News release

Government Invests in Center of Excellence

The government is investing an additional $3 million to support construction of the Jordantown-Acaciaville-Conway Betterment Association (JACBA) Center of Excellence.

The centre will be a state-of-the-art facility promoting collaboration among community, education, and economic institutions within Digby and the surrounding area. It will include a community room, gymnasium, stage, fitness room, library, meeting room, seniors’ area, and rental space.

“The government is proud to support community-led projects that help improve equity and inclusion for people of African descent,” said African Nova Scotian Affairs Minister Pat Dunn. “The JACBA Center of Excellence would not be possible without the ongoing work of the Jordantown-Acaciaville-Conway Betterment Association, Digby Education Committee, and local community members.”

In November 2018, the federal, provincial, and municipal governments announced funding toward the centre totalling more than $5.5 million. However, due to changes in building code requirements and project delays as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, an additional $3 million is required.

The total cost of the JACBA Center of Excellence is about $9 million.


With my background in education, including several years serving in the Digby area, I personally know the years of hard work and dedication it took to make this vision come to life, spanning more than a decade. Community centres, like the JACBA Center of Excellence, are fundamental to the growth, prosperity, and success of our province. Dwayne Provo, Associate Deputy Minister, African Nova Scotian Affairs

It has been many, many hours bringing our project to this point. We thank the Nova Scotia government for their support in bringing this project to a reality. Kerry Johnson, President, Jordantown-Acaciaville-Conway Betterment Association

Members of the Black community of Digby have been extremely patient over the years and are anxiously awaiting the completed construction of the Center of Excellence. Brad Barton, facilitator for the Black community of Digby

Quick Facts:

  • - in 2012, the Digby Education Committee tasked JACBA to advocate for a centre of excellence for the Black communities of the Digby area as a result of a human rights settlement agreement
  • in May 1970, members of the Black communities of Jordantown, Acaciaville and Conway met as group to deal with the needs in the community resulting in the incorporation of an organization in 1971 which was renamed JACBA in 2013
  • JACBA is a non-profit organization designated to address inequalities such as employment, housing, education, and lack of social activities in African Nova Scotian communities in Digby and surrounding rural areas
  • in 2018, the provincial contribution to JACBA was about $3.7 million

Additional Resources:

News release – New Community Centre for Acaciaville:

African Nova Scotian Affairs:

Jordantown-Acaciaville-Conway Betterment Association:

Count Us In: Nova Scotia’s Action Plan in Response to the International Decade for People of African Descent, 2015-2024: