ACNS welcomes your inquires and feedback.
Whether you need information about our programs and services, volunteering, information for school, or just to say hello – we are here for you. Please know that all submissions are carefully considered and we maintain the strictest confidentiality.
All successful organizationshave a team whose goal is meaningful change. Each ACNS staff member makes his or her own unique contribution to our success. We are proud of the level of dedication and commitment they embody in making Nova Scotia a better place through support, education and empowerment.
Chris AucoinExecutive Director
902.425.4882 ext 227
Chris (He/Him) moved up to the Executive Director chair in December 2019 after having worked as the ACNS Gay Men’s Health Coordinator for over a decade.
An educator, writer and freelance designer, Chris has a master’s degree in Educational Psychology, a diploma in graphic design, and broad community-based experience in cultural industries and social justice stretching back more than two decades. His work in social justice has included poverty and food security, and a wide range of 2SLGBTQ+ support, social and political causes.
His current passion is working on rewrites for his first completed theatre script A Boy And His Dog which he workshopped at Queer Acts 2014. Chris loves dogs, dancing, and singing weekly with the Halifax Gay Men's Chorus!
Ned MacInnisProgram Support
902.425.4882 ext 224
Ned (He/Him) holds the position of Program Support at ACNS.
Involved in the AIDS movement for over 25 years, Ned has provided support and sexual health education with Men-Who-Have-Sex-With-Men, conducted training and education sessions, and has worked with People Living with HIV/AIDS creating health promotion strategies. His ancillary work includes: HIV/AIDS Education in Jamaica Project, Mount Saint Vincent University; Peer Outreach Worker: Stepping Stone Association; Consultant: Prison Outreach, Counseling, Education and Resource Development, Correctional Service of Canada; Research Assistant: Promising Practices in the Engagement of People Living with or At-Risk for HIV/AIDS in Rural Canada, Thompson Rivers University.
He says “The greatest lesson I have learned here is this: I am not a salmon; I do not have to swim upstream. I have developed a strong passion about community-based work and as a result, I have learned to live life to its fullest. Carpe Diem!”
Mise'l (Michael) Davies-Cole, apukji’j (mouse clan)Equity & Diversity Project Coordinator
Michael (negm/negmow they/them) comes from a large family that holds its roots deep within the NS Black and First Nations communities. Being an Indigenous Two-Spirited and Black Nova Scotian has been the driving force for Michael’s work within the Queer, First Nations, and NS Black communities.
With a media technical background through NSCC, NSCAD, and ACADIA, Michael has worked in visual art since the early 90s, and some of their works have crossed into how they view society and its use or misuse of gender. Having worked within advocacy and consulting they spends much of their time on unpacking social equity in policy and procedures defined within working groups.
Michael is proud to have been part of many queer organizations and boards during their work in advocacy. This work has seen inclusion in Transgender Health legal advocacy with researchers and publication in Indigenous 2S knowledge. They have a long standing connection to Queer advocacy within the Atlantic province and have been greatly involved in the past with Halifax Pride, NSRAP, the Youth Project and OutLaw to name a few. They are a member of the Wabanaki Two Spirit Alliance, and a current Board member of NSPIRG.
Jordan UpshawPrograms Manager
902-403-7169 (phone and text)
Jordan (He/Him) is Programs Manager at ACNS, Jordan is a queer cis man of African Nova Scotian and Caucasian mixed-decent. Jordan spent his early life engaging in youth leadership and advocacy; sitting on the West Hants African Advisory Committee working to address educational inequities facing black youth.
Finishing up his Bachelors of Arts with a major in Psychology Jordan transitioned from the private sector to working with a host of community non-profits supporting adults and youth with intellectual disabilities as well as complex mental health challenges. Jordan also spent time supporting indigenous folks experiencing housing insecurity with the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre. Currently, Jordan serves on a few community-based boards volunteering his time.
Jordan also worked for Canadian fashion designer Lisa Drader-Murphy for several years as her executive assistant, learning invaluable lessons in entrepreneurship, business management, and strategic development. From this Jordan also developed on-going passion and side-hustle for designing and making clothing.
Cole HardimanFund Development Intern
Cole (He/Him) has joined ACNS as the Fund Development & Marketing Intern for the summer.
He is a current student at Saint Mary’s University. He will be going into his third year of studies next year and expects to graduate in 2025 with an undergraduate degree in Commerce.
Cole loves to stay active by playing sports such as Hockey and Baseball, and explores nature during walks and hikes.
Jordan ParkerFund Development Coordinator
902-240-7384 (phone and text)
Jordan Parker (He/Him) is the Fund Development & Communications Coordinator at ACNS. He has a Masters in Investigative Journalism from the University of King's College, and an Advanced Diploma in PR from NSCC Ivany campus.
A freelance journalist and owner of arts and entertainment firm Parker PR, Jordan is an award-winning writer and communicator. He works part-time doing event planning, and has worked on events including the Halifax Comedy Festival and the Halifax Buskers. He has a passion for non-profit and helping the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.
He's a huge movie fan and owns 2,500 DVDs and BluRays. During the NHL season, you can usually catch Jordan rooting on his Toronto Maple Leafs.
Hanley SmithProgram Coordinator
Hanley (They/Them) is a Health and Wellness Coordinator at ACNS, and our lead for 2-Spirit, Trans and Non-Binary programs at ACNS.
Hanley is a non-binary activist and community leader in Nova Scotia’s queer community. They have developed and implemented queer youth programs, and done award winning work caring for trans* youth throughout their many years of volunteer service. Hanley is also a musician and has worked to ensure the success of disabled artists as they are one themselves.
Hanley is a big fan of dungeons & dragons with a dice collection the size of a watermelon. They are very excited to do the work that they care about most, protecting and caring for trans* people.
Olivia KerrProgram Coordinator
Olivia (They/Them) is a Health and Wellness Coordinator at ACNS.
Olivia is a non-binary, queer, and white person with a background in non-profits, community health initiatives, scientific research, and youth programming. They have a BSc from Dalhousie University where they studied Biochemistry and Neuroscience and obtained a certificate in Data Analytics. Olivia is passionate about building joyful and inclusive queer community and dismantling health inequities to create safer and more accessible care for Nova Scotians.
In their free time, Olivia loves to cook, enjoy the ocean and lakes around Nova Scotia, and cuddle their cats and dog.