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

Executive Committee Report – March 12/07

BRIDGS
Executive Committee Report
March 12, 2007
Trading Post

Present:  John Malmstrom, Susan Malmstrom, Wayne Smith, Hal Theriault, Tim Wilson, Gerry Chute.

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

Treasurer Wayne Smith announced that he needs to resign his position as Treasurer, as he is moving out of the area in June.  John has notified Cindy Harris, who serves on the Search Committee of the situation.  Tim offered to contact Don about some possible leads on a new treasurer.

Treasurer’s Report:  Wayne handed out the latest Treasurer’s Report, which included an addition of $1,000 to the Strategic Plan, and over $800 raised by Variety Night for the Youth Centre.

Treasurer Wayne Smith submitted a Treasurer’s Report to the Executive Committee, with a motion for acceptance.  Seconded by Tim. CARRIED.

Variety Night: was successful, both financially and as a community outreach project.  It was wonderful publicity for the Youth Centre, and we have received a lot of positive feedback.  It also set a positive tone for future BRIDGS activities.  John asked for feedback on what might be done differently for future variety nights:
•    Wider advertising, such as The Clare Shopper
•    Organize the event earlier
•    Pre-sell tickets.
Gerry would like to plan the next variety night around Cherry Carnival.  He would like to see if we can find a volunteer event planner.

Youth Centre and Committee: Susan will contact the two municipal disability employment services to find out if we can hire a supervisor for the Youth Centre.  John said that BREDS has forwarded a lease for the Youth Centre to sign, so we need to make a commitment as to where the Youth Centre will be located.  Possibilities currently include: stay in place, move upstairs, move to the Oakdene.  Each possibility was discussed.  Considerations include: heat, phone/phone access, safety of the venue, how to keep the kids in one place (at the Oakdene).  Gerry will contact both Glendean Parker of BREDS and Linda Findlay of the Oakdene and report back at the general meeting.

Annual Meeting:  The AGM will be postponed to April 11, so as not to conflict with the Health Clinic’s AGM.  The regular BRIDGS meeting will start at 8:00 PM to give people time to attend both the Health Clinic’s AGM and our general meeting.  At our AGM, the chair will give the annual update and the treasurer will present a financial report.  We will also need to arrange for an auditor for 2008.  Our goal will be to have a new treasurer in place by April 11; this will give us plenty of transition time for Wayne to work with the new person.  The topic of formalized membership parameters will also be put forward. Membership benefits should be tied to our Vision Statement.  Membership is an important issue, as it will demonstrate to government funders our self-sustainability.  MOTION: made by Wayne, seconded by Tim that a membership committee be formed.  CARRIED.

Meeting adjourned at 10:30 AM.

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.

Executive Committee Report – May 24/06

BRIDGS
Executive Committee Report
May 24, 2006
Trading Post/Youth Centre

Present: John Malmstrom, Wayne Smith, Susan Malmstrom, Hal Theriault.

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

• Informal Treasurer’s Report: One cash donation of $40.00 was received. It was decided that a petty cash fund would be established, initially funded at $40.00. Current total in the BRIDGS’ account, including petty cash, is $1,251.40. The Secretary will collect receipts and keep an accurate listing of any expenditures from petty cash, which will be forwarded to the Treasurer prior to each report. The Treasurer’s reports will reflect the date that they are submitted, usually the day of the general meeting or close to it.

• Youth Centre: John spoke with Andre Bouchard, who is willing to assist with opening the Centre by providing the basic framework for programming and management. He suggested a meeting by special invitation for the village young people, which he could facilitate. Current infrastructure needs include: carpet strip to secure the carpet, toilet needs to be put together, electricity needs to be hooked up, hot water needs to be hooked up, doorknob needs to be put in the bathroom door. Nova Scotia Recreation needs to be contacted regarding our application, since we cannot get liability insurance (and can’t have young people in the space) before we have this.

• Recent Achievements: John and Hal met with the municipality of Annapolis County, to get their endorsement of the BRIDGS vision statement. It is critical to have the municipalities’ endorsements in order to secure funding for a strategic plan. Hal is working on a cultural activities program outline for possible funding.

• Next Goals: BRIDGS needs to form subcommittees to involve the membership in upcoming activities, most notably the youth centre.

• TO DO LIST:
1. For the next general meeting, we will meet in the youth centre space. Susan will let people know to bring their own chairs.
2. Hal will contact Cameron Smith of the Fire Hall to offer to set up a concert for Cherry Carnival, and will continue to work on grant proposals.
3. Wayne will forward an updated Treasurer’s Report to John, as he cannot attend the general meeting.
4. John will contact Nova Scotia Power regarding electricity for the space.
5. John and Hal will meet next with the municipality of Digby.

Meeting adjourned at noon.

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.

Personal Information Responses

0511personalinforesponses.doc
Personal Information Responses
(Based on 23 Submitted Forms)

BRIDGS List
8 emails
13 mail
2 no* *already on the email list

VolunteerList
12 yes
2 no
2 maybe
6 blank

Other Organizations
Legion: 3
Church: 4
Health Clinic: 1
BREDS: 2
Ladies Auxiliary of the Legion: 2
Board of Trade: 2
Digby Exhibition: 2
Historical Society: 2
Fire Dept.: 2
Peace Garden: 1

“Special Skills” listed:
Grunt work
water/sewage operations
music festival organization
Government (our MLA)
Energy
organizational skills
networking
IT skills
woodworking

Comments:
• Vision sounds good.
• Very good to see some positive input—especially from youth group.
• I’m very encouraged to see what your group is doing.
• It felt human and small town and clear.
• How do we demonstrate solidarity to funding organizations?
• SAVE THE OAKDENE—Oakdene must be used again as a theatre and as a gymnasium and allow the youth to use the unused rooms for their gathering coffeehouse.
• Where were the other 800 people who live here?

Minutes, September 14, 2005

MINUTES OF THE BRIDGS MEETING
Wednesday September 14, 7:30 pm
At the Oakdene Centre

Present:  John and Susan Malmstrom, Andrew Riddles, Cindy Harris, Hal Theriault, Chris Hutchins, Pamela Barron, Don Rice, Rob Buckland, Jane Kingston, Tim Wilson, Flora Doehler, Larry Knox, Greg McKenzie.

1. Call to Order
Meeting called to order by Chairperson John Malmstrom at 7:30pm.

2. Introductions/Call for Presentations  & Delegations

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

4. Review and Adoption of Minutes from Previous Meeting
MOTION: Moved by Cindy Harris, seconded by Andrew Riddles to approve and adopt the Minutes of the August 30, 2005 meeting.  CARRIED.

5. Meeting Presentations & Delegations
Outreach to Community Groups & Outcome of Presentations:

VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT
•    Very good response from Fire Dept. (25 –30 people present at meeting)
•    Request for BRIDGS group to assist with volunteer support at the Cherry Carnival & BRIDGS could coordinate volunteer efforts in the community
•    Fire Chief will be the contact between the Fire Dept. and BRIDGS
•    Discussion of town incorporation

BREDS
•    Date of meeting with BREDS yet to be determined

OAKDENE CENTRE
•    Good response from Oakdene Board
•    Concerns re: water supply for downtown area, group insurance for public buildings (Jane volunteered to do research when time is appropriate as she has insurance background)

BOARD OF TRADE
•    Definite perception of BRIDGS  “stepping on toes” regarding the Mill property and the Historical Society
•    Questions regarding the relationship between the Municipality of Digby and the Board of Trade over the Mill property project
•    Hal will meet with municipal representatives to determine their relationship to the Board of Trade and potential relationship with BRIDGS

VISION PLAN REVISIONS
•    Include implementation of a community water system for Bear River
•    BRIDGS to become a coordinating body for volunteer support in the community
•    Review the inclusion of the Mill Property and Historical Society in the Vision statement

6. Continuing Business

a.  Policing
•    John trying to set up a meeting with Digby and Annapolis County Police Departments
•    George and John planning to go to the detachments to discuss policing issues in Bear River and invite them to a future BRIDGS meeting

b.  Formation of a Business Plan
•    Hal approaching Economic Development to see if funding is available for development of a plan or feasibility study

c. Meeting Dates
•    Meeting date will be even Tuesdays, the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month

d. Nomination of Vice President
MOVED by Cindy Harris, seconded by Rob Buckland that Tim Wilson be nominated Vice President of BRIDGS. CARRIED.

7.  New Business
•    Discussion re: officially inviting a member from each community group to sit on BRIDGS
•    Next step would be to invite individual community leaders

8.  Next Meeting
•    The next meeting will be held on Tuesday September 20th   at 7:30pm at the Oakdene Centre

9.  Adjournment
MOTION:  Motion made by Cindy Harris, seconded by Andrew Riddles that the September 14th meeting of BRIDGS be adjourned at 9:00pm. CARRIED.