Government of Canada announces funding for Black communities in Nova Scotia

News release

HALIFAX, February 23, 2024

In February, Canadians are invited to celebrate the unique history and contributions of Black Canadians. This year, the Black History Month theme is, Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate; a Future to Build, which recognizes the rich heritage, present-day accomplishments and bright future of Black people in Canada.

Today, the Honourable Kamal Khera, Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities, announced nearly $1.1 million in funding for three Black-led and Black-focused organizations in Nova Scotia under the Events and Projects components of the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Program. This builds on more than $30 million the Government of Canada has already invested in dozens of projects supporting the Black community in Nova Scotia.

Imhotep’s Legacy Academy at Dalhousie University is receiving $829,570 over three years (2023-25) to support its project, Canada-Wide Out of School Time Experiential STEM Activities for Underrepresented Youth. Serving youth in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, the project aims to establish a national network of extracurricular or after-school programs for Black, Indigenous or Latin youth that focuses on STEM, confidence building and personal development. The Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative is receiving $228,300 for its Here/Now: African Nova Scotian Multi generational Film Project. The Halifax Black Film Festival is receiving $35,000 to support its 2024 festival.

Those investments build on the commitment made by the Government of Canada to help Black communities reach their full potential in Canada, through the endorsement of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent, which runs from 2015 to 2024. The initiative is aimed at combatting anti-Black racism and discrimination, promoting equality and empowering Black Canadians. Earlier this month, the Right Honorable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, announced the extension of its UN Decade efforts to continue making transformative investments in Black-focused initiatives until 2028.

Organizers of events, which celebrate the history, culture and accomplishments of Black communities in line with the goals of the UN decade or Black History Month, are encouraged to explore prioritized funding through the government’s Multicultural and Anti-Racism Program.

In Nova Scotia, this year’s African Heritage Month theme is, Our Smiles, Our Joy, Our Resilience as African Nova Scotians. The province has more than 50 historic African Nova Scotian communities with a long, deep and complex history dating back more than 400 years.


“As we celebrate Black History Month in Canada and African Heritage Month in Nova Scotia, today's investment will help tell the important stories of Nova Scotians of African descent and empower young people to thrive and build a bright future. These investments build on the historic investments made in Black-focused initiatives since our government endorsed the United Nations Decade for People of African Descent in 2018, with the goal of combatting anti-black racism, breaking down barriers and elevating the voices of Black Canadians.”

—The Honourable Kamal Khera, Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities

“Black Canadians have made profound contributions to our society. African Nova Scotians have been, and continue to be, trailblazers for justice and equality. This is about empowering Black youth and highlighting the strength and contributions of Black Canadians. It is another step toward breaking down systemic barriers. This investment is a reminder that Black history is Canadian history, and that we all have a part of play when it comes to addressing racism and discrimination.”

—The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

“African Nova Scotians have, through their struggles and efforts, played a huge role in Canadian history. People like Viola Desmond, William Hall and Carrie Best have paved the way for many across the country. I am confident that these organizations receiving funding will help us learn about the history and hardship of African Nova Scotian communities, while preparing Black youth for a more inclusive and empowered future.”

—Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament (Halifax)

“Imhotep’s Legacy Academy celebrates the accomplishments of the last 21 years serving the Black youth of Nova Scotia, and specifically the excellence displayed by the many Black students who have entered STEM professions through the efforts of our employees and volunteers. These Black students have clearly demonstrated the resilience and productivity of our community, and we look forward to sharing best practices by seeding programs in other communities across Canada. Canadian Heritage makes this possible with its funding, and we are very grateful for the strong support of the Government of Canada for this project.”

—J. Pemberton Cyrus, PhD, PEng, FEC, President of Imhotep’s Legacy Academy

Quick facts

  • On Jan. 30, 2024, the Government of Canada announced the $3-million Building Community Resilience initiative. These investments are made under the Events component of the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Program. They are for events being held from April 2024 to March 2025 with the aim of encouraging a diverse and inclusive Canadian society in the face of rising hate-related incidents across the country.

  • The Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Program is a consolidation of the Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives Program and the Anti-Racism Action Program. This newly streamlined program strives to support communities and organizations more effectively across Canada. The program has an Events, Projects and Organizational Capacity Building component. Applications for the Events component are accepted on a continual basis.

  • In 2018, Canada endorsed the UN International Decade for People of African Descent, which runs from 2015 to 2024. On February 7, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an extension of the federal government’s efforts within this framework to 2028 in promoting equality and empowering Black Canadians. Since endorsing the UN Decade in 2018, the Government of Canada has committed as much as $860 million to Black-focused initiatives.

  • In recognition of the Decade, the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative was established in 2019 to celebrate the contributions of people of African descent in Canada. It also helps build capacity in vibrant Black communities across Canada, reflects Black voices in policies and programs that affect their lives and removes anti-Black barriers and systemic inequities. Since 2019, more than $175 million has been invested in projects throughout Canada. Most recently, Budget 2023 committed an additional $25 million for 2024-25, extending the program for an additional year and bringing the total commitment to as much as $200 million.

  • In 2019, Canada launched its Anti-Racism Strategy, led by the new Federal Anti-Racism Secretariat. The strategy is a government-wide initiative to combatting systemic racism, including anti-Black racism.

  • Budget 2021 committed as much as $200 million to establish the Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund. In March 2023, the Foundation for Black Communities, a national Black-led and Black-serving organization, was named to administer the Fund. The foundation issued its first call for proposals in December 2023.

  • The Government of Canada has invested as much as $265 million in the Black Entrepreneurship Program to support thousands of Black business owners and entrepreneurs across the country. The program is an important step forward in building the foundation for long-term, lasting change and making a real difference in the lives of Black entrepreneurs across the country for years to come.

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For more information (media only), please contact:

Alisson Lévesque
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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