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Hot Shopping

By Suzanne Rent



Lovers of local art will enjoy the offerings at The Dart Gallery on Portland Street in Dartmouth. Owner Jane MacDougald sources local artwork such as paintings, pottery, jewelry, and collectibles. The gallery also hosts art shows. Art consultation services, installation, and lease-to-purchase financing options available.


Mic Mac Mall

Mic Mac Mall

• With more than 120 stores, Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth offers a variety of high-end retailers and special services perfect for seasonal shopping, anchored by iconic department store The Bay. Three floors of shops includes American Eagle Outfitters, Bath and Bodyworks, Lush, and Forever 21.
• Situated in the West End, Halifax Shopping Centre is the city’s largest shopping mall with 160 stores and services. Shop for a winter wardrobe at Banana Republic, American Eagle Outfitters, or Cleo. Find matching shoes and handbag at Aldo, Naturalizer, or Coach. One-stop-holiday shopping for everyone on your gift list.


Jennifer's of Nova Scotia

Jennifer’s of Nova Scotia

P’lovers, with locations on South Park Street in Halifax and Queen Street in Dartmouth, is the perfect destination for the shopper who likes to make purchases that are sensitive to the Earth. The product line includes eco-friendly art, clothing, books, stationary, home décor, jewelry, and items for the outdoors.
• Since 1978, Jennifer’s of Nova Scotia on Spring Garden Road has been a big supporter of Atlantic Canadian artisans who make unique gifts and works of art. The selection includes pottery, glass, wood, pewter, jewelry, and food; you’re sure to find something special for everyone on your holiday shopping list.




Woozles on Birmingham Street is Canada’s oldest children’s bookstore. It boasts shelves of books that inspire any imagination. Titles include those for baby’s first year of reading to those for young adults. Beyond books, Woozles hosts Battle of the Books, book clubs, book fairs, and more.
• For comic lovers, Strange Adventures, Comics and Curiosities on Prince Street in Halifax is a treasure trove of new and old comics, games, clothing, toys, and more. The award-winning comic book store also hosts Free Comic Book Day.


Liquid Gold

Liquid Gold

For the foodie on your shopping list, find savoury gifts of olive oil and vinegars at Liquid Gold in The Hydrostone and Sunnyside Mall in Bedford. All of the oils in store are ultra premium and made with the best crops in any season. The balsamic vinegars are made in a family-owned facility in Moderna, Italy. Pestos, tapenades, mustards, and confits will help finish off the shopping for any choosy cook.

EDITOR’S CHOICEFreak-Lunchbox-Exterior-South-2-resized

For gifts for those with a sweet tooth and a huge sense of fun, visit Freak Lunchbox at its Barrington Street location in Halifax or in Sunnyside Mall in Bedford. This colourful store is bursting with nostalgic novelties such as Pez and Pop Shoppe. Grab a bag of bulk candies in myriad varieties or check out the bobbleheads of cultural icons.


Hot Shopping: Send for the Super Heroes

Strange Adventures appeared in an issue of "Superman."

Strange Adventures on Sackville Street is simply one of the coolest stores in downtown Halifax. The little subterranean shop is jammed floor to ceiling with comics, games, books, toys and action figures. Reader’s Digest called it “Canada’s Best Comic Store” and it appeared in an issue of Superman.

Ha ha Halifax

Bob Marley headlines the Halifax Comedy Fest. Photo: Chris Smith

Top comics from across the country descend on the city for a side-splitting month

By Trevor J. Adams

Spring is always a laughing matter in Halifax. Every April, comedians from across the country (and further afield) take over the city’s stages for the Halifax Comedy Fest.

The festival kicks off on April 13 with the Opening Gala at Casino Nova Scotia. Comedian Bob Marley (not to be confused with a certain reggae singer) headlines the lineup. A darling of the 2009 festival, Marley is a local favourite. Lately, Marley has been winnning fans stateside with a successful nightshow circuit, performing on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and Craig Kilborn. Joining him are John Wing, Andrew Grose, Derek Edwards, Doug Funk, Elvira Kurt, Mike Wilmot and Pete Zedlacher.

On April 14, the show goes back to the Casino for Comedy All Stars. One of the highlights of that show is sure to be the insanely funny Sean Cullen, most famous for his raucous parody songs (such as the Meatloaf send-up “Never Too Fat to Rock and Roll”). The lineup also includes comedian Trevor Boris, the acerbic pop-culture commentator from Much Music’s Video on Trial. On the same day, the Seahorse Tavern on Argyle Street hosts Dylan Mandlsohn, Graham Clark, Jon Steinberg, Jonny Harris, Ted Morris and Lachlan Patterson.

The party moves to the Dalhousie Arts Centre on University Avenue on April 15. Newfoundlander Mark Critch, famous for his portrayal of firebrand Danny Williams on This Hour Has 22 Minutes, headlines The Gala of Laughs. Marley, Edwards and Kurt also return for encore performances.

The Lower Deck pub in the Historic Properties hosts a comedy matinee on April 16. With two live shows in the afternoon, the cozy pub
welcomes Dylan Mandlshon, Graham Clark, Heidi Foss, Jon Steinberg, Peter Anthony, Sunee Dhaliwal, Debra DiGiovanni, Graham Clark, Jen Grant, Lachlan Patterson and Nile Seguin. DiGiovanni, another Video on Trial alumnus, is one of Canada’s top unappreciated comics and at her best in a small venue like this—it’s sure to be a memorable show.

The festival concludes on the evening of April 16 with the Gala Finale at the Dalhousie Arts Centre. Several festival favourites return for one last laugh. Mark Critch hosts; the roster includes DiGiovanni, Jonny Harris, Jen Grant, Wing, Nile Seguin, Scott Falconbridge, Cullen, Stewart Francis and Greg Hahn.

In addition to the Halifax Comedy Fest, the city hosts great live comedy events throughout the month.

•    Joker’s Comedy Club on Spring Garden Road and Yuk Yuk’s on Hollis Street host regular shows, with new comics weekly.
•    The Newfoundland comedy group Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers bring their warm-hearted take on East Coast life to the Dalhousie Arts Centre on April 8 and 9.
•    Montreal’s fabled Just For Laughs comedy festival presents Irish hot shot Tommy Tiernan at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on April 29.