Mayor Jeff Cantwell’s Welcome to Students

Welcome to Students
By Jeff Cantwell, Mayor of Wolfville

Where did the summer of 2018 go? This time in September is often referred to as the “New Year” and for reasons one realises when living in a small university town. There is much excitement and celebration with the beginning of, or return to, academic life.

Many of those of us who have already experienced it recall those years as when we had the “times of our lives,” when and where we met and made lifelong friends and relationships, and when we had responsibility thrust upon us like a cloak of honour. This is a time to enjoy and respect, as it is fleeting.

Wolfville looks forward to the “New Year” each September and enjoys the “boost of energy” it receives from the incoming first year and returning classes to Acadia, and understands the increased demands on Town services (streets, parking, grocery store lines, etc). Please take time to meet and greet your new, local neighbours, store owners, and service delivery people.

Over the time you will spend in Wolfville, pursuing the degree which will begin to structure your future (you will be challenged, so use your time wisely), many of your longstanding memories will result from events and activities which do not involve your books, papers, classes and labs. The lion’s share of your post-secondary recollections will be as a result of becoming involved in the community as a whole, as a lifestyle.

While living in Wolfville and attending Acadia University, take pride in your community, your neighbourhood, your friends, and yourself. You are attending Canada’s number one undergraduate institution and live in Canada’s number one small town (this is not an anecdotal reference, it can be verified statistically). Enjoy the Saturday morning Farmers’ Market and/or the Wednesday afternoon/evening Farmers’ Market Community Dinner. Make certain you take time to enjoy a sunrise at the Look Off during harvest season (now ’til the end of October).

Downtown Wolfville is also home to an eclectic group of independent businesses which can satisfy virtually every want or need and all in a matter of a few blocks. Take time to window shop the area to get an idea of what is on offer. From kids’ toys to bicycles, from ladies’ fashion to men’s and ladies’ outdoor wear, from a cider tasting bar to an ice cream and espresso shop, from gastronomic delights to art galleries, take time to peek in and say Hello! to the business owners. The people inside actually own these shops and businesses and take a keen interest in our community, and in ensuring our downtown delivers first rate products and services.

Wolfville is home to several parks with varying intents and uses. Reservoir Park, which includes walking trails (off leash area for dogs), wicked mountain cycling trails, swimming, and “catch ‘n release” fishing will help relieve stressors for those who have spent the day/week engaged in work or study. Come, put it to use, get those endorphins flowing and meet some of your neighbours. It is a great place to unwind from the day or kick your day into gear. Clock Park, Waterfront Park and Willow Park are all downtown parks which allow an open place for people to gather and share time, space, and activity. We have a piano at the gazebo in Waterfront Park for anyone to entertain themselves and/or others. Willow Park houses our local Visitors’ Information Centre as well as a playground with our little citizens in mind. Up the hill behind Willow Park lies our recreation centre, Rotary Field, where our three newly resurfaced Town tennis courts are found, as well as our mini soccer pitch. Clock Park, in the very centre of downtown (you might identify it by the clock found it its southeast corner), is a busy small park which acts as a centre of activity during our annual Deep Roots Music Festival, scheduled for the weekend of September 27 – 30 this year. Many performances are free of charge. This is always a busy time, and makes for a positive, vibrant feel all over town. There is always the Harvest Moon Trail, which occupies the corridor immediately to the north of downtown. This is an active lifestyle trail where walking, jogging, cycling and leashed dog walking take place (no motorised vehicles permitted, for the safety of all).

Please remember to respect those who do not share the same lifestyle and times of activity/socialising as you do when heading to or from activities or events. Now is when, and here is where, the transition from “teenager” to young adult is made. We now have to impress upon our families, our professors, and our future employers that we are capable of critical thinking and wise decision-making; thinking of consequences before actions. In the words of Otis Redding, made famous by the late Aretha Franklin, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T,” not much to ask for, but an immeasurable gift to give.

Welcome to Wolfville, and I wish you much success both as a student and a resident. If you have any concerns during your time living in Wolfville, from tenancy or regulatory issues, to community or neighbourhood struggles, to just plain curiosity, please feel comfortable in contacting me.