Garden expansion project will benefit historic African Nova Scotian communities

News release

A collage of three photos shows various types of plants that thrive in a hydroponic growing facility.

Government of Canada fueling community revitalization and creating the conditions for local economies to thrive as they rebound from the effects of COVID-19  

January 25, 2022 · Cherry Brook, Nova Scotia · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Canadian cities and towns flourish when they have community public spaces to promote social interaction and physical activity, and provide access to recreational programs and facilities. These amenities are integral to the overall well-being of individuals, families and communities. Our economic recovery is closely linked to the vitality of our local communities and their shared spaces.

Today, Darrell Samson, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook, announced an investment of $76,190 through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF) for the Akoma Family Centre. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.

The support will allow the Akoma Family Centre to expand its existing garden by establishing a hydroponic growing facility to accommodate year-round farming. The stand-alone facility will provide fresh, affordable produce for sale, with a portion of the food being provided to surrounding vulnerable communities. The project will also provide an opportunity for African Nova Scotian youth to be trained on how to grow, harvest, prepare, and sell healthy, fresh food within their community.

The CCRF was launched in June 2021. The Fund provides $500 million over two years to Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) to invest in shared and inclusive public spaces. The Government of Canada remains committed to investing in shared spaces to make them safer, greener and more accessible. This in turn will stimulate local economies, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for Canadians.


“Strong, vibrant communities in Nova Scotia are a critical part of a robust and inclusive economic recovery. Investing in community infrastructure like the Akoma Family Centre in Cherry Brook helps revitalize local economies, boosts tourism, creates jobs, and gives residents a place to come together safely.”
-     The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“The Akoma Family Centre is a fantastic organization and the garden expansion project is a particularly exciting initiative for bolstering youth participation in the community. It’s great to see a year-round source of healthy, locally grown food made possible by the hydroponic garden.”
-     Darrell Samson, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Associate Minister of National Defence, and Member of Parliament for Sackville – Preston - Chezzetcook

Quick facts

  • The Akoma Family Centre is a registered charity that provides a safe and nurturing environment for children age 3-13 with developmental and behavioural needs, as well as culturally specific services to children in care, and outreach services to vulnerable families in the African Nova Scotian community.

  • CCRF funding will support two major streams of activity:
    o   adapt community spaces and assets so that they may be used safely in accordance with local public health guidelines,
    o build or improve community spaces to encourage Canadians to re-engage in, and explore their communities and regions.

  • Eligible recipients will include not-for-profit organizations; rural, municipal or regional governments; Indigenous groups and communities; and public sector bodies that provide municipal-type infrastructure.

  • Priority may be given to projects that encourage the participation of underrepresented groups and take into consideration the unique challenges of rural and remote communities.

  • For more information on the application process, eligibility criteria and eligible expenses, or to apply for the CCRF, reach out to ACOA.

  • Canada’s regional development agencies are continuing to deliver targeted support for economic recovery in the region. Application intake is now open through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency for the Canada Community Revitalization Fund, Jobs and Growth Fund, Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative and Tourism Relief Fund.

Associated links


Marianne Blondin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and of the
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Chris Brooks
Communications Director, Nova Scotia
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Spencer Colley
Board Treasurer
Akoma Family Centre
(902) 456-4060

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