Chairperson John Malmström’s AGM report

Chairman’s Annual General Meeting Report
Bear River Innovation, Growth, and Development Society (BRIDGS)
Delivered by John Malmström at public meeting on April 11th, 2007

In partnership with numerous other organizations and through its volunteer efforts, BRIDGS has:
1. Identified and built strong consensus amongst community stake holders through dialogues with area volunteer organizations and village-wide “town hall” presentations/gatherings
2. Based upon the community’s input, created a “Vision Document” which sets out the general objectives of Bear River’s short, intermediate, and long term goals
3. Formalized the structure of the BRIDGS organization including subcommittees, by-laws, incorporation and regular open meetings for the community.
4. Co-lobbied with Board of Trade to stimulate municipal governments to secure feasibility studies for local infrastructure improvement necessary for the realization of the village’s long-term goals.
5. Built a successful relationship with the local and regional press to help the greater community remain informed and involved with the village’s progress.
6. Answered the community’s desire to serve local young people by opening, maintaining, staffing, and funding (all through generous local donations and first of a continuing series of “Variety Nights”), of a safe, fun gathering place for area youth with regular hours of operation.
7. Received generous investments from Annapolis and Digby Municipalities, Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, and Nova Scotia Office of Economic Development.
8. Created significant contract employment for area residents while creating sustainable economic activity.
9. Changing perceptions province-wide, which reflect Bear River as a “vital community.”
10. Have demonstrated that the funding is available, projects are achievable, unified voice is the way towards government support, sustainable economic development is key to infrastructure repair
11. Major projects underway:
o operation of the Youth Centre (continuing)
o Strategic Development Plan for Bear River (Completion Date May1st.)
o Bear River Pageant (due to premier this summer)

Challenges and recommendations in the next 6 months will be:
1. Continuing operation and funding of the Bear River Youth Centre (BRYC) to include a paid employee.
2. Completion of the Strategic Plan leading to realization of objectives
3. Bear River Pageant
4. Executive Board and volunteer base development
5. Continuing forward momentum and daily small victories

Advertisements

Minutes, November 8, 2006

BRIDGS
(Bear River Innovation, Development and Growth Society)
November 8, 2006,
Changing Tides Restaurant (Trading Post Building)

Present: Cindy Harris, John & Susan Malmstrom, Hal Theriault, Don Rice, Tim Wilson, Gerry Chute, Wayne Smith, Rob Buckland.

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 Meeting

3. New Business: Everyone wished Hal a happy birthday.

Executive Committee Minutes: were read by Secretary Susan Malmstrom.

Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Wayne Smith submitted a report for board approval; seconded by Cindy. ACCEPTED.

Youth Centre:
Report from the Youth Centre Task Force was delivered by Hal and Gerry:
• According to the local school bus drivers, there are 200 children in our area;
• There will be a new Youth Centre committee meeting on November 10. This committee will oversee the administration of the Youth Centre for the next 6 months and will try to meet with the volunteers on a bi-weekly basis;
• Some possible events to be explored are Christmas craft making and a seasonal concert;
• Hal has submitted a proposal to Annapolis County for operational funds. We will also forward a similar proposal to Digby. Other possible funding sources are Recreation Nova Scotia and Service Canada;
• Wayne said that the budget for the Youth Centre (when it is up and running) would be approximately $600/month;
• Wayne suggested that the mandate of what is offered at the Centre should come from the youth;
• Hal met with Linda Findlay of the Oakdene Centre. They would like to partner with the Youth Committee and BRIDGS on musical events and theatrical productions.

Village Meeting: John noted that the Village Meeting/Volunteer night has been scheduled for November 27th at the Oakdene. The Oakdene is allowing us to use the facility at no charge. BRIDGS will host the event. It will be an opportunity for all of the village organizations to talk about what has been accomplished this year, and what they plan for next year. Cindy and Susan are organizing the meeting.

Strategic Development Plan: Due to the re-structure of the RDA, there have been many delays to this, and we had to re-submit our budget. The Office of Economic Development has assured us that they will provide adequate funding for the plan.

Voice of Bear River: CBC Radio will be interviewing Gerry Chute as the “voice of Bear River” to provide a report on what is currently happening here via live early morning radio every month.

Looking to 2007: Suggestions were made as to formation of new subcommittees for 2007: Communications, Board Development, Fundraising were listed. It might be worth researching (again) charitable status, to encourage corporate donations.

4. Review and Adoption of Minutes from Previous Meeting
MOTION: Moved by Cindy, seconded by Rob to approve and adopt the Minutes of the October 11, 2006 meeting. CARRIED.

5. Next Meeting
December 13, at 7:30 PM at the Youth Centre (Trading Post).

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

Minutes, September 23, 2006

BRIDGS
(Bear River Innovation, Development and Growth Society)
September 23, 2006,
Youth Centre (Trading Post Building)

Present: Cindy Harris, John & Susan Malmstrom, Hal Theriault, Wayne Smith, Norma Wagner, Gerry Chute, Andre Bouchard.

1. Call to Order/Adoption of Agenda
Meeting called to order at 7:30 PM.
MOTION to accept the Agenda made, with an addition from Norma, a report on the progress of the Bear River Medical Centre. CARRIED.

2. Introduction of Minutes from Previous Meeting

3. New Business: Introduction of and welcome to new member, Gerry Chute.

Executive Committee Minutes: were read by Secretary Susan Malmstrom.

Treasurer’s Report: Wayne Smith submitted a report for board approval; seconded by Cindy. ACCEPTED.

Youth Centre:
• John said that we have three options for the Youth Centre at present: continue to try and raise funds each month; close the centre permanently; create a new subcommittee to examine the viability of the centre.
• Tim Wilson has officially resigned as chair of the former subcommittee due to time restraints. He will continue to try to assist when and where he can.
• Andre offered that there are project grants available, such as physical activity funding, which could assist in paying rent. There are also community funds available.
• Suggestion was made to meet with BREDS to see if they would be amenable to being paid month by month rather than signing a lease, until the viability of the centre is ascertained.
• Gerry suggested that we find out if the area youth really want to become involved, and what their demographics are.
• An interim Youth Task Force was suggested. They will exist for 6 weeks, to determine viability and sustainability. MOTION made by Wayne: To form an interim Youth Task Force who will meet separately from the general BRIDGS meeting; seconded by Cindy; CARRIED.

Bear River Health Centre: Norma reported that the Health Centre has received provincial funding from the Department of Health. They are currently conducting a search for an administrative assistant and program coordinator. Hal is serving on the search committee. The rebuilding is nearly complete as well.

Bear River Pageant/Presentation: Hal reported that we should hear about provincial funding in about a month. The benefits to the community of such a project include:
• Summer and possibly long-term employment
• Developing partnerships with other community groups
• Infrastructure improvements through cultural heritage funding
• Retrofitting funding for the buildings
• Increased tourism
MOTION made by Susan to release funds to Hal designed for research and writing the Bear River Pageant, seconded by Cindy; CARRIED.

Community Volunteerism Presentation: John proposed that we have a village wide meeting in autumn of all of the volunteer organizations, open to the public, to give the groups a chance to demonstrate what they have accomplished during the year, what their future plans are, what kind of volunteer opportunities are available, etc. John has already talked to Board of Trade and Legion Auxiliary representatives, who support the idea. Cindy will talk to the Fire Hall, and offered to work with John on coordinating this.

Other Recent Achievements:
• BRIDGS received a certificate of appreciation from the Fire Hall for our volunteer efforts during the Cherry Carnival
• We have all been working on membership development
• The Ladies Auxiliary is offering to sponsor a coffee canteen for the Youth Centre
• There was a great turn out for the Save the Ferry Rally; lots of BRIDGS people there.

4. Review and Adoption of Minutes from Previous Meeting
MOTION: Moved by Cindy, seconded by Wayne to approve and adopt the Minutes of the September 13, 2006 meeting. CARRIED.

5. Next Meeting
October 11, at 7:30 PM at the Youth Centre (Trading Post).

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

Minutes, August 9, 2006

BRIDGS
(Bear River Innovation, Development and Growth Society)
August 9, 2006,
Youth Centre (Trading Post Building)

Present: Cindy Harris, John & Susan Malmstrom, Hal Theriault, Wayne Smith, Tim Wilson, Don Rice, Norma Wagner, Larry Knox, Flora Doehler, Jesse Doehler-Knox, Nikki Sang, Julian & Barbara Graham, Glendean Parker.

1. Call to Order/Adoption of Agenda
Meeting called to order at 7:30 PM.
MOTION to accept the Agenda made by Cindy Harris, seconded by Don Rice. CARRIED.

2. Introduction of Minutes from Previous Meeting

3. New Business

Executive Committee Minutes: were read by Secretary Susan Malmstrom.

Treasurer’s Report: Wayne Smith submitted a Treasurer’s Report. All of the information reflects all expenses that have been paid to date. He has access to the information on-line at any time. He noted that the report reflects that we have assets for the first time. When the bank statement is received, it will be faxed to Wayne so that he has a copy before the general meeting. MOTION to accept the Treasurer’s Report was made by Wayne, seconded by Cindy. CARRIED. MOTION was made to reconcile the Treasurer’s Report with the bank statement by Wayne Smith, seconded by Julian Graham. CARRIED. Don Rice suggested that it is not necessary to read aloud the Treasurer’s Report line by line as this will bog down future meetings.

Youth Centre: Youth Committee Chair Tim Wilson reported on the following:
• The painting party attracted about a dozen participants, including parents.
• The insurance bill cannot be pro-rated, since we are one of 120 other participants in the policy. This means that we have an upcoming insurance bill of $525 due on October 1st, which presents a challenge. It is critical that the Youth Centre is successfully launched in order to maintain credibility with the village and with funders. We will have to find a way to pay for this (plus the rent, which will also be due). Suggestions of a fundraiser or a partnership with the local PTAs were made. If the Youth Centre could offer a program such as homework help, we may be able to partner with the schools.
• A planned budget for the next six months should be drawn up.
• In the next six weeks, volunteer staffing needs to be put into place. A roster of volunteers from amongst parents and BRIDGS members needs to be made. Jane Kingston and Bonnie Macleod will approach the parents of the local teenagers. We need to find out from the insurers if background checks are mandatory for volunteers. (Andre Bouchard would be a good contact for this.)
• Ages 14-16 are the target youth audience.
• September 16th is the tentative grand opening day.
• The upstairs of the Trading Post is also available to the Youth Committee to rent. Glendean Parker said that she could take to BREDS an offer of an additional $50 per month for the space. It is a large space with a restroom.
• Hal suggested an emergency meeting of the Youth Committee to discuss funding possibilities with Andre Bouchard. Hal and Susan offered to attend the meeting. Tim will contact everyone with a date.

Strategic Plan: There has been no news on the Strategic Plan since our last general meeting.

New Business:
• A letter from Adrian Potter was published in the Digby Courier on July 27. The two main points that must be countered are: 1) Funding that BRIDGS receives should be used for a water delivery system for the village; 2) BRIDGS is not being truthful regarding our relationships with other organizations. In address to the first issue, government support is always mandated to specific expenditures and must be allocated accordingly. In address to issue #2, John talked to Daryl Jelfs of the Fire Hall and Mary Golding of the Legion Auxiliary, and both re-iterated their support of BRIDGS. Rather than rebutting the letter in a subsequent issue of the Courier, the Executive Committee decided that it was more prudent to address Mr. Potter’s concerns in a personal letter, which also served as an invitation to attend a BRIDGS meeting. Since there has been no follow-up in the Courier, the issue is currently tabled.
• Town Meeting: To bring the village up-to-date on what the local volunteer organizations have been accomplishing, and hope to accomplish in the coming year, BRIDGS would like to organize a joint community meeting where they would have the opportunity to share their information with everyone else. Invitees will include BREDS, the Board of Trade, the Ladies Auxiliary, the Fire Hall and the Medical Clinic (plus any other group that would like to participate). John volunteered to begin to make contact with the directors of these groups to ascertain if the other groups are amenable to this idea. MOTION was made to launch a community-wide meeting to showcase the volunteer organizations of Bear River by Tim Wilson, seconded by Julian Graham. CARRIED.
• Save the Ferry Rally: The Digby Ferry to St. John is in danger of being closed. Everyone is encouraged to bring a sign and make some noise at an upcoming rally at the Ferry Terminal on Friday, August 11, 11:30 AM.

5. Review and Adoption of Minutes from Previous Meeting
MOTION: Moved by Cindy Harris, seconded by Julian Graham to approve and adopt the Minutes of the July 12, 2006 meeting. CARRIED.

6. Next Meeting
September 13, at 7:30 PM at the Youth Centre (Trading Post).

7. Adjournment
Motion made by Susan Malmstrom for adjournment, CARRIED. Meeting adjourned at 9:30 PM.

Minutes, June 14, 2006

BRIDGS
(Bear River Innovation, Development and Growth Society)
June 14, 2006
Youth Centre (Trading Post Building)

Present: Cindy Harris, John & Susan Malmstrom, Hal Theriault, David Isles, Don Rice, Pamela Barron, Tim Wilson, Julian Graham, Barbara Graham, Donna Parkins. Special Guest: André Bouchard.

1. Call to Order/Adoption of Agenda
Meeting called to order at 7:30 PM. Andre Bouchard, Active Living Facilitator for the County of Annapolis led the group in a warm-up (lively!) exercise to introduce ourselves.

MOTION to accept the Agenda made by Don Rice, seconded by Tim Wilson. CARRIED.

2. Introduction of Minutes from Previous Meeting

3. New Business

Executive Committee Minutes: were read by Secretary Susan Malmstrom.

Treasurer’s Report: Wayne Smith was not present. The report will be submitted for board approval at the next general meeting.

Mid-Year Report: Chair John Malmstrom gave a mid-year of progress in the village of Bear River. He emphasized that we are at the six-month point of his time as chairperson, and it is important for the group to be looking toward the future. Mr. Malmstrom’s report:
Bear River, the Village has:
1. Identified and built strong consensus amongst community stake holders through dialogues with area volunteer organizations and village-wide “town hall” presentations/gatherings
2. Based upon the community’s input, created a “Vision Document” which sets out the general objectives of Bear River’s short, intermediate, and long term goals
3. Formalized the structure of the BRIDGS organization including subcommittees, by-laws, incorporation and regular open meetings for the community.
4. Successfully lobbied with municipal government to secure feasibility studies for local infrastructure improvement necessary for the realization of the village’s long term goals
5. Built a successful relationship with the local and regional press to help the greater community remain informed and involved with the village’s progress
6. Exceeded expectations through local grass-roots fundraising to enable the imminent opening of a village “Youth Centre” – the first short term goal identified by the community
7. Established encouraging contacts with local, provincial, and federal funding sources including, in particular, a $10,000.00 grant for the partial funding of a Community Economic Development Strategy from the Nova Scotia Office of Economic Development
8. Begun to change perceptions to reflect BR as a “vital community”
9. Have demonstrated that the funding is available, unified voice is the way towards government support, sustainable economic development is key to infrastructure repair –BR’s revitalization can be done if the village wills it.

Challenges and recommendations in the next 6 months will be:
1. Opening the Bear River Youth Centre (BRYC)
2. Continuing maintenance of BRYC
3. Scheduling another village wide meeting to report progress
4. Preparing for shift in executive committee (new Chair to be elected in December), on-going board development
5. Community Economic Development Strategy Document—funding completion, bids, selection of vendor, writing
6. Establishing, strengthening subcommittees for
a. BRYC
b. Village meeting
c. Economic Development Report
d. Board development
7. Bear River’s future can be bright if the village wills it.

Youth Centre: Several things need to be finalized before the Youth Centre can be officially opened. Recreation Nova Scotia has not contacted us regarding our application, which means that we do not have liability insurance. The toilet has been installed, and the issue of power to the building has been resolved. After much discussion regarding what remains to be accomplished, John called for volunteers to serve on the Youth Subcommittee to complete these tasks. Barbara Graham, Julian Graham, and Tim Wilson all volunteered to serve.
André Bouchard led a discussion on opening the Centre. His suggestions included:
• Special invitations to young persons for a grand opening;
• Establish a proper foundation to create a safe space;
• Some community standards will be non-negotiable (i.e. no drugs, alcohol, smoking, etc.)
• Establish minimum age groups and times/days;
• Give the youth a feeling of ownership of the space;
• Set up relationships first, then create the programming;
• Who are the chaperones? BRIDGS members, parents, the Subcommittee, other volunteers.

5. Review and Adoption of Minutes from Previous Meeting
MOTION: Moved by Tim Wilson, seconded by Cindy Harris to approve and adopt the Minutes of the May 10, 2006 meeting. CARRIED.

6. Next Meeting
Wednesday, July 12, at 7:30 pm at the Youth Centre (Trading Post).

7. Adjournment
Motion made by Don Rice for adjournment, seconded by Susan Malmstrom.
CARRIED. Meeting adjourned at 9:30 PM.

Minutes, May 10, 2006

BRIDGS
(Bear River Innovation, Development and Growth Society)
May 10, 2006
Bear River First Nations Cultural Center

Present: Cindy Harris, John & Susan Malmstrom, Hal Theriault, David Isles, Don Rice, Rob Buckland, George Barron, Tim Wilson, Julian Graham, Wayne Smith.

1. Call to Order
Meeting called to order at 7:30 PM

2. Introduction of Minutes from Previous Meeting

3. New Business
Executive Committee Minutes: were read by Secretary Susan Malmstrom.
BRIDGS Liaisons: as per the suggestion of the Executive Committee, it was decided that a good way to connect with the other organizations in town was to assign BRIDGS members to act as go-betweens for these groups. The liaisons don’t need to attend the other groups’ meetings, although many of them are already doing this; they only need to contact the group prior to a BRIDGS general meeting to see if the other organization has any concerns that they would like to see raised at our meeting. The assignments are: Fire Hall: Cindy Harris, Oakdene: Cindy Harris, BREDS: Rob Buckland, Health Centre: Don Rice, Legion: Susan Malmstrom.
New Member: Julian Graham, a supporter of the Youth Centre, was welcomed as he joined us for the first time.
Treasurer’s Report: Wayne Smith presented his initial report. John suggested that in future reports, noting pending receipts and debits would be helpful. George suggested that it might be worthwhile to research the pros and cons of charitable status for the organization. Cindy offered to look into this for the next meeting. MOTION to accept the Treasurer’s Report made by Wayne Smith, seconded by Cindy Harris. CARRIED.

4. Youth Centre: Power still needs to be hooked up and the toilet installed. John offered to come by and get this done. Supplies need to be purchased. Rob suggested approaching Wilson’s Hardware to see if they could donate supplies, or sell them to us at a discount; Hal offered to look into this. Equipment, signage and programming were discussed at length. John and Hal will contact Andre Bouchard for assistance. We cannot have anyone other than board members in the space, however, until liability insurance has been purchased. We are still waiting for membership status from Recreation Nova Scotia, so that we can get insurance through them at a discounted rate.

5. Strategic Development Plan: John and Hal met with Louise Watson of the Office of Economic Development. They will provide funding for the initial investment of $10,000. The estimate for the overall cost may be around $30,000. We will have to put this out to tender. It will be necessary to have the endorsement of both the municipalities to proceed with the plan, via a token amount of funding. John and Hal are scheduled to present to the Municipality of Annapolis on May 16. The strategic plan is a critical step for moving BRIDGS forward; we cannot secure any kind of substantial funding without it. Hal is also conducting ongoing research of cultural and tourism grant opportunities.

6. Review and Adoption of Minutes from Previous Meeting
MOTION: Moved by Cindy Harris, seconded by Don Rice to approve and adopt the Minutes of the March 29, 2006 meeting. CARRIED.

7. Next Meeting
June 14, at 7:30 pm at the Youth Centre (Trading Post).

8. Adjournment
Motion made by Tim Wilson for adjournment, seconded by Susan Malmstrom.
CARRIED. Meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM.

Executive Committee Report – Apr 18/06

BRIDGS
Executive Committee Report
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Bear River First Nations Cultural Center

Present: John Malmstrom, Tim Wilson, Wayne Smith, Susan Malmstrom, David Isles, Hal Theriault.

The meeting was called to order at 10:00 AM.

• Informal Treasurer’s Report: BRIDGS currently has $1,634 total. John, Wayne and Tim will need to meet with the CIBC in Digby on April 19 to set up a chequing account.

• Youth Centre Management: Hal and David will conduct research on funding for a possible position to manage the Youth Centre. Possible funding agencies include: Service Canada and Nova Scotia Recreation.

• Recent Achievements: John reported that BRIDGS has successfully secured donations, engaged benefactors, and initiated strong local press contacts. Areas of improvement: all public information needs to be consistent with everyone clear on all of the facts.

• Youth Centre Opening: Everyone agreed that we should start with a “soft” opening, and hold off the grand opening and announcement to the press until we have been opened for a couple of weeks.

• Next Goals: Everyone agreed that we need to be moving forward with our next goals. Next up: development of a formal strategic plan; and funding for a heritage play.

• BRIDGS Liaisons: Susan suggested that rather than counting on members of other Bear River organizations to regularly attend our meetings, perhaps BRIDGS members could volunteer to serve as liaisons, that is, BRIDGS members would contact organizations (which they may already have ties to) prior to each BRIDGS meeting to see if that organization has relevant concerns that they would like BRIDGS to be informed about.

• TO DO LIST:
1. John and Wayne will meet with the CIBC to open an account; Tim will sign the signature card;
2. John will coordinate with Jane Kingston to finish securing insurance for the Youth Centre;
3. Wayne will draft a balance sheet to present at the next regular meeting;
4. Susan will forward official thank you letters to donors;
5. John will meet with BREDS to sign the Youth Centre lease;
6. Hal will research funding sources for the next goals.

Meeting adjourned at noon.