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George Hood, New Brunswick

A place is nothing without its people

You can have one of the most perfectly scenic landscapes in the world: a perfect mix of sweeping boreal forests, highlands, tablelands, rivers, rocky shores, Canadian Shield, valleys, beaches, fields and meadows, lakes, coves, mountains, and marshes; but, as the saying goes, a place is nothing without its people.

New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. Four East Coast provinces small in size compared with their western neighbours, but a region that reaches far beyond their size in the weight of their collective culture and the reputation of their people.

From the strength of the founding Indigenous people who hold connection to these lands for thousands of years, to the diversity of hard-working character and soul from a multitude of backgrounds who call our four Atlantic provinces home, hospitality and character in these parts is legendary. People take a pride in being “good people.” In lending a hand, in opening themselves to people in need. In welcoming those “from away,” whether it’s a visitor just here for a short time or someone trying to get a new start in life.

A place is nothing without its people.

Atlantic Canada is a land of seafarers, farmers, entrepreneurs, music-lovers, labourers, parents, healers, leaders, hunters, politicians, educators, activists, lovers, dreamers, and soul-searchers.

It’s a place of passionate people and story-tellers. Here are a few of those stories—two from each of our provinces. Stories of people. Eight stories of character.

Isabella and Bobby Conway, Newfoundland and Labrador

The Acadian Songstress:

Patricia Richard, Prince Edward Island

A clam-digging daughter of a lobster fisherman. A full-on peaceful Island spirit and mother who juggles a nursing career with a passion and talent for singing, performing, and sharing her Acadian culture through music.

The Seafarer:

Alistair Forbes Scott, Nova Scotia

A bearded Scottish-born immigrant and man of the salt who has sailed the world’s seas for close to 40 years. A calm man with kindness in his eyes and experience in his veins. Retirement, after “a good life,” has brought him to new hobbies and new interests.

The Healer:

Jessica McConaghy, New Brunswick

A kind-hearted wife and wellness-practitioner. Nature-lover, chicken-raiser, and country-soul. Not shy but neither is she attention-seeking. Quiet, yet full of fire.

The Leader:

Chief Brian Francis, Prince Edward Island

The leader of the Abegweit First Nation: a man of Mi’kmaq honour and pride who demonstrates resilience and strength. A voice for his people, an inspiration to all.

The Farmer:

Donnie White, Newfoundland and Labrador

A life-long resident of a tiny town on a misty stretch of beauty. A man reflective of many East Coast residents through his life spent fishing and farming. A man whose laugh is loud and his smile infectious.

The Hard-Working Man:

George Hood, New Brunswick

A logger and a trucker who just does what he does, and does it well: which is to say, he provides all he can for the people he loves, and continually offers a helping hand and a smile to the people around him. A man with a tool for every problem and project, and the know-how to use them. A man of family and friends.

The Advocate:

Paul Vienneau, Nova Scotia

An accident in his early 20s crushed his body but not his spirit. A career in music eventually gave way to his passion in photography. In parallel, he’s a force for positive change in the city he calls home and loves, Halifax; not only for people with disabilities and the elderly, but for all citizens.

The Rocks of the Rock:

Isabella and Bobby Conway, Newfoundland and Labrador

Hard-working community pillars, organizers, friends, parents, and grandparents. A couple for 
more than 35 years with hearts of gold and a door that’s always open.

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