Nova Scotia Day of Recognition

Press Release: Nova Scotia’s Day of Recognition 2022


Community Impact Sector Day of Recognition honours Invisible Champions and non-profit sector

Event to include proclamation from province

(HALIFAX/KJIPUKTUK – April 29, 2022) A special event this afternoon will recognize the important work happening in the nonprofit sector. The Community Impact Sector Day of Recognition shines a light on the 20,000 people who work in the sector across the province, and the hundreds of thousands of lives they impact each day.

The event is co-led by IONS, United Way, the Bhayana Family Foundation and the Province of Nova Scotia. Artists and performers at the event will help demonstrate community impact through art, poetry and song.

Annika Voltan is the executive director of IONS. She notes the often-invisible work of the Community Impact Sector represents some of the most important contributions to our province’s collective wellbeing and to our quality of life. “A passionate, highly-skilled workforce delivers essential programs and services to ensure that Nova Scotians have access to basic necessities and community support,” says Voltan. “Despite its impact, the sector is often overlooked and undervalued. Recognizing and celebrating this day is part of the larger approach in building momentum and transforming the narrative of the Community Impact Sector.”

Part of that celebration will include 15 individuals and five organizations who will be recognized with Invisible Champion Awards. These award winners have gone above and beyond for their community, demonstrating creativity, adaptability, tenacity and compassion. The award includes $1,000 for each winner to use for professional or personal development, to help them continue their great work.

Raksha M. Bhayana is CEO of the Bhayana Family Foundation, which founded the Invisible Champion Awards in partnership with United Way. This Foundation has advocated for provincial days of recognition for the sector and is working on the creation of a national day of recognition for Canada. “There needs to be more recognition and respect for the value the sector provides,” says Bhayana. “As a society, we should appreciate those who help people as much as those who sell products and services. This day in Nova Scotia is a huge step forward.”

The event will also include a proclamation from the Honorable Barbara Adams, Minister of Seniors and Long-term Care. “Non-profit sector organizations play an essential role in our thriving, healthy communities,” says Minister Adams. “The Day of Recognition is just one way to express our gratitude to the more than 20,000 Nova Scotia non-profit sector employees who help enrich the lives of so many, every day.”

United Way Halifax, IONS and the Bhayana Family Foundation recognize the support of the Province of Nova Scotia. We are pleased to work in partnership with the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage to develop and promote our cultural resources for all Nova Scotians.

United Way Halifax brings donors, volunteers and partners together to create lasting social change. We provide funding, lead projects, and advocate for change – all with the goal of building a more inclusive community that is free of poverty. United Way Halifax works in close partnership with five other United Ways across Nova Scotia – all community-based, we strive to make meaningful change together.

Incorporated in 2006, the Bhayana Family Foundation partners with United Ways and Provincial Nonprofit Associations and Governments across Canada to close the recognition gap for the Nonprofit The United Way/Bhayana Family Foundation Invisible Champion Awards are multi-dimensional, and honour staff in the areas of Leadership, Innovation, Dedication, Partnership, Community Building and Team Achievement.

Impact Organizations of Nova Scotia (IONS) helps build a better world by recognizing the importance of a more just, equitable, and community-driven approach to re-envisioning our society. As a Community Impact Sector advocate, IONS supports, connects, builds capacity for, and amplifies the shared voice and work of the sector. Visit to learn more.

Media Contact:

Sarah White

What’s Planned for the Week

Land Acknowledgment and Host Introduction
Annika Voltan, Executive Director of IONS

Welcome and Introduction of Brea Miller, Live-Capture Visual Artist
Portia Clark, CBC Information Morning Host

Mi’Kmaq Honour Song
Musical Performance by Mi’kmaq Singer Emma Stevens

Introduction of and Speech/Proclamation by Minister Barbara Adams
Honorable Barbara Adams, Minister of Seniors and Long-Term Care

African Drumming
Musical Performance by Drummers from Home

Poetry Reading
Performance by General Khan

Community Impact Sector – State of the Sector Survey Findings
Annika Voltan, Executive Director of IONS

Spoken Word
Performance by Guyleigh Johnson

Invisible Champions Award Ceremony
Sara Napier, United Way Halifax & Raksha Bhayana, Bhayana Family Foundation

Community Impact Sector

Folk Music
Musical Performance by Michael Saulinier

Live-Capture Remarks
Bria Miller, Live-Capture Visual Artist

Closing Remarks
Portia Clark, CBC Information Morning Host

Reception & Networking

Nova Scotia was the first province to lead the charge by proclaiming a Day of Recognition for the Nonprofit Sector on October 14, 2020.

View Nova’s Scotia historic launch of this momentous day!

MP for Halifax since 2015

Andy Fillmore, MP for Halifax since 2015, congratulates the award winners of The Bhayana Family Foundation Awards.

Portrait of the Invisible Champions
(Created by a Live Capture Artist onsite during the ceremony.)

Day of Recognition Photo Gallery

Next stop – Alberta Bound!

United Way Calgary and the Bhayana Family Foundation have begun the process of creating an Alberta Day of Recognition for the Nonprofit Sector. Want to help make it happen? Email us that you would like to be involved.