• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom


Celebrate Summer

Halifax’s festival season heats up with music, art, culture, food and more

By Trevor J. Adams


A busy month of festivals and cultural celebrations begins with the Scotia Festival of Music. Continuing through June 7 at venues around the city, this event is a must for serious music fans, showcasing the best in Chamber music. This year, the lineup includes coductor Kenneth Woods, cellist Denise Djokic, violinist Giora Schmidt and pianist Simon Docking. A gala matinee concert at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on June 7 concludes the festival, featuring works by Elgar, Beethoven and Benjamin. Concurrently, Halifax’s vibrant Lebanese community celebrates its roots with Cedar Festival from June 4 to 7 at Our Lady of Lebanon Parish on Joseph Howe Drive. Festivities include a special mass, musical performances, art exhibitions, food tastings, games, dancing and more. June also sees the return of one of Halifax’s biggest and most popular festivals. Running this year from June 11 to 14, Halifax Greek Fest always attracts thousands to Saint George’s Greek Orthodox Church on Purcell’s Cove Road.June---Antique-Car-Show_admirers Lively music and dancing abound, along with cultural exhibitions and Greek cuisine aplenty. This year’s schedule features the Poseidon live band, a screening of FIFA Women’s World Cup soccer (Greece vs. Colombia), Greek language classes, a sommelier-hosted Greek wine and food tasting, and more. That same weekend, Memory Lane Heritage Village in Lake Charlotte hosts the Father’s Day Antique Car Show. Scheduled for June 21, (rain date June 29), the show is a rite of Father’s Day. There are dozens of lovingly restored classic cars, plus live entertainment and Kub Kar races. This month also features one of Halifax’s longest-running summer events: the Nova Scotia Multicultural Festival. Running from June 26 to 28 at the Halifax Seaport Harbourwalk at the corner of Terminal and Marginal roads, the festival showcases Nova Scotia’s many traditional-dancers2cultural communities with music, food, art, cultural exhibitions and more. The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo closes out the month. Running from June 30 to July 7 at Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street, it’s the world’s largest annual indoor show of its type. The lineup includes an exciting mix of military and civilian drill teams, bands and performers from around the globe. This year’s highlights include the Halifax debut for Sweden’s Home Guards Band of Eslöv, His Majesty the King’s Guard Band and Drill Team of Norway, the Gym Wheel Team Taunusstein of Germany and the Paris Police Gymnastics Team.



Art & Cabaret: Canmore’s Carter-Ryan Gallery

Carter-Ryan Gallery

Canmore’s new Carter-Ryan Gallery features carvings and paintings by Jason Carter alongside performances produced by Edmonton TV personality Bridget Ryan. Twenty-one bold canvases of artwork from Who Is Boo: The Curious Case of One Trickster Rabbit capture the imagination, while off-Broadway inspired cabaret shows include dancing, singing, comedy and storytelling. By James Kallenbach


Get Cultured at Avant-Garde Bar


Soviet-era propaganda posters add a historical flair

Avant-Garde Bar & Gift Shop is easy to miss if you’re not searching for it. Squished in between the booming beats of Ritual Nightclub and the orange glow of iTan Advanced Tanning Studios, the restaurant defines hole-in-the-wall.

Dim lighting and flickering candles contribute to the feeling that you’ve stumbled upon an Ottawa secret, while the walls decorated with Soviet-era propaganda posters evoke a bygone era. All the posters, art, and other merchandise — European sports teams’ baseball hats, polo shirts, hoodies — are for sale.

This Avant-Garde promo poster describes the bar as a cultural hub "where local poets, musicians, artists, designers, and political activitists gather."

When asked about the décor, owner Alex Yugin says, “The Soviet era is very striking artistically and culturally. Every element of décor and every Soviet propaganda poster is surely unlike any traditional pub-related environment. Also, with our family hailing directly from St. Petersburg, Russia, we felt we had a very refreshing and authentic cultural Soviet perspective to offer in comparison to more of a “vintage” North American view.”

The Soviet theme carries over to the menu. For example, classic Russian dishes such as Siberian pelemeni (ground beef dumplings) and borscht are found under the witty heading, “Five-Year Plan Entrees,” referring to Stalin’s five –year plan for stimulating the Soviet Union’s economy. The traditional fare appears alongside more Western-style dishes such as nachos, fittingly named “food stamps nachos,” and a mixed greens salad.

The real gem, however, is the drink menu, which consists of three jam-packed pages of cocktails, martinis, shooters, wine, beer, port, sherry, spirits, and liquors. Cocktails such as “Proletarian Omelet,” “Orange Revolution,” and “From Russia with Love” mix the political with the whimsical. A couple of the most popular cocktails include the “Soviet Sunrise,” a mix of lemon-flavoured vodka and special syrup, and “Red October,” which contains vodka, soda, and a mix of syrups. (more…)

Hot Dates: One Night of Tango Pasión

Dancers bring Buenos Aires to Ottawa with Tango Pasión. Photo credit: Jimv McCann.

Feb. 21. If you love powerful music, mesmerizing dances, and beautiful people, you’ll love a performance by the Argentine dance company Tango Pasión. For just one night, the music and dancing of Buenos Aires will take over Ottawa, so you can experience the fancy footwork and sexy beats for yourself in this sizzling spectacle. (Fun fact: 2o12 is the company’s 20th anniversary, and the show returns to Canada for a handful of performances in select cities.) The show weaves together multiple tango stories and features dancers who represent the full range of Argentine society. Don’t miss your chance to see the dance moves that everyone will be talking about when the performers heat up the stage at the National Arts Centre.

Hot Dining: Eats and Entertainment

Ultra (photo by Device 222)

What better way to work off your dinner than with a dance or two? You’ll find both food and fun at these Toronto supper clubs. The glamour of old Hollywood is prominent at The Roosevelt Room, with its art deco–styled interior and 1920s-inspired cocktail menu. Savour a sumptuous rack of Ontario lamb ($32.95) or Alberta beef filet ($31.95), then enjoy live jazz or vaudevillian entertainment. For a more contemporary experience, swanky Ultra serves steaks, of course, plus East-meets-West offerings like a baked half lobster with chipotle hollandaise ($21) or miso-glazed black cod ($26), before sending you on to the dance floor. And if you like to do the salsa and eat it, too, then a night at Babalúu is in order. Relish Latin fusion options—entrees, tapas dishes and huge shareable paellas—then partake in a complimentary and caliente dance lesson.