© John DeCoste - kingscountynews.ca
Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood speaks at the Feb. 28 AVESTA luncheon.
By John DeCoste
Large-scale events can have a significant impact on a community, regardless of its size, according to Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood, who has seen her town of 6,500 play host to its share.
Mood was guest speaker for the fifth annual Annapolis Valley Events and Sport Tourism Association awards luncheon Feb. 28 at the Old Orchard Inn.
Among the events Yarmouth has hosted include a world-class junior hockey tournament, an NHL training camp, a large girls’ hockey tournament and a national street hockey tournament. Many of these events were hosted more than once.
Mood stressed that, while she has a reputation as a persuasive person, much success in hosting these large events is in the legacy they create in the community, which in turn makes it easier to host more events.
“Economically, we don’t have to sell it to anyone and the press we get is priceless,” the mayor said.
“I don’t always know how we did it, but I do know we’ve had the guts to say we needed to,” she said of hosting a big event in a small town. “You have to make the absolute most of everything you have – and what we have is strong community support.”
In Yarmouth, Mood said, “the word ‘can’t' isn’t part of our vocabulary.”
“Our community is so amazing.”
Mood said there are four main elements to hosting any large-scale event.
“First partner. No one can do things like this alone and without community support.
Second, “believe you can do it.”
Third, ”engage your community. You need the community to buy in, and you won’t accomplish anything without them.”
Last, but not least, “make sure of your volunteers. Our last Canadian juniors, we were turning volunteers away.”
She said community spirit and Nova Scotian hospitality is also part of the success.
“Don’t be afraid to dream,” Mood added. “Someone has to host events like this. Why shouldn’t it be us?”