Monthly Archives: December 2011

Coady International Institute in Antigonish



Coady International Institute in Antigonish

Coady International Institute in Antigonish

Where would you expect to find over 50 mid-career international professionals from over 20 countries and living and learning in Nova Scotia for five months?   You might be surprised that every year this is the case in the small town of Antigonish – the Highland Heart of Nova Scotia.  The Coady International Institute, based on the campus of Saint Francis Xavier University, has passed the 50 year anniversary in 2009 and has now over 5,500 graduates in over 130 countries from its leadership development programs.

Recently I facilitated a course at Coady for participants to build the Coady participants communications skills in learning to plan, shoot and edit a video with a social message.  Each group planned, shot and edited their films working in project groups and they presented to all the diploma participants and guests.

Group work - Video

Group work - Video

The learning methodologies at Coady are interactive and build on the experiences and participation of the group.  Each learning experience is unique since the background and wealth of knowledge is amazing and the cross fertilization of ideas is sparked by the participants engaging on a variety of development topics.

Coady International Institute is based on the principles of the Antigonish Movement was started in the 1920s by Father Moses Coady and Father Jimmy Tompkins to help small, resource-based communities in Nova Scotia improve their economic and social circumstances through credit unions, cooperatives and community development.

The institute is now housed in beautifully renovated historic buildings in the heart of the St FX Campus are a delight to work in with space for group work, multimedia tools, a state of the art library, wired classrooms and built to order for the participatory learning environment.  In addition to its core Diploma in Development Leadership and many certificate level courses, Coady Institute now has instituted the International Centre for Women’s Leadership, supporting women leadership across Canada and around the globe.

Welcoming new participants by the town

You might wonder how people from India, Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean all get along in this this small Nova Scotia town.  Comments from the participants at their recent closing banquet included “people are so friendly”,  “we were welcomed with great honour and respect”,  “people on the street greet us”, “it is such a beautiful place” – they are taking back fond memories of their time in Antigonish and many had the opportunity to visit other parts of Nova Scotia including Margaree – the birthplace of Monsignor Coady, Halifax where they visited the provincial legislature, an experience of the first snowfall and playing like kids, the glory of autumn leaves – many happy memories of their personal journey here in beautiful Nova Scotia.

Video of international participants 2011 farewell


The next time you are in Antigonish stop and visit the Coady International Institute.  The library and public spaces have interesting history, photos and multimedia presentations to give you more insight into this wonderful international local resource.


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Country Harbour


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Country Harbour River

When you hear the name Country Harbour in Nova Scotia you might think you are on the coast with fishing boats and the ocean waves.  However in driving from Monastry on highway 316 you see a sign for Country Harbour and then pass signs for Country Harbour Cross Roads, Country Harbour Mines, Middle Country Harbour, Country Harbour Ferry and still are miles from the ocean.

Country Harbour is a 10 mile long deep inlet from the sea on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia.  It is not only beautiful but has an interesting past.

SeaWind Landing comfortable accomdations great dining

A great place to stay and use as an exploration point is the Seawind Landing Country Inn in Charlos Cove.  The 20 acre grounds has interesting paths through the forest or along the shore are great for an evening or early morning stroll.  The food is superb, prepared with loving care from local ingredients by the innkeeper.  There is a choice of comfortable rooms near the shore with the sound of the waves – or rooms with a view to the east or west from your 2nd floor porch.

The Seawind Landing Country Inn is a 30 minute drive from Drum Head at the mouth of Isaacs Harbour and  Country Harbour.  Stop along the way at the lovely Tor Bay Provincial Park and enjoy the boardwalk through the trees and over marshes and mosses.   Seabirds nest on offshore islands – great for birdwatchers.  Continue along Hwy 316 to Isaacs Harbour and take the turn off to the Country Harbour Ferry.  This 12 car cable operated ferry takes you across Country Harbour to continue down along the coast through Port Bickerton towards Halifax on Hwy 211. Even if you decide not to take the ferry it is fun to watch it make the crossing.  Signs are posted at the turnoff informing if the ferry is operating or not.

Empire Loyalist Trail

This part of the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia was the closest part of North America for the early ships from Europe. The long protected harbour was a welcome relief from the open sea.  The discovery of gold in the area was another draw to the area. From the 1600s the area was alive with ship building, forestry, small farming, fishing and gold mining.

Country Harbour was also settled by Loyalists from the King’s Carolina Rangers and the South Carolina Royalists who left Florida in October 1783, landed in Halifax and then the settlers went on to Country Harbour.  The United Empire Loyalist 2.2 KM trail has interpretive signs giving the history of the settlers.

Salsman Park Golden Sunrise

Salsman Provincial Park is located on a small peninsula on the east side of Country Harbour near Middle Country Harbour.  From June to September the park offers campers a quiet setting to relax and enjoy the area.  The camp ground is situated on an island connected by a short causeway giving lovely views of the water and hills.  On an early November morning the sunrise over Country Harbour was memorable with its golden glow and reflections in the calm water.

The nearby Loonsong Cottage Retreat offers workshops and retreats for women on a variety of topics.  Check their website for calendar of events.

Country Harbour River offers fishing and exploring.  The rural farms and cottages enjoy spectacular views in fall with the changing leaf colors.

Watch a short video

For more information:

 Click Here to Download Country Harbour article and more information