There is just so much to say! First of all, in just under one month, we'll be on the road, starting in Edmonton and then driving to Vancouver, BC and then across the country until we arrive home to glorious Nova Scotia! And this is what I've learned about planning a cross-Canada tour in search of 150 families who are interested in moving to Lunenburg County:
1- Canadians will surprise you by how welcoming they are
People don't know me, but that hasn't stopped them from inviting me into their homes. Our teams been invited to dinner, to park our camper on their properties, to hike, talk and share with people; some are from Lunenburg County and want to reminisce; others dream of one day moving here; and some have barely heard of Lunenburg County. It doesn't matter. I can't wait to meet them all and share all the possibilities available here.
2- It's delightful how few naysayers there are
Our 60-second video produced by FPS and Communications Nova Scotia is at 17,000 views and growing, and has received over 200 glorious shares. Last count there were 2- negative comments! So instead of focusing on those who don't 'get it', I'll focus on those who do. I'm not focusing on those. I'm focusing on those folks who challenged the thinking of those naysayers. You guys... you know who you are...you're awesome!
3- Canada is HUGE!
We are spending 36-days driving across Canada, stopping in many towns, cities and communities along the way, and still, we can't get to every community on our wish list. Our country is just too big. We hope we can get to your community, but if not, tell what we've missed. Learn about our route here.
4- We all need people.
Yes, we needed funding (and still do). But even more than that, we've needed people, partners, and supporters for this initiative. We have Andrew Button joining us - I'd argue that we couldn't ask for a better ambassador for our community. We have Mayor, David Mitchell, going us as well! Our team members, Elspeth Maclean-Wile and Lynn Hennigar will be coming for a few stops as well. Lynn Hennigar has been an incredible help in fundraising and planning. I couldn't do it without her! Heather-MacKenzie Carey is my logistics person, and to say there are things I really didn't think about until she told me I needed to, is an understatement. Her expertise in emergency management is quite evident with the emergency preparedness kit that she created. Our videographers, Ben and his friend and colleague, Jess are going to be amazing and have inspired me so much already. Thank you Al Macmillan. I'm quite certain we'll be like family after this (Ben is his grandson:). Then there are those folks who don't even know their value to this project. Folks such as Glenn Durham who met with me so many months ago for coffee. He wasn't so sure about me. But his eyes lit up a little as I unveiled our plan. And a man who is no longer with us- Mayor Joe Feeney- someone who would have joined me on the tour because that's just the type of man he was. I'll miss him, but I will have a scotch in his honour! The entire NOW Lunenburg County team has been incredible. Thanks Elspeth, Mike, Paul, Wayne, Lynn, Tim, and Heather.
5- Our Corporate sponsors and donors are the best!
In case you didn't know this - we are 100% funded by corporate sponsors, small business, foundations, regular people like you and me.
BMO Wealth Management- Not only are they putting their "money where their mouth is", proving just how much they believe in our community, but I'll be meeting up with Michelle Crouse, *title*, while she's on vacation! That's commitment! We need more members of our corporate community to take a chance on initiatives like this; especially as grants decline and bureaucracy grows. You can't miss BMO's beautiful new building on Aberdeen, right beside the Medical Arts building in Bridgewater. I'll be using my BMO bank card throughout my journey! I encourage you to get one for yourself. They're so pretty!
Advocate Media- Full disclosure, I used to work for this company, but that's irrelevant. They're awesome! When I need something they're ready to help even when I need it today. Post cards, Banners, business cards, posters, you name it, they've printed it for me, quickly, accurately, and without any fuss.
Petro- Canada- THIS IS HUGE! This company has given me $5,000 in gas cards! Can you believe it! Not only will that get us across the country, but it will keep us fuelled with water, bananas, coffee, cheese, grapes, car wash and the occasional Wonder Bar!
Mosher Motors - Mosher Motors saw the value in supporting our tour right away. They didn't hesitate to jump on board, providing us with Ford Escape, a red one for Canada's 150th. Clever right!! This car has loads of plugs, cupholders, legroom, special mirrors that will help us see everything- all the things that are important to us! I'm already sold, I want this car!
Don't ask me about mileage, horsepower or anything like that, because that isn't important to me, but if it's important to you, please contact Mosher Motors! Tell them I sent you.
LCCF and CFNS- Without a doubt, we couldn't do this without the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia. Because of them, we're able to offer a tax receipt when you make a donation. And the Lunenburg County Community Fund has funded...well...me... as well as other community initiatives such as two Vital Signs reports and they facilitated a 1-million dollar contribution to the Lahave River clean-up project.
Michelin- It was really important for me to drive across the country on Michelin tires. They're our largest employer and good corporate citizens. After all, folks in my community made those tires! I want to be able to tell everyone I meet that we make tires, airplane parts, cranberries, beer, wine, pottery, music, and more! Michelin gave me 4-tires plus a spare for the Escape and 2-tiny little tires for our adorable camper!
And many, many others -
Bridgewater Mall- they allowed us to have our camper parked there for months, which was awesome because it kept our camper indoors during the winter and allowed many in the community to see it!
Amos Wood- they gave up the most incredible, beautiful table for our camper! It's more like art! It's stunning!
Robar Countertops- I had a problem: a weird space needed a countertop where we'd be able to work from but also turn back into a bunk. They delivered- and gave it to us for free!! I love these guys!
Saltbox Brewing Company- Not only have they donated, but they'll be giving me beer for my trip- not for me- but for folks I meet who might want a little taste of home! I love this beer by the way. Nun On The Run is my fav!
Curriculum Plus Publishing- Do you have a friend who makes you feel like he's genuinely rooting for you? That friend for me is John Merchant. We're so lucky that he has moved to Mahone Bay and come into our lives- not just because he donated to our project, but because he'e an awesome community member and volunteer. The Mahone Bay Centre is hosting a concert this weekend that John helped organize, the proceeds will be coming to the tour to bring more people, more artists and musicians for us all to enjoy! You can learn more about the concert by clicking here.
Plus there have been many, many donors who they'll be thanked personally! You too can donate here to receive a tax receipt, and here if you wish to be rewarded. I'll be recognizing you all in a fun and unique way post-tour!
AND NOW I NEED YOUR HELP!
If you have a business and need people, or want to sell, I need to hear from you! I've already heard from folks who want to move here, some who want to buy a business, and we need to share with them all the opportunities.
Please call me at 902-523-5725 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please follow the journey and share with all your friends.