Feeling frustrated with the situation in his province and the lack of support available for youth, Wes Booth and a friend took matters into their own hands last summer and founded the group We Are NS. Wes immediately hit the road for a hitchhiking tour of the province to meet Nova Scotians and share stories of positivity. You may have seen him on the side of the highway, or had him paint your nose blue as part of his grassroots social media campaign, #bluenoserbychoice.
His passion project, while at times overwhelming, has garnered him lots of attention and social media followers. He understands the challenges facing youth in our region and he’s committed to helping to create solutions and that’s why he is the perfect person to launch our Share Your Maritime Love project.
Do you live in the Maritimes? If so, where do you call home?
Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
What do you love most about life in the Maritimes?
The people. We have a safe and beautiful environment but our people make the biggest difference and they are our greatest asset.
What do you find most challenging about living/doing business here?
The conservative nature and narrow-minded thinking. People are constantly being told, “times are tough, resources are limited”. We are resistant to change, anything new is considered a risk. We don’t listen to each other. We need to learn to communicate, to respect each other, to collaborate. We need to support people in trying things. I think a lot of it stems from fear. We need to see competition as healthy. I think we can learn a lot from America’s example in the way they always strive to improve and get better.
But I do think there is more opportunity here than other parts of the country where the markets are saturated. If you are a risk taker with passion and you work hard, you can make it happen here.
What is your favourite place(s) in the Maritimes? Why?
Cape Breton, NS – When I was there I really felt their struggle and I could relate to that used, abused, forgotten feeling. The place is beautiful, the people are awesome and welcoming. They have resiliency. They’re survivors.
White Point, NS – This is a special place that my family goes to a lot.
What do you think we can do to build a better Maritimes?
Make youth feel valued. We have no future if we don’t value youth. And it’s not just about retaining youth, but attracting youth too. Unless you prove yourself or get lucky or persevere you can’t get anywhere. Youth and seniors are the two groups that have the most free time – we can use them. We need to invest in youth programs, invest in people. We need to attract new people who can sustainably live here, attract people with like-minded values and build around that.
If you would like to take part in our Share Your Maritime Love project, I’d love to hear from you!