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Music Festival and Conference

Stay Young:

Youth Retention and Culture in Nova Scotia


Outward Migration of Youth is a problem for Nova Scotia.


In the 20 years previous to 2015, over 25,000 young people left Nova Scotia.
In response to this epidemic, the city of Halifax developed the Youth Retention Action Plan in 2018 in an attempt to reduce outward migration to zero. The plan was developed to keep young, creative talent in the province in order to improve our workforce and the longevity of personnel experience within organizations.


Youth need reasons to stay in the province.


Job opportunities, pay, provincial culture and forward thinking contribute to the retention of a strong, vibrant demographic. The Youth Retention Action Plan is a great start, however it’s still in its infancy, and in order to see results, it needs to be acted on quickly by businesses throughout Nova Scotia.


Companies without a focus on youth

retention will lose their aging workforce.


With the Baby Boomers entering retirement, the 65-and-over age group is growing rapidly. In just the five years between 2015 and 2020, the number of people in this age group will increase by 17 percent—from 48 million to 56 million.


Every young person that leaves the

province is a missed opportunity.


Young employees contribute new ideas, perspectives, and cultures to businesses. Planning to attract and retain young employees means companies have a greater opportunity to stay on top of trends, technology, and more. On a larger scale, a lack of young people makes the province less attractive for new business opportunities in advancing fields such as automation, technology, and more. Not to mention, a declining cultural scene.


Millenials and Gen Z are seeking

authenticity and change.


Millenials and Gen Z are weary of corporate business and organizations.  According to the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey, these demographics are eager for businesses to make a positive impact in society, and are holding business accountable. Currently, only 47% of millenials believe business leaders are committed to improving society — which is down significantly from 62% in 2017. This tells us that youth are paying attention to business’ involvement in community and their contribution to the culture of our city.


When choosing where to live and work,

youth are focused on more than just money.


Times are changing. The 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey tells us that “Company Culture” is the #2 top priority for millenials when considering an employer. Company culture is more than HR practices — contributions to the community, brand partnerships, and what the business stands for can be big factors to the overall perception of a business.


Music Festivals are a vital component of thriving culture.


Music Canada released a study about British Columbia’s music sector. In this, they quote a recent study by the Information and Communications Technology Council that confirmed that there is a link between a vibrant music scene and the retention and attraction of creative workers, particularly a skilled ICT workforce. This idea can be scaled up or down — a thriving music culture is not only essential for cities as a whole, but can revitalize or incentivize an organization on a smaller level as well.


Halifax Pop Explosion has a 26 year history

as a festival dedicated to youth.


HPX is the festival for live music fans. We exist for fans, artists, and industry professionals. We pride ourselves on bringing some of the best and most exciting emerging talent to Halifax, and engaging with music fans throughout the province and Atlantic region.

  • 70% of our demographic is age 19-34 (50/50 male and female)
  • High following and engagement on social media
  • Festival goers have a positive perception of our community partners

The Festival and Conference contributes

heavily to the culture of Halifax.


For over 25 years, Halifax Pop Explosion has advocated for the health and wellness of the Halifax music scene. We seek to develop an environment where young people can thrive in music, and to consistently create the next generation of music fans.


HPX also contributes financially to the

success of the province.


Our 2017 Economic Impact Study by PCG showed:

  • 15,000 attendance

  • $431,000 in visitor spending directly attributable to the Halifax Pop Explosion

  • $1.4 million economic activity supported in Nova Scotia

  • 101 International industry delegates present at the conference
    and 500 musicians from across North America.


HPX has a distinct focus on

diversity and inclusion.


In the past year, HPX has put measurable effort into creating a safe, welcoming, and inclusive space, both during the festival and year-round. In 2017, we programmed 56% female identifying performers, and created and implemented the Accessibility Safety Krew (A.S.K.) — an on-site support crew for accessibility needs and safety of patrons and artists during the festival. This year, we’ve partnered with Education, Equality, and Diversity consultant Crystal Taylor to develop intensive diversity and inclusion training for the live music sector. Moving forward, we’re committed to develop programming focusing on music skill and enhancement in minority and at-risk communities, as well as enhance support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community.


HPX has a direct impact on youth retention in Nova Scotia.


  • Partnering with HPX directly contributes to youth retention in Nova Scotia

  • Provides a strong company culture

  • Contributes to a thriving cultural city, which in turn creates attractive
    opportunities for further investment and tech

  • Helps with the future of the music and creative arts industries


Contact Information


Talk to Us

All general inquiries can be sent to
All press/media inquiries can be sent to
Trevor Murphy at Pigeon Row


Our Location

Halifax Pop Explosion
2169 Gottingen St.
Halifax, NS, B3K 3B5