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Halifax

Hot Shopping

Shopping_Olsen-Europe

FUN FASHIONS

 New at the Halifax Shopping Centre on Mumford Road, Levi’s boasts a variety of brand-name denim fashions for men, women, and children.

• On Spring Garden Road, 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.

 

Shopping_John-David-Shoes

STEP UP

John David Shoes on Spring Garden Road boasts Atlantic Canada’s largest selection of women’s fashion footwear. The selection includes many exclusive brand names, such as France Mode fashion designer boots made in Europe.

 

Shopping_North-Brewing-Co
Photo: Trevor J. Adams

FOR BEER LOVERS

Just steps from the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market, the Garrison Beer Store on Terminal Road peddles beers from one of the province’s oldest crafter brewers. On tap, you’ll find seasonal creations and longstanding favourites like raspberry wheat, Irish red, and more.

Fans of Belgian-style brews will want to sample from North Brewing on Agricola Street. This tiny brewery produces Old World ales that are bursting with flavour, all with an earth-friendly commitment. You’ll find its brews, and many others, at stores like Bishop’s Cellar on Lower Water Street, West Side on Lacewood Drive, and Rockhead on North Street, plus beers from breweries around the province, and of international imports.

 

Shopping_Twiggz

KIDS WITH STYLE

Outfit the kids for the season and beyond with a trip to Urban Kids on Chain Lake Drive in Halifax or Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth. This store serves the market for kids from age four to the tween years, and keeps on top of the latest trends in kids’ fashions. Get a complete wardrobe from tops and bottoms, to hoodies and accessories.

For kids’ shoes, boots, active wear and accessories, stop into Twiggz (also at Mic Mac Mall). Shop for durable and stylish footwear, rain gear, and more. Dance gear, including leotards, tights, and shoes, are always in stock.

 

Shopping_Fireworks

ONE OF A KIND *Editor’s Pick*

At Fireworks Gallery on Barrington Street, goldsmiths create custom jewelry with a fusion of Old World techniques and 21st-century technology. Help create your own design in gold, silver, or platinum, and with precious gemstones. Repair and restoration services available.

 

Shopping_NovaScotian-Crystal

CLEAR AS CRYSTAL

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.

 

Hot Entertainment

Entertainment_Derek-Edwards

CITY CELEBRATION
August 3 to 6
The Halifax Natal Day Festival celebrates the city’s birthday with a variety of special events: parades, concerts, fireworks, road races, a talent showcase, and live comedy. Things kick off on August 3 with the 9th Annual Natal Day Comedy Night at Casino Nova Scotia on Upper Water Street, starring Just For Laughs veteran Derek Edwards.

 

Entertainment_Ciolfe-Public-Gardens-Bandstand
Photo: Terra Ciolfe

TUNE IN
Continuing
It’s hard to imagine a better way to while away a languid Sunday afternoon than the Halifax Public Gardens Summer Concert Series. Every Sunday from 2pm to 4pm, the bandstand at the heart of the Halifax Public Gardens on Spring Garden Road hosts matinee concerts showcasing local talents. Enjoy live music amidst the East Coast’s nest Victorian gardens.

 

Entertainment_Grafton-Street-Dinner-Theatre

SUMMER STAGES

• Continuing through the summer, a classic musical gets an East Coast twist, as Grafton Street Dinner Theatre presents The Sound A Music, B’ye. With lively music, warm comedy, and lots of audience interaction, the beloved story moves from Austria to the Maritimes, all paired with a three-course dinner.

• Returning on August 31, the Halifax Fringe Festival celebrates cutting-edge theatre with shows at venues around the city, featuring local, national, and international talents. It continues through September 10.

 

Entertainment_Sea-Dome

OCEAN EXPERIENCES
Continuing
The Sea Dome theatre near the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on the Halifax waterfront offers an immersive 360-degree film experience exploring our unique ocean connection. This summer’s shows include A Whale Story and Bluenose: The Legend Lives (exploring the history of the iconic schooner that graces the Canadian dime).

 

Entertainment_Art-Gallery-of-Nova-Scotia

MADE HERE
Continuing through September 18
The Nova Scotia Spotlight series at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on Hollis Street spotlights some of the provinces most influential artists. In August, the focus is on acclaimed textile artist Laurie Swim. With a career spanning five decades (and three top-selling books to her credit), Swim is hailed as one of Canada’s top textile artists.

 

Entertainment_Halifax-Busker

STREET FEATS *Editor’s Pick*
August 1 to 6
Canada’s oldest and largest event of its kind, Halifax Busker Festival showcases musicians, illusionists, acrobats, comedians, and all manner of street performers from around the world. This year’s roster includes Halifax strongman Mighty Mike, circus performer Hannah Cryle, fire artists Incendia Motus, and the ever-popular Silver Elvis. Five waterfront stages host free shows daily.

 

Entertainment_Scotia-Speedworld Entertainment_Beer-Fest Entertainment_Nancy-Wilson
Scotia Speedworld photo: Pat Healey; Halifax Seaport Beerfest photo: Steve Jess

AUGUST:
3rd: Scotia Speedworld
The motor-sports season continues with races in several divisions. Today’s races in support of the Canadian National Autism Foundation.

10th, 11th: Halifax Seaport Beerfest
Returning to the Cunard Centre on Marginal Road, this festival showcases craft beer, imported beer, and cider from across the continent, plus Irish and Icelandic brews.

15th: Nancy Wilson
The acclaimed Heart guitarist and multi-award-winning performer takes the stage at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on University Avenue.

Entertainment_Thane-Dunn Entertainment_WWE-Live Entertainment_Brad-Roberts

16th: Casino Nova Scotia
Acclaimed Presley impersonator Thane Dunn takes over the Schooner Showroom for Elvis Rock and Country.

25th: WWE Live
Superstars of Smackdown Live comes to the Halifax Forum on Windsor street for an evening of high- octane pro wrestling.

31st: Halifax Urban Folk Festival
This small-stages festival kicks off tonight with an intimate performance by Crash Test Dummies frontman Brad Roberts at The Carleton on Argyle Street.

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.

Q: What’s your pick for Halifax’s can’t-miss August event?
A: In August, the waterfront is alive with action. From August 1 to 6, the Halifax Busker Festival offers 300 shows at various stages on the waterfront with performers from all over the world. If you are here during the first week in August, you’ll also catch the Halifax Natal Day Festival, celebrating the city’s birthday. There’s great beach weather in August too; check out the Clam Harbour Sandcastle Competition taking place on our Eastern Shore.

Q: What’s a great way for outdoor adventurers to spend the day in the Halifax area?
A: The Halifax Harbour is a stone’s throw from the downtown and a great way to see Halifax from the water is by sea kayak. Kayak Halifax—at Sands at Salter on the waterfront—offers two-hour and full-day tours with professional guides enabling you to explore the second largest natural harbour in the world. Or join Kattuk Expeditions in Fisherman’s Cove for the Sunset Kayak Tour to McNab’s Island.

Q: How can a family make a rainy day fun in Halifax?
A: I always recommend the Discovery Centre to families visiting Halifax, a unique experience offering four floors of interactive exhibits including an immersive dome theatre. It’s open from 10am to 5pm daily in a new beautiful facility on the waterfront.

Q: Where should diners go to experience unique Nova Scotian wines?
A: Visitors are often surprised to learn of Nova Scotia’s thriving wine industry and if you have time, a visit to the wineries in the Gaspereau Valley is well worth the trip. Tour companies such as Grape Escapes Wine Tours offer excellent day trips to the award-winning wineries. Many restaurants support local wineries and offer the best of Nova Scotia wines. Obladee Wine Bar has an extensive wine list along with small plates and charcuterie boards. They also offer private tastings for small groups. Make sure you try our Tidal Bay wines, unique to Nova Scotia and learn more about Nova Scotia wines at Bishop’s Cellar.

Q: Where can travellers find a unique memento of their visit?
A: Head to the Hydrostone Market on Young Street and take home a unique gift from Made in the Maritimes Artisan Boutique. Lady Luck Boutique nearby is also a great spot to purchase locally made jewellery and art. Downtown, Amos Pewter offers beautiful locally-made pewter crafts, frames, and gift ideas.

Jazz on a Summer’s Day

Jazz_Chaka-Kahn

International all-stars and local talents share the stage

By: Trevor J. Adams

 

The city is alive with music this month as the Halifax Jazz Festival returns from July 10 to 15. This annual festival is a hit with locals and visitors alike, offering a mix of free and ticketed shows—classic jazz, the blues, reggae, indie rock, and more. It’s little wonder this is Halifax’s most popular summer festival.

It’s a jam-packed schedule, but don’t let that overwhelm you. Here are our can’t-miss picks to ensure you experience the best JazzFest has to offer.

 

Jazz_Molly-Johnson
Molly Johnson

JULY 10

The action starts with a free evening concert (the only free evening concert at the waterfront main stage) featuring the Halifax All Star Jazz Revue and Molly Johnson. An award-winning vocalist, Johnson is one of Canada’s top jazz talents and best known to many as a CBC Radio host. In her latest album, Because of Billie, she celebrates the music and influence of Billie Holiday.

 

Jazz_The-War-on-Drugs
The War on Drugs

JULY 11

The waterfront stage hosts free performances every afternoon, while Alvvays and The War on Drugs take over in the evening for a concert of high-octane indie-rock. And if you’re a jazz purist, be sure to catch a show (or two, or three) at St. Matthew’s United Church on Barrington Street. Tonight, the acoustically perfect venue hosts jazz pianist extraordinaire Laila Biali.

 

Jazz_Chaka-Khan2
Chaka Khan

JULY 12

Chaka. Khan. Those two words should be all you need. But to amplify the point: the funk/R&B legend has won 10 Grammys and sold 70 million records over her illustrious career. VH1 ranked her 17th on its list of the “100 Greatest Women in Rock & Roll.” She’s been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. See this once-in-a-lifetime show at the main stage starting around 8pm.

 

Jazz_Dub-Kartel
Dub Kartel

JULY 13

Friday nights are for dancing. Halifax reggae ensemble Dub Kartel joins New Orleans brass ensemble The Soul Rebels for a lively evening performance on the waterfront. Staying up late? The Carleton hosts a series of shows that start at 11:15pm and continue into the wee hours. Tonight, hometown jazz hero Jeri Brown takes the stage.

 

Jazz_Kitty-and-the-Katz
Kitty and the Katz

JULY 14

Hydrostone Park on Young Street, in the heart of the stylish Hydrostone neighbourhood, hosts a free matinee concert, starting at 1pm with Kitty and the Katz. Downtown you’ll find more free shows in the evening, with local talents performing at Le Bistro by Liz, Baton Rouge, and Obladee wine bar.

 

Jazz_Daniel-Caesar
Daniel Caesar

JULY 15

A full slate of Sunday shows wraps up the festival, with Canadian R&B talents Daniel Caesar and Charlotte Day Wilson sharing the stage. Finally, take a stroll up the hill to the Seahorse Tavern on Gottingen Street for the festival’s oFFcial after party, starting at 10:30pm. There will be (even more) live music, and special guests aplenty.

 

THE PEOPLE BEHIND JAZZFEST

The Halifax Jazz Festival, formerly known as the Atlantic Jazz Festival, is the oldest jazz festival and largest summer festival in Atlantic Canada. Each year it attracts some 55,000 visitors, involves 450 volunteers, and employs over 350 local musicians. Throughout the year, organizers work to widen Halifax’s musical horizons, organizing a range of concerts and musical-education activities.

For a complete schedule and venue information, surf to halifaxjazzfestival.ca.

Hot Dining

Dining_Shore-Club
Photo: Tourism Nova Scotia

A SHORE THING

The Shore Club Lobster Supper in Hubbards is an essential Nova Scotian experience. Enjoy a huge feed of fresh Atlantic lobster in the rollicking and informal setting of the Shore Club, one of the province’s last old-fashioned dance halls. The menu also includes all-you-can-eat mussels, with vegetarian, steak, chicken, and kids’ meals.

 

Dining_Stubborn-Goat-Beer-Garden

CHEERS!

• Take a break from the bustle of Spring Garden Road in the subterranean refuge of the Rockbottom Brewpub. The menu offers all the pub grub you’d expect, but the house-made craft-beer is the real draw. Locals love the zesty IPA and malty Irish red; keep an eye out for the brewer’s latest seasonal creations. But why play favourites? A sampler tray is a tasty way to experience all the newest brews.

The Stubborn Goat Beer Garden on the Halifax waterfront is the ideal place to while away a sunny afternoon watching the ships go by. Alongside a rotating selection of local craft beer, you’ll find tasty noshes from the operators of the Stubborn Goat, one of the downtown’s most popular gastropubs—tacos, nachos, fish and chips, burgers, salads, croquettes, and more.

 

Dining_Primal-Kitchen-Credit-Trevor-J.-Adams
Photo: Trevor J. Adams

INDULGE YOUR INSTINCTS

Picked as one of Where Canada’s Best New Restaurants in Canada (2015), Primal Kitchen on Brenton Street is a butchery-inspired gem. Sustainable local meats (smoked, cured, and butchered in-house) are the specialty, paired with a creative selection of local wine and beer.

 

Dining_Sushi-Nami
Photo: Trevor J. Adams

ASIAN APPETITE

With locations around the city, Sushi Nami Royale is your go-to spot for Japanese FIne dining, offering traditional and fusion sushi, paired with creative cocktails. Find it downtown on Dresden Row, just steps from bustling Spring Garden Road.

 

Dining_Vines-Pasta-Grill

PASTA PERFECTION

The Vines Pasta Grill on Panavista Drive in Dartmouth is a neighbourhood favourite. You’ll find all the Italian favourites you’d expect—seafood linguine, veal marsala, penne arrabiata, gnocchi, and pizza—plus a much-loved Sunday brunch buffet.

 

Dining_Sou'Wester
Photo: Tammy Fancy

ON THE ROCKS *Editor’s Pick*

For five decades, The Sou’wester has been serving up fresh seafood and Maritime hospitality alongside the wild North Atlantic in Peggy’s Cove. With a spectacular view of the ocean and the village’s iconic lighthouse, this is an ideal spot to try can’t-miss dishes like fish and chips, boiled lobster, and scratch-made gingerbread.

 

Dining_Cora

START STRONG

• Get your day off to a good start with a visit to one of the five Cora locations around Halifax. Specializing in breakfast, this popular Quebec chain offers hearty, creative breakfast, paired with heaping helpings of fresh fruit.

• Bagel Montreal Style on Dartmouth’s Wyse Road offers exactly what the name says: traditional Montreal-style bagels in a variety of flavours, hand-rolled and baked in a wood-burning oven. Try a traditional poppy seed, a sweet treat like banana chocolate, or a savoury selection with rosemary, sea salt, and olive oil.

Opening at 7am, Annie’s Place Café on Queen Street is a Halifax favourite for hearty home-style breakfasts, with daily specials and baked goods aplenty.

Hot Shopping

Shopping_Inkwell

UNIQUE GIFTS

Inkwell Modern Handmade Boutique & Letterpress Studio on Brunswick Street is one of the city’s most unique shops, boasting Handmade limited-edition paper goods, tea towels, pottery, and jewelry by local and international artists. Letterpress printing and custom design services of social stationery available.

 

Shopping_Halifax-Seaport-Farmers-Market

LOCAL HARVEST

• Located in a stylish (and environmentally friendly) new 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 Halifax Forum Farmers’ Market runs every Saturday morning and has become a North End neighbourhood favourite, showcasing products and vendors you won’t find elsewhere.

 

Shopping_NovaScotian-Crystal

CRYSTAL CREATIONS

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. Its collection includes a new stemmed tulip beer glass, plus vases, candle holders, and all manner of giftware.

 

Shopping_Halifax-Folklore-Centre

MUSICAL ROOTS

Any musician will love to shop at the Halifax Folklore Centre on Brunswick Street. Situated in a 135-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.

 

Shopping_Sweet-Jane's

HOW SWEET IT IS

Located in the South End at the corner of Queen and Morris streets, Sweet Jane’s is the ideal place to indulge a sweet tooth or pick out a distinctive gift. Find candy of all sorts, high-end confections, whimsical toys, and more.

 

Shopping_Levi's-@RILEYSMITHPHOTO
Photo: Riley Smith

• New at the Halifax Shopping Centre on Mumford Road, 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.

• 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.

 

Shopping_Bishops-Landing

ON THE WATERFRONT *Editor’s Pick*

As you stroll the Halifax waterfront, stylish Bishop’s Landing on Lower Water Street is a must-visit shopping destination: find a tasty and unique gift for the folks back home at Rum Runnersdistinctive creations at Frida Custom Jewellery Design, finely crafted pearl works at Pearl City, a huge array of local wine and craft beer at Bishop’s Cellar, and more.

Hot Entertainment

Entertainment_Cores-de-Bahia

LAST CALL
Continuing through July 2
It’s your last chance to see the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo at Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street. The world’s largest annual indoor show of its type features military and civilian performers from around the world. Highlights include Australia’s Scots College Pipe & Drums, Brazilian circus troupe Cores de Bahia, German Air Force Band Munster, the Jordanian Armed Forces Royal Guard Silent Drill Team, and the American 2d Marine Division Band.

 

Entertainment_Peggy's-Cove-Festival-of-the-Arts-Credit-Trevor-J.-Adams
Photo: Trevor J. Adams

ART EXPLORATIONS
July 4 to 16
Several coastal communities join together for the Peggy’s Cove Area Festival of the Arts, showcasing the region’s artistic talents. From July 14 to 16, you can meet and mingle with artists working around the village of Peggy’s Cove for the Paint Peggy’s Cove event. Throughout the festival, find art sales, studio tours, and live entertainment.

 

Entertainment_Maritime-Fiddle-Festival

STRING THEORY
July 6 to 9
The Maritime Fiddle Festival is the East Coast’s longest-running music festival, drawing loyal fans year after year. The celebration of old-time fiddling and traditional music includes master classes, dances, competitions, and concerts aplenty. The East Dartmouth Community Centre on Caledonia Road hosts.

 

Entertainment_Shakespeare-by-the-Sea

PLAY OUTSIDE *Editor’s Pick*
Continuing
Shakespeare by the Sea showcases the works of the Bard (plus other classics) in the seaside splendour of Point Pleasant Park at the tip of the South End. This month’s lineup includes Othello, Twelfth Night, and Alice in Wonderland. Performances Tuesday to Sunday at 7pm, with 1pm weekend matinees.

 

Entertainment_Bedford-Days

FAMILY FUN

Continuing through July 2: Bedford Days is a family favourite with live entertainment, fireworks, and more.

• July 5 to 8: The Lebanese Festival takes over the Olympic Community Centre on Hunter Street with art, music, games, and great food aplenty.

• July 7: The Dragon Boat Festival on Lake Banook in Dartmouth is an annual amateur-sport fundraiser, with colourful boats racing in good-natured competition.

• Continuing through July: FIN Outdoor hosts free film screenings in the Halifax Public Gardens. This year’s theme: “The Summer of Henson”—The Dark Crystal (July 6), The Muppets (July 13), and Labyrinth (July 20).

 

Entertainment_Pride-Parade
Photo: Terra Ciolfe

ALL TOGETHER NOW
July 19 to 29
Atlantic Canada’s largest annual Pride celebration returns. The Halifax Pride Festival includes all-welcome community celebrations throughout the month: art exhibitions, a family picnic, film screenings, concerts, and parties. The huge Pride Parade returns on July 21.

 

Entertainment_Canada-Day Entertainment_Sebastian-Bach Entertainment_Pete-Zedlacher

JULY:
1st: Canada Day
Halifax celebrates our national holiday with a community breakfast, parades, concerts, fireworks, citizenship ceremonies, and more.

4th: Casino Nova Scotia
Best known as the front man of the Canadian ‘80s metal stars Skid Row, Sebastian Bach continues his lively solo career. See him in the Schooner Showroom.

6th, 7th: Last Laugh Comedy Club
The pop-up comedy club returns to the Atlantica Hotel, as comic Pete Zedlacher headlines the show.

Entertainment_Mo-Kenney Entertainment_Afrifest Entertainment_Atlantic-Motorsport-Park

17th to 19th: Neptune Theatre
The Argyle Street Kitchen Party is a rollicking immersion into East Coast story and song. For these shows, Mo Kenney shares the stage.

20th to 22nd: Africa Festival of Arts and Culture
Sharing and encouraging young artists, Afrifest celebrates African heritage with music, art, and dance.

28th, 29th: Atlantic Motorsport Park
A lively month of racing action wraps up with weekend competition at the Mill Village track. 

Concierge Q & A

Concierge_Stephen-Morris

Starting his journey as a bellman in Lake Louise, Alberta, Stephen Morris has worked in the hospitality industry for the last 24 years and been a concierge for the last decade. He’s an active member of Les Clef ’s d’Or, Atlantic Region, seeing himself as an ambassador for the Prince George Hotel and the city of Halifax.

Q: What are July’s can’t-miss events for visitors?
A: July offers many things in Halifax but the one event you cannot miss is the Halifax Jazz Festival from July 10 to 15. Many venues, many artists, and a slice of coolness to go with the hot summer nights.

Q: What patios do you suggest for afternoon drinks with friends?
A: The best way to beat the heat is on the Gahan House patio located directly on the Halifax waterfront in the Historic Properties. An excellent assortment of Maritime-brewed beers and an amazing menu makes the Gahan House a can’t-miss.

Q: Where can visitors find a unique memento of their visit to Nova Scotia?
A: Take a stroll to the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market on Marginal Road. Local artists and vendors provide you with memories of Nova Scotia and Halifax that can fit into any suitcase.

Q: What tour experience should visitors be sure not to miss?
A: Everyone visiting Halifax must try the Harbour Hopper by Ambassatours Gray Line. Informative and fun, this amphibious tour gives you a unique perspective on the city from land and sea.

Q: If you only had one day in Halifax, how would you spend it?
A: My day would be spent grabbing a coffee from Steve-o-Reno’s Cappuccino on Brunswick Street, taking a stroll on the Halifax waterfront boardwalk, lunch at the Gahan House, an afternoon cruise of the harbour on the Tall Ship Silva operated by Murphy’s The Cable Wharf and then finishing off with a memorable meal and nightcap at the Barrington Steakhouse & Oyster Bar.

Joyful June

JoyfulJune_Tattoo

It’s festival season in Halifax—here are our favourite summer celebrations

By Trevor J. Adams

 

Celebrating the city’s music, varied cultural communities, military heritage, and rich architecture, Halifax’s festival calendar offers something for every taste this month. No matter when you’re visiting, in fair weather or foul, you’ll find an exciting event.

 

JoyfulJune_Cedar-Festival
Photo: MIT Photography 

FAMILY FUN

The annual Cedar Festival continues through June 3. Fun for the whole family, this Lebanese festival offers live music and dancing, mouth-watering Middle Eastern cuisine, cultural demonstrations, plus a cooking competition and fashion show. And just for the kids, there’s a bouncy castle, magic show, carnival games, and face painting. Our Lady of Lebanon Church on Joseph Howe Drive hosts.

 

JoyfulJune_Scotia-Festival-of-Music
Photo: Tony Hauser

MASTERS OF MUSIC

Continuing through June 10, the Scotia Festival of Music celebrates chamber music with 50+ events, including concerts, recitals, open rehearsals, and master classes. The festival attracts top talents from around the world: this year’s headliner is acclaimed composer and pianist Philip Glass. He performs concerts on June 3 and 5, and takes centre stage for an intimate chat about his craft on June 4 and 6. The concluding gala, this year on June 10, at the Dalhousie Arts Centre is always a highlight. This year Johannes Debus conducts works by Glass, Bach, and Bartok.

 

STEP INSIDE

On June 2 and 3, Doors Open Halifax lets you explore some of the city’s unique architecture. Visitors can explore buildings that are normally closed to the public, and behind-the-scenes spaces in local landmarks. Organizers were still finalizing the venue list at press time. Highlights include Alexander Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery, Government House, Halifax City Hall, Cathedral Church of All Saintsand the Old Burying Ground.

 

JoyfulJune_Greek-Fest

OPA!

Halifax Greek Fest, running this year from June 7 to 10, is one of the city’s most beloved festivals of the season. Thousands flock to St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church on Purcell’s Cove Road for live music, traditional dancing, art and cultural exhibitions, language workshops, religious artifacts, tasty Greek cuisine, and vendors aplenty. While noshing on souvlaki, watch dancers take the stage with their high-energy moves. Kids will love the Olympic area that includes face painting, an inflatable ride, cool treats, and balloons.

 

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!

Running from June 14 to 16, the OutEast Queer Film Festival celebrates queer independent cinema from local, national, and international filmmakers. It showcases a range of films, including documentary, fiction, and animation, that will challenge, educate, and entertain audiences.

 

JoyfulJune_Bedford-Days

SUMMER TRADITION

For many local families, Bedford Days is the unofficial kickoff to summer. The schedule includes lots for all ages: fireworks, rides, live entertainment, games and competitions, and a beer garden for the grown folks. DeWolf Park, just off the Bedford Highway, hosts from June 28 to July 2.

 

JoyfulJune_Tattoo2

POMP AND PAGEANTRY

Taking place June 26 to July 2, the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo is the world’s largest annual indoor show of its type. Known for its pomp, precision, and music, the event brings together military and civilian performers from around the world, including pipe and military bands, acrobats, trapeze artists, gymnasts, choirs, drill teams, comedians, and more. See it at Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street.

 

Hot Dining

Dining_Lot-Six

JUST THE TWO OF US

Intimate Lot Six on Argyle Street is a must for serious cocktail aficionados. The bar offers a creative array of cocktails, including offerings like Good Cheer (rye whisky, mulled wine, lemon, gingerbread), True at First Light (white rum, curacao, campari, lime, grapefruit, cinnamon), and Shadows at Dusk (white port, cold-brew coffee, tonic).

With its French-inspired seasonal menu, Agricola Street Brasserie has helped turn the North End into Halifax’s hottest dining destination. Artfully prepared seasonal dishes, including fresh Atlantic seafood, pair with Nova Scotian wine and beer.

 

Dining_Burrito-Jax

ON THE MOVE

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 fish.

 

Dining_Seafood-Fest
Photo: Dick de Gier

FISHING FOR FLAVOURS

A 45-minute drive east of Halifax on Highway 7, Memory Lane Heritage Village hosts the annual Eastern Shore Cold Waters Seafood Festival on June 2 and 3. Sample tasty Atlantic Canadian seafood: fresh clams, lobsters, mussels, and haddock prepared numerous ways, plus traditional dishes like smoked fish and Solomon Gundy. Kids will love the on-site demos and activities, including dory rides, buoy painting, net knitting, and lobster-trap building.

 

Dining_Shuck-Seafood

SO MUCH TO SEA

Just steps from the waterfront, Shuck Seafood + Raw Bar on Salter Street offers lightly cooked and raw fare. The raw menu feature scallops and an array of local oysters, plus crab, lobster, shrimp, and much more.

In addition to one of the waterfront’s largest patios, Salty’s on the Waterfront in the Historic Properties boasts an array of fresh local seafood. It’s an ideal place to get your mandatory Maritime feed of fish and chips.

 The Barrington Steakhouse & Oyster Bar raises the bar on local surf and turf. This stylish restaurant in the heart of the downtown features Atlantic Canadian beef and oysters, alongside an expertly curated wine list.

Perched over the harbour, Murphy’s The Cable Wharf has harbour views from almost every seat; an ideal spot to while away a sunny afternoon.

With fine seafood and traditional Maritime fare aplenty, McKelvie’s on Lower Water Street has long been a downtown favourite. The Signature Fish Platter, featuring half a lobster and selection of market-fresh fish is a can’t-miss for visitors.

 

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I’M A LUMBERJACK AND I’M OK

Enjoy a rustic evening in the heart of North End Halifax. Agricola Street’s Timber Lounge is a lumberjack-themed bar decked with raw wood and acres of plaid. The bar features local taps and bottled beers, but axe throwing is the main draw. Fear not: staff are always nearby to train and supervise.

 

Dining_Halifax-Ribfest

A BONE TO PICK *Editor’s Pick*

Running from June 29 to July 2, Halifax Ribfest showcases ribs (and lots of other BBQ dishes and sides) from local favourites like Boneheads BBQ and vendors from around North America. Live entertainment and free admission (pay per serving). The annual festival is a fund raiser for the Rotary Club of Halifax. Find it on the Halifax waterfront off Lower Water Street.

Hot Shopping

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UNIQUE FINDS

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 jewelry, 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, is the place to go for gifts from the spot known as “Canada’s Ellis Island.” Find local art and books, pewter gifts, and museum-branded swag aplenty.

 

Shopping_Ikebana

ZEN AND THE ART OF SHOPPING

Ikebana on Quinpool Road creates attractive floral arrangements in traditional Japanese designs. Choose from an arrangement of fresh flowers or one with permanent botanicals of silk or dried blossoms. Take a lesson or join in on a demonstration or workshop. The retail shop offers flower containers, Japanese pottery, incense, tea, and clothing.

 

Shopping_Plaid-Place

CELTIC PRIDE *Editor’s Pick*

Want to sport that distinctive Nova Scotian tartan? Head to Plaid Place on Barrington Street. You’ll find sweaters, hats, ties, skirts, kilts, and accessories—all reflecting Nova Scotia’s strong Scottish roots. Special event? Highland attire available for sale and rental.

 

Shopping_Sweet-Pea-Boutique

SUMMER STYLE

Sweet Pea Boutique on Queen Street has stylish summer dresses for any occasion. Find a basic style for everyday wear, flirtier frocks for weekends, or a cocktail dress for a wedding or other summer celebration. Choose from accessories such as shoes, jewelry, and hair pieces to complete your look.

 

Shopping_Propeller-Brewing
Photo: Trevor J. Adams

BEER LOVERS’ TRIO

Just steps from the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market, the Garrison Beer Store on Terminal Road peddles beers from one of the province’s oldest craft brewers. On tap, you’ll find seasonal creations and longstanding favourites like raspberry wheat, Irish red, and more.

With stores on Gottingen Street and Windmill Road, Propeller Brewing is at the forefront of the local-beer scene. Thee new Propeller Common is a perfect summer beer: flavourful but easy-drinkin’.

At stores like Bishop’s Cellar on Lower Water Street and Rockhead on North Street, you’ll find beers from breweries around the province, plus all manner of international imports.

 

Dining_Clearwater

FRESH FROM THE SEA

Fresh Atlantic lobster is a treat year-round; did you know you can stop into Clearwater Seafood at the Halifax airport on your way home to get some packaged for travel? Or visit the Bedford Highway location to get fresh-boiled lobster (with all the fixings), for an unforgettable picnic.

Hot Entertainment

Entertainment_Antique-Car-Show

ROAD TRIP
June 17 (rain date June 24)

The annual Antique Car Show makes Memory Lane Heritage Village a popular Father’s Day destination. A 45-minute drive east of the city in Lake Charlotte, you’ll find dozens of restored antique vehicles, live entertainment, and Kub Kar races for the kids.

 

Entertainment_Scotia-Festival-of-Music

THE BIG CRESCENDO
June 10

The Scotia Festival of Music, a two-week celebration of chamber music featuring talents from around the world, wraps up today with a matinee gala at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on University Avenue. Johannes Debus conducts by Bach’s Concerto in D Minor, Bartok’s Divertimento for Strings, and Violin Concerto No. 2 by Philip Glass, the latter featuring a performance by violin virtuoso Tim Fain.

 

Shopping_Scotia-Speedworld
Photo: Pat Healy

HIT THE GAS

June 1, 9, 10, 14 to 18, 23, 24, 28, 29: Atlantic Motorsport Park in Mill Village features regional motorcycle and auto-racing events plus national competitions on a 2.5-kilometre, 11-turn road circuit.

• June 1, 8, 15, 22, 23, 29: A 30-minute drive north of the city in Enfield, Scotia Speedworld boasts a fast, wide D-shaped track, making it one of Atlantic Canada’s top auto-racing venues.

 

Entertainment_14-Bells-Gallery

ARTISTIC EXPRESSION

 Opening June 2, 14 Bells Gallery in the Hydrostone Market features an exhibition of new paintings by Nova Scotia artist Peter John Reid.

 Pieces of Sable Island opens on June 15 at Argyle Fine Art in the Historic Properties. Briana Corr-Scott shares art she created after a recent visit to the wild and romantic North Atlantic island.

 On June 25, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on Hollis Street opens the new exhibition Nova Scotia Spotlight: Laurie Swim. One of Canada’s most acclaimed textile artists, Swim creates intricate quilt works inspired by life on the East Coast.

 

Entertainment_The-Glorious-Sons

COLD BEER, COOL TUNES
June 17

Nova Scotia craft-beer granddaddy Garrison marks its birthday with Garrison’s Backlot Bash at the Cunard Centre on Marginal Road. Entertainment includes The Glorious Sons, The Motorleague, and Hello Delaware. Enjoy beer from Garrison plus special releases, seasonal brews, and ciders.

 

Entertainment_Dolly-Parton

WHAT A WAY TO MAKE A LIVING
June 7 to 23

9 to 5 (co-written by Dolly Parton, who also starred in the 1980 film) takes over the stage at Dartmouth Players Theatre on Crichton Avenue. The musical comedy tells the story of three women out to get even with their sexist, lying, bigoted boss, and end up taking over the company.

 

Entertainment_Vision-Air-Services
Photo: Tim L’Esperance

ABOVE IT ALL *Editor’s Pick*

See the iconic Peggy’s Cove lighthouse from a new perspective, explore uninhabited coastal islands, soar above historic Halifax Citadel and the downtown, see the lush farms and vineyards of the Annapolis Valley: Vision Air Services offers unique helicopter tours throughout the region, with custom itineraries and golf excursions available.

 

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JUNE:
1st, 2nd: Last Laugh Comedy Club
A new pop-up comedy club opens at the Atlantica Hotel Halifax on Robie Street, with performances from Tim Nutt, Matt Falk, and Drew Behm.

2nd: East Coast Music Showcase
Several local talents take the stage for a community-radio fund raiser, including Makayla Lynn, John Gracie, Hal Bruce, Reeny Smith, and J.J. Roots.

5th: Dylan Moran
The Irish comic brings his Grumbling Mustard tour to the Dalhousie Arts Centre for an evening of wry observational comedy.

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7th: The John Denver Experience
Chris Collins & Boulder Canyon perform the singer/songwriter’s greatest hits like “Rocky Mountain High” and “Take Me Home Country Roads.”

17th: Neptune Theatre
Mamma Mia! continues through the month at Neptune Theatre. The smash-hit features the music of ABBA and stars Jahlen Barnes, Danielle Benton, and Karen Burthwright.

22nd, 23rd: Casino Nova Scotia
Locally loved blues-rocker Matt Minglewood and his band take the stage for an intimate show in the Schooner Showroom at the Upper Water Street casino.