PRESS RELEASE April 28, 2013

The Casket is joining the discussion on how rural can be redefined and is calling on businesses and individuals in the Strait area to do the same.

As a prelude to The Georgetown Conference, the Casket is teaming with the St. Francis Xavier University Economics Department to host Join the Discussion Wednesday, May 15 at the Schwartz Auditorium from 7 to 9:30 p.m. The forum will feature Glynn Williams proprietor of Authentic Seacoast Properties (Guysborough), Ben Cowan-Dewar managing director of Cabot Links (Inverness), Dr. Gregory Tkacz chair of the StFX economics department and Mike Kierstead executive director of Newspapers Atlantic.

“In speaking with Glynn and Ben, I have been impressed with how they have seen the beauty of rural Nova Scotia and worked to create sustainable business models that attract interest from outside Atlantic Canada while employing local workers,” Brian Lazzuri, forum organizer and Casket managing editor, said. “I want them to share their inspiring stories with others in the Strait area.”

The Antigonish event will not only discuss local issues and those impacting the Strait area but offer concrete solutions and further identify local leaders. The Casket wants to be at the forefront on something that will grow, and lead to ongoing success and engagement.

Join the Discussion is an important opportunity to not only discuss the ideas that can strengthen rural Nova Scotia in the future, but talk about the action being taken today and the ways people can work together now to bring about positive change,” Williams said.

The Georgetown Conference and Join the Discussion is also a response to the difficulties facing the region: changing demographics, outmigration, reliance on traditional industries and negative perceptions. Tkacz will examine these issues and offer his insights on new areas of opportunity in the Strait area.

“Rural Atlantic Canada faces many well-known economic challenges, but also possesses some fantastic assets,” Tkacz said. “Speakers will highlight some of these assets, and initiate the discussion on how these assets could be used to foster greater rural economic development. Forum participants will be encouraged to share their own thoughts, and perhaps come-away from the event with that single idea that could inspire their next business venture.”

“We want your ideas for building rural Atlantic Canada,” Lazzuri said. “Help us identify the leaders who must attend The Georgetown Conference. The conference and forum is for business leaders, community leaders, small business owners, employees, artists and ordinary citizens from all walks of life. These are the people who can truly effect change on the local level.”

Ben Cowan-Dewar is one of those people already making a difference. Cabot Links golf development is revitalizing the Town of Inverness and continues to expand its operations as a tourist destination.

“Success in rural communities is a subject that is near and dear to me,” Cowan-Dewar said. “The focus of Georgetown on not only the survival of rural economies, but the thriving of them in the 21st century made the initiative one that I was extremely excited to support.”

Kierstead said members of Newspapers Atlantic have been working together to lead the way to Georgetown.

“It’s inspiring to watch the momentum build. Community newspapers are using their collective voice to share information and engage their communities with forward thinking ideas and Atlantic Canadians dedicated to moving rural communities forward are getting involved and stepping up to participate. This really is turning into something more like a movement than a conference.”

The Casket, A Brace Capital company, is Canada’s oldest continuing weekly newspaper and has been connecting people to Antigonish since 1852.

To learn more about the Join the Discussion forum contact: 

Brian Lazzuri

O: 902.863.4370

C: 902.867.0867

To learn more about The Georgetown Conference contact: 

Mike Kierstead