GROWING THE LEGACY OF TALL SHIPS EVENTS IN YOUR PORT – Nov. 13 (Port Day)
Biography of Speaker: Sheila Brown
Sheila Brown is a Halifax, NS based higher education consultant. An Honours graduate of Cambridge University, she also holds an MA and PhD from the University of Alberta. After an extensive career in higher education and administration, she served as President and Vice-Chancellor of Mount Saint Vincent University for ten years, a position from which she retired in 2006.
She has been honoured with the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, was selected five times as one of Atlantic Business Magazine’s “Top 50 CEOs in Atlantic Canada” and, in 2005, she was one of the first four inductees into the “Top 50 CEOs in Atlantic Canada Hall of Fame”. She is an active volunteer in her profession and in her community. Dr Brown holds CYA Club Race Officer certification and is actively involved as a race officer at dinghy regattas. She currently serves as Chair of the SEASTAR Society, a Nova Scotia non-profit organisation committed to the advancement of young people through the development of life skills and experience through sail training aboard tall ships.
A major legacy of tall ship events in Halifax and Nova Scotia has been a growing interest in and commitment to sail training on the part of local organizations and individuals. This interest has led to the incorporation of a non-profit society, The SEASTAR Society. SEASTAR does not own or operate a sail –training vessel. Rather the Society’s role is to bring the availability of sail training experiences to the attention of interested organizations and participants, identify possible participating vessels, facilitate liaison with the ships, and to assist with the cost of passage.
In the summer of 2008, SEASTAR facilitated a sail training opportunity for 21 young Nova Scotians, identified (and in some cases sponsored) by a number of community groups, for example Rotary Clubs and Girl Guides, aboard three different vessels. By providing a range of options and a bursary SEASTAR was able to open the sail training experience to a diversity of youth.
This presentation describes the process of identifying and selecting both trainees and vessels and bringing them together in what both trainees and vessel operators have reported was a very positive experience. A more formal evaluation is now underway so that SEASTAR can learn from the pilot program and develop plans for 2009, when the Tall Ships® Atlantic Challenge will visit Nova Scotia, and beyond as we continue to develop this ongoing legacy of tall ship events.