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The Business of Music The African Nova Scotian Music Association (ANSMA)

Also in this issue:  Spiritual Leaders  Provincial Politics  Successful Entrepreneurs

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

Black 2 Business is the official periodical of The Black Business Initiative 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: 902-426-8683


Published by: The Black Business Initiative

The African Nova Scotian Music Association

Editor in Chief: Michael Wyse Design & Layout: Design North Production by: Mirabliss Media Productions

1 Message


Cover Photograph: Russell Wyse

from the Chair & the CEO

2 Regional Business



The Black Business Initiative Centennial Building Suite 1201,1660 Hollis Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 1V7 Phone: 902-426-8683 Fax: 902-426-8699 Toll Free: 1-888-664-9333 E-Mail: bbi@bbi.ns.ca Web Site: www.bbi.ca

The Business of Music

7 Cyndi Cain ANSMA Artist of Year

10 BBI's On The Move


11 AFK Reef Supplies

Blair Crawford

13 Trailblazers

Spiritual Leaders

Mailed under Canada Post Publications Mail Sales Agreement no. 0040026687

C O N TENT S 17 Gwen’s Bridal


Gwen Cain-Shepherd

19 Provincial Politics

& Economic Development

23 People & Business

on the Move

25 Lincoln

Construction Stewart Williams

28 The START Program


29 Ask an Expert

Entrepreneur’s Tool Kit/ Dare to Dream

31 Corey Katz Photography 33 Out & About

with the BBI

35 The Law


and Your Business

38 The Imhotep

Legacy Academy (ILA)

39 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 focuses on supporting business starts, growth and business attraction to Nova Scotia. The BBI also places priority on supporting Black owned firms to improve productivity, invest in strategic innovations and enhance regional and global competitiveness. 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. The BBI and its broad scope of economic development activities is currently funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the Nova Scotia Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, project funding, corporate donations, fund-raising and commercial activity initiated across BBI's composite group of companies. 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 Blackowned businesses. 2 ...

Message from the Chair and CEO


Greg Browning, Board Chair & Mike Wyse, CEO

A Call to Action Economists are forecasting GDP growth from .9 percent in 2013 to 2.7 percent in 2015. Nova Scotia will be among Canada’s leading provinces in economic growth. A lower Canadian dollar will support tourism and export activity, while infrastructure projects propel job creation and our near-term economic prosperity. Nova Scotia exports were up 9 percent in 2013. Paper and seafood were key contributors to this surge. Oil and gas, the $1.5 billion Maritime Link, the $25 billion ship building contract, and Shell’s $970 million offshore exploration project all contribute to Nova Scotia’s strengthening economy. When Roland Martin spoke at BBI’s 2012 business summit, he challenged us to “Think Bigger.” We want to reinforce his sentiments. Economic prosperity is on Nova Scotia’s horizons, but the early indicators suggest that the Black business community is currently not well positioned to take full advantage. When we look through the Black Business Directory (www.bbi.ca), how many of the listed companies are positioned and prepared to compete and participate in the high-growth sectors that will drive Nova Scotia’s economic prosperity? The reality is that the gap between Blackowned businesses and the mainstream remains

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Mike Wyse, CEO and Greg Browning, Board Chair

disturbingly large in Nova Scotia. There is certainly an opportunity for constructive dialogue in pursuit of a better result. For example, in our ongoing discussions with the Black Construction Association, we clearly hear the membership’s messages of being underserved and under-represented. This offers an opportunity to collaborate, to pool our collective ideas to pursue new strategies and initiatives to achieve a better result. We are on the same team and our goals are in alignment. We are jointly exploring how we can better collaborate to address priority challenges faced by the membership. Please know that we are committed to doing the best that we possibly can to close the gap and address issues of equitable participation in the mainstream economy. We will continue to seek out strategic partnerships to bring value and support efforts to start and grow businesses. We will build on our successes, forge new alliances, and strategically guide our efforts in search of better results. We are in this struggle together and cannot do it alone. Margaret Mead said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” It will not just happen, nor should any of us expect that someone else will do it for us. Working together, we can seize better control of our economic futures. continued on page 16


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Hindsight Infrared Services Inc.

Things are progressing well. We’re offering a coupon, for a limited time, with 15% off our energy efficiency services. Give Charles a call at 902-252-1790. For more information see our ad on page 36.

Ebony Hair Salon

Business is booming. Every Wednesday Ebony Hair Salon offers 50% off to Seniors on colors, perms and relaxers. During the spring 2014, Ebony Hair Salon will offer a 10% discount to anyone who presents one of their coupons for any salon service. Give Elvera a call at 902-433-0425.

S.A.J Property Management and Construction

Spring is now here, so please give S.A.J Property Management and Construction a call for any chimney repairs & installation, interior/exterior painting, flat/shingle roofing repairs, and all masonry work. Please call 902580-9500 Jason or 402-6922 Russell.

ADEPA Construction Management Inc.

If you would like to renovate your existing home or build a new home, give us a call at 902-468-0606. We specialize in custom design, eco-efficent construction, additions, kitchens & baths, windows & doors, plumbing & electrical, roofing and siding, decks & fences, flooring & trim and much more... – Just ask us!

Gwen’s Bridal

School proms and Wedding Bells are ringing. Contact Gwen Cain-Shepherd at 902-433-0591 for men and women’s bridal, evening, church, formal and informal wear, specializing in the full figured women. Check out our profile in this issue!

 No Job too Big or too Small

A part of the BBI’s Composite Group of Companies

Imhotep’s Legacy Academy (ILA)

Imhotep’s Legacy Academy has been in operation since Sept 2003. It is an educational support organization that provides mentoring and tutoring programs in sciences, technology, engineering & mathematics (STEM) to African Nova Scotia students in junior and high schools in metro and other communities across the province (Truro, Antigonish, Sydney). ILA also provides on-line tutoring in STEM for grades 10-12 students and in person at the Killam Memorial Library, Dalhousie University. Finally ILA provides scholarships and research studentships to African Nova Scotian students at the post-secondary level. Call for more info 902-494-7884. 2 ...

The African Nova Scotian Music Association

The Business of Music

By: Carol Dobson

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Since 1997, the African Nova Scotian Music Association (ANSMA) has been the formal voice of music for the Black community. It was founded in reaction to what was felt to be a narrow view of traditional Maritime music at that time. ANSMA recognized an opportunity to bring more diversity to the East Coast Music Scene. “1997 was the first year that the ECMAs introduced gospel and hip hop categories,” Delvina Bernard recalls. “Our group, Four the Moment had a great product but we didn’t apply to the gospel category because we really didn’t see our music as gospel. It was also early in Jamie Sparks’ career; he was placed in the Urban Dance category for his album. That year, Ashley MacIsaac, won that award.” Bernard, Marc Perry, Linda Carvery and a number of other well-known Nova Scotian artists came together after that ECMA awards show and decided to form an association to both showcase Black artists and serve as an ambassador for Black musicians.

From that, ANSMA was born.

Paul Adams

Russell Wyse


hat defines a culture is the sum of many things – language, religion, storytelling, food, social habits, sports, music. Here in Nova Scotia, music is an inherent part of the diverse cultures that define our province.

“We didn’t have social media for promotion back then so we put up posters, made phone calls, and sent faxes. 45 people came to the North Branch Library for our first meeting. Our first executive had people like Marc, Ed Matwawana, Erma Pope, Brian Atkinson, Shelley Fashan and myself.” The group later held a membership drive to increase Black musician membership in the ECMA and succeeded in having Shelley Fashan appointed to the ECMA board. From those humble beginnings, ANSMA has grown into a strong force in local music. The first Black Vibes showcase for the ECMAs was held in the old Blues Corner in Halifax. Since then, it has become a major part of the ECMAs and Nova Scotia Music Week. In 1998, the first ANSMA awards were presented at a BBI-sponsored luncheon held at the World Trade and Convention Centre. Since then, the ANSMA awards have become a much-anticipated event that brings African Heritage Month to a close every February. “From a small lunch to a major gala that feels like the local equivalent to the Academy Awards; we’ve even been

LEFT: Lou Gannon Jr. ANSMA President BELOW: Delvina Bernard, presenting at the 2014 ANSMA Awards Show

Ed Matwawana (past president of ANSMA)

able to attract major entertainers such as Divine Brown,” says Lou Gannon, ANSMA’s President. From the beginning, Gannon says there have been a number of organizations and individuals that have supported ANSMA, including the Council on African Canadian Education, the Black Educators Association, the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs, and the Black Business Initiative. Other noted supporters have included the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage previously known as the Department of Tourism and Culture. “ANSMA has created jobs, educated people about our music and culture and has helped to develop the entrepreneurial side of our local music industry,” continued Gannon. Local musician Vanessa Parsons (ASIA) says that ANSMA has been a major supporter of her career and her band ASIA and Nu Gruv. One of the premiere cover bands in the Halifax area, ASIA and Nu Gruv have become regular performers at HRM events, such as Canada Day, Natal Day, and the HRM’s New Years Eve celebration. continued on page 5

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“I’ve been singing since I was a little girl in the church choir,” she says. “When I was about seven, I decided that I was going to be a singer. When I started, I was a rapper and then I formed my band. ANSMA has helped me get my foot in the door at the ECMAs. Thanks to ‘Mr. Lou’, I was able to be included in some shows and sing backup for Divine Brown when she was here for the Gala. Now, we’re working on some songs for a new EP.” She says she’s also served as an ANSMA board member and that experience has helped give her a broader understanding of how the organization and the industry work. ASIA’s musical partner, Nathan Symonds says he too comes from a

musical family background and credits ANSMA with assisting his career. “ANSMA gave us a start on stage that we may not have gotten otherwise,” he says. “They’ve also helped get us in front of many different audiences, starting in 2006 at the Black Vibes Stage as part of the ECMAs in Charlottetown, which helped get our band on the road.” Symonds encourages people to get involved in the organization. (Note: a membership in ANSMA is only $25 for two years.) Cyndi Cain is another rising star who sings the praises of ANSMA as she prepares for two major milestones in her musical career. The first will see Cain tour Rochester, NY; Scotland; Cyndi Cain at the 2014 ANSMA Awards Show

Vanessa Parsons (ASIA) and Nathan Symonds of ASIA and Nu Gruv Paul Adams

Toronto; and Ottawa. The second will see her open for Aretha Franklin in Ottawa in June. “I came to discover the ECMAs through ANSMA,” Cain says. “And they helped me with things like my first press kit. Being involved with ANSMA is paying off.” Bernard reflects on another success story close to her heart. “We had to get special permission for Adrien Gough to play at our first Black Vibes at the Blues Corner because he was 10 and too young to be in a bar. Years Adrien Gough back in 2002

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later, he went to the Berklee College of Music in Boston for a year. Upon his return, he got involved in creating beats with a musician friend and moved to Toronto. Now, Gough’s producing beats for Rihanna, Florida, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift and has appeared on stage at the Grammys. “He’s a real success story.” As ANSMA moves towards its 20th anniversary, Lou Gannon says he’d like to see more stable funding, perhaps under the umbrella of one/several of the major government organizations that support the association. So what’s next for ANSMA? Gannon says “everything is possible.” Just like what Jeff Goodspeed has done with the Preston Primos and his work in Cuba, ANSMA is working towards becoming more community-based to engage kids by teaching them the rudiments of singing and playing an instrument while giving them a platform to explore their passion for music. Lindell Smith accepting The BBI Industry Development Award at the 2014 ANSMA Awards Show.

6 ...

by: Stephen Cooke Arts Reporter *

Cyndi will be the opening act for the undisputed reigning "Queen of Soul," Aretha Franklin at the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival June 28, 2014.

Cyndi Cain

Cain named T ANSMA artist of year, Splash rising star

 he African-Nova Scotian Music Association celebrated its sweet 16th

anniversary in style Saturday night with a gala awards dinner and dance at the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax.

The event also served as a cap to February’s African Heritage Month activities, with an emphasis on honouring pillars of the black musical community and up-and-coming talent trying to stake out a career in the ever-shifting sands of the modern-day music industry.

* Reprinted from the March 2, 2014 edition of the Halifax Chronicle Herald, republished with permission.

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“Happy sweet 16!” exclaimed returning cohost Charla Williams, thanking the


Kays Photography

audience for making the awards show their entertainment choice for the evening.

While Splash prepares to explore music further in Toronto — “It’s time to be the small fish in the big pond,” she smiled — a singer with roots in Toronto and Halifax earned the association’s artist of the year prize.

“You had to give up the basketball game,” Williams said with a knowing nod, referring to the AUS men’s basketball championship next door at Halifax Metro Centre. “It’s a good thing the Olympics are over!” While Williams and cohost Robert Upshaw are welcome faces every year at the association awards, since they debuted at Alderney Landing Theatre in Dartmouth, it was the first time to the podium for Tony Ince, Liberal MLA and minister of communities, culture and heritage, and African-Nova Scotian Affairs. Ince remarked on how members of the African-Nova Scotian community contribute to the province’s cultural economy, particularly “those rising stars who are making a positive difference in their community, their schools and in their businesses.” To that end, the association’s Rising

they played a big role in helping me get started in my first year.”

Samm Splash Star Award went to East Preston singer Samm Splash, who also opened the show with a heartfelt a cappella take on O Canada and a song known as the Black National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing. “It was a pretty big moment, I bawled my eyes out,” the Nova Scotia Community College music graduate said backstage after winning the first award of her professional music career. “I’ve put a lot of hard work into music this year, and it feels good to accept this from the ANSMA community because

R&B singer Cyndi Cain barely had time to make her acceptance speech before taking the stage to knock everyone’s socks off with I’m With You from her CD Soul Food. Her gutsy performance earned a standing ovation, and the veteran performer let out a sigh of relief after, once she could finally relax and enjoy the party. “This is such a big deal for me,” said Cain, who spent childhood summers catching up with family while growing up in Ontario. “For the longest time, I was worried I wasn’t considered one of the homegirls, but now this stamps it for me.” continued on page 9






FOR INFORMATION: 1- 9 0 2 - 4 0 4 - 3 0 3 6 1- 9 0 2 - 4 3 4 - 9 9 0 9 8 ...


Cultural Assets of Nova Scotia: African Nova Scotian Tourism Guide


walk the lands that were settled by people of African descent who came to the Maritimes—African Americans as enslaved labour for the New England Planters in the 1760s, Black Loyalists between 1782 and 1784, Black refugees of the War of 1812, as Jamaican Maroons who were exiled from their home lands in 1796, and as Caribbean immigrants to Cape Breton in the 1890s. The descendants of these groups are recognized as the indigenous African Nova Scotian population. Today, some 300 years later, there are festivals and gatherings throughout the year that acknowledge and celebrate the vibrant, rich African Nova Scotian culture. The guide provides contact information, directions and details on community events throughout the province, making the African Nova Scotian experience a tourism destination to remember and revisit. For copies of the guide please contact: Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs 902.424.5555 ansa_newsletter@gov.ns.ca Black Business Initiative 902.426.8683 bbi@bbi.ca https://www.novascotia.com/en/home/planyourtrip/travel_guides/default.aspx

Cyndi Cain continued from page 8 The gala also took time out to recognize music scene pioneers such as North Preston spiritual group the Gospel Heirs, still going strong after 38 years, Beechville bassist Vernon Brown, who played alongside Bucky Adams and Ronnie Prophet, and North Preston guitar hero Victor Martin Smith. “Am I nervous? Yes!” said Smith, who played in bands such as the Rogues and the Hands of Tyme before trading music for private entrepreneurial interests in the 1970s. “Talent comes from God, but it’s the people who give you faith in yourself.” The association also showed faith in young entrepreneurs, presenting the Black Business Initiative’s Industry Development Award to Lindell Smith, founder of north-end Halifax’s Centre 9 ...

Line Studio after graduating from the community college’s recording arts program in 2009.

“When we sing, we can bring liberation to our communities,” Jones said with a musical cadence.

“I want to make sure the youth always have a voice,” said Smith. “They deserve to have everything in this world, and I want to keep pushing to help them achieve that.”

And there was definitely singing Saturday night. The Word in Action Praise Team sang gospel with current rap and R&B energy, and 2013 artist of the year J-Bru presented the human side of hip hop in What’s Pain from his latest release, Stranger in My Hometown.

In keeping with the theme of African Heritage Month, the evening included a tribute to the legacy of South African leader Nelson Mandela, with a stirring spoken word piece by Halifax’s poet laureate, El Jones. Her impassioned words made note of the importance of music in the struggle against apartheid, recalling “those songs that shook the walls of Robben Island,” where Mandela was imprisoned.

Putting the final bow on the evening, Juno Award-nominated R&B star Dru brought a mix of modern and ’90s jams to the stage, paving the way for the rest of the night’s dance party with DJ R$ $mooth. Now that the association’s old enough to drive, it will be interesting to see what direction its members go in over the next year.

BBI’s On the Move 2014 year to date E-Marketing The BBI’s training department engaged Ross Simmonds, Simmonds Consulting, to deliver a client centric E-Marketing training program to nine businesses who wanted to create a consumer focused presence in the digital space.

in Nova Scotia to be certified to build with SIPs. The Construction Estimating training involved eight companies (February 24 – 27). BBI/Dalhousie Corporate Residency MBA Scholarship

Leadership Development

On May 21st four BBI senior managers and 6 companies started a customized training program, offered by Dalhousie's Faculty of Management – Building Enhanced Capacity to Lead into our Future. Business Growth

We are pleased to announce that Marissa Walter is the first recipient of this award. This scholarship reinforces BBI's commitment to facilitating the development of leading business skills to further advance competitiveness within the Black business community.

The program, developed in partnership with Department of Labor and Advanced Education and the WIPSI program, was an opportunity to define and execute a digital strategy, based on digital and social media best practice, business opportunities and competitive advantages. Participants were equipped with enhanced skills, competencies and strategies to establish a stronger digital and social presence in their specific sectors.

Upcoming Training Opportunities 1. Foundations for Success 3. E-Marketing for Small Business 2. Leadership for Women 4. Construction Math

Construction Training

BBI’s Renovation 101 Training

During the winter months the BBI offered two construction courses. The Structural Insulated Panels (SIP) training was attended by six participants (January 15th). To our knowledge, this group is the first

In May, six firms were accepted into executive business growth training offered by Progress Magazine. All reports confirm that this resultsfocused engagement is a high-value, "must attend", learning process.

In partnership with the NS Home Builders Association, a 12-week home renovation course was offered to three Constructing the Future (CTF) graduates and one non-CTF youth from East Preston. The graduation ceremony was held on March 7 and attended by employers, family members and Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister, Tony Ince. Three out of the four participants, on or before graduation, secured employment. 10 ...

by: Emily Rendell-Watson

AFK Reef Supplies

The Heart of Business Blair Crawford, Owner

11 ...

Paul Adams


business grows from the heart of another business.

This is how co-owner Blair Crawford describes the birth of AFK Reef Supplies, the aquarium enthusiast store he owns with his family partners, David Ryan and Henry Moore. AFK Reef Supplies opened in 2012, after realizing that the computer business they were running at that time didn’t have the market appeal they had hoped for. Ryan began studying and reading about fresh and salt water aquariums as a hobby. He found he was spending a lot of money buying fish, corals and tanks from different suppliers in Canada because there was no one local business from which to buy aquarium supplies. “We set up test tanks in the back of the computer store that was located above a garage on Young Street,” says Ryan. “It was a great place to start, but to get bigger we had to move.” After a period of rapid growth, the owners made the decision to move to Bayer’s Lake. This proved challenging, as they faced the task of moving two large aquarium tanks from downtown Halifax to their new location. Having overcome that challenge, the company now boasts 12 aquariums and two coral beds, with a plan to add another six.

AFK Reef Supplies often sees customers who have been on vacation and are looking to replicate what they have seen. One of the company’s most popular sellers is seascapes - rock formations, coral and fish that are arranged so that they can start living together harmoniously. The store offers all the pieces required to build a seascape. Selling to customers as far away as Newfoundland and Winnipeg, Crawford says they also get the odd request for sharks and piranhas. “Our typical customer would start out with a 30 gallon aquarium. For the true enthusiast, we supply aquariums that hold 175 gallon of fresh or salt water,” says Crawford.

He says they hope to branch out further across the Atlantic provinces with additional locations. “We didn’t anticipate it would be this big, so we take each day as it comes to grow it bigger while holding the ground [we have],” says Crawford. “[We] sell people a piece of the ocean.” When asked what message he would send to young business owners, Blair said, "Treat people honestly".

AFK Reef Supplies

Blair Crawford, co-owner 8 Oland Cres., Unit 1, Halifax, NS 446-7800 sales@afkreefsupplies.ca

All three owners would like to see the fresh water aquarium business grow since this market is significantly bigger. Salt water aquariums tend to be a more niche product. AFK has begun to sell more fresh water supplies both online and in store, in addition to regular items like heaters, lighting, water treatments and wave devices. Crawford credits the Black Business Initiative with helping him learn the skills necessary to start this business. “The BBI has helped us develop a business plan and organize our ideas. They also helped me get into the courses I needed, like accounting, tax and business planning. Everything they had available, I took advantage of,” says Crawford. 12 ...

Spiritual Leaders


Driving Community Development

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These days, our neighbourhood churches are more than just places to go once-a-week for spiritual renewal; they have become places to frequent for community building and have even become rallying points around issues of importance to the community.

Reverend Rhonda Britton from Cornwallis Street Baptist Church in Halifax believes the role of churches has changed, especially for youth “because society has simply changed.” She understands that part of the difficulty is the current societal structure where stores and banks are open and community events are alternate options for Sunday activities. Rev. Britton says both the spiritual and social aspects of a child’s development are in jeopardy.

by: Sindi Skenderi Photos: Peter Marsman

She tries to make the service a dedication to God through Christ, and the assembly afterwards a dedication to the community. Rev. Britton sees her role as pastor as being a leader in healthy community development, tackling difficult issues within and for her community. One example of this is in being one voice from one community partnering with other local community groups in an effort to purchase and develop the old St. Patrick Alexandra’s school. If the group succeeds they hope to transform the school into a community centre aimed towards youths and seniors. The proposed North Central Community Centre (NCCC) will provide a place for community gathering and offer art, music, personal development and cultural programs. “[A place] where our children could gather, [and have] after-hours opportunities to keep them off the streets,” says Rev. Britton.

“You’re taking away a great cornerstone of a child’s life when you’re driving them away from church.”

She also envisions the Centre could offer programs for self-improvement like job interviewing and educational upgrading.

She says going to church is not simply walking through the doors, singing the hymnals, making the sign of the cross and leaving. It is also thanking the pastor after the service, stepping outside to talk to your neighbors and friends and attending the church-sponsored events.

“We want to put some emphasis on the development of people, so people can realize their full potential,” she says.

“You might have one or two conversations about the service,” says Rev. Britton, “but it's mostly about the news of the day, or if this person’s getting married, if this person’s having a child, or a new grandbaby.” 13 ...

Rev. Britton says they are also researching the possibility of an affordable housing option at the old school.

Reverend Kirby Spivey

and bars to simply explore church. She attended and sang in the choir. One Sunday, in the middle of a song, “She just stopped,” he recalls, “and started crying and thanked New Beginnings and shared how her life had been affected since she’s come and been a part of the church.” And while he knows youth now might be harder to reach than before, thanks to all the new distractions, Rev. Spivey believes that “there is no aspect of life that couldn’t be touched (through church).” He says churches must remain current and relevant to the times.

from New Beginnings Ministries in Dartmouth is another example of a pastor who really cares about his community.

Deacon Churchill Smith

He too believes Canadian churches are becoming more and more secularized but says they are still an important meeting place for families in the African Nova Scotian community.

In December he launched a new debt management program to help not only churchgoers but people in the community get out of debt. He is also developing programs that deal with crime prevention for youth.

Recently he extended an open invitation to a young woman who sang in nightclubs

At the Victoria Road Baptist Church they offer a variety of programs. There’s Bible study classes and premarital counseling along with a weekly food bank drive that is part of Feed Nova Scotia. The goal to bring in more young people continues. He says the best way to attract more youth is “asking them what their needs are, or if there are certain programs they need leaders for”. At St. Philips African Orthodox Church, in Sydney, Archbishop Vincent Watermen believes education is the key to addressing poverty. He says churches in the African Nova Scotian communities need to do whatever they can to help develop the community. In Sydney, with the unemployment rate extremely high, young people move out west to find jobs and the ones who stay are challenged to lead very good lives. But Archbishop Waterman says that education may change that. St. Philips is involved with an organization called the Health Association of African Canadians (HAAC), which provides healthy home systems, cancer resources and hospital care for people in the community. It is a group of the community, for the community. Archbishop Waterman says it allows people the opportunity to help each other and themselves.

“A person in the African Nova Scotian community that doesn’t go to church is not the norm,” he says.

“So they have positive opportunities in life, and not just go by what they see and what they know that might not always be a positive influence,” he explains.

“There will always be a need for the church,” he says. He believes the new task of churches these days is providing more than sermons.

from Victoria Road United Baptist Church in Dartmouth says that just because the role of the church may be changing doesn’t mean he won’t continue to find ways to attract members and meet his current parishioner’s needs.

Along with HAAC Waterman says there are many existing resources but they are not highly publicized. He says it’s the duty of community churches to help to share these programs. “What my church is trying to do is work with everyone and to open the eyes of the blind,” he says. continued on page 15

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Spiritual Leaders continued from page 14

Reverend Wallace Smith

of Saint Thomas Baptist Church in North Preston believes it is the programs that keep his community coming back time and again. With youth he says he tries to offer programs of interest year round. The recent annual Easter skit is organized by the young people in the congregation and he reserves Monday nights for youth discussions. A recent meeting’s focus was the upcoming annual youth field trip called Spring Forth. But Pastor Smith says it’s not always just activities that address needs, “if they need finances, or just support they know they can come to us,” he says. There are also programs and clubs that seniors get involved in to remain active and part of the community. Two examples are frequent shopping or spiritual bus trips and the ladies auxiliary program. A recent event organized and hosted by the church and held at the local community recreation centre was a health fair that featured health care practitioners giving advice and information to attending community members. 15 ...

“Seniors had blood pressure checked and other things, which provided them with tons of information,” says Pastor Smith. Each pastor may have different ways of building their congregation and thereby developing community but they all agree that it’s important to continue to challenge themselves to find ways to continue to be a source for inspiration and information for area residents.

Interaction is key to human existence, and because of that, churches in the African Nova Scotian community will keep offering ways to talk about issues and voice individual opinions. This is part one of a two part series on African Nova Scotian community development. In the next issue of Black to Business organizations and individuals will be featured.

Atlantic Canada’s economy is on the rise. Are you prepared to get your unfair share? When top-line revenue and profit matter, Atlantic Canada’s business leaders turn to Sandler.

The Sandler system provided a proven selling system that they helped us adapt to our business, our style, and our customer base. The relationship with Sandler was successful because of the on-going reinforcement of the training plus the personal one-on-one coaching.





Malcolm Fraser, President, ISL Web Development

Message from the Chair and CEO

continued from page 1

We are indeed committed to driving economic prosperity throughout the Black business community. As such, we are proud to announce that ADEPA Construction Management is the first company that we are aware of in Nova Scotia to become certified builders for structural insulated panels, which are highly eco-efficient. We are helping to position Black-owned firms and contractors to be leaders in this highgrowth sector.

BBI, in collaboration with Ross Simmons as the trainer, just completed the first e-marketing program ever offered by BBI’s training department. If firms are to compete, we need to adopt and effectively utilize leading technologies.

Department of Labour and Advanced Education. They have been great supporters of BBI’s efforts to enhance business competitiveness through access to training and industry certifications.

Another first for BBI was collaboration with the Nova Scotia Homebuilders Association to develop the first ever home renovation training course. There is significant demand for these skills, and Paul Pettipas demonstrated great leadership in working with BBI to help train and connect Black construction workers to high-growth sectors of the construction labour market.

Targeting enhanced service offerings, broadening our reach, and increasing outcomes through strategic partnerships are producing relevant opportunities for business starts, competitiveness and growth. Don’t just stay tuned, step up because with your support, 2014 will be a highimpact and exciting year.

The Black Business Community Investment Fund Ltd. (BBCIFL) had another successful year of sales by raising an additional $76,000 to invest in high-growth potential firms. Investors will be pleased to see that 2014 will be an active year of investing for BBCIFL.

These last two programs were made possible with funding provided by the 16 ...

by: Sindi Skerderi

Gwen’s Bridal Making Wedding Dreams Come True

Gwen Cain-Shepherd, Owner

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Paul Adams


he wedding day is often considered the biggest day of a woman’s life. All attention is on the bride as her hair is primped, her makeup applied, her something borrowed, something blue safely in place and she is buttoned into the pièce de résistance, her dress - the envy of all who surround her. Once she takes the walk down the aisle, she can relax and enjoy the day that begins her married life.

and points out that most bridal dresses in her store come in different colours, in case a girl likes a bridal style for her big day but does not want it in a white or ivory.

But, there is much stress for most brides leading up to the big day. Who’s on the invitation list, what's on the menu, who are the bridesmaids, who are the groomsmen, what colour will the bridesmaids/ groomsmen wear, is there enough money – so many questions and what feels like so little time to make all the decisions.

She got the idea to open up a dress shop after her husband forgot to pack her suitcase in the car when they were leaving for a cruise. “His one job was to take the suitcase and put it in the car!” she laughs.

Gwen Cain-Shepherd, owner of Gwen’s Bridal in Dartmouth knows exactly how stressful a wedding can be for a bride, because she sees it first hand at her store. The best part for her is helping to ease the stress of the bride and the groom, because as she says, “when there are wedding parties of 25 it can be a little overwhelming to manage everyone’s opinion.” “When I was married, I had a wedding party of seven and I thought that was big!” says Gwen. Today, a wedding isn’t the only thing that’s considered a big occasion. Girls and young women are buying dresses for their graduation, high school dances, and most importantly, their Prom. “Prom is taking over the world,” Gwen says. Originally from Nova Scotia, she understands how big a deal Prom is here,

Her busiest months are from April to August, and with the rush of Prom and Graduation, Gwen reminds herself to breathe, because she’s doing what she loves best.

Her sister reminded her that there are shops on board that sell clothes and dresses, and after getting over her hesitation, she decided to go into a little boutique on the ship. The storeowner was renting out wedding dresses, costume dresses and cocktail dresses. Having that experience brought back Gwen’s childhood dream of selling wedding dresses so when she returned from her cruise, she decided to give it a try. She started her business in Montreal, and after several years she made the decision to move back to her Nova Scotia roots. Upon her return, she noticed there weren’t any Black-owned bridal boutiques; she wanted to be the first one. She felt that it was important to demonstrate to other aspiring Black entrepreneurs that to try is the most important thing.

The Black Business Initiative (BBI) helped Gwen on her journey. She admits to starting her business with her heart, without any knowledge of what it takes to open and run a business successfully. That changed once she got involved with training programs and conferences offered by the BBI. Gwen contacted other Black entrepreneurs and says that she has benefited tremendously from their guidance and mentorship. “It’s been tremendous to deal with things on my own after taking BBI’s classes.” In the future, Gwen hopes to expand her business to other cities across Canada, so more women and girls can enjoy that fairytale experience of picking out the perfect dress. Whether you’re a bride looking for a wedding dress or a high school graduate looking for a prom dress, Gwen says that as soon as you walk through her boutique doors, you will be treated like royalty. After buying her third dress at Gwen’s Bridal for her daughter’s high school dance, Denise Lough says she refers Gwen to everyone. “I feel like she’s an old friend, she knows my face and voice, it feels very comfortable,” she says. Gwen says that her business would not have survived if it wasn’t for her community, her sisters, and her husband who nudged her in that direction when he purposefully forgot her suitcase at home.

Gwen's Bridal

102 Albro Lake Rd, Dart., NS (902) 433-0591 www.gwensbridaldartmouth.ca 18 ...


by: Carol Dobson

Politics & Economic Development

“My advice is to find a political party that fits with your philosophy of life and join it,” he says. “It’s important to be part of the political process.” - Wayne Adams

19 ...


ayne Adams remem-

bers being exposed to politics at a very young age in Halifax’s north end .

“It seemed like there were always elections happening and people like G.I Ahern, Harold Connolly, Edmund Morris were running” he says. “It got into the blood.”

as Deputy Warden. Then, in 1993, he became the first member for Preston, the first Black Member of the House of Assembly, and the first Black cabinet minister in the province’s history. One big difference between the two levels of government was the interjection of the party system into the mix. County council government did not have any parties so members relied on building a consensus amongst the councillors in order to get things passed by council. Once you enter the ‘mid-level house’, the Legislature, party discipline comes into play, as it does at the federal level, but Adams didn’t set his sights on Ottawa, despite urging from some quarters. “I enjoyed being in the House, it was a form of theatre,” he says. “It is important but more work gets done outside of the House than in it.”

Wayne Adams

While the public sees the debate on the televised legislature channel or the evening news, question period and debates on bills are the end game. The politicians set the policy direction for the government, bills are drafted to reflect that policy and then are introduced into the House to eventually become law. Behind the scenes are committee meetings, public hearings, meetings with constituents and interest groups, and day to day work alongside the province’s civil servants.

Once it’s in the blood, it tends to stay there. For Adams, he had a couple of dreams as a young man – one to get into radio, the other to run for election. His first election was for student council and, that, in his mind, was an easy one to win.

When Adams was defeated in 1998, history was made again in the riding of Preston when Yvonne Atwell was elected as the first Black female MLA, as a member of the New Democratic Party. During her little more than a year as a member, she sat on the opposition side of the House.

He did become well known as a broadcaster on CHNS radio but that political bug was still present. He was elected to Halifax County Council in 1979 for five terms and served a term

“When I was first elected it was like closing your eyes jumping off a cliff,” she recalls. “But then, you land, you open your eyes and you survey what you were elected to do.”

Yvonne Atwell She says that included realizing that the people of her area had elected her to represent them in the House, to fight for changes that would improve the lives of her constituents, and that it was her job to do that to the best of her ability. She also admits that what she found as an MLA sitting in the historic legislative chamber was that it was opposite to what she had expected but she was able to use her experience in community development as one of the lenses she used to evaluate the information presented to her. “There are things that you can do in opposition that you can’t do in government,” she says. “But you have to realize that the real behind the scenes work is done by the bureaucrats. The ministers have too much on their plates to be typing out policy papers; their role is to develop the policy directions for the civil servants to implement.” continued on page 17

20 ...

She also says she felt she represented two distinct populations – the African Nova Scotians of the Prestons and the residents of the Lake Echo-Porters Lake area, but at the end of the day, their concerns were the same. Her role was to be their advocate – to work to ensure that new schools were built, that a crosswalk was installed so people could cross the road safely, to bring jobs to the area, and to deal with human issues, like getting a pothole at the end of a driveway patched or making sure a family in need got a turkey for Christmas. Today, her predecessor, Keith Colwell is continuing this work – working on business development, improving infrastructure, and bringing jobs to the Prestons and working towards building a performing arts theatre. When she lost the election in 1999, she says she thought she’d take a few months off, work in her garden, and clean out the ‘junk’ that had accumulated in her house, but after a while, the work she’s doing now in restorative justice came along and she’s still there today. She continues to use her political acumen, community development and advocacy skills, nine years later. There were no African Nova Scotians in the House after her defeat in 1999 until Percy Paris was elected in the June 2006 election and served his constituents in Waverley Fall River until October 2013. His advice to anyone interested in getting involved in the political process is straightforward. “It’s important to be aware of the issues,” Paris says. “If you’re not at the table, you’re not making decisions, and the lack of diversity at that table these days is very obvious, yet there is strength in numbers. We need more members of our community at the table so we can effect change.”

21 ...

he says. Then I went door to door with Gloria McCluskey and discovered that I really enjoyed doing that, and it wasn’t what I expected. Then Mike Savage took me under his wing and I liked how he handled dealing with people. Then, one of his workers suggested that I run for the nomination.”

Percy Paris

“I’m so happy to have this learning opportunity to be educated about how our political process works– I had no expectations when I came into this job. I came in with an open mind, and I’m truly grateful. I’m surrounded by people who are bursting with knowledge and who can help me when I need it. I’m the second African Nova Scotian to wear the two hats I’m wearing – Communities, Culture and Heritage and African Nova Scotian Affairs.”

While Paris was defeated in October, there are two new African Nova Scotians in the House – Tony Ince, the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage and African Nova Scotian Affairs, from Cole Harbour-Portland Valley and Rev. Stephen Gough from Sackville-Beaverbank. While some have called Ince a kingmaker because he defeated a sitting premier, he doesn’t like looking at things that way. Instead, he uses the traditional Nova Scotian saying that governments in this province aren’t elected, but they are defeated. He comes from an education and community development background and credits people like his mother, Thelma Coward-Ince (the first African Nova Scotian woman to join the Naval Reserves) and his neighbours in Halifax’s North End – Gus Wedderburn, Bucky Adams, Buddy Paris, Walter Sparks, and Hughie Grant for sparking his interest in politics. “I thought of running for the African Nova Scotian seat on the school board,”

Minister Tony Ince He isn’t the only one who is looking at the new government as an opportunity to learn and fight for change. Rev. Stephen Gough was also elected as a member of the Liberal government in October.

“It was an exciting position to be in at the age of 55 - midlife,” he says. “I have a lot of life experience I can apply to the things I’m doing and there’s a lot of information I can share to bring value to my constituents.” He says the sense of history in the Legislative Chamber is overwhelming especially when he thinks of the people, like Joe Howe, who have sat in that chamber over the past century and more. But he’s also pleased to be part of a government that is working towards a brighter future for the province and is enjoying the challenge. He would like to see more involvement from the community in the political system, especially from youth. “They have a role to play in the future of this province and their voices need to be heard, if change is to be made in terms of diversity. Unless there are more members of the Black community sitting at the table in all sectors of the province’s economy, as well as in the political system at all levels, from school boards to the House of Commons, that change won’t come.” “I try to talk to my son so he has a better understanding of the political process. Things are getting better; we are seeing more women in the House, for example, but members of the Black community need to put themselves forward into the political arena. If you’re not at the table, you can’t criticize the decisions being made.” Wayne Adams agrees. He thinks back to being the only African Nova Scotian member of his local young Liberal association and feeling lonely. But that organization, and others like it are wonderful training grounds for young people who want to be involved in the political process and who want to make a difference. It’s also a way

MLA Stephen Gough to make contacts and the networking opportunities often pay off down the road. “My advice is to find a political party that fits with your philosophy of life and join it,” he says. “It’s important to be part of the political process.”

“I try to talk to my son so he has a better understanding of the political process. Things are getting better; we are seeing more women in the House, for example, but members of the Black community need to put themselves forward into the political arena. If you’re not at the table, you can’t criticize the decisions being made.” - Rev. Stephen Gough MLA for Sackville-Beaverbank

22 ...

People & Business on the Move

A long held dream is coming to fruition as site preparation is underway for the newest addition to the Nova Scotia Museum complex — the $4.3-million Black Loyalist Heritage Centre. The municipal, provincial and federal governments are contributing toward the building. There are also a multitude of fundraising events and private donors. Congratulations to Dalhousie’s Dr. Kevin Hewitt, recipient of this year’s Harry Jerome Award for Professional Excellence! The Citadel High School women’s basketball team, coached by Nadeem Marson, has achieved a phenomenal milestone by winning 100 games in a row – congratulations!

CBDC Blue Water

Students in Business Program (SIB) This program assists students between the ages of 15 and 34 who wish to explore the world of entrepreneurship. This program offers interest free loans up to $5,000, training, as well as on-going support from a strong business development team.

Viola Desmond was one of nine Nova Scotian trailblazing women honoured at Government House on March 7 with the launch the Nova Scotia Nine portrait series that also inspired a book. The Nova Scotia Nine is a collection of largescale, contemporary paintings of women who lived extraordinary lives and made a difference here in Nova Scotia. Ms. Desmond was also the subject of a presentation by Dr. Afua Cooper to the Zonta Club of Halifax on March 11. The 20th annual W.P. Oliver Wall of Honour dinner was held on March 14. Special guest speakers this year were members of the Oliver family (Les & Steve Oliver) who spoke about the life of their father, the late Dr. W.P. Oliver, and the impact his life made in Nova Scotia. The 2014 Award Recipients are: Mr. Bryan Darrell (Halifax), Ms. Audrey Hesson (Dartmouth), Ms. Joan Jones (Halifax), and Mr. Henderson Paris (New Glasgow). The featured entertainment at the event was the Boyd Family Singers. Justine Colley continues to amaze the basketball world. She has been named as the greatest scorer in the history of Canadian university women’s 23 ...

With training and mentorship from Business Is Jammin' and a CBDC Students in Business Loan, 16 year old Isaiah Skeete, a student at Prince Andrew High School in Dartmouth, started his own business, “Ayo Zai’s Accessories”. You can reach Isaiah at (902) 579-5903. To learn how you can start and grow a business with BIJ and CBDC contact:

joseph.shakara@bbi.ns.ca 902-426-8683 @BusinessIsJammin

basketball with 2,376 points over five years in the CIS and is the only Atlantic conference player to have that honour. The Saint Mary’s Huskies repeated as the AUS champs at the championship held in Charlottetown on March 9 and Colley was named tournament MVP. On March 13, the fifth-year guard for the Saint Mary’s Huskies — the first Atlantic university player ever to win the CIS MVP award - won it again this year and received her prize at an awards dinner in Windsor, Ont. Candace Thomas was the keynote speaker at an International Women’s Day event at the Westin in Halifax. The event was organized by Ann Divine and Louise Adongo to showcase Black and immigrant female entrepreneurs. The late Dr. Rocky Jones was honoured at a special tribute evening at the Dalhousie Art Gallery, featuring two films in which he played a prominent role – Sylvia Hamilton’s “Against the Tide” and Rex Tasker’s “Encounter at Kwatcha House”. He has also become one of the inaugural recipients of a human rights accolade recently renamed in his honour. The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission renamed its individual award the Dr. Burnley Allan “Rocky” Jones Human Rights Award in recognition of this celebrated lawyer and political activist. Juanita Peter’s play “The Mother Club”, starring Rita Deverell, Arlene Duncan, Micha Cromwell, and Kirsten Olivia, played to rave reviews at Alderney Landing in early March. Also, at Neptune Theatre, “Oil and Water” proved to be one of this season’s major hits. It has now moved on to St. John’s Newfoundland. Sid Collymore and Brandon Gero, with Investors Group, hosted a reception for community members on opening night. On Saturday March 1, the Cumberland African Nova Scotian Association presented a musical concert

celebrating youth at the Springhill Community Centre with performances by Connor Silvea, the Imani African Children’s Choir, Dan Calder’s Youth Choir, and the Ruddick Family and Friends, with special guest, Summer Joy Upshaw. A Ghana Independence Day Banquet was held on March 8 at Saint Michael's RC Parish in Spryfield to celebrate Ghanian heritage and culture. The Congress of Black Women held a forum in East Preston for youth on the topic of “defining ourselves, dispelling the myth, and discovering our successes” on February 28. The guest speakers were Jessica Bowden, Shaylyn Williams, Cory Beals, and Matthew E. Thomas. The “Inspire African Nova Scotian Youth Art Exhibition” was held from Feb. 6-27. It featured drawings, paintings and installations by 12 African Nova Scotian youth artists from across the province at the Public Archives. In conjunction with this exhibition, the Black Artists Network (BANNS) held a celebration of literary readings, dramatic performance and visual art exhibition by a new generation of African Nova Scotian young artists, writers and performers 15-25 yrs. The afternoon featured a performance of Black Journey by Voices Black Theatre

Ensemble and as the guest speaker, Dr. Afua Cooper, James R. Johnston Chair, Dalhousie University. Pier 21 celebrated African Heritage Month with special programming including a screening of “Fields of Endless Day”, which explores the "roots" of Canada's diverse Black populations, tracing the history of individual and collective struggles and triumphs over a period of almost 375 years. The museum also presented “Africentric Learning and Teaching 101 Workshop: “A Balance of Stories", which was facilitated by Susie Brigham and Késa Munroe-Anderson on February 28. Congratulations Jake Borden, Freeman Maxwell and the Apex Golf Association – all were honoured at the Truro Sports Heritage Dinner in early March. Congratulations to Cyndi Cain, the Artist of the Year at the ANSMA Awards. The awards were presented at the African History Month Gala at the World Trade and Convention Centre. This year’s winners included Rising Star Samm Splash, The Gospel Heirs, bassist Vernon Brown, and guitar hero Victor Martin Smith. The evening also included a tribute to the legacy of South African leader Nelson Mandela, with a spoken word piece by Halifax’s poet laureate, El Jones. continued on page 36

24 ...

by: Tobie Hainstock

Lincoln Construction

A Reputation for Excellence Stewart Williams, Owner

25 ...

Bruce Jollimore


nown in the area as the "Stone Wall Specialists", Lincoln

Construction has been providing excellent quality stone work and landscaping services for more than 40 years. As a youngster, Stewart Williams grew up on a farm and was no shirker when it came to hard work. Farm labour often involves building fences, digging trenches, solving drainage issues and building stone foundations for the barns and out buildings. Williams enjoyed the work and decided that was what he wanted to do. “I realized how much I like working with my hands and thought that it would be worthwhile going to work for someone else to learn more about it,” he recalls. For the next few years, Williams worked hard and learned as much as he could about concrete and landscaping. Eventually the young man knew it was time to step out in faith and open his own business. When he opened Lincoln Construction, Williams’ mind was set on providing the highest quality of product and service possible. Over the decades that followed, the name Lincoln Construction became synonymous with high-quality workmanship and integrity. “Our motto has always been, ‘get it right the first time’,” comments Williams. We hardly ever get a call back unless it's for repeat business. Williams tells of businesses

that have wanted to hire him from Toronto, Quebec and the United States, but home is where the heart is for him and his talented crew. As a testament of the high standard that Lincoln Construction offers to their customers, Williams tells of building the retaining walls along Dunbrack Street in Halifax. “We built those retaining walls in 1977 and its structural integrity is still intact,” he says. Whether looking to pave a driveway, install an outdoor fireplace or plant new trees and shrubs, Lincoln Construction offers a wide variety of services from sidewalks, foundations and mulching, to drainage systems, fire pits and grading. Williams and his crew will apply their years of expertise to any project they are hired to do. “The customer will bring us their plans and we will work with them to make them happen,” he says, “We will create the backyard of their dreams.” He explains that whenever possible, Lincoln Construction looks to support the local businesses first for flowers, trees and shrubbery. “We also provide excavating and trucking services along with lot clearing, grubbing and stumping,” he adds. Other services Lincoln Construction provides include fixing water problems, drainage problems, and creating and enlarging backyards.

to someday be handing his business over to his daughter Yolande Williams and grandchildren Courtney, Corez, Breanna, Nevall and Mackeegan. For Williams, leaving a business with an unsurpassable reputation for quality work and impeccable customer service is like a dream come true. As he reflects back over the past decades, Williams speaks freely of the valuable lessons he learned in the industry. “Don’t be afraid to dream big and follow it through,” he advises, “and once you get started living your dream, be consistent with your service and always listen to your customers."

Lincoln Construction Services Ltd. 610 Wright Avenue, Suite 343 Dartmouth, NS Canada Phone: 902.462.5561 Originally published in the April/May 2014 issue of Fine Lifestyles HRM Magazine. Reprinted with permission.

As a true family man, Williams has worked very hard over the years to create a solid business to pass along as a legacy to his family. He is very pleased 26 ...

27 ...


the labour market for the first time,

To be eligible, you must have a good idea

a recognized under-represented group

and be an unemployed Nova Scotian


who is not eligible for Employment

Aboriginal Nova Scotians, Persons with

Insurance benefits, particularly but not

Disabilities, those being hired by an

limited to the following groups:

employer in a rural area). ONLY new

who require work experience

Aboriginal people; recent graduates



(within the last 3 years), persons

will be approved for the pilot year of

with disabilities; recent immigrants

the program unless approved by the

(within the last 3 years); African Nova

Director of Apprenticeship Training.

Scotians; Acadian and Francophone

For a list of eligible rural areas and small population centers, please see the Apprenticeship Section of the document.

THE START PROGRAM The START program encourages employers to hire Nova Scotians would



apprenticeship support, resulting in good jobs for Nova Scotians while providing employers with valuable

Nova Scotians; workers over 55 years of

employees. The START program is

age; youth; women; income assistance

run by Employment Nova Scotia and

recipients; people who were formerly

directed through the Labour Market Support System (LaMPSS)

self-employed; people who have been out of the labour market for a length of time, recent graduates or are entering

or potential apprentices who are from African




For more information on the START program, to make general inquiries and for eligibility criteria: http://www.novascotia.ca/ 28 ...

Ask an Expert

Entrepreneur’s Tool Kit Communications and Your Business. PR Doesn’t Stand for Press Release. Yes, the press release is an important tool as it serves to keep media stakeholders informed about what’s happening in a company. But it should only ever serve as one component of larger PR efforts. What is PR? Is it managing image; blasting news releases; spinning messages? There is no shortage of definitions. Wiki says: PR is the practice of managing the flow of information between an individual or an organization and the public. The aim of public relations by a company often is to persuade the public, investors, partners, employees, and other stakeholders to maintain a certain point of view about it, its leadership, products, or corporate decisions. Practically speaking, it’s all that and then some. There’s a great quote that says: “When you do awesome things, it makes people want to share the awesome.” This is so true across all lines of business and across all industries. At the highest level, PR is about: • Engagement • Conversations • Honesty; and • Trust And… it’s about doing awesome things, whenever and wherever we can. PR at its best seizes opportunities that relate directly to what matters most to customers and communities where a business operates. That can be accomplished by: • • •

Staying close to community stakeholders who help keep you connected to what’s important locally. Consuming and tracking local media platforms (traditional and social) to learn more about what’s trending and what matters in any given community. Reacting quickly and thoughtfully to sudden or unplanned events both in your business and your community.

Of course, there’s the reactive side to PR that can’t be ignored or denied and how that is handled, often determines the outcome. Helpful, timely, honest responses to what happens at your business can reduce the level of negativity that can be attributed to your business. 29 ...

by: John Wedderburn

John Wedderburn is a principal at CM Communications in Halifax with more than 15 years in the PR industry. He can be reached at: cmcomm@eastlink.ca

Is there a magic formula to good PR? No, but there are fundamental practices that contribute to excellence in public relations: 1. Tell the truth: Let the public know what's happening and provide an accurate picture of the company's character, commitments and practices. 2. Prove it with action: Public perception of a company is determined mostly by what it does and rarely by what it says. 3. Listen to and understand what the public wants and needs. It’s important to stay informed about public reaction to products, decisions and practices. 4. Understand that a company's true character is expressed by its people – all of its people. The strongest opinions -- good or bad -- about a company are shaped by the words and actions of its employees, which means every employee is involved with public relations. Corporate communications should support each employee's ability to be an honest, knowledgeable ambassador. 5. Remain calm, patient and positive – this speaks for itself.

Dare to Dream

by: Mike Randall

You have a bright idea—now what? How do you plan to turn it into a reality? We’ve all had them. They come in a variety of ways: the “aha!” moment, through trial and error or team brainstorming, maybe even in a dream. How many big ideas started with the phrase, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?” Big ideas are important. They’re how society progresses—how we change the way we live, the way we work, and the way we grow our businesses. Big ideas emerge from start-up innovators, business forums, and established sector leaders across the region. And they’ll keep coming. Leaders, visionaries, and backyard inventors will continue to dream about the way things could be. The key, however, is figuring out how to turn those ideas into something tangible

that others will embrace. For Colette O’Hara and Laura Whitman, the owners of Dartmouth-based leadership and ideation firm Red Balloon, the concept of big ideas is what brought them together. “Red Balloon exists to launch ideas that leave legacies,” says O’Hara. What became apparent in recent conversations with them and a number of other business leaders is that the concept of big ideas requires both structure and vision to turn ideas into reality. Let me break down the process for you. Create. This is the vision component. Ideas come by brainstorming and allowing yourself to dream. Sometimes it will take sifting through


Originally published in Progress Magazine. Reprinted with permission.

Mike Randall is a communications and marketing specialist, entrepreneur, and dreamer. He can be reached at : mike@engageatlantic.ca.

hundreds of ideas to find the one that succeeds. Liberate. An idea in your head may seem amazing, but the reality of putting it into motion can be scary. Putting all of those fears down on paper is the first step to getting past them. “Letting go of fear is a skill you can build,” says O’Hara. “We have to allow ourselves to be OK with being scared and learn to work through that.” continued on page 32

The Black Business Community Investment Fund

Black Business Community Investment Fund Limited (BBCIFL)

BBCIFL was born out of the need to provide capital to Nova Scotia Black-owned businesses possessing the potential to grow, show profitability and can create jobs for Nova Scotians. In the past 10 years, over a hundred Nova Scotians have invested in excess of $745,000 in BBCIFL, thereby contributing in the creation of more jobs for Nova Scotians as well as the sustainable prosperity of our great province. 14 investments worth about $1.5 million have been made to date.. At no other time in Nova Scotia’s recent history has there been such optimism and potential for real economic growth and prosperity. On behalf of our investors, we at the BBCIFL are seizing this momentum by financing local Black-owned businesses demonstrating high performance potential, helping them to compete on the world stage. We believe in the enterprising nature of Nova Scotians and their ability to create wealth for themselves and their stakeholders.

Call (902) 426-4281 to find out more about the success stories the BBCIFL has invested in. 30 ...

by: Carol Dobson

Corey Katz Photography

Corey Katz, Owner

31 ...

Dare to Dream

continued from page 30

"Field Panorama" by Corey Katz



orey Katz is a young entrepreneur on the move. His business,

Corey Katz Photography, is only three years old but his client list would make more seasoned photographers green with envy. A recognized talent by his peers and clients, Corey has shot pho-

programs like the Self Employment Benefit (SEB) Program, which gave me training in accounting and other areas that I needed to run my business. I have a young daughter, so the financial support I received while I was in the SEB program was a really big help.” Corey's already gaining recognition for his work.

tography for the Fortress of Louisbourg,

“I love living on Cape

Celtic Colours (official photographer),

Breton Island but it

Sobeys, and the Royal Canadian Mint,

can be a challenging

among other distinguished clients. “I’m 27, have been a photographer for the past eight years and in business for three,” the New Waterford native says. “I’m self-taught and do wedding, music, commercial, and advertising photography. Growing up, I was more interested in video but as I got older I made the decision to shift into photography because I really enjoyed playing around with my camera exploring landscapes and scenic shots.” He gives a great deal of credit to the Black Business Initiative for getting his business off the ground. “I wouldn’t be here without them,” he says. “They gave me a loan so I could buy equipment, and access to

place for a small business,” K atz says. “I didn't want to have to move away and thanks to the SEB Program and the BBI, I can stay here” In 2010, he was one of only 24 visual artists from across the province to have work purchased for the Nova Scotia Art Bank. He is a founding member of the Coastal Arts Initiative, an award-winning group of young and emerging artists from Cape Breton. continued on page 34

Analyze. Every idea, in order to stay in the process, has to be critiqued and criticized significantly. This ensures that you don’t spend too much time on something that ultimately won’t work. Don’t take the criticism personally—what’s important is finding a way of making something a reality. Adjust. How can the idea be optimized, built upon, and improved? Most of the time the original idea will turn into something that looks totally different. “It’s like baking a cake without a recipe,” says O’Hara. “You’ll try this combination with that combination until you find the one that works best. It’s trial and error to find the best- tasting cake. It may not be the one you first envisioned, but it’s the one that will work.” Validate. It’s time to look at the financial and operational impact. Does it make sense from a business perspective? What needs to change to make it happen, and is it a worthwhile investment to get there? Execute. In the end, it comes down to getting things done. It will take hard work, time, energy, and leadership. But if the idea is valuable, then it’s worth the effort to make sure it comes to fruition. Finally, perhaps the most important component in bringing an idea to life is leadership. You need leaders who know when to lead and when to get out of the way. So many ideas fail because the person or group that came up with the idea can’t relinquish control to allow those with the right skills to move the project forward. Sometimes moving forward requires letting go. We need big ideas, we need the leadership to make them a reality, and we need to do it by working together. That’s how this region will move forward, how our businesses will grow and prosper, and how our young entrepreneurs will become engaged enough to stay home and see their dreams become reality. So dare to dream—we’ll all be better off for it. 32 ...

Out with &theAbout BBI


33 ...

ANSMA 2014 AWARDS SHOW March 2014

Black Business Community Investment Fund Limited (BBCIFL)

Business Is Jammin' (BIJ) March Break Camp 2014

33 ...

Corey Katz

continued from page 31

Corey has participated in many exhibits and has held two solo shows – one at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design entitled “Through a Katz Eye” in 2012 and another at the Credit Union Main Street Gallery, entitled “Collection of Work by Corey Katz” in 2011.

Friday, September 12, 2014 Grandview Golf & Country Club 431 Crane Hill Road, Dartmouth, NS

t r o p p u uth ! S p l e H Our Yo

In 2012, Katz was nominated for Nova Scotia Entrepreneur of the Year by the Black Business Initiative. And the following year he won the Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. His work follows a rhythm, with commercial photography happening year round and wedding season falling between June and October. His portfolio of work can be viewed at his company website (see below), which illustrates this young artist's eye and how he so artfully captures the events and scenery around him. “I love living on Cape Breton Island but it can be a challenging place for a small business,” Katz says. “I didn't want to have to move away and thanks to the SEB Program and the BBI, I can stay here.” Corey's studio is located in a classroom in the New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation, which is located in the iconic former Holy Angels High School in downtown Sydney.

For more information contact us:

joseph.shakara@bbi.ns.ca 902-426-8683

Corey Katz Photography Studio/Office: 37 Nepean St Sydney, NS, Canada Phone: 902-537-0451 Email: Corey@coastalarts.ca Web: coreykatzphotography.com 34 ...

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

Leasing Basics: Ten Things to consider before entering into a Commercial Lease (Part 2 of 2) I will start with a few reminders from Part 1 of Leasing Basics. A commercial lease is a contract made by or on behalf of the owner of real property (“landlord”) and an individual or legal entity (“tenant) for the use of the landlord’s real property for a business purpose. Importantly, a commercial lease creates legal obligations that can impact the success of a business.

The Law & Your Business

In my last column, I addressed the offer to lease, leased premises, term, rent, and due diligence aspects of commercial leasing. The following round out my list of 10 things to consider before entering into a commercial lease:

35 ...

6. Use: Commercial leases typically contain a provision stipulating how the tenant can utilize the leased premises. If drafted too precisely, the lease terms may not permit the tenant to carry on certain activities related to its core business. A narrowly drafted “use” clause could also impede future plans for growth or diversification, and may lead to issues if other tenants carry on similar business activities. Particularly if located in a mall or other multiunit building, it is advisable to include an exclusivity clause in the lease prohibiting the landlord from allowing another tenant to offer the same product(s) or service(s). 7. Common Areas: When leasing space in a building that is shared with the landlord and/ or other tenants, common areas may include all areas other than rentable space. Under a commercial lease, tenants are usually required to pay the landlord’s expenses associated with the common areas. These are most commonly characterized as part of the landlord’s operating expenses and shared by the tenants pursuant to a formula contained in the lease. To the extent changes can be negotiated, the tenant should try to eliminate any fees and charges that should rightfully be borne by the landlord, such as capital and income tax, structural repairs, and expenses the landlord would recover through insurance proceeds. 8. Assignment and Subletting: Most modern leases permit the tenant to assign the lease with the landlord’s consent. It may seem insignificant at the beginning of the lease; however, the tenant’s right to assign will become important should the tenant wish to sell all or part of its business. A commercial lease, among other things, may provide that the landlord’s consent to an assignment may be unreasonably withheld, may require the tenant to pay an administrative fee and/or all of the landlord’s legal fees associated with

the assignment, and may trigger the landlord’s right to take back the premises and terminate the lease. These provisions may pose serious problems for a tenant and could effectively prevent the tenant from selling its business. Depending upon the tenant’s bargaining position, such language should be removed or modified to reflect terms acceptable to both parties. 9. Financing and Security: The landlord will generally conduct its own due diligence inquiries against the tenant to ensure the tenant has the financial capacity to meet its obligations under the lease. To protect its interests in the event of default by the tenant, the landlord will require security which may include, for example, a security deposit or personal guarantees and indemnities from the individual shareholders or the parent company of a corporate tenant. Notably, the requirement to give personal guarantees and/or indemnities, particularly if unlimited, effectively remove the protection of limited liability - one of the key benefits of choosing a corporate vehicle through which to carry on business. 10. Indemnification and Insurance: It is common for a commercial lease to require the tenant to indemnify the landlord for all losses, damages and expenses resulting in the event of certain circumstances under the lease. The tenant will want to exclude indemnification for losses resulting from the landlord’s negligence. The lease may stipulate the types of insurance coverage the tenant is required to maintain, and may require the tenant to name the landlord as an additional insured covered under the lease. In addition to protecting the tenant against its own losses, the insurance requirements ensure the tenant will be able to comply with potential liability that may arise pursuant to the indemnification clause. Carrying the appropriate insurance coverage will enable the tenant to mitigate risk under the lease and in its business generally. I have given a very brief, high level overview of 10 common elements of a commercial lease. The list is not exhaustive. Review the financial and legal implications with your accounting and legal advisors prior to executing a commercial lease agreement, or an offer to lease. Finally, as the tenant, negotiate with the landlord to get the best terms and conditions for you and your business.

Disclaimer: 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.

People and Business on the Move continued from page 24




This is your invitation to join an exclusive community of business owners and leaders. The most well informed, well connected, and influential network in the region. People just like you. Learn. Grow. Be inspired. Get motivated. And be constantly energized. Become a member of Face to Face2 For more information contact Carole Bell at cbell@progressmedia.ca or 1.902.494.5818

Hindsight Infrared Services Inc.

Charles Adams, President/Owner Certified Energy Advisor Certified Thermographer Certified Building Official T: (902) 869-0203 C: (902) 237-0908

hindsightinfrared@me.com www.hindsightinfraredservicesinc.com

Energy Efficiency Through Infrared

The film based on Lawrence Hill’s “The Book of Negroes” had a number of scenes shot here in Nova Scotia. Shooting began Feb. 3rd in South Africa and continued to March 28th. Preproduction began in Nova Scotia on March 17, with filming in the province happening from April 21 to May 20, in and around Halifax, Shelburne, Lunenburg and Louisbourg. Stars of the film include Aunjanue Ellis, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lou Gossett Jr., Lyriq Bent, Allan Hawco, Greg Bryk, Ben Chaplin, and Jane Alexander. Congratulations to Mikya Francis, a student from Digby Regional High School, who was among 68 students in the province who received a Lieutenant Governor's Respectful Citizenship Award at a Feb. 26 reception at Government House. The award that she and other students from across the province received recognizes students who demonstrate leadership and a commitment to creating safe and inclusive spaces, where bullying behaviour is not accepted, and respectful and responsible relationships are promoted. Lindsay Ruck, the granddaughter of the late Senator Calvin Ruck has written a biography of her grandfather, entitled “Winds of Change: The Life and Legacy of Calvin Ruck”, which will be released by Pottersfield Press this spring. A building group is lending a hand to Nova Scotia’s young Dragons Den stars. Build Right Nova Scotia, a newly formed partnership between unionized contractors and the building trades, will be constructing a new, state-of-the-art greenhouse for the kids of Hope Blooms. Canada Post unveiled a stamp honouring Africville at a ceremony at Halifax City Hall in February. continued on page 37 36 ...

People and Business on the Move continued from page 36

The Canadian Cancer Society’s provincial chapter held a Valentine’s Day concert in memory of the late Bucky Adams. Performers for the “Night of Love” included singer Nadia Moore, bass guitarist Danny Parker, drummer Scott Ferguson, pianist Silvio Pupo, and Bucky’s son, Charles Adams, on lead vocals. Premier Stephen McNeil, Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant, and African Nova Scotian Affairs Minister Tony Ince were on hand to launch the 30th African Heritage Month with the theme Rising Stars: Celebrating Our Youth. Six young people were recognized as leaders in their communities who inspire others to be successful: Tatyana Headley of Glace Bay, Natasha Silver of Antigonish, Summer-Joy Upshaw of Amherst, Lindell Smith of Halifax, Erica Porter of Newport, Hants County, and Kayla Fells of Yarmouth. The Rev. Donald Skeir was honoured during this year’s “The Dream Continues: A Musical Tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax. Marko Simmonds conducted the tribute, which included performances by the Nova Scotia Mass Choir, Reeny Smith, Gary Beals, Jeff Goodspeed and the Preston Primos. Moh Hashem hosted the tribute, which also featured spoken word artist Verena Rizg. Congratulations to this year’s recipient of the Irving and Ruth Pink Award for Youth Development and Social Justice, Henderson Paris. For 20 years, Paris volunteered his time to help the youth of New Glasgow by building their selfesteem and confidence through track and field. He has also been building positive relationships between youth and bringing awareness of the issues or racism and discrimination to the young people with whom he interacts. 37 ...

This year marks the town of Amherst’s 125th anniversary. Artist Darlene Strong has launched a new exhibit to mark the occasion. The 10 original paintings chronicle the contributions of the African Nova Scotian community to Amherst over the decades, from the early settlements of the late 18th century, to today’s generation. The travelling exhibition – “Our History – Their Heritage” – was launched on Feb. 1 at Cumberland County Museum and Archives, and will travel to schools and other public venues. The BBI is pleased to be one of the supporters of this initiative. A group of local musicians got together in mid February to present “For the Love of God”, a fundraising concert to support the Cornwallis Street Baptist Church at the Spatz Theatre. They included Conquerors For Christ, United For Christ, Nadia Moore, Lela Coles, Cyndi Cain, Corey Adams, Chosen Generation, CSBC Revival Choir, Jacques Tynes, Kwesi Firempong and Robert Leek, Nia Porter, ONE8TEA and The Bernard and Miller Family. Rev. Dr. Lennett J. Anderson, of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Hammonds Plains served as the host.

Bring Your Business to a New Audience


57 FALL 201 3

Also in thi

s Issue :

African Nov a Scotian “A dynami c

and vibrant Black pres ence




within the Nova Sco tia Busines s Commun ity.”

The Busi ness of Mus

ic The Africa Music Ass n Nova Scotian ociation (AN SMA)

Also in thi s issue :

The National Football League has named Quentin (Snoopy) Tynes the 2013 NFL Youth Coach of the Year. He attended Acadia University, where he captured Canadian University Rookie of the Year honours and led the underdog Axemen to a Vanier Cup victory in 1981. During the week of February 17th to February 24th four African Canadian poets, Afua Cooper, El Jones, Jacob Sampson and Valerie Mason-John were Poets in Residence at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. The weeklong residency for students included workshops with school classes, interactive, live exhibits, and culminated in a public presentation by the Artists on Saturday, February 22nd.

 Spiritual Leaders  Provincia l Politics  Succes sful Entrep ren

“A dynami c


and vibrant Black pres ence

within the Nova Sco tia Busines s Commun ity.”

ADVERTISE in the next Issue of B2B For Advertising Information & Rates call: 902-426-2224 e-mail: bbi@bbi.ns.ca


getting young African Nova Scotians excited about Science and Math As an innovative universitycommunity partnership, the Imhotep Legacy Academy (ILA) engages university/college students, faculty and community leaders to encourage African Nova Scotian students in grades 7-12 and beyond in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Using a blend of after school programming, summer student research, a virtual school project and the First Lego League, ILA provides its participants with an enriching blend of real world learning projects, skill building, leadership development activities, and tutoring support. And they have fun at the same time.

ILA enjoys a strong partnership with TD Bank, which has enabled the creation of an annual four-year renewable scholarship of up to $5,000 per year for ILA program graduates entering Dalhousie University. Its purpose is to reduce the financial barrier for African Nova Scotian students pursuing studies in STEM related fields. To date, 9 scholarships have been awarded. Through programs in regional school boards across Nova Scotia, the ILA connects role models in the STEM disciplines with students in hands-on learning projects that prepare the students to do well in school, continue with post secondary education and become leaders in their careers and communities.

A non-profit organization administered by a volunteer steering committee comprised of Dalhousie University professors and staff, community partners and other members of the African Nova Scotian community, ILA trains and supports university/college students to play powerful roles in the lives of its participants through the building of self-confidence, self-discipline and the mastery of concepts related to scientific, technical, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The program serves two distinct groups of Nova Scotian learners of African descent: students in grades 7-12 enrolled in the public education system; and post-secondary students enrolled in STEM degree programs. “Those of us involved in Imhotep are passionately connected to this program,” says Dr. Kevin Hewitt, ILA cofounder. “It is so gratifying to see young African Nova Scotians get excited about science and math. It opens up so many doors for their futures.” 38 ...

June 13

Halifax Chamber Golf Tournament

Glen Arbour Golf Course 11:00 am - 7:00 pm Info: (902) 481-1226 / tania@halifaxchamber.com

Community & Business Events

June 16

Community Sector Council of NS Conference NSCC Waterfront Campus Info: www.csc-ns.ca. July 1

July 25 - 27

Africa Festival of Arts and Culture (AFRICFEST) 2014 Sackville Landing, Lower Water St., Halifax Info: www.destinationhalifax.com/ July 30 - Aug 4

28th Annual Halifax International Busker Festival 1751 Lower Water Street Info: www.buskers.ca July 31st – August 4th

Canada Day


Halifax- Dartmouth Natal Day Festival

July 4-12

A total of 30 individual events include; family activities, live concerts, one of the oldest parades in Atlantic Canada and a spectacular fireworks show launched from the span of the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge. Catch this show before the bridge goes off line for construction in 2015 and 2016.

TD Halifax Jazz Festival

August 7-9

July 1-8

Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo Halifax Metro Centre Info: (902) 420-1114

Various locations Downtown Halifax Info: (902) 229-7897 halifaxjazzfestival.ca/about-festival July 19

Black Educators Association Annual Golf Tournament

Ashburn Golf Club, Old Course Registration 11:00 am • Shotgun Start: 12:30 pm Silent Auction: 6:00 pm / Dinner: 6:30 pm www.beaopen.theblackeducators.ca

Woman’s Empowerment Conference for the Everyday Woman St. Mary’s University • Info: 902-405-6872 August 7-9th

Fatherhood Empowerment Conference St. Mary’s University Info: 902-405-6872

BBI’s 2014 Annual General Meeting On behalf of the Board and Staff of the Black Business Initiative, you are cordially invited to the 2014 BBI Annual General Meeting.

June 12, 2014 • World Trade & Convention Centre, Halifax Annual General Meeting - 3:00-5:00 p.m. - Room 304 Networking Reception - 5:00-7:00 p.m. - Level 3 Atrium

Please RSVP to Sharifa Upshaw, Administrative Assistant/Receptionist, by phone at: 902-426-8683 or via email at: upshaw.sharifa@bbi.ns.ca

A dynamic & vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia Business Community 39 ...

To submit items for Community and Business events, please contact: Sharifa Upshaw (902) 426-8683; Fax: 426-8699 or email bbi@ bbi.ns.ca


2014 SIERRA.



0 0








$149 36 FOR



CHEVROLET | BUICK GMC | CADILLAC *See dealer for details

2477 ROBIE STREET HALIFAX • 422-8551


The BBI wishes to thank Labatt Breweries of Canada for your sponsorship of our 2012-13 Directory Launches.

"It is a pleasure to support the BBI in its efforts to drive business growth, innovation, productivity and competitiveness." ~ Wade Keller, Labatt

If undeliverable return to: The Black Business Initiative Centennial Building Suite 1201,1660 Hollis Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 1V7 Agreement No.


numĂŠro de convention


Profile for Metro Guide Publishing

Black to Business – Issue 58 – Summer 2014  

Black to Business – Issue 58 – Summer 2014