Making the Annapolis Valley a better place for LGBTQ youth and our allies

New Here?

Welcome!  Below you’ll find news and events about the Valley Youth Project, an organization dedicated to connecting LGBTQ youth and our allies across the Annapolis Valley.  If you’re new, you might want to read more about who we are and why we’re here.

Want to know more about the proud history of the queer community?  Come to drop in and hear LGBTQ elders talk about coming out and the early days of queer activism.  As always, there will be snacks, comfy seats and a chance to share some of your own experiences (or not!)

The discussion kicks off at 6.30, going until 8.30.  We’re still at the Louis Millet Community Centre in room 128; you will know us by the Pride flag on the door.

And, if you’re new to the VYP and would like to know more, check out the For YOUth tab at the top of the blog page.  We hope to see you soon!

Nov. 5 Drop In: Movie Night

unnamed We’re planning on watching a movie or TV Show at our next Drop In on November 5.  Do you have a suggestion for something you’ve yet to see or would like to watch again and share with others?  Please let us know by leaving a comment or use the Contact Us button. We only have a couple hours of Drop In, so your choice does have to run less than that.

Drop In runs from 6:30 – 8:30 in room 128 of the Louis Millet Community Complex, 9489 Commercial St., New Minas.  We’ll start with a check in with everyone, then watch our show and hopefully have some time to practice begin movie critics.  As always, there will be snacks!

Update from The Youth Engagement Team for the Sexual Violence Strategy
The staff of HeartWood and Leaders Of Today are deeply saddened at the loss of an incredible champion for youth in our community, Leighann Wichman, our colleague and our friend.

Leighann was a founding member of The Youth Project and it’s only Executive Director. Her strong quiet guidance, steadfast dedication and the incredible depth of care she gave made her one of the most influential advocates for the LGBTQ community in Nova Scotia and beyond. The impact of Leighann’s personal and professional life will forever ripple out; she has saved lives, changed attitudes and built bridges of support, love and solidarity.

Leighann’s passing is a loss of enormous proportion felt deeply by those whose lives she touched. Our little team is made up of but a few of the very many mourning the loss of such an incredible community hero.

Our deepest condolences and thoughts go out especially to Leighann’s family, closest friends, and The Youth Project.

In respect of this news, we are rescheduling the LGBTQ youth conversation in New Minas from Tuesday, October 21st to Friday, December 12th. We believe it is important to make as much room as we can for the community to support one another during this difficult time.

We appreciate all of your compassion and understanding with regards to this decision. All other conversations across the province will proceed as scheduled and we are available to answer any questions folks may have.

Bri, Tamsyn, Louise and Rena

Oct. 15 Drop In: Games

ping_pong_paddles We’re breaking out the games again at our next Drop In on October 15, 2014. It will be players choice – ping pong, foosball, or board games. If you have a favourite game you want to play, bring it along.

Drop In  runs from 6:30 – 8:30, and you can come and go at any time during then.  We’re in room 128 of the Louis Millet Community Complex at 9489 Commercial St. in New Minas.  Follow the signs to the door with the rainbow flag.

We welcome  all queer youth 25 years and younger, and your friends.   You don’t have to self-identify. There is no membership to sign up to. Just show up.

We have snacks.

If you’re planning ahead, the dates for the next few Drop Ins are November 5, November 19, December 3 and December 17.

Update Oct 16:

Youth 19 and over no longer need to attend with an adult supporter.  Some dates have changed.  See the details at the Heartwood website.


How should our communities be responding to sexual violence?  How should we be preventing it?  The Government of NS is asking young people around the province to bring their ideas to a series of conversations happening over the next two months.

Here in New Minas, they will be hosting a conversation for GLBTQ+ youth on October 21st.

Have something to say?  Want to make sure young people’s stories and experiences are represented?  Check out the information below.

Are you an adult ally to GLBTQ+ youth?  You can help spread the word by passing this info along to youth who might want to participate, putting up a poster (below), joining the conversation as the community support worker, or making yourself available as a support person to a youth participant.

Conversations are happening in many communities around the province, and you don’t have to go to the one nearest you.  Each one has a different theme, and people are welcome to attend the one that best suits them.  There are conversations specifically for young people who identify as men or women, Aboriginal youth, youth who are immigrants or refugees, African Nova Scotian youth and youth from racialized communities, as well as regional conversations for youth from the eastern, western, northern, and central regions of the province (see below for map).


  • What: Conversation about NS Sexual Violence Strategy
  • Who: GLBTQ+ youth, 14-25 years old
  • When: Tuesday, October 21, 10 AM – 3 PM
  • Where: New Minas, venue TBA
  • Contact: Briana Miller
  • Email:
  • Phone: (902) 233-2679


Registration is free; you only need to RSVP.  Some subsidies are available for travel, and possibly for childcare (details are still being finalized); you can get more information from Briana.

Because of the possibly heavy and sensitive topic, youth 18 and under must attend with an adult that they trust and have a professional relationship with.  The adult will not be in the room during the consultation, but must be available throughout the day. If you would like one of the Youth Project volunteers to be your adult supporter, please let us know and we will try to support as many youth as possible.

Registration forms and details are available on the Heartwood website.

Are You a Community Support Worker?

Organizers are also calling for a community support worker to attend each conversation.  There is a stipend available; experience supporting people who have experienced sexual violence is an asset but not required.  For more information, see the Heartwood website.

 Map of Youth Engagement Conversations


Oct. 1 Drop In: Get Physical

Da_Vinci_Vitruve_Luc_Viatour2Are you thinking about getting stronger, stretching out, burning some calories, doing some cardio or just  getting a bit more active so you’ll feel better? Join us at our next Drop In on Wednesday October 1. Our volunteer Tim will share his several years experience of instructing group fitness to give some guidance on how you can keep your body moving the way you want it to. We’ll talk about body awareness, review basic anatomy and demonstrate and practice some exercises that you might  like to try.   Whether you’re looking to better your game, or just getting used to your changing body, we can help you figure out what to do. This won’t be a full on work out session, but if you want to practice some exercises, wear clothing that is comfortable to move in.

Drop In happens Wednesday October 1,  6:30 to 8:30 pm, in room 128 of the Louis Millet Community Complex at 9489 Commercial St., New Minas. If you’ve not been before, once in the building follow the VYP signs to the room with the rainbow flag on the door. We’ll have refreshments to keep you energized.

Sept. 17: Drop In Returns

Pride Salad

The salad days of Summer are waning… which means Drop In returns.  We are back to our regular schedule of the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month, beginning on September 17.

Hopefully we’ll see some familiar faces and welcome some new ones. We’ll take the time to share our stories of  Summer vacations, pride parades, camping out, new jobs, back to school and whatever else is happening that you would like to share.  It’s also a safe space to try out your new wardrobe style, or get used to using a different name.  Perhaps a game of Foosball or air hockey might break out.

Drop In runs from 6:30 – 8:30 PM, in Room 128 of the Louis Millet Community Complex, 9489 Commercial St., New Minas.  It’s a relaxed social space and we provide snacks and refreshments. If you need to know more about the VYP, check out the “New Here” tab above.  We hope to see there!


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