The Who, Where and Why of What We Do

Felt Art with Marla Webber
Felt Art with Marla Webber
"Clown Pants" by Peter Blais
"Clown Pants" by Peter Blais
Acrylic Painting with Peter Blais
Acrylic Painting with Peter Blais

Why We Are:

The Society was formed in November 2013 with founding directors Tom Alway, Peter Blais, Barbara Thomson, Louise Pentz and Linda Macdonald. Originally PRACS was formed to fill the gap in advertising and promotion of this unique piece of the Maritimes and the wealth of artisans who live and work here. The ideals that grew are holistic, stemming from an artistic stand point, with a community based appreciation of the peoples, flora & fauna, and the history of the area. 

Where We Are:

The Petite Riviere and LaHave areas along the South Shore of Nova Scotia have much to brag about. Nestled along the Atlantic Ocean the beaches here attract thousands of visitors every season. Risser's Beach and Provincial Park, Crescent Beach renown for surfing, the historic LaHave River and its Cable ferry, Green Bay Beach and Cherry Hill Beach each offering a unique waterfront experience.

The history of the area begins with its original Mi'kmaq caretakers who portaged the Petite river by birch bark canoe. Champlain mapped the area in 1604 while his ship anchored in Green Bay. The first permanent European settlement and capital of New France was at Fort Saint Marie de Grace, which is now a museum and heritage park at the mouth of the LaHave river.                                                                                                              The area now consists of many small communities with scenic beauty worthy of discovery and is home to established craftspeople, artists, and winemakers. The area is considered one of the 10 best branded areas in all of Nova Scotia for art and wine, and boasts 8 of the "Best of" or "Hidden Gems" in the Lunenburg County area. Certainly Petite Riviere, LaHave and the surrounding areas have become a major destination in Nova Scotia.

Who We Are: PRACS 2017 Board of Directors                                         

Marla Webber
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Cathie, gift shop
Leitha Haysom

Barbara Thomson, President: Barbara grew up in Halifax-Dartmouth, NS and has always been interested in arts & literature. She attended Mount St. Vincent as an English major and later graduated with a fine Arts Degree and an Art History minor from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design. She also completed a Architectural Design & Structural Engineering Diploma which lead to a 25 year career in Interior Design at Lindsay Construction and Doucet-Watts& Davis. Since 2010 Barbara has been the Owner-President and Lead Wine maker of Petite Riviere Vineyards. She achieved a certificate from the Canadian School of Nutrition, studied the science if wine making in California, and became a certified Sommelier. Today she continues to enjoy life at the winery and Petite Riviere with its many beautiful beaches. 

Marla Webber, Vice President & Webmaster: Thrives on rural living in the village of Petite Riviere with her husband of 25yrs, 3 children, dog and many chickens. She has an eclectic soul enjoying sailing, archery, crafting of all sorts and gardening most of all. Marla believes whole-heartedly that volunteering makes for strong communities. She was recognized in 2016 by the Province of Nova Scotia for her outstanding volunteer contributions. Besides PRACS, she currently volunteers for the Petite Riviere Community Park, the Association of Nova Scotia Museums, and the Lunenburg County Historical Society. Marla graduated in 1995 from Carleton University in Ontario with a Combined Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Biology. She is most proud of the work she has done over the past six years at Fort Point Museum in LaHave, as the Curator of Collections. And she welcomes all locals and visitors alike to come say Hi, and tour the new exhibits.


Maureen McKeller, Treasurer: Originally from Boston, Maureen has been a permanent resident of Canada since 1991 when she moved to Toronto. She enjoyed a progressive career in the Information &Technology field both in Boston and Toronto and has extensive experience in an array of industries including academics, entertainment, and retail. Maureen and her husband moved to NS in 2007 to follow their dream of a better quality of life. After semi-retirement Maureen returned to full time work in 2014 as Manager, Sales & Events at Petite Riviere Vineyards. She oversees the retail of the wine shop, events, restaurant sales, farmers markets, and various administrative duties. Maureen lives in Petite Riviere, enjoys the area arts culture and is always happy to contribute to her local community.


Catherine Pincombe, Director & Map Editor: Originally from a rural area in Ontario just north of Toronto. After graduating from the Ontario College of Art, she had a lengthy career as an Interior Designer in Toronto. Catherine moved to England in 1992 and continued her work in London until 2007 when the call of Canada beckoned her home. She moved to Mill Village where she continues to live with her partner and Australian Shepard. Retirement was in the plan but Catherine soon went looking for a new challenge. She found the perfect fit as Manager of the Gift Shop at White Point Beach Resort just outside of Liverpool.

Leitha Haysom, Diretor & Map Editor: Leitha has lived on the South Shore for most of her life. She has always been focused on community involvement. From working with the Second Story Women's Center to helping promote music with Little River Folk and everything in between, Leitha is committed to supporting all that our community has to offer. Leitha lives in Crousetown with her husband and daughter and is excited to share her energy and skills this year with the PRACS team of all female Directors. 



Wendy Mitchner, Director & Map Editor: Was born and raised on the West Coast believes choosing the "best" coast 16 years ago for retirement was an awesome decision. Wendy has lived, attended University, and worked in 6 provinces. She considers herself first a Canadian but a Nova Scotian by choice. The South Shore has it all...wonderful people, outstanding art, elbow room and beaches beyond compare. In 2005 Wendy opened Best Coast Coffee Gallery catering to locals and visitors with innovative lunches and a gallery for local artists. Although the Gallery is closed this year, she has enjoyed the 11 years of great service meeting folks from all over the world and introducing them to our village and the artists/artisans of the area. Wendy is looking forward to working with PRACS and continuing her love of art. Along with her husband her commitment to life on the shore is complete.

Nancy MacIntosh, Secretary: Has been coming to Green Bay every summer since she was born since her mother was born and raised here. The family has operated MacLeod Cottages and Canteen for almost 100years. Her career has always been in education and she started her training at Acadia University, then on to Boston College, and lastly Mount St Vincent University. Until she started working with the school board, her teaching focused on deaf-blind, deaf/HOH and Blind/VI populations. She has been gradually assuming responsibility along with her brother for the operation and expansion of MacLoad Cottages and Canteen. Nancy loves being home again! One of the main reasons she chose to volunteer with PRACS was her belief in community and the wealth of amazing people and talent that exist here. She looks forward to working with a group of people with similar beliefs and wide range of talents.

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