Community Planning Workshop
Good evening all, and welcome to the first instalment of the Oceans Week Halifax Blog.
Hold up. Let’s back up here – that was far too formal. When you think about the ocean, do you think about anything formal or fancy? Nope, me neither. When I think of the ocean, the first image that comes to my mind is waves. Whether it be waves gently lapping the shore, or crashing against cliff face, there’s rarely anything “neatly-tied-in-a-bow” about the water that surrounds us. What it is though, is the coming together of forces – kind of like community planning.
I’m Shaelyn. Born and raised in NS, I’ve lived and breathed the ocean for as long as I can remember. I’ll be covering Halifax Oceans Week Halifax this year, writing about everything from the co-founders to the incredible groups running their events.
Tonight, I’m live-writing at the second Community Planning Workshop! Held in the perfect setting, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, it is so interesting to watch people trickle in. The environmentalist and ocean community in Halifax is a tight-knit one – every second greeting includes a hug and a “it’s been too long!”.
The workshop kicks off with the official OWHFX video. Somehow, in the few minutes it runs, it captures the essence of what Oceans Week stands for. With a BBC/Planet Earth vibe, it’s live on our social – shameless plug time! – and if you engage with it on Facebook, you’ll be entered to win a night stay for 2 at White Point Beach Resort!
OWHFX was created not overhaul the existing ocean community in our little city, but to help give it direction and support. Since then, momentum for educating and protecting our oceans has done nothing but grow exponentially.
So, after the first planning workshop, four categories emerged: Film & Lectures, Outdoor Events, Campaigns & Actions and Youth Engagement. Around four tables there’s involvement from anything and everything – Green Peace, the Discovery Centre, the Back to the Sea Society, DFO, the Tare Shop (Halifax’s favourite eco-friendly store) and so many more. Armed with lists from the initial brainstorming session, volunteers dive into the nitty-gritty of their chosen projects while working with OWHFX facilitators to marry the idea to the June campaign. Some folks came ready to rumble with their projects, others sit back and absorb the creativity and passion running wild around them to plan at home. The second co-founders Alexandra and Mo set down the microphone after kick-off words, the tables are hooked into their missions of planning engaging events for the greater Halifax community.
Professors, teachers, students, employees, small business owners, total strangers and new friends.
A harbour dip and swing dancing. A collaborative storytelling event at a local brewery. Representatives from a Sustainable Oceans conference. Professional paddling guides. Professors, teachers, students, employees, small business owners, total strangers and new friends.
Missed tonight’s event? By the time this blog is posted you’ll find the event submission form here on our website and can submit your project up until May 1st. By mid-May, these submissions will have been transformed into the official OWHFX calendar. After that, the only thing left for you to do is pick which events you want to attend and share your excitement on social media!
It’s been an absolute pleasure watching and listening to the energy in the room tonight. That’s it from me, but I’ll leave you with the three best quotes I heard tonight.
“I’ve just watched 5 events be created over a cookie.”
“There’s often a disconnect between what we’re picking up at classic beach cleanups and how we personally tie into the problem.”
“The ocean is part of our identity, it is everything.”
Stay tuned for more news soon!
"Shaelyn is a born and raised Nova Scotian, writer, marketer and event planner. She is passionate about mental health, community building and of course, the ocean.”
Sponsors that helped make tonight possible:
Taking It Global
Port of Halifax
Develop Nova Scotia
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic