A rural Atlantic costal community

Seeing a Future in it: generations and work in Atlantic Canada

May 2018–May 2023

In many countries, concerns are mounting around what will happen when the ‘Baby Boomers’ exit the labour force permanently. In rural Atlantic Canada, these concerns have crystallized around a looming crisis in the region’s independent farms, fisheries, and small businesses. Scattered statistics and anecdotal evidence suggest that as large cohorts of farmers, fishers, and independent business owners approach retirement, the next generation is not poised to take their place.

This SSHRC Insight project takes a critical look at rural occupational succession, in all its complexity, through three activities:

  • A regional telephone survey about work, income and economy in rural and urban communities;
  • A set of qualitative interviews with rural families dealing with the transmission of a business from parents to adult children; and
  • An innovative documentary film and photography component designed to help amplify the findings and engage non-academic audiences.