How it all Began
The Northside area of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) includes Sydney Mines, North Sydney, and the surrounding rural communities, including Florence and Bras D’Or.
In 2017, early dreams of Northside Rising began to come to life. Inspiring Communities started working with the Northside community. A team of collaborators and a plan took shape. Over that summer, students from the Northside were hired to gather input from community members, asking questions like, “What keeps you up at night?”, and “What needs to be done to create a stronger community?” 550 residents were engaged through these surveys, along with focus groups, and community conversations. The results described a strong and proud community that has experienced a significant period of decline due to changes in the local economy, resulting in increasing challenges such as poverty and unemployment, limited opportunities for youth, and high levels of substance use. These significant and complex problems have robbed many local residents of hope for a better future.
What We Do
Northside Rising officially “launched” in 2018 with a set of activities designed to take action on community priorities. Substance Use was identified as an area of overwhelming concern. [See Substance Use tab for more information].
In this moment, the events in the world, in our communities, and at our kitchen tables, are urging Northside Rising to cast a wider net. We have developed a Framework for Change, a “container” to hold our work, with room to grow and adapt, room for complexity and change, room for responsiveness and learning as we go, and room for broader participation. We will carry out our work within three action areas for change:
- Creating Social Infrastructure: We facilitate collaborative processes and co-create programs and initiatives that lift Northsiders up [Read more about our Northside Changemakers program]
- Mobilizing our Community: We work differently with stakeholders, from community members to organizations to government; listening, opening dialogue, inviting diverse voices, making connections, and creating rich and diverse relationships [Read more about our Key Issue: Substance Use]
- Writing Our Story: We support Northsiders in telling their stories and in writing new chapters grounded in hope and agency [See Northside Community Coffeehouse]