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The Carleton

The right notes

By Trevor J. Adams

Natalie MacMaster joins Symphony Nova Scotia for a Maritime Fusion concert.

Natalie MacMaster joins Symphony Nova Scotia for a Maritime Fusion concert.

After giving audiences a taste of the new season during Symphony Week last month, Symphony Nova Scotia takes things into top gear with several big concerts throughout the month. Acclaimed Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster joins the orchestra at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on October 3 for the year’s first Maritime Fusion concert. The Grammy-winner always puts on a high-energy show of Maritime roots music—jigs and reels abound. There’s an encore performance on October 4.

Up next is someone special for classical purists: legendary Canadian violinist Martin Beaver (whose resumé includes 11 years as first violinist with the Tokyo String Quartet). Maestro Bernhard Gueller conducts as Beaver joins the Symphony at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on October 16. They’ll perform the Haydn Variations by Brahms, Mendelssohn’s Symphony no. 3 (Scottish) and Max Bruch’s Violin Concert in G minor. They repeat the performance on October 19 at Alderney Landing in Dartmouth, where the Halifax Transit ferry docks.

On October 24, the Symphony returns to the Dalhousie Arts Centre for one of its most popular concerts of the year: the Halifax Pop Explosion collaboration. This year, it shares the stage with Canadian indie darlings Whitehorse. With strong arrangements, brilliant songwriting and intense vocal chemistry, it’s no surprise that the husband-and-wife duo of Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland were nominated for the prestigious Polaris Prize in 2013. Their distinctive alt-country sound is sure to hit a new level when they team up with the Symphony. A repeat performance is scheduled for October 25.

And these concerts are just a taste of what the Halifax Pop Explosion offers. Running from October 21 to 25, the festival celebrates the best in alt and indie music, with accomplished veterans sharing stages with rising stars. Some 200 bands will perform in 20 venues, in front of 30,000+ fans.

Venues include public spaces like Government House and Saint Matthew’s United Church and traditional nightspots like Casino Nova Scotia, The Carleton, The Marquee Ballroom on Gottingen Street, the Seahorse Tavern on Argyle Street, the Company House on Gottingen Street, Olympic Community Centre on Hunter Street and Reflections Cabaret on Sackville Street.

Lights

Lights

Although performance schedules weren’t set at press time, organizers are already tantalizing fans with an all-star list of performers. Highlights include Calgary’s Astral Swans, Wu-Tang legend Ghostface Killah, singer/songwriter Mo Kenney, Toronto rockers Tokyo Police Club, pop multi-instrumentalist Lights, and many more.

For schedules and ticket information, surf to halifaxpopexplosion.com

May Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

NEW DIGS

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After 10 years in business, Onyx moved recently to a sleek new location on Argyle Street, boasting a new wine bar and an expanded kitchen. The chic, award-winning resto bar specializes in small-plates and inventive cocktails. Executive Chef Tahir Salamat, voted this year’s Culinarian of the Year by the Nova Scotia Association of Chefs and Cooks, brings a unique global influence to the menu, showcasing fresh local flavours, including Northumberland rack of lamb and charcuterie from Oulton’s Farm in Windsor, Nova Scotia.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

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A bright and colourful eatery showcasing repurposed and vintage décor on Gottingen Street, Edna offers a unique dining experience ina revitalized part of the North End. Sit at the communal dining table that seats 18 for a fun group-dining atmosphere. Share some fresh oysters or order a customized charcuterie board showcasing fresh local ingredients. Open daily for dinner and weekend brunch, also offering late-night tapas from Thursday to Saturday.

BRUNCH IT UP

Chef Geir Simensen, Saege Bistro

Chef Geir Simensen, Saege Bistro

•Craving a fresh croissant and a cheerful atmosphere? Visit Two if By Sea Café on Upper Water Street in Halifax’s Historic Properties and Ochterloney Street in Dartmouth. Drop in for a fresh cappuccino or nosh on a variety of baked goods, including a fresh pain au chocolat or a prosciutto and cheese croissant.

•A staple of Halifax’s brunch scene, Saege Bistro near the Halifax Gardens on Spring Garden Road, boasts a bevy of colourful brunch dishes, including Norwegian waffles, panko-crusted crab cakes, and over six decadent options for eggs benedict. Try the butter-poached lobster or the mushroom and brie.

POUR A PINT

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The Henry House on Barrington Street is your go-to spot for a relaxed night out. The building dates back 1834 and inside you’ll find pub fare classics like pan-fried haddock, tasty burgers, house-made baked beans and fish cakes. On the drink side of things, choose from an extensive list of beer, including five local ales from Granite Brewery.

HIT THE HIGH NOTES

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The Carleton Music Bar and Grill on Grafton Street is an ideal spot to enjoy a night of live music with friends. Nosh on comfort food staples like steak and frites, seafood chowder or lobster mac and cheese. This award-winning live-music venue hosts sold-out shows of top local and national bands, while the bar offers a range of beers, wines, spirits and cocktails.