Q+A with Vince Forrestall

Vince Forrestall and his daughter Jenna in Ingonish.

Vince Forrestall is Victoria County’s Naturally Active Physical Activity Strategy Coordinator. He lives in Baddeck.

This weekend he is hosting the First Annual Victoria County Relay for Health, along with the Victoria County Memorial Hospital Charitable Foundation.

It will be part of the Victoria County Naturally Active Fall Harvest Fest and will be held October 13, 10 am to 1 pm (Rain date: Oct 14, 1-4 pm). According to Vince, “It includes a 1 miler run, bike or walk for the younger participants; 3 km, 5 km and 10 km run, bike or walk; mascots; barbeque; prizes; bounce inflatables; certificates; t-shirts for those that raise $20; Candy Drop (have to add a little sweetness to the event); physical activity and preparing healthy foods demonstrations.”

It will be at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, in Baddeck. For more information check out Vince’s Facebook page or Twitter, or email him: vince.forrestall@countyvictoria.ns.ca

Vince Forrestall and friends on a recent hike in the Highlands.

1. How old are you?

47 years young!

2. Biography, please! (I.e. where do you come from, where do you live now, what education/jobs have you  had, what is your job, do you have a family, etc)

Born in Middleton, NS – My dad was in the military, so we were stationed in CFB Greenwood, Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, and Summerside, PEI. Home is Mulgrave. I’m now living in the old Switchboard in the heart of the village of Baddeck.

While attending school, I enjoyed summer recreation positions, such as playground supervisor, recreation leader + coordinator, baseball instructor, etc. My background is in recreation sports + leisure and have my Recreation Administration Diploma that I got in PEI.

Positions I’ve enjoyed to gain valuable experience to get me to where I am now (Victoria County Naturally Active Physical Activity StrateGy Coordinator) included recreation director for Cornwall, PEI; Canadian Powerlifting Championships Coordinator, Charlottetown;  community development coordinator, Yarmouth; – recreation director New Minas, Kings County;  Recreation Coordinator at Landmark East School.

I currently live in Baddeck with wife Carolyn (who is from Naufrage, PEI) and our daughter Jenna, who just turned two, while our oldest daughter lives in New Minas and works at Sole Provider in Kentville. My grandfather worked on the railway ferry to Cape Breton, and when they built the Canso Causeway he went to Yarmouth to work on the Bluenose and that is where dad and mom met – so I’ve got relatives in Yarmouth, Halifax, Mulgrave, Aulds Cove and PEI.

3. What’s your father’s name?

Dad’s name was Vincent James Depaul Forrestall. He passed away in Feb 2008.

4. What are your top five fave hikes in Victoria County?

My top 5 hikes in VC: Sugar Loaf, Money Gulch, Franey, Uisge Ban Falls, MacMillans Mtn. I enjoyed the microwave towers, Smokey Mtn and the Smokey trail. I haven’t tried North River Falls trail yet, so there are a lot of great trails still to try, and to be naturally active. And I am sure there are great trails that residents enjoy that I never mentioned.

5. What does “active living” mean to you? (This could be a definition, or what it means personally to you to be living actively, or however you want to interpret it!)

Active living to me means moving – being active daily while eating fruit and vegetables. A variety of activity and foods makes for not the same things each day – a mxture of physical activity, sports, recreation + leisure…

6. What part of active living does eating local play?

Eating local plays a big role in active living in Victoria County – we have seen the new community garden built this year – so residents are growing their own foods and learning the skills required to grow, leading to success through raised beds. We also had a kitchen garden all planned down north, but it was unfortunately cancelled at the last minute.

We hope to partner with the Baddeck Market to promote walking to that market from a central location benefitting those buying local. There isn’t as much farming as there used to be in the past, so initiatives [like the Market] hopefully will increase growers in the county equalling more local food available to residents supporting the growers.

7. Finish this sentence: “Cape Breton needs…”

Cape Breton needs investment for families and rural areas. We need to grow our tax base through increased population from increased employers, an increase in immigrants and establishment of trade schools. When we increase our tax base , it allows for money for recreation, parks, trails, facilities, etc.

8. Dream big with me: if you had a magic wand and could change one thing in CB for the better, what would it be?

I would not change a thing about CB. We live in the greatest place on the world. Our natural environment allows for a healthy society – we are the outdoor destination of Nova Scotia. A transit study is underway, so I feel that will be in place shortly to meet the accessible transportation needs of our residents.

Meet another of Cape Breton’s Physical Activity Coordinator in this interview I did with Wayne McKay, who works for the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness.

For more Q+As with Cape Breton residents, click here to go to the page of all the interviews.

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