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!



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:

Another Successful Community Christmas Dinner

The 2012 Bridgewater Community Christmas Dinner saw another very successful event on Christmas Day. With over 220 volunteers this year there was no shortage of inspired assistance for the dinner. Along with volunteers (those who are present during dinner time also eat a meal) we served 400 free turkey or vegetarian dinners at Parkview Education Centre and delivered 15 meals to individuals who could not come out to the meal.

full turkey dinner

full turkey dinner

Table settings

Table settings

table settings

Table settings

With some improved systems and some dedicated lead volunteers the dinner felt like the smoothest so far. We are definitely learning each year and applying that. This year, to Misty, our head cook’s delight, all the food was plated and served to guests in 12 minutes (a world record we think!). Following that servers picked up their own plate and platers served themselves and sat down, which would mean the whole hall eating within about 15 minutes!

Super awesome Plating system!

Super awesome Plating system!

400 lbs of Turkey

Kitchen team and 400 lbs of Turkey!

What we are hearing in the community after 4 years is that for some–this is their Christmas. They look forward to it every year. They come for the fellowship and community. They come because they celebrate Christmas, or they come because they’re trying to find new meaning in Christmas. They come as families with small children or teens, they come as individuals, they come because this is becoming their Christmas tradition. We have young adult students home for the holidays, we have teens who want to serve, we have seniors who continue to have a lot to give the community.

Here are some comments from our feedback forms:

What was your highlight?

  • Not being with family but feeling part of a family
  • Seeing such a variety of age groups – a wonderful community spirit – great entertainment
  • The sense of community and the overall atmosphere that was so welcoming and accepting of everyone. I loved meeting everyone at my table
  • 1st year volunteer – impressed by the precision – well done
  • I thoroughly enjoyed delivering the meals with Bridgewater Police Service – the officer was nice to the clients and volunteers. The clients truly appreciated the delivery. We may have been their only visitors on this day.
  • The amazing group of people and community involvement
  • Attending and volunteering with my granddaughter
  • It was meeting people from a far. Very interesting. Pennsylvania, Maine, Ontario, lovely
  • Hoping to see this commradarie and vibrant community spirit in Cafe 12
  • The quiet revolution that’s taking place

Thank you to all the volunteers, guests, businesses, community organizations and individuals who peeled, chopped, donated, loaned equipment or tables, promoted the event or scrubbed 400+ dishes!!

400 plates!

400 plates!

Bridgewater Rocks!

Check out the BCC website

HeartWood Leadership Youth Make a Difference in Bridgewater

Re-posting this as there was an error in the original posting and it did not show up on the blog. Also added some photographs. Text is written by youth from the HeartWood March Break Youth Leadership Program which had a special emphasis on Bridgewater.

building the compost bin

The experiences in Bridgewater at HeartWood’s leadership camp have really been a great and eventful opportunity. Some of the things we have done have been a really great and a fun experience.

On the first day of the camp, making friends was really easy and great. Seeing some of the people of Bridgewater and how they have affected the community and people in general has been very influential. We split up into groups and visited different leaders in the community; an example of one would be Leon who worked at the Town Hall. Leon’s idea was to make things more eco friendly in an effective way and made us feel like we could do the same.

The next day we went out into the community and partook in service projects. Some of us went to the Small World Day Care, where we looked after the children and played with them. Some of us went to the Ryan Hall Seniors Home where we played music and socialized with the seniors and some of us helped to build a structural compost bin for the community gardens.

When we weren’t out in the community we were back in the M.A.R.C. in Dayspring, where we participated in different activities that helped us develop our leadership skills and passions.

We are a diverse group of youth who come from different parts of the province and we hope to bring home all of the new skills and passions we have learned and developed back into our communities so we too can make a difference.

Written by: Tyler Brimfield, Hailie Harrison and Shamus Stapleton, participants in HeartWood’s March Break Leadership program.

This year the Bridgewater Community Christmas Dinner was able to provide scholarships for 4 local youth to attend the program.

Sheild tag in the blizzard

Tyler playing keyboards during the "Not Necessarily Talented, But All Talented" talent show

Blaize sharing his rabbit snaring skills during the participant led session

compost crew with Ernie and Rosmarie

I Love Bridgewater

Where did the “I heart Bridgewater” pins and campaign originate? We were at a meeting introducing ourselves and when it came to Cate she said, “I’m Cate and I love Bridgewater.” Anna who was across the circle and grew up in LaHave, dropped her jaw and said “I’ve never heard anyone say that before!”

This started a big discussion about people’s perceptions of Bridgewater, and  when Anna went to Parkview she’d only pass through Bridgewater on the school bus and didn’t have an opportunity to build a relationship with the town. During the meeting we shared a bit more about the exciting things happening and the idea evolved to make pins that say “I heart Bridgewater”.

Anna, also an artist, took on the task to design the pins. We borrowed a button maker and during the Community Christmas dinner preparation had a group of teens making 500 buttons. We then gave them out to the 400 guests and volunteers at the dinner.

Check out this great video that’s all over facebook! (Video credit: Patrick Hirtle)

Another successful Community Christmas dinner!


The 3rd annual Bridgewater Community Christmas dinner was a roaring success!

This event continues to warm the hearts and stomaches of individuals in Bridgewater and Area. Over 200 volunteers came forward to feed 420 people a delicious turkey or vegetarian meal with all the trimmings. Park View Education Centre graciously hosted the event, and we are grateful for their staff and student contributions. We would also like to acknowledge the students at NSCC’s Culinary Arts Program, who cooked over 400 lbs of turkey for us again!

The dinner attracts people from all walks of life who come to volunteer and celebrate together. Many stayed for the two-hour event to enjoy entertainment, conversation with new friends and a children’s choir who offered a few carols. This year we were again able to deliver or send home 20 meals to individuals who were not able to come out to the dinner. We are pleased to state that much of the food and equipment to put on this large event was sourced locally, and much of it was generously contributed through donations from individuals, organizations and businesses.

The Bridgewater Community Christmas strengthens links, relationships and resiliency of the community. This is apparent by the abundant resources made available to support the event and the natural desire of neighbours to serve each other.  We see the potential in our community to continue to give throughout the year in a variety of ways. Proceeds from the event will be donated to local community-building initiatives.

We would like to thank all of our volunteers who made the day happen and over 80 individuals, businesses, and community-based organizations who provided in-kind and monetary donations.


Brian Braganza & Cate de Vreede

on behalf of the Bridgewater Community Christmas Society