Backbone Staff

Matt Spurway, Dartmouth North Community Coordinator and Bette Watson-Borg, Project Leader

Matt Spurway, Dartmouth North Community Coordinator

Matt brings to Between the Bridges over 20 years of experience in the private, public, and not-for profit sectors and a passion for making a positive impact in his hometown of Dartmouth. He is an active volunteer with a number of organizations and an engaged father of three daughters. Matt is an optimist who believes in the power of patience and persistence to achieve radical change.

Working directly in and with community, Matt’s role as community coordinator is to help identify and support local residents, and leaders from public, private and not-for profit organizations to come around the same “tables” to identify issues and find solutions to the priority issues of the community.

His favourite related quote is:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Bette Watson-Borg, Project Leader

Bette brings to between the Bridges over 30 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector across Canada and HRM. She has a passion for initiatives that build capacity and develop leadership in people determined to make a difference in their community. Bette’s role includes identifying and working with resident leaders and senior representatives from across levels and departments of government, community organizations and private sector to identify the issues, work with data for decision making and together generate new solutions to complex issues. As a certified leadership coach, Bette believes that the solutions we seek are out there, and if we engage people with the time and safe space to unpack the issues, there are no limits to what is possible.

Her favourite related quote is:

“Every single person has skills, abilities and gifts – What are yours?” – John McKnight, Author of “Building Communities from the Inside Out”

Miranda Cobb, ResearchEvaluation (On Maternity Leave)

Miranda supports evaluation and learning for Inspiring Communities as a whole, WeavEast and Between the Bridges. She works closely with the teams to create a culture of reflection and adaptation through developmental evaluation and process facilitation. Miranda brings curiosity and a sense of exploration to her goal of amplifying innovation in complex systems change work. She has 15 years of experience in research, evaluation and community development including a Master’s in Political Economy and a Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation and Systems Thinking. After journeying to many parts of the world, Miranda feels most at home here in Nova Scotia and is dedicated to collective efforts that help it shine even brighter!

Her favourite related quote is:

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love


Gregory Woolner, ResearchEvaluation (Maternity leave cover)

Gregory is a lifelong learner dedicated to tackling social and environmental challenges one step at a time through collaboration and research. With an academic background in Sociology and Adult Education, and as a partner of COLAB, he brings many years of experience in program design, facilitation, evaluation, and project management. Lately his work has been split between initiatives that seek to increase civic participation (currently leading a year long public engagement process to develop the new Master Plan for the Halifax Common) and working as developmental evaluator on regional and national efforts, including work with NouLab – NB’s Social and Public Innovation Lab, Canada’s EcoFiscal Commission, the Pan Canadian Joint Consortium on School Health, and The Donner Canadian Foundation. 

In his mid-twenties, while facilitating hundreds of interactive music workshops across Ontario, he realized that supporting people to create new and exciting things together was his calling in life.