Focus Session: Youth On Board


Halifax, a 3-time Port-of the Year winner is a favorite port of Captains and Crew. Waterfront Development Corporation, a provincial crown corporation in Halifax, has been involved in Tall Ships events since 1984, as it owns the wharves on the Halifax waterfront. As Tall Ships events evolved, WDCL recognized an opportunity to focus more on youth, and getting them on board Tall Ships.

Through discussions with ASTA and STI, WDCL understood the focus on youth and the life-changing opportunity that could be offered to Nova Scotian youth, and worked with Sheila Brown to form SEASTAR – the Society for Self-Fulfillment, Education, Achievement through Sail Training and Responsibility.

In addition to a Society dedicated to putting youth on board Tall Ships, WDCL modified its event template to include a Crew and Cultural program that focused on shared experiences through sports, youth focused activities and providing opportunities for visits to Nova Scotia’s attractions and cultural destinations.

Speaker Biography: Leanne Strathdee

Leanne Strathdee is the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Waterfront Development Corporation in Halifax, NS. This past year, Leanne was the Event Director for the Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge event in Halifax, one of the seven ports in the international race series.

The Waterfront Development Corporation has been engaged in Tall Ships event hosting since 1984, when the first Tall Ships event visited Halifax. A three-time Port-of-the-Year winner, Halifax prides itself on hosting international ships, captains and crew, and is well known for its warm hospitality.

Leanne has a degree in Arts, and one in Public Relations and has been practicing professional communications and marketing for 15 years.

The Waterfront Development Corporation recognized the need to evolve its approach to sail training opportunities for youth, and worked with Sheila Brown, former President of Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, and a group of like-minded individuals to form SEASTAR – the Society for Self-Fulfillment, Education, Achievement through Sail Training and Responsibility to get more Nova Scotian youth on board Tall Ships.


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