BRIDGS Vision and Mission Statement (v3)

After considerable, informal discussions, several citizens of the Bear River area concluded that the community is in need of revitalization and economic development, and so formed The Bear River Innovation, Development, and Growth Society (BRIDGS), a volunteer, not-for-profit organization. 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.” We seek also to become a group to encourage and facilitate potential volunteers in our community; that is, to mate people with organizations needing these volunteers.

BRIDGS seeks to form vital partnerships with the involvement and in-put of community organizations and individuals as we finalize our plans. BRIDGS then will draft proposals for potential funders based on our mission.

The Bear River Plan is a multi-faceted plan that will result in:

(1) a revitalization and revival of our main street and waterfront; and

(2) the associated development of new and renewed year-round attractions to draw visitors and new citizens to the community.

Identified Projects

(1) Streetscape and Waterfront:

• completion of sewage system;
• development of a comprehensive water sourcing and delivery system on Annapolis County side of the river;
• installation of sidewalks from seniors’ home to the village and through the village;
• appropriate signage;
• repair and replacement of cribwork along the river bank;
• strengthen and secure road side retaining walls consistent with village heritage;
• establish better accessibility and visibility of the waterfront park and the solar aquatics treatment facility, including full-time interpretive tours of the latter;
• repair of riverside boardwalk;
• canoe and kayak launch/rental facility on the old mill property;

• walking trail through a series of micro habitats and gardens;
• hiking, horse and ski trails;
• organized recreational activities for youth, adults and seniors such as softball and soccer leagues;
• new office (including technical updating for e-commerce), shop, and residential space in underutilized, renovated buildings;
• streetscape cosmetic improvements, such as lamp posts and hanging flower baskets.

(2) New and Renewed Attractions

• assist Oakdene and other interested parties is developing facilities for youth to encourage them to enjoy positive, productive activities, including the building of a multi-use court for basketball, skateboarding, and so on;

• assist the Bear River Heritage Museum Board in development of new programs, upgrading of facilities, or in whatever other way they define;

• “THE BEAR RIVER CENTER” to be housed in retrofitted, underutilized community buildings, and offering cultural and technological immersion experiences in the form of day-long to week-long workshops during which participants will be housed at local bed and breakfast establishments; workshops will be offered in specialized areas such as master art classes, alternative energy technology, drama, computer animation, etc.;

• “THE TIDAL RIVER INTERPRETIVE CENTER” highlighting the role of the river in the community’s heritage, again housed in existing buildings; included will be a major water sculpture illustrating the nature of our tides, interactive displays and models of Bear River’s logging, shipping, and guiding heritage, “green” technology exhibits, and costumed character interpreters, etc.;

• community radio station;

• consistent staffing of the Bear River Cap Site and library (located within the Oakdene Centre);

• farmers’ market for local produce;

• presentation at regular intervals of an original play about Bear River history at the Oakdene Center;

• concerts and seasonal festivals featuring local musicians on a regular schedule at Oakdene and the Exhibition Grounds.

All these innovations will result in significant increases in economic activity and employment, visitor and tourist traffic, and vital improvement in village self-sustainability. “The Bear River Plan” capitalizes on the village’s present reputation as an artistic Mecca, our noteworthy heritage, the uniqueness of our geography, tides, and building structures, our popularity with tourists, and the strengths of our citizens.


Minutes, August 9, 2005

Tuesday August 9th, 7:30 pm
At the Oakdene Centre

Present: Rob Buckland-Nicks, John and Susan Malmstrom, Andrew Riddles, Cindy Harris, George Barron, Hal Theriault, Suzette Delmage

1. Call to Order
• Meeting called to order by Chairperson John Malmstrom at 7:35pm.

2. Introductions/Call for Presentations & Delegations

3. Adoption of Agenda
MOTION: Moved by John Malmstrom, seconded by Andrew Riddles to approve the agenda. CARRIED.

4. Presentations & Delegations

5. Review and Adoption of Minutes from Previous Meeting
MOTION: Moved by Cindy Harris, seconded by Andrew Riddles to approve and adopt the Miinutes of the August 2, 2005 meeting. CARRIED.

6. Approval of Accounts

7. Continuing Business
a. Formation of non-profit society & Incorporation Documents
• Group can register as BRIDGS with up to 15 directors and members; currently have 5 signed on.

b. Meetings with other groups
• Don, Hal and Andrew have all had conversations with Bobby Benson of the Board of Trade
• Hal’s impression is that Bobby is happy to support the ideas of the group
• Andrew spoke to him at a later date and Bobby expressed desire that BOT should be the body overseeing the project
• BRIDGS will need the support of the BOT to win the cooperation of the municipalities
• Concern expressed by Bobby: Municipality (Digby) supports the Mill Project as a priority and that BOT shouldn’t be doing something else.
• What is the mandate of Bear River Board of Trade? Is the BRIDGS project larger than what the BOT would normally be expected to do?
• Options: BRIDGS could be a sub-committee of the BOT? Invite BOT to be a member of the BRIDGS planning group?
• Need to define the relationship between BRIDGS and BOT
Should work on inviting other members of the community to the next meetings
Cindy will contact Oakdene, Historical Society, Fire Department, church groups
Hal will contact First Nations
Susan will contact Ladies’ Auxiliary
Don was also going to make some local contacts

c. Project Plan – Next Steps
• Hal distributed a handout outlining proposed project steps
• Probably will need a business plan
• ALCOA will give you feed back on your plan very quickly so the group can make revisions to the plan as it evolves (ie. Don’t have to start all over again)
• Cost of business plan $12,000 to $25,000
• Is already a great deal of background information, market trend and statistical information available from the Cultural Centre proposal which would be transferable to the BRIDGS business plan

d. Mission & Vision Statement
• Need more direction from the group on the revision of the vision statement & further definition of the tasks
• Fine tune the goals and objectives: what are the real items that matter?
• Can we finalize the anchor ideas:
– tidal interpretive center or heritage center & museum
– tidal sculpture
– maintain historical streetscape
– educational/experiential center (experiential tourism?)
– art, alternative energy, experiential tourism
– computer technology (could be combination of art & technology such as computer animation or film production)
– strongest points from original discussions were ARTS and HERITAGE
– Hal can provide a draft framework of the project to be presented to other groups

8. New Business
• Discussion of security issues; “yahoos” and vandalism in Bear River
• Need for increased police presence or option of private security services

9. Next Meeting
• The next meeting ill be held on Tuesday August 16th at the Oakdene Centre at 7:30pm.

10. Adjournment
MOTION: Motion made by Susan Malmstrom, seconded by Cindy Harris that the August 9th meeting of BRIDGS be adjourned at 9:20pm. CARRIED.

Minutes, July 26, 2005

Bear River Community Meeting
Tuesday July 26th, 7:30 pm at the Oakdene Centre

Present: Rob Buckland-Nicks, John and Susan Malmstrom, Andrew Riddles, Cindy Harris, Pamela Barron, Don Rice, Tim Wilson, Hal Theriault, Chris Hutchins, Suzette Delmage , Paula Hicks.

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

2. New Business:

a) Formation of a non-profit society:
• Cindy presented the documents the committee needs to complete to be registered as a non-profit society. Five members signatures are required as part of the documentation.
The five members who signed the documentation are:
1. John Malmstrom
2. Rob Buckland-Nicks
3. Don Rice
4. Cynthia Harris
5. Pamela Barron
• There is a group on file with Societies which has the name Bear River Development Committee; if one of their executive writes a letter indicating that they are no longer a functioning group, our newly formed group can register their name as the Bear River Innovation, Development and Growth Society (BRIDGS)
• Don Rice agreed to approach one of the past members of the committee and ask them to write a letter indicating that their group is now defunct.

b) Appointing of interim officers:
• the following members will serves as interim officers:

Chairperson John Malmstrom
Vice-Chair Tim Wilson will be asked if he is interested in taking on this position
Secretary Suzette Delmage
Treasurer Suzette will take on this position until someone with appropriate experience is appointed

MOTION: Motion made by John Malmstrom, seconded by Andrew Riddles, that the members accept these names as interim officers. CARRIED.

• John handed out a list of duties and responsibilities for officers as a guideline which can be used by the society.
• John will act as the recognized agent for the society ie. His address will be used if the committee is served with documents and his address will be used as the contact mailing address for the society.

c) Mission and Vision Statement

• John’s mission statement can be used a working template but for purposes of presenting our mission statement to funding groups, Rob’s shorter, more concise version will be used.

• Hal passed out a proposal for review by members that summarizes the vision and goals of the society and could be used when approaching funding bodies.

• Main funder would likely be ACOA (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency).

• Hal Theriault passed out a summary paper for review, based on the discussion from the past two meetings regarding the society’s goals and project vision.

d) Outreach to Community Groups

“Two tiers” of community groups were identified that should be approached as soon as possible regarding the formation of BRIDGS and their purpose in the community:

1st Tier
Board of Trade
Fire Department
Oakdene Centre
Bear River Legion

• Cindy & Don should be part of the group which approaches the 1st tier as they are longstanding residents and recognized in the community.
• Andrew and/or Susan will talk to the President of the Board of Trade before a presentation is made to their group.
• Paula will approach the Oakdene Board and BREDS .
• Susan will talk to Mary Golding – Ladies Auxiliary of the Legion
• The first approach will be a very informal meeting or discussion; BRIDGS will then ask to make a presentation to each group.
• Need to find out what the meeting dates are for each of these groups
• Eventually we will need to approach the 2 municipal units (Digby/Annapolis); Hal with his previous experience could assist with this; should be done sometime in the Fall

Preparation for the Next Meeting:
• John will prepare an agenda to be used at future meetings.
• E-mail John for any additions to the agenda.
• Completion of forms for the formation of the Non-Profit Society.
• Discussion of Hal’s proposal/vision document.

Next Meeting:
Tuesday August 2 at 7:30 pm at the Oakdene Centre.

Meeting Adjourned:
Meeting of BRIDGS adjourned at 9:00pm.