Celebrating a strong, creative, resilient Lunenburg County
NOW, MORE THAN EVER...
Story by TINA HENNIGAR
This story picks up where the last one left off. If you recall reading our first magazine, NOW Lunenburg County got its start in 2014 after a group of dedicated community members came together to discuss how they would address some of the issues affecting our province highlighted in the One Nova Scotia Now or Never report. NOW Lunenburg County hosted a series of community engagements talking about the issues that faced those living in Lunenburg County. From that work we landed on population growth as our key issue. We believe that growing our population will bring more kids to our schools, more customers for our businesses, and more folks paying taxes.
In 2016 they hired me, Tina Hennigar, as Population Growth Coordinator. So, together with members of the community, I set off on a cross Canada tour to tell Canadians about our community and share how they can create a life they love in Lunenburg County. I learned a lot. I learned that there are a lot of perceptions about Nova Scotia that aren’t true. I learned that our province is beautiful, but so too are the other 7 provinces I visited. I learned that the Prairies are flat, and the lakes are large. I learned that really good internet is a magnet for young people. But mostly I wished that I had many of the people in Lunenburg County tucked away in my 1976 Boler trailer so that the many Canadians that I spoke to at festivals, coffee shops and at kitchen tables would have heard directly from the people who live here instead of having to hear our story from me. That is how our first magazine was born. It was a way to share the stories of people in Lunenburg County. The magazine isn’t full of stories of businesses or infrastructure, but of the people who have created a life they love here, and in turn make our community so special.
We couldn’t have guessed the reaction our first magazine would have. People asked me to send them copies all around the world. It’s been handed out at conferences and family reunions. It was given to tourists and dignitaries alike. Magazines filled our suitcases and accompanied us to local festivals and international recruitment events, as we traveled to a Destination Canada conference in France and Belgium. And we turned to the people of Lunenburg County for help. We challenged them to think of cousins, nieces and nephews, old college roommates and people who they stumbled across who were visiting, and anyone else who they might like to have as a neighbour, and we asked them to invite people to move to Lunenburg County Nova Scotia. And as I knew they would, they delivered.
We learned that the power of the invitation is what we need to embrace. An invitation allows people to consider doing things they’d otherwise not have done. It makes people feel included and welcome. While extending an invitation to someone you don’t know may make you feel vulnerable, it also takes courage to accept that invitation to go to a place that’s not familiar. Can you imagine the courage it takes to move to a new community?
I’ve seen that courage in the eyes of some of the folks who have moved here. It was my promise to myself that, while moving and settling in a new community would not be easy, in my role as NOW’s Population Growth Coordinator, I’d be there to help make it easier. If a newcomer needed a hockey team or dance classes, if they were unsure of daycare or how find something, I would point them in the right direction. In many cases, to help them I needed help myself, and again, I looked to our community. When I needed help finding folks an apartment or house rentals or even a hobby farm, I turned to our community. In one instance someone needed duck fat to cook the French food of their homeland. Another newcomer just wanted to talk to someone else from South Africa. These issues I could not solve for them on my own, but I knew of someone who could, or once again, I knew I could ask our community.
We created this second magazine because, well, there were hundreds of stories that came to light after the first one. And from this edition, no doubt, there will be hundreds more. This magazine, like the last, is full of stories of people creating a life they love here, reminding those of us who live here how special this place is and inviting newcomers to join us.
This magazine is but one small piece of NOW Lunenburg County’s work. NOW Lunenburg County is working hard to promote our community to doctors too; we host them, show them the community, and encourage them to stay and test drive what it’s like to live here.
NOWLC-Net Co-op Ltd was born of NOW Lunenburg County’s work and is diligently researching, planning and getting ready to pilot a fibre to the home internet solution for this region. We are committed to working with our community to create a self reliant, future proof reliable and affordable internet option.
Are we perfect? No. Do we have work to do? We sure do. But there are a lot of very smart, talented people living in this community who are committed to creating solutions to take us far into the future. And we’re inviting you to join us.