Celebrating A Quarter Century Of Partnership

Posted: September 22, 2021

Even as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, Halifax has a palpable energy, excitement, and vibrancy.

“You feel it when you walk down the streets, you feel it in the new businesses that are being created. There’s this incredible momentum,”

Wendy Luther, President & CEO of Halifax Partnership.

Halifax is taking its place alongside the best cities in the world, thanks to the collaboration, vision and hard work of engaged individuals, organizations, and companies. Halifax Partnership is proud to have helped guide this growth for the past 25 years.

Halifax Partnership launched in 1996 after business leaders stepped forward to propose a public-private model, led by the private sector, where business and government would share the responsibility, accountability, and cost of economic development for Halifax.

From that beginning, Halifax Partnership has matured into an internationally recognized and accredited economic development organization.

“This accomplishment cannot be attributed to any one person, but to the many individuals, Investors, and partners from government, business and the community who championed and supported our goals,”

Ruth Cunningham, Senior Vice President, Programs & Operations.

For a quarter century, Halifax Partnership has taken a leading role in selling Halifax to the world, attracting, and retaining talent, tracking economic progress, and helping Investors and stakeholders shape and drive the vision for Halifax’s future. What we have collectively achieved in our first 25 years is evident in some of our greatest successes, including:

  • Leading the development and execution of Halifax’s economic growth strategy for more than 15 years to grow our population and GDP and make Halifax a competitive and attractive place for people and business.
  • Working with Halifax Regional Municipality, NSBI, and other partners to attract more than 100 businesses to Halifax
  • The Game Changers youth retention initiative, which helped to turn the tide on chronic youth outmigration.
  • The annual Halifax Index, which has reported on Halifax’s economic and community progress and strategy for 10 years.
  • The Halifax Connector Program which has helped thousands of newcomers and recent graduates over the past 12 years build their business networks and succeed in our city.
  • The SmartBusiness Program which has helped hundreds of businesses connect to resources that help them expand and overcome obstacles to growth.
  • The 2019 launch of the Halifax Innovation District and Innovation Outpost, which supports our innovation ecosystem.
  • The 2020 Road to Economic Prosperity Action Plan, which is focused on supporting the African Nova Scotian community in building new pathways to economic inclusion and prosperity.

Thanks to the progress we have achieved together, Halifax is now enjoying record economic growth, population growth, and business confidence. We are welcoming new immigrants, retaining international students, and attracting new companies.

It is not surprising, though, that growth and opportunity come with challenges, such as the availability of attainable housing, business access to skilled labour, and workforce attachment for underrepresented groups.

Smart planning and a commitment to a shared long-term vision for our city are vital to ensuring that growth in the city is sustainable, affordable, and includes all Halifax residents regardless of income or background. Together, we are most certainly up to the challenge.

“We have a culture of collaboration; that’s just how we roll,” Wendy says. “As a community we work to help companies, talent, and individuals be successful — this is who we are. We are Halifax.”



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