BRIDGS dissolves

The last BRIDGS Annual General Meeting was held in April 2008. At the meeting there was a motion to dissolve the organization and it was passed unanimously.

BRIDGS assets and responsibilities were dispersed as follows:

The youth centre was transfered to the OARA organization under the leadership of Joe Quercia.

The Bear RIver Pageant was transfered to the Bear River Historical Society.

The balance of monies, raised through community fundraising, was donated to the Oakdene Centre, Bear River’s community-owned community centre.

If you would like information about upcoming arts and action events in Bear River, please check out

Juggling March Break in Bear River

Learning to juggle

From March 10 through March 14, 2008, OARA (Outdoor Adventure Recreation Association) and the Bear River Youth Development Centre held their first March Break Camp at the Oakdene Centre. Over the course of the week, thirty young people between the ages of 5 and 16 participated in games, sports activities, paper making and other crafts, and much more. The highlight for many was creating their own juggling balls from balloons and birdseed, and learning to juggle with special guest Axel Heubach.


In addition, the young people visited the Youth Centre (located in the basement of the Oakdene), to play air hockey and Dance Dance Revolution, an interactive video dance game that was recently acquired by the Youth Centre through a grant from Annapolis Community Health Board.

Joe Quercia, Director of OARA, designed the program and led the activities along with four teenaged youth leaders. Mr. Quercia has recently relocated with his family to Morganville from Yarmouth, where he served as Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club, and launched successful youth-focused programs such as Peers n’ Gears. OARA is currently working with the local schools to offer Pathways & Trail Development Program.Special thanks to Annapolis Valley Health, Home Hardware for their generous donation of crafting supplies, Annapolis County’s Active Living Club 400, and the Oakdene Centre for their auditorium space and access to equipment, and Axel Heubach for juggling lessons.The Bear River Youth Development Centre looks forward to partnering with OARA soon on future programs and special activities. For more information on OARA, contact Joe Quercia at 467-0489, or

March Break Program for 5 – 12 year olds

Here’s a wonderful opportunity for Bear River and area residents, jointly offered by OARA (Outdoor Adventure Recreation Association) and the Bear River Youth Development Centre.  Please pass this on to anyone you know that may be interested:
WHAT:  March Break Day Program
WHEN:  March 10 – 15, from 8 AM to 4:30 PM
WHERE:  Oakdene Centre
WHO:  For kids ages 5-12
HOW MUCH: $10 per day
The days will be a variety of activities from games, sports, arts and crafts and special guests. Weather providing, participants will get the opportunity to do outdoor activities such as snow shoeing and snow fort making. Cost is only $10 per day per child and there will be a maximum of 20 participants allowed.  Kids will need to bring their own brown bag lunch and snacks.
Registration will be completed through the Bear River Youth Development Centre: call Joe at 467-0489.
Spots are filling up fast, so call soon to avoid disappointment.

Call for Nominations


Dear Community Member:

The Bear River Innovation, Development & Growth Society (BRIDGS) has scheduled its AGM for April 9, 2008.

BRIDGS is the creation of the citizens of Bear River, taking its form and direction from a concerned public and the many, valuable, volunteer organizations within the community.

In order to move forward we do need your assistance. In our ongoing efforts to be inclusive, transparent and responsive to community needs we invite non-affiliate individuals and/or your organization to submit the names of one or more of your membership as candidates for Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary or Director of BRIDGS for the coming year. (We will miss John and Susan in those offices, to be certain, however our By-laws permit officers to serve only two consecutive years, which they have done.)

All current Members and Directors are committed to BRIDGS and its continued service to the community.

Among goals made and realized are the development of a Youth Centre, first housed in the BREDS building and, more recently, in Oakdene Centre and “The Bear River Story”, by all accounts a roaring success.

With the assistance of Bear River citizens and other community groups and various levels of government, a Strategic Plan has been developed for Bear River, which we sincerely believe addresses a great number of the concerns raised by our residents in public meetings.

We are very pleased to advise we are already receiving requests from the community for assistance organizing volunteers for summer events.

Let us continue to work together to build a vibrant and successful community – one of which we can all be proud.

Don Rice and Cindy Harris

BRIDGS Nominating Committee

BRIDGS is a volunteer, not-for-profit society.

Our mission is to improve Bear River’s infrastructure, commerce, and economic viability, and thus foster community pride while offering improved quality of life for residents, quality of experience for visitors, and incentive for people to make the community

their new home.

Agenda, January 9, 2008


BRIDGS (Bear River Innovation, Development and Growth Society)
Wednesday, December 9, 2008 7:30 pm
Youth Centre/Oakdene

1.    Call to Order

2.    Introductions/Call for Presentations & Delegations

3.    Adoption of Agenda

4.    Introduction of Minutes from Previous Meeting

5.    Continuing Business
I.    Treasurer’s Report (Rev. Ken Perkins)
II.    Youth Committee/Youth Centre
III.    Progress Report: Jared Haight (Hal Theriault)
IV.    Updates from other society meetings: Health Clinic, Music Society, Board of Trade, Firehall, BREDS, Historical Society

6.    New Business
I.    Search Committee Update (Don Rice, Cindy Harris)
II.    Joint Stock Registry renewal

7.    Adoption of Minutes

8.    Next Meeting
February 13, Oakdene (Bear River Youth Centre)

9.    Adjournment
Meeting of BRIDGS adjourns at 9:00 pm

Minutes, December 12, 2007

(Bear River Innovation, Development and Growth Society)
December 12, 2007
Oakdene Centre (Youth Centre)

Present: Cindy Harris, Hal Theriault, Susan Malmstrom, George Barron, Ken Perkins, John Malmstrom, Steven Draper, Don Rice, Norma Wagner, Zoe Knorek-Onysko, Jay Stone, Flora Doehler, Larry Knox, Jared Haight, Glendean Parker.

1. Call to Order/Adoption of Agenda
Meeting called to order at 7:30 PM.
MOTION to accept the Agenda. CARRIED.

2. New Business:
Youth Centre: Hal read his supervisor’s report to Service Canada that is submitted monthly regarding Jared’s accomplishments. The question on the table was that of making the move from the Trading Company Building to the Oakdene Centre. The Oakdene will include heat and electricity in the $150 per month rent, and provide access to the auditorium, art supplies, exercise equipment on hand and the soccer field. After some discussion, a vote was taken. MOTION: to move the Bear River Youth Centre to the Oakdene Centre, was made by Don, seconded by Cindy. CARRIED. John thanked BREDS for being such a great and accommodating landlord while the Youth Centre occupied their space and we look forward to working with BREDS again in the future.
Strategic Plan: The Strategic Plan Committee (Laurel Shiskov, John, George, Flora, and Susan) met on December 5 to choose two short-term projects and one long-term project for BRIDGS to begin working on. They had to be: achievable with the existing group of volunteers; yield immediate, tangible results; and when one is completed the next one will be launched. The three projects chosen are:

  • Install Bear River signage when the ground is sufficiently thawed;
  • Pursue a relationship with the Bay of Fund Tourism Partnership to get tidal interpretive signage to connect Bear River to the wider Bay of Fundy group;
  • Partner with the Digby Area Exhibition to bolster attendance and possibly improve program facility.

It was intended for BRIDGS to call for a vote on proceeding with these goals. This was
tabled for discussion regarding a Board of Trade plan for the village that is to be publicly unveiled at their December 13 meeting:

Board of Trade Eco-Village Proposal: Hal explained that he was called to meet with the Annapolis/Digby Economic Development Agency regarding the branding of Bear River as an eco-village plan that Bobby Benson was putting forward to them. Hal said that to access funds from the government agencies, all organizations have to start with ADEDA’s approval. Steven asked about the use of the term “eco” and how it would be applied to this project. Flora asked if ADEDA has money allocated for the Bear River area, and are they requesting proposals. Hal said that they assist organizations with funding and proposals. Zoe said that the eco-village concept would provide employment for the area. Hal said that a feasibility study would be required. Flora asked if there is anything in the Bear River Strategic Plan that would get funding. Hal felt that the partnership with Bay of Fundy Tourism should be funded. Jay asked if this would make the village more attractive and would it result in more development. The question raised at the most recent BRIDGS Executive Committee meeting was one of creating a unified voice in the village, which is necessary in order to receive funding. Hal suggested that BRIDGS members and other organization members (especially those that own buildings) should attend the Board of Trade meeting to hear the presentation. Question was raised whether the Board of Trade represents the interests of local business, or the entire community. Since Bear River is not incorporated, the Board of Trade has represented the interests of the entire community.

Reports from Organizations:
Bear River & Area Health Clinic: Norma reported that Dr. Kinsley of Weymouth will be holding an open clinic here for a week at a time every six weeks and will see 30 people per day. The nurse practitioner will have access to everyone’s files. Appointments are necessary; clinic starts February 11.
BREDS: Glendean reported that the Trading Co. building is being winterized and that there will be an art auction fundraiser in January at the Deep Brook Lions Club. Steven reported on the Expose Bear River photo competition that will take place from July 1, 2008 and run through Fall, 2009 (two summer seasons).
Oakdene: George reported that they are very happy with the grant for the furnace, and wanted to thank Pat McWade for his help with getting the grant.
Fire Service: Steven reported that the fire volunteers have had a busy season so far, so everyone should have clean chimneys, and be careful driving in snow and ice! The auxiliary building to house the new generator is almost complete and should be ready shortly after Christmas.
Youth Committee: Is instigating a penny drive and bottle drives to raise funds, so everyone save your pennies and bottles for the Youth Centre.

3. Next Meeting
January 9, 2008 at 7:30 PM at the Youth Centre.

4. Adjournment
Meeting adjourned by Cindy at 9:00 PM.