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Neptune Theatre

Hot Entertainment

TOP GEAR
June 1, 8, 9, 13–16, 22, 23, 28–30
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, 7, 17, 21, 22, 28
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.

HELLO, DALI!
Continuing
New at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on Hollis Street, Salvador Dali, A Suite of Prints. includes all 11 engravings from Our Historical Heritage Suite (1975). This landmark exhibition uncovers a link between Dali’s best known symbolic surrealist work and the exploration on religious themes that recurred throughout his career.

DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS
June 17
American country legends Lonestar, still going strong after 25 years atop the music charts, make a rare visit to Halifax. See them at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on University Avenue as they perform a selection of greatest hits and new material.

HAVING A BALL
June 1, 19, 26
HFX Wanderers FC are Halifax’s new pro-soccer team, competing in the Canadian Premier League. See them in action at their pop-up stadium at the Wanderers Grounds on Sackville Street, as they take on Pacific FC (June 1), Cavalry FC (June 19), and Valour FC (June 26).

DAD’S DAY
June 16 (rain date June 23)
The annual Antique Car Show is a Father’s Day tradition at Memory Lane Heritage Village in Lake Charlotte. The living-history museum, which re-creates life in a 1940s-era Nova Scotian village, hosts dozens of restored antique vehicles, live entertainment, and Kub Kar races for the kids.

BEER + GREAT MUSIC
June 15
Nova Scotia craft-beer granddaddy Garrison marks its birthday with a rollicking party. The lineup for Garrison’s Backlot Bash ncludes performances by Broken Social Scene, Dave Sampson, and Natalie Lynn. Enjoy beer from Garrison plus special releases, seasonal brews, and ciders. Food from the Gecko Bus, Cheese Curds, and Asado.

HITTING THE STREETS
June 6–9
Some 13,000 people will take part in a weekend of Blue Nose Marathon events, including a youth run, 5K, 10K, half marathon, team relay, and more. The full marathon on June 9 is a Boston Marathon qualifier. The full route is a double loop through peninsular Halifax, beginning at the Old Town Clock and heading around Halifax Common, winding through the North End and down Barrington Street to Point Pleasant Park, and then back to Sackville Street to repeat the circuit.

Image courtesy of PBR Canada (CNW Group/PBR Canada)

June 1
Professional Bull Riders Canada
The PBR Monster Energy Tour at Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street showcases Canada’s top cowboys and some of the circuit’s leading international competitors.

June 2
Neptune Theatre
Tonight is your last chance to see Neptune’s critically acclaimed production of The Color Purple, starring Tara Jackson as Celie.

June 4
Corey Hart
The legendary Canadian rocker never surrendered. See him perform his trademark hits (and a wealth of other material) at Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street.

June 9
Scotia Festival of Music
The chamber-music festival wraps up its 40th season with a gala performance at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on University Avenue, featuring conductor Bernhard Gueller.

June 22–23
Matt Andersen
Return to the Dalhousie Arts Centre to see one of the East Coast’s hottest blues talents: Andersen is a blazingly good guitarist who never disappoints.

June 28
Casino Nova Scotia
At Bruce Guthro’s Songwriters’ Circle in the Schooner Showroom, the eponymous artist joins special guests to explore their craft.

Hot Entertainment

Airi Yoshioka

IN PERFECT TUNE
May 26–June 9
For some four decades, the Scotia Festival of Music has brought some of the world’s top musical talents to Halifax for a two-week celebration of chamber music. This year features another all-star lineup, including erstwhile Symphony Nova Scotia conductor Bernhard Gueller, violinist Airi Yoshioka, pianist Simon Docking, and soprano Pascale Beaudin. Concerts at the Dalhousie Arts Centre and the Peggy Corkum Music Room.

CURTAIN CALL
Continuing through June 2
Tara Jackson stars as Celie in The Color Purple at Neptune Theatre, in the company’s most-talked-about production of the year. The Oprah Winfrey-produced Broadway run of this musical adaptation of the Alice Walker novel was a critical and popular hit.

HOCKEY NIGHT
May 16–26
The Canadian Hockey League’s Memorial Cup is one of hockey’s most venerable trophies. The Halifax Mooseheads host the champions of the Quebec, Ontario, and Western major-junior hockey leagues as they battle for the national title. Before becoming pros, stars like Carey Price, Sidney Crosby, and Connor McDavid earned their spurs in the CHL.

Philip Chiu

PERFECT COMBO
May 4
The Cecilia Concert Series presents an ideal pairing of music and food. Montreal’s Chef Sean Murray Smith prepares a seven-course dinner (matched with fine wines), accompanied by a live performance by musician-in-residence/pianist Philip Chiu and Toronto Symphony Orchestra concert master/violinist Jonathan Crow.

SOMETHING DIFFERENT
May 8–12
Canadians will recognize floorball as a grown-up version of the classic childhood game of floor hockey. The city hosts the sport’s top young competitors this month, as the Men’s U19 World Floorball Championship moves outside Europe for the first time. See the action at Dalplex in Halifax and the Sportsplex in Dartmouth.

ART EXPLORATION

  • Continuing at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on Hollis Street, The Shore, Wind and View in Gaff Point features paintings by Hangama Amiri about childhood memory, cross-cultural dialogue, and feminism.
  • Twenty-four local artists comprise the Art 1274 Hollis cooperative, featuring an ever-changing selection of new works in a variety of media. Welded, an exhibition of new metal works by Al Hattie, opens on May 2.
  • From May 2–26, the Craig Gallery at Alderney Landing in Dartmouth—where the Halifax Transit ferries dock—features Rag and Bone. Artist Genvieve Killin explores the passage of time with plaster-work abstractions of objects found in the wilderness.

DESTINATION CANADA

BACK IN TIME
Continuing
Visit Halifax of yesteryear with a tour of the Alexander Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery on Lower Water Street. Costumed interpreters share the story of the legendary brewmaster (and mayor of Halifax), the brewing process, and colonial Nova Scotia. Tours available Friday–Sunday; private bookings for larger groups.

May 2
Metric
The indie-rock/synthpop sensations return to Halifax, performing with July Talk at Scotiabank Centre on Argyle Street.

May 4–5
Symphony Nova Scotia
Mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy, the Nova Scotia Mass Choir, and several others join the symphony for a performance of Mozart’s majestic Great Mass in C Minor. The Dalhousie Arts Centre hosts.

May 5
John Cleese
The legendary actor and comedian brings his Why There Is No Hope tour to Scotiabank Centre.

May 12
Shawn Barker
A Tribute to Johnny Cash is an eerily spot-on tribute to the Man in Black. See Barker in the Schooner Showroom at Casino Nova Scotia.

May 25
Martin Sexton
This American singer-songwriter defies genre, with influences including blues, rock, jazz, gospel, soul, and country. He performs at The Carleton.

May 29
HFX Wanderers FC
Halifax’s new soccer team play their first home game against York9 FC in an intimate pop-up stadium just a block from bustling Spring Garden Road.

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 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.

East Coast Holidays

Live Music, Theatre, Parades, and More—Christmas Celebrations Abound in the Halifax Area

 

Grand Parade in Halifax (Photo Credit: Tammy Fancy)

FAMILY FIRST
The Holiday Parade of Lights on Nov. 17 marks the unofficial start of the holiday season in Halifax, as thousands of spectators line downtown streets to see dozens of floats and musical acts (and, of course, Santa Claus). Back downtown on Nov. 24, Grand Parade square in front of Halifax City Hall hosts the city’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting, a family-friendly celebration with live entertainment and a visit from Santa. Also on Nov. 24 (and 25), Halifax Citadel National Historic Site hosts its annual Victorian Christmas, sharing holiday traditions dating back to colonial days. The party moves across the harbour the next weekend, as the park at Sullivan’s Pond hosts the Dartmouth Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec. 1, where the highlights include the Santa Claus Express Train and fireworks.

 

The Celtic Tenors

SEASONAL SYMPHONY
Symphony Nova Scotia offers a full calendar of holiday concerts at the Dalhousie Arts Centre, starting Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 with A Celtic Tenors Christmas. Up next is perennial favourite The Nutcracker (presented with Mermaid Theatre and Halifax Dance) running from Dec. 7 to 9 and 13 to 16. As usual, things reach a crescendo on Dec. 21, 22, with Handel’s magnificent Messiah. This year presented in the historic “Dublin” arrangement, it features Mezzo-soprano Marion Newman, tenor Michael Colvin, and baritone Alexander Dobson.

 

The Ennis Sisters

MERRY MUSIC
Oh What A Night—The Christmas Show takes the stage at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on Nov. 18. The cast of the Oh What A Night tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons offer audience favourites from the original production, plus a musical tribute to “Mr. Christmas” Andy Williams. Prefer your holidays with an East Coast twist? On Nov. 30, The Ennis Sisters from Newfoundland combine original songs and holiday classics in a show that features stunning harmonies, recitations, lively step dancing, and playful humour. See them at St. Matthew’s United Church on Barrington Street. And on Dec. 6, Casino Nova Scotia on Upper Water Street hosts Serena Ryder Christmas. The eponymous singer/songwriter offers a mix of new material, old hits, and holiday classics.

 

Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

FESTIVE THEATRE
Neptune Theatre’s long-awaited holiday production begins on Nov. 27 and continues through Jan. 5. Artistic director Jeremy Webb adapts Cinderella as a musical comedy for the stage, starring Samantha Walkes as the title hero. Concurrently, Neptune’s studio stage hosts another holiday mainstay: Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, a one-man show starring Rhys Bevan-John. The pantomime at Theatre Arts Guild is another annual family favourite. It’s always a lively, rollicking show with lots of audience participation. This year, see Sleeping Beauty from Nov. 22 to Dec. 8.

 

Neon Dreams

AULD LANG SYNE
Join thousands of revellers at Grand Parade square in front of Halifax City Hall for the East Coast’s largest New Year’s Eve party. The family-friendly celebration begins at 10:30 p.m., with headliners Neon Dreams and A Tribe Called Red offering live musical performances, followed by a giant fireworks show at midnight.

 

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. 

Hot Entertainment

Entertainment_Cadence

IN PERFECT HARMONY
May 4

Combining raw talent, hard work, and infectious charm, the cappella quartet Cadence is one of Canada’s top vocal ensembles, performing a lively mix of bebop classics, jazz standards, and contemporary favourites. The Dartmouth Community Concert Association hosts them at Woodlawn United Church.

 

Entertainment_Dirty-Dancing

CENTRE STAGE

Continuing at Neptune TheatreMamma Mia! is Halifax’s most-talked-about theatrical production of the season, featuring lively choreography and the music of ABBA.

Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage comes to Scotiabank Centre on May 22, bringing the beloved 1980s story (with the musical hits you’d expect) to life on the big stage.

 

Entertainment_Blue-Nose-Marathon

BORN TO RUN
May 18 to 20

The Blue Nose Marathon is a Boston qualifier, following a 42-kilometre route beginning at Citadel Hill and winding through the South End, Point Pleasant Park, downtown, across the Macdonald Bridge to Dartmouth, and back to the Citadel. Events include a 5K and youth run on May 19, followed by the full marathon, half marathon, and 10K race on May 20. 

 

Entertainment_Atlantic-Motorsport-Park

TOP GEAR

May 11 to 13, 16, 18 to 21, 26, 27, 30: Atlantic Motorsport Park hosts regional motorcycle and auto-racing events plus national competitions on a 2.5-kilometre, 11-turn road circuit.

May 12, 20, 25, 26: Scotia Speedworld reopens for the season, hosting auto-racing events in several classes.

 

Entertainment_Philip-Glass

MUSIC MASTERS *Editor’s Pick*
May 27 to June 10

The Scotia Festival of Music is a must for classical purists, showcasing chamber-music artists from around the world with 50 events, including concerts, recitals, open rehearsals, master classes, and more. Guests include Philip Glass (composer), Elissa Li (violin), and Sharon Wei (viola).

 

Entertainment_Touch-a-Truck

FAMILY FUN
May 12

Touch-a-Truck is intended for all ages, but machine-loving kids will especially enjoy it. Halifax Exhibition Centre on Prospect Road hosts several fire engines, cars, bikes, diggers, boats, and more, all in one space; hop up to driver’s seat for a photo. There are sessions for people with sensitivities to loud noise from 11:30am to 12:30pm and 2:30 to 3:30pm. 

 

Entertainment_Bull-Riding

RIDE ‘EM
May 26

While bull riding is huge in Western Canada, it’s a rarely-seen sport on the East Coast. This month, the Professional Bull Riders Monster Energy Tour comes to the city, bringing top competitors from across the country and around the world to Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street.

 

Entertainment_Kevin-Hart Entertainment_Bernhard-Gueller Entertainment_Mary-E-Black-Gallery

MAY:
4th: Kevin Hart
Hart’s Irresponsible Tour just keeps growing, with dozens of new dates added recently, including an unexpected stop at Halifax’s Scotiabank Centre.

8th to 12th: Symphony Nova Scotia
The season concludes at the Dalhousie Arts Centre with “Gueller’s Grand Finale,” two concerts honouring outgoing Maestro Bernhard Gueller.

13th: Mary E. Black Gallery
Continuing until today, the exhibition Wreaking Havoc features works by textile artist Jane Whitten. See it at the Marginal Road gallery.

Entertainment_Cheng2-Duo Entertainment_Jason-Cyrus Entertainment_William-Roache

13th: Cecilia Concert Series
The season concludes with a concert by the Cheng² Duo, a sibling team featuring pianist Silvie Cheng and cellist Bryan Cheng.

18th: Jason Cyrus
The renowned hypnotist performs an intimate show, with lots of audience participation, in the Schooner Showroom at Casino Nova Scotia.

28th: The Ken Barlow Effect
William Roache has played Ken Barlow on Coronation Street since the show’s inception 57 years ago. He shares behind-the-scenes secrets at this Spatz Theatre Q&A session. 

Hot Entertainment

Entertainment_Live-Art-Dance

BODIES IN MOCEAN
April 26 to 28

Live Art Dance wraps up its 35th season with a world premiere of new work from award-winning choreographer Heidi Strauss (one of Toronto’s most prolific and successful creators), performed by Mocean Dance. The Dalhousie Arts Centre on University avenue hosts.

 

Entertainment_Stars-on-Ice

OLYMPIC HEROES
April 27

This year’s Stars on Ice figure-skating showcase is a who’s-who of Canadian Olympic medallists, including Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, Patrick Chan, Eric Radford and Megan Duhamel, and Katelyn Osmond. See them at Scotiabank Centre.

 

Enertainment_Home-Show

TIME TO REFRESH
April 6 to 8

Thinking of sprucing up your space? Thinking of building, redecorating, or renovating your home? Find ideas and inspiration from dozens of vendors at the Spring Ideal Home Show at Halifax Exhibition Centre on Prospect Road.

 

Entertainment_Ballet-Jorgen

5 FOR MUSIC LOVERS
April 8:
 The Cecilia Concert Series presents Jeanne Amièle and Simon Larivière at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts on Chebucto Road. The pianists explore the music of Czarist Russia: Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and more.

April 13: Indie-pop sensations Stars take the stage at the Marquee Ballroom on Gottingen Street.

April 13: Join The Stanfields for a night of rollicking rock with a Celtic tinge at Casino Nova Scotia on Upper Water Street.

April 14, 15: Ballet Jörgen joins Symphony Nova Scotia to perform Anastasia at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

April 24: Long a mainstay of the Canadian prog-metal scene, Protest the Hero are sure to blow the roof off the Marquee Ballroom.

 

Entertainment_Mamma-Mia

DANCING QUEENS
April 10 to June 3

Opening this month, Mamma Mia! is Neptune Theatre’s most hotly-anticipated show of the season. The music of ABBA weaves through this story of a young woman searching for her father on the eve of her wedding.

 

Entertainment_Mary-E-Black-Gallery

MADE LOCALLY
Continuing

The Mary E. Black Gallery on Marginal Road specializes in fine craft from around Atlantic Canada. This month, the gallery spotlights textile artist Jane Whitten with the exhibition Wreaking Havoc.

 

Entertainment_Theatre-Arts-Guild

TIMELESS CLASSIC *Editor’s Pick*
April 5 to 21

Theatre Arts Guild performs a new adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank. Bill vanGorder directs the poignant story of a Jewish family’s struggle to survive in Nazi-occupied Europe.

 

Entertainment_Clay-WalkerEntertainment_Tommy-TallaricoEntertainment_Johnny-Reid

APRIL:
4th: Clay Walker
From deep in the heart of Texas to the Schooner Showroom at Casino Nova Scotia, Clay Walker is an enduring country favourite.

6th to 8th: Symphony Nova Scotia
Tommy Tallarico and the Soundtrax choir join the Symphony for Video Games Live at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

16th: Johnny Reid
The Canadian country star brings his Revival Live Tour to the Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street.

Entertainment_Jimmy-Carr Entertainment_Harlem-GlobetrottersEntertainment_Jane-Archibald

27th: Jimmy Carr
Montreal’s Just For Laughs comedy festival presents the acclaimed British comic at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

28th: Harlem Globetrotters
The “clown princes of basketball” return to Scotiabank Centre for a display of hoops wizardry.

29th: Cecilia Concert Series
A favourite with opera fans around the world, soprano Jane Archibald joins pianist Liz Upchurch at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts.

 

Hot Entertainment

Entertainment_The-Sheepdogs

5 FOR MUSIC LOVERS
March 3, 4: 
St. Andrew’s United Church on Robie Street hosts Symphony Nova Scotia, as violinist and leader David Greenberg joins them for Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

March 7: St. Paul’s Anglican Church on Argyle Street hosts the Kirk MacDonald & Harold Mabern Duo for an evening of jazz standards and original works.

March 10: The Cecilia Concert Series hosts the Ladom Ensemble: a young and passionate group of musicians from across Canada. See them at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts on Chebucto Road. 

March 16, 17: The Sheepdogs put on a lively old-school guitar-rock concert every time they visit Halifax. Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs open the show.

March 23: The Brogue Saxophone Quartet goes well beyond what you’d expect from a traditional saxophone ensemble, constantly adding to their repertoire. The Dartmouth Community Concert Association features them at Woodlawn United Church.

 

Entertianment_Marlene-Creates

THE BEAUTY OF NATURE
Continuing through May 6

Newfoundland environmental artist and poet Marlene Creates has fought tirelessly to share the East Coast’s natural beauty and help preserve it. Places, Paths, and Pauses at Dalhousie Art Gallery offers a retrospective on her career.

 

Entertainment_Ahdri-Zhina-Mandiela

EXPLORING A DREAM *Editor’s Pick*
Continuing through March 18

Ahdri Zhina Mandiela directs as Neptune Theatre and the Black Theatre Workshop team up for The Mountaintop. Playwright Katori Hall reimagines Martin Luther King Jr.’s final hours as he confronts his destiny and legacy. Tristan D. Lalla plays the civil-rights leader.

 

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DINNER & A SHOW
Continuing

Grafton Street Dinner Theatre pairs lively music and witty comedy with a three-course dinner and lots of audience participation. The current production, The Show Must Go On, is a murder mystery featuring pop hits from the 1960s to today.

 

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THE USUAL SUSPECTS
Continuing

This month is your last chance to see Prime Suspects at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on Hollis Street. Award-winning cartoonist Bruce MacKinnon depicts Canada’s prime ministers in caricature with his trademark wit and incisive satire.

 

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Chris Hadfield Photo: NASA/Victor Zelentsov

MARCH
1st: Chris Hadfield
The first Canadian commander of the International Space Station shares an evening of stories, images, and songs at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

5th: Our Lady Peace & Matthew Good
Matthew Good and Our Lady Peace share the stage at Scotiabank Centre for an evening of high-octane rock.

14th: Halifax Mooseheads
The hometown major-junior hockey team hosts New Brunswick rivals Saint John in regular-season play at Scotiabank Centre.

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16th, 17th: Symphony Nova Scotia
Heather Rankin joins the orchestra for an evening of Irish and East Coast folk favourites.

22nd: Halifax Hurricanes
The Hurricanes host Moncton in minor-pro basketball action at Scotiabank Centre.

29th: Casino Nova Scotia
Bruce Guthro’s Songwriters’ Circle returns to the Schooner Showroom, exploring the art of song writing.

Hot Entertainment

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Photo: Tammy Fancy

ROCK OUT
January 20

A favourite on the Halifax music scene since his days as an open-mic mainstay, rocker Matt Mays—best known for hits like “Cocaine Cowgirl” and “Take It on Faith”—returns with July Talk to perform at the Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street. The Beaches open the show.

 

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STEP UP
January 11 to 13, February 14

Live Art Dance Productions brings two unique contemporary-dance performances to the Dalhousie Arts Centre this winter. From January 11 to 13, Toronto Dance Theatre marks its 50th season with a showcase of Christopher House’s work, while on February 14 Compagnie Marie Chouinard offers Preludes by Chopin and Le Cri du Monde.

 

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ARTISTIC EXPLORATIONS
Continuing

Until January 14, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on Hollis Street hosts Kepe’kek from the Narrows of the Great Harbour. The photo exhibition explores an early Mi’kmaq settlement destroyed in the Halifax Explosion. And continuing through the winter, the gallery features Prime Suspects (Canada’s Prime Ministers in caricature by Bruce MacKinnon) and Folk/Funk (a whimsical look at the use of clay art to make social and political statements).

 

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HOW ARE YOU NOW? *Editor’s Pick*
February 27 & 28

Absurd, crass, and hilarious, the Crave TV show Letterkenny has become a Canadian cult comedy hit. Letterkenny Live brings the show to the Dalhousie Arts Centre stage for an evening of sketches and stand-up comedy. Starring K. Trevor Wilson (Dan), Jared Keeso (Wayne), Nathan Dales (Daryl), and Mark Forward (Coach).

 

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5 FOR MUSIC LOVERS
January 13, 14:
 The Vesuvius Ensemble joins Symphony Nova Scotia for a celebration of Southern Italian baroque.

February 9: In between Blue Rodeo tours, a Canadian folk-rock legend tours his solo project—The Jim Cuddy Band visits the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

February 10: The Dartmouth Community Concert Association hosts cello duo VC², spotlighting the works of Beethoven.

February 10: Country favourite Gord Bamford takes the stage in the Schooner Showroom at Casino Nova Scotia.

February 23: Pop-rockers Hedley return to Scotiabank Centre, performing work from their new album Cageless.

 

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WITH THIS RING…
January 21

A one-stop-shop for the soon to be married, Brides 2018 at Halifax Convention Centre on Argyle Street features some 135 wedding-related exhibitors: florists, photographers, jewelers, bridal fashions, wedding planners, wedding decorators, tuxedos, catering services, wedding cakes, travel planners, financial services, and more.

 

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JANUARY
12th: Bahamas
The acclaimed Toronto folk artist and guitarist performs material from his new album Earthtones at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

17th: Halifax Mooseheads
The hometown major-junior hockey heroes take on Maritime rivals Moncton at the Scotiabank Centre.

21st: Cecilia Concert Series
Pianist Jennifer King performs music inspired by the night in a matinee show at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts.

 

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FEBRUARY
1st: Halifax Hurricanes

The city’s minor-pro basketball team hosts Saint John at the Scotiabank Centre.

10th, 11th: Symphony Nova Scotia
With Black is Beautiful, conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser showcases black composers and performers.

27th: Neptune Theatre
Opening tonight and continuing through March 18, The Mountaintop reimagines Martin Luther King Jr.’s last hours.

 

Christmas by the Sea

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With the decades-old traditions and exciting new events, Halifax gets in the holiday spirit

Whether you’re making family memories or enjoying a romantic evening out, Halifax abounds with Christmas celebrations throughout November and December. Read on for our favourites.

 

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Photo: Will Roberts

FAMILY FIRST

The Holiday Parade of Lights on November 18 marks the unofficial start of the holiday season in Halifax, as thousands of spectators line downtown streets to see dozens of floats and musical acts (and, of course, Santa Claus). Back downtown on November 25, Grand Parade Square in front of Halifax City Hall hosts the city’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting, a family-friendly celebration with live entertainment and a visit from Santa. Also on November 25 (and 26), Halifax Citadel National Historic Site hosts its annual Victorian Christmas, sharing holiday traditions dating back to colonial days.

The party moves across the harbour the next weekend, as the park at Sullivan’s Pond hosts the Dartmouth Christmas Tree Lighting on December 2, where the highlights include the Santa Claus Express Train and fireworks.

 

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SEASONAL SYMPHONY

Symphony Nova Scotia offers holiday concerts galore. Singer/songwriter Ben Caplan gets things started on December 1 and 2, joining the orchestra for Ben Caplan’s Holiday Classics. They’ll perform old favourites in the tradition of Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole and clever new arrangements. Up next is perennial favourite The Nutcracker (presented with Mermaid Theatre and Halifax Dance) running from December 8 to 10 and 14 to 17. As usual, the Symphony’s holiday calendar concludes with Handel’s classic oratorio, but this year with a twist: Mozart’s Messiah, a 1789 arrangement of the masterpiece.

 

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MORE MERRY MUSIC

And there’s lots more music: A King’s Christmas is back on December 17. A guest narrator joins the King’s College Chapel Choir at All Saint’s Cathedral on Martello Street for seasonal songs and stories. Paul Halley directs. The holidays get a Celtic twist on December 18, as the Barra MacNeils bring their annual Christmas tour to the Dalhousie Arts Centre in Halifax.

 

CHRISTMAS COMEDY

December sees the return of a popular holiday-themed comedy show. On December 9, the World Trade & Convention Centre on Argyle Street hosts Ha Ha Halidays. The gala evening includes stand-up comedy with Trent McLelland and Jay Malone, buffet dinner, and live music and dancing with The Hopping Penguins.

 

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FESTIVE THEATRE

Neptune Theatre’s long-awaited holiday production begins on November 21 and continues until December 31. Artistic director George Pothitos adapts the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life for the stage. Concurrently, Neptune’s studio stage hosts another holiday mainstay: Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, adapted and directed by Jeremy Webb. The pantomime at Theatre Arts Guild is an annual family favourite. It’s always a lively, rollicking show with lots of audience participation. This year, see Alice In Wonderland from November 23 to December 9.

 

 

Concierge Q&A

TrevorProude

Trevor Proude is head concierge at the newly renovated The Hollis: A DoubleTree Suites by Hilton. He’s a member of Les Clefs d’Or and the new director of the Les Clefs d’Or Atlantic region. The organization promotes guest-service expertise worldwide.

Q: What’s the best way to get into the holiday spirit in Halifax?
A: Neptune Theatre is performing It’s a Wonderful Life throughout the holiday season. It’s a great start to get the family in the mood for the holidays.

Q: What’s a great place to find a unique gift in Halifax?
A: Inkwell Modern Handmade Boutique and letterpress studio on Brunswick Street carries specialty printed paper products and handmade gifts. There is also Argyle Fine Art on Barrington Street; it’s one of the city’s most progressive contemporary galleries, showcasing emerging artists.

Q: What’s your favourite spot to enjoy a Nova Scotian craft beer?
A: The craft brewing scene in Halifax is exploding. I would suggest trying 2 Crows Brewing on Brunswick Street, Good Robot Brewing on Robie Street, and also The Barrington Steakhouse & Oyster Bar. They specialize in brews made in Prince Edward Island not to mention great food and friendly atmosphere.

Q: What do you recommend for a family whiling away a blustery day in Halifax?
A: Try the Seven Bays Bouldering cafe and rock climbing centre on Gottingen Street in the North End. It’s a fun place for the family for breakfast combined with a little extra adventure.

Q: What do you recommend for visitors who want to experience a unique attraction, restaurant, or shop that they won’t find in the guide books?
A: A couple suggestions come from my fellow Les Clefs d’Or concierges in Halifax. First we have The Kitchen Table on Gottingen Street: a unique dining experience offering an eight-course tasting menu using local and foraged ingredients. Great reviews from our hotel guests. Another best-kept secret is the Bar Kismet on Gottingen Street, a small 30-seat restaurant known for hand-crafted cocktails and seafood appetizers.