Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition building on momentum; proposing date change

Chamber News

Provincial Exhibition Building on Momentum

Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition building on momentum; proposing date change


Exhibition enthusiasts will be happy to know plans are in motion for the annual Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition with the 2017 Planning Committee having met for the first time last week.  Leading the charge again this year are Amanda Langille and Tanya Colburne of Langille & Colburne – More Than Events, the same event management firm hired to oversee the 2016 event.  ‘’We were incredibly happy with feedback from 2016.  Overall, the response by attendees was very positive, ‘’ said Langille, as she notes the numbers indicate the same, ‘’the event saw an increase of 50% in attendance over the previous year and a 28% increase in the bottom line.’’

Dawn MacKay, a volunteer with the Farm Equipment Museum says the Museum relies on Exhibition traffic to further their awareness.  ‘’2016 was the best Exhibition we’ve had in years’’ said MacKay, sharing that 50% of their visitors last season attended during Exhibition week.

Together with NSPEC Staff and the Exhibition Planning Committee, Langille & Colburne are looking forward to building on the momentum created in 2016 with a proposed date change and a ‘’Nourishing Growth’’ theme that ties together Canada’s 150th birthday celebration and agriculture.  Tanya Colburne also feels the theme is symbolic of the Exhibition grounds as a whole.  ‘’The large Bible Hill venue is one of the Maritime’s only ‘’camping festival’’ locations, and given its geographic location and its potential as an event venue, it’s important to nourish the growth here in that sense as well.’’

The organizers are also looking at moving the dates of Exhibition to start on Wednesday instead of Monday and end on Sunday instead of Saturday.  ‘’This gives families an extra weekend day to enjoy the Exhibition, and it’s logistically easier for livestock caregivers like 4-H, for example,’’ says Colburne.

Just prior to the first planning committee meeting, the NSPEC had representation at the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (CAFE) in Fredericton earlier in November. ‘’The NSPEC was happy to have a presence at this important industry conference,’’ says NSPEC General Manager, Joe Nicholson, ‘’it’s reflective of our commitment to continuing to build on the momentum created last year.’’

Part of that is continuing to work with sponsors, business, and volunteers.  Langille notes new  systems are in place and there are lots of opportunities for people to get involved as a volunteer,  ‘’we currently have a call for volunteers in the areas of fine arts & photography, coordinating the Exhibition parade, opening ceremonies and ag-awareness,’’ she says.  Anyone who is wishing to volunteer is encouraged to email [email protected].

The Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition is proposed to run August 23 to 27, 2017.  More details can be found at

New ‘hot lab’ enhances student curriculum at local high school

Chamber News

New ‘hot lab’ enhances student curriculum at local high school

New ‘hot lab’ enhances student curriculum at local high school


Business community contributed more than $11,000 to complete school renovations, purchase equipment

TRURO – Classroom work has become “more interesting” says two Grade 12 students at Cobequid Educational Centre (CEC) thanks to the construction of a  new in-school skills training lab.

Christian MacPhee of Upper North River and Colby Tattrie of Camden demonstrated their welding skills on Monday for a crowd of onlookers during the official opening of the school’s new “hot lab.”

“You can do anything with a welder. It’s unlimited,” says Tattrie.

MacPhee says learning to weld as part of the Production Technology 12 course makes class more fun. “You can use the welder to explore and see what you can make,” he says. “It makes school more interesting.

About 25 people participated in the official opening ceremony including students, staff, Chignecto Central Regional School Board (CCRSB) officials, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) officials, including Minister Karen Casey, along with representatives of the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce.

“The supply of skilled trades within the community continues to be raised as a challenge facing local businesses,” says Chamber president Andrew Lake. “Chamber members and businesses with links to the welding trade did not hesitate to support the development of a welding lab at the high school, as a means to expose students to the profession.”


The chamber hosted a fundraising campaign to assist with renovations at the school, as well as the purchase of equipment, to enhance hands-on skilled trades training for high school students. About 20 chamber members and industry partners provided more than $11,000 in financial and in-kind assistance to the school’s renovation project, which was also financially supported by CEC, CCRSB and DEECD.

“The creation of CEC’s hot lab demonstrates how the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Chignecto Central Regional School Board and members of Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce can come together to benefit students and provide them with an opportunity to learn a skill that will benefit them in life and possible post-secondary studies,” says school principal Bill Kaulbach.

The lab was constructed in an area of the school that was previously used for automotive trades training in the 1980s. The classroom was extensively renovated to meet all current building codes and safety standards.

Welding is now being offered as part of the curriculum in a number of courses including Production Technology 11, Production Technology 12, Design 11, Exploring Technology 10, Electrotechnologies 11 and Applied Technology 10-12.

Approximately 150 students will have access to the hot lab this year.

Exciting week for music lovers in Truro

Chamber News

Nova Scotia Music Week is Returning!

Truro – This week is going to be an exciting week for music lovers in Truro. Nova Scotia Music Week is returning to town from Thursday to Sunday, and the One Horse Town documentary is being aired on CMT on Sunday night.

The Town of Truro is proud to be a Presenting Partner of Nova Scotia Music Week, which will take place from Nov. 3- 6. This provincial music festival and conference was last held in Truro in November 2014. Over 1,000 musicians and music industry professionals are expected to return this year, which will generate a wave of excitement for our economic and cultural development.

For the cherry on the cake, CMT is going to air a documentary on Sunday night, dedicated to our Town. During the One Horse Town live music show, which took place Sept. 16, CMT recorded a documentary to celebrate this unique event. This TV documentary will be aired on CMT this coming Sunday, Nov 6, at 9 p.m. This sounds like a great opportunity to finish the weekend on a high note, especially at the end of the Nova Scotia Music Week.

Lettuce goes Local

Chamber News

Lettuce Goes Local

Lettuce goes Local: GoodLeaf Farms brings Atlantic-grown packaged Salads to Newfoundland Dominion Stores


New indoor vertical farming technology from Nova Scotia promises fresher, local produce year-round, going from seed to plate in just over three weeks. Truro NS/Toronto ON (October 26, 2016) – GoodLeaf Farms (GoodLeaf) of Truro, Nova Scotia is pleased to announce its Market Garden™ locally-grown salad products will be available in Dominion stores across Newfoundland – even during the harshest winter months. Using technology created by its parent company TruLeaf Sustainable Agriculture Ltd., GoodLeaf is pioneering a new, indoor, vertical farming system that uses LED lights and reclaimed rainwater to grow ultra-fresh produce in as little as three weeks, without the use of pesticides. Built with the highest degree of sustainability in mind, the process uses up to 90% less water than traditional farming methods and can be harvested, packaged and available for sale on Newfoundland shelves within a matter of days. “We know our customers are looking for exceptional produce, grown locally wherever possible, which is why we are such huge supporters of local and regional suppliers,” said Mark Boudreau, Director, Corporate Affairs, Loblaw Companies Ltd. “Having fresh local vegetables year round in Newfoundland would have been impossible a decade ago. We’re excited about today’s launch, and proud of our role working with TruLeaf over the past few years to bring this innovative farming technology to our Dominion customers.” GoodLeaf Farms has been embraced by local wholesalers and restaurants who were drawn to the incomparable quality, consistency and freshness of GoodLeaf products. Today’s announcement at Dominion, however, marks the first time GoodLeaf’s products will be made available to consumers directly. “We are thrilled to be bringing a new era of freshness to Atlantic Canadian consumers,” said Gregg Curwin, President & CEO, GoodLeaf Farms. “We grow our produce in tightly-controlled environments to the very highest standards in the industry. It’s a difference you can truly taste. And by dramatically reducing the time and energy needed to transport produce, it really is a new way to eat responsibly.” About GoodLeaf GoodLeaf Farms is the exclusive Canadian licensee of the TruLeaf Smart Plant System® – a revolutionary indoor farming system that enables it to grow fresh produce year-round, even in the harshest winter months. As a pioneer in indoor, vertical farming, GoodLeaf has become a favourite among restaurants and wholesalers who have grown to depend on GoodLeaf for fast, fresh and local produce that meets the highest standards for quality and taste. For more information on GoodLeaf Farms, please visit

ONE WAY BREWING: coming to downtown Truro

Chamber News

One Way Brewing Coming to Downtown Truro

TRURO – A business idea is moving in the right direction for three local men partnering to launch One Way Brewing (OWB) by next spring.

Co-owner Jon Keddy, said One Way Brewing, soon to be located on the main level of 676 Prince St. along side Babbling Brook Antiques. One Way Brewing is not just a mircobrewery but will be known as “Truro’s Brewery,” locally owned and operated with local expertise boosting consumer’s pride in the product.

“OWB feels new businesses and opportunities located in the downtown core, especially on Truro’s “one way” strip, will continue to enhance what the downtown is already building on,” said Keddy. “This new microbrewery will thrive to champion and further enhance the new amazing downtown vibe.

“We hope to engage and help navigate the new highway traffic to downtown while sharing our pride in local branding and ownership.”

After several meetings and touring existing breweries around the province, Eric Jackson, Ryan Blaikie and Keddy formed a vision for a Truro brewery.

“We felt that because of timing, location and experience at the table, it was just the right thing to do,” said Keddy.

He added they are looking forward to networking with downtown merchants, The Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Truro Partnership and customers to build the brand.

“Our philosophy will be if we take care of Truro, Truro will take care of us,” said Blaikie.

The boutique enterprise will be a full-tier brewhouse, with a primary focus on uncompromising quality.

“The production process will ensure every taste or pint will always be served at its peak,” Jakson said. “Always fresh, non-pasteurizing, non-preserved recipes will give customers the taste experience they deserve.”

Its location in a heritage award-winning building known as the “GingerHouse” aligns perfectly with OWB’s boutique brand and is also conductive to leading or participating in organized events in the urban regional downtown core.

In addition to great quality beer, OWB will offer the experience of seeing the “Grain to Glass” production, along with one-on-one meetings with brewmasters, filling of growlers, and tasting a series of specialty Truro brands.

Truro ‘hardwired’ for entrepreneurship

Chamber News

Truro ‘hardwired’ for Entrepreneurship

Truro ‘hardwired’ for entrepreneurship

Business panel shares challenges and successes in region


TRURO – A clear vision and a “believe it to achieve it” attitude has paid off for Truro entrepreneur Mitch Cooke.

The Brookfield native, former national motocross racer and now successful businessman recently shared his perspective on doing business in this region during a panel discussion hosted by the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce.

The panel was moderated by Peter Theissen of P.T. Property Care and also featured view points and advice from Sharon Corcoran, sole proprietor of REMAX/Fairlane Realty and Connie Baird, owner of Party Time Rentals.

Cooke said when his professional motocross career ended at age 26 he was uncertain about the future but wanted to get into a business he believed in and was cultured in.

“I never used a cash register, I never sold anything, but I knew who I was targeting,” said the owner of H.A.F. Skate and Tattoo, now open at a new location on Inglis Street. “Vision is the No. 1 thing that kept me going.”

Vision also played a role for North River businesswoman Baird as she built her business from concept to reality.

In 2009, Baird was assisting her eldest son with plans for his upcoming nuptials when she realized how difficult it was to source many of the items locally that they needed to decorate for their special occasion.  Two years later, she opened a party supply rental business filling that identified void, which continues to see new growth in the wedding service market along with many other special events.

“I always joked I never got to be the mother of the bride and this was my chance to help all those brides,” said Baird.

Developing a solid business plan, establishing partnerships and seeking advice from others has contributed to her expanding business.

She said listening to the needs of customers and working hard are also keys to success.

“Customer service is the backbone of your business,” said Baird.

Corcoran said the business climate was very different for women in 1988 when she, and her former business partner, first launched a niche real estate business in downtown Truro. She later bought a franchise and has re-invented the business three times, now as the sole proprietor.

She recalled the research and preparation that was done prior to the initial meeting with a banker to secure funds for their business concept.

“We needed to have some history behind us and we didn’t,” the realtor said. The sales pitch for the business was well received so they acquired the necessary funding to launch and assembled a team of professionals to support the business plan.

She described the early years as “parsimonious,” adding cautious management of funds contributed to lasting success.

“I’m still having fun it’s like I never went to work yet,” Corcoran said.

Throughout the discussion, other points raised were the benefits of finding mentors, working with qualified accountants, the importance of learning to delegate as the business grows and the power of networking to develop and refine new business growth ideas.

“Be involved in your community and use every opportunity to network,” said Baird.

Theissen said entrepreneurship is “cool” now-a-days. “From a timing perspective, it’s really a great time to be an entrepreneur.”

Cooke agrees, and said Truro is a progressive place to do business.

“Truro is sick,” he said. “Truro is doing awesome. It’s really coming up.”

Corcoran added, “This town has always been strong on entrepreneurship. It just works here.”

“It’s Hardwired for it,” said Cooke.

Along with hosting the panel discussion, the Chamber celebrated national BDC Small Business Week with a suite of events including a women’s business breakfast, job fair, networking social, an educational lunch on the Economics of Health and an awards luncheon.

Chamber president Andrew Lake said in many ways small business contributes to the identity of a community.


“The entrepreneurialism of small business operators as ‎conveyed through their creativity to identify business opportunities is admirable,” said Lake. “Sharing stories and experiences provides a foundation and confidence to existing and prospective business owners.”

The president added the genuine passion for the community and humility shown by the panelists participating in the event reflects the interest of small businesses supporting one another for mutual success.


For more information about the Chamber call 902-895-6328 or email [email protected]

Chamber encourages people to get out and vote on Election Day

Chamber News

Chamber encourages people to get out and vote on Election Day

Chamber encourages people to get out and vote on Election Day

TRURO – The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce is encouraging people to exercise their democratic rights by participating in municipal and school board elections. During the last municipal election in 2012, overall voter turnout across the province was just 42.66 per cent.

“The grassroots work of municipal councils potentially has the greatest and most identifiable impact on local constituents,” says Andrew Lake, President of the Chamber. “It’s important for residents to exercise their right to vote for the individual best suited to represent their ‎needs.”

In Colchester County’s advance polls, held on Oct 8 and 11, slightly less than five per cent of the 28,546 registered voters cast ballots. Polling stations in the county will be open on Oct. 15 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

As of Thursday morning, the voter turnout stats for the Town of Truro’s advance polls were about 27.2 per cent based on the total number of voters appearing on the list of electors.

Truro’s eVoting system opened on Oct. 6 and is available 24 hours a day until the official close of polls at 7 p.m. on Oct. 15.

A voter kiosk will operate at the Truro Mall on Friday, Oct. 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There are also kiosks at the Truro Public Library, the Millbrook Band Hall, the Douglas Street Recreation Centre and Town Hall until closing time for each building on Friday. There will be multiple voting stations available, at Town Hall only, near the Lorne Street entrance, on Saturday from 8 a.m. until the polls close at 7 p.m.


In Stewiacke, internet and telephone voting started Oct. 8 and will remain active until Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. A poll station for paper voting will be held at the Town Hall, 295 George St., Stewiacke, on Oct. 15 starting at 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voter turnout in Stewiacke in the 2012 election bucked the provincial trend reaching 58.54 per cent.

Business community disappointed with TIR position on Truro roundabout

Chamber News

Business Community Disappointed With TIR Position on Truro Roundabout

Business community disappointed with TIR position on Truro roundabout

Lack of trade-enabling infrastructure restricts ability to grow business

TRURO – The Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal’s (TIR) decision not to support the funding of a roundabout at the intersection of McClures Mills Road and Willow Street is extremely disappointing, says Andrew Lake, president of the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce.

“Chamber members have supported the Town of Truro’s appeal for this project, citing that congestion at the intersection has impeded productivity and has restricted growth of the Truro Industrial Park,” says Lake.

“It’s not uncommon for vehicles to wait at the intersection through three to four cycles of the traffic lights to alleviate the queue.”

The proposed roundabout, which the town has advocated for a number of years, would allow traffic, including many commercial and or service related vehicles, to flow seamlessly through the intersection, eliminating needless idle time while improving business productivity.

Traffic congestion in that area also impedes customer access to businesses located in close proximity to the intersection.

Investment in Infrastructure was a platform the federal government campaigned on, citing investment in trade-enabling infrastructure as a means to stimulate the economy.

“It’s unfortunate the province’s rigid policies continue to hold the town back, restricting our ability to grow,” says Lake.

Economics of forestry industry to be discussed at Chamber lunch and learn

Economics of forestry industry to be discussed at Chamber lunch and learn

TRURO – The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a lunch and learn on Sept. 22 featuring guest speakers representing Forests Nova Scotia and Northern Pulp.

This noon-hour event is being held as part of National Forestry Week (Sept. 18-24) celebrations happening across the country.

“We recognize the value that the forest sector provides to the economy of Colchester and Nova Scotia,” said Chamber president Andrew Lake.

“A number of businesses in this region are directly tied to the industry or in-directly reap benefits from it.”

“These studies will provide an understanding of the economic impact of what this industry does for the region through direct and indirect employment of service providers.”

He added the Chamber recognizes the impact mill closures in other areas of the province have had on the business environment in those regions.

“We are looking to get a better understanding of the forestry sector,” said Lake.

Jeff Bishop, executive director of Forests Nova Scotia, and Bob Fraser, representing Northern Pulp, will each present information from two economic impact studies related to the province’s forestry industry.

The luncheon will begin at 12 p.m. at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre and is being sponsored by Grant Thornton.

The cost is $20 for Chamber members or $25 for future members (plus tax). To reserve your seat by Monday, Sept. 19 call, 895-6328 or email [email protected] .

Town of Truro and County of Colchester endorse business development pilot project

Town of Truro and County of Colchester endorse business development pilot project


TRURO -  A pilot project aimed at attracting new business to the Colchester Region while supporting existing business in growth and retention is being endorsed by local municipalities.

Truro Town Council accepted the business development proposal at its Sept. 12 council meeting subject to developing a satisfactory governance model and other partner approvals.

“We applaud the Truro & Colchester Chamber’s commitment in proposing to take on this very challenging aspect of our economic development,” said Truro Mayor Bill Mills.

The 36-month pilot project will focus on marketing, promotion and communication by establishing a central point of contact to foster innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as sector development, business retention and other supports.

Last month, Colchester County Council voted to support the proposed plan, which was developed by a group of business leaders with participation and input by local CAOs, municipal leadership and Millbrook First Nation in recent months.

“Colchester Council has endorsed the proposal as lead by the Chamber and are pleased with the commitment of all partners thus far,” said Colchester County Mayor Bob Taylor. “This is an important step to uniting our communities with a strong unified voice for economic development in our region.  This first step will lead to many exciting initiatives in the immediate future. ”

In recent months the Chamber has engaged with the business community and municipalities in an effort to garner support for the establishment of a business development body with a sharp focus on attracting new business to the area.

“The region has a tremendous geographic advantage over other areas and is rich with recreational, educational and social infrastructure,” said Chamber president Andrew Lake. “A unified effort to market and leverage these assets for prospective and existing business will position the region for continued prosperity.”

During the next few weeks the three municipalities in Colchester region and Millbrook First Nation will be meeting to discuss governance and work together to finalize a funding model with a goal to implement initial phases of the plan in the fall of 2016.