All Hands on Deck featured at Georgetown Conference

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Yarmouth County delegates, from left, Belle Hatfield, Pam Mood, Brenda LaGrandeur and  Natalie Smith share their reactions to the presentations at the Georgetown Conference in eastern Prince Edward Island Friday morning. The conference, sponsored by Newspapers Atlantic, brought together "doers and producers" from across the Atlantic Provinces to discuss "reinventing rural" communities. 


Vanguard submission headed for Great Idea Exchange

A submission from the Yarmouth Vanguard was chosen as one of the top five ideas in the Atlantic Canada Great Ideas Exchange at the Georgetown Conference, which is taking place later this week in PEI.

The submission outlined the newspaper’s efforts to support All Hands On Deck, Yarmouth mayor Pam Mood’s town hall meeting that took place on Wednesday, Sept. 11. In its submission, the Vanguard said that, because of All Hands on Deck, "Yarmouth's delegates will be going forward to Georgetown with a measurable and tangible example of how to rally a community, provide leadership and support and extract from the community the latent capacity and desire to help that is in all of us."

Delegates at the Georgetown Conference – the conference goal is to help revitalize rural economies – heard about All Hands on Deck during the Great Ideas Exchange on Friday, Oct. 4. People could watch the presentation being streamed over the internet on the conference website .

The Atlantic Canada Great Ideas Exchange invited submissions telling about “a Great Idea that has made a difference in your community or in rural Atlantic Canada. The idea can be big or small. It may be related to the economy, the social sector, or to services available in the
 community.” The call for submissions indicated that there would be one criterion: “that the idea has made a sustainable difference.”

The call for submissions generated 29 responses, which described a range of ideas that have been turned into change-making initiatives in communities throughout Atlantic Canada.  The complete collection of 29 submissions is available at

The five submissions that will be featured in the ‘Atlantic Canada Great Ideas Exchange’ at the Georgetown Conference on Friday, Oct. 4 are: All Hands on Deck, Yarmouth, NS; 
Industrial Mall Acadie Nord, Caraquet, NB
; Integration and Retention Success Story, Rural PEI
; Community Development and Sustainability, Inverness County, NS
; Welcoming Community Cooking Classes, Carbonear, NL.

Vanguard reporter Belle Hatfield and Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood will present the All Hands on Deck submission at the Friday session.

In notifying the newspaper of its winning submission, Georgetown conference co-chair Wade MacLauchlan wrote, “Yarmouth will provide an example and inspiration for "redefining rural" well beyond the conference. Keep up the great work.”

Digby’s Wharf Rat Rally was among three submissions singled out for an Honourable Mention.

The Georgetown Conference is an initiative of Newspapers Atlantic and its 70 member newspapers. The goal is to stimulate rural revitalization efforts to turn around the spiral of economic decline and outmigration that is devastating rural communities throughout Atlantic Canada. 

Organizations: Atlantic Canada Great Ideas Exchange

Geographic location: Georgetown, Yarmouth, PEI Atlantic Canada AtlanticCanada Caraquet Inverness County

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