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  • Exporting: How Atlantic Youth is bringing child & youth care services from Nova Scotia to Nunavut

Exporting: How Atlantic Youth is bringing child & youth care services from Nova Scotia to Nunavut

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

It’s only been ten months since Canadian North started flying direct from Halifax (YHZ) to Iqaluit, Nunavut (YFB), but the increased awareness of Nunavut as a viable market for Nova Scotia businesses is already benefitting both provinces.

Atlantic Youth is just one of the Nova Scotia organizations exporting services in Nunavut. Run by award-winning child and youth care worker Andrew Middleton, the organization provides support to schools, families, communities, and youth-focused government agencies.

Middleton’s been providing child and youth services for about 15 years. Although he’s worked in northern Labrador and northern Quebec, he’d never had the opportunity to work in Nunavut. It was when he attended a joint Halifax International Airport Authority - Nova Scotia Business Inc. event that focused on doing business in Nunavut, he became intrigued.

“I learned about a trade and cultural conference in Ottawa called Northern Lights. I decided to attend through a trade mission with Nova Scotia Business Inc., and while I was there I learned about an RFP to operate a group home facility in Nunavut.

Atlantic Youth responded to the RFP, and they’re now collaborating with the Government of Nunavut on 4D North, a six-bed therapeutic centre for boys in Cambridge Bay. And Middleton thinks Atlantic Youth’s creative approach and excellent track record was the key to its successful proposal.

“Atlantic Youth’s approach to working with kids is to put entertainment, engagement, and fun at the forefront. We’ve had success working in challenging environments across the country, from inner-city schools to First Nations communities, and in our own communities here in Nova Scotia.”

Right now, 4D North is in a growth phase; building its team and defining program outcomes. But according to Middleton, Atlantic Youth will be incorporating many of its existing programs into 4D North—including one that helps kids discover their own strength of character and problem-solving skills through a series of fun, challenging games.

“The activities are all seemingly innocuous games and examples, but in playing these games, the kids learn that they have strength of character and innate problem-solving skills,” says Middleton.

Now that Nunavut is more accessible to Nova Scotia businesses, it’s easier to export these kinds of innovative programs and services to the northern parts of Canada. And Nova Scotia Business Inc. can help.

We work with any Nova Scotia business that has a marketable product or service and has the drive and desire to expand their market reach outside of Nova Scotia,” said Pam Rudolph, Trade Development Executive with Nova Scotia Business Inc.

Other Nova Scotia businesses exporting to parts of Nunavut include service-based organizations in business and fisheries consulting in the marine industry, as well as businesses exporting everything from fireworks to building materials.

“I would encourage other Nova Scotia businesses to look into Nunavut,” says Middleton. “I think there’s some great support. I had always thought that Nova Scotia Business Inc. existed to catch the big fish, to attract large organizations, but working with them has really benefitted me as an entrepreneur.”

Contact Nova Scotia Business Inc. to learn more about the trade and export development programs and upcoming initiatives. Stay up-to-date with our e-newsletter.