Kelly Cain to lead Nature Conservancy of Canada in Atlantic Region


TORONTO, Feb. 24, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A former senior public servant has become the third regional vice-president of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in the Atlantic provinces.

Kelly Cain has joined the not-for-profit charity following a thorough recruitment process.

Cain brings a wealth of expertise to the role and says she is “very excited and privileged to join the NCC team.”

Cain, who grew up on a potato farm in Knoxford, New Brunswick, has 35 years of extensive management experience in the Atlantic Region. She was a deputy minister with the Province of New Brunwick with the departments of Intergovernmental Affairs, Human Resources, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Tourism, Heritage and Culture. Cain previously was chief executive officer with the Greater Moncton YMCA, director of tourism and events with the City of Moncton, coordinator of the Atlantic Canada Tourism Partnership on PEI, and spent seven years as program coordinator with the PEI Department of Tourism and Parks.

Cain and her husband, Darren Craswell, have made a donation to NCC. Their financial contribution will go toward conserving nature in recognition of the region’s chief medical officers of health and their roles during COVID-19. She commends Dr. Jennifer Russell in New Brunswick, Dr. Robert Strang in Nova Scotia, Dr. Heather Morrison in Prince Edward Island and Dr. Janice Fitzgerald in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“These individuals, their colleagues and front-line workers have done a phenomenal job, and their calm direction and leadership has comforted and guided us since last March,” said Cain. “During this pandemic, we’ve realized the importance of the outdoors and nature to our own physical and mental well-being. People trying to cope with the stress, anxiety and restrictions are increasingly finding relief in nature. Exploring our nature reserves, trails, forests and lakes has a restorative effect on our mental health. As we nuture our own wellness, we must also invest in nature to nuture it.”

A recent Ipsos poll conducted for NCC found 94 per cent of Canadians acknowledge that nature is helping them relieve stress or anxiety. It also indicates 86 per cent of Canadians agree spending time in nature is important to their mental health during the pandemic. More than half said spending time outdoors is part of their plan to get through the winter months.

Cain succeeds John Foley, who retired after 24 years with NCC in Atlantic Canada.

“We are very pleased to welcome Kelly to the NCC family and feel she brings an extensive depth of leadership and experience to our charitable organization,” said Kevin McNamara, Chair of NCC’s Atlantic Regional Board. “I also want to thank and recognize John Foley for his contributions and years of service.”

Foley says he is most proud of the team he helped build in the Atlantic Region, from just two people when he started, to the current staff of 24. Working with such passionate, committed individuals right across the country is something he will always cherish. With the help of landowners and generous supporters, over 400 conservation projects were achieved during Foley’s tenure. He praises Atlantic Canadians for their vision in wanting to entrust their lands, volunteering and giving monetarily to help NCC protect environmentally significant areas.

NCC works with partners and supporters to conserve important natural spaces. Presently, the organization is raising funds for many initiatives, including:

  • Conserve another 568 hectares (1,405 acres) on the Nova Scotia – New Brunswick border to expand the Chignecto Isthmus “Moose Sex” Wildlife Corridor Project.
  • Protect 1,212 hectares (2,997 acres) of forest and coastal shoreline in western Nova Scotia.
  • Recruit and train volunteer land stewards in communities to help care for our sites.
  • Provide youth employment and mentorship opportunities for 13 interns in the Atlantic provinces this summer.


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation’s leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to conserve 14 million hectares (35 million acres), coast to coast to coast, including over 32,979 hectares (81,494 acres) in the Atlantic Provinces. To learn more, visit

Media Contact :

Andrew Holland
National Media Relations Director
Nature Conservancy of Canada
[email protected]
M: 506.260.0469

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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