25 Years of Partnership

We settle for nothing less than a vibrant, prosperous Halifax.

Halifax is taking its place alongside the world’s greatest cities.

Halifax is Canada’s Atlantic gem – a place of education, opportunity, innovation, and culture - and companies and people want to be a part of it. Our economy is growing, and so is our population.

At Halifax Partnership, our role is to help make this happen. We are proud to have helped guide and accelerate economic growth over the past 25 years in collaboration with our private, public, and post-secondary Investors and partners. We bring a diversity of perspectives and a shared passion for Halifax. This is the strength of our Partnership, and it is the energy driving the success of our city.

Together, we are Halifax.

Read our 25th Anniversary article >

Journey Through 25 Years of Partnership

  • 1995

    A New Approach to Economic Development

    A private sector working group recommended the formation of a new public private partnership approach to economic growth in the soon-to-be Halifax Regional Municipality.

  • 1996

    Greater Halifax Partnership is Born

    Halifax Regional Municipality approved the formation of the Greater Halifax Partnership, funded by government and the private sector, to lead economic development.

  • 1996

    Dr. Michael MacDonald named President and CEO

    Dr. Michael MacDonald was named the first President and CEO and served from 1996-2002. Seventeen companies became the Partnership's founding Investors.

  • 1997

    Rebuilding Confidence and Growth

    The Partnership launched the Smart City. Smart Move campaign to boost business confidence and economic growth following the 1990’s global recession.

    This would be the first of many campaigns over the years to promote development and growth in Halifax.

  • 2002

    Stephen Dempsey named President and CEO

    Stephen Dempsey served as President and CEO from 2002-2009.

  • 2002

    World Energy Cities Partnership

    Halifax became a member of the World Energy Cities Partnership, connecting Halifax to leading energy cities around the world that are committed to fostering the transition to a more sustainable energy future through international economic partnerships.

  • 2004

    SmartBusiness Program

    The Partnership launched its SmartBusiness Program to support business retention and expansion. A SmartBusiness Action Team of 30+ senior business and government leaders was formed to respond to and resolve business issues.

  • 2004

    Building Dynamic Partnerships

    The Partnership signed MOUs with the Black Business Initiative (BBI) as well as the Halifax Chamber of Commerce to work together to support business and economic growth in Halifax.

    We continue to work closely with these partners and others to align and collaborate on economic development efforts.

  • 2004

    Halifax Gateway Council

    The Halifax Gateway Council was established to provide a forum for transportation stakeholders to improve the competitiveness and efficiency of moving goods and passengers through Halifax.

    The Partnership managed the Halifax Gateway and continues to actively promote the city’s transportation and logistics assets to attract new business and investment.

  • 2005

    Halifax’s First Economic Strategy

    The Partnership and the Halifax Regional Municipality worked with an Advisory Committee of public, private, and post-secondary leaders to develop Halifax’s first five-year economic strategy, Strategies for Success 2005-2010.

  • 2007

    Fusion Halifax

    Fusion Halifax was created to connect, engage, and inspire the next generation of leaders to make Halifax the best city in Canada in which to live, work, and play.

    Fusion Halifax was incubated at the Partnership before becoming an independent organization that is still active today.

  • 2007

    Preston Office Opens

    The Partnership opened a satellite office in Preston with the Black Business Initiative, NSCC, and the Province of Nova Scotia, to support skills and business development in the African Nova Scotian community.

  • 2008

    Supporting Nova Scotia Businesses

    SmartBusiness intelligence gathered from hundreds of Halifax SMEs sparked the development of the Province of Nova Scotia's Better Regulation Initiative to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses.

    Based on the success of the SmartBusiness Program, the Partnership also collaborated with the provincial government to roll out the SmartBusiness business retention and expansion model in Nova Scotia.

  • 2009

    Paul Kent Named President and CEO

    Paul Kent served as President and CEO from 2009-2014.

  • 2009

    Immigration Works in Halifax

    The Partnership launched the Immigration Works in Halifax multi-media marketing campaign to increase awareness of Halifax’s highly skilled immigrants and to encourage more employers to hire internationally trained talent.

  • 2009

    Halifax Connector Program

    The Partnership launched the Halifax Connector Program to help immigrants build their local business network, find employment, and be successful in Halifax.

    The Connector Program was later expanded to support local and international graduates.

  • 2009

    Fostering African Nova Scotian Economic Development

    Partnered with the African Nova Scotian community to launch Ujamaa, an economic development initiative aimed at eliminating barriers to success and building a stronger, more sustainable future for the African Nova Scotian community.

  • 2010

    AGreaterHalifax: 2011-16 Economic Strategy

    Led the review and renewal of Halifax’s 2011-16 economic strategy, AGREATERHalifax, with public, private, and post-secondary partners.

    The vision: As the economic engine for the region, Halifax is a truly international city where people learn, work, and easily start and grow a business, capitalize on ideas, and live within a diverse, vibrant, and sustainable community.

  • 2010

    Consider Canada City Alliance

    Joined the Consider Canada City Alliance (CCCA), an organization of Canada’s 14 largest cities working to attract new investment and trade opportunities to Canada.

  • 2011

    International Accreditation

    The Partnership became the first economic development organization in Canada to be certified as an Accredited Economic Development Organization by the International Economic Development Council.

  • 2011

    National Shipbuilding Strategy

    The Partnership developed the economic impact analysis, Shipbuilding in Halifax: A Pillar of Nova Scotia’s Economic Transformation, to support Irving Shipbuilding’s successful bid for the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.

    Building ships for the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast will support more than 2,000 direct jobs annually over the next few decades and generate billions in economic activity across Canada.

  • 2012

    First Halifax Index

    The Partnership released the first annual Halifax Index, a comprehensive progress report on Halifax’s economy and economic strategy.

  • 2013

    National Connector Program

    Building on the success of the award-winning Halifax Connector Program, the Partnership received funding from the federal government to lead the National Connector Program which supports communities and industry associations across Canada in developing their own Connector Programs

  • 2014

    GHP Becomes Halifax Partnership

    Greater Halifax Partnership becomes Halifax Partnership to align with the new Halifax brand.

  • 2014

    Supporting Nova Scotia’s Regional Enterprise Networks

    The Partnership supported the rollout of the Regional Enterprise Networks (RENs) in Nova Scotia, including the development of the Province’s Business Retention and Expansion program and the rollout of labour market initiatives such as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, the Global talent strategy, and the adoption of the Halifax Partnership's National Connector program.

    We continue to collaborate and share best practices with REN partners to grow Nova Scotia’s economy.

  • 2014

    Michelle McKenzie Named Interim President and CEO

    Michelle McKenzie served as Interim President and CEO from January to August 2015.

  • 2015

    Ron Hanlon Named President and CEO

    Ron Hanlon served as President and CEO from 2015-2018.

  • 2015

    Game Changers Action Plan

    Launched the Game Changers Youth Retention Action Plan, a three-year private-sector driven initiative to retain young talent in Nova Scotia.

    Our goal was to reduce the average net loss of 1,300 young people between the ages of 20 and 29 leaving Nova Scotia each year. We surpassed our goal, achieving a net gain of 152 more young professionals staying in Nova Scotia in 2017-18, a positive trend that has continued.

  • 2016

    Hire Me Halifax

    Launched the #HireMeHalifax competition for young professionals to showcase and pitch their skills, education, and experience to Halifax employers.

  • 2016

    Halifax Economic Growth Plan 2016-21

    The Partnership and the Halifax Regional Municipality developed and launched Halifax’s third five-year economic growth plan with an ambitious long-term vision to grow Halifax’s population to 550,000 and its GDP to $30 billion by 2031.

  • 2016

    Sell Halifax Program

    Launched and led by Mayor Mike Savage in collaboration with the Partnership, the Sell Halifax Program has boosted Halifax’s brand in global markets and helped to attract new business, investment, and talent to Halifax.

  • 2016

    Atlantic Immigration Pilot

    Working with the Province of Nova Scotia, the Partnership helps local businesses become designated employers under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, making it easier for businesses to recruit internationally-trained professionals.

  • 2018

    John Rogers Named Interim President and CEO

    John Rogers served as Interim President and CEO from July 2018 to May 2019.

  • 2019

    Halifax Selected for eBay Retail Revival

    Online marketplace leader, eBay Canada, together with the Halifax Regional Municipality and Halifax Partnership launched the Retail Revival program in Halifax to help small and medium-sized retailers harness the power of ecommerce and global trade.

    Halifax’s eBay Retail Revival program was the first of its kind in Canada, supported by all three levels of government.

  • 2019

    Wendy Luther Named President and CEO

    Wendy Luther has served as the Partnership's President and CEO since June 2019.

  • 2019

    Halifax Innovation District and Innovation Outpost

    The Partnership and the Halifax Regional Municipality, with support from the Province of Nova Scotia, opened the Halifax Innovation Outpost at Volta in November 2019 to help startups and scaleups pilot, evolve, and bring products and services to market.

    The Halifax Innovation Outpost is an initiative of the Halifax Innovation District which the Partnership leads to increase the number of viable startups and scaleups in Halifax and to strengthen the city’s innovation ecosystem.

  • 2020

    COVID-19 Economic Response and Recovery Plan

    The Halifax Partnership and the Halifax Regional Municipality have been leading economic response and recovery efforts with our private, public and post-secondary partners. Together, we are restarting and restoring Halifax’s economy to get back to our positive growth trend.

  • 2020

    Helping Businesses Survive and Thrive

    The SmartBusiness team provided support to hundreds of Halifax businesses, connecting them to government programs and resources while also launching new programs designed to help businesses survive and thrive during the pandemic.

    Programs include ShopHERE powered by Google, Access Local by Vlife, Virtual Adviser powered by Boomers, and the Business Continuity Toolkit.

  • 2020-21

    Halifax Innovation Outpost Pilots

    The Halifax Innovation Outpost ran several pilot projects to help startups and scaleups test and evolve their products and services with public, private, post-secondary, and community partners.

    The pilots tackled local and global challenges related to food security, climate change, and combatting the spread and impact of COVID-19.

  • 2020

    Halifax, It’s All Here

    Throughout the pandemic our Investment Attraction team continued to sell Halifax’s talent, location, cost, and innovation value proposition to global businesses using an enhanced marketing toolkit, digital marketing campaigns, and the strength of collaborative relationships with partners.

    The Partnership helped to attract 17 new national and international companies to Halifax in 2020.

  • 2021

    African Nova Scotian Road to Economic Prosperity Action Plan

    In January 2021, the African Nova Scotian community launched and began implementing the African Nova Scotian Road to Economic Prosperity Action Plan, a five-year collaborative strategy developed and owned by the community to advance economic development in collaboration with the Halifax Regional Municipality, Halifax Partnership, and other private, public, and community partners.

  • 2021

    Connector+ App

    Building on the success of the face-to-face Connector program, the Partnership launched the Connector+ app, with support from the Province of Nova Scotia, to help soon-to-be and recent graduates in Nova Scotia start and grow their careers.

    Through Connector+ we aim to connect thousands of graduates each year to business and community leaders in Nova Scotia.

  • 2021

    Halifax Economic Dashboard

    Launched the new Economic Dashboard, an interactive overview of Halifax’s economy at a glance with up-to-date statistics and key performance indicators.

  • 2021

    Economic Growth Plan 2022-27

    Together with the Halifax Regional Municipality, the Partnership is leading the development of Halifax's Economic Growth Plan for 2022-27.

    We're bringing together businesses, partners, residents, and communities throughout Halifax to share ideas, insights, and actions to build a more inclusive, sustainable, resilient, and prosperous Halifax over the next five years.


27.5% growth

448,544 residents


31% growth

in real GDP (2002-2019)


Record High

Business Confidence

Thank you to our Investors and our many local, national, and international partners who support economic and population growth in Halifax

Visit our investor directory >

Prospering in the face of adversity

This past year and a half have been unlike any our city has experienced or could have predicted. The global pandemic has impacted every aspect of our economy and our lives. Through it all, Halifax Partnership has been helping our city and our businesses respond to and recover from the crisis while charting a path forward to build a stronger, more resilient, and inclusive Halifax.

Reach out to us

Wendy Luther, MBA, CITP

President & CEO

Connect with our team.



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