Summer Walk Challenge 2016

WalkaboutNew Picture (2)

Summer Walk Challenge 2016 



This challenge is a little different than our other walk challenges, and one which we hope will be a ton of fun.  This contest will be a photo challenge which will run through the month of August (1st-31st).  I encourage you to check out the poster which is attached above and share it amongst your contacts and friends and submit as many photos as you like for a chance to win great prizes!

The photos can be anything walk related.  Whether it is of yourself, your friends and family, pets, vacations, staycations, as long as you are enjoying the outdoors and getting some time in your walking shoes!

When you submit, tell us why you love walking, what walking has done for you or what inspires you to walk for a chance to win.  There are many ways to submit photos and, if on social media, don’t forget to use #WalkaboutNS

We look forward to seeing all of your amazing photos, and remember, keep walking and enjoy the sunny days ahead!

Michael Todd – Community Health Promotion Coordinator – Western Region

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Nova Scotia

Phone: 902-334-1141 | Fax: 902 492-1464 | E-mail


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5th Annual Victoria County Fall Harvest ActiveFest October 15-31, 2016

FallHarvestFestBanner2016Naturally Active for Life Victoria County (Est. 2011) INVITES you and/or your organization to lead an activity, program &/or initiative in Victoria County during our upcoming 5th Annual VICTORIA COUNTY FALL HARVEST ACTIVEFEST scheduled October 15-31, 2016 if you are interested – you may have something already scheduled on those dates that you wish to fit under the Fall Harvest umbrella would be greatly appreciated


  • It’s a county-wide event organized by the Municipal Physical Activity Strategy – Naturally Active for Life Victoria County (Est. 2011) and showcases our great physical activity, leisure, sports & recreation facilities, natural environment, trails, talents, programs, events, volunteers, leaders, organizations, service providers & facility operators, etc. The event includes guided hikes, walking, ceilidhs, entertainment, suppers, fitness, dancing, community festivals/events, etc

There is Assistance Funding available to a maximum of $200 if you are a member of a non-profit organization registered with NS Registry of Joint Stocks to support & assist your activity with refreshments, promotion, prizes, etc: (***Deadline to apply is Sept. 15, 2016)



  • If you are interested in having an activity, program and / or initiative in Victoria County during our special 5th Annual Fall Harvest ActiveFest 2016, please let me know (Name of activity, dates, description) and it can be included in our overall schedule. Please register with me at (***Deadline to register your activity is Thursday, September 15, 2016)

Thank You as always for your continued time & consideration, support & contribution of Naturally Active for Life Victoria County initiatives, it’s greatly appreciated benefiting residents & visitors

Vince Forrestall – Physical Activity Strategy Coordinator

Box 370 – 495 Chebucto St, Baddeck, NS B0E 1B0 / Tel: 295.3661 / Fax: 295-1864


Victoria County Council Approves Healthy Eating in Municipal & Physical Activity Recreation & Sports Settings Draft Policy


HERSSPicSept2015Sarah Ross-Public Health Nutritionist, Aron Ashton-Public Health Educator & Vince Forrestall–Victoria County Physical Activity Strategy Coordinator presented at the recent Victoria County Municipal Council bi-weekly meeting held Monday, July 25, 2016 on Healthy Eating in Municipal & Physical Activity Recreation & Sports Settings (HERSS VC) Draft Policy in Victoria County (Please see the following link for the presentation and the draft policy: or download here for your convenience:





Healthy Eating is included in the work of Municipal Physical Activity Strategy (Naturally Active for Life Victoria County) Since 2011 & during the 2016 – 2017 renewal year:  

Goal 5: Policies – Engage and work with federal, provincial, municipal, first nation and community agencies to develop and monitor policies that promote physical activity and healthy eating indoors and outdoors

       5.5: Work with local physical activity, recreation and sports facilities to implement provincial healthy eating guidelines 

During the presentation the presenters shared a number of key statistics with council to make the case for the importance of a policy in Victoria County benefiting residents & visitors: 

  • 28% of CBDHA (Cape Breton District Health Authority) population surveyed are overweight or obese
  • 80% reported having at least one chronic health condition in NS
  • Not eating the daily recommended amount of fruits & vegetables is the number three health risk amongst Victoria County Residents
  • 47% Victoria County residents that did NOT meet Canada’s Food Guide Daily requirements for fruits and vegetables
  • Only 31.5% surveyed in CBDHA (Cape Breton District Health Authority) consumed the recommended 5 fruit & vegetable daily servings. 54% of adults did not meet the vegetable & fruit recommendations
  • Nova Scotia Grade 5 Students, 2011, only 33% met Canada’s Food Guide (CFG) recommendations for vegetable & fruit intake, 50% met CFG (Canada’s Food Guide) recommendations for milk & alternatives  

Evidence shows that education on its own does not work or change behavior. Evidence shows that using approaches such as policy and supportive environments works. An example of this was given and included the “Baddeck Pharmacist (Graham MacKenzie, Stones Pharmasave Owner) Pulls Sugary Drinks Off Shelves”:

  • 6% of carbonated sales in Baddeck
  • Summer peak weekly sales declined by 11.4% as a whole in Baddeck in post intervention period
  • After controlling for model specified seasonality, sales decreased by 21.4%. Not bad for a store that sold only 6% of carbonated beverages overall in Baddeck!
  • Another unexpected finding – buying patterns did not shift to other retail outlets in the Village 

The policy scope applies to all foods & beverages served and sold at Municipal Physical Activity, Recreation & Sports Facilities, settings, programs, meetings, and events, which includes:

  • Vending machines
  • Canteens
  • Catering
  • Café/restaurants
  • Dining halls
  • Tournaments
  • Sporting events
  • Hospitality suites
  • Special events and festivals
  • Meetings
  • Training
  • Programming for all ages 

The policy components includes the following:

  • Food & Beverages
  • Portion Sizes
  • Food Safety
  • Breastfeeding
  • Dietary Considerations
  • Clean Drinking Water 

Foods and beverages will fit into three categories:

  • Maximum – 50% or more
  • Moderate – 40%
  • Minimum – 10% or less 

It was pointed out to council that a spirit of cooperation already exists in Victoria County as the strategy has been providing healthy eating opportunities & exposure (Since 2012) in Victoria County proudly supported by the Municipal Physical Activity Strategy in partnership with volunteers, leaders, organizations and facility operators, including some of the following initiatives which were highlighted during the presentation: 

  • Bras d’Or Yacht Club: Junior Sailing Healthy Snacks (Since 2012)
  • Eat, Drink & Be Healthy Sessions (Chef & Dietician)
  • Workplace Wellness Network Luncheons – Education, awareness
  • Don WM Nicholson Consulting – 4 season food: your own growing healthy workshop & soil prep, crop selection and growing workshop
  • Baddeck Academy – Health & Wellness Fair (Since 2013)
  • Cabot Education Centre – 1st Health & Wellness Day–Health Eating
  • After School–Healthy Living Program-Cabot Junior A Basketball Team
  • Bay St Lawrence Community Centre-Santa’s Workshop: Christmas Apples & Oranges
  • Englishtown Community Hall Association – Our Journey to Better Health
  • Wagmatcookewey School – Fresh Fruit Fridays
  • Girls Only After-school programs: Healthy Snacks
  • 5 2 1 0 Cape Breton
  • BaM Cape Breton (Body & Mind Program)
  • Baddeck Community Garden
  • North of Smokey North Highlands Orchard Project-Grow More Healthy fruit (Since 2014)
  • Amongst other initiatives  

Also, school settings (CBVRSB) in Victoria County have made a difference since 2007. In 2007, CBVRSB fully implemented the NS Food & Nutrition Policy for all foods sold and served at schools. The following successes achieved were highlighted during the presentation: 

  • All deep fryers were removed
  • All carbonated beverages were removed from vending machines and canteens
  • Only beverages available in vending are water and 100% juice
  • All regular chips (over 5g of fat) were removed from canteens & vending
  • All chocolate bars were removed from canteens & vending 

The implementation of the HERSS VC Policy includes the following:

  • The approved policy by council
  • Outreach to volunteers, leaders, organizations and facility operators in Victoria County to garner buy-in & ownership in partnership
  • NEW Victoria County HERSS Assistance Funds for municipal workplace wellness & volunteers, leaders, organizations and facility operators in Victoria County in support of the policy  



What does this mean for Victoria County?

Support other healthy eating policies (i.e. schools & daycares)

Promote Local Food

Provide Municipal Assistance Funds

Demonstrate leadership & positive role modeling

Work collaboratively together to create healthy communities


Presenters acknowledged the following:

Victoria County HERSS Working Group (See members below)

Antigonish HERSS Working Group

Bridgewater HERSS Working Group

Lunenburg & Yarmouth HERSS Working Groups

NS Health Authority (Eastern Region) & Public Health Services

Wagmatcook First Nation

Naturally Active for Life Victoria County 

Working Group Members (Victoria County HERSS) were thanked for all their work on this initiative now & in the future:

  • Sarah Ross, Public Health Nutritionist
  • Aron Ashton, Public Health Educator
  • Eileen Woodford, Victoria County Physical Activity Strategy Chair
  • Debbie Madore, Nutrition for Learning Dietitian, CBVRSB
  • Debbie MacLean, Manager of Nutrition & Food Services
  • Michelle LeBlanc, Buchanan Memorial Hospital Dietician
  • Mary Jessome-Pierro, Dietitian – Wagmatcook First Nation (CBDHA Staff)
  • Terry Bernard, Wagmatcook Mi’Kmaw Physical Activity Coordinator
  • Eliot Frosst, Victoria County Action Network (Victoria County Physical Activity Strategy)
  • Graham MacKenzie, Stones Pharmasave Owner
  • George Smith, Chef
  • Alicia Lake, Cape Breton Food Hub Coordinator
  • Vince Forrestall, Victoria County Physical Activity Coordinator 

Council approved the Healthy Eating in Municipal & Physical Activity Recreation & Sports Settings (HERSS VC) Draft Policy in Victoria County following the presentation. 

A number of testimonials, comments have been shared since the approval of the draft HERSS VC Policy:

    • Good presentation (HERSS: Healthy Eating in Physical Activity Recreation Sports Settings in Victoria County Policy to Council – July 25, 2016)” – Alicia Lake, Coordinator, Cape Breton Food Hub (July 26, 2016)
  • Great work on the presentation this evening” Graham MacKenzie, Owner, Stone’s Pharmasave  (July 25, 2016)
  • A big thank you to you Vince for all of your hard work!!! You, Aaron and Sara did an excellent job presenting (HERSS VC) Monday evening (July 25, 2016) and have put in so much time to get this up and running”  – Michelle LeBlanc, Buchanan Memorial Hospital Dietician (July 27, 2016)
  • Job well done (HERSS VC) with your great leadership” – Debbie Madore, Nutrition for Learning Dietitian, CBVRSB (July 28, 2016)
  • Glad to hear it (HERSS VC) went well. Great work!” – Eileen Woodford, Chair – Naturally Active for Life Victoria County Partnership (July 27, 2016)

Naturally Active for Life Victoria County Making A Difference

Re-branded Municipal Physical Activity Strategy – Naturally Active for Life Victoria County – Continues to Make A Difference in the Lives of Victoria County Residents & Visitors

Naturally Active for Life Victoria County 2016-17 Initiatives (To date: July 12, 2016)

The recently re-branded Municipal Physical Activity Strategy – Naturally Active for Life Victoria County – Continues to Make A Difference in the Lives of Residents & Visitors in its 6th year (Renewal 2016-2017)!


The ‪‎Victoria County ‎Physical Activity Strategy Supported in Partnership Benefiting Victoria County Residents & Visitors


Thank You ‪‎Volunteers, ‎Leaders, Community ‪‎Organizations, ‎Service Providers, ‎Facility Operators, Strategy ‪‎Partnership, Strategy Implementation Team (‪‎VCAN – Victoria County Action Network), Council & Staff for Contributing to the Success of the Initiatives and to Your ‪‎Victoria County Physical Activity Strategy (Est. 2011) – Naturally Active for Life Victoria County


Please visit the following link for 2016-17 Initiatives (To date: July 12, 2016)


or the


2016-17 Initiatives (To date: July 12, 2016) are listed below:

  • 22% of ‪‎Victoria County Residents Increased Their Levels of Physical Activity since the start of the ‎Municipal Physical Activity Strategy June 13, 2011 (‪‎Source: VictoriaCounty ‪‎Physical Activity ‎Community Survey Nov. 2015)


  • Physical Activity Strategy (Est. 2011) Updated By Strategy Partnership & Implementation Team (VCAN) & Approved by Municipal Council : Year 6 – 1 Year Renewal 2016-17:


  • Naturally Active for Life Victoria County New Strategy Branding – Moving Forward Aligned with the “Active for Life” National, Provincial & Regional Movement (s):


  • Facility Access Assistance Funds 2016-2017 – TBA – Fall 2016


  • Education & Awareness


Connect with hundreds of physical activity, recreation & sport opportunities in your community


as part of the bigger

Connect with hundreds of physical activity, recreation & sport opportunities in your community


  • Special Events


‎Naturally Active for Life Victoria County Receives ‪#‎ACOA Funding for Three 2016-2017 Special Events:

  • 5th Annual ‪‎Victoria County ‎Canada Day Physical Activity Challenge 2016             $500
  • 5th Annual ‪‎Victoria County Fall Harvest Active Fest 2016                                      $855
  • 6th Annual ‪‎Victoria County Winter Active Fest 2017:                                              $800

Destination Cape Breton (June 30, 2016)


-5th Annual Victoria County Trails Day Since 2012                                                    (June 4 & 5, 2016)

-4th Annual Bike Victoria Week Since 2013                                                              (June 3-12, 2016)

-5th Annual Victoria County Canada Day Physical Activity Challenge Since 2012    (June 25 & July 1, 2016)

-FestiVille Baddeck


  • Steps in Flight Walking Program – Bell Museum National Historic Site
  • Mini-Steps Discovery Centre Program – Bell Museum National Historic Site


  • Healthy Eating in Physical Activity, Recreation & Sports Settings – Victoria County HERSS:

Partners: NS Health Authority, Public Health, Naturally Active for Life Victoria County, Victoria County; Victoria County Organizations & Facility Operators


  • After the Bell After School Time Period (ASTP) Programs – More funding Fall/Winter 2016-2017 TBA
  • Baddeck Academy – #ForTheGirlsProgram
  • Cabot School – GO (“Girls Only” Program) & Healthy Snacks for Learn to Run Program Cabot May 1 – June 30, 2016
  • Wagmatcookewey School – E’pite’ji’jk Pasik (GO-Girls Only)


  • Leadership Development Assistance Fund


  • Butternut Consulting                                    Navigation Course Spring 2016
  • BaM Cape Breton                                         Eskasoni High School Spring 2016 Spring 2016 School Teams Leadership Conference – CBVRSB
  • YMCA Older Adults Fitness Certification      Baddeck Academy Little gym rental/access
  • Integrative Nutrition Head Coach  Health, Wellness & Active Living Coach
  • Wagmatcook Health Centre                         2nd Petapan 1st Light Symposium
  • Prenatal Yoga Certification
  • Wagmatcook Health Centre                         NCCP Certification Course


  • Workplace Wellness


  • Wellness Zone Publication
  • Active Living Subsidization Program


  • Healthy Eating Assistance Funds


-Bay St Lawrence Community Centre              North Highlands Orchard Project

-1st Health & Wellness Day Health Eating     Cabot Education Centre

-Bras d’Or Yacht Club Healthy Lunches          BYC Jr Sailing Regatta Week 2016 (Since 2012)

-•Cape North Farmers Market Coop               Encouraging food production in Victoria County

  • St. Ann’s Bay Community Health Group Society – Seniors Luncheon April 6th 2016
  • ACAP Cape Breton                                        Food Upskilling Festival Spring 2016
  • Baddeck Academy                                        4th Annual Health & Wellness Day Since 2012


  • Physical Activity Assistance Funds


-Wagmatcook Learn to Swim Program           Wagmatcook Health Centre

-Wagmatcook Learn to Surf Program             Wagmatcook Health Centre

-International Trails Day Hike                         CENTRAL CAPE BRETON COMMUNITY VENTURES INC.

-1st Health & Wellness Day                            Cabot School Education Centre

-Wagmatcook Little League Baseball             Wagmatcook Health Centre

-Outdoor Target Archery                                  Bras d’Or Archers Association

-AED & Protective Case                                   Baddeck Academy

-Family Yoga                                                    Cape Breton Regional Library

-NSSAF Celebration of School Sport               Baddeck Academy

  • Baddeck Duathlon                                        Baddeck Duathlon Association
  • Family Yoga with Jackie MacLellan             Middle River Recreation Assoc
  • Midget (Under 16 years) Cape Breton West Basketball –  Basketball Cape Breton Assoc
  • Beginner Yoga Program                                THE GIANT MACASKILL HEIRS ASSOCIATION
  • Yoga Program                                               North Highlands Community Organization
  • Yoga for Students                                         Cabot School
  • 4th Annual Health & Wellness Day Since 2013 – Baddeck Academy


  • Michael Haynes                                            Guest Speaker 3 Presentations (April 6 & 7, 2016)
  1. St Ann’s Seniors Luncheon
  1. North Victoria Library
  2. Baddeck Library

ParticipACTION Released Their Annual Report Card

ParticipACTION released their Annual Report Card.  At the same time, the new 24 hour movement guidelines for children and youth were released.

Some key points:

  • ·         There is an important relationship among physical activity, sedentary behavior and sleep.
  • ·         New research shows that sedentary lifestyles are connected to a “creeping sleepidemic” in Canadian kids
  • ·         Children’s sleep duration has decreased by 30-60 minutes in recent decades
  • ·         31% of school- aged children and 26 per cent of adolescents are sleep-deprived
  • ·         There is a need to take a “whole day approach” as many kids are too tired to get enough physical activity and many kids are not active enough to be tired at night
  • ·         Every hour a child spends being sedentary is associated with a 3 minute delay in bedtime.  The average Canadian 5-17 year old spend 8.5 hours being sedentary each day.
  • ·         The best sleep aid is to get kids moving


24 Hour Movement Guidelines (5-17 year olds):

  • ·         Previously our guidelines were for physical activity and sedentary behaviour.   We did not have recommendations on light activity. These are the world’s first integrated movement guidelines.
  • ·         “sweat” (moderate to vigorous physical activity)– 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity is required each day.  Vigorous physical activity, muscle and bone strengthening activities are needed at least 3 days per week.
  • ·         “step” (light physical activity) – several hours of a variety of light activities are needed each day
  • ·         “sleep” – uninterrupted 9 – 11 hours of sleep is needed for 5-13 year olds and 8 to 10 hours is needed for 14-17 year olds, with consistent bed and wake-up times
  • ·         “sit” (sedentary behaviour) – in addition to the behaviours above, no more than 2 hours per day of recreational screen time and limited sitting for extended periods is recommended.
  • ·         “preserving sufficient sleep, trading indoor time for outdoor time and replacing sedentary behaviours and light physical activity with additional moderate to vigorous physical activity can provide greater health benefits”
  • ·         In order to reach desired levels of movement a mix of sport, play, chores and active transportation are required.  Habitual physical activity throughout the day is important in addition to planned and structured activity.  Physical activity is a way of life.

2016 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth:  Are Canadian kids too tired to move?


New Nova Scotia Outdoor Network Launches

Naturally Active for Life Victoria County (Est. 2011) Proud to Participate in the Launch & Hike at Victoria Park, Truro

ONLaunch-NewsRelease-June2016 (3)


New NS Outdoor Network Launches June 14, 2016

It was a gathering of lovers of the outdoors, those who hike, paddle, bird-watch, cycle and so on. On June 14, over 50 outdoor explorers converged on Truro’s Victoria Park and the Douglas Street Recreation Centre to launch the Nova Scotia Outdoor Network

“Support for bringing the outdoor recreation community has been building for a long time and now we’ve finally done it,” says Heather Kelday, board member with Recreation Nova Scotia and chair of the council overseeing the network

The Nova Scotia Outdoor Network, a project of Recreation Nova Scotia, is a coalition of the NS outdoor sector that will strengthen and support the outdoor community in our province through communication, sharing, collaboration and celebration. Its vision is an outdoor community meaningfully connected to one another, to resources and to learning and stewardship opportunities. Ultimately, it aims to encourage Nova Scotians to get outside more often and participate in low-impact, nature-based activities

“There’s strength in bringing people together around this idea of getting more people outside,” says Kelday. “The back to nature movement is definitely alive and well and growing. What we’re doing is working together to make our outdoor culture stronger”

Why would we want to get more folks outside? Spending more time outside means you are more physically active and healthy overall, you experience stress reduction and improve mental health and you make a stronger bond with nature that can lead to more environmentally-friendly behaviours. And the outdoors is among the cheapest, most readily available recreation facilities going; more often than not, it’s free to access it. The economic benefits go well beyond the preventative physical and mental health costs. The tourism industry is heavily reliant on outdoor activities. Outdoor enthusiasts stay longer and spend more than most other types of tourists in Nova Scotia

At the launch event, groups went hiking, mountain biking and paddling together in the morning to be inspired for network launch and discussions in the afternoon. It ended with a birthday cake and music. In attendance were individuals, organizations, businesses, institutions and other stakeholders from the broad areas of outdoor recreation, wilderness conservation, outdoor/environmental education, outdoor leadership, commercial guiding and retailers

Recreation Nova Scotia Recreation Nova Scotia (RNS) is a province wide, not for profit organization that promotes the values and benefits of recreation and leisure. In partnership with volunteers and the professional recreation community, it advocates for high quality recreation and leisure opportunities

For more information contact:

Global’s Paul Brothers learns about the new NS Outdoor Network.



Physical Activity Strategy Reaches Milestone: 5 Full Years


Naturally Active for Life Victoria County (Est. 2011) Reached A Milestone – 5 Full Years (June 13, 2011 to June 13, 2016), Heading Into Year 6 of its 1 Year Renewal 2016-2017

‪#‎NaturallyActiveforLifeVictoriaCounty‬ – THANKS EVERYONE FOR YOUR SUPPORT: Volunteers, Residents, Organizations, VCAN (Victoria County Action Network) Strategy Implementation Team, Strategy Partnership, Chair Eileen Woodford, Council & Staff contributing to our successes, it’s truly appreciated:


Developed Strategy with Initiatives







Gold Medalist Heather Moyse Addresses Municipal Council – Oct 20, 2014

Gold Medalist Addressed Council-Oct 20, 2014

Celebration of Naturally Active Oct 2014

Celebration 2014






What We’ve Achieved

What We’ve Achieved

Sharing Successes Since 2011

Sharing Successes in Partnership Since 2011

Sharing Testimonials Since 2011

Sharing Testimonials in Partnership Since 2011


1 Year Renewal