Investor Summit 2018

Thu, Oct 4th, 2018 @ 09:00 am
Presented By:
The Cape Breton Partnership
Keltic Lodge at the Highlands 383 Keltic in Rd Ingonish Beach, Nova Scotia B0C 1L0

The Cape Breton Partnership will host the annual Investor Summit on Thursday, October 4, 2018 at the Keltic Lodge at the Highlands in Ingonish Beach, Cape Breton.

The Partnership’s Investor Summit brings together over 200 business, community, and government leaders from across Nova Scotia. Summit attendees will have the opportunity to network, collaborate and discuss issues facing the local economy, and be able to provide input on building a strong economic future for Cape Breton.


Contact the Keltic Lodge at the Highlands directly at (902) 285-2880 to book your accommodations for the Investor Summit quoting “The Cape Breton Partnership Investor Summit” at the time of booking.


For more information or to register directly, contact the Cape Breton Partnership at 902-562-0122 or email Stephanie MacLean at


9:00 AM - 10:00 AM


10:00 AM - 10:10 AM


10:10 AM - 10:35 AM


10:35 AM - 11:30 AM


“Innovation” is being invoked in places big and small around the world as a way to resuscitate ailing economies and save struggling communities. But too often policies and programs meant to help are hampered by muddled understandings of what innovation means and who can participate in doing it. “Creative Island,” a new initiative of the Cape Breton Partnership, is attempting to cut through the confusion and buzzwords to transform Cape Breton into the most creative place on earth by challenging innovation orthodoxy and renewing our understanding and appreciation of what innovation can do for small places and those who need it most.

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM


12:00 PM - 12:15 PM


12:15 PM - 1:15 PM


1:15 PM - 1:45 PM


1:45 PM - 2:30 PM


2:30 PM - 3:15 PM


3:15 PM - 3:45 PM


3:45 PM - 4:30 PM


4:30 PM - 5:00 PM


5:00 PM - 6:00 PM


6:00 PM - 7:00 PM


7:00 PM - 8:30 PM



John Norman

Chief Operations Officer, Bonavista Living

Over the years, John Norman has been involved with multiple organizations throughout NL and Canada, many of which focus on built heritage, environmental protection, economic development, and tourism. He is the Founder and President of the Bonavista Horticultural Society, Chair of the Bonavista Peninsula Dialysis Committee, President of the Bonavista Trinity Chamber of Commerce, Vice Chair of the Bonavista Historic Townscape Foundation and President of the Environmental Stewardship Association of NL.

As Mayor for the Town of Bonavista, Norman was one of the youngest municipal politicians in the province when his political career started in 2010. He is a registered Professional Skate Canada coach and former skater and now co‐coaches the Bonavista Skating Club (Silver Wings). Norman has received numerous awards for his academic, professional business, and volunteer works. He is a Top Atlantic Canadian CEO 2 years running, Top 100 Canadian innovator, guest lecturer for MUN, DAL, University of Toronto, Harvard, and Berkley, as well as receiving countless awards and accolades for his volunteer work and academic publications on "Place Capital" and "Rural Vitality".

In 2014, blending formal education and professional work with a passion for built heritage, Norman left his business development role with College of the North Atlantic and founded a new group of companies: Bonavista Living; Bonavista Creative; and Bonavista Creative Workshop. The triad of companies, which focus on built heritage restoration and redevelopment, works to preserve and restore the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Bonavista’s historic properties, while taking advantage of business opportunities in the process. All three are privately funded initiatives that operate a year round heritage carpentry shop, accommodations, etc. In 2013, John and his wife Leann held five properties and today the group of companies has surpassed an inventory of 65 pieces of real estate in Bonavista.

Danny Graham

Over a thirty-year period, Danny Graham has held senior positions in business, law, government and politics.

For 10 years he was the Chief Negotiator on Aboriginal Rights for the Province of Nova Scotia. He is credited with starting the Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Program, and has worked to advance justice reforms with the United Nations and various countries spanning four continents. He is best known as the former Leader of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party and MLA for Halifax Citadel between 2002 and 2005.

He is currently is the Chief Engagement Officer for Engage Nova Scotia – an independent non-profit that invites Nova Scotians to be more collaborative, inclusive and adaptive to change. He is also currently counsel to the law firm McInnes Cooper.

He helped write We Choose Now: A Playbook For Nova Scotia, the follow up report to the Ivany Report.

Tara Milburn

Owner, Ethical Swag

Tara is an experienced business executive who has spent years building partnerships and turning vision into reality. Having worked with brands in professional sports and tech start-ups, she learned early that a key differentiator for success is the link between purpose, brand, and marketing execution.

Tara has raised money for business start-ups, co-written the successful bid for the first NBA international expansion, and was part of the original team that conceived and executed on Vancouver’s domestic bid for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. While working in foreign direct investment with NSBI, Tara worked with global organizations looking to expand.

Tara currently sits on the Board of Governors of Cape Breton University and is the past Vice Chair of Celtic Colours International Festival and a member of the Board of the YMCA of Cape Breton.

David Burton

Co-Founder & President, The Headland

David Burton, Co-Founder and President, is an experienced litigator and holds degrees in Business and Law from Acadia and Liverpool Universities respectively. David achieved six solid and accomplished years in the practice of law with Hillier and Hillier, a boutique, civil litigation law firm in Toronto. He was responsible for the administration, dispute resolution and oversight of all the firm’s accident benefit files, and in this role was lead counsel on several reported decisions and qualified as an expert in Ontario’s Statutory Accident Benefit’s scheme.

David has consciously assembled The Headland team, focused first and foremost on delivering a highly differentiated, highest quality product to market, because without that there is no defensible niche to occupy in a fast-growing cannabis business market where competitors can throw money at volume production facilities. The Headland embodies his vision for a sustainable, long-term profitable craft producer that will build an iconic brand in a rapidly developing new world of legal cannabis production and sales. David cherishes the opportunity to develop this project in Cape Breton.

Jay Rawding

Owner, Highland Bow & Arrow

Highland Bow & Arrow is in its second year of operation as a traditional archery range open to beginners and seasoned shooters on the north shore of the Cabot Trail. Along with a typical shooting range, there is also a shooting course through the woods using life-like 3D targets from which we gather scores. Shooters are welcome to cook in the outdoor kitchen when hosting groups and parties, and sit by the fire to roast marshmallows.

Stéphane Sogne

Chief Technology Officer, Hydrotroniks Inc.

Originally from France, Stéphane Sogne graduated from the University of Savoie in Chambéry - France, with a degree in Material Science Technologies. He then moved to Switzerland and obtained an Engineering degree in Mechanics with a polymer and composites materials specialization at the Jura Arc Engineering School.

After 5 years in the Swiss watch industry as project manager, designer and research engineer for Jaeger-LeCoultre branch of Richemont International SA, where he is listed on over twelve patents in micro-mechanics, tribology and composite material applications, Stéphane decided to travel the world and eventually stopped in Cape Breton where he decided to settle.

In 2011, he started working for SuGen Research Inc, a windmill testing company as a tester and developer, then as Director of Technology and became a certified partner in North America for the windmill company Nheolis/ID-sud Energy. At the time he also joined Halifax Biomedical Inc., a company based in Mabou developing Roentgen Stereo photogrammetric Analysis (RSA) tools where he worked as Mechanical Engineer and Designer. In 2012, Stephane founded SkySquirrel Technologies Inc. a company specialized in aerial photography and UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) development, which later became VineView, a vineyard analytics company.

In 2016, alongside Scott Aucoin and Joel Lefort, Stéphane founded Hydrotroniks Inc, an electric boat and marine technology company, which was one of 5 winners in the 2017 Spark Innovation Challenge.

Stéphane has lived in Chéticamp for the past 8 years, where he volunteers for different organizations like the local Search and Rescue team, the Chéticamp Economic Council, and the recently formed CCCL (Chéticamp, Le Moine, Consulting Committee) a sub-committee of the Inverness County Municipality. An avid sailor, skier, and paraglider, he spends his free time enjoying the richness of Cape Breton with his family and friends.

Wesley Colford

Artistic Director, Highland Arts Theatre

Wesley J. Colford is a Dora-Nominated playwright/actor /director/producer from Cape Breton who currently resides in Sydney, NS where he operates as the inaugural Artistic Director of the Highland Arts Theatre (or HAT). He has studied theatre performance at Sheridan and George Brown College and spent eight years working in Toronto’s independent theatre scene, working as a writer, director, actor, and producer for multiple companies, as well as box office manager for Tarragon Theatre.

His plays have been produced in three provinces and have won national awards, been published, and adapted for film. Under his leadership, the Highland Arts Theatre has produced 56 mainstage theatrical productions in less than five years and been nominated for Merritt, Excellence in Business, and Nova Scotia Music Industry Awards. He is a recipient of a 2015 Vital Award, the 2016 Jack Yazer Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and was nominated for “Male Business Person of the Year” from the Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Business Awards.

He is currently co-chair of the Waterfront District Regeneration Committee. In his free time he enjoys playing squash, board games, & Doctor Who.

Dr. Beth Mason

CEO, CBU Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy & the Environment

Dr. Mason came to the Verschuren Centre three years ago, to build out the bio-products research program, after working with Saputo Dairy Products Canada for 11 years prior. Her background brings a mix of industry, research and business approaches to problem solving in the Agri-food industry, particularly around by-product value extraction and functional ingredients.

The program has evolved from bench to pilot through bio-transformations of products as diverse as fish waste to poultry by-product, and is currently being commercialized. The work has engaged a range of industry partners from the marine sector on the input side to agriculture and aquaculture sectors on the product development side.

As CEO of the Verschuren Centre, Dr. Mason and the team are engaged in bringing together large industry and community partners toward development and demonstrations of innovative solutions for renewable energy storage, carbon sequestration, and bio-hydrogen production.