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Recognition, celebration, and inclusion

Meeting challenges head-on

This issue is all about overcoming adversity, solving problems, and responding to change. It’s also a transitional issue for us—we’re in the process of re-imagining the magazine and can’t wait to introduce you to a fresh new look and feel this spring.

We’ve got stories of facing obstacles head-on: Mohammed Issa’s journey from breaking his toys in Jordan to fixing high-tech equipment in Halifax, bursary winner Raphieal Newbold’s journey through grief at the loss of his father, and Jennie Cyril’s fight to realize her dream of becoming a filmmaker, We also have a piece about Dalhousie’s Kewoba Carter, who helps international students feel more at home. Finally, Rany Ibrahim tells us to be like palm trees! (Trust me. It’ll make sense when you read his column.)

Let’s face it—even welcomed change can be hard. But as immigrants, we know how to rise to the challenge. My Halifax Experience, as a magazine and an organization, is also facing a challenge: to grow outside our city limits and embrace the entire East Coast immigrant experience.

According to a September 2017 ISANS report, immigration was the biggest contributor to population growth in Nova Scotia between 2016 and 2017. This represents the second largest number of new immigrants to the province on record, with 4,356 newcomers choosing Nova Scotia as their new home. Numbers were similar in New Brunswick and more than 2,200 immigrants also chose to settle in PEI during the same period.

So we find ourselves with a problem: the demand to tell even more stories of immigrant triumph and resilience, contribution and commitment.

It’s a good problem to have.

That’s why we created our sister brand, My East Coast Experience. It all grew out of the incredible success of last year’s Top 25 Immigrants in the Maritimes Awards and Gala, where we opened up nominations to newcomers from Nova Scotia, PEI, and New Brunswick making a difference not just in business, but in education, politics, social justice, and community-building. Planning for the 2018 Awards and Gala is already well underway. Our judges have been approached and accepted the challenge of choosing this year’s winners—not an easy task, but a rewarding one!

In 2018 watch for more from My East Coast Experience, including expanded publications, a fresh look for our website, and top-quality video content.

All this is pretty exciting, but I have to be honest—what I’m really fired up about is our very first, and I hope annual, Mosaic Festival this summer. On Saturday, August 18, we’ll all come together to celebrate the vibrant cultures, rich heritage, diverse customs, and incredible talents our diverse communities bring to this amazing city.

This fun, family-friendly event starts with a parade through downtown leading to the Halifax waterfront. Mosaic will feature music, dance, art, crafts, and food from around the world. We want representatives from as many cultures as possible. This is their opportunity to share their unique heritage and show the people of Halifax what’s special about their culture. We’re already reaching out to our vast network of immigrant connections to secure exhibitors and sponsors. Watch this magazine, our website, and social media for opportunities to participate!

Why would we take on another big event? Because we believe the key to retaining more immigrants in the region is recognition, celebration, and inclusion. We want people to feel welcome here. We need people to come here and stay. The Mosaic Festival is just one more way to help make that happen.

Our dream is to see this festival become one of the city’s essential summer events, not just for newcomers and international students but for everyone in Halifax and beyond.

We’re all friends here. Let’s celebrate!

About Ifeanyi Emesih

Ifeanyi Emesih
Ifeanyi Emesih is the Founder and Publisher of My East Coast Experience and he is also the Creator of My Halifax Experience. My Halifax Experience is a marketing, publishing and event planning brand aimed at telling the stories – and, yes, sharing the dreams – of new immigrants who have found success in Halifax, while encouraging others to stay in the province’s largest city to pursue their own dreams.

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