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

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!

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/

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