Strengthening community

Strengthening community

< Back to Articles | Topics: From the President | Contributors: Patrick Sullivan, Halifax Chamber President & CEO | Published: February 1, 2023

Above: In July 2022, the Michaëlle Jean Foundation hosted the National Black Canadians Summit in Halifax (JBPhotos photo).

Celebrating and honouring African Heritage Month in Halifax

February is African Heritage Month — a month to celebrate, recognize, and honour Black communities in Nova Scotia, along with their struggles, achievements, impact, and contributions to the province. With over 50 historic African Nova Scotian communities, some of whom have roots dating back 400 years, it is important that all Nova Scotians learn the history and participate in the month.

The Black Cultural Centre’s website talks about the theme, stating, “Seas of struggle – African Peoples from Shore to Shore outlines the struggles people of African Decent faced from the shores of Africa to the shores of Nova Scotia.” You can also view their events calendar online at

Businesses play a role in strengthening our community. This month, we encourage you to take a moment to amplify Black voices — buy from a Black-owned business, engage with content creators, and prioritize supplier diversity. In this issue of Business Voice, you’ll read about the Black Canadians National Summit that took place in Halifax last summer. Thank you to the Michaëlle Jean Foundation for helping us with the story. You’ll also meet Bireti Jewellery, an entrepreneur honing her artistic abilities while honouring her heritage.

As we look ahead to the rest of 2023, I am feeling optimistic. Our downtowns are alive, new businesses are popping up every day, and live events are bringing energy back to the city. The Chamber’s membership is growing thanks to the support of a vibrant, diverse, and strong business community.

We continue to foster strong relationships with all levels of government and advocate on your behalf. As I mentioned, I feel optimistic about the coming year. I wanted to ask our two leaders; Municipal and Provincial how they felt about 2023 and the future. I received great replies from Mayor Mike Savage and Premier Tim Houston.

Mayor Mike Savage had this to say to Business Voice:

“Shortly after becoming Mayor a decade ago, I had a meeting with the Chamber when its stated goal was for Halifax to be among the top three fastest growing Canadian cities by 2018. We exceeded that timeline and have been one of the fastest growing cities, if not the fastest, for a number of years. Challenges come with that type of growth as do many opportunities, and our growth will continue. We can all work together to ensure it is both inclusive and sustainable. We will be bigger, but we can also be better.”

And from a provincial standpoint, Premier Tim Houston offered his thoughts on the upcoming year:

“Our government is determined to foster a strong, prosperous economy for Nova Scotia. Right now, we’re focused on growing strategic sectors, increasing productivity and planting the seeds for the economic future we want to have. We can achieve this by working together with our partners and the business community to strengthen innovation and competitiveness, create higher paying jobs and keep communities at the centre of our work. Programs like the Innovation Rebate Program and the More Opportunity for Skilled Trades (MOST) Program are great examples of progress we’ve made to date, but we are just getting started. We’re committed to building an economy that works for all of us.”

Thank you to both our leaders, and happy reading!

< Back to Articles | Topics: From the President

Stay Connected

Subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter and receive important updates on Halifax Chamber events, Member benefits and advocacy news.