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Halifax Inside

Shearwater Aviation Museum2

Don’t let a blustery day get you down, Halifax still offers plenty to see and do

 

By Kim Hart Macneill

GAME ON

·        Avoid winter’s chill inside the Scotiabank Centre and catch a hockey game. The Halifax Mooseheads, the city’s major-junior hockey, plays at home throughout the winter so you have lots of options to watch some action on the ice. Surf halifaxmooseheads.ca for game schedules and to buy tickets.

·        While you’re there, check out the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame, located just off the box office. Celebrating the province’s top athletes, the 7,000-artefact collection features interactive and visual exhibits including the clothes dryer hockey great Sidney Crosby used for shooting practice, multi-sport simulators, and a diverse collection of historical memorabilia and gear.

 

ROLL THE DICE

Playing board games is a classic way to while away a stormy day. The Board Room Game Café, with locations in downtown and Bedford, is the first of its kind in Nova Scotia. This gamers’ haven is home to more than 500 games, and staff are on-hand to help you learn to play something new. Play as many as you like for only $5. Stay a while; the café serves espresso, a locally made soda, and snacks. This spot serves local craft beer too, which means minors are welcome with a guardian until 6 p.m.

 

EMBRACE THE PAST

·        Make an afternoon of it at one of Halifax’s museums. On Lower Water Street the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic offers a gateway to the past. Discover the age of steamships, The Battle of the Atlantic, and Nova Scotia’s role in the Titanic disaster Canada’s oldest and largest maritime museum.

 

·        Get to know our natural world at the Museum of Natural History. This institution celebrates the people, landscapes, and wildlife of Nova Scotia. Don’t miss Science on a Sphere. Visitors sit inside the 18-foot round screen to watch visual interpretations of complex data such as sea ice migrations, the world’s largest earthquakes, and live weather representations. Don’t miss Gus! The 94-year-old gopher tortoise usually goes for a walk at 3:30pm.

 

·        Aviation aficionados will appreciate the compact Shearwater Aviation Museum at CFB Shearwater. In a small chapel at the entrance to this active military base you’ll discover a captivating look at maritime military aviation history from 1918 to now. The museum features static displays, including uniforms through the decades and restored planes of various vintages. Admission is free.

 

·        Atlantic Canada’s only national museum explores immigration experiences and the role immigration played in building our country. Housed at Pier 21, a National Historic Site, the Canadian Museum of Immigration features permanent and traveling exhibits that highlight this location’s colourful history. Between 1928 and 1971, one million immigrants passed through this gateway to Canada. During the Second World War it was a departure point for 500,000 military personnel.

 

JUMP AROUND

Thousands of square feet of trampoline await you at Get Air Nova Scotia on Windmill Road. Kids of all ages will delight at the feeling of flying as they soar through the air. In addition to the trampoline, check out the slackline tightrope and the Ninja Course, a race through a maze of walls and trampolines.

 

THE GREAT ESCAPE

Grab a group of friends and test your problem-solving skills against the clock at one of Halifax’s escape rooms. Solve the clues in under-an-hour to escape the room. Captured Escape Rooms on Barrington Street offers eight different puzzles to keep you guessing. Add a touch of local flavour to your adventure with Halifax-explosion themed The Great Escape on North Street. It’s Halifax Explosion-themed room mixes history and mystery while encouraging you to solve the puzzle.

Hot Entertainment

IMG_6598

NOVA SCOTIAN FLAVOURS

January 26 to March 9

The Savour Food & Wine Festival is a must for serious foodies, offering a series of unique events celebrating Nova Scotia’s culinary scene. Highlights include Imbibe: A Cocktail Event (January 26), Decadence: Chocolate, Wine & Cheese (February 9), Rare & Fine Wine (February 24), Craft Beer Cottage Party (February 25), and the Savour Food & Wine Show (March 9).

 

3 FOR MUSIC LOVERS

·         January 19 to 22: In the Dead of Winter is a favourite with serious music fans. The acoustic-music festival features established and up-and-coming artists at venues around the city. This year’s roster includes Andrea Ramolo, Dan Misha Goldman, Jennifer Castle, Jim Bryson, and others.

·         January 29: Cecilia Concerts hosts a matinee performance by the Helios Vocal Ensemble. One of Atlantic Canada’s top a capella ensembles, they perform sacred and secular music, specializing in Renaissance polyphony (a fluid and unifying musical style).

·         February 10: The Dartmouth Community Concert Association presents Duo Fortin-Poirier. Pianists Amélie Fortin and Marie-Christine Poirier share the stage for 1 Piano, 4 Hands.

 

ARTISTRY IN MOTION

February 14

Renowned repertory dance company BJM comes to the Dalhousie Arts Centre for a unique one-night-only Live Art Dance performance. Displaying its “radiant and expressive style,” BJM explores the creative side of contemporary trends while staying true to classical aesthetics. This show will delight new dance fans and long-time aficionados.

 

OUT OF THIS WORLD

February 18 and 19

Astronaut Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station, became an international celebrity thanks to his fascinating, funny, and musical broadcasts from space. He joins Symphony Nova Scotia for two concerts at the Dalhousie Arts Centre performing iconic themes from Apollo 13, E.T., and Star Wars, along with his personal songs, including his biggest YouTube hit, a cover version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.”

 

COME SAIL AWAY

February 9 to 12

The Halifax International Boat Show at Halifax Exhibition Centre on Prospect Road brings together boats and equipment from across eastern Canada: watercraft of all shapes and sizes, marine equipment, marine engines, electronics and accessories, docks, and more.

 

EDITOR’S CHOICE

COME TO LIGHT

February 15

The Arkells used to open for local boy Matt Mays. Now they take Halifax’s biggest stage themselves, headlining an evening at Scotiabank Centre that also includes Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls. The Hamilton rockers are best known for hits like “11:11,” “Never Thought That This Would Happen,” and “Come to Light.”

 

Calendar

January 10

Symphony Nova Scotia

Music meets media in Behind the Sound of Music, featuring guest composer Nicole Lizée’s unorthodox take on The Sound of Music.

 

January 12

Halifax Hurricanes

The hometown heroes take on the Island Storm in minor-pro hoops action at Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street.

 

January 21

Shaun Majumder

A night of stand-up comedy at Casino Nova Scotia with the popular Newfoundland native and This Hour Has 22 Minutes veteran.

 

February 3

Matt Minglewood

A mainstay of the Maritime blues-rock scene for a generation, Minglewood is a local favourite. See him in at Casino Nova Scotia.

 

February 24

Measha Brueggergosman

The acclaimed soprano returns to the Dalhousie Arts Centre, sharing a collection of songs about emancipation, family, faith, and discovery.

 

February 26

Cecilia Concerts

Soprano Rebecca Caine recreates British leading ladies of London’s West End musical theatre, including Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, and My Fair Lady.

Hot Shopping

Choco Cafe

By Suzanne Rent

ALL THAT GLITTERS
Visit Touch of Gold on Spring Garden Road for the finest engagement and wedding rings. The experienced and knowledge staff will help you find the best fit and designs. Offers lines of luxury watches including Rolex, Tudor, TAG Heuer and Frederique Constant.

 

VALENTINE’S DAY TREATS

  • Rousseau Chocolatier on Hollis Street makes its chocolates in small batches with fine chocolate and local ingredients. The display case in the shop has truffles and chocolates that look like pieces of art. Sample other treats such as French macarons and chocolate-covered meringues. Gift boxes and heart-shaped boxes filled with sweet treats available, too.
  • At Rawthentic Chocolate owner Chandra Lockhart makes her raw chocolate from Peruvian fair-trade chocolate. Her truffles are flavoured with lavender, cayenne, or rose. Cooked on a low temperature to preserve the raw label, these treats are gluten and dairy free. Sold at the Seaport Market, Pete’s Frootique, Local Source, Organic Earth Market and at Noggin’s at the Alderney Market.
  • Cocoa and Honey makes everything from artisan bars and truffles to candied nuts and dessert sauces. Its chocolates are created with organic and fair trade products and no preservatives or artificial flavours. Local ingredients include cranberries from Lunenburg and plums from area farmers’ markets. Sold at Ratinaud on Gottingen Street.
  • Inspired by Newfoundland culture, Newfoundland Chocolate Company mixes its sweet treats with whimsy and fun. The packaging is designed with Newfoundland sayings such as “oh me nerves” or with the well-known jellybean homes of St. John’s. Inside the chocolate are Newfoundland flavours like partridgeberries or bakeapple. The gelato and truffles are made at the Sunnyside Mall location. Other locations at Mic Mac Mall and Halifax Shopping Centre.
  • Gourmandises Avenue Chocolaterie in the Seaport Market is owned by a Parisian-trained chocolatier, so the chocolates are made with French traditional, but combine local flavours and designs. Chocolates are made with wines from Nova Scotia wineries or designed in fun fish shapes. The shop also sells delicate and delicious French pastries and macarons.
  • Located on Lower Water Street, Choco Café Chocolate Boutique and Espresso Bar is the place to for chocolate lovers to relax. Buy a rich hot cocoa that includes a flavour shot such as marshmallow or hazelnut. Browse the boutique for gifts of chocolate. Chocolate favours available for weddings, baby showers, or corporate events. The chocolate is Belgium and mixed with various flavours.

IN FULL BLOOM

Props Floral Design in the Hydrostone (page xx) can create an arrangement for a loved one or to brighten up your home during the winter. Eclectic and classic designs for every season and space. Check out the gift certificates or classes in making flower arrangements.
My Mother’s Bloomers offers fresh flower arrangements, fine giftware, and permanent botanicals. Pick up a cluster arrangement, seasonal vase arrangement, or a Bloomers original design. Designer planters include potted orchids or custom dish garden. Join in on a class to learn how to make some of the designs yourself.

 

Editor’s Choice

ONE OF A KIND

At Fireworks Gallery on Barringston Street, talented goldsmiths create custom jewelry with a fusion of Old World techniques and 21st-century technology. Help create your own design in gold, silver, or platinum, and with precious gemstones. Repair and restoration services available.

Hot Dining

Weird Harbour 2

By Kim Hart Macneill

GRAB A JAVA

·         Two If By Sea Café is a bright morning beacon to under-caffeinated commuters. Its two locations, Portland Street in Dartmouth and Historic Properties near the Halifax Transit ferry terminal, serve up house-roasted coffee and bakery fare that will warm you up on cold mornings. Try the pain au chocolat.

·         Downtown welcomed a new café this fall, Weird Harbour on Barrington Street. This laid-back locale is decked in wood for an authentic East Coast vibe. Ask for an espresso and a molasses cookie, and then snag a window seat to watch the world go by.

 

SMALL PLATES, BIG TASTES

Foodies flock to Highwayman Restaurant & Bar on Barrington Street for Spanish-inspired share plates and original cocktails. This cozy, up-market option serves a menu of seafood, cured meats, cheeses, and more. Save room for a decadent dessert and something from the carefully-curated wine list.

 

LUNCH BUNCH

·         Come hungry to Darrell’s Restaurant on Fenwick Street. This joint is known for sizable, gourmet burgers. A local favourite is the Hawaiian Burger featuring Angus Beef topped with teriyaki-marinated pineapple, mozzarella cheese, BBQ sauce, and an onion ring lei.

·         Go back in time at the True North Diner in Bedford Place Mall. This 1950s-themed dinner dishes up burgers, fries, shakes, and more. The classic dinner section of the menu highlights home-style fare such as meatloaf, fish cakes, and all-day breakfast.

 

TASTE OF THE EAST

·         Tucked into a petite Clayton Park strip mall, you’ll discover 9 + Nine. This Chinese eatery is compact, but offers ample options. You’ll find the expected Sweet and Sour Chicken, but also an array of tofu dishes, fried buns, and dumplings.

·         Cheelin Restaurant, near the historic Keith’s Brewery, presents an extensive lunch buffet from 11:30am to 2:30pm every Friday. Enjoy a selection of Szechuan and Beijing dishes made with local ingredients.

 

FAMILY FRIENDLY

·         Tom’s Family Restaurant in Lower Sackville is a crowd pleaser with menu options for all ages. This spacious spot offers sandwiches and wraps, burgers, seafood, and a few Greek options. The kids’ menu features favourites such as chicken fingers, pita pizza, and grill cheese.

·         New offering Stone Pizza on Alderney Drive in Dartmouth offers small dinners the opportunity to customize their own nine-inch pizza and watch it be made. In addition to a long list of cheese, vegetable, and meat toppings, this spot offers gluten-free crusts. Plus old-school sodas from the Pop Shoppe.

 

EDITOR’S PICK

ON THE MOVE

The Foggy Goggle left its long-time digs on Argyle Street last month and headed for North End Halifax. The new location offers the Goggle additional space to feed more hungry folks its menu of comfort food with attitude, including the Thai Peanut Burger and Jalapeno and Bacon Mac and Cheese.

Best New Restaurants 2016

Clementine Cafe. Photo by Ian McCausland.

Clementine Cafe. Photo by Ian McCausland.

Winnipeg maintains its status as a destination food city with a bumper crop of hot new restaurants. Clementine tops our list of the best new opens this year, and has been chosen as one of Canada’s Top 10 New Restaurants by Where Editors.

By Joelle Kidd

GOOD MORNING

From the first step down the flight of stairs that leads to Clementine Café’s subterranean Exchange District space, an excitement begins to take hold. Over the buzz of chatter from filled tables, anticipation sets in. A look at the menu reveals something conspicuously absent from the city’s dining scene, until now.

Arctic Char at Clementine. Photo by Ian McCausland.

Arctic Char at Clementine. Photo by Ian McCausland.

Breakfast fine dining has oft been interpreted as home cooking classics delivered on fancy china. Following the lead of chef-owned hotspots pushing boundaries, Clementine reimagines breakfast with inventive flavour combinations, melding thoughtfulness and creativity with accessibility and casualness in price and atmosphere.

The underground nook’s interior seamlessly blends cozy and kooky elements. Industrial-chic elements like rough-hewn wood rafters and exposed brick are complemented by pattern adorned walls and black and white chevron floor tiles.

Through a grid of window panes into the open kitchen, diners get an up close look at head chefs Adam Donnelly and Chris Gama leading what seems like a full brigade, frying, chopping, saucing and simmering marvelous creations. This creative kitchen has produced instant signatures like eggs benedict topped with thick cut maple bacon and glossy hollandaise, or the instagram darling fried chicken toast, which piles juicy crisp chicken on a thick wedge of housemade sourdough.

Despite the extravagance on the plate, entrées ring in between $9-$12, and a range of side dishes, all priced in the single digits, make for a light breaky or a sharable addition to an indulgent brunch. In dish after dish it is clear that at Clementine, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. 123 Princess St, 204‑942‑9497, clementinewinnipeg.com.

OLD MEETS NEW

At the time of Prohibition and other restrictive liquor laws, many illegal establishments hid dining rooms and bars behind front businesses, often exhibits of natural wonders or animal curiosities, earning the nickname “blind tigers”. South Osborne’s Blind Tiger Kitchen + Bar takes up this moniker with tongue in cheek, presenting an earnest fondness for the past with a sleekly modern twist.

Normandy moules courtesy of Blind Tiger Kitchen + Bar.

Normandy moules courtesy of Blind Tiger Kitchen + Bar.

Antique chic décor adorns exposed brick walls, from wrought iron farming implements to an abstract art piece made from a deconstructed piano. Paired with slick dark tones, leather, and a gleaming backlit bar, the space easily blends old and new.

The menu betrays a fondness for the hallmarks of classic French cooking, from appies like escargot and chicken livers to entrée selections like bouillabaisse and niçoise salad. Dips into bistro fare include mountains of perfectly tender mussels in classic preparations. A Normandy-style rendition is simmered in a creamy broth, umami-laced from pops of bacon and topped with tart matchsticks of green apple. Thin and crispy frites under a heap of funky Parmesan are perfect for sopping up broth.

Service is without pretension, blending airs of fine dining and neighbourhood comfort. Despite a concept based around secrecy, the lively room is an invitation to settle in over another cocktail or dessert. 725 Osborne St, 204‑691‑9939, blindtigerwinnipeg.ca.

QUIRKY CASUAL

The fast casual trend hit in full force this year. Fresh, healthy, and adventurous food delivered at sleek order-at-the-counter spots has flipped the script on fast food and proven as versatile as convenient, with countless variations of quick eats spanning global cuisines and dietary styles.Of the many new concepts that have appeared, Chosabi is the cream of the crop, instantly gaining enough fans to open a second location mere months after the launch of the original Exchange District spot.

Sushi burritos courtesy of Chosabi.

Sushi burritos courtesy of Chosabi.

Inviting rooms, sprinkled with jabs of colour (red in the Exchange, yellow on Pembina) are effortlessly sleek, with clean lines and a modern mix of steel and wood textures. Stretching powerfully across a wall, a stylized mural of a fish, painted by local artist Pat Lazo, gives these clean spaces an edge.

The sushi burrito (aka Chorito), a hefty hand roll that turns delicate maki snacking into a two-handed affair, is the signature here. Perfectly seasoned rice, fresh fish, and creative ingredient combinations are a winning formula. The short menu also lists bowls that pull from a variety of cuisines, from Thai green curry to Korean bulgogi. The poke bowl is a must have, laden with glossy pink cubes of salmon and tuna, lent a briny note by threads of seaweed and a mix of soy sauce and lightly pungent wasabi-punched aioli.

Flair is added to even the smallest details. Burritos are wrapped, cut, and served in bamboo steamer baskets, and signature take out boxes are styled up with a colourful fish illustration. Even prepackaged eats are superbly fresh, like salads, nigiri, and fruit-packed smoothie cups ready to be blended at the counter. For those with more time to sit and sup, specialty coffee drinks, by-the-glass wine, and Asian beer on tap round out the selection.

Concept-driven eateries have proven popular for entrepreneurs, and Chosabi shows the strongest players deliver with outstanding taste and uncompromised flavour. 100 King St, 204‑615‑8338; 2696 Pembina Hwy, 204‑615‑8313, chosabi.com.

PRAIRIE POWER

Food is many things, from basic sustenance and nourishment to an exercise in creativity. In many ways, the food we eat is tied to identity. Manitoba’s regional ingredients like bison, beets, and lakefish have become ever more popular, but in the hands of Christa Bruneau-Guenther, these ingredients speak with added significance. When she opened Feast Café and Bistro on the corner of Ellice and Sherbrook last December, Canada’s first Indigenous cuisine restaurant was born.

Interior shot courtesy of Feast Cafe & Bistro

Interior shot courtesy of Feast Cafe & Bistro

Inside the welcoming room accented with warm colours, pendant lamps, and large black and white photos of prairie scenery, the intimate restaurant feels at once chic and cozy.

Indian Tacos are the menu favourite, a riff on popular powwow food from Southwestern First Nations groups like the Navajo. Feast’s version is all Manitoba, topped with a hearty bean and local bison chili. Puffy wheels of lightly fried bannock support a mountain of chili, lettuce, salsa, and a drizzle of sour cream hinting of chipotle. This may be the only taco that requires a fork and knife, but it is easily devoured.

The same frybread makes the base for pizzas with creative toppings. A vegetarian version sporting nutty-sweet roasted butternut squash, a rich cream sauce, a smattering of pine nuts, and chipotle cream is an out of the park hit.

Simple variations on classic breakfast items draw neighbourhood crowds in the morning, from pancakes and French toast to “eggs banny” on a bannock bun.

While fare is familiar, hinting of classic diners and home cooked meals, small substitutions point to Feast’s real charm. Bannock replaces bread in nearly every dish; bison sausage swaps for breakfast sausages and pepperoni on pizza; fish fingers become oven-baked pickerel. From the use of traditional ingredients to the warm neighbourhood atmosphere, dining becomes more than just the experience of a meal; it is a connection to land, culture, and community. 587 Ellice Ave, 204‑691‑5979, feastcafebistro.com.

PAN ASIAN PERFECTION

In a city as culturally diverse as Winnipeg, there is no lack of inspiration for chefs seeking to explore flavours from across the globe. The resulting fusion across cultures has birthed new diverse dining categories. It is into one such novel genre that Máquè, the new open for chef Scott Bagshaw, steps.

Cured hamachi, celery, plum, and yuzu with turnip, smoked roe and basil. Courtesy of Maque.

Cured hamachi, celery, plum, and yuzu with turnip, smoked roe and basil. Courtesy of Maque.

Like Enoteca, Bagshaw’s River Heights haunt, Máquè features few seats, an open kitchen, and small plates made for sharing. The twist comes in the flavour profiles that populate the carefully considered menu. Inspiration comes from Chinese, Japanese, and Thai cuisine, translated into carefully balanced plates that blend far east flavours with French derived technique. Plump dumplings, with tacky dough giving way to juicy pork, are paired with a thick smear of almond butter, playing off the warm notes of Chinese five spice powder. A dish of tender crab, lobster, bacon, and caviar is a menu highlight. The delicate jumble of seafood is doused tableside with a fragrant, swoon-inducing blend of red curry and lobster bisque. This revelatory French-Thai mash up is impossibly rich, savoury, and spicy, overset with hints of sweet coconut and a whisper of black truffle.

Multiple orders of steamed buns can be spied on every table. Drawing Momofuku comparisons, the pillowy crescents are stuffed with a mix of crisped pork belly, peanuts, ssäm sauce and a sliver of pickle.

Décor is simple, with drawings of sparrows (the Chinese translation of the restaurant’s name) adorning the window-wrapped room. Though simple wooden chopsticks replace silverware, saucy French-inflected dishes beg diners to lick the plate. 909 Dorchester Ave, 204‑284‑3385, maque.ca.

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Holly Jolly Halifax

Music, theatre, parades, and celebrations galore—the city is abuzz with holiday excitement

 

By Trevor J. Adams

November and December are lively months in Halifax, with dozens of special events to celebrate the holiday season. Read on for our favourites—with an exciting mix traditional classics and new events, there’s plenty here for the whole family.

 

FAMILY FUN

The Holiday Parade of Lights on November 19 marks the unofficial start of the holiday season in Halifax, as some 100,000 spectators line downtown streets to see dozens of floats and musical acts. Back downtown on November 26, 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 26 (and 27), Halifax Citadel National Historic Site hosts its annual Victorian Christmas, sharing Christmas 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 3, where the highlights include the Santa Claus Express Train and fireworks.

 

MERRY MUSIC

Symphony Nova Scotia offers holiday concerts galore. Things start with singer/songwriter David Myles joining the orchestra on December 2 and 3. They’ll perform a mix of Christmas classics and original tunes. Up next is perennial favourite The Nutcracker (presented with Mermaid Theatre and Halifax Dance) running from December 9 to 11 and 15 to 18. Another annual rite of the season, Handel’s Messiah, rounds out the schedule on December 22 and 23. A King’s Christmas is back on December 13. A special 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 19, as the Barra MacNeils perform A Cape Breton Christmas at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

 

HILARIOUS HOLIDAYS

December sees the return of a popular holiday-themed comedy event on December 9 and 10 The annual Ha Ha Halidays event comes to the World Trade and Convention Centre on December 11 and 12, with a lineup that includes comedian Greg Morton, a buffet dinner, and live music with Asia & NuGruv.

 

SEASONAL SHOWS

Neptune Theatre’s long-awaited holiday production begins on November 22 and continues until December 31. Artistic director George Pothitos adapts the Christmas classic Miracle on 34th Street for the stage. The holiday pantomime at Theatre Arts Guild is another seasonal mainstay. It’s always a lively, rollicking show with lots of audience participation. This year, The Frog Prince—A Webbed Pantomime runs from November 24 to December 10.

 

OUT WITH THE OLD

Grand Parade Square in front of Halifax City Hall on Barrington Street hosts a lively all-ages party beginning at 10:30pm. Performers include Neon Dreams, Christina Martin, Christine Campbell, and Atlantic Cirque. At midnight, the East Coasts’s largest New Year’s Eve fireworks show welcomes 2017.

Hot Entertainment

OUT OF THIS WORLD

November 4 to 6

Hal-Con, Atlantic Canada’s biggest sci-fi convention, returns to the World Trade and Convention Centre on Argyle Street. This year’s guest roster includes Phil LaMarr (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Futurama), Gates McFadden (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Ajay Fry (Innerspace), Natalia Tena (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones), and many others. There will be games, photo and autograph sessions, Q&As, a vendors’ market, screenings, a costume contest, and more.

 

HONOURING OUR HISTORY

December 6

The Halifax Explosion Memorial at the Fort Needham Bell Tower on Novalea Drive, marks the 99th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion. The explosion, the result of a collision involving an ammunition ship on Halifax Harbour, killed thousands and devastated much of the city. To learn more about the disaster, visit the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on Lower Water Street.

 

COMEDY WITH AN EDGE

November 25

Acerbic and edgy, Ron James is a Canadian comedy favourite and regular headliner at Montreal’s famous Just For Laughs festival. See him at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on University Avenue.

 

CLASSICAL TRIFECTA

·         November 13: Cecilia Concerts presents A Pocket of Time, a musical tribute to Pulitzer Prize winning poet Elizabeth Bishop, featuring Suzie LeBlanc (soprano), Blue Engine String Quartet, and Robert Kortgaard (piano).

·         November 24: The eponymous violinist joins Symphony Nova Scotia for Jonathan Crow and Appalachian Spring, showcasing some of North America’s biggest symphonic hits.

·         November 25: Tenor David Pomeroy and pianist Tara Scott share the Dartmouth Community Concert Association stage at Woodlawn United Church in Dartmouth.

 

SMOOTH SOUNDS

November 8

Lisa Fischer and Grand Baton makes a rare visit to the East Coast. The Grammy-winning R&B star is sure to offer fans an intimate, memorable show.

 

 

GAME ON

December 31
The Halifax Mooseheads, the city’s major-junior hockey heroes return from their Christmas break, hosting Cape Breton at the Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street.

 

Editor’s Choice

THE BEAUTY OF MOVEMENT

December 8 to 10

Live Art Dance Productions presents Major Motion Picture at the Dalhousie Arts Centre. Contemporary-dance duo Out Innerspace (David Raymond and Tiffany Trengarthen) return to Halifax with an innovative new work.

 

Calendar

November 4

Carroll Baker

The Canadian country-music legend takes the stage in Casino Nova Scotia’s Schooner Showroom.

November 10

Rodney Carrington

One of Texas’s hottest entertainment exports, Carrington brings his Here Comes the Truth stand-up comedy tour to Halifax.

November 26

George Canyon

A Nova Scotia native, Canyon is one of Canadian country’s hottest acts. See him at Casino Nova Scotia.

December 12, 13

Tis the season

Wife-and-husband comedy team Bette MacDonald and Maynard Morrison return to the Dalhousie Arts Centre with their annual Christmas show.

December 14

Hawksley Workman

The indie-rock singer/songwriter offers a concert at St. Matthew’s Church on Barrington Street celebrating “Christmas, community, family, and singing.

December 31

Dallas Smith

Ring in the New Year at Casino Nova Scotia with one of Canada’s hottest rock-country crossover stars.

Hot Dining

By Kim Hart Macneill

TAKE A BREAK

  • In between burst of shopping, keep the cravings at bay with a satisfying meal. Relish Gourmet Burgers offers two locations, Quinpool Road and Larry Uteck Boulevard, to sate you with hand-crafted burgers (including a vegetarian option), fries, onion rings, and more.
  • I Love Pho on the Bedford Highway presents a host of Vietnamese noodle soups to keep you warm. In addition to eight pho options, the menu features vermicelli dishes, plus che ba mau, a sweet dessert drink made with mung bean, coconut milk, and tapioca.

 

SOCIABLE

  • The Gahan House on the Halifax waterfront offers seven regular house-made brews, from the light Beach Chair Lager to the full-bodied Sydney Street Premium Stout. Brewmaster Kyle Jeppsen creates new seasonal offerings all the time, so treat yourself to a tasting flight.
  • In Dartmouth, Battery Park Beer Bar & Eatery offers small plates, cheese boards, and mains such as BBQ ribs and gnocchi with local beers. This spot features 13 rotating East Coast taps, including an array of options from North Brewing Company located downstairs.

 

FESTIVE FLAVOURS

Elements at the Westin Nova Scotian on Hollis Street hosts two holiday brunch series this season. The Holiday Lunch Buffet happens on Thursdays and Fridays from Nov. 24 to Dec 16. The fabulous festive spread includes turkey with all the trimmings. Sundays, from Nov. 27 to Dec. 18, the Festive Holiday Brunch offers an array of local favourites and festive dishes. Both buffets highlight seasonal desserts including yule log and Christmas pudding.

 

FIRESIDE DINING

Tucked into the petite Halliburton hotel on Morris Street you’ll find Stories Restaurant, a fine-dining establishment known for attention to detail. Enjoy regional haute cuisine, a careful curated wine list, and artful desserts. Reserve a spot in the cozy library to dine by firelight.

 

AULD LANG SYNE

  • Spend the last few hours of 2016 at Grafton Street Dinner Theatre. The evening features a four-course meal during a performance of Home of the Holidays. After the show, stick around for live music and dancing, midnight champagne, party favours, and hors d’oeuvres.
  • Lion and Bright on Agricola Street will host its annual NYE get-together. Choose from the early or late seating, and enjoy a five-course tasting menu (with optional vegetarian picks) and a glass of champagne to ring in the New Year.

 

EDITOR’S PICK

The Vine’s Pasta Grill on Panavista Drive in Cole Harbour is an ideal spot to wind-down a hectic day. Enjoy made to order dishes paired with Nova Scotian wines in an relaxed, upscale atmosphere. Save room for dessert because there’s always an array of fresh delights to try.

Hot Shopping

By Suzanne Rent

OFF TO MARKET

  • Christmas at the Forum at the Halifax Forum on Windsor Street has been a holiday tradition in the city for 39 years. This three-day festival, which runs from Nov. 4 to 6, offers shoppers a chance to pick up unique gifts, decorations, food, antiques and more. Browse the aisles of this three-building venue for quality arts and crafts made by artisans from around the region. On the Saturday, admission is two-for-one after 5pm.
  • Visit the Christkindlmarket from Dec. 2 to 4 at Alderney Market on downtown Dartmouth’s waterfront, where the Halifax Transit ferries dock. This traditional German market features crafts, toys, and other arts and crafts, but also a lively assortment of holiday entertainment. Take the kids to see the marionettes, carousel, and musical acts.
  • From Nov. 18 to 20, Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council hosts its annual Christmas Show at Pier 23 on Halifax’s waterfront. This show promotes buying local gifts handcrafted by regional artisans. Find the best in textiles, jewelry, as well as arts and crafts made from wood, metal, and glass.
  • The Dalplex Christmas Craft Market is another longstanding holiday favourite. Dating back 30 years, this event features vendors from across Atlantic Canada selling wares such as pottery, toys, food, and woodwork. This year’s event runs from Nov. 25 to 27.
  • From Nov. 11 to 13, take a drive to the Halifax Exhibition Centre on Prospect Road for the Christmas Craft Village. This is another way to support local artisans while finding unique holiday gifts for everyone on your list.

KIDS WITH STYLE

  • Outfit the kids for the season and beyond with a trip to Urban Kids on Chain Lake Drive in Halifax or Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth. This store serves the market for kids from age four to the tween years, and keeps on top of the latest trends in kids’ fashions. Get a complete wardrobe from tops and bottoms, to hoodies and accessories.
  • For kids’ shoes, boots, activewear and gear, stop into Twiggz in Mic Mac Mall. Shop for durable and stylish winter boots, as well as rain boots for the spring season. Pick up gloves, hats, and other winter gear to keep them warm. Dance gear, including leotards, tights, and shoes, are always in stock.

SWEETS OF THE SEASON

  • Rousseau Chocolatier on Hollis Street serves up handcrafted chocolates made with the finest, freshest, and when possible, locally sourced ingredients. Flavours included everything from peanut butter cranberry to smoky chili. Pick a couple dozen for a gift-wrapped box.
  • Sugar Shok Treat Boutique on Portland Street in Dartmouth has more than 50 types of bulk candy, and chocolate bars from around the world. That’s more than enough to satisfy any sweet tooth. Find funky gifts, including magnets, greeting cards, and home décor. There’s also ice cream served year round.

Editor’s Pick

LOVE LOCAL

Make your holiday a celebration of local talent with a visit to Made in the Maritimes Artisan Boutique in Sunnyside Mall or the Hydrostone. Shop the beautiful selection of local, fine art and paintings by artists from around the region. Quirky cushions made of rich textiles feature nautical logos or regional sayings. A beauty section includes products made from natural ingredients.

Hot Shopping Editor’s Pick: Top 5 Handmade Hotspots

Earrings (CJ Tennant) Courtesy of Winnipeg Art Gallery

Earrings (CJ Tennant) Courtesy of Winnipeg Art Gallery

These Manitoba makers craft artisanal items that spark conversation and make a statement.

   Erin Kembel of EMK Clothing designs with style and comfort in mind. Her studio boutique boasts vibrant printed dresses, bags and tops all made in-store by hand. 143 Sherbrook St, 204‑691‑4414, Map 1: R-2

The spacious loft at The Forks Trading Company showcases the work of more than 250 local makers, including plant-based lip balm from Hogwash Bath & Body. 1 Forks Market Rd, 204‑949‑1785, Map 1: Q-5

Fitness fanatics love the versatile workout gear by LBS Yoga & Athletic Wear. Make each sun salutation a style statement in the breathable and stretchy galaxy printed Trixie legging. Home Run Sports, 20 De La Seigneurie Blvd, 204‑255‑7687, Map 2: E-4

Keepsakes Gallery is stocked with the work of Manitoba artists, including floral greeting cards and acrylic paintings by artist Joy Winter-Schmidt. 626.5 West Broadway, 204-295-9257, Map 1: Q-3

An eclectic mix of Canadian-made wares line the shelves at The Gallery Shop. Glitzy earrings by CJ Tennant (pictured) get their shine from a combination of sterling silver and semi-precious stones. 300 Memorial Blvd, 204-786-6641, Map 1: P-3