Community Engagement

St. Francis Xavier University (StFX), located in Antigonish, NS, is characterized by its historic commitment to quality education and leadership development. StFX established an Extension Department in 1928 with a mandate to support the revitalization of the communities of Northeastern Nova Scotia through a people-centered approach to development, an approach that became known globally as the Antigonish Movement. Grounded in the values, vision, and principles of the Antigonish Movement, the Extension Department has, over the decades, expanded its geographic scope, and evolved in the design and implementation of innovative programs to strengthen community capacity to address key issues of the day.

As part of StFX’s efforts to migrate the work of the StFX Extension Department and the Coady International Institute to the Coady Institute, Extension’s work now appears as Community Engagement. We remain committed to Moses Coady’s vision of creating “a full and abundant life for all.” In collaboration with our partners and the groups we work with, we develop and support strategies to address both the challenges and opportunities they encounter. Our approach recognizes each organization’s strengths, which can be used to mobilize its assets for meaningful change.

Our Mission

We strive to promote and advance, according to the principles of the Antigonish Movement, the economic self-reliance and social well-being of the people of Atlantic Canada through economic cooperation and education.

Our Approach

We seek to be agents of change for our partners, organizations, and society at large. At the heart of our approach is the development philosophy that adult learning and collective action are necessary for individuals, communities, and organizations to create vibrant and resilient communities. We follow a straight-forward strategy of “listening, learning, discussing, and acting.”

Our History

When the Extension Department was established in 1928, it was dedicated to revitalizing the communities of northeastern Nova Scotia through a people-centered approach to development, which became known as the Antigonish Movement. This Movement has created a vibrant legacy that continues to ignite our passion for the work that we do today, more than 90 years since its beginning. Learn more

Community Housing Program

​We support the work of the community-housing sector through projects, partnerships, and professional services.

Vibrant Communities Program

We have a long and rich history of helping communities recognize their strengths to successfully leverage them for positive change, while creating “a full and abundant life for all”.

Topshee Program

The Topshee Memorial Program honours the legacy of the Rev. George Topshee, former director of both the StFX Extension Department and the Coady International Institute, and provides a space to connect with Labour in Atlantic Canada.

Education and Training

We see leadership not as something that exists outside of oneself that must be acquired, but rather as qualities, skills, and experiences that naturally exist within everyone.

Professional Services

We see leadership not as something that exists outside of oneself that must be acquired, but rather as qualities, skills, and experiences that naturally exist within everyone.

Knowledge Mobilization

We see leadership not as something that exists outside of oneself that must be acquired, but rather as qualities, skills, and experiences that naturally exist within everyone.

Our People

Martha Fanjoy
Director of Programs
Martha Fanjoy has more than 15 years of experience in applied research, teaching, and program development, in both Canada and internationally.
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Pauline MacIntosh
Program Staff
An experienced adult educator and facilitator, Pauline is passionate about working with groups engaged in strategic thinking and planning, asset-based community development, education and capacity building, and leadership for learning and change.
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Kelly B. Schnare
Researcher - Research and Engagement Coordinator – Community Housing Program
A white settler, land-owner starting with the Acadian Expulsion, Kelly supports complexity through relationships and science-based narratives.
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News and Events

New Provincial Housing Association Forms in Nova Scotia

New Provincial Housing Association Forms in Nova Scotia

Two days of meetings amongst non-profit housing providers and the housing groups, networks, and coalitions who support their work has culminated in the formation of a new provincial association aimed to strengthen the community housing sector in Nova Scotia.

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