Bear River Strategic Development Plan

[note: the Strategic Plan is 64 pages long and is presented here as a PDF document. What follows is text from the Introduction]
brsbp-final.pdf

Bear River Strategic Development Plan

1.0 Introduction

Over the past year the Bear River Innovation, Development and Growth Society (BRIDGS) has held a number of consultations within the community regarding revitalization and economic development.
Based on their consultations, a vision document was prepared that integrated the initiatives and opportunities that community organizations, businesses and residents felt were critical for their future growth and success as a community. This BRIDGS Vision document has served as the basis for the resulting Bear River Strategic Development Plan.

Developed as a community economic development strategy, it is important to acknowledge that the resulting plan takes into account and reflects those initiatives that were identified and considered critical by and for the community. At the same time, each idea, suggestion and initiative identified in the original vision document has been evaluated against research undertaken during the development process of the Plan. The resulting Bear River Strategic Development Plan represents a blending of the vision document with the most relevant and significant opportunities for the economic viability of the community.

It should also be noted that the Bear River Strategic Development Plan is a community wide economic development plan. Specifically, this plan establishes a profile of the area, identifies opportunities and offers an action plan that will be the responsibility of a number of organizations within Bear River. In the capacity of facilitator for the development of the plan, the Bear River Innovation, Development and Growth Society has channelled the energies and interests of a variety of community groups and organizations in Bear River.

Ultimately, however, the implementation of the resulting action plan rests with a number of “Lead Organizations” who have been identified in the plan. These “Lead Organizations” have been selected based on their existing (perceived and actual) role in Bear River. However BRIDGS, as the champion for the Strategy will continue to serve both as the “Lead Organization” in some projects while fulfilling the role of facilitator for the overall development and achievement of the actions outlined in the plan.

BRIDGS further acknowledges that the “Lead Organizations” identified in the action plan are in fact the same volunteer, not for profit organizations that have communicated that they are faced with ongoing operational challenges – financial and human resource. Therefore, BRIDGS will work to support and offer assistance to these organizations in an effort to enhance and expand their capacities to undertake the actions and initiatives.

The Bear River Strategic Development Plan, revealed on the following pages, has been developed by a Committee of BRIDGS consisting of three Board Members who have invested a significant amount of time and expertise. Donna Hatt Consulting was engaged to facilitate the development of the Plan over a
period of several weeks. The Committee had met on several occasions throughout the process to review research compiled and were active participants in the articulation of the plan. Strengthening the process were two public meetings in which research was shared and the community was engaged in the action planning process.

The resulting plan builds on the existing infrastructure and organizations in a manner that facilitates increased communication, partnerships and shared vision for the future.

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Executive Committee Report – June 29, 2007

BRIDGS
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.

Fundraising:
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

Executive Committee Report – May 31, 2007

BRIDGS
Executive Committee Report
May 31, 2007
Trading Post

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

The meeting was called to order at 8;30 AM.

Variety Night, May 26: Although the room was very hot and the night was long, we had a great crowd and raised over $900. For future events, it was decided that all volunteer performers would be limited to 3 songs or 15 minutes of performance time, whichever comes first, with the emcee one the stage during applause for the third tune thanking the performer(s). Time negotiations for any special guest headliners may be customized. All posters and other notices will list the beginning and end times (i.e. 7:30 – 9:30 PM), which will be observed, just like a meeting.

Active Saturdays Update: Active Saturdays! is going well, thanks to our enthusiastic sports coordinator Caroline Draper. Gerry will be hosting ballfield cleanup on June 9, and there will be a skateboard clinic on June 16, and a special karate demo on June 23.

BRIDGS Meetings: Susan reminded the committee that since the last two regular BRIDGS meetings have been given over to Consultant Donna Hatt and the Bear River Strategic Plan, we’ve fallen behind on conducting regular BRIDGS business; most importantly, a call for revitalized subcommittees, i.e. Fundraising, Youth, Board Development/Recruitment, Pageant, Communications. This should be addressed at the next meeting.

Bear River Pageant: Hal gave an update that we will have a draft script within two weeks, and will be able to have a reading/open rehearsal staged sometime in August. More importantly, we need to put out a call for players.

Cherry Carnival: Cindy, Hal, Gerry and Susan are meeting with Darryl to coordinate the partnership between the Firehall and the Youth Centre to administer the auction. Cindy and Susan are working on putting together a volunteer force; Gerry will work with Darryl on pickup.

BRIDGS Blog: Future Bear River resident Flora Doehler has voluntarily created a blog with comprehensive information related to BRIDGS, including photos, minutes of all meetings, announcements, email address, etc. All members of the Executive Committee have seen the blog and are very impressed with it. MOTION: for BRIDGS to endorse the blog, and to publicize the address, made by Susan, seconded by Ken. APPROVED. The blog will be presented at the next general meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 10:00 AM.

Minutes, May 9, 2007

BRIDGS
(Bear River Innovation, Development and Growth Society)
May 9, 2007
Trading Post (Youth Centre)

Present: John Malmstrom, Laurel Shishkov, Brian & Gill Chapman, Susan Malmstrom, Hal Theriault, Don Rice, Norma Wagner, Jay Stone, Cheryl Stone, Beth Earle, Rob Buckland-Nicks, Ron & Leslie Harris, Cindy Harris. Special Guest: Consultant Donna Hatt.

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
Digby Exhibition: Leslie Harris asked for assistance with clean up at the Exhibition grounds on May 19, following an ox pull. BRIDGS members were asked to meet at the grounds at 10:00 AM. Any deposits on refundables will be donated to the Youth Centre.

Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Rev. Ken Perkins submitted a report, and called for a motion to approve. Seconded by Cindy. APPROVED. John thanked those who have submitted their membership fees, and asked that those who have not to please do so as soon as possible.

Strategic Plan: Consultant Donna Hatt led those in attendance through group exercises intended to provide feedback for the Bear River Strategic Plan.

4. Next Meeting
June 13, 2007 at 7:30 PM at the Youth Centre—new location (upstairs at the Trading Post).

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

Executive Committee Report – Apr 14/07

BRIDGS Executive Committee Meeting
(Bear River Innovation, Development and Growth Society)
April 14, 2007
Trading Post

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

Meeting called to order at 9:00 AM.

Checks relayed from the Secretary to the Treasurer
$3,000 from Municipality of Digby, for the Pageant
$11,350 from Nova Scotia Tourism, for the Pageant
$600 from Nova Scotia, for the Pageant

Contracts: Hal said that a contract needed to be drafted in order to pay Carol Smith for work done.  It was agreed that all contracted work for BRIDGS would be set up so that invoices would be paid out as follows: one-third at the start; one-third at an agreed upon, significant point; and the final third at completion.

Youth Centre: Gerry is working with Steve Trimper, an electrician to find out what kind of work needs to be done to the upstairs space at the Trading Post before we can move.  He is in contact with Glendean Parker regarding our move date.

Variety Night: The entertainment roster is already lined up, and we have volunteers for the front door (Sharon Trueman and Cathy Banks), and Marketing (Laurel Shishkov).  We need to be sure the canteen will be staffed.  Gerry will be in touch with Louise Wood to see if she wants to cover this.

Pool Table: Gerry and Hal are working on getting a better pool table donated.

Treasurer’s Report: Ken said that he will keep a journal in order to track income and expenses.  John asked for a motion regarding transferring funds from one subaccount to another.  MOTION: The Treasurer is allowed to transfer funds from one subaccount within BRIDGS’ bank account to another subaccount when necessary (e.g. use the General Fund to cover a Youth Centre expense) as long as the debited subaccount is eventually reimbursed.  Made by John, seconded by Ken.  PASSED.  Ken was asked to buy a journal using some of the general fund money.

Pageant: Hal reported that all subcontracted work is on track, as is the play.  We may be able to use Variety Night to present a teaser for the play.

Strategic Plan: Consultant Donna Hatt is meeting with the Plan Subcommittee before the next general meeting to look at the preliminary draft.

Meeting adjourned at 10:00 AM.

Minutes, AGM, April 11, 2007

BRIDGS
Annual General Meeting
(Bear River Innovation, Development and Growth Society)
April 11, 2007
Trading Post (Youth Centre)

Present: John Malmstrom, Laurel Shishkov, Sandy Burrell, Gerry Chute, Susan Malmstrom, Hal Theriault, Cindy Harris, Don Rice, Norma Wagner, Jay Stone, Cheryl Stone, Ken Perkins, Wayne Smith, Rob Buckland-Nicks, Carolyn Sloan, Zoe Knorek-Onysko, Leslie Harris, Doug Harris. Special Guest: Consultant Donna Hatt.

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

2. Chair’s Annual Report: John gave the Chairman’s update on BRIDGS (see attached).

3. Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Wayne Smith submitted a report for approval. Seconded by
Sandy. APPROVED.

4. Membership: The Membership Committee (Susan, Rob and Hal) recommended that an annual membership be implemented. (See attached.) Zoe suggested that we offer a special rate of $20 for a 5 year membership. After some discussion, it was decided that the special memberships to be offered to people living outside of the region will be non-voting only. MOTION: To implement BRIDGS memberships as outlined by the Membership Committee, with the addition of a discounted rate for multiple-year membership and non-voting status for those who would like to join but live outside of the designated membership area, made by Susan, seconded by Cindy. PASSED.

5. New Officers: The Nominating Committee (Cindy, Don) presented the slate of officers for 2007. John thanked the two officers who were rotating off: Wayne Smith, Treasurer, who is moving out of the area; and Tim Wilson, Vice Chair, who has work commitments that will not allow him to serve as an officer next year. Both of them did an outstanding job, and Tim will continue to serve on various committees as time permits. The proposed Executive Committee roster for 2007 is: John Malmstrom, Gerry Chute, Susan Malmstrom, Ken Perkins, Rob Buckland-Nicks, Tim Wilson, Pam Barron, Don Rice, and Cindy Harris. Proposed Officers are: John Malmstrom, Chair; Gerry Chute, Vice Chair; Rev. Ken Perkins, Treasurer; and Susan Malmstrom, Secretary. As a reminder, the Secretary does not have signatory power. Motion was made by Don to approved the proposed slate, seconded by Wayne. CARRIED.

6. Historical Society AGM: John attended the AGM, where it was reported that they have received a grant from Digby to fix the flooring of the Green Lantern building, which will serve as the Society’s new home. Due to problems of damp, the archival materials will be stored elsewhere.

7. Strategic Plan: John introduced Consultant Donna Hatt; she presented preliminary findings which will shape the draft of the Bear River Strategic Plan. Donna will be joining us at the next general BRIDGS meeting to discuss her research before the final version of the plan is published.

8. Next Meeting: May 10, 2007 at 7:30 PM at the Youth Centre (Trading Post).

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

Minutes, AGM, April 11, 2007

BRIDGS
Annual General Meeting
(Bear River Innovation, Development and Growth Society)
April 11, 2007
Trading Post (Youth Centre)

Present: John Malmstrom, Laurel Shishkov, Sandy Burrell, Gerry Chute, Susan Malmstrom, Hal Theriault, Cindy Harris, Don Rice, Norma Wagner, Jay Stone, Cheryl Stone, Ken Perkins, Wayne Smith, Rob Buckland-Nicks, Carolyn Sloan, Zoe Knorek-Onysko, Leslie Harris, Doug Harris. Special Guest: Consultant Donna Hatt.

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

2. Chair’s Annual Report: John gave the Chairman’s update on BRIDGS (see attached).

3. Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Wayne Smith submitted a report for approval. Seconded by
Sandy. APPROVED.

4. Membership: The Membership Committee (Susan, Rob and Hal) recommended that an annual membership be implemented. (See attached.) Zoe suggested that we offer a special rate of $20 for a 5 year membership. After some discussion, it was decided that the special memberships to be offered to people living outside of the region will be non-voting only. MOTION: To implement BRIDGS memberships as outlined by the Membership Committee, with the addition of a discounted rate for multiple-year membership and non-voting status for those who would like to join but live outside of the designated membership area, made by Susan, seconded by Cindy. PASSED.

5. New Officers: The Nominating Committee (Cindy, Don) presented the slate of officers for 2007. John thanked the two officers who were rotating off: Wayne Smith, Treasurer, who is moving out of the area; and Tim Wilson, Vice Chair, who has work commitments that will not allow him to serve as an officer next year. Both of them did an outstanding job, and Tim will continue to serve on various committees as time permits. The proposed Executive Committee roster for 2007 is: John Malmstrom, Gerry Chute, Susan Malmstrom, Ken Perkins, Rob Buckland-Nicks, Tim Wilson, Pam Barron, Don Rice, and Cindy Harris. Proposed Officers are: John Malmstrom, Chair; Gerry Chute, Vice Chair; Rev. Ken Perkins, Treasurer; and Susan Malmstrom, Secretary. As a reminder, the Secretary does not have signatory power. Motion was made by Don to approved the proposed slate, seconded by Wayne. CARRIED.

6. Historical Society AGM: John attended the AGM, where it was reported that they have received a grant from Digby to fix the flooring of the Green Lantern building, which will serve as the Society’s new home. Due to problems of damp, the archival materials will be stored elsewhere.

7. Strategic Plan: John introduced Consultant Donna Hatt; she presented preliminary findings which will shape the draft of the Bear River Strategic Plan. Donna will be joining us at the next general BRIDGS meeting to discuss her research before the final version of the plan is published.

8. Next Meeting: May 10, 2007 at 7:30 PM at the Youth Centre (Trading Post).

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