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Stewart McKelvey among business and community leaders to gift 2,000 students with tickets to Obama event

Stewart McKelvey is pleased to join fellow Future Leaders sponsors, comprised of businesses and community leaders across the region, to gift 2,000 tickets to students free of charge for “A Conversation with President Barack Obama”, November 13 in Halifax. For more information, please see the full press release below.

2,000 students gifted tickets to Obama event by business and community leaders

Led by Stewart McKelvey, sponsors step up to support youth attendees


(HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – October 9th, 2019) The Nova Scotia Co-operative Council announced today over 2,000 students will be given tickets to attend their 70th anniversary event featuring President Barack Obama.  The Future Leaders initiative is being led by Stewart McKelvey and supported by a number of business and community leaders across Atlantic Canada.

A conversation with the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama is being held November 13th, 2019 at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax.  The event will focus on the topics of leadership, hope and civic engagement –values the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council hold dear.  Questions on these topics are being curated specifically for the event.

“Youth, students, youth at risk, youth living in poverty, youth from African Nova Scotia communities, youth from many diverse backgrounds who wouldn’t have an opportunity to attend such an event otherwise, will be our guests. We are thrilled!” said Dianne Kelderman, CEO of the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council and lead organizer of the event.

The event featuring Obama broke an Atlantic Canadian record for selling out a speaker event.  This means these students are getting their hands on a hot commodity.

“Having seen the first African American become the 44th U.S. president during my lifetime is one thing, being able to see him live in Halifax will be a moment I treasure for the rest of my life,” said Ashley Hill, program coordinator of Business Is Jammin’ and one of the recipients of a Future Leaders ticket.

The council identified early on in the planning process that they wanted to incorporate a youth leadership component to the event. Businesses and organizations were quick to jump on board to sponsor the Future Leaders program including Stewart McKelvey as the initiative’s champion.

“By standing behind the youth of today, and giving them the tools and opportunities they need to become tomorrow’s leaders, we believe that we can achieve an inclusive, diverse, and prosperous region for all,” said Lydia Bugden, CEO and Managing Partner, Stewart McKelvey.  “As Future Leaders Champion, we are thankful to the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council for this opportunity, and to the other Future Leaders sponsors for joining us in supporting this important initiative.”

The Future Leaders sponsors chose which schools or groups to give the tickets they sponsored to.  As a result, a wide range of students of all ages and all walks of life will be attending the event.

Sponsors of the Future Leaders include:

  • Stewart McKelvey – Future Leaders Champion
  • Atlantic Lottery
  • BMO Private Wealth – The Harwood Group
  • Bob & Rose Kelly (SMU)
  • Business is Jammin’
  • Delmore “Buddy” Daye Learning Institute
  • Ergoworks Atlantic
  • HanMac / Micco
  • Killick Capital
  • Mark Black
  • Medavie
  • Mike & Catherine Durland (SMU)
  • Office Interiors
  • Province of Nova Scotia
  • Southwest Properties
  • Technology Venture Corporation
  • Triangle Strategies

Organizers also revealed more details about the November 13th event.

Doors will open two hours prior to the event.

From a security standpoint, attendees are encouraged to arrive as early as possible as all will be subject to a metal detector clearance as well as a bag search.  Also, no photography or videotaping will be permitted, including cell phones.

A cultural showcase, sponsored in part by the Province of Nova Scotia and curated by Black Business Initiative and Black Cultural Centre, will take place onstage for the hour prior to the event.   A segment of DRUM, a spectacular musical production telling the story of the arrival and settlement, struggle and ultimate coming together of four of Canada’s principal founding cultures as seen through the lens of the First Nations experience, will be performed.  Emma Stevens, who recently received recognition from Paul McCartney for her Mi’kmaq version of Blackbird, will also be performing. Renny Smith & the Sanctified Brothers will also take the stage.

The announcement was held in the LeMarchant Place Atrium on Dalhousie University’s campus and was attended by students from across the region.

About the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council
The council supports and promotes co-ops and credit unions by providing education, marketing and representation to government and industry.

They have 334 member organizations in the province who have more than 11,000 employees and in total have more than 3008 individuals who are also members.

Media contact:
Jane Harwood

Watch the Future Leaders Program announcement:



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