The purpose of this magazine and website is to share Nova Scotian stories of rural communities taking responsibility for their future. Whether it is health care,
the arts, energy, infrastructure, housing, tourism, food, education, sports, climate change or climate adaptation, it all starts where we live.

We stand on our neighbours’ shoulders!

The Nova Scotia Journal of Sustainable Community Development is published twice annually (April and October) and is mailed to more than 1,200 municipal politicians, administrators, provincial ministers, executives and civic activists across the province.

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The magazine is not about Halifax. We are focused on the people and projects carving out  sustainable futures in our rural communities.

It is our hope that by providing inspiring stories with links to local resources, we can help others follow in the footsteps of these proven leaders. 

The magazine is made possible by a donor-advised fund stewarded by the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia, our advertisers, and volunteers who believe in our mission.

Michael Atkins, Publisher

Publisher Michael Atkins has been in the specialty magazine and weekly newspaper business in Canada for 50 years. Descended from a long line of Haligonians, Michael, his wife Kashka, and youngest daughter Jackie have put down roots in the South Shore communities of LaHave, and most recently Rose Bay. You’ll find Kashka at work in her seaside Pottery Studio & Shop ( and Michael ( doing what he does best, bringing innovative people and ideas together around community and media.

“This magazine celebrates innovation, ambition and community. Enjoy”

Steve Proctor, Associate Publisher

Associate Publisher Steve Proctor has been a working journalist and communications specialist for more than 35 years. A senior writer and editor with Nova Scotia’s daily for 25 of those years, he has lived and worked in communities ranging from Shelburne and Bridgewater to Halifax and Truro. Passionate about the power of community, he’s careful to never underestimate “a crazy idea..” His work with the Journal is carried out on a volunteer basis. In his day job, he is the Communication Manager with Halifax Harbour Bridges.

Tom Mason, Editor

Editor Tom Mason has been a business and technology journalist for more than three decades. He has written extensively about Atlantic Canada for publications including Canadian Business, The Chronicle Herald, Progress, Atlantic Business, Reader’s Digest and Canadian Geographic. He is also a former editor of Progress magazine. A lifelong Nova Scotian, Tom has always been a strong promoter and a fan of his home province as a place that is capable of great things.

Embracing Nova Scotia’s rural revival

We’ve had a lot of practice building community in Nova Scotia. For thousands of years, the Mi’kmaq have called this place home, and in the last 400 years, a diverse mix of cultures have come together to build a vibrant and resilient province.

We are Mi’kmaq, Acadians, United Empire Loyalists, African Nova Scotians, Scots, Irish and, of late, we’ve been joined by people from all over the world who’ve come to these beautiful shores to enrich our community.

We’ve prospered by exploiting resources like fisheries and forests, as well as mineral and coal extraction, and we’ve honed our skills at shipbuilding and other cut- ting-edge technologies. We’ve also suffered severe downturns due to the volatility of commodity pricing and overfishing. We’ve risen and fallen with the ebbs and flows of tourism. We’ve fought bitterly over the price of fish, free trade and lobster quotas, yet nothing has been more bitter than the heartbreak of losing our young people to lands of greater opportunity.

It has always been hard work.

This magazine is about the mindset and capacity of our smaller communities to take responsibility for themselves — whether the domain is health care or housing, climate adaptation or agriculture, alternative energy or education, the arts or tourism, research or import substitution. Our objective is to share the energy of our rural communities as they build them- selves up, brick by brick, from one end of the province to the other.

This publication is targeted to municipal politicians and economic development professionals, community organizations and provincial decision-makers along with civic activists. We are sharing the stories and innovation of the best among us.

We publish twice a year (April and October) and you can find us on the web at If you have a story you think we should cover, let us know. If you know an organization or an individual who would benefit from receiving our magazine, please advise.

We have a proud history and we stand on our ancestors’ shoulders as we write the next chapter.