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Nova Scotia

Hot Dining: Turning Japanese

•  Hamachi House on Morris Street: One of Halifax’s most popular sushi destinations; also offers tempura, teriyaki
and more.
•  Fujiyama on Blowers Street: Picked by Where editors as one of Canada’s Best New Restaurants; specializes in sushi and hibachi.
•  Sushi Nami Royale on Dresden Row: Japanese fine dining with traditional and fusion sushi; exotic cocktails.

Hot Dates: Family Fun

•  Have some young dinosaur experts on your hands? Get them to A T. Rex Named Sue at the Museum of Natural History on Summer Street. About 13 metres long and almost four metres high at the hip, Sue is the largest, most complete, and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered. A dramatic, life-sized skeleton cast is the centerpiece of this exhibition, which also includes videos and interactive displays.

•  At the Discovery Centre on Barrington Street, the new Play exhibit transforms six classic clubhouse games—foosball, bowling, backgammon, dominoes, billiards and die—into giant play pieces so kids become part of the game. Visitors explore theories of science and art in the dynamics of human interaction.

Hot Shopping: Shine On

Old World designs meet New World techniques at Fireworks Gallery on Barrington Street in Halifax. This unique jewellery boutique is a gem in its own right, specializing in custom designs (using Canadian diamonds and recycled gold). Talented goldsmiths work their magic on site. The selection also includes artisan jewellery in antique and modern designs from Canadian, American and Italian designers, plus simple sterling silver pieces.

Editor’s Choice: Nova Scotia Icewine

Sweet, decadent and rare—there’s nothing quite like icewine. And this province makes some of the world’s best, a fact celebrated during February’s Nova Scotia Icewine Festival. And if you’ve read this far, odds are good you’ll want to take a couple bottles of the internationally acclaimed treat home with you. Find a new favourite at Bishop’s Cellar on Lower Water Street. The wine boutique boasts numerous vintages, including Benjamin Bridge Borealis, Blomidon Ortega, Gaspereau Valley Icewine, Grand Pré Vidal and Jost Ortega.

Ready, Set… Go!

Halifax hosts the 2011 Canada Games—the biggest sports event in Nova Scotian history

By Christina Copp and Trevor J. Adams

In February, all eyes will be on Halifax as it hosts the Canada Games. Running from February 11 to 27, the Games will be the largest multi-sport competition in Canada in 2011.

Sports fans have lot to look forward to during the Games. “Essentially, [there are] 20 different sports, so it’s like putting on 20 national championships over 18 days,” says Melissa MacKinnon, director of communications for the Games. She suggests that outdoor sports fans head over to the long-track speed skating at the new Oval on the Halifax Common. Admission is free.

All of the events at both ski venues are also free for fans. A 45-minute drive northwest of Halifax, Martock in Windsor hosts cross-country, biathlon and snowboard competitions Freestyle and alpine skiing take place at Wentworth, an 80-minute drive north.Other highlights include gymnastics, badminton and synchronized swimming at the new Canada Games Centre in Clayton Park, hockey at the Dartmouth Sportsplex and Halifax Metro Centre and boxing at the Halifax Forum. A 40-minute drive west of the city, the St. Margaret’s Centre in St. Margaret’s Bay hosts short-track speed skating and figure skating. The Metro Centre also hosts the opening ceremonies.

The party will continue after the athletes’ days are done, too. “Celebration Square in Grand Parade will be the place to be each evening,” says MacKinnon. The concert venue in front of Halifax City Hall will feature acts like The Stanfields, Christina Martin and Matt Mays. Martin, a multiple Nova Scotia Music Award Winner, was one of more than 300 acts who submitted their names to perform during the Games cultural festivities.

“I applied to perform during the Canada Games because I want to be a part of this monumental event that is taking place on my home turf,” says Christina Martin. “After experiencing the excitement from performing at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this fantastic event.”

Games CEO Chris Morrissey is excited about the potential to bring Haligonians, athletes and visiting sports fans together. “Everyone can come together to celebrate athletic achievements while enjoying live entertainment that showcases Nova Scotia talent and culture,” he says.

Running from February 11 to 27, the Games embrace a wide variety of disciplines. For schedule and venue details, click here or phone 902-490-2011.

Hot Shopping: Fashion Forward

Unicorn

•    Renaissance, Barrington Street: Casual clothing and footwear for men and women; lines like Converse, Chuck Taylor, Mexx, Dept and Matinique.

•    Unicorn, Lower Water Street: Fashionable boutique for women offering the latest European and North American ready-to-wear collections; also boasts footwear and jewellery by Canadian designers.

•    Big Apple, Barrington Street: Women’s fashions for varied lifestyles; career and casual collections from Montreal and New York.

Hot Dining: Editor’s Choice

Every year, the editors of Where magazines across Canada present a series of awards honouring the country’s Best New Restaurants. This year’s pick for Halifax is the latest in the wave of Japanese restaurants. Fujiyama’s intimate subterranean dining room on Blowers Street was the home of the legendary nightspot La Cave but a graveyard for new restaurants since. Fujiyama is breaking the curse, though, thanks to a rich menu (specializing in sushi and hibachi—but the oft-overlooked sashimi and teriyaki are sure things too), cool setting and hot vibe.

Hot Shopping: One-of-a-Kind

Nestled in The Hydrostone neighbourhood on Young Street, Bogside Gallery is a unique shopping
destination. It showcases creations from Atlantic Canadian artisans: art pieces, décor accents, carvings, sculptures and more.

Hot Shopping: Perfect Fit

Sure, that holiday bingeing was fun but now it’s time to whip your butt back into shape. And you might as well look good doing it. You’ll find a unique selection of Canadian-made fitness wear at Bhavana Yoga Lifestyle Store on Quinpool Road, as well as accessories and gifts for casual practitioners and devoted yogis.

Hot Dates: Art Highlights

Work from Kloqowej (Star) by Mi'kmaq basket weaver Caroline Gould.

•    Outpourings, a retrospective exhibition tracing François Lacasse’s experiments with form in over 20 paintings, continues at the Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery.

•    Art 1274 Hollis features creations by local artists. In January, it showcases works by Karen Phinney and Nora Gross, followed by Raymond Smith and Golumba Kim in February.

•    From January 14 to February 27, the Mary E. Black Gallery on Marginal Road hosts Kloqowej (Star) by Mi’kmaq basket weaver Caroline Gould.

Hot Dates: Bigger is Better

Meaghan Smith

It’s a hot winter for Symphony Nova Scotia, with a schedule jammed with concerts. January’s highlights include Orchestral Currents, innovative contemporary symphonic music, on January 6 and a collaboration with singer-songwriters Erin Costelo and Meaghan Smith on January 21. In February, the Symphony celebrates poet Elizabeth Bishop on February 10, before partnering with The Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra on February 20 to perform Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.

Hot Dates: 5 for Music Lovers

Heart performs on February 3 at the Metro Centre.

•    January 13: At the intersection of rock and Celtic, you’ll find Rawlins Cross, performing at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

•    January 29: Warm and sincere, with a working-class touch, bluesman Matt Minglewood is an enduring local favourite. See him at Casino Nova Scotia on Upper Water Street.

•    January 29: Tonight’s concert at the Dalhousie Arts Centre with Jenn Grant is sure to be a highlight of In the Dead of Winter, an acoustic-music festival.

•    February 3: Before there was “girl power,” there was Heart. See the trailblazing rockers at the Halifax Metro Centre on Duke Street.

•    February 11: Something to make you feel old: The Goo Goo Dolls have been together for 25 years. Relive your angsty youth at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.