New website launched!

Welcome to our new site. We’re excited to have moved to WordPress, which will allow for much more open, fun, and accessible communication. It’s easier to use for those who are updating the site as well as those who are navigating it for the first time. It’s brighter and feels more modern. And it’s built to technical standards that will allow for us to do much more with it in the coming years.

We’d love to get your feedback! Leave a message in the comments section below or write to


Transition Bay – Pecha Kucha Presentation

Our hats off to Kim Dunn, a graduate student in the Master of Resource and Environmental Management program at Dalhousie University, Halifax, and a member of the St Margarets Bay community!  Kim has created a Pecha Kucha, which is a Japanese-style creative presentation, about the global Transition Network and Transition Bay St. Margaret’s.

A Pecha Kucha is a presentation format in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each (six minutes and 40 seconds in total), which keeps presentations concise and fast-paced.

Sister Transition Initiative

Transition Bay St Margarets has partnered with Transition Town Guildford, outside of Perth, Australia  


Transition Bay St. Margaret’s is pleased to announce an informal twinning with Transition Town Guildford in Western Australia. Each Transition Initiative is a local group dealing with resilience issues in their area, but the Transition Movement as a whole is world-wide in scope. The twinning illustrates this wide scope as these two transition initiatives are very nearly on the opposite sides of the earth from each other.


The twinning came about when Cam Farnell, a member of Transition Bay St. Margaret’s, was in Western Australia to attend the wedding of his daughter Kim Farnell, who lives near Perth and is a member of Transition Town Guildford. Informal discussion made it clear that, while geographically the two initiatives are about as far apart as it is possible to be, they share many, many goals and challenges in common.


Creating reciprocal links between the initiatives seemed like an obvious way to highlight the wide scope and common purpose of the Transition movement. We encourage people to check the out their web site to see what a similar group is doing on the other side of the earth. This twinning also helps to illustrate that we have but one earth and that it is quite finite. From Halifax if you were to go straight down, and just a touch north, you would pop out about 12,000 Km later at Perth, Australia. That’s about 1/30th the distance to the moon and it’s the only planet we have.


Carats – Local Currency Launched!

St Margaret’s Bay’s First Local Currency

This summer, Transition Bay launched its first local currency, called “Carats.”  Three St Margarets Bay area farmers are already using the currency to pay their helpers with farm chores and harvesting.

carats - 10


Area vegetable gardeners and small farm operators can always use help, but often do not want to pay cash for the help.  They may be willing to pay in vegetables, but veggies are mostly available towards the end of the season and most of the help is needed in the spring.

As a solution, gardeners and farmers can now print and issue their own currency!   Their hired help gets paid with this local currency during the season, and the currency gets redeemed at any time during the season for the market value of vegetables.  Hence – the “Carat” – a local garden currency!

Workers get paid first by gaining knowledge and experience in gardening.  They also get paid in Carats at a pre-agreed rate per hour, and can exchange their Carats at any time with the gardener for the fair market value of the vegetables.  Or, they can use them as currency to pay for any other goods and services, and the folks who received them in payment can come to the gardener for redemption.   The gardener becomes the ‘Central Bank’ and is backing the currency in vegetables.

For any additional information and updates about Carats, visit Transition Bay’s Carat page, here.

To become an issuer of Carats or a worker at a local garden or farm, contact::


What if a simple sticker could change the world

We  want  municipalities  to  pass  by-laws  requiring  gas  retailers  to  place  climate  change  warning  labels  on  their  gas  pump  nozzles,  just  like  those  on  cigarette  packages.

Face The Change – Our Horizon

Face The Change

Empower youth on our cross-Canada tour to make climate change history!


Executive Director Rob Shirkey at our Crowd Fund Launch, July 2013
A Simple Idea
Our Horizon was started by a municipal lawyer, Rob Shirkey, with the simple yet unique idea to take a bottom-up approach in addressing climate change: we want municipalities to pass by-laws requiring gas retailers to place climate change warning labels on their gas pump nozzles, just like those on cigarette packages.
It’s a low-cost, common sense idea that already has the support of many orgs, and is quickly spreading beyond Canada – just yesterday well-known American environmentalist Bill McKibben of 350,org tweeted out his own support, and we’ve been featured in press as far away as Germany. We’d really appreciate it if you could share your support too, and we’d be happy to share the love in return:

An Honest Place to Start

Our campaign is just one of the many pieces required in the huge battle for a healthier, more livable world, but it is an important piece because it’s all about honesty. The fact is, while burning fossil fuels has many benefits, we also know it contributes to climate change by changing the basic chemistry of our atmosphere, and it’s time to be honest about that. Our labels challenge our entire society to have the courage to honestly face climate change, and in doing so, move us to a place where we are ready to develop and embrace real solutions.

Better, more efficient vehicles. Better public transit. Better ways of getting from A to B, period. Better methods of generating the power we use on a day-to-day basis. All of this equals a better future. Our labels provide relevant information to the market to help encourage a market shift in a safer, more sustainable direction. They’re the little idea that has the potential to make a very big impact, and serve as a catalyst to all kinds of other innovative climate change solutions.
It all starts with honestly looking at where the current direction leads us.

A student warning label made during
one of our in-class workshops.

We’ve made several inspiring videos exploring the vision, theory and common questions behind our concept. We are genuinely interested in your input on our project, and in building lasting relationships with other hardworking planet-savers.

Supply and Demand

Our concept connects all of us to one of the big issues that keeps us from acting on climate change – our continuing demand for fossil fuels – right at the point of purchase, challenging this unhealthy dependency. If we want to stop many of the negative impacts of the supply-side of extracting fossil fuels – from the tar sands, to pipelines, to coal mines, deep-sea drilling etc. – then we need a two-pronged approach, and we especially need to reduce demand for the fuel products these industries are selling as we start shifting towards alternatives.

Some of us might say: aren’t government and industry the only ones to blame for the mess we’re in? While we recognize that some share in responsibility far more than others, we also see that all our actions matter, and that supply and demand are tightly intertwined. Big industry relies on a big market to buy all the products they’re selling. When we move together, we the consumers have the power to start shifting this market. Our labels will help us to move in a better direction together.

A Qualitative Approach

Carbon pricing will provide the necessary quantitative signal to move markets; what we’re advocating for is different, but complimentary: a qualitative signal that connects us to the true humanity of the problem, and recognizes that ultimately, we  can never measure the true value of life. We feel that this solution has the potential to move us as moral beings in a way that pricing signals often can’t, and will set a strong foundation on which many other solutions can take root.At the bottom of our labels will also be a link to a useful website called We Can Do Better, that will explore some of the options and alternatives available to us, challenging both individuals, government and industry to generally “do better”. We know that our society is capable of much, much better if only we would try.
We believe that, for the sake of both present and future generations, we can do better.
By passing this simple by-law, we can encourage all to become “Climate Change Champions”.
We need to be challenged if we are to solve climate change, yet currently there is no permanent signal in our culture telling us of the dangers of fossil fuels, which is one big reason why our markets fail to address these dangers. Our labels are that signal, and we have a plan in place to get them onto gas pumps first in Canada, and then all over the world. All our lives, burning fossil fuels has been a normal act that has gone unquestioned: these labels challenge us to think about the impacts of our energy use, and do better. By supporting us in working to pass this by-law, you can help make climate change history.
Please show your support
Please show your support for our recently launched Indiegogo crowd fund in support of our upcoming cross-Canada tour, where we’ll be encouraging Canadians coast-to-coast – particularly youth – to advocate for this idea. In the battle for a livable planet, we recognize that there is strength in numbers – share us and we will be happy to do the same by calling out a big THANK YOU to you on Facebook and other social media.

We appreciate everyone’s support, and want nothing more than to see the whole world honestly stepping up to face climate change, and in doing so create a much brighter horizon. Thank you for all the hard work both you and your group are up to. We look forward to hearing from you as together we #FaceTheChange.

Kai and the Team at Our Horizon

Stewardship Association and Transition Bay Receive Second Grant for Community Resilience

For immediate release: Sept 12, 2012

The St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association together with Transition Bay St Margarets received one of six grants awarded to Nova Scotia community organizations in the second round of funding from the Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia.  The $11,900 grant was awarded to continue the development of Transition Bay St Margarets.

Transition Bay St Margarets ( is part of an international movement dedicated to following and extending the innovative Transition Town model.  Thousands of Transition Initiatives worldwide are each unique responses to the need for resilience at the community level in order to address the many possible impacts due to economic fragility, uncertainty of energy supply or environmental change in the years ahead.  Transition Bay St Margarets is the first registered Transition Initiative in the province of Nova Scotia, with over 60 other registered transition communities across Canada.

“Transition Bay has been in existence for 18 months, and in that short time there has been enormous uptake from the community,” said Robert Cervelli, Chair of Transition Bay St Margarets. “We continue to have sold-out educational events, and several great projects have gotten started through volunteers.”  This last summer, Transition Bay planted the Educational Vegetable Garden, located at the Crossroads, and the group was instrumental in the launch of the Tantallon Village Farmer’s Market.  Other projects in the study phase include the idea of a local currency, and a local biodiesel generation facility.  Educational events have included four-season food gardening, permaculture and transition training.  An event entitled Scenario Planning was also just held on September 15th which initiated discussions and planning around possible impacts that global changes could have on the community.

“The economy and the environment are dauntingly big issues , “explains Robert Ziegler, Chair of the St Margarets Bay Stewardship Association, “but I find the Transition movement has a useful saying to put these big issues in context: ‘If we wait for governments to act, it may be too late. If we act as individuals, the effect is too little. If we act as a community, however, there is a chance that significant change can happen in time.’”

The Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia awarded the grants for the coming year through its Rural Innovation Fund.  Backing for the Rural Innovation Fund was provided by the Nova Scotia Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. The Rural Innovation Fund supports initiatives that support the resiliency and sustainability of communities, that strengthen and build on resources within the community, and that enhance community leadership.  “We greatly appreciate the vote of confidence and support from the Rural Communities Foundation through this second grant,” said Cervelli.

Upcoming events sponsored by Transition Bay include a Food Preservation Workshop on Sunday, October 21st at the Superstore Community Room, and “The Great Unleashing” on the weekend of Nov 23-25.  The Great Unleashing will be a coordinated region-wide exposé and open house of groups involved with community resilience, with representatives and information presented from around the region.

To learn more about the St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association and its other projects in our community, see   To learn more about Transition Bay St Margarets upcoming events, see


Four Season Gardening Workshop – A huge Success!

The Tantallon Public Library featured an all-­‐day workshop on Transition Gardening for Four Seasons recently on Saturday, October 22nd, conducted by Transition Bay St Margarets. The event filled the library meeting room with over 75 people to hear local gardening experts. Bob Cervelli introduced the mission of Transition Bay St Margarets and MC-­‐ed the event. Jayme Melrose spoke about the basic themes of Permaculture design for the garden and surrounding areas, Niki Jabbour spoke on four season gardening and Phil Warman spoke on soil amendments and composting. The day was highlighted by an incredible lunch catered by Chris and Melissa Velden of Flying Apron Cookery, which used locally grown vegetables and featured a squash and kale soup, a vegetable curry and meat vegetable wraps. Our day completed with tours of three lovely sites demonstrating successful Four Seasons Gardening. Even the weather blessed us with glorious sunny warmth. “We spent a wonderful day learning about year-­‐round vegetable gardening and touring fabulous gardens in St. Margarets Bay. Its inspiring to be engaged with so many with this wonderful Transition Gardening movement,” enthused workshop participant Alan Chilton, in one of numerous such comments. The theme of transition gardening is to inspire and educate area residents about the value of having a vegetable garden, and also how to extend to all four seasons to include winter harvests! The workshop recognized that the vast majority of the food consumed in Nova Scotia is imported over long distances, and that producing food locally increases community resilience to any disruptions of those food import supply chains. The workshop was conducted as part of Transition Bay’s goal of educating residents about various ways the community can buildresilience to potentially significant changes in the global economy, energy supplies and environment. We wish to warmly thank every person who participated. Together we made a memorable event.

Stewardship Association Receives Grant to Explore Community Resilience

For immediate release: Sept 21, 2011

The St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association was one of seven Nova Scotia community
organizations to receive a 2011 grant from the Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia.
The grant was awarded for community building, and will be developed in partnership with the
Transition Bay St Margarets group. The proposed project will create opportunities for our
community to explore resilience in the face of future uncertainties in the economy, energy supply
and ecology.

“The uncertainties that the world and the Bay community face are difficult to anticipate,”
admitted Stewardship Association Chair Robert Ziegler. “Can any of us imagine what effect a
dramatic increase in the price of oil would do to our community? Or a storm surge that washes
out multiple sections of our coastal roads? It’s difficult, but it’s probably a good idea to think the
various possibilities through before something happens rather than after.”
The Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia awarded the grants for the coming year
through its Rural Innovation Fund. Backing for the Rural Innovation Fund, which will run for
two years, was provided by the Nova Scotia Department of Economic and Rural Development
and Tourism. The Rural Innovation Fund supports initiatives that support the resiliency and
sustainability of communities, that strengthen and build on resources within the community, and
that enhance community leadership.

“There are lots of things that we as a community can do to prepare for the possible challenges,”
said Robert Cervelli, a Coordinator of Transition Bay St Margarets. “Local gardening and
agriculture helps moderate the rising price of food, and fostering local economies helps keep our
purchasing dollars local.” The project, which will extend through summer of next year, will follow
the example of a number of Transition Initiatives worldwide — communities that have reduced
their energy dependence, fostered sustainable practices, and built local economies while doing so.
Overall the project has three phases, according to Cervelli. The first — over the course of the Fall
and Winter — is a series of presentations and workshops to learn about the best practices
achieved by other resilient communities. The second phase — to take place in late winter or early
spring — will explore specific risks facing the St. Margarets Bay area. And the third phase will
facilitate community conversations and collaborations around pilot projects.
“There is a general understanding especially about the economic and ecological challenges we
face, ” explained Ziegler, “If we wait for governments to act, it may be too late. If we act as
individuals, the effect is too little. If we act as a community, however, there is a chance that
significant change can happen in time.”

A film about Transition Initiatives and an introduction to Transition Bay St Margarets
will be shown at the Tantallon Library on Thursday 29 September at 7:00 p.m. All are
warmly invited. For more information, contact Robert Cervelli
( or Robert Ziegler ( To learn
more about the St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association and its other projects in our
community, see
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