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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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

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!

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/

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:

 


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.

Hodge Podge Community Garden Opening Day

We had a tremendous opening day this past weekend with a number of new gardeners and some ‘veteran’ hodge podgers. We turned  beds, added soil, hung netting, and finished the compost bins. Over 25 people were present working to turn in a fresh compost of community connections. At times people were so busy meeting each other and chatting that it was like a big ol’ party!

Click here for more photos.

digging beds

garden opening day

Rosmarie Cyle and Shamus

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