November newsletter


Photo courtesy of Sera Thompson

October brought a sense of abundance at Engage, with a hugely successful Share Thanksgiving campaign, three impactful events, and an exciting partnership on the horizon. Meanwhile, we continue to walk alongside groups and communities that are coming together to address their challenges. Later this month we will be travelling to Stellarton to meet with Stepping Up conveners from communities across the northern mainland. Together we will begin to identify tools, resources and strategies that will help us all be more effective. This conversation will continue to evolve and travel to other parts of the province in the coming months.

Ready for a new partnership


Within just three days of announcing a Nova Scotian forum dedicated to building greater trust, respect and understanding between Mi’kmaq and non-Mi’kmaq people 150 people had signed up. This show of enthusiasm is surely a sign that the timing is right for resetting our relationship with First Nations in a way that moves us all forward.

Former Prime Minister Paul Martin and AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde will both speak at the November 16 public forum, as the beginning of a province-wide conversation. Engage Nova Scotia joins Canadians for a New Partnership and Treaty Education Nova Scotia in hosting the event at the Halifax Central Library. We look forward to being part of this conversation and contributing to what follows.

How to have impact


Al Etmanski, Canadian activist, leader, author, and all-round good guy, spent last week shining a spotlight on Nova Scotian changemakers and sharing his wisdom. He led a story-telling event at a community pub, a half-day workshop on “Impact: Six Patterns to Spread Your Social Innovation,” and met with the Engage team, GoverNext and other social innovators. Al has a gift of bringing complex ideas down to earth. He often expressed appreciation for Nova Scotia’s practical wisdom and deep history as well as the bright young innovators he met. In fact, Al seemed so at home in Nova Scotia some of us couldn’t understand why he would ever want to leave. It turns out he had the same question.

Watch a 2 minute video clip of the Unlaunch.

Listen to a conversation with Al here.

An audio recording of the entire book Unlaunch at The Company House is available here.

Find out more about the book Impact, download the intro, subscribe to the blog.

Lessons from Al Etmanski & six Nova Scotian changemakers


If necessity is the mother of invention, who is the other parent? Al Etmanski began his “book unlaunch” in North End Halifax with this unlikely question. His answer was just as unlikely. He said that when necessity comes together with love—with caring and passion—we have what it takes to have long-lasting impact. Successful changemakers are “passionate amateurs” who see a need and respond because they care, not just because it’s their job description. Read more

Hubbards gets energized


On October 21 residents of Hubbards, new and old, gathered to meet, network and talk about their future. The event, sponsored by Hubbards Area Business Association, was attended by over 40 residents, politicians and business owners.

Dan O’Rourke, who was invited to talk about the work of Engage Nova Scotia, asked how people felt about their ability to have an impact in the province. Using handheld clickers, 70 percent responded that they saw themselves as not only informed and willing, but also able to make a lasting impact. You're ready to go, Hubbards!

Stepping Up 2 in Bridgetown


Photo courtesy of Dana Perry, Community Sector Council of Nova Scotia-Valley

On October 14, 35 people from across the Annapolis Valley came together for a one-day Stepping Up 2 event in Bridgetown, to continue working on partnerships and projects that will strengthen the local economy. Danny Graham and Nancy Watson attended on behalf of Engage NS, which co-sponsored the event with the Community Sector Council of NS. Nancy reflects, “It was wonderful to see such continuing energy and enthusiasm around the great ideas that were sparked at the province-wide Stepping Up conference in June. Our work at Engage Nova Scotia is to help fan those sparks wherever we find them. Clearly there are many eager and able people, across sectors, working for a brighter future in the Valley. It is our privilege to play a small role in supporting them.” Read more.

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