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

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Afterglow Free Arts Festival Sept 28th

Afterglow

Free Arts Festival

Bridgewater

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

Heritage Skills and Youth Engagement

Here is another example of local young people who care about and are active making a difference in Bridgewater. This innovative project was a great collaboration between Community Services, HeartWood, The DesBrisay Museum (http://www.bridgewater.ca/desbrisay-museum/welcome-to-our-museum.html), and Lighthouse Media group (southshorenow.ca).

It ran for 10 weeks from Jan until April and built employability skills through service learning in the community. The museum had a genuine need for skilled film-makers and there were young people looking for work experience and an opportunity to build their confidence. With support from Community Services, HeartWood (www.heartwood.ns.ca) delivered this program.

See the results for yourself of when young people are given a meaningful task and provided with some skill building to support their success.

Many thanks to Jason, Dawn, Jordan, Celia, Matthew and Martin for a dynamic and successful program!

Bridgewater Downtown and Waterfront Master Plan revealed

Bridgewater has been undergoing a Downtown and Waterfront Master Planning process with consultants Ekistics Planning and Design since the fall.  Last night’s reveal of the draft downtown plan was awesome!!! The vision they shared (based on a lot of public consultation and citizen input) is really inspiring and sketches out the potential for a very vibrant community.

The energy in the room was quite positive and encouraging.  They also provided a way to remove the south parkade–but not loose any usable parking spots, and increase parking on King street while encouraging a more walkable and inviting downtown core.

Part of Bridgewater’s new story is that it is becoming an urban centre (CBC Radio named Bridgewater in this way in a story this week on urban centers that exist outside of Halifax). Downtown Bridgewater has the potential to be a destination on the South Shore!

This plan brings some vital aspects to downtown, and reconnects the downtown to the  LaHave River. It also makes a great statement that Bridgewater’s identity can be focused around sustainability–Bridgewater is already known in Nova Scotia as an innovator and model towards sustainable communities!

The town is inviting input on the draft plan until the end of February. Check out http://www.bridgewater.ca/downtownplan

Encouraging feedback and comments from lots of people will go a long way.

Cafe 12 The Great Unveiling

It’s been on the down low for most of the year, but yesterday evening Cafe 12 Bridgewater had a Great Unveiling at a public meeting with Town Council. The seats were packed with over 35 people present as we shared our proposal to Town Council.

Cafe 12 supporters at Council Meeting

Our request is to lease the Bridgewater Library Building when the current Library moves into the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre in 2013.  The Library’s move could have the result of another empty building on King Street–or it can be seized as an opportunity of new life to an iconic Bridgewater building.

Bridgewater Library building to Cafe 12

Library photos December 2011

Cafe 12 is a non-profit corporation, a network of cafes shaped by the gifts of individual communities, where all ages love to gather. It’s staff are trained experts and inviting neighbours to get involved in community building in ways that encourage creativity, leadership and enterprise. The result–a thriving community.

In Bridgewater we have a design team of 12 who have been working hard over the past month to get a proposal together for council, which was generally well received. We’ve also built some great relationships with community agencies, individuals and supporters. Some of those include: Lighthouse Media Group, the Police Department, Lunenburg District Office of Community Services, United Way, Wildwood Cafe, the Bridgewater Development Association, and South Shore Public Libraries, and more!

Rachel, Ashton and Brian present to Council

Bridgewater Town Council asked some great questions, and what was most awesome was that other council members or  town staff responded to the questions, showing support among council and staff for the vision and concept. The next steps will be to meet with town staff to answer their questions, work out details of the proposal and work towards a lease agreement that is acceptable to both groups.

We later celebrated this milestone by the river, with cake!

always celebrate with cake!

Cafe 12 Bridgewater Design Team and Friends celebrating by the river

Youth Arts Week Success

Many of us are still reveling and reeling from Youth Art’s Week’s events. On Thursday we had our closing celebration at the Library, complete with cake to hear some highlights and stories.

Bridgewater YAW team

cutting cake

Some stories from  the week included cramming in over 100 people among the stacks of fiction and non-fiction in the Library for the Coffee House. Youth shared poetry, monologues, acoustic blues, folk and banjo, humorous pieces and even sign language to an Ani D’Franco song!  We had fair trade coffee and herbal tea, home made baked goods and sweets (including a gluten free chocolate cake!).

transforming the library

Liam on Banjo

creating the space with cushions

Nick and Shane

Ashton signing to Ani D’Franco

Shelah Allen and Alex Hickey were  there from the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival scouting some of the acts-and were quite inspired by the young talent they witnessed. I t was magical?
The most magical piece for me was the transformation of the space. How an everyday library can be shape-shifted with a few table cloths hanging, the aroma of coffee, soft lighting, and the positive intention of the organizers to create a warm inviting space. And of course the infusion of young people sharing their skills and talents. I’m always thrilled when we take an ordinary, everyday space and transform it.
The same thing happened the following day at the Free Range Art event. We were given a unit in the Mall–grey and un-inviting. We hung colourful blankets from the second hand store (donated) and beautiful tie dyed fabric brought in by a young artist–we added tables covered in art supplies and spring clean up junk that we’d collected earlier in the week. Some colourful posters and signs to invite people into the space, some youth energy and enthusiasm–we transformed the space. During the day we had over 60 visitors stop by through the course of the day. They took old boots, pieces of wood, bowls, lawn fencing and created sculptures and murals.  We turned a mall unit into an art studio where anything is possible.

side walk art outside the Mall

art out of junk

Rachel and Luke making art

This week has been transformational. It has put into perspective what is possible when young people are engaged and empowered. Even doing this work for 20 years I’m always thrilled to see what can happen when young people are given a voice and a role on our communities.

South Shore Sustainability Expo

Check out this great event happening at the Nova Scotia Community College this Saturday, March 31. Lots of great ideas on products, services and ways to get involved towards Sustainability and Resilience. This event is one of many steps towards seeing our community as part of the global Transition Town Movement…and the more local Revolution Through Doing Good Things (check out the Revolution in Action pages on this blog).

Expo

Incredible Edible Bridgewater coming soon

“It doesn’t take big things to create big changes.            

It takes small things that capture the imagination.”

-Incredible Edible Todmorden

Imagine one small thing: a garden plot of vegetables in front of a local business with a sign: “Help yourself”.  And people do…  A child delights in the sweetness of a sugar pod pea… A client shares her tomato-growing skills… A passerby tends to the weeds in exchange for a head of lettuce.

Now imagine that others are inspired to do their own small thing. Pretty soon, there are small plots of vegetables growing at the daycare, the police station, and peppering the lawns of businesses, homes and apartments everywhere you look.  You now live in a town where everyday you see food growing around you. It is being tended and eaten by the people who live and work and play there.

Imagine the impact of this edible landscape on how we think about the food we eat. We plant it, harvest it, share it, and learn to love the food that is healthiest for our bodies, our community, and the planet. The Bridgewater Community Garden Network envisions this edible landscape in our town. Incredible Edible Bridgewater. Can you see it too?