Friends of Nova Scotia
Trade Mission Recap
Premier Darrell Dexter wrapped up a successful trade and investment mission to South Korea and Abu Dhabi recently. The premier and a delegation from the province worked to strengthen ties and forge future business relationships in the education, energy and environment industry.
"This past week gave me the chance to have discussions with dozens of potential business partners on how to move forward with creating opportunities for Nova Scotia industries in South Korea and the United Arab Emirates," said Premier Dexter.
In addition to announcements by South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), Dalhousie University’s research faculty and Nova Scotia Community College’s skilled trades training program, Premier Dexter spent his final day overseas exploring educational opportunities for Cape Breton University (CBU) with the school’s president John Harker.
CBU is looking to partner with Nova Scotia’s Department of Education to develop and offer the International Graduate Diploma in Education to teachers in Egypt. The Department of Education is promoting the Nova Scotia curriculum now being used in some Schools in Cairo and Alexandria, and the development of further campus sites for the Canadian International College.
"King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia continues to show his commitment to post-secondary education, and Cape Breton University is proud to have been invited to assist with the development of a new, Canadian-style university in Medinah, Saudi Arabia," said Mr. Harker. "This could represent a major opportunity for the university and other Nova Scotia universities to showcase just why Nova Scotia is Canada's University Capital."
Premier Dexter also met with cargo carriers Korean and Asiana Airlines, and attended the signing of a co-operative agreement between Halifax Stanfield International Airport and Incheon International Airport in Incheon, South Korea, to produce more cargo traffic between the two countries.
Education: A Hot Commodity
As part of the recent foreign trade mission to South Korea and Abu Dhabi Ava Czapalay, president and CEO of EduNova, was busy promoting the many ways that Nova Scotia is capitalizing on its strong reputation in the education sector.
Along with Egypt, Nova Scotia’s public school curriculum is being used in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and China for a total of 11 schools. The use of Nova Scotia-developed materials demonstrate to students and parents in these areas that our province has a lot to offer when it comes to learning.
These alliances with international secondary schools boost awareness of the province’s strong post-secondary offerings. According to Czapalay, a recently announced 17.7 per cent rise in the number of international visa students studying in Nova Scotia is evidence that continued promotion internationally has the potential to further benefit our NS-based institutions.
"This growth in international enrolment shows a great deal of opportunity for our post-secondary institutions, and they should be commended for their independent recruiting efforts, as well as their willingness to collaborate and partner with the other schools to showcase our province’s education and training capabilities to the world." EduNova works to organize international recruiting initiatives in partnership with the province’s universities and works closely with the Nova Scotia International Student Program, which hosts secondary-students, since it’s been shown many visiting students choose to remain in Nova Scotia to study post-graduation.
This multi-tiered approach to promoting the province’s strengths in all levels of education further demonstrates the benefits of the collaborative spirit so valued in the Nova Scotia.
Read more: Czapalay Op-ed via thechronicleherald.ca
Local Engineering Firm Nets National Honours
Halifax-based CBCL Limited recently took home a 2010 ACEC Canadian Consulting Engineering Award of Excellence (Water Resources & Energy Production Category) for its design of the Tatamagouche Water Treatment Plant.
On October 26th CBCL received the award at the annual ACEC Awards Ceremony at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa. The awards are given to projects that demonstrate a high quality of engineering, imagination and innovation. Now in their 42nd year, the awards are the most prestigious mark of recognition for consulting engineers in Canada.
CBCL president & CEO Michael R. MacDonald was on hand to accept the award on behalf of the firm.
"I am very proud of the accomplishments of our firm and its employees" he said. "Receiving this award from ACEC is recognition of the high level of technical ability and experience that we have achieved in recent years" he added.
Read more: sfgate.com
Gold Medal Wines of the Region
Nova Scotia’s wine industry received another nod recently when six of the province’s wineries earned gold medals at the 2nd Atlantic Canada wine competition hosted by the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers.
With 93 wines submitted for judging, top prizes went to Annapolis Highland Vineyards (2009 Geisenheim Riesling), Domaine de Grand Pre, Gaspereaux Vineyards, Jost Vineyards, L’Acadie Vineyards, and Sainte-Famille Wines (Triumph).
Province Invests in Small Business
A $10-million loan from the province will help Nova Scotia credit unions continue to provide support to small and medium-sized businesses in their communities.
Announced Oct. 21, the loan comes from Strategic Opportunities Fund Incorporated and will be administered by Credit Union Central of Nova Scotia, who will make it accessible to 14 participating credit unions throughout the province.
Over the last seven years, the province has provided support to small businesses through a $30-million Credit Union Small Business Loan Guarantee Program. That program has helped start 434 businesses, create almost 1,500 jobs and maintained 3,000 more across the province.
“We are dedicated to supporting local small business and communities and we are pleased to be partnering again with the province," said Bernie O'Neil, CEO of Credit Union Central of Nova Scotia. "This new loan will further enhance participating credit unions' ability to respond to the needs of our small business members."
Read more: halifaxnewsnet.com
In addition to the support delivered through the credit union system in the province, 34 established small businesses are on their way to becoming more innovative and productive with assistance from the Productivity and Innovation Voucher Program.
These businesses were awarded vouchers of up to $15,000, to partner with post-secondary institutions to explore new business opportunities or how to improve products and operations.
"Small businesses are essential to the economy of our province and we are committed to supporting their growth," said MLA Lenore Zann, on behalf of Economic and Rural Development Minister Percy Paris. "This program enables businesses to make their operations more productive and competitive, helping to create good jobs and grow the economy."
Since 2008, the program has awarded vouchers to 117 businesses across the province, in such areas as industrial and consumer manufacturing, information and communication technologies, life sciences and agri-foods.
One of the program's main goals is to help build and strengthen links between small business and universities and colleges. Ten institutions are participating in the program this year.
For a full list of this year's recipients and more information on the program, visit gov.ns.ca.
Affordable Housing Investment
More than 6,000 families, seniors and persons with disabilities living in Nova Scotia will have access to safe, affordable housing, thanks to a $32 million federal-provincial investment in more than 300 construction, renovation and repair projects.
Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse, with federal MP Gerald Keddy, representative for South Shore-St. Margaret’s, made the funding announcement on Oct. 23.
The provincial and federal governments contributed equally to the investment under the Canada-Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Program Agreement. The support will result in the construction of 82 new social housing units across the province - 66 for seniors and 16 for people with disabilities.
More than 1,400 affordable housing units have been created or preserved in Nova Scotia under the program.
Nova Scotia Music Week 2010
Yarmouth will be alive with the sound of music November 4-7 as artists and industry professionals gather for the annual Nova Scotia Music Week festival and conference.
Replete with live performances, industry workshops and capped off with a gala awards show honouring the best of the province’s many genres, #NSMW is a production of Music Nova Scotia and provides members of the music community a range of educational and networking opportunities.
Last year, Yarmouth hosted nearly 700 conference delegates and opened its music venues to thousands of fans. An estimated $620,000 in revenue was generated in the host community by delegates and the public. An additional $60,000 was spent directly by Music Nova Scotia on local goods and services. Artists earned more than $300,000 from business created at the festival. This makes Nova Scotia Music Week a million-dollar event.
While some conference events are specific to the industry - with industry professionals offering artists an array of business workshops - all components of Nova Scotia Music Week are open to the public.
Tourism Contest Winners Blog Visit
A German couple - winners of the “iLove Nova Scotia” contest launched in July - recently embarked on a four week exploration of the province, and blogged about their experience for the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.
The grand prize of $15,000 toward a dream vacation in the province was won by Joerg and Nicole Knoerchen from Aachen, Germany, who earned the largest number of votes for a video submission in which they described why they love Nova Scotia.
The couple, who had visited Nova Scotia numerous times in the past, arrived on September 24th for the start of the beautiful fall season and took in the colourful landscape, culinary delights and among many other sights and events, the annual Celtic Colours International Music Festival.
“Time seems to rush by and we had to leave Keji (Kejimkujik National Park) after some more hikes and landed up at Cape Split where we met some 'old' hiking friends to hike to the tip of the cape,” write the Knoerchens in one of their blog updates.
“At Joggins Fossil Cliffs UNESCO World Heritage Site we had again a journey into the past, this time we traveled 315 million years back to the Carboniferous fossils and found preserved fossilized plants and amphibian footprints.”
The iLove Nova Scotia contest was part of a creative effort to promote the province to known key markets, engaging travelers through online and social media networks. In addition to the publicity the contest generated, it also provided a perfect introduction to many of the province’s attractions, told in the first person from the perspective of a traveling couple.
The Knoerchen’s departed October 22.
Rick Mercer Loves Louisbourg
Canadian funny-man and host of the Mercer Report, Rick Mercer recently toured Cape Breton’s historic Fortress Louisbourg. In full historic dress (and a pair of Dog-the-Bounty-Hunter shades), Mercer was in fine form quizzing guests and staff on the finer points of life at the fortress. If you missed it, the video is available for viewing at CBC.ca .
Learn more about Louisbourg.
Made in NS: A Twitter Map App
Employing Google Maps technology and interfacing with Twitter, the Map My Followers app developed by Scotia Systems allows users to more strategically target their social media marketing efforts by region by showing on a map which of your “tweeps” are from what area of the world.
Hovering over one of the 2000+ pins on a personalized and scalable map of @novascotialife followers, we can send word to our followers in Abu Dhabi, for example, that the Premier and Nova Scotian delegation enjoyed their recent visit.
Map My Followers is yet another example of how innovative Nova Scotian companies are working to create new and exciting tools for people around the world to use with popular technology.
Mother of Invention
Small businesses are borne out of the need to solve any number of problems, and the products that emerge serve a specific market. It’s not surprising that in an environment so supportive of new ideas that a Nova Scotian mother has invented a device geared toward new mothers and a common problem they experience.
Noticing an abrupt shift when changing from breast-feeding to bottle-feeding her own child, Lower Sackville native Christa Anderson set out to create a product that would provide a new mother and child with an experience that felt more natural. So came the Nurse Me Tender device that straps to a parent's body (that’s right new dads, you can use it too) to simulate breast-feeding using a special bottle adapted to fit the harness.
Benefits of the device include freeing up hands so, as Anderson described it, a parent can more easily read to their child, clean up or make a phone call.
Authors Map Out Nova Scotia
A pair of writers have set out to introduce readers to the bevy of overlooked fun and adventure opportunities available to them - in their own backyard.
Exploring Nova Scotia, by authors Dale Dunlop and Alison Scott, focuses on "off the beaten path" regions of the province, promising readers - residents and visitors alike - no shortage of new destinations.
"Most Nova Scotians have no idea of the incredible variety of things to see and do right under their noses," he says. "Despite its small size Nova Scotia has a variety of ecosystems and geographic terrain that is not found in places 10 times as large. Add to that the fact that Nova Scotia really is part of the crossroads of North American history and you have a perfect combination."
Read full review at thechronicleherald.ca.