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Halifax

HOT ENTERTAINMENT

SHOW TIME
A trio of popular consumer shows return to Halifax Exhibition Centre on Prospect Road.
• March 1–3: Discover the the latest technology, new rides, demos, and more at the Motorcyle and Powersport Show.
• March 8–10: The Atlantic Outdoor Sports & RV Show brings five shows together: camping, hunting/fishing, motorsports, travel, and family fun.
• March 29–31: Planning to build a new home? Renovate? Redecorate? You’ll find products, ideas, inspiration, and expert advice aplenty at the Spring Ideal Home Show.

THE NATURE OF THINGS
Continuing through April 14
With The Memorialist, D’Arcy Wilson offers a surreal look at the contradictions between how we concurrently exploit and try to preserve nature. Wilson works with photography, video, a diorama, a selection of museum and archival objects, and performances. See it at Dalhousie University Art Gallery on University Avenue.

WEST GOES EAST
March 26
Live Art Dance continues its mission of showcasing top contemporary dance from across the country, welcoming Ballet BC. The 16 dancers will perform works by Crystal Pite and Medhi Walerski, plus a new work by Emily Molnar.

ROCK ON
March 26
Head to Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street to revisit the glory days of ‘80s hair rock, as the Rock of Ages Tenth Anniversary Tour comes to town, featuring the music of Twisted Sister, Whitesnake, Poison, Styx, and many others.

THE SONGWRITERS’ CRAFT
March 15
Bruce Guthro’s Songwriters’ Circle returns to the Schooner Showroom at Casino Nova Scotia. The eponymous local musician invites three friends to join him to jam and explore the songwriters’ craft.

MUSIC-LOVERS’ TRIFECTA
• March 9: The Dartmouth Community Concert Association hosts Sonic Escape—violinist Maria Millar and flutist Shawn Wyckoff—at Woodlawn United Church. The duo performs Four Seasons Rising, a composition that aims to inspire people to take earth-friendly actions.
• March 16–17: Baroque violinist extraordinaire Jeanne Lamon rejoins Symphony Nova Scotia at St. Matthew’s United Church
(page EC5) for works by Bach, Marcello, and Handel.
• March 30: The Cecilia Concert Series at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts features violinist Kerson Leong, performing Eugène Ysaÿe’s six solo sonatas.

 

PEOPLE & PLACES
Continuing through March 31
Focusing on Mi’kmaq and Beothuk visual culture, Jordan Bennett uses painting, sculpture, video, installation, and sound to explore themes of land, language, the act of visiting, and familial ties. See his exhibition Ketu’elmita’jik at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on Hollis Street.

MARCH

March 3
Thank You For Being A Friend
Billed as “the ultimate Golden Girls experience” this not-for-kids puppet show is a loving tribute to the popular sit-com characters, with lots of familiar jokes, quips, and stories.

March 8, 9
Ria Mae
After soaring from Halifax to the top of the Canadian music scene, Mae returns to the Marquee on Gottingen Street for a pair of hometown shows.

March 16
Jeremy Hotz,
The woeful and long-suffering comic (a veteran of the festival circuit) returns, sharing life’s latest indignities at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

March 17
Neptune Theatre
Tonight is your last chance to see the classic farce Noises Off, with a cast that includes rising-star Kirsten Howell.

March 18
Royal Wood
The Ontario pop singer/songwriter turns east, touring material from his new album Ever After the Farewell.

March 21, 24
Symphony Nova Scotia
An old friend returns, as long-time composer-in-residence Dinuk Wijeratne (right) shares his new work Clarinet Concerto, written for his friend (and clarinet master) Kinan Azmeh.

HOT SHOPPING

CRYSTAL PALACE

The province’s only maker of fine, mouth-blown, hand-cut crystal, NovaScotian Crystal showcases Old World artistry. Visit the waterfront studio on George Street to see master craftsmen transform molten sand into fine crystal creations.

JEWELS OF THE SEA

Pearls are a classic and graceful look and Pearl City in Bishop’s Landing on Lower Water Street offers necklaces, bracelets, and more made of these lustrous gems. Choose from its varied collection or help design your own style. You can watch your pearl jewelry being hand-strung on-site by top craftsmen.

Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market

LOCAL HARVEST

  • Located in an innovative and architecturally acclaimed home on the waterfront, Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market is Nova Scotia’s largest and oldest farmers’ market. Browse through a huge array of local produce, meat, cheese, crafts, baked goods, craft beer, wine, cider, and more.
  • Located on the Dartmouth waterfront where the Halifax Transit ferry docks, the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market is a weekend tradition for many families, with live music and a variety of vendors.
  • The city’s newest farmers’ market has quickly become a local favourite. The Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market runs every Saturday morning at the Windsor Street institution, showcasing products and vendors you won’t find elsewhere.

TASTY TREATS

  • Spring is maple-syrup season! Take a drive west of Halifax to Acadian Maple in Upper Tantallon to stock up on this sweet treat. Pick up maple candies, sugars, or coffees. Gift baskets include various maple treats. Purists will find bottles of maple syrup that will get you through the season and beyond.
  • Local Source on Agricola Street brings the farm to urban shoppers. Pick from an abundance of fresh products, such as seasonal fruits and vegetables, cheese, meat, and seafood. The bakery offers goods made with fair-trade and locally-sourced ingredients baked on-site. An in-house dietitian is available for consultations and cooking classes.

Levi’s

SPRING INTO FASHION

  • At the Halifax Shopping Centre on Mumford Roads, Levi’s boasts a variety of brand-name denim fashions for men, women, and children.
  • On Spring Garden Road, Shop Olsen Europe has fresh new looks and trends. Inspired by styles on runways and in the streets, this line is known for its quality and sophistication. Fabrics chosen to reflect a company commitment to sustainability. Spring collections include New Romance, Sporty Sea, Gardenland, and Island Breeze.
  • In a Box on Dresden Row is a unique little department store specializing in edgy fashions for women. You’ll also find stylish accessories such as bracelets, scarves, and handbags.

HIGHLAND PROUD

Find your family tartan at Plaid Place in Barrington Place Shops and be fitted for a kilt, too. This is the place for everything Celtic. But there are more than kilts. Browse the selection of Buchan pottery (stoneware pottery made in Portobello, Scotland), hoodies, ties, socks,
gifts, and jewelry.

Concierge Q&A

Concierge_Penny-Cameron

Penny Cameron is the Regional Secretary for Les Clefs d’Or Atlantic Region and was the first female concierge in our region to receive the golden keys. After 30 years with The Prince George, she is now part of the concierge team at Parkland at the Gardens, a luxury retirement residence in Halifax.

What’s the best thing about March in Halifax? 
With milder temperatures, it is still a great time to go skating at the Oval on Halifax Common, where skates and equipment rentals are free (with ID). Many events are geared for March break with special exhibits like Dinosaurs Unearthed at the Museum of Natural History and the Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not at the Discovery Centre.

Where should visitors go for a unique only in Halifax dining experience?
For a seafood feast, try the famous Five Fishermen Restaurant, in a historic downtown building (originally a schoolhouse) that dates back to 1817. Or Chives Canadian Bistro on Barrington Street, owned by local Chef Craig Flinn, who showcases seasonal local ingredients on his ever-changing menu.

What’s a good place to relax and watch sports?
HFX Sports Bar & Grill is right downtown and within walking distance of the Scotiabank Centre—where the Halifax Mooseheads and Halifax Hurricanes play—and most hotels. Comfy couches, massive big screens, a relaxed menu and excellent beer selection; a great spot to meet friends and enjoy the game. Opens at 4pm daily.

If you only had one day in Halifax, how would you spend it?
Halifax is a great city to explore on foot. Take a map and know that really you can’t get lost if you can always see the Harbour! You could begin at the brand new Nova Centre and walk up the hill towards the Old Town Clock, along Brunswick Street, up Sackville, through the Halifax Public Gardens, along Spring Garden Road, and then head down to the waterfront, stopping at all the little restaurants, coffee shops, and unique boutiques along the way. Drop into the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and learn about the Halifax Explosion, plus the city’s connection to the Titanic disaster. Halifax is a very walkable city, despite the hills! If time allows, visit the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 —both offer unique Halifax experiences.

What’s the best spot to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
Haligonians become more Irish than the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day! The best spot to celebrate the event is at one of Halifax’s Irish pubs, and two favourites that also have excellent food and great music are Durty Nelly’s on Argyle Street and the Old Triangle Irish Alehouse on Prince Street. Expect a crowd—revellers will pack both spots.

What’s a good way to spend a blustery day in Halifax?
The Halifax Central Library on Spring Garden Road has everything you need for a few hours of calm relaxation on a blustery day. There’s a beautiful rooftop coffee shop with a great view of the city and a second coffee shop at ground level. The building offers free Wi-Fi, public computers, printing services, and often guest speakers and presentations in the theatre. And just a couple blocks away are the shops of Park Lane, plus Cineplex Theatres.

Spring into action

Sports, art, ocean explorations, even dinosaurs—Halifax is chockablock with family fun this month
By Trevor J. Adams

AUS Basketball Championships

Slam Dunk!
It’s championship-basketball season in Halifax, as Scotiabank Centre hosts three major tournaments. From March 1–3, the AUS Basketball Championships sees Atlantic Canada’s top men’s and women’s university teams battle for the regional titles. Then from March 8–10, the U Sport Men’s Basketball Final 8 comes to town, with top teams coast-to-coast competing for the national title.

Jurassic Museum
The Museum of Natural History on Summer Street boasts an array of permanent exhibitions, including Science on a Sphere, to learn about weather, shipping routes, and ocean currents. It’s home to Gus, the 96-year-old gopher tortoise who has delighted visitors for decades. And continuing through April, it features Dinosaurs Unearthed. This immersive exhibition, which has drawn rave reviews across North America, features lifelike animatronic dinosaurs, full-scale skeletons, and fossils from around the world.

Young Artistes
March Break is the perfect time to foster your budding artistes at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on Hollis Street. Events include March Break Art Classes from March 18–22—no experience necessary. Topics include painting and drawing, clay and sculpture, mixed media, and print-making. And of course, you’ll also find the usual vast selection of touring and permanent exhibitions, including works by acclaimed folk artist Maud Lewis.

Game On
The Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame at Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street is a riveting stop for sports fans of any age. Highlights include exclusive Sidney Crosby exhibits, Olympic artifacts, sports simulators, historic photos, and much more. Free admission; open before Halifax Mooseheads and Halifax Hurricanes games, plus 10am–5pm on weekdays.

Learning Made Fun
The Discovery Centre on Lower Water Street is the ideal spot to while away a blustery day. This huge, whimsical hands-on science centre is jam-packed with hands-on fun and interactive exhibits. This spring’s featured exhibit is The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not, sharing the science behind all manner of oddities and extraordinary feats. Special programming for March includes the Weather Wizard and Digital Discovery camps. See thediscoverycentre.ca for details.

Go Play Outdoors
Skating on the Oval on Halifax Common at the corner of North Park and Cogswell streets has become a rite of winter in Halifax—join the locals for a free whirl on the outdoor ice. No skates? No problem: free skate and helmet rentals are available on site with photo ID. It’s the largest outdoor refrigerated ice surface east of Quebec City. See halifax.ca/SkateHRM/index.php for skate times.

Ocean Mystery
With exhibitions on the Titanic, Halifax Explosion, world wars, and piracy, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is a hit with history buffs of any age—the ideal place to explore Nova Scotia’s seafaring history. Special programming for spring includes The Franklin Exploration, a look at the efforts to determine the fate of explorer John Franklin, who vanished in the Arctic archipelago, along with a crew of 134 men, some 170 years ago.

HOT DINING

WORLD OF WHISKY

March offers a final chance to experience the NSLC Festival of Whisky. On March 1, Lot Six hosts the Discover Irish Whiskey Dinner, featuring Emerald Isle classics like Jamieson’s, Green Spot, and Red Breast. Concurrently, the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront hosts the Discover the Distilleries of Scotland event, with tastings of Bowmore, Glenmorangie, and many more. Capping the festival back at the Harbourfront on March 2, the Grand Tasting, feature some 170 selections from around the world.

Lower Deck Pub

WHEN IRISH EYES ARE SMILIN’

  • On St. Patrick’s Day, the line will start forming at sun-up outside The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse on Prince Street. Enjoy traditional music throughout the day, a pint of ale from the old sod, and Irish cuisine like lamb stew.
  • A local favourite for a tipple with friends, Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub on Argyle Street boasts an array of popular pub grub, including Emerald Isle favourites like bangers and mash, fish and chips, and chicken curry. Wash it down with a local ale, or an imported Irish brew.
  • Steps from the waterfront in the Historic Properties, the Lower Deck Pub—Beer Market is the quintessential Maritime pub, with live music, craft beer aplenty, and a friendly convivial vibe.

THE FINER THINGS

Tucked away in historic Brewery Market on Lower Water Street, da Maurizio Fine Dining is a perennial local favourite. The rustic cuisine of Northern Italy inspires Chef Andrew King, as he offers classics like veal scaloppini sautéed with fresh lobster, seared breast of Brome Lake duck, and spice-crusted rack of lamb. An expertly curated wine list and top-notch service complement the experience.

Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse

JOINING FORCES

Halifax restaurateur Bill Pratt—the man behind local favourites Habanero’s, Cheese Curds, and Fish + Chix—recently teamed up with Prince Edward Island’s Upstreet Brewing to open a new barbecue joint in Dartmouth. Upstreet BBQ Brewhouse on Windmill Road offers the brewery’s distinctive craft beer and Southern staples aplenty: pulled pork, brisket, cheddar-and-beer sausage, and more.

Decadence, Feb 8, 2018

FESTIVAL OF FLAVOUR

Continuing through March 7, the Savour Food & Wine Festival features a series of special events celebrating the province’s culinary offerings. Highlights include Dine Around (special prix fixe menus at participating restaurants, showcasing local flavours) and the Decadence food-and-wine-pairing event at the Prince George Hotel on Market Street.

HISTORIC BREWS

Located in a heritage building on Lower Water Street, the Alexander Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery offers visitors a journey back in time. Costumed interpreters share the story of the historic brewery and its namesake founder (who was also mayor of Halifax). On site, brewmaster Stefan Gagliardi creates small-batch brews, offering tasty new options for fans of the ubiquitous Keith’s IPA.

FIERY FLAVOURS

Don’t let the humble exterior fool you: loyal foodies jam Mexico Lindo on Dutch Village Road every night of the week. Fiery home-style Mexican cuisine is the house specialty. The menu includes explosively flavourful offerings like burritos, enchiladas, chimichangas, tacos, and more.

The Winter Feast

 

The annual Savour celebration of Nova Scotian cuisine is a favourite with visitors and locals alike
By Trevor J. Adams

Savour Food & Wine festival

The Savour Food & Wine Festival has become a highlight of winter in Halifax. The year’s biggest celebration of Nova Scotia’s culinary scene runs through February and March, bringing together talented mixologists, innovative brewers, award-winning winemakers, and chefs, sharing their creations at several events.

“Since 2003, the Savour Food & Wine Festival has grown from a small show to a series of the exciting events that captures the essence of the food and beverage culture in Nova Scotia” says Gordon Stewart, executive director of the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia, which organizes the event. “Our 16th year marks the Savour Food & Wine Show as the best and largest restaurant and beverage show in Canada.”

Dine Around (continuing through February) is one of the cornerstones of Savour. The unique program invites restaurants around Nova Scotia to showcase local products, with offerings ranging in price from $25 to $45. Dishes will be a mix of three course prix-fixe menus, plus small plates. At press time, participating Halifax restaurants include Five Fishermen, Ryan Duffy’s, and The Auction House on Argyle Street.

On Feb. 7, the Lord Nelson Hotel on South Park Street hosts city’s definitive event for cocktail lovers: Imbibe. Nova Scotia’s top bartenders come together for one night to create 30+ sample-size cocktails, many showcasing local spirits and ingredients. Some 25 restaurants and bars are slated to take part.

Up next on Feb. 15 is the Rare & Fine Wine show at Casino Nova Scotia on Upper Water Street. This event is a must for serious wine aficionados. Sample top-scoring wines from Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Napa Valley, Piedmonte, Veneto, and Tuscany, amongst others. Relax to live jazz as you sample from our selection of 40+ wines, rated 90+ points by major wine publications—all available in Nova Scotia for the first time. Throughout the night, Bishop’s Cellar staff will be on hand to sell any wines you want to take home.

And just a night later on Feb. 16, head to the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market on Marginal Road for the Craft Beer Cottage Party. Sample beers from local and nearby craft breweries while you play summer games like washer toss, or chill in an Adirondack chair and enjoy the live music. There will be picnic tables and delicious beer-friendly food available for purchase. Ticket price includes unlimited beer samples.

The eponymous Savour Food & Wine Show on Feb. 28 is the biggest night of the festival. The Halifax Convention Centre on Argyle Street hosts some 100+ Nova Scotian restaurants and wine and beverage producers. Meet chefs and the people behind the creations while your taste buds run wild as you sample of local foods, cocktails, and wine presented by Nova Scotia’s finest.

Capping the festival on March 7 at the Prince George Hotel on Market Street is Decadence, a unique tasting event pairing wines with delectable savoury dishes and luscious desserts. Discover how wine pairings enhance both the sweet and savoury creations crafted by Nova Scotia Community College culinary-arts students. All dishes are designed and prepared by students of the Pastry Arts and Culinary Arts programs, under the direction of their chef-instructors.

HOT ENTERTAINMENT

MUSICAL MIX
• Jan. 18: The Dartmouth Community Concert Association hosts mezzo soprano Paula Rockwell and pianist Jennifer King. See them at Woodlawn United Church.
• Jan. 23: Rocker Bryan Adams returns to Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street, performing greatest hits like “Summer of ‘69” and “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You.”
• Jan. 24: Indie-rock singer/songwriter Dan Mangan is always a Halifax favourite. See him this time in the cozy confines of the Marquee Ballroom on Gottingen Street.

DREAM ON
Jan. 12
Every year, the Nova Scotia Mass Choir honours the work of Martin Luther King Jr. with The Dream Continues, a special concert at the Dalhousie Arts Centre featuring a selection of established and rising local musical talents performing music to stir the soul.

IN FOCUS
Feb. 7 to March 3
Visit The Craig Gallery at Alderney Landing in Dartmouth, where the Halifax Transit ferries dock, to discover art in a variety of media by talents from around the region. In February, it hosts Cellular Expressions, an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Maria Doering.

JOINING FORCES
Feb. 24
Halifax pianist Marc Djokic returns to his hometown stage at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing arts on Chebucto Road to join forces with Trio Tangere. Cecilia Concert Series presents the matinee concert, featuring works by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Astor Piazzolla, Claude Debussy, Christine Donkin, Matthias Maute, Béla Bartók, and Clarice Assad.

BRIDGING TWO WORLDS
Jan. 11, 12
With Man, Norwegian choreographer Sølvi Edvardsen marries his Nordic culture with the vibrancy of Southeast Asia. Live Art Dance presents Indian dancer Sudesh Adhana in a unique and provocative solo performance at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on University Avenue. He explores the concept of “man” in terms of masculinity and humanity as a whole.

Brides 2019/Photo: Alex MacAulay

SHOW TIME
• Jan. 20: Brides 2019 hosts some 135 wedding-related exhibitors. You’ll find florists, photographers, planners, decorators, caterers, and more. Discover it all for one day only at the Halifax Convention Centre on Argyle Street.
• Jan. 24 to 27: The Halifax RV Show at Halifax Exhibition Centre on Prospect Road is Atlantic Canada’s largest indoor RV event, featuring the latest models, destinations, products, and all the info you need for life on the open road.
• Feb. 7 to 10: The long-running Halifax International Boat Show returns to Halifax Exhibition Centre, showcasing the latest boats, marine equipment, and services. Plus: expert speakers offer advice aplenty.

JANUARY

Jan. 4
Who’s Bad The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience
Front man James Times III and his band pay homage to one of the greatest performers of all time, show-casing spot-on vocals and blazing choreography.

Jan. 13
Neptune Theatre
It’s your last night to see Cinderella, reinterpreted as a musical comedy starring Samantha Walkes.

Jan. 24
Symphony Nova Scotia
Finnish violin sensation Elina Vähälä joins the Symphony at the Dalhousie Arts Centre for Superb Sibelius and Great Schubert.

FEBRUARY

Photo: David Leyes

Feb. 4
Steven Page
The acclaimed and influential singer/songwriter shares the stage with Symphony New Brunswick at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

Feb. 17
Halifax Hurricanes
Representing the city in the minor-pro National Basketball League of Canada, the Hurricanes take on Saint John at Scotiabank Centre.

Photo: Nick Hubley

Feb. 27
Halifax Mooseheads
The pursuit of the national major-junior hockey championship continues, as Halifax battles Maritime rivals Acadie-Bathurst at Scotiabank Centre.

HOT SHOPPING

Photo: Jeremy Tsang

FOODIE FAVOURITES
• In the heart of the North End’s stylish Hydrostone neighbourhood, you’ll find Liquid Gold on Young Street. Specializing in high-quality extra-virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world, this unique shop is a favourite with local foodies.
• A stay in Nova Scotia isn’t complete without a feed of lobster. But Clearwater Seafood on the Bedford Highway or at Halifax Stanfield International Airport also packs up fresh crustaceans for your trip home. Other fresh seafood selections include scallops, crab, shrimp, and clams.

PITCH PERFECT
Any musician will love to shop at the Halifax Folklore Centre on Brunswick Street. Situated in a 136-year-old Victorian home, the shop is packed with stringed musical instruments, including banjoes, guitars, mandolins, and fiddles. There is also a selection of harmonicas, tin whistles, and Appalachian dulcimers. All the staff are musicians who can offer expert advice.

Pier 21 Gift Shop

ONE-OF-A-KIND
• The Pier 21 Gift Shop at the Canadian Museum of Immigration, on Marginal Road offers local art and books, pewter gifts, and museum-branded swag aplenty.
• Nearby at the Designer Craft Shop on Marginal Road, Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council members display their creations. Browse through artistic etchings, silk clothing, and handmade jewelry. An expert jury approves
every item.

GOOD THINGS IN SMALL PACKAGES
In a Box on Dresden Row is a unique little department store specializing in edgy fashions for women and the ideal spot to freshen up your look. In addition to fresh new clothing designs, you’ll find stylish accessories such as bracelets, scarves, and handbags.

HOT DINING

 

 

Morris East

PIZZA PERFECTION
• New York-Italian cuisine rules at Salvatore’s Pizzaiolo Trattoria on Young Street in the historic Hydrostone Market. If you’re not in the mood for the signature pie, the hearty meatball hero is one of Halifax’s most popular sandwiches.
• Intimate Morris East, just steps from the waterfront on Morris Street and in a new location on Vernon Street, pairs wood-fired gourmet pizza with local beer and wine. Not venturing downtown? Visit the newer location on Nine Mile Drive in Bedford West.

Boneheads BBQ

CASUAL FAVOURITES
• A Southern-style smokehouse tucked away in a tiny Barrington Street spot, Boneheads BBQ is beloved by locals. The menu includes all the slow-smoked mainstays you’d expect: ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and more. Indecisive? Try the mammoth (and ideal for sharing) Pit Boss Sampler and get a little bit of everything.
• Just around the corner from the Atlantica Hotel on Quinpool Road, Relish Gourmet Burgers offers creative takes on the classic burger and fries. The house specialty is the Halifax Explosion: a flash-grilled pineapple ring dusted in habanero powder, plus pancetta bacon, curried onion frites, and aged cheddar.

DESSERT FIRST
If you’re the sort of person who skips dinner to save room for dessert, proceed directly to The Middle Spoon on Barrington Street and at Sunnyside Mall. This stylish spot specializes in decadent desserts paired with creative cocktails. It’s the ideal place to while away an evening with friends.

CONCIERGE Q & A

Todd Young joined Southwest Properties as a concierge at the Bishop’s Landing location seven years ago, before moving to Maple on Hollis Street as lead concierge. He’s a member of Les Clefs d’Or and his favourite thing about the job is the people he meets and the opportunity to help them to the best of his abilities.

What’s the best thing about winter in Halifax?
The best thing about winter in Halifax has to be all the cozy pubs, bars, and restaurants where you can get out of the weather and get something exquisitely warm. Getting the short end of the weather stick means you have to make the most of being inside sometimes and luckily we have no shortage of fantastic establishments in Halifax!

Where should visitors go for a romantic dinner for two?
Wonderful décor, fantastic food, and a downtown Halifax staple the romantic dinner go to has to be da Maurizio in the Brewery Market on Lower Water Street. Perfectly intimate, it allows couples to enjoy private conversations, paired with some of the city’s finest Northern Italian cuisine and a decadent wine list.

What’s your favourite way to spend a blustery day in Halifax?
Grab an old-fashioned hot chocolate and one of the numerous amazing baked goods from The Old Apothecary bakery and café on Barrington Street. Watch Jack Frost safely from a cozy window while sipping something absolutely indulgent.

Where can cross-country skiers go to explore Nova Scotia?
To get a wonderful piece of Nova Scotia without journeying too far outside the city, skiers can enjoy the Salt Marsh Trail. Located in Cole Harbour, this section of the Great Trail (AKA the Trans Canada Trail) offers beautiful scenery at a difficulty level the whole family can enjoy. PS: No rental facilities; bring your own skis.

Where can visitors go to explore work by local artists?
My favourite spot in the city to discover Local Art is the Khyber Centre for the Arts on Hollis Street Halifax; there is always something amazing to find there. It is an artist-run centre for non-commercial work. Everything from painting to plays can be found there at different points in
the season.

 

East Coast Holidays

Live Music, Theatre, Parades, and More—Christmas Celebrations Abound in the Halifax Area

 

Grand Parade in Halifax (Photo Credit: Tammy Fancy)

FAMILY FIRST
The Holiday Parade of Lights on Nov. 17 marks the unofficial start of the holiday season in Halifax, as thousands of spectators line downtown streets to see dozens of floats and musical acts (and, of course, Santa Claus). Back downtown on Nov. 24, Grand Parade square in front of Halifax City Hall hosts the city’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting, a family-friendly celebration with live entertainment and a visit from Santa. Also on Nov. 24 (and 25), Halifax Citadel National Historic Site hosts its annual Victorian Christmas, sharing holiday traditions dating back to colonial days. The party moves across the harbour the next weekend, as the park at Sullivan’s Pond hosts the Dartmouth Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec. 1, where the highlights include the Santa Claus Express Train and fireworks.

 

The Celtic Tenors

SEASONAL SYMPHONY
Symphony Nova Scotia offers a full calendar of holiday concerts at the Dalhousie Arts Centre, starting Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 with A Celtic Tenors Christmas. Up next is perennial favourite The Nutcracker (presented with Mermaid Theatre and Halifax Dance) running from Dec. 7 to 9 and 13 to 16. As usual, things reach a crescendo on Dec. 21, 22, with Handel’s magnificent Messiah. This year presented in the historic “Dublin” arrangement, it features Mezzo-soprano Marion Newman, tenor Michael Colvin, and baritone Alexander Dobson.

 

The Ennis Sisters

MERRY MUSIC
Oh What A Night—The Christmas Show takes the stage at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on Nov. 18. The cast of the Oh What A Night tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons offer audience favourites from the original production, plus a musical tribute to “Mr. Christmas” Andy Williams. Prefer your holidays with an East Coast twist? On Nov. 30, The Ennis Sisters from Newfoundland combine original songs and holiday classics in a show that features stunning harmonies, recitations, lively step dancing, and playful humour. See them at St. Matthew’s United Church on Barrington Street. And on Dec. 6, Casino Nova Scotia on Upper Water Street hosts Serena Ryder Christmas. The eponymous singer/songwriter offers a mix of new material, old hits, and holiday classics.

 

Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

FESTIVE THEATRE
Neptune Theatre’s long-awaited holiday production begins on Nov. 27 and continues through Jan. 5. Artistic director Jeremy Webb adapts Cinderella as a musical comedy for the stage, starring Samantha Walkes as the title hero. Concurrently, Neptune’s studio stage hosts another holiday mainstay: Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, a one-man show starring Rhys Bevan-John. The pantomime at Theatre Arts Guild is another annual family favourite. It’s always a lively, rollicking show with lots of audience participation. This year, see Sleeping Beauty from Nov. 22 to Dec. 8.

 

Neon Dreams

AULD LANG SYNE
Join thousands of revellers at Grand Parade square in front of Halifax City Hall for the East Coast’s largest New Year’s Eve party. The family-friendly celebration begins at 10:30 p.m., with headliners Neon Dreams and A Tribe Called Red offering live musical performances, followed by a giant fireworks show at midnight.

 

Hot Dining

Photo Credit: Emma Smith

LOCAL FAVOURITE
Go back in time at the True North Diner in Bedford Place mall. This 1950s-themed dinner dishes up burgers, fries, shakes, and more. The “Classic Diner” section of the menu highlights home-style fare such as meatloaf, liver and onions, chicken pot pie, fish cakes, and all-day breakfast.

 

BEER LOVERS’ TRIO
• At cozy RockBottom Brew Pub on Spring Garden Road, you’ll find six different beers brewed on site, plus a selection of other local beers, wines, and ciders. Pair with a tasty dish from the kitchen; highlights include pork-belly sandwich, lobster carbonara, pad thai, and more.
• Before the craft-beer scene exploded, there was The Maxwell’s Plum on Grafton Street. This friendly neighbourhood pub features a broad selection of local brews, plus highlights from around the world.
• Don’t let the strip-mall exterior fool you. Jamieson’s Irish-House & Grill on Cole Harbour Drive boasts 16 taps pouring local beers (and the Irish offerings you’d expect) paired with traditional Emerald Isle pub grub.

 

HEAD OF THE CLASS
Every year, Where magazines across Canada present a series of awards feting Canada’s Best New Restaurants. When it came to picking this city’s representative last year, the Where Halifax team had an easy choice: Rinaldo’s on Windsor Street. This intimate, casual spot—run by two brothers—offers an array of Italian-American favourites. Old family recipes are the key; they’re the sons of the couple that founded Halifax pizza mainstay Salvatore’s in the historic Hydrostone neighbourhood.

 

DESSERT FIRST
If you’re the sort of person who skips dinner to save room for dessert, proceed directly to The Middle Spoon on Barrington Street and at Sunnyside Mall. This stylish spot specializes in decadent desserts paired with creative cocktails. It’s the ideal place to while away an evening with friends.

 

PIZZA PERFECTION
Intimate Morris East, just steps from the waterfront on Morris Street, pairs artfully crafted wood-fired gourmet pizza with creative cocktails and local beer and wine. Not venturing downtown? Visit the newer locations on Nine Mile Drive in Bedford West and on Vernon Street (just off Quinpool Road) in Central Halifax.

 

CASUAL FAVOURITES
• A Southern-style smokehouse tucked away in a tiny Barrington Street spot, Boneheads BBQ is beloved by locals. The menu includes all the slow-smoked mainstays you’d expect: ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and more. Indecisive? Try the mammoth (and ideal for sharing) Pit Boss Sampler and get a little bit of everything.
• Just around the corner from the Atlantica Hotel on Quinpool Road, Relish Gourmet Burgers offers creative takes on the classic burger and fries. The house specialty is the Halifax Explosion: a flash-grilled pineapple ring dusted in habanero powder, plus pancetta bacon, curried onion frites, and aged cheddar.

 

EDITOR’S PICK: CLASSIC CUISINE
At Mappatura Bistro on Spring Garden Road, just steps from the Halifax Public Gardens, co-owners Simone Mombourquette and Chef Terry Vassallo combine their experience working in several world-class restaurants to offer a dynamic Italian menu, showcasing farm-fresh seasonal ingredients. Local favourites include calamari, home-style pasta with hearty ragù, and fresh seafood (delivered twice daily). The carefully chosen wine list embraces the Old World aperitivo tradition, pairing each course with the vintage that best complements it.