The Happy Community Dance

What Makes a Community?

A community is more than the sum of its parts – it is how all the parts interact with each other. And Communities have many parts.

Citizens, strangers, groups, NGOs, Business and Government all interact with each other in a intricate dance where everything affects everything. And just like a dance, when we all move to the same music, it’s a beautiful thing and when we all dance to different music at the same time flaying our arms and legs in different directions – well one part crashes into another.

So what binds us all to the same music?

A sense of belonging. When we all feel like we belong to the same community – when our citizens, social groups, NGOs, businesses and government share a common sense of belonging, then somehow, just like a dance, we all get in the groove and move to the same music.

This sense of belonging comes when we share … Read the rest

We used to remember


I have lots of conversations across the generations from my 97 year old neighbor to my 3 year old grandson and everyone in between. The older people remember a time when ‘everyone knew everyone’ and if the community decided they needed a school or a park, people would show up with wagon loads of lumber and food and hammers and build a school or a park on the land donated by one of the citizens. This is a totally foreign concept to those under thirty. If a community needs something now, we say “They should….” And we wait to see if they do or don’t.

There are good reasons for this in some cases, but not nearly as many cases as we think. If we make our dependence too high on “they”, the “We” becomes diminished. When “We” doesn’t have to do anything but pay taxes and complain, “We” also doesn’t have the need to interact with neighbors. In … Read the rest

Get Involved

The Happy Community Project in Hants West continues to make a big difference for our community. There are over 200 people all pitching in to make projects where people can come and do things together.

What is exciting is that every day, more and more people are hopping onboard or asking how can they get involved. Our community has come alive with energy. Most people want to make a difference for their community and many are looking to the Happy Community Project as a way to do that.


We started off with some really big projects like Community Market, Community Garden, MAKERS, Ellershouse Breakfast, Tour de Hants, Youth Hangout and Avon Regional Food Centre. Each of these projects is already real or coming into reality. So we at the Core Group have been asking ourselves some questions about ‘what’s next?’.

How can we include more people in participating in the Happy Community Projects? After all, we are at our … Read the rest

In Just three months, this community has done more than most do in years

50 People turned ‘we should’ into ‘we did’.

50 people rolled up their sleeves and got a lot of stuff done on January 10th. 100 more people are helping them. What are they doing and how are they doing it?

Here is a short list ( well actually, it’s an amazingly long list of ‘we shoulds’  turning into ‘we did’)

The Collaborative Project Leadership conference

On February 6th at the Windsor Library, 30 people will share ideas, make connections and connect to resources – space is limited to 30 so register early if you are a doer or leader for one of the projects or want to start a project.

Youth Hangout Project

8 youth showed up and did an awesome job of developing the basic ideas for a Youth Hangout Project. This project is led by the youth for the youth. On January 26th 7:00 to 8:30 at Windsor Community Center, youth will come together and Read the rest

Minutes for Farmers Market Jan 10

Minutes of Meeting

Happy Community Project – Farmers Market
January 10, 2018

Adrienne Wood
Holly Lothian
Katie Andrews
Jamie Cornetta
Tara Gibbon
Monique Wood
Regrets: Catherine Manning, Steven Bouman, Kayie Godon


1) Summer Student Grants
2) Market Manager Training Video
3) Location
4) Public Washrooms
5) Not for profit discussion
6) Meeting with Keltie Butler
7) Call for Vendors
8) Follow-up meeting

Old Business:

There was a discussion regarding the existing Windsor Farmers’ Market co-operative and future of this co-op. It was decided to move forward separate from this. Jamie shared existing bylaws.

1) Summer Student Grants, START Program Employment

A provincial grant and federal grant are available for summer students. The deadline for these grants are January 26 and February 2, 2018. The START employment grant is also available. Due to the pressing deadlines for the summer student grants, it was decided to wait until next year to investigate these options.
The START program does not give … Read the rest

5 Great Projects that are changing West Hants Windsor

Community Market

Windsor has the oldest agricultural fair in North America and is a Market Center and is filled with talented artisans and crafters. It only makes sense that we should have a vibrant Community Market that provides an opportunity for every one to have easy access to the best of our community.

Tour de Hants

What a great idea for people getting together in active living and experiencing the rich cultural and historical aspects of our community. Every month, there will be a walking, hiking, biking, snowshoeing event that takes us to hidden corners. The first one is January 20th at Castle Frederick Farm

Welcome Newcomers

This project has the goal of making it easy to belong to our community. Welcome Newcomers makes it easy for people new to our community to integrate into our economic and social fabric and meet people who can become life long friends.

Food Hub

The food hub has two ambitious projects on … Read the rest

A new year – a new beginning with new hope

A meaningful life is the foundation for happiness. When we have the power to make a difference, when we choose to make a difference, we feel good, no matter what else may be going on. The good news is people everywhere are waking up. We are recognizing  that we have the power.

This was clearly brought to light in West Hants / Windsor in 2017. After years of disappointing political results, the community chose new representation. But we weren’t just satisfied with trusting a new group of politicians with their ‘they shoulds…’. Our community has moved past ‘they should…’ and fully embraced ‘we should….’ in recognition of our own responsibilities and power as citizens.

And we have discovered ‘we can…’

‘We can make the kind of community we want – an economically vibrant, culturally rich and socially connected community.’ And so West Hants / Windsor has launched a series of projects that are on their way to reality. Coincidently, the … Read the rest

Farmers Market Nov 30 Minutes

Happy Community Project – Farmers Market
November 30th, 2017


Adrienne Wood
Holly Lothian
Katie Andrews
Jamie Cornetta
Barry Braun
Anne Riley
Tara Gibbon
Monique Wood
Catherine Manning
Katie Godon
Steven (I did not write down your last name, sorry)
Regrets: Dianne Levy


1) Identify space
2) Cost/Expenses – Grants
3) Vendors
4) Marketing – Manager, volunteers

Old Business:

Avon Christmas Market – this market was a great success with almost 40 vendors. The market was enthusiastically supported by the community with some vendors selling out. There was a call for vendors online. The market was to be held at Victoria Lane, however with the weather it was moved to the mall. The Community Centre provided the table and chairs.
Vendors – Vendor list provided by Katie Andrews.

New Business:

Location: Adrienne discussed location ideas.
-Exhibition grounds
-Boat House – old location
-Scotia Bank Mall – This is the location of interest. Adrienne will be chatting with Parsons … Read the rest

How West Hants is doing something special

60 People are making our Community Happy

On November 30th, 60 people came together for an evening of inspiration and energy. They are turning the Best Ideas into real projects where we all can do things together.

Here is what has happened so far

>The Happy Community West Hants Facebook Group has attracted 338 members who are sharing ideas with the rest of the community approximately 100 times a week.
>Our local email list has grown to 142 active participants. Combined that means over 400 people have opted in to engage with the Happy Community Project.
>The Happy Community project in West Hants – Windsor has attracted 4 media events including CBC Radio, Chronical Herald and Hants Journal
102 people are rolling up their sleeves to put the Best Ideas projects into action .
>The Ellershouse Breakfast which was slated for closure attracted 36 new volunteers so that it will remain a strong institution in West Hants
> The Read the rest

The Happy Community Project Rocks

There is so much happening, it’s hard to know what to say or where to begin. The Happy Community Project has leapt to a whole new level. Here are some of the highlights.


We launched in West Hants / Windsor Nova Scotia on October 19th in a new way.  What’s happening is simply awe-inspiring. The goal is the same, create more robust wellbeing and resiliency for communities. The way we do that is strengthen every citizens sense of belonging through stronger social connections.

What’s new is in West Hants / Windsor is we have approached this in a new way.


We started with a bang. We invited every citizen to be part of the Happy Community Project. And they showed up and decided what they wanted to do for their community. Citizens came up with the ideas and  they are putting the ideas into action.

Ideas … Read the rest