Nova Scotia

Queens County family's Nova Scotia Strong wooden flower project blossoms

A Nova Scotia family making wooden flowers that resemble the provincial flag are seeing huge demand for their product. "Every morning I wake up and there are more people who want these flowers," said James Grant.

$5 from each flower sold goes to bursary for Colchester County students

A Nova Scotia family making wooden flowers that resemble the provincial flag are seeing huge demand for their product. "Every morning I wake up and there are more people who want these flowers," said James Grant. 1:51

It's a long drive from James Grant's wood shop in Milton, Queens County, to Colchester County. But there is a lot of love and support for the families of the 22 victims whose lives were taken last month following one man's rampage through central Nova Scotia.

Grant, along with his wife, Tanya, and their 11-year-old daughter, Abby, are building wooden flowers meant to resemble Nova Scotia's flag. The project is called the Nova Scotia Strong Flower Fund.

The idea of a "Nova Scotia flower" came from a family member and when a pic of the prototype was posted on Facebook, it blew up from there.

"Every morning I wake up and there are more people who want these flowers," said James Grant, a truck driver who does woodworking as a hobby.

But the hobby is now an obsession. Made from Nova Scotia white pine, eight of the flower petals are white, four are blue and the centrepiece is yellow with either a heart or the Nova Scotia coat of arms on it.

James Grant cuts slabs of white pine into flower petals. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

The number of orders the Grants are getting for the wooden flowers has hit a staggering 1,500 in just a couple of weeks. They can only produce about 25 a day, so keeping up is a big task.

Each flower costs $25 and $5 from each flower sold will go to a bursary.

"We were in a bit of turmoil as to what we should do with this money so that community would benefit from it," said Tanya Grant. "With me being a licensed practical nurse for a number of years, we decided to open up a bursary in memory of Kristen Beaton and Heather O'Brien."

Heather O'Brien, left, and Kristen Beaton both worked for the Victorian Order of Nurses and were victims in last month's mass shooting in Nova Scotia. (GoFundMe/The Canadian Press/GoFundMe/The Canadian Press)

Beaton and O'Brien both worked for the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) and were two of the victims in last month's mass shooting.

The Grant family is setting up two $500 bursaries, beginning this school year, for two Colchester County students planning to enter the continuing care assistant program or licensed practical nurse program.

"Right now, we can sustain that for at least the next five years, but I'm getting new orders every day and I hope this never stops," said James Grant.

Grant and her daughter, Abby, paint the flower pieces before they are nailed and screwed together. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

The Grants never expected their wooden flower project to take off like it has.

They've had orders from almost every Canadian province and territory, and even one order from a family in Italy.

Even though the Grants both have full-time jobs, no matter how much time and effort is required and how many orders come in, they say they will get them all done.

If you are seeking mental health support during this time, here are resources available to Nova Scotians.

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