The honours and recognition keep coming for a small seaside village in Cumberland County. Pugwash was recently recognized by Communities in Bloom Canada as the winner of the Class of Champions – Small category.
They received a rating of 5 Blooms – Silver and a special mention for Prospering Partnerships during the 2022 National/International Symposium and Awards ceremony in Victoria, B.C.
“It’s a big deal. There are 800 communities across Canada that are members of Communities in Bloom. This is not just a Communities in Bloom award, it’s a community award,” Maureen Leahey said. “This highlights what we’re proud of. Not just the landscapes and the beaches, but the people. We work so well together.”
Pugwash was in competition with Kinistino, Sask.
Pugwash also received an Outstanding Achievement Award for community involvement.
“That’s an amazing award because it recognizes that Pugwash has more than 50 community organizations working together,” she said. “Prospering Partnerships was also a delight for us because it’s publicity you can’t buy. It’s something that goes nationwide.”
It’s the second time in five years that Pugwash has gained national recognition. In 2017, Pugwash received 5 Blooms – Silver Rating for its 2017 Communities in Bloom calendar while also receiving an Outstanding Achievement Award and Home Hardware Community Involvement Award.The village also received 5 Blooms in 2014 and was the national winner in the population category up to 1,000 while also gaining recognition for its Peace Ground in Eaton Park.
Judges visited Pugwash this past July and raved about what the community has.“Pugwash is a vibrant community of enthusiastic people,” judges Lorna McIlroy and Linda Tomlinson said. “In summer, the population can swell seven-fold with the addition of cottagers and visitors. Volunteer dedication has enabled Pugwash to host a number of visitors and be one of the best places to live in Canada.”
The judges spoke highly of the village’s cooperative spirit and the partnerships among the volunteer organizations, adding the Pugwash Open Air Gallery adds greatly to the landscape and the Friends of the Pugwash Estuary joins Communities in Bloom in protecting the natural heritage.
“Increased co-operation with the village commissioners and their municipal councillor reaps benefits. Collaborative partnerships enable the community to grow and bloom,” the judges wrote in their decision. Coun. Jennifer Houghtaling said Communities in Bloom is a perfect example of the spirit of volunteerism that flows through the community.
“This village is made up of so many dedicated volunteers who have come together with their great ideas and have given so much of their time to create a vibrant community that visitors and residents enjoy,” she said. “I cannot express how grateful I am to be part of the progressive and exciting atmosphere that exists at the tables where the ideas are brought forward, engaged with and implemented. A sincere thank you for all that our community brings"
That community spirit will show itself again on Christmas Day at the Pugwash Community Christmas Dinner from noon to 3 p.m. at the Pugwash branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. Enjoy a hot turkey dinner, talk with old friends and neighbours and meet new community members.
There is no registration required.
Volunteers are being sought to prepare, including a peeling party on Christmas Eve.To volunteer on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, contact Leahey at 902-243-3454 or email