...


Maria’s Place Dr. Darlene Strong , Owner, Maria’s Place

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Richard Spicer

A

little over two years ago, Dr. Darlene Strong opened Maria’s Place outside of Amherst. Her goal – to bring her professional counselling practice and her artwork under one roof.

“Maria's Place is a health and wellness centre,” Strong says. “This house was owned by the granddaughter of the first known slave to Prince Edward, Dimbo Sickles. This property has been in the family for four generations ... so people step into a ‘history lesson’. She was my great grandmother, so it was named in her honour. We offer living Afro Canadian history and professional counselling through an arts environment.” The offerings are myriad - fine arts, travelling exhibits, publications, prints, note cards, calendars and music (a combination of learning to play ‘by ear’ and musical theory). “We travel to clients, schools and organizations,” she says. “The most recent was Art Across the Marsh and the Freedom Festival. We also offer services in-house.” Dr. Strong is affiliated with the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association as well as a vendor with Blue Cross and the Workers Compensation Board. “Things are going well,” she says. “Art has become a strong component of the work at Maria’s Place, as I expected it would. Ultimately, I want to be writing, painting, and making music full time.” She tries to create at least one travelling exhibit or cultural installation per year. One of her most recent was entitled “The Canadian Caribbean Connection,” while another powerful painting she created dramatically showed the

forces of nature at work on the Joggins Fossil Cliffs. “I did some work for Cumberland African Nova Scotia Association’s (CANSA) 225th celebration,” Strong says. “It’s a travelling exhibit that’s being used widely to present Black history in a positive manner. The artwork is easy to relate to, and the visual has impact. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.”

“Art has become a strong component of the work at Maria’s Place, as I expected it would. Ultimately, I want

by: Abena Amoako-Tuffour

section of it was built, probably for Sir Albert’s young wife, Lady Sarah, in the 1860s. Of course, maintaining a building which has been recognized as a Canadian historic site has its challenges. “Fortunately my late husband, Eric, was a journeyman carpenter,” Strong says. “We have men from the correctional institute come and help with restoration work on the property as part of their skills training, which is good for them and for us.” Lady Smith Manor, as the property is known, is the home to the Burning Bush Ministries, which offers a number of programs, services, and outreach activities. Right now, Strong is spending her days between the two sites and enjoying it.

to be writing,

“I’ve been blessed ... and there’s never a dull moment.”

painting, and

Maria’s Place Darlene Strong, PhD 463 Willow Street, Amherst, NS T: 902-661-1509 E: strongsdevelop@hotmail.com

making music full time.” She’s also extending her work across the marshes to the historic village of Dorchester, New Brunswick. Back in 2005, she and her late husband, Eric, purchased the former residence of Sir Albert Smith. Smith was a New Brunswick politician, the first New Brunswicker to be knighted, the man who brought the Dorchester Penitentiary to the town, and his family was among the cadre of major benefactors to Mount Allison University. The wooden section of the house was built in the 1840s while the brick

Fun Facts Saying Never despair the days of small beginnings Favourite Author P.D. James Favourite Movie The Help Favourite Movie Star Bette Davis Most Important Person met Her Honour, Mayann Francis Message to young entrepreneurs Never give up

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People & Business on the Move

Dr. Afua Cooper, the new James Robertson Johnston Chair at Dalhousie was formally welcomed to Halifax at a special event on October 3. It was a chance to provide the community with an understanding of who James R. Johnston was, why the chair was named after him, and the directions Dr Cooper intends to take in shaping her role as the chair. Jasmine Wongus, a talented artist and photographer, who was born with albinism, was featured in the Chronicle Herald on October 7. The article outlined the physical and challenges in her everyday life and how she uses her art as expression. Congratulations to Wayne Adams on his appointment to the Order of Nova Scotia. According to the official citation: “Mr. Adams is well regarded as an entrepreneur, community leader, pioneer, politician and human rights advocate. He began his political career when he was elected to the (former) Halifax County Municipal Council in 1979. He was re-elected five times, serving as deputy warden (mayor) from 1982-1983. He entered provincial politics in 1993 to become the first African Nova Scotian member of the Legislative Assembly and cabinet minister. He introduced national groundbreaking policies in his various ministerial portfolios, including introducing Canada's first fully integrated Emergency 911 System. A founding member and former executive director of the Black Cultural Centre, Mr. Adams was instrumental in establishing the Preston Development Fund, which evolved into the highly successful provincial Black Business Initiative. He became a member of the Order of Canada in 2003.” Jackie Richardson (Momma-Lou) has been awarded a 2011 Gemini award for "best performance by an actress

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in a leading role in a dramatic program or mini-series for her role in Gospel According To the Blues. The story is director Thom Fitzgerald’s television adaptation of Halifax-born-playwright George Boyd’s play, Gideon’s Blues. The film’s associate producer, Juanita Peters, wishes to thank the residents of Halifax and Windsor, for the role they played in bringing this award winning story to life. Gloria Ann Wesley launched her newest young adult fiction book, Chasing Freedom, on September 29 at the Halifax North Memorial Library. The book is the story of Black Loyalists during the American Revolution and their journey to Birchtown. Another novel of Black Nova Scotia, Big Town, has just been released by Stephens Gerard Malone. It takes place in Africville and tells the tale of three youth living in the community. Twelve year old Kendra Clayton had an extremely successful summer job selling lemonade in her north end Halifax neighbourhood this summer. She is a veteran of two years of Business Is Jammin’ camp at the Bloomfield Centre and, with the profits from this year, was able to buy her own back to school wardrobe. She also created a second job – one for her brother Keyan, who was responsible for getting cookies. Congratulations to Rev. Morton Simmonds for winning the Nova Scotia Community Cares award for his volunteer service. As well, congratulations for the children from Hope Blooms for winning two Community Care awards – for community development and excellence in social enterprise. On September 15, a new highway sign indicating the William Hall V.C.


Memorial Highway was installed on the former Hantsport Connector road. Congratulations to Tracey JonesGrant, who was named by the Nova Scotia Library Association as the recipient of the 2011 Norman Horrocks Award for Library Leadership. “The Horrocks Award was established to honour leadership and distinguished contributions to the promotion and development of library services in Nova Scotia. The award was presented during the NSLA Annual Conference Banquet held at the Delta Sydney Hotel in Sydney, NS on the evening of September 24th”. Nelson Whynder Elementary School in North Preston is one of the schools in Canada chosen by Indigo books for the ‘Adopt a school program’. Readers can visit the web, www.indigo.ca site to see how they can help the school receive free books. The Nova Scotia Archives has released a significant new online resource that features unique documents reflecting the struggles and survival of African Nova Scotians, as the world marks the United Nations' International Year for People of African Descent. It contains over 500 digitized and fully searchable government documents relating to early African Nova Scotian immigration and emigration. Congratulations to Shauntay Grant for receiving the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Halifax Inspire Award. A special service was held on Sunday, November 6 at 2pm at St. Paul's Church in Birchtown commemorating the 220th Anniversary of the 220 youth who left Birchtown on November 6th, 1791 to travel to Halifax for the January 15, 1792 exodus to Sierra Leone. The special guest speaker was Marie Jacquard, a native of Cameroon, Africa.

A new production of Canadian jazz musician Joe Sealy’s acclaimed Africville Suite opened Mermaid Imperial Performing Arts Centre fourth annual Entertainment Series in October. According to the Herald’s Elissa Barnard, “Sealy released Africville Suite, a Juno Award-winning musical tribute to the birthplace of his father, in 1996. This new production features Sealy’s musical reflection of a poignant way of life, interwoven with poetry read by Canadian literary giant George Elliott Clarke.” During the African Diaspora Heritage Trail conference in September, members of the Black Nova Scotian arts community gathered at Dartmouth’s Alderney Landing for a Freedom Festival which included paintings, sculpture, clay works, basket weaving, and poetry. In recognition of the United Nations declaring, “2011 the International Year of the African Descendants,” the Ujamaa Association in collaboration with the Sixth Region Diaspora International convened an: African Family Town Hall meeting: “Remember the Ant” For Election of Elders To Serve as an Advisory Board for the Nova Scotia Chapter - Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus at the North Branch Library in late August. Kevin Lowther was in Halifax to talk about his book, The African Odyssey of John Kizell, which traces the story of Kizell from South Carolina to Birchtown to Sierra Leone, at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in late July. Crowning Glory Hair Studio hosted its third annual To Haiti with Love hair marathon fund raiser. Proceeds are used to drill a well on the compound it has been supporting for the last three years (go to www.crowningglory.ca and click on the Cup of Cold Water link).

As part of the celebration of the International Year of People of African Descent, the Halifax North Public Library hosted an African Heritage Celebrity Quiz in September. Members of the African Nova Scotian legal community face off against African Nova Scotian historians in a game show style quiz to determine who knows the most about African Nova Scotian history and culture. Team History was composed of David States, Carolyn Thomas, and Dr. Henry Bishop while Team Legal Eagles was made up of Dr. Burnley "Rocky" Jones, Shawna Hoyte, Q.C., and Darlene Lamey. The Progressive Roots Network launched at La Trinidad Restaurant in October in Halifax. Its mission is ‘connecting together to move forward’. It’s a networking group for African Nova Scotians, 19 years old and up, established to foster an environment where participants can socialize and build partnerships. On October 27, Mount Saint Vincent University and the Aboriginal Healing Foundation launched Cultivating Canada: Reconciliation through the Lens of Cultural Diversity with introductions and readings from contributors, Rita Shelton Deverell, the Mount’s current Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies, and Sylvia Hamilton, the award-winning Halifax filmmaker and former Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies. ‘Remember Me’ A Tribute to Our Unsung Heroes - On Remembrance Day, an event where Canadian war heroes were remembered and lauded across this country. On November 5 at the VIA Rail Station in Halifax, ‘Remember Me’ brought together choirs and performers of all ages to recognize the unsung and under-sung heroes of the First and Second World Wars. Performers continued on page 25

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People & Business on the Move continued from page 24

included Membertou First Nation, the UFC Gospel Choir, the Confederation Centre Youth Choir from Charlottetown, the Studio Singers, Les Voix D’Acadie and storytellers Todd Labrador, and Lynn McCarron. Halifax basketball star Christian "T-Bear" Upshaw has joined the Halifax Rainmen. Empowering African Nova Scotian males: an education summit, was held from November 3 to 5th, at the Holiday Inn in Dartmouth. The annual fundraising dinner and for the Community Y was held in Halifax on October 27. Special guest was Halifax’s own Jordan Croucher.

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Chief Petty Officer Second Class (CPO2) Perry Colley becomes first African-Nova Scotian Coxswain of HMCS Scotian making him the senior non-commissioned member of the ship. His commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Derek Vallis, has said CP02 Colley was chosen for this role "not only because of his achievements in the Navy, but his dedication to sailors, connection with community and example as an excellent role model."

In Memoriam The Black Business Initiative would like to express its sympathy to the family of the late Dr. Maxine Tynes, one of

the true trailblazers in Nova Scotia’s literary tradition. Dr. Tynes passed away on September 12. When she was not writing poetry, she was an English teacher at Cole Harbour High and Auburn Drive High schools for 31 years. She was also one of Peter Gzowski’s favourite poets on his popular CBC radio show Morningside and frequently appeared on CTV’s Canada AM, where she would talk about popular television shows and other media. The BBI staff and board were saddend to learn of the passing of Mrs. Ameila "Doll" Martin of Amherst NS on Nov 8, 2011. "Doll' is the mother of CANSA Board Chair Brian Martin and one of the "Stars" in the Documentary "Weaving the Story".


Message from the CEO continued from page 2

ceremonial ribbon cutting at the church entrance you could feel that “Alone we can carry ourselves, but together we can carry the province.” Africville was in its old glory on that gorgeous fall day as the sun glistened off the Bedford Basin in a salute from nature itself for the historic event. For us at the BBI, the Cultural Tourism Market Readiness Strategy and the International African Diaspora Heritage Trail Conference was one major achievement on a list of many similar highlights over our 15 years of existence and shows us when we work together we can change the world. I wanted to look at 15 highlights over 15 years for this article; however, I am unable to narrow it down to a few simple bullets. Yet, the human capital cannot be highlighted enough. It is the people – past and present, board and staff, stakeholders and partners – who are on the top of any list of BBI achievements. At the top of such a list will always be Idy Fashoranti, the controller of the BBI from its inception in 1996 until September of this year. Her service and dedication will always be seen as one reason why we were able to produce the kind of results we did. Many others have left their mark of success here at BBI before moving on to establish pre-eminent careers. Another highlight is the BBI corporate brand. Packaging and communicating the BBI brand came naturally. At the fiveyear mark and armed with the results of 2001 census data, showing about 40 percent growth in Black Businesses, we had some results to communicate. Prior to that we had designed and developed the Black to Business magazine, which has continued to gain influence and praise from our readers and subscribers. The magazine and the Global TV partnership provided us

Regional Report Central Shakara Russell The Black Business Initiative is in partnership with the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education to facilitate business and essential skills training for our clients through the Workplace Education Initiative. The Workplace Education Initiative is a program administered by the Department of Labour and Advanced Education that promotes learning at work and supports the development of a skilled, adaptable and competitive workforce. The programs developed through this Initiative stand to provide learning opportunities in the workplace with a customized curriculum based on essential skills development. These essential skills provide the foundation for learning other skills and enable people to evolve with their jobs and adapt to workplace changes.

with top-of-the-mind awareness in the Nova Scotia business community. Ultimately, the aim is to grow and “mainstream” our business owners. Realizing this would not happen in a void, BBI’s team has annual board and staff retreats and planning sessions which now includes selected partners as part of the process. As a result, the organization disciplines itself and focuses on the key priorities for the coming year. This brings us to what is next for BBI? For the past six months we have been focusing on the way forward. Part

Additional information about this Initiative will be provided in upcoming Black to Business issues. Stay tuned!

This year’s Small Business Week took place from October 16 – 22, 2011. While we celebrate our small businesses every week, this is the time of year the entire country salutes the tremendous contributions of small enterprises to our economy. Under this year’s theme Invest, Innovate and Grow, small businesses were promoted to “attack challenges with renewed decisiveness, market awareness and creativity” and to “invest in the new technology.” If you have comments, questions, suggestions, please feel free to contact me at (902) 426-6692 or email Russell. Shakara@bbi.ns.ca .

of the process includes looking at the future of the organization from a point of view of succession and leadership. I have decided to turn over the leadership of BBI at the end of June 2012 to new and vibrant direction. The search has just begun, so we have some time before I say so long. For now, I would like to say thanks to all our partners and supporters for 15 years of collaboration.

S.I. Rustum Southwell, CEO 26 ...


Out with &theAbout BBI

The Black Cultural Centre re-opening

Dignitaries & Guests

Min. Percy Paris, Sen. Meredith, Lt. Gov. Mayann E. Francis & Dr. Leslie Oliver

Lieutenant Governor Mayann E. Francis

Dr. Joyce Ross

Business is Jammin’ 2011 Golf Tournament

Returning champions, Williams team

Gordon Doe, BBI Dir. Business Development (far R), & Team

Joseph Parris, BIJ Chair, (far R), & Team

George Ash (Boyne Clarke), (middle R), & Team

27 ...


Business Development Report Gordon Doe CEDIF: Invest in Nova Scotia

Constructing The Future (CTF)

We have paid the 1.5 percent dividend that the board declared at this year’s Annual General Meeting. This means that not only is shareholder wealth preserved in this fund, but shareholders have obtained some return on their investment above and beyond the tax credit.

On Tuesday, August 16, 2011, we graduated 13 participants from this year’s Constructing The Future (CTF) program. Some 50 friends and family gathered to celebrate the achievement of the participants at the Leeds Street Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College. It was wonderful to have Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Percy Parris grace the occasion as the guest speaker.

In keeping with our long-term objective to grow the Black Business Community Investment Fund, we are preparing to sell more shares this year. The funds raised will help us meet the increasing requests for investment. As well, we believe that with rising consumer and business confidence following the award of the ship building contract, we will see new business investment opportunities for the fund. The provincial tax incentives for investing in the fund remain excellent: a 35 percent tax credit upon investment, increasing to a total of 65 percent over a 15-year holding period. The funds are RRSP eligible so you can use your existing RRSP dollars for investment and still receive the tax credit. And finally, over the long term, you can expect dividends based on the performance of companies we invest in. The deadline for investing is March 1, 2012, so call 902-426-6985 if you have any questions.

Without a doubt, the ship building contract makes the need for programs like this critical. BBI will continue to work with provincial government partners under the Jobs Here Strategy, to prepare our community to participate in this opportunity of a lifetime.

Over the past three years, of the 45 participants who have graduated from the program, some 42 percent have gone on to trades school at NSCC, 16 percent have been indentured as apprentices, and 11 percent are self-employed. The success of the program speaks to the solid partnership between the Black Business Initiative, the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, and the Nova Scotia Community College. As well, numerous industry employers play a critical role of providing work placements and employment opportunities.

The BBI family deeply mourns the passing of one of the pillars of CTF’s success, Robert Sampson, the former Academic chair, Trades and Technology at Nova Scotia Community College and a passionate champion of CTF. He passed away Saturday, November 26, 2011. Our prayers are with the college and his family.

2011 Constructing The Future Graduates. 28 ...


BBI boss retires with pride of job well done 16-year career sparked 700 jobs, $2.4m in loans Sandor Fizli

black entrepreneurs in Nova Scotia to pursue their business dreams. The organization offers skills development, loans, education and mentorship and a 2006 census found that 56 per cent of the companies working with BBI had created new jobs, compared with just one per cent of new mainstream businesses, Southwell said.

"For us, it’s exceeded what it was set out to

W

ith the creation of nearly 700 jobs and more than $2.4million in business loans to reflect on, Rustum Southwell can ease into retirement with a sense of accomplishment. Recounting his tenure with the Black Business Initiative, Southwell, the outgoing chief executive officer, holds unwavering pride for what the organization has accomplished over the past 16 years and is hopeful its success story will be shared worldwide. "The success of this initiative is that we’ve stayed true to our sweet spot and true to our mandate," Southwell, a founding executive director, told The Chronicle Herald. "For us, it’s exceeded what it was set out to do and I believe the model and the economic structure we’ve designed is something that can be replicated." Operating on the same budget but with twice the staff it began with in 1996, BBI was founded to promote and encourage 29 ...

do and I believe the model and the economic structure we’ve designed is something that can be replicated." Statistics Canada figures show that from 2001 to 2006, the number of blackowned businesses grew 57.7 per cent, compared with 1.1 per cent growth in other businesses. With 15 to 20 past or present companies boasting more than $1 million in annual sales, the organization helped fledgling startups become true business powerhouses. For Southwell, some local standouts include Robert Loppie, founder of the environmental waste solution The Bin Doctor Ltd., and Darla Johnston, a single mother who founded the Slic Laser Hair Removal Clinic.

By Colleen Cosgrove Business Reporter, The Chronicle Herald

The provincewide charitable initiative called Business is Jammin' that encourages entrepreneurship among black young people, the north-end community garden project Hope Blooms, the organization’s support of the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia and the African Nova Scotian Music Association are points of pride for Southwell. The organization’s five-year, $3.25-million grant from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency will expire in 2013, so stepping down early in 2012 will give the incoming CEO time to get the organization’s upcoming strategy in place, said Southwell, 61. Since arriving in Halifax in the early 1970s from his native St. Kitts, Southwell said the opportunities for an enterprising young black person have grown in leaps and bounds. Challenges do persist, however, and even given the success of the organization, those difficulties are unlikely to disappear soon, he said. "Sometimes when people talk about our organization, they question that if everything is right in society; why do they need us? Well, there are still challenges to the black community that close doors. "There’s a lot more work to be done on the corporate side like being more inclusive, mentoring and including small companies from all diversities in the development of the supply chain because that can only benefit the community as a whole." Copyright © 2011 The Halifax Herald Limited Reprinted with permission from The Halifax Herald Limited


Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) By Cheyanne Gorman-Tolliver

What does it take to open the doors of opportunity for today’s successful entrepreneurs? At Black Business Initiative we strive to offer our new and existing entrepreneurs every resource for success. However we also realize

Regional Report Southern Greg Nazaire As days are getting shorter we can say that Christmas is at our doors. Summer was quite busy, notably in preparation for the highly anticipated African Diaspora and Heritage Trail (ADHT) and African Bazaar where we actively participated as a key partner. In the region, although we have seen a slowdown in economic activities, some entrepreneurs, like Keith Jaclyn, are swiftly shifting to a more recession-proof activity such as scrap metal and waste management or regional transportation. The beginning of fall started with the preparation for the Small Business Week event. This year, we were invited by both the Halifax Chamber of Commerce and the CBDC-Yarmouth to participate in a Business to Business expo. I have worked on a number of projects, including Startup Canada,

it cannot be done alone. That is why BBI prides itself on the partnerships it makes with like-minded organizations whose number one priority is supporting successful business people. The Staff of BBI is always seeking resources for our clients but not just any resources. We look to align our vision and goals with a potential partner and that is why recently BBI signed on to be a community partner with the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) in an effort to address the needs of young entrepreneurs across Nova Scotia.

The CYBF is the ‘go to’ place for youth entrepreneurship. As a national charity, they are dedicated to growing Canada’s economy one young entrepreneur at a time. They look at character not collateral, when providing youth, age 18 to 34, with pre-launch coaching, business resources, start-up financing and mentoring, to help them launch and sustain a successful entrepreneurial business. Founded in 1996, CYBF has invested to date in more than 4,700 young

that will not only improve the synergy between us and our partners but also the quality of the service we offer to clients. I had the privilege to attend the Black Cultural Centre’s exhibits refresh, which was a good reminder of how rich the cultural heritage of the AfricanNova Scotian community is. I am also congratulating Glynis Simms on the development of her business Just Right Child Care that has become a premier day-care facility in the Valley, notably in Kingston area. She has dedicated a considerable amount of time, money and energy to assure a high quality of service. Should you require any further information or to book a regional visit please contact me at: (902) 426-1625 or the toll-free number 1 (800) 668-1010.

entrepreneurs, whose businesses have created more than 18,600 new jobs, $129 million in tax revenue and hundreds of millions of dollars in sales and export revenue. CYBF delivers its program coast to coast through a national network of 180 community partners and 3,800 volunteers including business mentors. If you are between the ages of 18-34 please visit the CYBF website or contact BBI today. Information about CYBF is available at www.cybf.ca.

30 ...


Community & Business Events

December 17

February 18

Black Cultural Centre - Annual Christmas Concert Black Cultural Centre

14th Annunal African Nova Scotian Music Association (ANSMA) Awards Show

2012

February TBA

6:30pm Tickets: $12.00 Adults/ $10.00 Student & Seniors Info: (902) 434-6223 or 1-(800) 465-0767 www.bccns.com

January 26

2012 Halifax Business Awards

Spatz Theatre/Citadel High School, Halifax Celebrating African Heritage Month All Ages are Welcome! Info: 902-404-3036 www.ansma.com

BBI Youth Luncheon

Halifax Marriot Harbourfront Reception: 5:00 - 6:00pm Dinner & Awards: 6:00 - 9:00pm Post Reception: 9:00- 10:00pm Info: Melissa Hawkes, 902-481-1350, melissa@ halifaxchamber.com

April 21

January 26

May 16 - 17

African Heritage Month - Opening Ceremony

Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia 7:00pm Info: (902) 434-6223 or 1-(800) 465-0767 www.bccns.com

February 11-12

Atlantic Canada Franchise Show Exhibition Park 200 Prospect Road, Halifax 11am – 5pm Info: 905-477-2677 or 1-800-891-4859.

February 1

Canada Post - Viola Desmond Stamp Nation Launch 6:30pm Info: (902) 434-6223 or 1-(800) 465-0767 www.bccns.com

Black Cultural Society - 35th Anniversary Dinner Info: (902) 434-6223 or 1-(800) 465-0767 www.bccns.com

5th Biannual Nova Scotia Energy Research & Development Forum World Trade and Convention Centre Info: Laura Smith / 902-424-1540 / l.smith@offshoreenergyresearch.ca www.offshoreenergyresearch.ca

June 20 -23

BBI Summit 2012

World Trade and Convention Centre Info: (902) 426-8683 email bbi@bbi.ns.ca

July 7

Pictou Monument Rededication Ceremony

Pictou, Nova Scotia Info: (902) 434-6223 or 1-(800) 465-0767 www.bccns.com

February 11

Rev. Dr. WP Oliver Night of Honour

6:30pm Info: (902) 434-6223 or 1-(800) 465-0767 www.bccns.com

31 ...

To Submit Items for Community & Business Events, please Contact: Beverley Parker: (902) 426-8683; Fax: 426-8699 or email bbi@bbi.ns.ca


What does a Medical Products Manufacturer, IT Company, and Human Resource Consultancy all have in common?

BioMedica Diagnostics Inc.: www.biomedicadiagnostics.com GenieKnows Inc.: www.genieknows.com Vale & Associates: www.valeassociates.ca

"Changing the world one business at a time" Centennial Building Suite 1201 1660 Hollis Street Halifax, NS B3J 1V7

Direct: (902) 426-2224 Toll Free: 1-888-664-9333 Fax: (902) 426-8699 www.bbi.ca


Bin Doctor

“Your investment in our business helped us open our new recycling storefront and create composting solutions for offices and businesses. We’re now expanding into the Toronto market. Thank you, for helping us grow.” www.bindoctor.com Thank you for investing in us. For information on how the Fund works and to become an investor, call Gordon Doe at (902) 426-6985

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

C.A. Wilkins Construction Ltd

“As an electrical contractor, my greatest need is cash flow in order to profitably execute projects. The BBCIFL was willing to invest in me. My business is now beginning to flourish.” www.cawilkins.com

Caution to Investor – This advertisement is not to be construed as an exempt offering to the public in Nova Scotia unless a simplified offering document relating thereto has been filed with and its use has not been objected to by the Nova Scotia Securities Commission. The offering is made by the simplified offering document only and copies thereof may be obtained from such sales agents and promoters as may lawfully offer these securities in Nova Scotia.

Publications Mail Agreement No.

Poste-publications

numéro de convention

0040026687 0040026687

Black to Business – Issue 52 – Fall 2011  
Black to Business – Issue 52 – Fall 2011