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


March Break Program for 5 – 12 year olds

Here’s a wonderful opportunity for Bear River and area residents, jointly offered by OARA (Outdoor Adventure Recreation Association) and the Bear River Youth Development Centre.  Please pass this on to anyone you know that may be interested:
WHAT:  March Break Day Program
WHEN:  March 10 – 15, from 8 AM to 4:30 PM
WHERE:  Oakdene Centre
WHO:  For kids ages 5-12
HOW MUCH: $10 per day
The days will be a variety of activities from games, sports, arts and crafts and special guests. Weather providing, participants will get the opportunity to do outdoor activities such as snow shoeing and snow fort making. Cost is only $10 per day per child and there will be a maximum of 20 participants allowed.  Kids will need to bring their own brown bag lunch and snacks.
Registration will be completed through the Bear River Youth Development Centre: call Joe at 467-0489.
Spots are filling up fast, so call soon to avoid disappointment.

Minutes, December 12, 2007

(Bear River Innovation, Development and Growth Society)
December 12, 2007
Oakdene Centre (Youth Centre)

Present: Cindy Harris, Hal Theriault, Susan Malmstrom, George Barron, Ken Perkins, John Malmstrom, Steven Draper, Don Rice, Norma Wagner, Zoe Knorek-Onysko, Jay Stone, Flora Doehler, Larry Knox, Jared Haight, Glendean Parker.

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

2. New Business:
Youth Centre: Hal read his supervisor’s report to Service Canada that is submitted monthly regarding Jared’s accomplishments. The question on the table was that of making the move from the Trading Company Building to the Oakdene Centre. The Oakdene will include heat and electricity in the $150 per month rent, and provide access to the auditorium, art supplies, exercise equipment on hand and the soccer field. After some discussion, a vote was taken. MOTION: to move the Bear River Youth Centre to the Oakdene Centre, was made by Don, seconded by Cindy. CARRIED. John thanked BREDS for being such a great and accommodating landlord while the Youth Centre occupied their space and we look forward to working with BREDS again in the future.
Strategic Plan: The Strategic Plan Committee (Laurel Shiskov, John, George, Flora, and Susan) met on December 5 to choose two short-term projects and one long-term project for BRIDGS to begin working on. They had to be: achievable with the existing group of volunteers; yield immediate, tangible results; and when one is completed the next one will be launched. The three projects chosen are:

  • Install Bear River signage when the ground is sufficiently thawed;
  • Pursue a relationship with the Bay of Fund Tourism Partnership to get tidal interpretive signage to connect Bear River to the wider Bay of Fundy group;
  • Partner with the Digby Area Exhibition to bolster attendance and possibly improve program facility.

It was intended for BRIDGS to call for a vote on proceeding with these goals. This was
tabled for discussion regarding a Board of Trade plan for the village that is to be publicly unveiled at their December 13 meeting:

Board of Trade Eco-Village Proposal: Hal explained that he was called to meet with the Annapolis/Digby Economic Development Agency regarding the branding of Bear River as an eco-village plan that Bobby Benson was putting forward to them. Hal said that to access funds from the government agencies, all organizations have to start with ADEDA’s approval. Steven asked about the use of the term “eco” and how it would be applied to this project. Flora asked if ADEDA has money allocated for the Bear River area, and are they requesting proposals. Hal said that they assist organizations with funding and proposals. Zoe said that the eco-village concept would provide employment for the area. Hal said that a feasibility study would be required. Flora asked if there is anything in the Bear River Strategic Plan that would get funding. Hal felt that the partnership with Bay of Fundy Tourism should be funded. Jay asked if this would make the village more attractive and would it result in more development. The question raised at the most recent BRIDGS Executive Committee meeting was one of creating a unified voice in the village, which is necessary in order to receive funding. Hal suggested that BRIDGS members and other organization members (especially those that own buildings) should attend the Board of Trade meeting to hear the presentation. Question was raised whether the Board of Trade represents the interests of local business, or the entire community. Since Bear River is not incorporated, the Board of Trade has represented the interests of the entire community.

Reports from Organizations:
Bear River & Area Health Clinic: Norma reported that Dr. Kinsley of Weymouth will be holding an open clinic here for a week at a time every six weeks and will see 30 people per day. The nurse practitioner will have access to everyone’s files. Appointments are necessary; clinic starts February 11.
BREDS: Glendean reported that the Trading Co. building is being winterized and that there will be an art auction fundraiser in January at the Deep Brook Lions Club. Steven reported on the Expose Bear River photo competition that will take place from July 1, 2008 and run through Fall, 2009 (two summer seasons).
Oakdene: George reported that they are very happy with the grant for the furnace, and wanted to thank Pat McWade for his help with getting the grant.
Fire Service: Steven reported that the fire volunteers have had a busy season so far, so everyone should have clean chimneys, and be careful driving in snow and ice! The auxiliary building to house the new generator is almost complete and should be ready shortly after Christmas.
Youth Committee: Is instigating a penny drive and bottle drives to raise funds, so everyone save your pennies and bottles for the Youth Centre.

3. Next Meeting
January 9, 2008 at 7:30 PM at the Youth Centre.

4. Adjournment
Meeting adjourned by Cindy at 9:00 PM.

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.

Youth Centre and Active Wednesdays

The Bear RiverYouth Centre is open for fall (temporary) hours of Tuesday nights, 7-9 PM and Saturdays, 2-4 PM. These will be expanded when our new employee, Jared, is on board.

Active Saturdays! is now Active Wednesdays! We are at the ballpark (Lansdowne Field) at 6 PM, weather permitting, for soccer and softball–as always, all ages and abilities are welcome to play. For more information, call 467-0441.

Executive Committee Report – Sept 10/07

Executive Committee Report
September 10, 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.

Special Speaker: at this week’s general meeting will be Terri McCulloch, who has expertise on Bay of Fundy interpretation.  There is no place at this end of the province that has an interpretive centre, and Bear River could take advantage of this.  Hal said that this is part of the Digby Area Tourism Association’s plan for the area, and Bear River could be a satellite location.

General Meeting: Question was raised as to whether we will have time for regular meeting business on Wednesday.  John will put through quickly any issues that need to be addressed to allow plenty of time for Terri.  Some important items: 1) our new employee, Jared Haight, will start at the Youth Centre on September 24; 2) we received the first annual grant for the Youth Centre from the Municipality of Annapolis in the amount of $1,000.

Youth Centre/Active Saturdays Update:
•    Active Saturdays! is still going strong.  We will continue to offer soccer and softball at Lansdowne Field.  For next year, we may change the day and time to an evening weekly event (e.g. Active Thursdays!).  We will apply for another grant, with the aim to buy gloves and other equipment.
•    Meanwhile, to get Jared set up, Gerry and Hal are working on getting a phone and computer; Susan is arranging internet and phone hook-up; Caroline will be working with him to get properly registered with the RCMP.  Gerry will meet with him on his first day; John will meet with him during his first week.  Jared will report to Hal, who will keep BRIDGS apprised on his progress via monthly report.
•    There is an opportunity for advertising our activities through Digby Elementary School.  Caroline Draper has information on this—Ken believes that it is through their publication, “The Tide.”  We will find out if a similar publication goes out from the Annapolis system, and be sure that Jared knows how to access these.
•    Hal is working with Glendean and BREDS to write a grant which will help bring potable water to the building.  Since they rent to the Youth Centre, this is a health issue for the children occupying the space.
•    Next rent check is due on October 1.
•    Variety Night: is October 27.  Gerry and Hal will have Jared work right away on publicity for the event.  It was proposed that we have costumed characters from the play on hand.  Also, we need to check as soon as possible on the next deadline date for the Tributary.

Strategic Plan: It was decided that the Executive Committee and the Strategic Plan Committee should review the Plan and come together for a brain-storming session as soon as possible.  Susan will contact everyone about their availability for such a meeting.  The intention will be to decide what our immediate, short-term goals (doable in six months) are, and to draft a timeline for short- and long-term aims.

Minutes, June 13, 2007


(Bear River Innovation, Development and Growth Society)

June 13, 2007

Trading Post (Youth Centre)

Present: John Malmstrom, Laurel Shishkov, Susan Malmstrom, Hal Theriault, Don Rice, Norma Wagner, Rob Buckland-Nicks, Cindy Harris.

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 was not present, although he had forwarded a preliminary report prior to receiving a bank statement. The report will be presented at the next Executive Committee meeting. The May fundraiser for the Youth Centre brought in $922.

Strategic Plan: The Plan Subcommittee has been working hard and will be finished before the end of June. The real work will begin once the plan is ready. There is lots of input from other village organizations and individuals. Everyone needs to be involved to realize the goals. Hal and John will meet with the organizations once the plan is officially published.

Pageant Update: Hal will put a casting call out as soon as possible, as there is now a working script. July 14 is the target date for a staged reading at the Oakdene, and production in mid-August. Sharon Trueman is working on promotion/marketing, Robbie Bays is creating sets and acquiring props, and Carol White is producing costumes. These are the incremental steps towards instituting the pageant as an ongoing program. Eventually we would like to hire tour guides, actors (with the larger roles) and an administrator.

Youth Centre: The Musical Mayhem fundraiser was quite successful, despite wilting heat at the Oakdene. Future evenings will build on the successes of the canteen and the raffle prizes. Next show is a fall festival/Halloween theme on October 27. There will be 2 hours of entertainment, and the entertainers will limit their sets to make for a shorter evening. Advertising may include a mail drop.

Health Centre Update: Norma reported that there will be a massage therapist on Mondays; and a nurse practitioner who specializes in adults over 55 will soon be available. There will be a presentation on ovarian cancer on June 19 at 11:00 am. The next board meeting of the Health Centre will be September 1.

Subcommittee Formation: New and improved subcommittees were formed:

  • Fundraising: Rob, Gerry, Ken, Susan, Cindy

  • Board Recruitment/Membership: Don

  • Youth: Gerry, Susan

  • Pageant: Hal

  • Communications: Laurel, Cindy, Jon Pulchny (name offered by Don)

Subcommittee members are encouraged to recruit others to their respective committees, and will be reporting at future meetings on their progress.

Cherry Carnival Update: Gerry, Cindy and Susan met with Darryl Jelfs, regarding the auction. We will need 12 volunteers (some with trucks) to assist with items pick-up. We will also need 2 teams to work 2 shifts (12:30-2:30 and 2:30-4:30) on Carnival Day (Saturday, July 21). An announcement in the form of a mail-drop will go out from the Firehall at the end of June.

Bear River Signage: Rob has some very nice signs that should go up around Bear River as soon as possible. Locations need to be selected, and lumber and hardware acquired. Don, Gerry, Hal and John volunteered to meet with Rob and work on this.

Meetings’ Minutes: Due to the Strategic Plan meeting and our Annual Meeting, the minutes from both the April and May meetings required approval. For the April Meeting: Cindy made a motion for approval, seconded by Don. For the May meeting: Cindy made a motion for approval, seconded by Gerry.

4. Next Meeting

July 11, 2007 at 7:30 PM at the Youth Centre—new location (upstairs at the Trading Post).

5. Adjournment

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