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Halifax

HAVING A BLAST: The Halifax Pop Explosion showcases indie music in a variety of genres

Port Cities plays the Halifax Pop Explosion.

By Trevor J. Adams

From October 17 to 20, Halifax is a haven for fans of edgy indie music, innovative talents who create works you’re not hearing on the radio or top-40 play lists. The Halifax Pop Explosion presents 150 musical acts, comedians, and speakers at venues around the city. After marking its 25th anniversary last year, HPX is bigger than ever, with organizers putting a bigger focus on reflecting a diverse array of cultural communities. Organizers were still finalizing the festival schedule at press time, but have given fans a tantalizing preview of the year’s artists.

As usual, one of the biggest highlights of the festival is sure to be the annual collaboration with Symphony Nova Scotia. This year, the all-star trio Port Cities (comprised of Carleton Stone, Dylan Guthro, and Breagh MacKinnon) join the orchestra to perform new orchestral arrangements of their works. Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser conducts at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on October 19 and 20.

Local talents also get their share of the limelight. Made-in-Halifax talents include DJ Uncle Fester, a 15-year veteran of the local hip-hop scene, and Juno-nominee Ghettosocks, described as a “true disciple of Golden Era rap music.”

Reuben and the Dark is one of the biggest acts on this year’s roster. The Calgary-based folk-rock group led by songwriter/vocalist Reuben Bullock, are best known for their acclaimed songs “Bow & Arrow” and “Heart in Two.” Their sound is contemplative, passionate, and expansive; expect a memorable show.

Headliner Zaki Ibrahim is a two-time Polaris Prize nominee (shortlisted in 2013 and longlisted in 2018) who has quickly emerged as one of Canada’s top hip-hop and soul talents. She released her much-anticipated second full-length album The Secret Lives of Planets earlier this year.

Gaelynn Lea is another artist generating tons of buzz. After two decades of hard work, she won NPR Music’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest. Since then, she’s played over 250 shows in 42 states and seven countries. Critics hail her for her unique voice and violin virtuosity, exploring “the contrasting nature of existence: dark and light, birth and death, anger and forgiveness, sorrow and joy.”

Ontario’s Born Ruffians are sure to put on a rollicking show. Together since 2014, the group recently released their fifth studio album Uncle, Duke & The Chief. Continually reinventing their unique rock sound, they’ve drawn comparisons to the Strokes, the Pixies, and David Bowie.

Victoria, B.C. musician and vocalist AppleCat is sure to keep fans grooving into the wee smalls, with a uniquely poetic and graceful sound combining deep dubstep, fairytale bass, trap, world, and IDM influences. Fans may recall her as the subject of the recent documentary Amplify Her about women in the electronica scene.

THE DETAILS
This is just a small sample of what the Halifax Pop Explosion has to offer. For a complete lineup, plus schedule and ticket info, surf to halifaxpopexplosion.com.

 

HOT DINING

Bar Kismet is a new addition to the Halifax scene, but already becoming a favourite.

By Trevor J. Adams.

COCKTAIL HOUR
If you’re serious about your cocktails, you must visit stylish Bar Kismet on Agricola Street. The ever-changing menu features premium ingredients from around the world. At press time, the drink selection included Cinematographers Party (bonded bourbon whiskey, Italian Digestif, fresh yellow plum and lemon, honey, red wine float), 2 Of Americano’s Most Wanted (bottled carbonated cocktail: French and Italian aperitif, red vermouth, French aperitif wine), and Cartoon Graveyard (mezcal, arugula, pineau des charantes, bogarts bitters).

A RESTO WITH A STORY
The Watch That Ends The Night pairs an ambitious name with an ambitious concept. 2016 Gold Medal Plates winner Mark Gray helms the kitchen at the Dartmouth cocktail and wine bar. He focuses on “developing a new Canadian cuisine” through curing and fermenting local seasonal ingredients. It’s named for Hugh MacLennan’s eponymous 1958 novel, sharing an aesthetic with the same North American late-modern tastes.

ASIAN APPETITE
• In a historic building on the corner of Morris and Hollis streets, Talay Thai serves up heaping portions of traditional dishes like Gung Pad Pik Pow (basil prawn with chili paste), Pla Muek Tod Katem (garlic shrimp), and curries aplenty.
• Japanese fine dining, showcasing traditional and fusion dishes, is on offer at Sushi Nami Royale. Check it out at locations on Queen Street in the heart of the downtown, Lacewood Drive in Clayton Park, Hector Gate in Dartmouth Crossing, and the Bedford Highway.
• Don’t let the strip-mall exterior or industrial-park cul-de-sac location deter you: Dhaba Casual Fine Dining & Express on Oland Crescent serves some of the tastiest Indian food around. The volcanic chicken vindaloo is a Halifax favourite.

STEAK EXPECTIONS
For an opulent and unforgettable dining experience, Cut Steakhouse is the downtown’s go-to destination. Contemporary and classy, Cut emphasizes world-class service, with beef dry-aged on site. By Robert Risley, the restaurateur behind popular Halifax spots like Bistro Le Coq, East of Grafton Tavern, and Waterfront Warehouse.

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 scaloppine sautéed with fresh lobster, seared breast of Brome Lake duck, and spicecrusted rack of lamb. An expertly curated wine list and top-notch service complement the experience.

SMALL PLATES, BIG TASTES
Foodies flock to Highwayman Restaurant & Bar on Barrington Street for Spanish-inspired share plates and original cocktails. This cozy, up-market option serves a menu of seafood, cured meats, cheeses, and more. Pair your meal with a selection from the carefully-curated wine list and save room for a decadent dessert.

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

 

HOT SHOPPING

Pearl City is the destination in Halifax for all things pearl.

By Trevor J. Adams

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 handstrung on-site by top craftsmen.

SPOOKY SWEETS
Located in the South End at the corner of Queen and Morris streets, Sweet Jane’s is the ideal place to find a unique Halloween treat or distinctive gift. This old-fashioned boutique boasts all manner of high-end confections, candies from around the world, whimsical toys, and more.

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.

LOCAL TREASURES
• Kept Gifts and Housewares on King Street in Dartmouth is packed with handmade finds by artists from around the region and the world. The store carries a fun and fascinating selection of décor items, jewelry, accessories, paper goods, products for children, and candy. Staff carefully select each piece for its unique look and top quality.
• Made in the Maritimes Artisan Boutique has two locations: Sunnyside Mall and Hydrostone Market. You’ll find creations in a variety of media from East Coast artisans, plus gourmet edibles, stained glass, fibre and fabric art, cushions, candles, and fine art and paintings.
• 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.

GREEN DAYS
On October 17, recreational cannabis use becomes legal in Canada. In Nova Scotia, NSLC will be the official retailer. Find it at the NSLC stores on Clyde Street in Halifax and Portland Street in Dartmouth. Trained staff will be available to help you find the product that’s right for you.

CENTRES OF SHOPPING
• Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth boasts 120+ stores and services. This three-storey shopping destination features women’s fashions, entertainment, electronics, books, salons, and even a vinyl-record store.
• Situated on Spring Garden Road, at the centre of Halifax’s shopping district, Park Lane Mall offers a mix of shops for fashion, gifts, health and beauty, and home décor. Businesses on site include Mahone Bay Quality Footwear, Pseudio, Envy, John David Shoes, Cineplex Theatres, and many others.

EDITOR’S CHOICE: FASHION WITH A CONSCIENCE
Germany-based fashion brand Olsen Europe has expanded its production with new eco-friendly materials for fall and winter, including certified organic cotton and outerwear made from Repreve, a proprietary fibre made from recycled plastic, melted and spun into a soft durable fibre. Find the fall line at the Park Lane, Spring Garden Road shop.

 

HOT ENTERTAINMENT

Live Art Dance hosts Shay Kuebler Radical System Art. Photo credit: David Cooper

FUSION FORCE
October 5, 6
Vancouver’s Shay Kuebler Radical System Art offers a unique high-energy evening of dance that blends tap, swing, and contemporary styles. Live Art Dance hosts its Telemetry production at the Sir James Dunn Theatre in the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

FASHION STATEMENT
October 18 to 21
With fashion shows, parties, and special events aplenty, Atlantic Fashion Week is the East Coast’s hottest style celebration. This annual event celebrates the region’s design gurus, with lots of opportunities for up-and-comers to strut their stuff.

GET IN THE RING
October 13
Up-and-coming fighters from Canada and the U.S. go head-to-head with national pride on the line as Casino Nova Scotia on Upper Water Street hosts an evening of team boxing action.

CLASSICAL CONNECTIONS
• October 13: The Dartmouth Community Concert Association’s autumn season begins at Woodlawn United Church with a baroque concert by Ensemble Les Songes, featuring soprano Samantha Louis-Jean, recorder player Vincent Lauzer, cellist Camille Paquette-Roy, and harpsichordist Mélisande McNabney.
• October 14: Violinist Jolente De Maeyer and pianist Nikolaas Kende visit the Cecilia Concert Series for European Afternoon, a matinee concert at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts on Chebucto Road. The lineup includes Beethoven’s Sonata No. 9 in A Major, Op. 47 and Kreutzer and Schubert’s Sonata in A Major, D. 574, Grand Duo.

ART AFTER DARK
October 13
Discover unique art in a variety of media, with exhibitions and performances at venues around Halifax during Nocturne. Running from 6 p.m. to midnight, this one-night-only festival takes over galleries and public spaces where you wouldn’t normally expect to discover cutting-edge art. Free bike-valet and shuttle-bus service make it easy to get out and explore.

EDITOR’S PICK – OUT OF THIS WORLD
October 26 to 28
Hal-Con is the East Coast’s biggest sci-fi, gaming, and fantasy festival and it returns this month. Scheduled guests include Star Trek: The Next Generation’s LeVar Burton (“Geordi LaForge”) and John de Lancie (“Q”), plus comic artist Brenda Hickey, author Delilah S. Dawson, cosplay guru Cassie Seaboyer, and many more. This event usually sells out, so get your tickets early and catch all the action at the new Halifax Convention Centre on Argyle Street.

October 7
A CIVILIZED CONVERSATION WITH CHELSEA HANDLER
Handler joins Civilized publisher Derek Riedel for a townhall on politics, culture, and cannabis.

October 13
JILL BARBER
The jazz/folk-pop vocalist returns to the Dalhousie Arts Centre with an intimate show for her hometown fans.

October 19, 20
SYMPHONY NOVA SCOTIA
Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser conducts as Port Cities joins the Symphony at the Dalhousie Arts Centre for a special Halifax Pop Explosion concert.

October 22
DEAN BRODY
The Canadian country powerhouse brings his Dirt Road Acoustic Tour to the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

October 26, 27
LAST LAUGH COMEDY CLUB
Angelo Tsarouchas joins Efthimios Nasiopoulos and Comus for It’s All Greek to Me at Atlantica Hotel Halifax.

October 27
HALIFAX MOOSEHEADS
After starting the season with a long road trip, the Mooseheads play their home-opener at Scotiabank Centre versus Cape Breton.

CONCIERGE Q & A

Angela O’Brien, senior executive host at Casino Nova Scotia.

By Trevor J. Adams

Angela O’Brien is the senior executive host at Casino Nova Scotia on Upper Water Street. She graduated from Saint Mary’s University and has a true love for Halifax. She is a professional affiliate with Les Clefs d’Or Canada, which has provided her great opportunities for creating partnerships within the hospitality community.

What’s an ideal destination in the Halifax area for a late-night snack?
Antojo Taco + Tequila on Argyle Street has expanded to a late night Munchies Nocturnos menu and serves tacos until 1:30 a.m. Thursday to Saturday. It’s a great addition to the late night food scene in downtown Halifax!

If you only had one day in Halifax this month, how would you spend it?
Have to start with a coffee at Coffee Matters in the Brewery Market on Lower Water Street, explore the Halifax Brewery Farmers Market and take a stroll down the Halifax waterfront. Stop by to see Julie for an afternoon tour of the Halifax Distillery, and learn how JD Shore rum is crafted. No tour is complete without a tasting! For dinner I would go to one of my all-time favorites, da Maurizio. Great Italian food and excellent service in a romantic setting. My favorite dish is the gnocchi; I highly recommend it!

Who’s your favourite newcomer to the city’s dining and nightlife scene?
Bar Kismet recently opened on Agricola Street and is absolutely charming. The casual quaint atmosphere is a great place to share small or large unique plates with a great selection of craft cocktails.

Where should visitors go to find a unique memento of their visit to Halifax?
Amos Pewter in the Historic Properties on the Halifax waterfront has quality hand-crafted Nova Scotia products. A great selection of jewelry, ornaments, and household items to start your Christmas list.

What’s the most common question visitors ask you about Nova Scotia?
What’s the must-see-and-do activity in Nova Scotia? My answer is always to hike the Skyline Trail along the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton. It’s an easy seven-kilometre hike with stunning views of the ocean and rolling green landscape. It’s a great place to watch the sun set and you may even see a moose up close and personal.

 

Film from the Edge

Film-from-the-Edge_The-Social-Shift-3The Social Shift

The FIN Festival puts the spotlight on east coast filmmaking talents

By: Trevor J. Adams

 

For cinephiles, September 13 to 20 is the best week of the year in Halifax. FIN Atlantic International Film Festival returns to the city with myriad screenings and special events. Billed as “an eight-day celebration of film, media, and music from around the world,” FIN makes Halifax a must-visit destination for industry insiders. 

As one of Canada’s Big Four film festivals, FIN screens many films that are likely to be darlings of the festival circuit, but the focus on East Coast talents and productions is what makes this event truly unique. Unless otherwise noted, gala screenings are at Cineplex Theatres at Park Lane on Spring Garden Road.

Film-from-the-Edge_Just-Be-Gemma
Just Be Gemma

GALA PRESENTATIONS

September 13
Opening Night Gala at the Dalhousie Arts Centre Splinters by Thom Fitzgerald (Nova Scotia). A winner of over two dozen international awards, Fitzgerald adapts the Lee-Anne Poole play Splinters.

September 14
An Audience of Chairs by Deanne Foley (Newfoundland). The story of a gifted woman struggling to cope with mental illness and reconnect with her estranged children. Adapted from the award-winning Joan Clark novel of the same name.

Film-from-the-Edge_Immaculate-Memories
Immaculate Memories

September 15
Hopeless Romantic by Deanne Foley, Megan Wennberg, Latonia Hartery, Stephanie Clattenburg, Martine Blue, Ruth Lawrence (Nova Scotia, Newfoundland). An ensemble of directors offer a wry and funny subversion of the predictable rom-com genre.

September 16
Reel East Coast Shorts Gala. Nine films representing all four Atlantic Provinces. 

Film-from-the-Edge_The-Girls-of-Meru
The Girls of Meru

September 16
G. Patrick Condon’s Incredible Violence by G. Patrick Condon (Newfoundland). “A hack filmmaker wastes the money lent to him by a mysterious organization, and so has to take matters into his own hands by locking a cast of actors in a house and becoming the villain in his own slasher movie.” —IMDB

September 17
Love, Scott by Laura Marie Wayne (Nova Scotia). The journey of a young gay musician who is attacked and left paralyzed from the waist down. Described as an “intimate and visually evocative window into the queer experience.”

Film-from-the-Edge_The-Capital-Project-3
The Capital Project

And this is just a small selection of what FIN has to offer. Other highlights include the special presentation Halloween Party by Nova Scotian Jay Dahl, the feature Pogey Beach by Jeremy Larter of Prince Edward Island, and the “Cinema 902” series, featuring Nova Scotian productions like Aliens with Knives (Struan Sutherland, Nicole Steeves), Creepy Crawling (Chelsea Comeau), and The Last Divide (DIllon Garland).

For even more on FIN and festival events, surf to finfestival.ca.

Hot Dining

Dining_Glitter-Bean-Café

ALL THAT GLITTERS

Glitter Bean is a new queer-friendly (and welcoming to all) café, a block west of the Halifax Public Gardens on Spring Garden Road. Relaxed and funky, it offers organic fair-trade coffee, specialty drinks, baked goods, and snacks.

 

Dining_Fredie's-Fantastic-Fish-House
Photo: Trevor J. Adams

QUICK, CASUAL, TASTY

Fredie’s Fantastic Fish House on Oland Crescent in Bayers Lake is a local favourite for fish and chips. Light batter, fresh haddock, generous portions, friendly service, and relaxed diner atmosphere.

Bill Pratt—the restaurateur behind Cheese Curds Gourmet Burgers + Poutinerie and Habaneros Modern Taco Bar—recently unveiled Fish + Chix on Windmill Road in Dartmouth. Specialties include fried haddock and chips, tacos, Thai chicken bites, and the Captain’s Seafood Platter (with haddock, scallops, clams, and shrimp). 

 

Dining_Middle-Spoon

SOMETHING SWEET

If you’re the sort of person who eats dessert first, go directly to The Middle Spoon on Barrington Street and at Sunnyside Mall in Bedford. Sweet offerings abound; experience the rich creamy goodness of the peanut-butter pie. PS: There’s also a fine selection of cocktails, wines, and Nova Scotian beers.

 

Dining_Old-Triangle

WHEN IRISH EYES ARE SMILIN’

For a classic pub experience, visit The Old Triangle Irish Ale House on Prince Street. This boisterous spot is known for its sidewalk patio, live Celtic music, and menu jam-packed with pub favourites like curry and chips, Irish stew, and pan-fried haddock. The bar boasts local and imported beers and ciders (with mandatory Irish offerings such as Guinness, Harp, and Kilkenny) plus one of the finest selections of whiskies around. 

 

Dining_Rinaldo's
Photo: Caitrin Pilkington

PIZZA PERFECTION

Morris East has expanded with new locations uptown on Quinpool Road and in Bedford West, but you’ll still find the mothership a block from the waterfront on Morris Street. Visit the intimate little dining room for delicious wood-fired pizzas showcasing fresh local ingredients.

Family-run Rinaldo’s on Windsor Street boasts all manner of Italian-American comfort food and the pizza hits the bullseye every time. We recommend the Pizza Samuele with pepperoni, roasted garlic, mozzarella, Grana Padano, and ricotta. 

On the Halifax Waterfront in Bishop’s Landing, Ristorante a Mano is another pizza mecca. If you’re an old-school purist, try the Margherita. This traditional Italian specialty looks deceptively simple with San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil, and nothing else but tons of Old World flavour.

 

Dining_Festival-of-Wines
Photo: NS Tourism

WORLD OF WINE

Running from September 25 to 29, the Festival of Wines is de rigueur for lovers of the grape. Highlights including wine dinners at Chives Canadian Bistro and Cut Steakhouse, an exclusive tasting at Casino Nova Scotia, a gala with Symphony Nova Scotia, and Grand Tastings at the Cunard Centre, featuring some 350 wines from around the world. 

 

Dining_Little-Oak

GOOD THINGS IN SMALL PACKAGES *Editor’s Pick*

Looking for a pleasant nook to while away an evening with friends? Intimate Little Oak on Lower Water Street is just steps away from the waterfront boardwalk. It boasts a small and dynamic menu showcasing global influences and seasonal ingredients, a huge (yet artfully chosen) wine list, and a selection of craft beer and ciders.

Hot Shopping

Shopping_Panache

SOMETHING FOR HOME

At Panache Luxury Linens on Isleville Street, cozy and luxurious linens are the house specialty. Designs showcase high-quality silk, Giza Egyptian cotton, linen and micro modal fabrics, woven by specialty mills in Germany and Italy. The selection also includes foaming bath, soaps, and other beauty products. 

Find inspiration for your home décor with a visit to Thornbloom on South Park Street. It offers an array of stylish essentials such as bedding, kitchenware, and furniture, plus accent pieces and pillows, frames, and candles. 

 

Shopping_MITM

LOCAL LOVE

At Made in the Maritimes Artisan Boutique in Sunnyside Mall and the Hydrostone on Young Street, you’ll find a selection of fine art and paintings by artists from around the Maritimes. Quirky cushions made of rich textiles feature nautical logos and regional sayings. A beauty section includes products made from natural ingredients. 

 

Shopping_Clearwater-Seafood

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 the Halifax Stanfield International Airport also packs up fresh crustaceans for your trip home. Other fresh seafood selections include scallops, crab, shrimp, and clams.

Shopping_Pier-21-Gift-Shop

ONE-OF-A-KIND

• It’s hard to find a more distinctive memento of your visit than a locally-crafted work of art from the AGNS Gallery Shop at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on Hollis Street. Check out unique and collectible pieces of sculpture, pottery, paintings, and more. Maud Lewis (the eponymous artist from the acclaimed movie Maudie) is among the many local talents whose work is on display. 

• 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.

 

Shopping_MEC

FRESH-AIR FIENDS *Editor’s Pick*

If you’re an outdoor adventurer, Halifax is the perfect base of operations: just minutes from downtown you’ll find seaside trails, dense forest, and natural splendour. MEC on Granville street is the perfect place to gear up for your expedition. Backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, boots, cooking gear: find what you need for any expedition, from day hiking to backwoods camping.

Hot Entertainment

Entertainment_Measha-Brueggergosman

THE RIGHT NOTES
September 14

The Cecilia Concert Series launches its 30th season at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts with Classica Vocem, showcasing the considerable talents of soprano Measha Brueggergosman. She’ll perform works by Claude Debussy, George Frideric Handel, and Johan Halvorsen.

 

Entertainment_Art-Gallery-of-Nova-Scotia

ART TRIO 

Continuing through the season, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on Hollis Street features Hiroshige: The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō. This unique exhibition spotlights woodcut prints by ukiyo master Utagawa Hiroshige depicting middle-class Japanese life in the early 1800s. 

Continuing through September 9, The Craig Gallery at Alderney Landing in Dartmouth—where the Halifax Transit ferries dock—hosts Reflexive, an exhibition of works by Sophie Paskins, Wayne Boucher, Donna Boyko, Sharon Irving-Kennedy, and Ted Lind.

On September 1, the Dalhousie Art Gallery starts the fall season with From the Vault: Ars Longa, featuring highlights from its 1,300-piece permanent collection. See it until October 2.

 

Entertainment_Neptune

THE BARD’S TALE
September 4 to October 7

Neptune Theatre’s new fall season begins this month with Shakespeare in Love: The Play. Allister MacDonald stars as the eponymous playwright, finding inspiration in the beautiful muse Viola, who is determined to appear in his next play. 

 

Entertainment_Steve-Earle-and-the-Dukes

MUSIC MIX

September 14: The acclaimed outlaw rocker Steve Earle, plus his band The Dukes, take over the Schooner Showroom at Casino Nova Scotia.

September 21: Country legend Carroll Baker performs a mix of gospel standards and her greatest hits at the Dalhousie Arts Centre. 

 

Entertainment_Shauntay-Grant

THE GOOD WORD
September 15

The Word on the Street, a one-day celebration of the printed word, returns to the Halifax Central Library on Spring Garden Road. Check out readings, author Q&As, a sale of Atlantic Canadian books, and much more. This year’s lineup includes poet Brian Bartlett, environmental crusader Joan Baxter, photographer Len Wagg, and poet/children’s author Shauntay Grant.

 

Entertainment_Pan-American-Canoe-Sprint-Championships

GOING FOR GOLD *Editor’s Pick*
September 13 to 16

Some 250 paddlers from 20 countries compete in the Pan American Canoe Sprint Championships at Lake Banook in Dartmouth. The international competition features a mix of paddling’s top talents and rising stars.

 

Entertainment_Lilly-Hiatt Entertainment_Tommy-Emmanuel Entertainment_Ben-Caplan

SEPTEMBER:
1st: Halifax Urban Folk Festival
Lilly Hiatt joins a Songwriters’ Circle with Brad Roberts and Mick Davis, before Tim Baker + The Hfx All Stars take the stage at The Carleton. 

4th: Tommy Emmanuel
The Australian guitar legend returns to the Dalhousie Arts Centre for another intimate show.

14th: Ben Caplan
The folk/roots musician always puts on a memorable show for his hometown fans. See him at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on University Avenue. 

Entertainment_Sophie-Buddle Entertainment_Linda-Brooks Entertainment_David-Myles
Linda Brooks photo: Mark Maryanovich

14th, 15th: Last Laugh Comedy Club
Comic Sophie Buddle has moved across the country to take a writing gig with This Hour Has 22 Minutes—excellent news for stand-up fans. See her at the Atlantica Hotel on Robie Street.

23rd: Halifax Public Gardens Summer Concert Series
Join Linda Brooks at the bandstand in the heart of the gardens for the final free matinee concert of the season. 

28th, 29th: Symphony Nova Scotia
Singer/songwriter David Myles joins the symphony, putting a twist on his classic hits with new orchestral arrangements. 

Concierge Q & A

Concierge_Diane-Munroe

Diane Munroe has been in the hospitality industry for 20 years, starting out at the Keltic Lodge in guest services as a housekeeper. Diane is now an active member of Les Clefs d’Or Atlantic and resident-services manager at Bishop’s Landing in Halifax.

Q: What’s the best thing about September in the city?
A: The best thing about Halifax in September for me is enjoying the Halifax waterfront. The weather is amazing and after the busy summer it is nice to get out and experience all of our local shops and restaurants. From Casino Nova Scotia south to the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 you’ll find the Historic Properties and many unique businesses. Here you can also hop on the Halifax Transit ferry for a quick sail across the harbour to explore compact and charming downtown Dartmouth.

Q: What’s a fun spot for a family dinner in the city?
A: The Bluenose II Restaurant is a great place for a family dinner. The downtown diner boasts a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and there is something for everyone on this menu: Greek specialties, fresh seafood, burgers, all-day breakfast, and a lot more. There’s a reason locals have loved this spot since it opened in 1964.

Q: Where can readers go to enjoy great live music?
A: The Lower Deck Pub—Beer Market is in the heart of the Historic Properties directly on the Halifax Waterfront and it’s a great place to take in some live Nova Scotian music. With big communal tables, a harbourside patio, boisterous and friendly atmosphere, and great local beers on tap, it offers the quintessential Maritime-pub experience. There’s live East Coast music nightly, plus weekend matinees. 

Q: What can sports fans do in Halifax this month?
A: If you brought along your golf clubs on this trip, head for the Ashburn Golf Club on Joseph Howe Drive in Halifax. Known as Old Ashburn (the club has a newer course outside the city), this historic course was crafted by acclaimed architect Stanley Thompson. A throwback to another era, it measures just 5,210 yards, which belies its difficulty. Compact greens and a naturally rolling landscape make this one a challenge even for long-time players.

Q: Where should readers go to find a unique piece of jewelry?
A: You will always find something unique at Frida Jewellery, located in Bishop’s Landing on Lower Water Street. Here you can get individually designed jewelry that is hand made using metals, gemstones and diamonds.

Hit the Road

Hit-the-Road_Planters-Ridge

There’s a lot to see and do in Halifax, but on a glorious summer day, it’s hard to beat the allure of a road trip. Whatever your taste, you’ll find an attractive destination near Halifax

By: Trevor J. Adams

SEASIDE RAMBLES

About a 45-minute drive west of Halifax on Route 333, you’ll come to the historic fishing village of Peggy’s Cove. Ramble amongst the homes, fish sheds, and small local businesses, and you’ll see fishermen preparing for their next excursion on the wild North Atlantic, just as their ancestors have for generations. Perched on the rocks above the ocean is the village’s iconic lighthouse, one of the most-photographed sites in Nova Scotia. Here you’ll also find The Sou’wester, a friendly family restaurant that has been serving boiled lobster, seafood chowder, and fish and chips for five decades. (The home-style gingerbread is a local favourite).

Hit-the-Road_Peggy's-Cove
Photo: Tammy Fancy

Continue west on scenic Route 3 for about 130 kilometres, and you’ll make your way through the picturesque seaside villages of Chester and Mahone Bay. Your final destination on this itinerary is Lunenburg. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the town is noted for its distinct historic architecture, and large assortment of world-class restaurants, galleries, and boutiques. It’s also the home port of the Bluenose II schooner, which graces the Canadian dime. While here, be sure to visit the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic. Meet retired fishermen and learn about the East Coast’s fishing heritage from a plethora of exhibitions and artifacts.

 

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Photo: HRM

EASTERN ADVENTURES

Nova Scotia’s wild and rugged Eastern Shore is the perfect destination for hikers, kayakers, and beach lovers. About an hour’s drive east of the city on Highway 107, you’ll come to Clam Harbour Beach. This giant sandy beach is a local favourite, offering spectacular ocean vistas, good (albeit a bit chilly) swimming conditions, and balmy ocean breezes. On August 12, it hosts the Clam Harbour Sand Castle Competition.

Also in this area, you’ll find Memory Lane Heritage Village in nearby Lake Charles. This living-history village re-creates life in a 1940s-era rural Nova Scotian village, with several carefully restored buildings and expert guides and interpreters. It hosts special events throughout the summer, including the Atlantic Canada Harmonica Festival on August 11. And while you’re there, try a traditional meal in the cookhouse.

 

Hit-the-Road_Meander
Photo: Trevor J. Adams

EPICURIAN ESCAPADES

Heading northwest from Halifax on scenic Route 1 will lead you to the fecund Annapolis Valley. It’s known as “the breadbasket of Nova Scotia” and you’ll see why, with lush farms, orchards, and vineyards everywhere you look. En route, take a short detour into Ashdale and you’ll discover the charming little Meander River Farm craft brewery. It’s a great place to discover unique Nova Scotian beers and other farm products. (Phone ahead, hours vary).

Back on track to the Valley, you’ll next come to the Avondale Sky Winery & Restaurant in Windsor. Located in a restored church, this little gem of a spot offers a variety of wines, with tasty food pairings in the restaurant. Also in Windsor, you’ll discover the Schoolhouse Brewery, another small spot serving local (English-style) brews.

As you continue, keep an eye out for the many markets and produce stands (often a simple table at the end of a farm’s driveway) selling seasonal local produce. And history buffs will want to make a stop at Grand-Pré National Historic Site to learn about Nova Scotia’s early Acadian settlers.

The next major town you’ll come to is Wolfville. Just before you hit the downtown, you’ll come to Luckett Vineyards, one of the many wineries in this region. There’s a wine bar on site, and it hosts special events throughout the season. Also in Wolfville is Paddy’s Pub, a neighbourhood favourite brewpub serving house-made beers and hearty pub food.

There are many more wineries, breweries, and restaurants to explore in this region. If you decide to stay longer, drop by a visitor-info centre for a free guidebook.

 

Hot Dining

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PATIO PARTY

Take a lofty perch above the bustle of Spring Garden Road to enjoy the rooftop patio at Your Father’s Moustache. This perennial summer favourite is the ideal place to laze away a sunny afternoon with a cold beverage, including four house-brewed beers. There are daily lunch specials and a popular weekend brunch menu (with offerings like skillets, french toast, and pancakes).

Right on the waterfront boardwalk in the Historic Properties, Salty’s Restaurant boasts a harbourside patio with tables just steps from the ocean. As the name suggests, you’ll find all manner of seafood, including fresh Atlantic lobster.

Friendly and casual, with an ever-evolving selection of local and imported craft beers, the Stillwell Beer Garden on Spring Garden Road is a summertime classic. The ideal spot to recharge after a day exploring the busy shopping district.

A short walk from the Halifax Transit ferry terminal in Dartmouth, Battery Park is another must-visit for beer aficionados. Enjoy a tasty local pint on the cool shady patio.

 

Dining_Sugah
Photo: Tammy Fancy

CHILL OUT

When exploring city streets, beat the heat with a tasty treat. At Sugah on the waterfront boardwalk in Bishop’s Landing, you’ll find all manner of confections, but the star of the show is the house-made hand-paddled ice cream, showcasing unique Nova Scotian ingredients.

 

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BURGER BUDDIES

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.

 

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SOME ENCHANTED EVENING *Editor’s Pick*

Old World style meets New World attitude at this relaxed-yet-stylish waterfront spot. The Bicycle Thief is the playground of acclaimed chef Maurizio Bertossi. The menu showcases his Northern Italian roots, offering traditional comfort food with a New World air and plenty of playful innovations. The satisfying and artful house-made pasta dishes are always a hit; the Linguine all’Aragosta features fresh Atlantic lobster, taken to new heights with a rich sauce and fresh pasta. Pair with a selection from the well-curated wine list, showcasing vintages from around the world, with a heavy Italian emphasis. Cap your meal with a decadent dessert. The menu is ever-evolving; at press time, highlights include lemon blueberry cake, ice-cream cake, crème brûlée, gelato sundaes, pecan pie, and lemon cheesecake.

 

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Photo: Tammy Fancy

LOCAL FAVOURITES

Athens Restaurant on Quinpool Road offers the Greek mainstays you’d expect, but Haligonians love it for weekend brunch: omelettes, eggs Florentine, and a buffet chock full of breakfast favourites like sausage, baked beans, pancakes, perogies, pastries, and more.

Maxwell’s Plum on Grafton Street boasts a huge array of craft beers and brews from around the globe, served alongside burgers, sandwiches, fish, and chips, and pub grub galore.

• Scratch-made vegan cuisine makes Wild Leek a Windsor Street neighbourhood favourite. With an on-site bakery, tasty gourmet desserts are the house specialty.