Call for Volunteers for Titanic Commemorative Events

first_imgPeople interested in volunteering for Titanic commemorative events in Halifax Regional Municipality in April are encouraged to sign up online. “Nova Scotia has a strong tradition of volunteers coming forward to support key events in our communities,” said David Wilson, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. “Once again, volunteers will play a large role in helping host commemorative events for Nova Scotians and international visitors.” A new online tool developed by Events Nova Scotia allows people to sign up for events, create a user profile and indicate personal skill sets and available dates and times for volunteering. “The Nova Scotia Volunteer Tool allows us to capitalize on our strong event-driven volunteer community by matching volunteers with events happening throughout the province,” said Grant MacDonald, director, Events Nova Scotia. “Experienced and enthusiastic volunteers are critical to the success of any major event and this tool gives events such as Titanic 100 a unique solution to attract the talent they need.” A limited number of volunteer positions are available to help greet visitors, provide event information and offer operations support. Titanic anniversary events April 14 and 15 include The Gathering, a walking, candle-lit procession from the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic to the Grand Parade; Titanic Eve – Night of the Bells, an evening of interpretive presentations and live performances at the Grand Parade; and the Titanic Spiritual Ceremony, an interfaith memorial service at Fairview Lawn Cemetery. Other events will take place the week before the anniversary. “Titanic 100 is delighted to partner with Events Nova Scotia to provide volunteers with an accessible way to sign up for events,” said Jennifer Stewart, volunteer co-ordinator, Titanic 100. “We look forward to welcoming new and veteran volunteers as we continue to prepare for events in April.” People interested in volunteering for morning, afternoon or evening shifts from April 7 to 15 can apply online at the Events Nova Scotia website at .last_img read more

Higher stock prices and home price gains lift US household wealth to

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – A surging stock market and rebounding home prices boosted Americans’ wealth to a record in the final three months of last year, though both trends have slowed so far in 2014.Household net worth jumped nearly $3 trillion during last year’s fourth quarter to $80.7 trillion. Stock and mutual fund portfolios gained nearly $1.7 trillion, or 9 per cent, according to a Thursday report by the Federal Reserve.The value of Americans’ homes rose just over $400 billion, a 2 per cent gain. And checking account balances, pensions plan assets and retirement savings, such as 401(k)s, also increased.Strong wealth gains tend to trigger more consumer spending, a critical fuel for economic growth. Higher household net worth is one reason economists have forecast that the U.S. economy will accelerate later this year.Household wealth, or net worth, reflects the value of homes, stocks, bank accounts and other assets minus mortgages, credit cards and other debts.Last year, home prices nationwide rose by the most in eight years. And the Standard & Poor’s 500 index of large stocks jumped 32 per cent. So far this year, home-price gains have slowed, and the S&P 500 has risen just 1.4 per cent.Rising home prices are helping people rebuild ownership stakes in their homes. The equity that Americans as a whole have in their homes has reached 51.7 per cent, the highest point since before the recession began. That’s up from a record low of 36.5 per cent in the first three months of 2009.The Great Recession hammered Americans’ net worth, cutting their overall wealth to $55.6 trillion in the first quarter of 2009. That was 19 per cent below the pre-recession peak of $68.8 trillion.U.S. wealth has since recovered. But households haven’t benefited equally. Much of the rebound stems from stock market gains. Yet roughly 10 per cent of households own about 80 per cent of stocks. Most middle-class wealth stems from home ownership, and house prices nationwide remain below the peak reached in the spring of 2006.The Fed’s figures aren’t inflation-adjusted and don’t account for population growth.Last month, economists at Ohio State University adjusted for both factors and concluded that, as of mid-2013, the net worth of the average U.S. household is still 14 per cent below the pre-recession peak.Still, rising wealth and an improving economy are encouraging more Americans to take on debt, which can be a sign of confidence. Total household debt ticked up 0.4 per cent in the quarter, mostly because Americans took out more auto and student loans.But that doesn’t mean consumers are returning to pre-recession habits of building up excessive debt. Mortgage debt fell last quarter, as it has in almost every quarter for the past five years.And after-tax income is ticking up, making it easier for Americans to finance their debts. Total household debt as a percentage of income was largely flat in the fourth quarter compared with the previous three months, at 109 per cent. But that’s down from a peak of 135 per cent at the end of 2007, just before the recession.___Contact Chris Rugaber on Twitter at Higher stock prices and home price gains lift US household wealth to record $80 trillion by Christopher S. Rugaber, The Associated Press Posted Mar 6, 2014 11:25 am MDT FILE – In this Wednesday, March 5, 2014, file photo, specialist Brian Egan, foreground left, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. A surging stock market and rebounding home prices boosted Americans’ wealth to a record in the final three months of last year, though both trends have slowed so far in 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) read more