African Heritage Month launches Tuesday at noon at town hall

Dave Mathieson
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AMHERST – ‘Rising Stars – Celebrating our Youth’ is the theme of Nova Scotia African Heritage Month for 2014.

“This year’s theme is close to my heart because I’ve worked with youth for years in jobs prior to this job,” said Tony Ince, minister for the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

Ince is currently in Amherst.

On Monday night he was at the Cumberland County Museum and Archives where the Amherst Chamber of Commerce was hosting a meeting, and where the museum also has an exhibit for the month of February showcasing African heritage.

Cumberland North MLA Terry Farrell took Ince on a tour of Amherst and the museum. As minister, the Cumberland museum was the first museum Ince has toured outside of Halifax.

“I’m a historian so I love this type of stuff and, as a young child, I was interested in history, so they put me in the right portfolio,” said Ince. “Also, certain areas of Amherst reminded me of the south end of Halifax with the large homes and wide streets.”

Ince will be at Amherst Town Hall Tuesday at 12 p.m. to launch the African Heritage Month celebrations in this area.

“In today’s world we hear so much about the violence and the negativity, so celebrating youth is very positive.”

Ince hopes that as a newly minted minister in the Nova Scotia legislature he can be a role model to youth.

“One reason I got into politics was to be a role model,” he said. “We’d hang around the barbecue at party’s and when the subject of politics came up it was often, ‘politicians this, politicians that. We’re not happy with politicians.’

“I resolved to myself that there was no point sitting there complaining. I might as well get involved and try to do something, and that’s what got me involved,” he added.

Ince talked to youth while on the campaign trail and says most seemed disillusioned by politics and politicians.

“I told them that they were the people I was actually after, because until they get involved and have their voice heard we’re going to get the same thing over and over; the low voter turnout and the apathy,” he said. “You can’t have that because that’s not what politics is about, that’s not what democracy is about.”

He says people should demand integrity from politicians, and says he wants to lead by example.

“If I say I’m going to do a certain thing or be a certain way I’m not going to veer from that. You need to stick to it,” said Ince. “People are tired of the BS. They want somebody who’s going to be real and straight forward and, hopefully, I will change somebody’s mind about politics.”

And he hopes the public holds him to a high standard.

“If you don’t think I’m doing what I should be doing you can’t sit back at a party and say, ‘ah, look he’s just like the rest of them.’ Step up and say something.”

He also hopes people take part in the African Heritage Month celebrations.

“I would encourage all people of Nova Scotia to get out and take part in the events going on this month,” said Ince. “Go out and get educated on what people of African descent have contributed to society. Enjoy the food, have some fun and talk to the people.”

The calendar of events for African Heritage Month can be found on the African Nova Scotian Affairs website at




Organizations: Cumberland County Museum, African Heritage, Nova Scotia Department of Amherst Chamber of Commerce African Nova Scotian Affairs

Geographic location: AMHERST, Halifax, Nova Scotia

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