Chair's Message

Our world is changing at an unprecedented rate. Political and economic landscapes are fragile at best. Small urban and rural communities such as those found on Cape Breton Island are struggling to redefine themselves in a world of reduced external support  - both provincially and federally.

"These communities are in need of, and looking for, leadership from within."

New Dawn has embraced the challenge to become one of these community leaders. And that is why I am so proud to have been part of this organization for over a decade and grateful to have recently been appointed Chair of the Board of Directors.

Cape Bretoners are realizing that our salvation lies within ourselves – our skills and resources, our relationships, our inherent resilience, and our passion to build a viable future that we control here in Cape Breton.  New Dawn’s mission – to engage the community to create a culture of self-reliance – is as relevant today as it was when the organization was founded back in 1976.

In order to fulfill our mission, New Dawn has always had to be nimble and ready to adapt to ever changing circumstances.  It has needed to be bold, yet careful in its actions at the same time. I have watched as the organization has expanded in recent years from working within its three traditional pillars of business: health care, real estate, and training to new and exciting areas. 

One such area has been our Community Economic Development Investment Fund (CEDIF) program - a program that has significantly expanded our investment activities and has provided local businesses with access to much needed capital.

Another major project, the repurposing of the Holy Angels property, has huge potential to engage the community and revitalize the downtown core.

And most recently our work in the area of immigration presents great hope for what we can do as an Island in terms of dealing with our growing population crisis. 

I would like to thank both the staff and volunteers of New Dawn for their hard work and dedicated commitment to the vision and mission of the organization. To be able to sit on working committees and see these folks in action can only be described as awe inspiring.

And finally my thanks to our volunteer Board of Directors who continue to donate their time, share their counsel, and guide our process.

Steve Lilley

Chair, New Dawn Enterprises