Brigadier-General, the Honourable J.J. Grant, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, presented a coveted Community Spirit Award as the community’s blueberry festival, part of Amherst’s 125th celebrations, got underway – just days after the Maritime Rockabilly Shakedown Festival drew to a close.
Only four communities are recognized each year with the community spirit award and Amherst’s recent rise is festivals and activities played a hand it securing its nomination.
“Amherst is truly a special place,” Grant said. “Celebrate today and everyday.”
Rainer Bressmer, a member of the community selection committee, said each year between eight and 19 applications are received, with the committee members becoming champions for their choices. It wasn’t long, however, before all of the members were backing the border community’s application.
“Amherst was in a good position in the first round,” Bressmer said. “To the members what was appealing was what had been done to revitalize Amherst’s downtown, its festivals, events. It made the short list from the very beginning.”
The acknowledgement from the Lt. Governor General’s office, Amherst Mayor Robert Small, is a reflection of the work and vision the citizen’s are bringing forward.
“It’s clear the people of Amherst are working together to create a thriving community for each other,” Small said. “This is Amherst’s 125th anniversary celebration. How much better could it be than to be awarded the community spirit award as we celebrate.”
The Lieutenant Governor's Community Spirit Award celebrates the power, strength and diversity of vibrant communities across Nova Scotia. It profiles their achievements and increases their visibility through a formal recognition program.
Up to four Nova Scotia communities are honoured each year. Recipients are chosen by a selection committee based on community applications that best fit the award’s criteria. Communities selected for the award promote citizen engagement, civic pride and a positive outlook on the future.