Welcome to Ripples 2 Waves!

There’s a wave of change flowing over and through Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. This community of eight thousand people is creating a wave of inspiring social and community action for sustainability. A wave that demonstrates how citizens taking action, using asset-based approaches can really make a difference in the resiliency of a place.

This blog will begin to harvest those stories of action and change. It will hopefully act as a source  of inspiration to spark and ignite other local initiatives, and act as a resource for actions of renewal in other small communities.


Art Happening Bridgewater!


Art Happening Bridgewater located on 430 King street in Bridgewater is a non-profit organization with it’s mission to build community through celebrating creativity. It will be run as a drop-in space where people can gather together whether it be to socialize, make art, write songs, learn something new or whatever your heart desires. It is important to us that all the activities are free or low cost. The group is finalizing the November Calendar of events and you can be put on their mailing list by contacting them.

If you would like to learn more about this exciting space please stop by one of our 2 OPEN HOUSE events that are coming up  – Sat Nov 1 from 2:00 – 6:00pm and Thurs Nov 6 from 3:00 – 6:00pm. Stay after the Open House on the 6th for our first Open Mic Night which will run as a monthly event. Visit the Art Happening Bridgewater Website Here! 

Scan_20141020 (4)Open mic Low rez

Bridgewater receives awards

Bridgewater has received yet another two awards in recent months.

AWARD 1: In the summer Bridgewater was one of three communities who received the Lieutenant Governor’s Community Spirit Award.

This award celebrates the power, strength and diversity of vibrant communities across Nova Scotia. Bridgewater’s receipt of this award again confirms that it is a community that is brimming with local spirit and community activity. The events and projects which drew the recognition of the award committee included:

  • Moving the Bridgewater Library from downtown to it’s new location
  • Bridgewater’s efforts towards sustainability and community engagement
  • The Bridgewater Community Gardens Network
  • The Community Christmas Dinner
  • Senior Friendly Bridgewater
  • Kinship Project
  • Recreation Rocks with the Kraft Summer Tour
  • The United Way of Lunenburg County
  • The innovative Youth Engagement work going on
  • The AfterGlow Art Festival
  • Bridgewater’s Fire Department Band

To read the full submission go to: Bridgewater Spirit Award

 Award 2: At the Bright Business Conference, hosted by Efficiency Nova Scotia, the Town of Bridgewater was the recipient of a prestigious Bright Business Award!  Joining the ranks of other leaders in energy efficiency, the Town was recognized for its success in cutting energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from its facilities by 15% over a 5 year period, as well as its broader sustainability efforts. This great video highlights the town’s energy commitments and success with a shout out to the Community Gardens Network.

Note: for some reason the link below doesn’t go right to the Bridgewater Award video, so click on ‘play all’ and then search on the right for the 7th video which is the ‘Community Award, Town of Bridgewater’ Thanks!


Art Happening Bridgewater

blogThere’s new buzz on King Street in Bridgewater these days. It’s called Art Happening Bridgewater

Art Happening Bridgewater will be a community gathering place for all to explore creative expression of all kinds, music, visual art, poetry, crafting, storytelling, gardening, performance, theatre…the list is yours to create! All forms of creativity and people are welcome to drop by once we open, 430 King Street. No experience necessary it’s a place to explore what creativity can be share skills, learn from each other, and build community

Art Happening Bridgewater is a project of the Bridgewater Development Association’s Art and Culture Committee, and is in the process of forming it’s own registered society. We currently have crowd funded square-foot campaign to build enough revenue to sustain our overhead. Other support will depend on donations and volunteer efforts.blog2


Send this out on all your social media and word of mouth, help make Art Happening Bridgewater a reality!

We also need help with: core team members, collecting donations of cash and supplies, hosting a booth at the Growing Green Festival, painting,  and cleaning the space.

Contact artinbridgewater@gmail.com  for more info



NOW Lunenburg County

The Ivany report has made visible the challenges and uncertainty that face all Nova Scotians. The silence has been broken and now we all stand on the edge of the cliff. It is up to us to act. The leaders who will help change our current trajectory will be those who refuse to be victims of circumstance. These change leaders will step forward to take responsibility for the future, now.

The challenge in the face of uncertainty is to move from feeling overwhelmed and isolated to working together to build a future that is compelling for all involved. 

It is now imperative to find ways to break down the silos and to connect together all the different people and organisations that are ready to, or are already, acting for change. This will enable us to amplify and accelerate what we are already doing, identify gaps in our efforts and develop new   prototype solutions. 

1401270087The long term aim is to establish a trustworthy multi-stakeholder group of innovators and change leaders at the heart of the county. 
This group will develop a portfolio of prototype solutions designed to go beyond dealing with symptoms and get at the root causes of why things are not working. When we face new challenges we will have the depth of relationships, diversity of skills and collective courage to respond.

NOW Lunenburg hosted over 90 people at the Launch Event on May 13th at the Blockhouse Fire Hall. We registered 18 projects from issues on immigration, healthcare and transportation. They will track the projects over the next six months and will share their learning with the community.

NOW Lunenburg will be holding social gatherings over the summer. Please join us for refreshments and to hear updates on the local projects. The first gathering will take place on July 10, 2014 5pm – 7pm at Wile’s Lake Market in Wileville.

To check out some of the projects that people in our community are working on or to get involved check out the Now Lunenburg County Website.

Afterglow Art Festival Accepting Applications for 2014 event


The Third Annual Afterglow Art Festival in Bridgewater is now accepting applications! 

In order to make this event a success we need artists to showcase their talent at the festival. Each project will be artist-led and each artist initiative will be organized independently for the event. Please check out our website for our last year’s program and photos for a better understanding of this experience. Projects to be considered will be comprised of any of the following (but not limited to):

  • Art installations
  • Gallery style hangings
  •  Projections
  •  Music performance
  •  Written & Spoken word
  •  Culinary/Food Art 
  •  Dance and theatrical performance, improv theatre
  •  Artist led workshops
  •  Film/Video
  •  Roaming or mobile art *on foot*

All applications will be accepted as along as they follow our follows of being family friendly, safe and accessible. There will be help to find an appropriate location for you. Contact Ashton Rodenhiser at afterglowbridgewater@gmail.com with quetsions. 

“Where Ya From? Beyond Tolerance” play by young adults

Kinship is ready to perform its play in schools in May across Lunenburg-Queens Counties to raise awareness, knowledge and respect for people of all worldviews.


*Image: Original Watercolour painting by Kinship participant Megan Chandler
megan painting cropped
Since November 2013 young people from Lunenburg and Queens, of different spiritual, religious and secular backgrounds, came together on a weekly basis to interact, discuss and embrace differences. The group has co-written a play, created paintings about diversity, made props, rehearsed & performed in addition to learning about pluralism through field trips and guest speakers.

In speaking about Kinship, Project Lead, Grace McKnight stated, “Kinship has provided an opportunity for young adults to meet each other and have a conversation about things that touch the essence of who they are – their beliefs, values and uncertainties.  I am confident this experience will influence the rest of their lives.”

Through the Direction of local playwright and composer Reid Campbell, the group has taken what they learned and developed ‘Where Ya From? Beyond Tolerance.’   Reid said, “Kinship has given me an opportunity to explore peace-making through getting to know the advantages of diversity.”  The play explores personal and social identity in Nova Scotia, with an emphasis on the appreciation of visible and invisible diversity.  It is punctuated with humour, songs and poetry.  The play opens on May 4, 2014 at 2:00pm at the Mahone Bay Centre with Q & A and refreshments to follow. All are welcome. Admission by donation  In May the play will travel to schools, grades 5 – 12, and other community settings.

Kinship, along with fourteen other organizations across Canada, received a Pluralism grant through the Inspirit Foundation. These projects bring young people together to learn about differences and lead positive change in their communities.  Additional funding was received from the United Church of Canada, the Municipality of Lunenburg and the Nova Scotia Dept. of Health and Wellness. We are most appreciative to South Shore District Health Authority for supporting this initiative and to the Atlantic Super Store, the YMCA Lunenburg County and the Mahone Bay Centre for in-kind support.


Connect  with us on Twitter @_kinship and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kinship



Eight young people across the Maritimes have been chosen for their change making work locally and globally for the Active8! Campaign hosted by the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation. Two youth ambassadors have been chosen from each maritime province including young adult Ashton Rodenhiser from Upper Northfield.

Ashton and Fern

Ashton and Fern

She has been very active in her community through the Bridgewater Community Christmas, founder of Afterglow Arts Festival, Kinship and much more.  Her global work includes working with children and women in very remote areas in Kenya. Her current project is to help a group of 37 women build a sustainable organic farm in a community named Makindu. These women span a wide variety of ages and life experiences and are working together to create a sustainable life for themselves and their community.

International Development Week runs February 2 – 8. Stop by the Margaret Hennigar Library on February 4th, from6:00 – 8:00, meet Ashton, share stories of local and global change and design/make your own free reminder pledge button.

Make a Pledge

Make a Pledge

Can’t make it on the 4th – no problem- you can still pledge! Throughout the month of February visit http://2014.active8campaign.com/ and pledge for community action that you can do locally than impacts the global community. It could be as something as simple as drinking fair trade coffee, conserving water, walking to work, basically anything you can think of !



Bridgewater Community Christmas 2013

The Bridgewater Community Christmas Society is working towards its 5th annual event.

Volunteer All-Call is Tuesday November 12th at 7 pm in the Bridgewater Super Store community room.
Come to learn more about the dinner and how you can help.  All are welcome.

About the Bridgewater Community Christmas

This community-building initiative aims to bring people together from all walks to share joy, company and food on Christmas Day. This volunteer-run event aims to have this meal be accessible to all, and to celebrate this festive occasion as a community.

WHAT: Full Christmas dinner with all the trimmings (turkey or vegetarian), festive decorations, live music, children’s area, chance to meet & mingle with friends and neighbours.

WHEN: Christmas Day, 1:30pm

WHERE: Park View Education Centre

WHO: For families, individuals and couples who want to share a community meal on Christmas Day.

Tickets available Dec 2st, free of charge, by calling 529-1182.

Food, cash and in-kind donations will be solicited before the event, to cover expenses.

Transportation will be available.

Intentions for the Bridgewater Community Christmas

Our intention for this event is on community building (bringing people together to share joy, company and food); and inclusion (a meal and atmosphere were all feel welcome and included).

This means:

Celebration: We’re here to celebrate our community, each other, have fun, and eat good healthy food.

Inclusion: We will strive to create an atmosphere that is inviting, welcoming and accessible to the diversity of people who may attend this meal. Our messaging will be inclusive and positive. We intend this event to include families, couples and individuals; to be multi-generational; to be interfaith as well as welcoming to those without a faith.

Service: Our gift for the season will be through service, rather than material gift giving. Through our contribution to the meal and our community, we serve and are served, and thereby receive gifts from each other.

Green: We will strive to create a green event, and share the importance of this, through prudent use of resources, and minimal waste. Local foods will be sourced where possible.

If you are interested volunteering, donating or would like to know more, please contact us:


Afterglow Free Arts Festival Sept 28th


Free Arts Festival


Saturday September 28, 2013

6:00 – 11:00pm

As the moon sets there is a hue, an afterglow if you will, in the sky, a time of magic and wonder. Come out to King street to witness and take part in community art. Showcasing 25 + artists included performances at the gazebo, wandering poets, aspiring filmmakers and one-night-only art galleries. Program of events will be available online one week before the event at www.afterglowbridgewater.com or visit the Bridgewater Public Library to pick up a copy.

There are lots of great opportunities for volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering please contact afterglowbridgewater@gmail.com

These photographs were from 2012, the inaugural year.

Portraits in the Library

Portraits in the Library

The Bandstand, King Street Court

The Bandstand, King Street Court

Portraits on King Street

Portraits on King Street

Films on the Wall

Films on the Wall

Acoustic Music under the parkade

Acoustic Music under the parkade

Poetry in Motion in ActionPoetry in Motion in Action

Salsa in the Bandstand under pouring rain

Salsa in the Bandstand under pouring rain