I grew up in a small town an hour’s drive from Melbourne, Australia. I graduated from RMIT University Melbourne in 2008, and in 2012, at the age of 24, I moved to Nova Scotia in pursuit of my dream of working in the Canadian animation industry.
It hurts that the proposed budget is making my industry unwelcome in this province, and it terrifies me to consider that Nova Scotia may not be my home for much longer, because the simple truth is that if there is no work for us here, we will leave. I’m 27. I have dedicated the past 9 years of my life to animation. It is my career and my livelihood. My life and my passion. If I have to pack up my life and move, I will. But it will break my heart.
For every major holiday, my roommate and I open our home to our workmates who, for distance or time, cannot get home. Holiday Orphans. Without fail, our living room is littered with animators who are provinces, countries, oceans away from the family they’d be spending the holidays with. Animators that moved to this province to animate, and who now call Halifax home. I’ve been at Copernicus Studios for three years, and there is an entire planet separating myself from my family. I know I would not still be here if it weren’t for the colleagues I consider friends, and the friends I consider family. This is Nova Scotia. This is what Nova Scotia means to me. And I consider myself a Nova Scotian every time I extend the warm welcome that was offered to me when I first arrived.
I’m currently in the process of applying for permanent residency through the province. Long term I want to become a Canadian citizen, thanks in no small part to the wonderful people I spend every day with. I have a family here who mean as much to me as my Mum and my siblings back in Australia. These tax credit changes are threatening my home, my family, and the future of every wonderful person I work with. It frightens me, and I don’t want any of us to go.