Temple on Queen, owned by Cindy MacDonald and co-managed with partner Jennifer D’Aubin, opened its doors earlier this summer, holding an open house and catering to a number of private functions such as birthday parties, the local chamber annual general meeting, several weddings and a sold out public house night, where food, drink and music were in order.
“We have been getting good feedback,” said D’Aubin. “The building holds a bit of intrigue for a lot of people. I grew up in Bridgetown and I had never been in the building. Most people in the area haven’t been inside. Unless you were a Mason, you didn’t go in.”
To help spread the word of the new venue, Temple on Queen initiated an online wedding contest in June offering the venue and catering service to the winners.
“Basically, was looking at ways to highlight the venue and promote ourselves,” said D’Aubin. “Initially, it was just going to be the venue and catering.”
But once they started contacting other vendors and businesses, there were a lot who were interested in donating services and expertise, she said. In return, their support was promoted.
Gifts of flowers, photography and a DJ, along with some unique things like sketch artist Jamie Lee Lightle onsite sketching during the wedding, a bagpiper and a one-hour musical performance by Idol Threats for cocktail hour were among the prizes donated.
“It was pretty darned amazing,” said D’Aubin.
All told, it ending up being a prize package worth $10,000. D’Aubin said the business received 15 entries in the contest, receiving 40,000 views on the post. The winners, announced on Aug. 1, are Tracy Banks and James Cooper.
“James and I are still in complete shock that we were fortunate enough to have been selected as the winners of Temple on Queen’s wedding giveaway,” said the happy couple in an email message. “We had just got engaged on June 23 and entered the contest on June 26. Four weeks later, after many sleepless nights and lots of amazing friends and family supporting us, we found out we had won!”
The couple recently started planning their wedding and have set the date as Oct. 14, 2017.
“The ladies from Temple on Queen have been absolutely amazing to work with so far and we can't thank them enough for all they've done and this incredible experience,” Banks and Cooper added.
“We also want to say a huge thank you to all of the local businesses who donated their services and will help make our day so amazing. Bridgetown truly is a beautiful town with the kindest people.”
Besides working collaboratively with other local businesses, which is how Temple on Queen wants to roll, the contest also showed that “every single thing you need to do a wonderful, spectacular wedding is right here in the area,” said D’Aubin.
“The goal moving forward is to rent out the venue not just for weddings, but also by the hour,” she said, for whatever celebration or gathering patrons want to have. In addition, Temple on Queen plans to host two monthly events: a dinner night and a pub night with live entertainment.
“We have two events coming up. The first one is sold out. The second one, featuring jazz performer Suzie Vinnick, is almost sold out.”
Temple on Queen was originally a Presbyterian Church, which opened in 1871. It was purchased in 1925 by the Rothsay Lodge of the Masonic Order. MacDonald bought the building in 2009.
“The building is an excellent example of late nineteenth-century Gothic Revival style architecture with elements such as the steeply pitched gable roof, a large Gothic window in the front, narrow lancet windows in the side elevations and stone-capped brick buttresses,” states the Temple on Queen website.
The fact that the building is constructed of brick makes it somewhat more distinctive than many other churches of similar design in Nova Scotia. The brick used in its construction was locally made by Edward Walker in his kiln at nearby Carleton Corner.