Wayside is first and foremost for people in Atlantic Canada working for the greater good in communities, organizations and society.

We are a region that values community and that is rich is social capital. There are many inspiring nonprofits, social enterprises and community building initiatives. Working to affect change is rewarding and often very hard work. It is easy to feel frustrated, overwhelmed by the challenge, and alone.

No matter what we are working on, we all face similar challenges of courage, resilience, and knowing how to be strategic and effective—with the situation and with ourselves. We can all benefit from further learning. In addition, there may be people we are unaware of working on issues very similar to ours, who can be sources of feedback, ideas, and support so that we can have greater collective impact.

To enable these kinds of learning and connections, Wayside provides access to training, useful online discussions, networking, and extensive resources. In this way, we hope to help strengthen the capacity for positive change throughout Atlantic Canada, and to realize our potential as a refuge for sanity that the world increasingly needs.

Why the Name?

Soon after we begin to tackle a challenging community project, change the way we work, or attempt a new way of approaching old problems, we commonly find ourselves on a long, uncertain, and often difficult journey.

This journey can be both exhilarating and exhausting. So this site functions as a “wayside inn” for weary travellers to step off at any point along the road to rejuvenate and refresh, exchange stories and tips with fellow travellers, recruit companions for the next stretch, and upgrade gear for the rough patches ahead.

The Wayside Legacy

Michael Chender was the founder and visionary of Wayside. He also founded ALIA (Authentic Leadership in Action) in 2001, an annual institute that attracted 2-300 people from around the world each year to Halifax to work with leading thinkers on complexity, collaboration and dealing with conflict. ALIA influenced many changemakers in Nova Scotia and spawned Envision Halifax (a joint venture with United Way), which evolved into Engage Nova Scotia.

Although not originally from the region, Michael moved to Nova Scotia in 1988 and developed a deep love and appreciation for the place. He was a student of Buddhism and a meditation practitioner, appreciating the role of mindfulness and the individual in societal change. Michael passed away in July 2019 and the Wayside board turned to Inspiring Communities to help carry on Michael’s vision for Wayside. We are honoured to be able to help carry his legacy.

Our Board and Staff