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EVENT— NS Main Streets Ideas Exchange Conference

At the heart of rural communities’ social and transportation infrastructures are main streets—older, secondary highways that support the day-to-day rhythms, economic and social activity, and cultural identity. Many main streets lack the physical and social accessibility for much of Nova Scotia's population, which limits the potential for placemaking and active transportation initiatives.

FBM and the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities partnered under a research and community engagement grant to create the Nova Scotia Main Streets Initiative. The initiative's Phase I activities included broad research into the principles, approaches and policy considerations that support thriving main streets culminating in a 72-page workbook—Nova Scotia Main Street Initiative Community Workbook.

The NS Main Streets Initiative identified new community partners in Phase II, engaging residents and businesses to investigate the potential for main street ideas and improvements. The Phase II Conversation Guide and Ideas Book and Conversation Worksheets contains criteria to help communities understand and identify feasible enhancements to their main streets, and that can improve safety and mobility, and resulting economic vitality.

Phase III of the initiative—The Nova Scotia Main Streets Ideas Exchange Conference—summarizes the work of the previous phases in a one-day event later this month. The Ideas Exchange is the chance for community members and leaders, elected officials, advocates, and placemakers to share aspirations and success stories for Main Streets and Downtowns in communities across the province.

Nova Scotia Main Streets Ideas Exchange

8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Thursday, April 27, 2023
MacKay Room, Bloomfield Centre
St. Francis Xavier University
5555 Union Pl, Antigonish, NS

Antigonish-based author, entrepreneur, and chocolatier, Tareq Hadhad (Peace by, is the keynote speaker for the event.

The conference will include a chance to network and engage around the pillars of:

  • Mobility and accessibility at the core of communities
  • Vibrant Main Streets for health and social connection
  • Main Streets as incubators and catalysts for the local economy

Pre-registration is required via eventbrite. A no-fee option is available for community members or representatives of organizations who are unable to cover the ticket price. If you are interested in attending, but need a stipend to assist in getting to Antigonish, please contact Kieron Hunt: hunt(at)

FBM and NSFM would like to acknowledge that this event takes place in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded land of the Mi’kmaq. We acknowledge the Peace and Friendship Treaties signed and recognize that we are all Treaty People.