Project Announcement: Taking Care of the Valley

Pier Labs is thrilled to announce the launch of “Taking Care of the Valley”, made possible by support through the Feminist Response and Recovery Fund.

Pier Labs

Pier Labs, Davis Pier’s Social Innovation Outpost, is thrilled to announce the launch of “Taking Care of the Valley”, a new project that is made possible by support from Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE) through the Feminist Response and Recovery Fund.

The project is focused on designing new initiatives to integrate women’s caregiving duties and participation in the local economy. The participatory research and design project is led by Pier Labs and supported by the Valley Regional Enterprise Network and will run for 18 months, beginning in January 2022.

The goal of this project is to advance recovery from the current impacts of COVID-19 by addressing systemic barriers within the economic system. We will develop initiatives that integrate caregiving, work that is primarily shouldered by women, into the Annapolis Valley region’s economic recovery.  

In addition to the launch of this project, Pier Labs is recruiting community members from the Annapolis Valley region to join the Steering Committee. If you are interested in applying to join the Steering Committee, please complete this form on or before January 15th, 2022. More information about the Steering Committee can be found here.

“As we work towards economic recovery, this is a timely initiative that is taking an inclusive and participatory approach to work directly with women impacted by Covid-19, who we know from the evidence faced more challenges associated with maintaining their jobs and caring for loved ones,” shares Mike Davis, CEO, Davis Pier and Board Chair, Pier Labs. “This project will help us better understand the broad wellbeing impacts of these situations and look at the integration of care issues into economic development, using a broader quality of life lens than has traditionally been used.”

More Quotes:

“During the pandemic, women have stepped up and done incredible work on the frontlines. They have found innovative solutions to this challenging new reality, keeping essential businesses open and supporting their communities wherever and whenever they could—specifically providing care for children and seniors. That is why our government is proud to announce that Pier Labs will receive approximately $350,000 to address systemic barriers and increase women’s representation at all levels of decision-making roles in Nova Scotia. We will continue supporting women across the country to build a more progressive and inclusive Canada for all. “

– The Honourable Marci Ien, M.P., Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

“Challenges related to childcare, and caregiving overall, have been a recurring theme throughout the pandemic in the Annapolis Valley region.  We’re excited to work with Pier Labs on a project that is thoughtful, inclusive, participatory, and one that will have a direct and meaningful impact on the lives of women in the Annapolis Valley.” 

-Jennifer Tufts, CEO, The Valley Regional Enterprise Network

More Information about the Project:

The project will bring together caregivers and stakeholders to learn, generate creative ideas, and test these ideas through implementing small-scale prototypes. We will work collaboratively within the Annapolis Valley and aim to accomplish the following outcomes: 

  • Empower women caregivers
  • Understand care work and how it affects the social and economic wellbeing of women in a rural region
  • Increase involvement and collaboration across business stakeholders
  • Develop solutions by experimenting with new ideas and diverse stakeholders
  • Integrate care work into the regional economic development strategy

About Pier Labs:

Pier Labs is a federally incorporated non-profit research organization that seeks partnerships with various sectors, including not-for-profit, for-profit, academia, foundations, and government to help solve some of the toughest social policy problems our country is facing.​ Supported by Davis Pier Consulting, Pier Labs seeks to improve the wellbeing of citizens and communities using social science, behavioural science, and social innovation. 

About Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE):

Women and Gender Equality Canada works to advance equality with respect to sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression through the inclusion of people of all genders, including women in Canada’s economic, social, and political life.

About The Valley Regional Enterprise Network (Valley REN):

The Valley Regional Enterprise Network (Valley REN), incorporated in March 2014, is the regional economic development organization for the Annapolis Valley Region. The Valley REN carries out the economic development priorities of its members, which include Glooscap First Nation, the Municipality of the County of Kings, West Hants Regional Municipality, and the Towns of Berwick, Kentville, and Middleton. Funding for the Valley REN is provided by its members and is matched by the Province of Nova Scotia to support economic development on a regional level.


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