This week, I had two opportunities to discuss citizen advisory committees. The first arose from my conversations with Brian Arnott. Brian and his partner Leslie Wright run an international cultural consulting business, Novita Interpares, from Lunenburg. We were comparing notes on community development in the Annapolis Valley and along the South Shore. In my previous blog, I had raised questions about technology and education from the perspective of a citizen living in rural Annapolis County. Asking difficult questions, and offering solutions are very different activities.
From Brian, I recognized that small towns are scaled down versions of our larger metropolitan areas. As such their economic development depends upon input from different sectors. This input can be obtained through citizen advisory committees or sectoral interest groups.
The second opportunity was a meeting with Danielle Robinson. Danielle is a Ph.D candidate at the University of Guelph. Her Ph.D research is a comparative analysis of food tourism in the Okanagan Valley with the Annapolis Valley. As we talked about the structures in Nova Scotia , I realized there is a real difference in both approach and culture between BC and NS. Comparative research can help us redefine our approach to seemingly intractable issues: changing demographics, municipal competition, the relationship between communities and their educational institutions.
While in Lunenburg, Brian introduced me to Alastair Jarvis who runs Woodscamp Technologies Inc. This company is owned by the American Forest Foundation. Their business model is to assist private woodlot owners in several US states. They use a combination of technologies to meet the needs of their clients. Interestingly, their staff has expertise in GIS, cloud computing, as well as gaming technologies. They are able to meet the needs of their American clients from Lunenburg, in rural Nova Scotia.
This week, we have started to ramp up the publicity for the Ernest Buckler Literary Event Society (EBLES) bi-ennial event, in support of local writing. This year it will be Saturday, June 29th at the Temple on Queen in Bridgetown. Keynote speakers are Whit Fraser and John Demont. Both bring a reporter’s experience to their writing and understanding of the North, and the Maritimes, respectively.
Tickets for the EBLES event are available at The Endless Shores Books, Bridgetown; Shelf Life Used Books, Kentville; The Inside Story, Greenwood; Mad Hatter Books, Annapolis Royal and the MacDonald Museum, Middleton.
To Brian Arnott, Alastair Jarvis and Danielle Robinson for a series of stimulating conversations. To the members of the EBLES team for their ongoing commitment to writing about place: Jane Borecky, Anne Crossman and John Montgomerie. Edward Wedler for his graphics contribution.
Woodscamp Technologies Inc. see their web site at woodscamp.com
Whit Fraser 2018. True North Rising. Burnstown Publishing House.
John Demont 2017. The Long Way Home. A personal history of Nova Scotia. Penguin Random House.