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NOW ATLANTIC: A new, authentically Atlantic chapter in our shared story

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- Belle DeMont

There are few places in the world where storytelling is as important as it is in Atlantic Canada.

Storytelling is how we bring colour to our imaginations as we live through a series of grey Atlantic days. It’s the way we create meaning in seemingly senseless tragedies. It’s how we soothe ourselves through the hardships and heartbreaks that come from making a living on land and sea.

The story we tell shapes the view we hold.

Psychologists would say stories shape our identities. But, perhaps more importantly, they inform how we see the world and how we interact in it.

Surround yourself with stories of negativity, hardship and despair and — you’ve got it — you’re predisposed to interacting with the world as a place that is hopeless and downtrodden.

Conversely, a storytelling diet of good news, love and rising above can help you to see opportunity, possibility and potential.

But there are many ways to tell any story. Who tells it, what’s included — and what’s left out — how we frame it, the tone we use, who plays the protagonist or the antagonist … all of those things and much more come together to deliver the final account.

For example, I tend to be someone who frames a story about a mistake made as a learning opportunity gained. Someone else may call it an unrecoverable catastrophe.

In any given situation, there are many versions of the story available to us.

The story of a place is more of a macro story; it is the collection of many micro stories woven and seamed together.

And so, we need to be sure that our collection of micro stories is diverse, vast and complex enough to paint a complete picture. Tell only dreary, grey stories and you’ll end up with a dreary, grey picture. Include lots of colour, texture and dimension and you’ll see a place that is vibrant and alive.

This is where Now Atlantic comes in. We’re focused on adding more colour to our collective Atlantic Canadian story. We highlight the people, places and businesses taking risks, challenging long-held beliefs, making things from scratch. They are committed to using their life to be a difference-maker for this region. We focus on stories of growth, experimentation and ideation.

For those of you reading in Nova Scotia, this won’t be new to you. We’re every bit as committed as we’ve always been to bringing you good news and new perspectives. What will be different is the expanded Atlantic-wide focus.

For those of you outside Nova Scotia, welcome to Now! This is a monthly insert that has been running in The Chronicle Herald — a sister publication to the one you’re currently reading — for more than three years. It’s a labour of love for the team at SaltWire Network, and we’re excited to offer it across the region.

To kick off our inaugural Atlantic Canadian edition, we’re starting with the best stories of all: the stories of our people.

Click the image above to browse through our selection of people who make a difference in Atlantic Canada.
Click the image above to browse through our selection of people who make a difference in Atlantic Canada.

Click through the articles and meet some of the must-watch Atlantic Canadians who are shaping and reshaping our collective story and future. They’re mark-makers, difference-makers, change-makers and envelope-pushers who are adding vibrancy, grit, courage and hope to this collective story of ours.

Informally identified and selected by members of newsrooms, our editorial leadership team and our wider community, the folks featured in this edition are helping all of us see an even more inspired story about Atlantic Canada.

We hope you feel it, too.

Colette O’Hara is the Chief Strategy Officer for SaltWire Network. She is a design thinker who focuses her daily work on making business just a little more human.

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