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Stronger Together

2022 Impact Report

YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth

Dear YMCA Friends,

2022 was a year of recovery for our YMCA, and we became stronger because of the deep roots we’ve grown in community working alongside partners and donors who understand the impact of the Y. With over 100 community partners, we have taken big strides in strengthening and broadening our impact in our communities.

Much of our work directly responded to the most urgent needs our communities are facing. We introduced new YMCA wellness programs geared towards supporting community members managing chronic illness and disease through YMCA LiveWell, along with youth resilience programs to help youth manage their mental health and remain academically engaged.

We developed a new Annual Campaign, “Everyone Has a Story”, and not only did we achieve our fundraising goal, we doubled it. Funds raised through this campaign supported much-needed YMCA programs and services, eliminating barriers, and ultimately impacting thousands of lives.

In partnership with the Province of NS, Government of Canada, and community partners, our Immigrant Services Team supported more than 1,300 war-displaced Ukrainian Nationals entering Nova Scotia. We connected over 30,000 individuals to opportunities through our Employment Services. Online and in person our team helped assist clients in navigating our precarious labour market.

In 2023, we are striving to create healthier and more equitable communities. We look forward to all that we will achieve, and it is clear that our impact is stronger together.

Thank you for joining us in caring for our community,

Sonya Fraser

Chair, Board of Directors

Brian Posavad

President & CEO

Message from our Board Chair

and President & CEO

Board of Directors

Sonya Fraser, Chair

Stephen MacDonald, Vice Chair

Michelle Bussey

Patty Faith

Kimberely Gannon

Krista Jangaard

Lora MacEachern

Ayo Makanjuola

Dave Murray

Mary Navas

Sarah McInnes

Mark Saldanha

Jacob Woods

Sian Wren

Senior Leadership Team

Brian Posavad, President & CEO

Kellea Redden, Chief Financial Officer

Lorrie Turnbull, Chief Development Officer

Sahra MacNeill, Director, People & Culture

Jennifer Thornhill, Senior Manager, YMCA Immigrant Services

TL Johannesson, General Manager, Child & Youth

Rebekah Skeete, Co-Director, Employment Services

Lynda Thomas, Co-Director, Employment Services

Michelle Rivoire, General Manager, John W. Lindsay YMCA

John Meagher, General Manager, Asset & Capital Development

Honourary Trustees & Life Members

Gregory (Greg) D. Auld

Jennifer Berry

Lydia Bugden

Daniel M. Campbell

Wesley G. Campbell

Peter M. Conrod

Paul J. Dyer

Peter Doig

Peter G. Fardy

Lou Gannon

Mary Ellen Gurnham

R.F. (Bob) Healy

Fred Honsberger

Wilfred Jackson

John W. Lindsay Jr.

Brian Jessop

Cliff Langin

Carole McDougall

James MacGowan

Stuart MacLean

R.A. (Rod) McCulloch

Kirk D. McIntyre

Don C. Mills

Robert Richardson

L. Robert (Robbie) Shaw

George Waye

Sarah Young

Audrey Manzer

& Lou Gannon

*Participants includes all YMCA members and clients. It captures our programs' cumulative reach during the year.

Impact at a glance

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YMCA programs and services operate in over 100 locations

1,583 people received financial assistance

46,178 participants*

across HRM and Nova Scotia

totaling approx. $370,000

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2,473 campers

YMCA Camps

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6,500 newcomers

YMCA Immigrant Services

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Youth Leadership Programs

522 youth

9 centres serving 303 children

over 30,000 clients

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Child Care

Employment Services

6,380 members

Health & Fitness

Made possible by:

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313 Donors

421 Staff

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100+ Volunteers

$1,344,470 in funding

from Grants and Foundations

The challenge:

Nova Scotia has one of the highest rates of chronic disease and disability in Canada.


YMCA LiveWell bridges the gap to link health care to community exercise programs in 6 locations across Nova Scotia.

YMCA LiveWell is a group exercise program that focuses on improving the physical health of Nova Scotians with chronic conditions.


Employment Services

YMCA School Settlement

Big Cove YMCA Past Camper and Current Camp Counsellor

Allie May


camper, she hadn’t worked with kids before. She also wasn’t sure what to expect as a transgender person.

Allison May (she/her), known as Allie, is a true extrovert; she values the people in her life, and she loves being around people. So much so that she envisions a future career that empowers her to continue being around people. People that know her would describe her as charismatic, generous, and she says she does the best she can in every situation. When she’s not spending time with people, she can be found outside taking walks or drawing in a local coffee shop.

Her first trip to Big Cove Camp was back in 2013. Every year, her cousins came home from the United States, and they wanted to make connections with people in the area, so to Big Cove they went as a family. Allie thought being outside at camp for a week seemed like a fun way to spend time with her family. But it wasn’t until nine years later when she came back to camp as a leader that she truly understood the magic of camp.

“It was the first time I felt genuinely welcomed,” says Allie, when speaking of camp staff, Ben and Alex. The team immediately made Allie feel safe, welcome, and accepted, and that was a feeling she passed along to other campers.

hen Allie was offered a job at YMCA Big Cove Camp as a Camp Counsellor, she felt very nervous. While she was a past Big Cove

One of Allie's favourite camp memories was her first outtrip as a Camp Counsellor. Outtrip is a 10-day trip that’s part of the leadership program, campers go on a canoe excursion led by Camp Counsellors and spend 10 days camping in the woods. They learn skills like cooking, canoeing, pitching tents, making a fire, and maintaining your camp site. During outtrip there are no showers, no technology, and not everyone has an instant connection to the outside world.

“One of my favourite moments was when our outtrip group were sitting around the campfire in a circle, chatting about our lives and some kids opened up about their feelings and emotions. It was a lovely experience we had together. My colleagues and I were with them for a month that summer. After the trip, they shared how much I meant to them. I don’t think they realized how much they meant to me.”

Allie wants parents and kids to know that “Camp can change the trajectory of a life. Having the opportunity to give someone a camp experience who may not have had it, giving them a week with amazing counsellors and a week of fun. It opens doors and new mindsets. It’s the beginning of a big butterfly effect.”

"Camp is an opportunity for people to be themselves, without fear of judgement."

Statement of Operations

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The Community YMCA has always been there, when we needed it most.

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Investing in community

The Community YMCA has been a pillar in the North End community for over

70 years; a cornerstone for our African Nova Scotian community. It's a warm and inviting centre of community that boasts some of the best basketball in the province, provides after-school childcare that families in the area depend on, and offers events and programming focusing on youth empowerment and leadership development. The most important thing about a place like the Community YMCA, is that it’s a safe, dependable place of community, where you feel like you belong.

The Impact of COVID-19

Young people have experienced multiple shocks since the onset of the

COVID-19 pandemic, including education disruption, employment and income loss, mental health challenges, social isolation and loss of leadership or mentorship opportunities. The rate of young people not in employment, education, or training, rose to 24% in Canada in April 2020; the highest measured in the past 2 decades. While all youth have been affected, we know Black, Indigenous and racialized youth, youth living with disabilities, 2SLGBTQIA+ and other marginalized youth have been disproportionately impacted.

In response to this, and thanks to our generous funders: Employment and Social Development Canada: Black Communities Initiative, Community Foundations of Canada: Healthy Communities Initiative, Halifax Youth Foundation,

The Windsor Foundation, The Krista Grant Foundation, the Province of Nova Scotia and Public Health Agency of Canada, in 2021 and 2022 we've

to update, modernize and expand our youth programming at the Centre.

This investment supported the creation of three new youth spaces. Our new main lobby and reception area for after school drop-in activities and home to our Y-EATS program, a beautiful space with desks at the back of the centre for youth to participate in youth leadership programs, and a quiet learning space upstairs for privacy and homework support. It has also allowed us to grow our programming in the area of Youth Leadership Development.

YMCA Youth Transitions Program supports young people experiencing the greatest barriers and at the highest risk of disengaging from school.

Y Mind is an innovative, youth informed, early intervention program that helps teens and young adults manage stress and anxiety.

The Community YMCA continues to provide a place for young people to engage in meaningful activities that support and nurture self-determination, academic persistence and preparedness, encourage educational aspirations and resiliency, teach employability skills and promote physical and mental health.

invested a total of $1,062,000 into the Community YMCA

Thank you to our inspiring donors

For helping us build brighter futures across Nova Scotia.

We’ve known that given the opportunity, people across Halifax and Nova Scotia could live happier, healthier lives, and find a sense of belonging in their communities.

We couldn’t be more grateful to our incredible donors for investing in our YMCA’s programs, and the safe and welcoming places needed to deliver them.

Thanks to the hundreds of community members who believed in our “Everyone Has a Story” Campaign, our YMCA was able to meet our goal of raising $100,000, with a matching gift of $100,000, to double our impact and sustain our charitable programs and services!

$216,000 raised!

We invite you to watch our lifelong donor, Ginny Salsman, tell her Y Story in our 2022 Gratitude Report.

Mental health

The challenge:

According to Statistics Canada crowdsourcing initiative, youth participants were the most likely to report a negative impact on their mental health since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Almost two-thirds (64%) of those aged 15 to 24 reported a negative impact of the pandemic on their mental health, while just over one-third (35%) of those aged 65 and older reported a negative impact on their mental health since physical distancing began. Similarly, those participants aged 15 to 24 were most likely (41%) to report symptoms consistent with moderate or severe anxiety in the early months of the pandemic.

Statistics Canada and Children First Canada. School closures and COVID-19: Interactive Tool. (May 3, 2021)


Y Mind is an innovative, youth informed, early intervention program that helps teens and young adults manage stress and anxiety. Y Mind helps young people cope with anxiety and improve their sense of well-being by introducing them to evidence-based tools and connecting them with others.

What's Next?

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Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Double the number of people receiving financial support, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to participate in YMCA programs and services

Youth Empowerment

Deliver innovative youth-led programming that addresses mental health and educational resilience

Smartphone Youth

Health & Wellbeing

Double the number of Community Health programs being delivered in our communities

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Thank you to our

community partners

Halifax Plays



Feed Nova Scotia

Bus Stop Theatre

Oxford Elementary School

Cunard Elementary School

Citadel High School

Halifax Youth Foundation

Department of Community Services

Phoenix Youth Programs

Laing House

Mikmaw Friendship Centre

North Memorial Library

George Dixon Centre

Pictou County YMCA

East Preston Community Centre

North Preston Community Centre

Apostles Church

Life Branch Church

Youth Service Providers Network

Community Services - Cole Harbour

Parents and Children Together


HRM Youth Connections

Cole Harbour Woodside United Church

Tony Ince MLA Office

Marguerite Centre

Immigration francophone de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Chambre de commerce francphone d'Halifax

Conseil de développement économique de la NE

Fédération des femmes de la NE

Equipe Alpha de la NE

Eastern Shore Musquodoboit Valley Literacy Network

Old School Gathering Place

Department of Community Services

Lea Place

Sheet Harbour Chamber of Commerce

HRM Recreation

Sheet Harbour Library

CBDC Bluewater Business Development


HIP (Halifax Immigration Partnership)

United Way Halifax

Health Association of Nova Scotia

Department of Health and Wellness

Dept of Education and Early Childhood


Halifax Partnership

YWCA Halifax

Pictou Partnership

Western REN

Antigonish Women's Centre

Public Health



Cape Breton Partnership

Metropolitan Regional Housing Authority

Metro Works

Halifax Public Library


New Dawn Enterprises

Study Atlantic


Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

Veith House

Salvation Army


Neptune Theatre

Mobile Food Market

Halifax Chamber of Commerce

Housing NS

Service Canada

Fairview Community Association

Halifax Regional Police


Early Childhood Development - EECD

Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness

Bayers/Westwood Family Resource Centre

Fairview Family Resource Centre

Family SOS

Parkerstreet Foodbank & Furniture Bank

Square Roots Fairview/Clayton Park

Life Saving Society

Nova Scotia Health Authority

Dalhousie University

Mulgrave Park Caring and Learning Centre

Parks Canada

Halifax Refugee Clinic

Engage Nova Scotia

Ecology Action Centre

Common Roots Urban Farm


North End Parent Resource Centre

Bryony House

Adsum house

Community Health



Pier 21

Canadian Tire Jump Start

One North

Chebucto Connections

Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism & Heritage

GEO Nova Scotia

Digital Nova scotia

Kids Sport

Spencer House

Literacy Nova Scotia

Computers for Schools

Public Health, Healthy Communities

IWK Mental Health and Addictions

Red Cross

Canada Learning Code

Atlantic Sewing Guild

Museum of Natural History

Canada Games Centre

FIN Atlantic International Film Festival

Royal Tattoo of NS

Royal Nova Scotia Yacht

Dunbrack Soccer

Halifax City Soccer

Arthritis Society Canada

Rainbow Refugee Association of Nova Scotia

NS Health (Mental Health and Addictions)

Community based Research Centre

Dept of Justice - DVI unit


Metro Interagency committee

Victim Services

NISA Homes

THANS (Transition House Association of NS)

Parkland Retirement

133 and counting!

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Big Cove YMCA Camp

Summer 2022

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YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth

YMCA Association Services

5657 Spring Garden Rd.

Park Lane Terraces, Suite 700

Halifax, NS B3J 3R4

Charitable Registration No.

136 560 760 RR0001