Cape Breton Regional Enterprise Network

Stay up to date with the Cape Breton Regional Enterprise Network – Serving Richmond, Inverness, and Victoria Counties.
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July 2017
Volume 1 | Issue 6


The Cape Breton Regional Enterprise Network (CBREN) is a partnership of the Province of Nova Scotia and the Municipalities of Victoria, Richmond, and Inverness counties.The network is governed by a private sector board of directors and is administered by the Cape Breton Partnership. Funding is provided by each of the three municipal units and the provincial government. The network’s primary goals are to lead regional economic strategies, and to support the development and attraction of new businesses, and the retention and expansion of existing businesses.

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The Cape Breton Partnership collaborated with New Dawn to host officials from the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration in Cape Breton on June 20. Mary-Jo MacKay, from the Office of Immigration, provided information about the Atlantic Immigration Pilot during sessions in Sydney and Port Hawkesbury. Employers can use the pilot program to hire foreign workers and international graduates. Click here for a Cape Breton Post article on the information session.

Nova Scotia REN staff participate in roundtable session

TRURO – Management and staff from the province’s five Regional Enterprise Networks gathered in Truro on June 27 to share strategies and move forward on several common goals over the coming year. The first-of-its-kind meeting, titled the Nova Scotia REN Strategic Roundtable, included updates from each REN, and discussions about various REN-wide initiatives including the BusinessNow program, the development of a central website, as well as shared priorities and challenges moving forward. Opportunities to engage youth, lead innovation, connect workers with employers, and identify assets across the province were also on the agenda. Currently, there are five RENs in Nova Scotia – Cape Breton, Eastern Strait, Valley, Western, and South Shore. “Each REN is working to lead economic development in their respective region but we share many of the same goals,” said Keith MacDonald, president and CEO of the Cape Breton Partnership, which administers the Cape Breton REN. “This strategic roundtable allowed REN colleagues from across the province a chance to meet face-to-face and to talk about common issues, challenges and priorities. As RENs, we want to be collaborating and learning from each other as much as possible.” The roundtable also served as a precursor to a larger Nova Scotia REN conference, set to be hosted by the Cape Breton Regional Enterprise Network in September. That conference will bring together staff, board and committee members from the five RENS, municipal and provincial government officials, and representatives from a variety of partner organizations.




Inverness County Business Dinner draws large crowd


Tourism Nova Scotia CEO Michele Saran delivered the keynote address at the Inverness County Business Dinner, June 9 at St. Mary’s Parish Hall in Mabou. Approximately 90 business, government and industry representatives attended the dinner, which was hosted by the Cape Breton Regional Enterprise Network. A three-course meal was served by the local KOC, and the evening served as a great opportunity for members of the local business community to network and hear from speakers about the many opportunities ahead in 2017. In addition to Saran’s address, Parks Canada gave a presentation about its Cape Breton sites and the Canada 150 celebrations; and Keith MacDonald, president and CEO of the Cape Breton Partnership, provided an update on the work of the Partnership and the Cape Breton Regional Enterprise Network. Thanks to our guest speakers and to all who took the time to attend.


New office location in Strathlorne


STRATHLORNE – The Cape Breton Regional Enterprise Network and the Cape Breton Partnership have established a new office location in Inverness County. Located at the Inverness County Public Works Building at 15109 Highway 19 in Strathlorne, the new office opened earlier this month and is home to three staff members – Bobby Morris, economic development officer; Kailea Pedley, coordinator of the Cape Breton Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) program; and Julia MacDonald, a summer student.



New programs offered by the Cape Breton Partnership


SYDNEY – The Cape Breton Partnership started two new programs in June – the Cape Breton Connector Program and the Cape Breton Local Immigration Partnership. A coordinator has been hired for each program. Here are the details: This program aims to connect community and business leaders (connectors) with immigrants, international and local graduates, and work-ready professionals (connectees) in their industry. It is a networking/referral program that helps graduates build professional networks and connect with local job opportunities. It also provides employers with access to top-tier talent who they might not reach through regular recruiting channels. Once a match has been made, the connector and the connectee meet face-to-face to discuss industry backgrounds, skills and areas of expertise, industry-related news, current market demands, and hidden job opportunities in the community. Connectors are asked to refer the connectee to a minimum of three people in their network, and then each of these people are asked to refer them to three more. As a result, the connectee’s professional network grows exponentially. For more information about the Connector Program, contact Elva Zhou, program coordinator, at 902-562-0122 or

Sponsored by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, the Cape Breton Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) program is designed to improve the integration of newcomers in Cape Breton. The key goals of the program are to foster communities that are welcoming and inclusive, and to support newcomers in becoming fully engaged in the social, economic, political, and cultural life of Cape Breton. In order to improve integration outcomes, LIPs form partnerships that support community-level research and strategic planning, raise awareness around newcomers’ needs; and improve accessibility and coordination of services that facilitate immigrant settlement and integration.

The Cape Breton LIP is one of many LIPs across the country and is part of a federal initiative aimed at addressing the growing need for systematic community planning around immigrant attraction and retention.

For more information about the Cape Breton Local Immigration Partnership, contact project coordinator Kailea Pedley at 902-258-7331, or



Cape Breton Partnership, UNSM partner with Vietnamese association through federally-funded program Cape Breton delegation has returned from first mission to Vietnam   SYDNEY – Officials from the Cape Breton Partnership and the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities will be providing their expertise to counterparts in Vietnam over the next four years as part of an initiative implemented by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by the Government of Canada. The national program, Partnerships for Municipal Innovation: Local Economic Development (PMI-LED), seeks to increase sustainable economic growth by strengthening the capacity of municipal governments  in several overseas countries – Mali, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bolivia and Nicaragua. Through this program, the Cape Breton Partnership and the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities (UNSM) recently entered into a four-year partnership with the Association of Cities of Vietnam to support them in fostering prosperity, attracting investment, and creating business opportunities. The initial mission of the partnership agreement wrapped up in late June and a delegation representing the Cape Breton Partnership and the UNSM have returned from Vietnam. Carla Arsenault, chief operating officer of the Cape Breton Partnership; Victoria County Warden Bruce Morrison, Victoria County councillor Perla MacLeod, and Port Hawkesbury Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton were in Hanoi and Can Tho, Vietnam from June 22-28 for a series of meetings, workshops and discussions to lay the groundwork for the four-year partnership. “We’re honoured to have been selected from a number of applicants across Canada to participate in this renowned program,” said Carla Arsenault, chief operating officer of the Cape Breton Partnership. “By sharing our economic development expertise with our colleagues in Vietnam we are strengthening global municipal relations and forming strong partnerships overseas. It is also an important learning opportunity for the Cape Breton Partnership and for local municipal officials, through the UNSM.” All direct program costs, including travel, accommodations and meals, are covered by Global Affairs Canada, which funds the Partnerships for Municipal Innovation: Local Economic Development program that is implemented by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Participating municipalities and organizations, both in Canada and abroad, provide some in-kind contributions, including staff time. The benefits of those contributions include learning about the issues that overseas municipalities face, improving services here by learning new methods and best practices from municipal experts across the globe, fostering new trade linkages, and discovering solutions to issues that transcend borders. Over the next four years, UNSM and Cape Breton Partnership officials will help the Association of Cities of Vietnam strengthen its capacity to plan a community-led economic vision, to offer effective economic development projects and services to their communities, and to adopt policies and practices that promote inclusive and sustainable economic development. Specifically, they will be focused on institutional strengthening, training development, strategic planning, advocacy capacity building, policy development, and supporting programs for women elected at the local level.



Tim Hortons (We’koqma’q) and We’koqma’q One Stop

We’koqma’q, Inverness County

Located next door to one another, the new Tim Hortons location in We’koqma’q, and the We’koqma’q One Stop, both celebrated their grand openings on June 20. The event drew a large crowd from the community. Congratulations!





Sources: Cape Breton Regional Enterprise Network photos, We’koqma’q One Stop on Facebook



Arichat Seafood Market & Cafe

Arichat, Richmond County

Only in Cape Breton – this local business recently introduced a chowder card. Now every time you stop in for a bowl of seafood chowder you can collect a stamp towards a free bowl.



Source: Arichat Seafood Market and Cafe on Facebook.



Boudreau’s Fuels Caper Gas

Belle Cote, Inverness County

The Belle Cote Caper Gas location, at 10787 Cabot Trail, is available for lease. The site was renovated in 2014 and has space for further development. For more information contact Brian at Caper Gas at (902) 631-1577.



Source: Boudreau’s Fuels Caper Gas on Facebook.

River Nest Wilderness Cabins & North River Kayak Tours

North River, Victoria County

Angelo Spinazzola, owner of North River Kayak Tours for the last 24 years, celebrated the grand opening of his newest venture, River Nest Wilderness Cabins, in June. Congratulations!





Source: North River Kayak Tours and River Nest Wilderness Cabins on Facebook.



The Groundswell

D’Escousse, Richmond County

This popular pub got a mention in the Atlantic Canada Beer Blog for having one of the largest, if not the largest, selection of draft craft beer in Cape Breton.They have eight craft beer taps.



Sources: The Groundswell on Facebook, Atlantic Canada Beer Blog



Amoeba Sailing Tours

Baddeck, Victoria County

One of the most recognized sailing boats in Cape Breton, the Amoeba, captained by John Bryson, is back for its 28th season on Bras d’Or Lake. It offers sailing tours four times a day out of Baddeck.



Source: Amoeba on Facebook








The Cape Breton Regional Enterprise Network staff are here to work with you. Here’s how to reach us:


Keith MacDonald President and CEO Cape Breton Partnership Office: 275 Charlotte St., Sydney, NS, B1P 1C6 (w) 902-562-0122 / (c) 902-565-8577 Jeff Stanley Economic Development Officer – Richmond County Cape Breton Partnership Office: 10036 Grenville Street, St. Peter’s, NS, B0E 3B0 (c) 902-631-4044 Patrick Austin Economic Development Officer – Victoria County Cape Breton Partnership Office: 495 Chebucto St., Baddeck, NS B0E 1B0 (c) 902-294-0126
Bobby Morris Economic Development Officer – BusinessNow Inverness, Richmond and Victoria Counties Cape Breton Partnership (c) 902-227-5386 Laura Jean Grant Communications Coordinator-CBREN Cape Breton Partnership Office: 495 Chebucto St., Baddeck, NS B0E 1B0 (c) 902-294-0257



Click the links below to check out past editions of the Cape Breton Regional Enterprise Network newsletter: June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017






Mailing address: 275 Charlotte Street Sydney, Nova Scotia B1P 1C6 Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list