Meet the 2021 Board Nominees

CNS Presidential Candidates

Vaness Burns

Bader Kanawati

Vanessa Burns

Candidate President

Hello! I’m Vanessa Burns and I am your candidate for the President of Climb Nova Scotia. For the past two years I have served on the CNS Board as the training course coordinator. My other climbing community contributions include teaching youth classes at East Peak, coordinating Ice Fest, judging Tour de Bloc, and enthusiastically spreading (and dancing out) the stoke. So why do I want to be CNS President? The answer is simple. To take my Board experience to the next level and collaborate even more with the community in order to continue to build the passion for climbing in NS. The community is growing rapidly and Climb Nova Scotia has to be ready to grow with it. This includes being accessible for everyone - no matter age, size, shape, sexual orientation, skin colour or ability. This also means maintaining respectful crag access and appropriate, safe development. Serving as CNS President will allow me to share my 20+ years of skills in board management and not for profit leadership, volunteer engagement, government relations and fundraising so the Board can continue to evolve and grow the CNS community. Fast facts: My proudest climbing moment was summiting a 9,000 foot mountain in the Italian Dolomites for my 50th birthday. My favorite aspect of climbing is definitely the people and my motto is “The best climber is the one having the most fun” Climb on!

Alex MacLean

Bader Kanawati

Candidate for President

I am writing to express my interest in the president position for Climb Nova Scotia (CNS). A couple of years after coming to Nova Scotia in 2011 I discovered climbing and ever since it has been a big part of my life. Moving to a new country was incredibly challenging, but through CNS and climbing, I was able to find a sense of community and belonging. CNS events and courses have provided me with the opportunity to learn so much about not only climbing but the broader community in Nova Scotia. If selected as president, I want to continue the organization's efforts in growing its diversity and inclusiveness. I know first-hand how important it is that everyone feels that they belong and are represented in a community regardless of their background, culture, and abilities. I also participated in an event held by CNS with the Mi'kmaw Friendship Centre, where I was able to assist in introducing members of the Indigenous community to climbing and our community. This meaningful experience reaffirmed for me the importance of inclusion and diversity in climbing, especially in Nova Scotia, which has an incredibly diverse population. I would also like to explore ways to enhance CNS’ visibility in Nova Scotia, which is crucial to growing the organization‘s diversity and inclusiveness. The climbing community in Nova Scotia is growing steadily, and while this is incredibly promising and exciting, it brings new challenges. I want to ensure that any of these challenges, including issues around accessibility and safety, are addressed proactively. In order to do so, I would ensure that there is an accessible knowledge base for climbers of all abilities. This includes climbing courses, increased resources for climbing safety, information on respecting the environment, as well as other material to assist climbers that are new to the community. It also includes maintaining and building resources for existing members of our community, like advanced climbing courses and information on climbing within the province. Accessibility also means working with the local community and other organizations to ensure maintained access to our climbing locations. We are fortunate to live in a place with many climbing areas close to us. This is an exciting opportunity for me to work closely with the CNS team and listen to the local community’s needs  to keep climbing in Nova Scotia welcoming, safe, and accessible to everyone