24 hours with creator of Elevate & Explore Black Nova Scotia
René Boudreau (BA’15) is an avid traveller and entrepreneur. She created Elevate & Explore Black Nova Scotia to promote Nova Scotia’s rich Black history and culture while supporting Black-owned businesses.
4 p.m. It’s Friday afternoon and I’m finishing my day job at the Association of Black Social Workers. While I would love to go home and relax, I have a few last-minute things to do to prepare for the First Annual Black Excellence Boat Cruise tomorrow. It’s an event I’m co-hosting with Change Is Brewing Co., a community organization that advocates for racial inclusion in the craft beverage industry through collaborations, education and community outreach (on Instagram @changeisbrewingco). I need more prizes for the event, so I reach out to two of my favourite local Black-owned businesses: Tricia Crawley Art, to purchase her popular Nova Scotia BLM t-shirt and Fire & Desire Candle Co. to purchase their scented eco-friendly soy wax candle.
5 p.m. I get a phone call from Ambassatours to confirm numbers and seating. Our event is sold out!
6 p.m. I have a busy weekend ahead of me but I try to visit my parents each day at their home in East Preston, one of Canada’s oldest historic Black communities. My dad is barbecuing salmon and ribs, and my mom is watching her home shows.
9 p.m. I take some time before bed to work on my Elevate & Explore Wellness Colouring Book for Families, which will focus on well-being and knowledge sharing.
10 p.m. I have an early morning ahead of me, so I get ready for bed and say a special prayer that everything goes well tomorrow!
7 a.m. My alarm goes off and I wake up excited to start the day.
8 a.m. I’m getting my makeup done for the boat cruise and as I look out the window, I see the sun start to shine—it’s going to be a great day!
12 p.m. I’m at the Halifax waterfront greeting passengers before they board the Harbour Queen. The photographers have arrived and the performers are setting up. We invited the Halifax Multicultural Drummers, Jah’Mila, Evolution Sounds and Rush! Bahamian Culture.
12:30 p.m. Everyone is boarding the Harbour Queen. The sun is shining, people are laughing and I’m feeling all the happiness. I hear the sound of the drums and I know it’s going to be an amazing event celebrating Black excellence!