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

blog3

 

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

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:

BridgewaterCommunityChristmas@gmail.com

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

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!

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.

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.

 

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

http://bridgewatercommunitychristmas.wordpress.com/