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Halifax

Hot Entertainment

Kaetlyn Osmond

ICE MOVES
April 26
Top figure-skating talents from across Canada strut their stuff at the popular Stars on Ice annual performance at Scotiabank Centre. The roster includes Olympians Elvis Stojko, Kaetlyn Osmond, Patrick Chan, Meagan Duhamel, and Eric Radford.

BIG BRASS ONES
April 26
The Hogtown Brass Quintet brings together musicians from diverse backgrounds: jazz to pop to classical. See the unique ensemble perform for the Dartmouth Community Concert Association at Woodlawn United Church.

Mary E. Black Gallery

ARTISTIC EXPRESSION
• Continuing through April, Art 1274 Hollis, a cooperative gallery in the heart of the downtown, features Park. The exhibition showcases new works by local talent Rhonda Barrett.
• Throughout the month, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on Hollis Street hosts The Shore, Wind and View in Gaff Point. Afghan-Canadian artist Hangama Amiri delves into childhood memory, cross-cultural dialogue, and feminism.
• Specializing in fine Nova Scotian crafts, this month the Mary E. Black Gallery on Marginal Road features an exhibition of jewelry by Rebecca Hannon.

GOING FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Continuing
It’s playoff season in Halifax, as the city’s two biggest sports teams compete for their respective league titles. The Halifax Mooseheads are chasing the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League crown as they prepare to host the country’s top teams for the Memorial Cup next month. Meanwhile minor-pro basketball’s Halifax Hurricanes battle for the National Basketball League of Canada championship. Schedules still in flux at press time; check with the Ticket Atlantic box office at Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street.

Michael Neugebauer

WALK WITH THE ANIMALS
April 9
With her landmark fieldwork, animal researcher and activist Jane Goodall forever changed the way we see our chimpanzee animal cousins. At Jane at 85: Reasons for Hope at the Dalhousie Arts Centre, she appears in person to talk about her work, the escalating threats to chimpanzees and their habitat, and how she’s able to stay hopeful about the future.

The Stampeders

MUSICAL MIX
April 8: Since the 1970s, The Stampeders have been Canadian rock mainstays. See the legends at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on Duke Street.
April 19: Few artists work harder than singer/guitarist Colin James, and the blues-rocker is on tour again, performing at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.
April 19: The cozy Schooner Showroom at Casino Nova Scotia on Upper Water Street goes a little bit country this month, as American singer-songwriter Kip Moore takes the stage.

April 6
Island Girls
Cape Breton music and comedy at the Dalhousie Arts Centre with Heather Rankin (above), Bette MacDonald, Lucy MacNeil, and Jenn Sheppard.


April 9
Neptune Theatre
The Color Purple, based on the Alice Walker novel, opens tonight. Tara Jackson stars as Celie. The production continues through June 2.


April 11
Uncle Kracker
The genre-straddling artist behind hit singles like “Drift Away” and “Follow Me” takes the stage at Casino Nova Scotia on Upper Water Street.


April 16
Neko Case
Best known to Canadians as a member of cult favourites The New Pornographers, the indie-rock singer/songwriter makes a rare visit to the East Coast.


April 23
Gerry Dee
The stand-up comedian and star of the CBC series Mr. D returns to his hometown stage at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.


April 27–28
Symphony Nova Scotia
With Dvoák’s Eighth and Dinuk’s Farewell, the Symphony features a new work by longtime member Dinuk Wijeratne, who returns for a last hurrah after a recent move to Toronto.

Hot Shopping

Photo: Jeremy Tsang

STRIKING OIL
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.

BY THE SEASIDE
As you stroll the Halifax waterfront, stylish Bishop’s Landing on Lower Water Street is a must-visit shopping stop: find a tasty and unique gift for the folks back home at Rum Runners, distinctive creations at Frida Custom Jewellery Design, finely crafted pearl works at Pearl City, and an array of local wine, spirits, cider, and beer at Bishop’s Cellar.

 

Anne Morrell Robinson Quilt studio and wall art

MADE LOCALLY
Returning to the Halifax Exhibition on Prospect Road from April 26–28, the Saltscapes East Coast Expo is the ideal place to find a unique locally-made gift for the folks back home. You’ll find dozens of vendors showcasing all manner of Atlantic food, drink, art, and other gift ideas.

ALL THAT GLITTERS
The goldsmiths and jewelers at Fireworks Gallery on Barrington Street create customized jewelry for any occasion. Choose a design with gold, platinum, diamonds, or gorgeous gemstones. The designers use Old World techniques such as hand engraving or filigree. Browse the collections of other artists, as well as antique pieces from estate collections. Travel emergency? Repairs performed on site.

FRESH-AIR ADVENTURES
Spring has sprung and it’s time to explore Nova Scotia’s sylvan splendour. 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.

CENTRES OF SHOPPING
Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth boasts 120+ stores and services. Anchored by The Bay, 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 Olsen Europe, John David Shoes, Cineplex Theatres, and many others.

THE SWEET LIFE
Freak Lunchbox on Barrington Street and in Sunnyside Mall in Bedford offers a whimsical (and tasty) shopping experience. The colourful store is chockablock with retro candies like Pez, Cracker Jacks, and Pop Shoppe soda, plus fun toys and gifts. For gourmet treats or a basket of sweet goodies, stop into Sweet Jane’s on Queen Street. The staff here will put together arrangements for any tastes or celebrations. Amp up your date-night game with gourmet truffles.

Concierge Q&A

Trevor MacRae is an executive host at Casino Nova Scotia. He graduated from Dalhousie University with bachelors of commerce and arts. He is a professional affiliate with Les Clefs d’Or Canada, giving him the opportunity to form relationships in Halifax’s hospitality industry.

What’s one thing no visitor to Halifax should miss this month?
The Halifax Comedy Fest is an amazing festival that brings in to the city so many great comedians from all across the country as well as internationally. It runs from April 24–28 and with so many venues hosting shows there are lots of opportunities to laugh! Many shows are recorded for broadcast later on CBC.

Where can visitors go to discover emerging local artists? 
Bearly’s House of Blues & Ribs on Barrington Street showcases some of the best local blues artists around. The music and vibe are phenomenal and for the rib lover in your group they serve half and full racks that will make your mouth water.

What spot do you recommend for a business visitor hosting a lunch meeting?
The Barrington Steakhouse & Oyster Bar on Barrington Street is a perfect spot for a lunch meeting. Whether you are hosting one or 20, it can fit your needs. There are two private rooms that can host from 12–16 people and the second floor has plenty of space should you require some privacy for a one-on-one. The food is exceptional, specializing in beef with a menu that offers something for everyone.

What’s a good way to spend a blustery spring afternoon in Halifax?
The Discovery Centre on Lower Water Street is a great way to spend a day. It has numerous science-focused galleries and a feature exhibit which changes regularly. The Museum of Natural History on Summer Street is another terrific way to enjoy your day; you will see many artifacts of cultural significance to Nova Scotia. Make sure you visit Gus the Gopher Tortoise who has been with the Museum for more than 70 years.

What’s this month’s highlight for live-music fans?
Kip Moore, a rising star on the country scene, is a must see for any country fan. He is playing at the Nova Centre on Market Street on April 19.

 

Hot Dining

Caitrin Pilkington

PIZZA FEASTS

  • 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-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.

Tammy Fancy

LOCALS LOVE ‘EM

  • 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 beers 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.

ON THE GO
Quick, casual, healthy, and flavourful: Burrito Jax on Barrington Street ticks all the boxes for an urban-exploration power lunch. Scratch-made burritos are the house specialty.
Pulled pork and pepper steak will bring the big traditional flavours purists demand, or you can give it an East Coast twist with North Atlantic cod.

Bruce Murray/Visionfire

DINER STYLE
With a history dating back decades, The Armview Restaurant & Lounge has long been a beloved neighbourhood diner, that has now taken on a hip new appeal. But the tasty offerings and friendly service have never changed. Locals flock here for the weekend brunch, fresh Atlantic seafood, and gourmet burgers.

GOOD THINGS IN SMALL PACKAGES
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.

FROM THE OLD COUNTRY
For a classic pub experience, visit The Old Triangle Irish Ale House on Prince Street. This boisterous spot is a favourite with visitors and locals alike for its 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.

COFFEE WITH A CONSCIENCE
Glitter Bean Café is a worker-owned 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.

In Good Humour

The Halifax ComedyFest returns, showcasing top comics from coast to coast
By Trevor J. Adams

The Halifax ComedyFest is the 
East Coast’s biggest event of its sort, and 
this year’s edition is the biggest yet. Running from 
April 24–28, it features some 30 artists performing at venues around the city.

Casino Nova Scotia hosts LGBTQLMFAO on April 26 and the Last Laugh Comedy Club show on April 27, along with the return of the incredibly popular The Nasty Show 
on April 27.

The festival is also taking comedy out of the downtown with shows at Montes Showbar Grill in Waverly, Brewsters Pub in Bedford, and The Lower Deck Bar and Grill 
in Clayton Park.

This year’s lineup includes some of the hottest names in comedy today. Hal Sparks is a multi-talented actor, comedian, and musician and a political activist with his own weekly radio show. Starting his career as a member of the famed Second City troupe, he’s hosted Talk Soup on E, starred in Showtime’s hit series Queer as Folk, and has appeared in films such as Spiderman 2 and Dude, Where’s My Car. See him at the Thursday night All Star Show and Saturday night’s Gala of Laughs Finale.

Audiences first discovered Alonzo Bodden on NBC’s Last Comic Standing, as he won season three’s “Best of the Best.” His TV appearances include Fresh Off the Boat and Dr. Ken for ABC, and Californiacation for Showtime. Bodden has also appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with Conan O’Brien. See him at Wednesday’s Opening Gala, and Friday’s 
Gala of Laughs.

Fresh off his hit summer one-man show The Hate Tour, beloved Newfoundland comic Shaun Majumder is back in Halifax to share his sharp and incisive takes on society, politics, and life. See him at the Friday Gala of Laughs.

Hosted by Mark Critch, the lineup for the festival also includes: Debra DiGiovanni, Trent McClellan, Ryan Belleville, Tim Nutt, Leonard Chan, Michael Moses, Pete Johansson, Shelina Merani, Eman El-Husseini, Hoodo Hersi, Ted Morris, Andrew Barr, Sophie Buddle, Erica Sigurdson, Matt Falk, Mike Delamont, Angelo Tsarouchas, Drew Behm, Nick Martinello, Adam Delorey, Charles Haycock, Matt Wright, Mayce Galoni, Chanty Marostica, and Andrew Johnston.

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.