Northside Rising

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

About Our Work

Over the past five years Northside Rising has been working primarily in the communities of North Sydney, Sydney Mines, Florence and area: the Northside. At the core of the work, we strove to collaborate in innovative ways across the community. Our achievements with the dedicated people in these communities include: 

  • Supporting the Rising Tide Festival, which opened the door to difficult conversations using music and cultural sharing; 
  • 30 graduates of the Changemakers program learned life skills and effective ways to make change in their community;  
  • We offered cross-sector training in Non-violent Crisis Intervention to over 200+ and training in Mental Health First Aid to over 100+ community members; 
  • Community-based research we conducted (in partnership with Dr. Ed Michalik and Dr. Margaret Dechman) shed light on the state of hope and agency in the communities on the Northside;  
  • By offering free art programming and removing cost barriers, we helped over 300 people connect with community and experience the therapeutic benefits of art making;
  • We helped mobilize community through hosting the substance use roundtable and facilitating the creation of CAPED; hosting coffeehouses and storytelling sessions; and hosting documentary movies and community conversations on community trauma. 

Our commitment to collaboration and innovation has not wavered, and we continually explore new methods to do so.  

After five years of learning and deep evaluative data collecting we have recognized it is time to evolve both the scope of our work and how we do it. While our work has always sought to lift marginalized voices, in 2022 we renewed our strategic directions, placing equity firmly at the centre. 

We believe that focusing our systems transformation efforts on improving equity for historical African Nova Scotian communities, Indigenous peoples (Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqiyik and Passamaquoddy), racialized newcomers, persons with disabilities, and 2SLGBTQIA+ communities will make a significant difference for everyone in community. This does not mean we work exclusively with these communities, simply that improving equity is a primary focus. 

Therefore, today, our vision has expanded across Cape Breton. Our strategy to transform systems is by making space for and welcoming more diverse voices to decision-making processes, creating capacity to act and working to foster a culture of collaboration in communities across Cape Breton.  

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Northside Rising looks forward to sharing new initiatives as this framework takes flight! Join our mailing list to stay in the loop.

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