Youth Town Council continues to have impact on Amherst

Dave Mathieson
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Youth council hosting ball hockey fundraiser for Relay for Life

T-shirt decorating will be one of several activities taking place across Canada during National Youth Arts Week, which runs from May 1 to 7. Amherst town councilor Robert Bird was getting into the artistic spirit with Amherst Youth Town Councilors James Gaudet (second from left), Daniel Ripley and Chelsey Bourne.

AMHERST - National Youth Arts Week is a country-wide event beginning Wednesday, and the Amherst Youth Town Council is hosting a t-shirt decorating gathering at Amherst Stadium on May 6.

"Youth will decorate their own t-shirts and they will use those t-shirts for a ball hockey tournament we're hosting as a fundraiser for the Relay for Life," said James Gaudet, of the Amherst Youth Town Council.

The goal of youth council is to raise $1,000.

They have an agreement with the Amherst mayor Robert Small that if they raise $1,000 for the Relay for Life that he will dye his hair purple.

The t-shirt decorating event is free, and runs May 6 from 3:30 to 5 p.m., and is open to youth in Grades 7 to 12.

The ball hockey tournament is May 11-12.

Gaudet is in Grade 12 and is going to Dalhousie University next year where he will study medicine.

He was the first youth to sign up for youth council in 2009.

"Youth council has given me leadership skills and taught me how politics within the town works and how youth can voice their opinion in the appropriate manner and through the appropriate channels, and see action come about through their ideas," said Gaudet. "It also helps with social skills and it has taught me how to better communicate."

Daniel Ripley joined the youth council in 2009 and is in his last year as well.

He designed the Amherst Youth Town Council logo seen on banners and on their jackets, and he will study graphic design at the Nova Scotia Community College beginning in September.

"Youth council has helped me so much when it comes to communicating and getting your message out there," said Ripley.

Youth councilor Chelsey Bourne came up with the idea for youth t-shirt decoration event.

She's in Grade 10 and says youth council has helped her get more engaged in the electoral process.

"We participated in the recent municipal elections and got to see how that worked. It was interesting," she said.

Town councilor Robert Bird has been a liaison for the youth council since its inception in 2009.

"Youth council has been wildly successful, beyond anybody's imagination," said Bird.

He points to the skateboard park as part of their lasting legacy.

"They deserve a great deal of credit for the skate park," said Bird. "That is a very tangible example of what Youth Town Council has accomplished.

"If you go back to the original Skate Jam, it was these guys and the other youth councilors who helped make that happen," he added. "A lot happened after that event, but that single one event was the event that got everyone's attention about how many people would utilize that facility. That facility will have a lasting legacy for future generations of youth."

To ensure enough t-shirts are available for decorating, pre-registration is required.

To register, contact Jenn Borne at or call 667-6500.


Organizations: Nova Scotia Community College, Amherst Youth Town Council, Dalhousie University

Geographic location: Amherst Stadium

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Recent comments

  • Jenn Borne
    April 26, 2013 - 09:41

    For clarification purposes- ALL youth grades 7-12 are welcome to create their own t-shirt during this event in celebration of National Youth Arts Week. Those registering for the Ballhockey Fundraiser are eligible and automatically registered. Youth wanting to come express their creative talents and are not part of the ballhockey tournament are asked to pre-register by phoning 667-6500