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


Executive Committee Report – Oct 08/07

Executive Committee Report
October 8, 2007
Youth Centre

Present:  John Malmstrom, Susan Malmstrom, Rev. Ken Perkins, Hal Theriault, Gerry Chute.

The meeting was called to order at 9:00 AM.

Youth Centre/Active Saturdays Update:
•    Active Saturdays! is still going strong, but now it’s Active Wednesdays!  Everyone meets at the ballfield at 6 PM, as long as weather permits.
•    Gerry will talk to Glendean Parker of BREDS regarding the power bill and the rent.  We should not have to incur much more than the base price this month.
•    John asked Susan to check in to when our insurance renewal is due.
•    Variety Night: Laurel took care of the publicity; Gerry and Hal are hanging posters, plus they did a mail drop.  Sandy Burrell is doing decorations and Louise Wood is handling the canteen.
•    New Employee: Jared starts either October 15 or the 22nd (at the latest).  We still need a phone, answering machine, computer and printer.  Reminder that Hal will be Jared’s supervisor, and will report on Jared’s progress at BRIDGS meetings in the Service Canada reporting format.  Hal can meet with him on the 22nd, is out the rest of that week to a “best practices” workshop in Alberta.

BREDS Fundraiser: BREDS is holding a supper and singing night at the Legion on October 20 to help raise funds.  John will put out an official call for volunteers at our next meeting.

Strategic Plan: Executive Committee and the Strategic Plan Committee will review the Plan and come together for a brainstorming session (after Variety Night and before the November meeting).  Susan will contact Laurel to see what day works best for her.  We may be able to have it after a short Executive Committee meeting.

November Volunteer Summit Meeting:  The next BRIDGS general meeting date will be used to host the annual “Celebration of Bear River Volunteerism.”  Susan will be sure to invite the organizations’ representatives and contact press and politicos.  What do we want to list as BRIDGS’ accomplishments?  John outlined them via Youth Centre, Strategic Plan, and the Pageant.

Doctor Search: Gerry is working with Leslie Harris and the Clinic’s board on this.  We need to put together a profile of Bear River, past, present and future; plus a package of Bear River perks (e.g. golf package, art lessons, excursions, etc.) unique to our community.

Pageant: Hal and Ken will work on the final report, which is now due to the Office of Tourism.

Meeting adjourned at 10:00 AM.

Bravo! The Bear River Story

The Bear River Story was a great success in this, its inaugural year, with an audience of over 300 . By all accounts Hal Theriault did a great job dramatizing the History of Bear River. “The people loved hearing their stories.” And next year we hope to be on the street corners telling more Bear River tales.

Many thanks for the support of the local communities who attended the two nights of performance at Oakdene. And thanks to the community of Bear River who supported the production generously with encouragement, volunteerism and going the extra mile.

On behalf of the community we would like to thank Hal, and the cast and supporters for donating many hours of hard work. Bravo!

You are invited……..

A Dramatic Reading of. . .


You are invited to a Dramatic Reading of Hal Theriault’s new play The Bear River Story, Saturday July 28, 7:30 pm at the Oakdene Centre, Bear River. The play tells the stories of those who came here seeking a new and better life, from the earliest settlers to the influx of the 1960’s. ” They liked the life they found, here between the hills, and they settled in. It’s a trend which continues today.” Full production will take place August 18th and 19th. For information call Hal at 245-5629. ( Funding by Dept. of Tourism, Heritage and Culture and the Counties of Annapolis and Digby.)

Minutes, July 18, 2007

(Bear River Innovation, Development and Growth Society)
July 18, 2007
Trading Post (Youth Centre)

Present: John Malmstrom, Tiiu Poder, Rob Buckland-Nicks, Norma Wagner, Cindy Harris, Hal Theriault, Susan Malmstrom, George Barron, Laurel Shishkov.

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

2. Introduction of Minutes from Previous Meetings

3. New Business
Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Rev. Ken Perkins is away on vacation.

Bear River Signage: The locations for the signs have been scouted; lumber is still needed. Hal found a reduced price (under $200 for 10’ 4×4’s). Rob will get in touch with Gerry, and then contact John with dates for putting them up.

Strategic Plan: Has been completed. The plan can be perused and downloaded from the blog. John gave a short review; essentially the plan identifies what is needed to move Bear River forward. Thanks to Gerry and Laurel for organizing the ideas; and to the other organizations in town that contributed much information, such as Bobby Benson of the Board of Trade. It also outlines which organizations should spearhead certain projects. The map is included for the sake of possible contributors. Part of Consultant Donna Hatt’s job is to now set up meetings with others for implementation. She strongly advises we take the plan to the new RDA and their development officer as soon as possible. This person should accompany John and Hal when they meet with potential funders.

Pageant Update: A free reading of the play will happen on July 14. The play will be performed in its entirety on August 18th and 19th with a reception on the 18th.

Youth Centre: A security problem was brought to our attention that on at least one occasion there was unauthorized access to the Youth Centre. This was not a break-in; it occurred when someone who was not authorized to do so used an extra key. A person was then let in, who spent the night and left with $12 in petty cash. We know who the people involved were, but there will be no legal action taken. The door and lock have been changed, and Glendean Parker of BREDS has been notified. Access will now be closely monitored.

Cherry Carnival Update: We’re ready with volunteers, but anyone else that wants to join us at the auction (12:30-4:30) is welcome. Rob and others will be doing clean up the next day, starting at 8 AM.

Service Canada Grant: We will have a fulltime employee starting as soon as possible. We have been awarded a Job Creation Partnership grant to staff the Youth Centre, and we are working with Digby Disabilities to fill the position. All tasks are delineated in the grant and reporting is required monthly by Service Canada. They will also be reported on a monthly basis at meetings to BRIDGS. (Hal noted that the Yarmouth office of Service Canada told us that it was possibly the strongest application they had ever received.)

Pageant Update: Currently Hal is looking for one more woman; two more men. July 28 is scheduled for a public reading, 7:30 PM at the Oakdene; free will offering. Rehearsals are in the evening. The costumes look great thanks to Carol White, and Sharon Trueman is doing a great job on promotion.

Directory Project: Cindy has a draft of the form with minor changes. John suggested that we use the blog for this, which could save publication costs. Cindy will give Laurel a copy of the current version.

Bear River Meeting Updates:
Health Clinic: The nurse practitioner is seeing patients ages 65 and over, not 55 as previously advertised. Dr. Goddard’s last date is August 15. Leslie Harris is creating a goodbye card and people are encouraged to drop into the clinic to sign it. He was only in the clinic once per week, so everyone should note that the clinic is not closing. The next regular meeting is September 4th and is open to all.

Board of Trade: Laurel attended the last meeting, where Canada day celebration plans and re-formation of the Bear River Music Society were discussed.

Music Society: John, Susan and George attended. The former Society is disbanding and reforming. If a new group doesn’t form, its funds will go to a separate bank account held by the Board of Trade. Bob Woods made it clear that that will only happen if a new society is not formed. The participants gave a history of the society. Although it has not been functioning in the last couple years, there was $1800 left behind, plus a sound system that needs some repair. At the end of the meeting, another meeting was called for July 31, at which time people will vote on whether to form a separate group or come under another organization.

Bear River Historical Society: Laurel was in attendance. They are going ahead with plans to renovate the Green Lantern with money from the municipalities. Funds required to accomplish this exceed what they currently have. There will be a fundraiser the first week of September with the Board of Trade, which will be a musical night at the Oakdene.

Tributary Support: John raised the issue of BRIDGS making a contribution to the Tributary. It is $5 per month ($60 per year). MOTION: Made by Cindy, seconded by Susan to support the Tributary at a feasible level, pending approval by the Treasurer. APPROVED.

Meetings’ Minutes: Since the meeting minutes for June were not made available to everyone prior to this meeting, they will be held for approval at August’s meeting.

4. Next Meeting
August 8, 2007 at 7:30 PM at the Youth Centre.

5. Adjournment
Motion made by Cindy for adjournment, CARRIED. Meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM.

Executive Committee Report – June 29, 2007

Executive Committee Report
June 29, 2007
Trading Post

Present: John Malmstrom, Susan Malmstrom, Rev. Ken Perkins, Hal Theriault, Gerry Chute.

The meeting was called to order at 9:00 AM.

Strategic Plan: is ready and an invoice will be forwarded to the Office of Economic Development. We will send out a formal press release when the Plan is officially approved and available to the public. Funders to be thanked include the OED, plus the municipalities. Gerry suggested that an executive summary version be sent out door-to-door if necessary. The full plan will be available on the BRIDGS blog. Hal and John will make presentations to the other groups in town. It will also be featured prominently at our next November ‘summit’ meeting of volunteers and volunteer organizations.

Signage: The signs that Rob has need to be installed as securely as possible, with 4x4s and 2x4s plus hardware. Since Gerry has the equipment needed, he offered to be the central point of information on this, and will talk to Rob.

Trails Workshop: Susan attended a workshop that was presented by Recreation Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Health Promotion on how communities can establish trails and other nature programs. This was listed as a priority by many people who were originally surveyed for the strategic plan, and should be pursued. The Board of Trade has stated that this is something they would like to accomplish, and will be raised as a topic within the Strategic Plan discussions.

Youth Centre/Active Saturdays Update:
• The Music Society is reforming, and we will forward a couple of names of young people to be involved. It would be great to have some informal coffeehouse nights at the Youth Centre featuring young people and acoustic music. In the meantime, we are looking into have a couple of official outings, such as a trip to the Lifeplex.
• We are currently waiting to hear back from Service Canada regarding our application for a job creation partnership with Digby Disabilities for a fulltime employee.
• There is a giant pile of refundable bottles and cans (from the Digby Exhibition) that currently sit in the Youth Centre. Gerry and Susan will coordinate getting them to the recycling centre.

Susan and Cindy are going to get together in September to begin work on applying for charitable status for BRIDGS.

Bear River Pageant/Play: There will be a staged reading on July 28 at the Oakdene, 7:30 PM, suggested donation. Ticket prices for the play in August were set at $8 for adults and $5 for seniors and kids under 12. Ken will budget this in the future. Hal has worked well within what his funding has allowed. We are working towards making this a source of income. At the August debut, there will be special invitees—please let Sharon and Hal know if you would like to add someone to the list.

Cherry Carnival: Meetings are going well. Projected income: $1200

The Bear River Story

The Bear River Innovation, Development, and Growth Society (BRIDGS) presents

The Bear River Story

This year the Hessians, the Loyalists and the 60’s Flower Children all return to Bear River as their stories are enacted in the streets of downtown Bear River.

“They came seeking a freer life…those who migrated here in the late 1700’s up
to the 1970’s sought safety and freedom from oppression, or sometimes just a new
home where they could live their lives peacefully, creatively, and independently.”

The stories of those whose lives were changed, here between the hills, will be retold in a series of vignettes at the Oakdene Centre and outdoor venues
beginning in mid-August in a new play by local writer/director Hal Theriault.
The Grand Opening of The Bear River Story will take place at the Oakdene Centre, Bear River, August 18th and 19th, 2007, at 7:30 pm. A dramatic reading of The Bear River Story will be held at Oakdene on Saturday, July 14th at 7:30 pm. For further information, please call 245-5629.