Friday, July 11, 2014

Community Projects: Pennybrook Folk and Pennybrook Festival, The West Dublin Market and The West Dublin Monitor

I'm a big believer in labours of love and in creating something where nothing existed before.

One of my favourite quotes is: "It loved to happen." —Issa

West Dublin, NS feels like a hotbed for things that love to happen. We have a number of people in this community who thrive on creating things from their hearts and presenting them to others to enjoy. I feel like writing about these projects this morning because they are all in full-swing and at the top of my to-do list these days – and because there are many ways that you can contribute (if you live around here) or intigate projects like these yourself (wherever you do live).


Pennybrook Folk and Pennybrook Festival

When I first moved home to Nova Scotia, I didn't know very many people who still lived here except my family and my old high-school friend, Steve, who was renting the upstairs of his house to me. Most of my old friends had moved away in the 20+ years since we graduated high school. About 3 months after I moved home, Steve said to me that he knew some folks who were thinking of starting a music festival and would I be interested in going to their first meeting to talk with them about it? That sounded like a great idea to me and so I trotted off to the meeting.

That day, a group of enthusiastic people had an animated discussion about their ideas for a festival  and I met several people at that meeting who have become some of my closest friends in Nova Scotia: makers, doers, passionate people with ideas and lots of mojo to make those ideas come to life.

That brainstorming session evolved into the first Pennybrook Festival in 2011. This year, we are gearing up for the fouth Pennybrook Festival on August 23, 2014. It's going to be an amazing day and we are looking for volunteers to help (for as little as 1 hour) so it will all run smoothly.

The Pennybrook crew have also been hosting a concert series this summer at the West Dublin Hall under the moniker, Pennybrook Folk. There is a Pennybrook Folk show this Saturday, July 12 with Erika Kulnys and her new CD Year of the Water Snake. There will be two more shows in the series: Vince Morash, Ann Fearon and James Crouse on July 26 and the mighty, mighty Craig Werth, all the way from New Hampshire on August 9. Helping out with these shows is very easy: just come! You will be delighted! (As an extra incentive – not that you'd need one – tea and homemade cookies are available at every show.)


The West Dublin Market

A friend the other day was reminding me how the West Dublin Market began as a community builder and fundraiser leading up to the first Pennybrook Festival. Some folks got together to vend and barter to fundraise for the festival and build relationships. And so, this is the market's fourth year, too!

The West Dublin Market is going strong, from 9(ish) to 1(ish) every Saturday until November 1, 2014 (except the third Saturday of the month. On the third Saturday of the month there is the Firemen's Breakfast in the neighbouring community of Petite Riviere, so we take the week off and go scoff down bacon and eggs.)

Our vendors vary, but there is always farm produce and really good coffee, usually brunch and secondhand books and often handcrafts and natural cleaners and live music (our musicians are sponsored by our good friends and neighbours, Little River Folk).

It's a great place to come out and shop, chat, mingle, hug and connect. We are always interested in new vendors, if you have a locally-produced product or service. We have a community table available for not-for-profits to promote their services and events. We are also looking for volunteers to help with organizing, set up and clean up.


The West Dublin Monitor

Last but not least, here is the project that inspired me to write this post this morning in the first place! The West Dublin Monitor is a local newspaper started last summer by Jonathan Rotsztain and Rebecca Roher.

In 7 issues last summer, the paper featured art, news, songs/tunes and creative writing by local people of all ages. And it's back! Jonathan and Rebecca have been away doing their Masters degrees, but they are back for the summer and they are going to create a couple of issues of the Monitor while they are here. 

Distributed at the market and at other local outlets, the Monitor was a source of great excitement last summer and we are very delighted to have a return engagement this summer.

Their deadline for submissions in this coming Monday, July 14 and that was my impetus for writing this blog post, to invite you to submit

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