2016 Community Investment Grant Recipients

Local Business Grant recipients

In total, 43 submissions were received for the Local Business Grant between October 3-17, 2016. CUA’s Selection Committee consisted of representatives from Iris Booth, The Well, Good Robot Brewing, the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education & Development (CEED) and the Halifax Chamber of Commerce.

Nova First AidNova First Aid

Founder Laura Poirier is a former lifeguard and current First Aid trainer through the Canadian Red Cross. She has also been diagnosed with a heart condition, a reality that has been a driving factor in her business. “I discovered that, in Canada, the survival rate of individuals who experience cardiac arrest while not on hospital grounds is alarmingly low – only 5%,” she says. “I wanted to help change that through education, and that’s how Nova First Aid began.”

Nova First Aid is a socially conscious company that provides First Aid training for individuals of all ages and abilities, as well as organizations across HRM.  A partner of the Canadian Red Cross, Nova First Aid has started an initiative whereby a percentage of proceeds are directed to provide free training to children and youth. Laura notes that the $5,000 will be used to provide free first aid courses to more than 600 youth in HRM, resulting in added knowledge and confidence when dealing with someone experiencing cardiac arrest.

If you’re interested in learning more about Nova First Aid, visit novafirstaid.com


Stephen Flynn and Mike Postma,
 Haligonian marketers with a passion for waste reduction, started out on a quest to develop a product that would solve a global problem. Their initial concept was still in development, when Stephen had an “aha moment” while traveling to the U.S. last year. “I was thirsty, walking in the middle of a busy city centre, and realized my only option was to buy a bottle of water,” recalls Stephen. “I immediately thought – plastic bottles – that’s the problem.”

Together, Stephen and Mike have developed a business and distribution strategy that work in tandem to reduce plastic bottles in landfills. How does it work?

  1. Download the Tap app for your smartphone and check out their fast-growing network of Refill Stations across HRM.
  2. Carry an environmentally-friendly, refillable water bottle when you’re on the move.
  3. Thirsty? Open the app, find the nearest Refill Station and walk in their front door. They’ll happily provide you with fresh, free tap water. That’s it!

Stephen and Mike also designed a durable, toxin-free, dishwasher-safe glass water bottle, complete with a sweat-free case in a variety of colours. The proceeds from the sale of their water bottles are being reinvested to fuel their business growth.

“We plan to use the $5,000 for marketing, including purchase new video and camera equipment,” says Stephen. “Mike and I create and produce all of our material and campaigns in-house, and we’re planning on creating videos featuring local businesses who have already signed up to be part of our Refill Station network.

Tap believes that water should be free and available for everyone. And in addition to solving a global issue, they’re also supporting local businesses. “Our partners can sign up for free, and as a Refill Station, they also sell our bottles,” says Mike. “We hope Tap can generate foot traffic and a new revenue stream for these partners.”

Interested in learning more about Tap or becoming a Tap Partner? Visit drinktap.ca.

Youth Grant recipients

A number of submissions were received for the Youth Grant which invited applications by youth aged 17-30, and CUA’s Selection Committee are pleased to announce that PeacemakeHers Inspire Hope and Gaysiders have been awarded the 2016 Youth Grants.

PeacemakeHers Inspire Hope

PeacemakeHers is a project dedicated to engaging young women to become active leaders in the Halifax Community. This includes supporting the women who attend PeacemakeHers Leadership Camp for Young Women and giving them the opportunity to provide peacebuilding workshops to high-school students.

 “This grant will enable young women who have attended Nova Scotia Voice of Women PeacemakeHers Leadership Camp to pass on the peace building skills and insights they have gained to high school students in HRM through developing and leading interactive workshops.” Sandy Greenberg – Volunteer, PeacemakeHers Inspire Hope



The Gaysiders is an organization that has a mission to bring together the residents, visitors, business owners and LGBTQ members of the Dartmouth Community. They will enhance the diversity and visibility of the LGBTQ community, by supporting local businesses who promote a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ members, and by putting on social all-ages community events.

 "Gaysiders is a volunteer organization that was born with the hope of uniting fellow LGBTQ residents in Dartmouth, to create a sense of community and pride on our side of the harbour. With the help of this Grant, we are now going to be able to bring this project into full fruition, by allowing us to create promotional materials, thus forming a larger platform to reach a broader spectrum of folks in the community." Owen Johnstone – Volunteer, Gaysiders

“At CUA, we’re committed to improving the quality of life of our members and the communities where they live and work – the Youth Grant Program is one of the ways that we re-invest in our community,” said CUA’s President & CEO, Marie Mullally. “These two projects are ones that we felt will have a strong impact and we look forward to hearing about their progress in the future.”

Community and Social Enterprise Grant recipients

In total, 27 amazing community and social enterprises applied for this grant from November 14 – 28, 2016. Representatives from CEED, the Ecology Action Centre and the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia all participated as members of CUA’s Selection Committee.

Thank you to all who applied and to our selection committee.

Aquality Solutions

Matthew Glynn and the Aquality Solutions team are concerned with food sovereignty in First Nations, so they're working to make a difference. With this grant, they are building a aquaponics system on the roof of Saint Mary’s University. The system will act as a closed ecosystem that will be able to grow fish and vegetables. It is also the pilot project to reaching their goal of replicating and installing these systems in First Nations communities using recycled materials. In the meantime, this project is giving students the chance to apply their educational experience in a real and impactful way.

All fish and vegetables harvested from this system will be sold to provide continual support to the project, and if the funds allow it, will secure summer jobs for a student and a recent graduate. Additionally, all produce that isn’t sold will be donated to the campus foodbank, giving students the option of fresh produce.

CommonRootsCommon Roots Urban Farm

Common Roots is an urban farm, a gathering space for people of all diversities and represents a holistic approach to health. They’re located downtown, on the QEII auxiliary land and have 175 plots and common areas that are available to the public.

Parts of the garden are run by volunteers who are new to Canada, in partnership with ISANS. This program, called Deep Roots, gives participants the chance to join the community and experience cultivating land here in Nova Scotia. Common Roots is also able to offer specialized on-site English classes.

By receiving this grant, Common Roots will be able develop and begin selling branded merchandise. The t-shirts, canvas bags and aprons that they sell will not only provide a promotional opportunity for the green space but it will also help fund two staff positions, to be filled by their Deep Roots participants. Learn more about the Common Roots Urban Farm »


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