WHAT I LEARNED AT THE GEORGETOWN CONFERENCE
(A Perspective from Lunenburg County)
In our final instalment on the Georgetown Conference we hear from two Lunenburg County participants, Bernice Theriault, Communications and Events Coordinator with the Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation and Michelle Greek, a representative from the New Germany Area Promotion Society.
MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER - Bernice Theriault
I had heard the buzz after the first Georgetown Conference and began thinking about what I could learn, what I could bring and how I could help make my community a better place to live work and play. My role with Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation is Communications and Events Coordinator. We know firsthand the importance of sharing our work and engaging our community. Our organization has been quietly working in the community since 1993. We work with species at risk, such as Atlantic Whitefish and Roseate Tern. We also monitor water quality and climate change adaptation.
Georgetown opened new doors to share information about our partnerships on the Bridgewater Community Energy Initiative and sustainability planning.
I sat in on a discussion about community owned energy. I learned that there are many people in Atlantic Canada looking for renewable and green energy projects. I shared success stories of youth engagement, and building awareness using youth. It was exciting to learn about new opportunities to engage youth.
I listened carefully as those who had recent amalgamation talks shared the good, the bad, and the unexpected difficulties in that conversation.
Georgetown was validation that we are having the right conversations in our community. Atlantic Canada may not be on the exact same page, but we are all in the same chapter.
In terms of solutions the focus of the conference, I walked away with many new connections and resources. I will use those resources to build on the work here in my own community. The biggest lesson – we are moving forward together! I have already followed up with a number of connections and look forward to continuing those important relationships.
FEELING EMPOWERED - Michelle Greek
I love Lunenburg County and the opportunities that are presented by rural life. My husband Jason and I have chose this place to live, to raise our three children, and to start a business because we know there is no greater place than right here! Lunenburg County is filled with caring and compassionate people and beautiful scenery.
I attended the Georgetown Conference 2.0 on June 2nd-4th as a representative of the New Germany Area Promotion Society (NGAPS). The Georgetown Conference was incredible! The conference was filled with people who all share the passion of building vibrant communities in rural Atlantic Canada by doing something great. We didn't all know what that "something" was, but we all like to see positive action.
The part of the conference I enjoyed the most was listening to the 20x20 speakers. The videos of the 20x20 speakers are on the Georgetown Conference 2.0 Facebook page for anyone who wants to view the presentations.
Each of the nine speakers enthusiastically talked about 20 slides for 20 seconds. The speeches were fast paced, filled with knowledge and motivation to "just do something". Two of the nine speakers were from Lunenburg County; Andrew Button and Elspeth Mclean-Wile.
Another motivating part of the Georgetown Conference was discussing obstacles while trying to get things done in the community. Chef Michael Smith summed it up the best for me: Creativity is often spectacular when you are constrained and forced to think outside of the box. Embrace the constraints. Challenges are wonderful and lead to magical results.
I left the conference feeling empowered and excited to go home and spread good vibes throughout Lunenburg County. I hope I am achieving my aspiration.
Working on solutions together
What do you care about enough to take action on now?
If you want to learn more about these conversations, visit the Georgetown Conference 2.0 Facebook page
to view the notes from the conversations under photos, (Action Project Templates).
Tina Hennigar is the population growth coordinator for NOW Lunenburg County.