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!

 

Active8!

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 !

ACTIVE8

ACTIVE8

National Youth Arts Week 2013

There are a number of events happening in Lunenburg County for National Youth Arts Week, May 1 – 7.
In Bridgewater there is an open mic and coffee house happening Friday Night from 7-9:30 at the Bridgewater Library – check it out!
Performers between the ages of 13 to 30 of all sorts are welcome–poets, non-poets, songsters, hipsters, filmmakers, dancers, you name it!
Contact Rachel at poetessluv@gmail.com to register, or just show up. All ages welcome, family friendly and free.
Also in Lunenburg check out these events here: http://youthartsweek.ca/comm/lunenburg-ns
Join folks at the Lunenburg Farmers’ Market with the Makery and their community embroidery hoop to invite market-goers to participate in our collaborative project. We will be  offering a collaborative painting/sculpture installation and Theo Heffler will be setting up a weaving project. It’s a wonderful time to celebrate our community and the arts!

The creativity of local youth will be celebrated at the closing party at the Lunenburg Library on May 7th at 5.30pm – Hope to see you there!

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!

Telling My Story, Youth Workshops

Bridgewater Library is hosting a series of workshops this year thanks to a grant from the Province of Nova Scotia, Cultural Opportunities for Youth.

Last fall Carole Langille led a series of 6 sessions on creative writing in Oct and Nov. It was an amazing experience for the young people who participated. You can see the video created by Tim Horton of Lighthouse Publishing and samples of the writing that was produced on their website:

http://www.southshorepubliclibraries.ca/library-services/programs/teen#langille

The next two sessions are songwriting and the visual arts for teens 13 and up. The sessions are led by accomplished local artists who have experience working with teens. At the end of each six-week session, the artists will assist participants in showcasing their work.
Sign up for one or both of the upcoming sessions, space is limited so call to register soon at 543-9222.

Narrative Art with Rebecca Roher

This workshop will focus on using visual art to tell a story. The goal of the workshop will be for each student to create a comic book/graphic novel telling a narrative. Students will be encouraged to use an autobiographical story – to paint their own lives, in whole or in part.

  • Bridgewater Library, Thursdays, January 10 to February 14, 4-6pm with a Showcase on Thursday, February 14 at 6:30pm.


Songwriting with Alex Hickey

The songwriting workshop will focus on the structure and content of songs and how to write one. Songwriting will be explored both with and without an accompanying instrument. Genre will be discussed, and examples will be pulled from spirituals, hip hop, traditional folk, protest songs, alternative, pop, and rock and roll. Uniqueness is encouraged!

  • Bridgewater Library, Saturdays, February 16 to March 30 (no workshop on March 16), 12-2pm with a showcase on March 30th at 2:00pm.

 

Place-Making Bridgewater

This summer Bridgewater undertook and innovative placemaking project in another great collaboration between  HeartWood, the Lunenburg District Office Department of Community Services, and the Town of Bridgewater. Six youth took on the task of artistically designing and painting six art-benches for the town.

Assisted by Brian Braganza as facilitator and Jason Skinner as artist, the youth looked at themes relating to the location of the benches and themes connected to sustainability. Jason worked his magic to share his incredible talent and by the end of it built the confidence of the young people to create very beautiful benches.

Four of the benches were existing town benches and 2 were in disrepair and ready to be junked. We worked with a local welder, Ben Rodgers, who repaired the benches. The Resource Recovery Fund provided money to buy materials for the repairs, and Gow’s Home Hardware donated some of the paint.

Due to the many features of the benches (placemaking project, reclaiming possible landfill material, youth engagement) the project and young people were then featured at the annual Growing Green Sustainability Festival as the Legacy project for 2012. Lighthouse Media Group followed us along to make yet another stunning video of positive action in Bridgewater.

There is hope for more placemaking actions to happen in future years as the benches was very well received. Three benches are currently on King Street and 3 benches will be installed on the North side of the Veterans Memorial Bridge.

See the Lighthouse video below:

 


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.

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. www.heartwood.ns.ca

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