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All across Canada

Insider’s Scoop: Gold Rush! at Canadian Museum of History

By Chris Lackner

The Gold Rush! has come to Ottawa.

Haida box by Bill Reid, 1971. Courtesy Royal BC Museum and Archives.

Haida box by Bill Reid, 1971. Courtesy Royal BC Museum and Archives.

While you can’t get rich, you can check out the shiny new exhibit, Gold Rush! El Dorado in British Columbia, at the Canadian Museum of History, April 8 to January 2017.

For an Insider’s Scoop, we talked to John Willis, curator of economic history at the museum:

Q: What will surprise visitors about this exhibit?

A: The fact that such a gold rush, of massive proportions, occurred in Canada, on its West Coast, 50 years before the Klondike.

The fact that some were willing to travel so far in order to get the gold: some trekked overland the entire distance from (central) Canada; others came thousands of miles from Europe, China, and elsewhere in Eastern Canada (the Maritimes for example).

The distances that have to be travelled within B.C. on terrain that is both rugged and spectacular (this comes out in the videos) this will surprise and impress visitors.

The fact that one could make a living not by prospecting for gold but by selling to and living off those mining the gold.

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This photo depicts the main street of Barkerville just before the 1868 fire that destroyed the town. Courtesy of the Royal BC Museum and Archives.

Q. Why is this exhibit important? 

A: First, it establishes the importance of the 1858 and 1862 gold rushes in the making of modern B.C. history. The era transformed indigenous societies and overturned the traditional fur economy of the Hudson Bay Company. In its wake came a new type of society devoted to exploiting land, natural resources, farmland; fostering trade and building cities. Through this exhibition the society of B.C. is trying to come to terms with its history. This includes the admission tragic errors made in the past vis-à-vis indigenous nations.

Second, the exhibit shows the importance of the larger Pacific sphere to the making of B.C. history especially in the gold rush era. What happened in California, Australia and Hong Kong had considerable bearing on how B.C. got roped into this gold rush economy.

Third, the exhibit touches on the quirks of human behaviour in a gold-rush setting. Men and women (but mainly men) travel by the tens of thousands to one destination or another intending to make it rich quick by mining the gold.  They are carried away by an enthusiasm for the riches promised by gold.  Men suffer from gold fever that sets them on a path to the gold fields, however distant. That path was referred in the newspaper of the day as a “highway to insanity.” As a collective mania, the psychology of gold fever does resemble the kind of up and down and sometimes foolish human behaviour associated with the stock market.

Wheel and flumes at the Davies claim on William’s Creek, 1867. Courtesy of the Royal BC Museum and Archives.

Wheel and flumes at the Davies claim on William’s Creek, 1867.
Courtesy of the Royal BC Museum and Archives.

Q: What are your favourite aspects of, or artifacts from, the exhibition?

A. I enjoy seeing the life size version of the B.C. Express company stagecoach that dates from the era and was used on the Cariboo Road. The vehicle is in excellent shape, it was lovingly restored in the late 1980s.  And it can’t help but conjure up images of the old west.  coachThe freight saddle or aparejo positioned in a display window opposite the stage coach belonged to a local hero, French-born Jean Caux, nicknamed Cataline.  It is interesting for it reminds us of the challenges of getting freight into and out of the rugged and mountainous B. C. interior.

There is an explicit recognition of things Chinese: a picture of Hong Kong harbour full of ships circa 1860, and later in the exhibition a display of exquisite Chinese artifacts (fan, game pieces, pipe, mud-treated silk garments, shoes etc.).

Turnagain Nugget is the largest existing gold nugget ever found in British Columbia: it weighs 1,642 grams (52 troy onces) and is approximately 4.2 cm high, 18.1 cm wide and 9.2 cm deep. Courtesy of the Royal BC Museum and Archive.

Turnagain Nugget is the largest existing gold nugget ever found in British Columbia: it weighs 1,642 grams (52 troy onces) and is approximately 4.2 cm high, 18.1 cm wide and 9.2 cm deep. Courtesy of the Royal BC Museum and Archive.

A huge and engaging painting,  Slim Jim or the Parson Takes the Pot,  shows a group of men playing a gambling game of cards. A probable con-man disguised as a priest has surprised his fellow players by winning the hand. The picture reminds us that all forms of gambling were popular in gold-rush communities, where there were men (only) and money a plenty.

The painting is so big that the box in which it came barely fits, height-wise, in the corridor of our museum

Finally the Pemberton dress, a beautiful silk-dress, with its budding hoop skirt and delicate engagements (frills that go up the sleeves), which dates from the B.C. gold-rush era, reminds us that women were present in this society — as entrepreneurs, supporters of culture, as instigators of all kinds of business and community activities. The theme is well carried in the book by New Perspectives on the Gold Rush; as well as in the exhibition catalogue: Gold Rush! El Dorado in British Columbia.

Hot Shopping for April

Editor’s Choice

web Acadian-Maple-SyrupIt’s the time of year when nature produces its sweet treat of sap, which is turned into maple syrup. And Acadian Maple (page 50) on Peggy’s Cove Road in Upper Tantallon has all kinds of maple-flavoured treats. The former hobby farm now produces numerous gourmet maple goodies, including butter, brittle, wine, barbecue sauce, and, of course, pure syrup. The space is also available for bus tours or events.

 


Chocolate & confections

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Head down to Rousseau Chocolatier on Hollis Street to watch as the team creates handmade chocolates, gourmet brownies, French macarons, and artisanal chocolate bars. But don’t leave without some sweet treats in hand. The chocolates are made in small batches and with real fruit and natural ingredients. Or stay in and enjoy a cold drink, cup of fair-trade coffee or mug of house hot chocolate.
Sugar Shok Candy Boutiqueon Portland Street in Dartmouth is as colorful and fun on the inside as it is on the outside. In this funky store, find more than 50 types of bulk candy, along with greeting cards, magnets, home décor, and ice cream.

Breaking News

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Readers of news and current events will enjoy an afternoon at Atlantic News on Morris Street. Search the racks of magazines, newspapers and periodicals that cover countless topics and regions around the world. Look for titles on music, sports, crafts, religion, and more. It’s a readers’ utopia.

Just for the kids

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Situated on South Park Street, is a boutique designed just for kids. Parents will have just as much fun as their kids will when shopping for high-quality clothes, toys, games, linens and more. Find traditional favourites
such as scooters and trains, plus educational toys, including science and detective kits.

 

 

 

All about art

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Art 1274 Hollis is a downtown collective of 24 artists showcasing their art in various media. Learn about emerging and established talent in the region. Peruse pottery, watercolours, stone, jewelry, and contemporary pieces.
Carrefour Atlantic & The Puffin Gallery in the Historic Properties features literature, original art, and traditional handcrafts from artists from Atlantic Canada, the Canadian North, and First Nations artists. It’s an eclectic mix of colourful and unique works by Canadian talents.

Strange days

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Fans of comics and all things sci-fi and fantasy must visit Strange Adventures on Prince Street in Halifax and in downtown Dartmouth on Portland Street. Look for classic titles like X-Men, the Amazing Spiderman, and Captain America, alongside the hottest new graphic novels. The huge selection also includes toys, board games, card games, clothing, and more.

 

Hot Art: Cultural Significance

In Méthodologie pour touristes (Methodology for tourists) at La maison des artistes visuels francophones, artist Mathieu Léger explores themes of territory, boundaries and survival which contribute to the construction of an identity. Through photographs and video, the artist integrates himself into places he visits seeking to conjure a territory’s culture. March 3 to April 9, 2016, 340, Provencher Blvd, 204‑233‑8972, Map 1: P-6

Hot Art: Fibre Art

February 2016 Morton My Back YardThe Fabric of My Life: Fibre Art Collages by Bev Morton at Wayne Arthur Gallery showcases fibre art creations inspired by places the artist lives, works and dreams. Images of home and gallery, as well as real and imagined places, use distinct lines to define form and colour, with a simplicity that allows the viewer to participate in the experiences of the artist. Many of the pieces started as paintings, which were later recreated into fabric art. Runs Jan 31-Mar 2. Wayne Arthur Gallery, 186 Provencher Blvd, 204‑477‑5249

September Hot Shopping

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By Suzanne Rent

Outdoors is in

Hit the great outdoors this fall in style with attire from Patagonia on Lower Water Street. Besides jackets, shoes, and shirts and pants for men and women, there is also gear for fly-fishing, diving, and camping. Get the kids suited up in their own right-sized gear, too.

TEA FOR TWO

  • Tea drinkers will love the assortment of loose tea at World Tea House at its two locations, on Argyle Street and in Sunnyside Mall in Bedford. All of its teas are fair trade, organic, and sold in biodegradable and recyclable materials. In stock are fresh teas such as black, green, herbals, white oolong, and rooibos. Teaware such as tea makers, tea presses, and tea infusers will help complete your collection.
  • Sawadee Tea House on Granville Street carries more than 375 premium teas from around the world. Owner Mie Mie Sein uses her vast knowledge of tea to create special blends for clients looking for tea for medicinal purposes. Sawadee’s loose teas are of high quality and fair trade. Many of the teas here come from Mie Mie’s own farm in the Annapolis Valley.

 

Editor’s ChoiceScreen Shot 2015-09-02 at 12.49.51 PM

If you love the mystical side of life, visit Into the Mystic on Cole Harbour Road in Dartmouth. Shop for gemstones, jewellery, herbal teas, pendulums, and tarot cards. If you can’t find what you want in store, the staff will help you order it in. After you shop, stay for a cup of tea and psychic reading, infrared treatment, aura scan, astrology, or numerology report.

 

Shop ’til you drop

Located in the heart of Bedford, Bedford Place Mall on the Bedford Highway is a community centre with more than 60 shops and services. A mix of anchor stores includes fashion retailers such as Suzy Shier and Tan Jay. Newly renovated with a fresh look and spacious food court area.

Just off the major highways connecting Dartmouth and Burnside, Dartmouth Crossing is an accessible one-stop-shopping destination for everyone in the family. In the centre are the Village Shops, a unique mix of boutiques, restaurants, and complete with a playground and amphitheatre, this space has a main street feel with plenty of parking.

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FALL INTO FASHION

A mainstay of designer fashion in Halifax, Foreign Affair on Barrington Street and Spring Garden Road, has the hottest fall fashions for women. Find all the latest brands, including Paige Denim, Mackage, Rebecca Taylor, and Vince.

Samuel & Co. in Park Lane, Halifax Shopping Centre, and Mic Mac Mall, has the best in casual, career, weekend, and evening styles for women. Brands include Silver Jeans, Mexx, Tribal, Frank Lyman, The North Face, and Helly Hansen.Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 1.09.28 PM

Hot shopping in July!

By Suzanne Rent

BEAUTY BRANDS

Aritzia-2Brand new to Halifax, Aritzia in the Halifax Shopping Centre is the go-to place for fashionistas who love excellent design, top quality and great prices. Featured brands include Talula, Community, Le Fou, La Notte, The Castings and Auxiliary.

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CATCH OF THE DAY

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For a fresh feed of lobster (live, packed for travel, or boiled and ready for a picnic), visit Fisherman’s Market International Inc. on the Bedford Highway. The bountiful Atlantic seafood also includes snow crab, halibut, oysters, scallops, shrimp or other delicacies from the Atlantic. There’s also smoked salmon or mackerel, and novelty items such as hats, mugs and hoodies. If you’re headed home, drop into Clearwater at Halifax Stanfield International Airport to pick up some freshly packed lobster for the trip. Grab all the condiments and accessories you need for a delicious souvenir to enjoy when you arrive home. (Also an ideal gift for house-sitters.)

 

FOR WHAT ALES YOU

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The Garrison Beer Store located at Garrison Brewing on
Marginal Road is the place to pick up one of the acclaimed brews from a
granddaddy of the Halifax craft-beer scene. Find bottled beer, growlers
and party kegs. Or get a “Mixed 6” of your favourite flavours. You can
even try a sample before you purchase.

At the Prop Shop inside Propeller Brewing Company on
Gottingen Street or Windmill Road, find all the beer gear you need, such
as hats, t-shirts, hoodies, and glasses. And of course, there’s beer too, in
single-serve bottles, six packs, bombers and growlers.

 

 

OFF TO MARKET

Seaport

With more than 250 vendors, the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market on Marginal Road has the best offerings of the season and the city in one stop. There is fresh produce from local farms, fish caught from local waters, Nova Scotian wine and craft beer, and wares produced by artisans from around the province. Just a short Halifax Transit ferry ride away from downtown Halifax is the Alderney Landing Farmers’ Market on Ochterloney Street in Dartmouth. Open Saturday and Sundays, this indoor market offers everything from baked goods and produce, arts and crafts and homemade fudge.

 

FLOWER POWER

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Bring the best blossoms of summer inside with an arrangement from Props Floral Design in The Hydrostone neighbourhood on Young Street. Or sign up for a class to learn to make your own custom creations. For flowery summer gift ideas, visit My Mother’s Bloomers (page 70) in Spring Garden Place (page 73) on Spring Garden Road. Owner Neville MacKay brings to his store a lively, colourful and fresh array of blossoms that can be made into custom arrangements for any occasion. Choose from roses, orchids, lilies, or any flower of the season.

Editor’s Choice

The Pier 21 Gift Shop inside the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 on Marginal Road carries a lot more than travel souvenirs of the city. Choose one of the many books or DVDs that share the stories of immigrant life and Canada’s “gateway of hope.” Exclusive gifts include a sculpted and hand-painted authentic re-creation of Pier 21 by Catherine Karnes, plus “Pier into your past” commemorative plate.Pier-21-3

June Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

PATIO PERFECTION

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• Catch some rays on the rooftop patio at Your Father’s Moustache on Spring Garden Road. The fun and lively space has beer aplenty on tap, including three signature brews from the RockBottom Brewpub downstairs.
• Downtown, head to The Maxwell’s Plum on Grafton Street for a cold pint on the sunny patio. The landmark bar has the city’s largest selection of draft beer, including top selections from Maritime craft breweries like Halifax’s Garrison Brewing and Cape Breton’s Big Spruce.
• For fabulous views of Halifax harbour, check out Gahan House in the Historic Properties. This popular Prince Edward Island brewpub recently opened its first Nova Scotia location, serving its own line of handcrafted beers. Try the Beach Chair lager for a refreshing summer sip.

Editor’s Choice

Steak9246Two downtown restaurants have once again earned the prestigious CAA/AAA Four Diamond Award.
Recognized for the eighth year in a row, Onyx on Argyle Street is a sleek resto bar showcasing local ingredients in delicious globally inspired recipes. Cut Steakhouse on Lower Water Street has received the award every
year since opening in 2008. The menu boasts premium beef (dry-aged and butchered on-site) with
an artful wine list and inventive sides.

 

 

VEGGIES FIRST

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• A leader in Halifax’s emerging vegan scene, Envie touts a menu of hearty meals like vegan ribs, grilled cheese and indulgent raw desserts. Catering to dietary restrictions, the menu is 90 per cent gluten free. Find the stylish restaurant on the corner of Agricola and Charles streets in the North End.
• In the West End on Windsor Street, Wild Leek has made-from-scratch vegan comfort food. Chef Kirsten Haggart whips up recipes like mac’n cheese, seitan sandwich, and the popular coconutbacon “CBLT.” Wash it down with a fresh-squeezed juice and save room for gourmet cupcake.

 

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Downtown at Gio on
Market Street, Chef Bee Choo
Char gives traditional recipes
an inventive new twist. Her
delicious version of poutine
includes fried polenta fingers
topped with duck confit, red
wine jus and blue “Cheez
Whiz.” Open for lunch and
dinner, Gio has a sommelierchosen
wine list plus creative cocktails and martinis.

 

SLICE OF SUCCESS

_MG_4104Specializing in wood-fired pizza, Morris East won bronze in the non-traditional category at the recent International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. Its Nova Scotia-inspired winning pie featured pears poached in Blomidon Estate Baco Noir and prosciutto from Halifax’s Ratinaud Charcuterie. Visit in downtown Halifax on Morris Street and in Bedford on Larry Uteck Boulevard.

June Hot Shopping

By Suzanne Rent

HOMESPUN STYLE

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The Lost Cod in the Historic Properties on Lower Water Street will help you create clothes with Nova Scotia-inspired designs. Pick from a stock of logo designs that represent a vast swath of Nova Scotia’s commercial and cultural past (including beloved throwback sports logos like the Nova Scotia Voyageurs, Sydney Millionaires and Halifax Windjammers). Then, choose a garment, size and colour and you have your own summer style inspired by the province’s rich history. Great for gifts, too.

MADE FOR MEN

Duggers

 

• Men looking to update their summer wardrobe can stop into Duggers on Spring Garden Road. Find exclusive brands such as Hugo Boss, Canali, Coppley, Sand and Van Gils. Or visit D2 on the main level for the latest summer trends in men’s style.
• At Colwell’s in the Historic Properties on Lower Water Street, find all the basics such as dress shirts, pants, sports jackets, jeans and t-shirts.

 

 

 

 

FRESH FASHIONj&r-grimsmo-1-copy

• J&R Grimsmo Boutique on Barrington Street carries gorgeous styles for women, all ethically manufactured, made with sustainable materials and processes, but some of the best designers in North America. Find dresses, tops and bottoms and lots of accessories for any summer outing.
• For casual styles for those active shoppers on the go, try Olsen Europe in Park Lane and Mic Mac Mall. Produced in Hamburg, Germany, these styles are modern, fresh and available in a variety of colours for the season.
• At Wildflower Clothing Inc. on Clyde Street, owner Jill Strong finds styles that are like the comfort food of clothing that work for women looking for no-fuss styles. Accessorize with hats, belts, scarves or handbags.

ONE-STOP SHOP

SunnysideSunnyside Mall on Bedford Highway
is home to various retailers from around the
region. Shop for summer fashions at Turbine
or Moe’s Menswear, accessories at Peoples
Jewellers and something for the kids at Bib ’N Tucker.

 

 

BRILLIANT BLING

Frida Dress up your best outfit with custom jewellery from Frida in Bishop’s Landing on Lower Water
Street. There are styles from Canadian and European designers, and various collections highlighting gemstones and diamonds. Book a consultation to help create your own piece of wearable art.
• At Fireworks Gallery on Barrington Street, in-house goldsmiths and gem masters create unique Old World designs in gold, silver and platinum using New World techniques.

Work with one of these masters on
creating a design that tells your
personal story.

 

 

Editor’s Choice

sweet-pea_trends11Summer is the season for dresses and Sweet Pea Boutique on Queen Street has a huge selection of summer frocks for every occasion. Find dresses, rompers or jumpers with flowers, stripes, lace, all perfect for tea parties, weddings or a summer night on the town.

Hollywood North

By LAURA DENNIS

The Marine Building: Fantastic Four, Blade: Trinity, Watchmen, Life or Something Like It, Timecop, Battle in Seattle

The Marine Building: Fantastic Four, Blade: Trinity, Watchmen, Life or Something Like It, Timecop, Battle in Seattle (Photo: KK Law)

  

Vancouver Convention Centre: Robocop, Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol, The A-Team, Human Target, The Killing, Godzilla (Photo: KK Law)

Vancouver Convention Centre: Robocop, Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol, The A-Team, Human Target, The Killing, Godzilla (Photo: KK Law)

Vancouver Art Gallery: Night at the Museum, X-Men: The Last Stand, Continuum, Arrow, The X-Files, MacGyver

Vancouver Art Gallery: Night at the Museum, X-Men: The Last Stand, Continuum, Arrow, The X-Files, MacGyver (Photo: Lilly3/Stockphoto.com)

Vancouver Public Library: Double Jeopardy, Stargate SG-1, The Dead Zone, Smallville, Mr. Magoo (Photo: DannyC23/Stockphoto.com)

Vancouver Public Library: Double Jeopardy, Stargate SG-1, The Dead Zone, Smallville, Mr. Magoo (Photo: DannyC23/Stockphoto.com)

While strolling through downtown, you may feel the persistent tingle of déjà vu. Don’t worry: the architecture seems eerily familiar because for over a century, Vancouver has been used as a skilled stunt double in film. The city, which can replicate anywhere from Seattle to Mumbai to outer space, can be credited with many pivotal scenes in cinematic history. Vancouver follows Los Angeles and New York as the third-largest film production centre in the world—there is a catalogue of 20,000 locations for filmmakers to choose from. Check out the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver Convention Centre, Marine Building or Vancouver Public Library for a souvenir shot, and keep your eyes peeled for the many movies and TV shows currently in production. You might even make the blooper reel.

 

Skate in a Winter Wonderland

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Glide gracefully at Robson Square

Glide gracefully at Robson Square

Join the swirl of circling ice skaters at the Robson Square Ice Rink (to Feb. 28), located in the heart of downtown. The alfresco activity is family-friendly and free, with skate rentals available for only $4. Plus, the clear dome overhead offers protection from the elements but still shows off the city’s twinkling lights. Afterwards, warm up frosty fingers with a hot drink from the concession. So go ahead and take a spin around the rink—or an arabesque if you’re feeling adventurous.

Tragically Hip – Fully & Completely

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Iconic Canadian rockers the Tagically Hip hit Victoria February 4 during their North American tour commemmorating the re-issue of the band’s celebrated Fully Completely album.

Audiences will enjoy Fully Completely – the Hip’s third full-length album – played in its entirety. Originally released in October 1992. the album reached No. 1 in Canada and went on to sell more than a million copies while spawning hit singles including Locked in the Trunk of a Car, Courage (for Hugh McLennan), At the Hundredth Meridian and Fifty Mission Cap and more.

The critically acclaimed five-piece group has sold more than 8 million albums worldwide, and earned 14 Juno Awards from more than a dozen recordings.

Queen West Restaurant The Good Son Aims to Please

(photos: Craig Moy)

(photos: Craig Moy)

Naming one’s business The Good Son implies a certain amount of geniality, and indeed, chef Vittorio Colacitti’s new Queen West restaurant aims to please—by drawing together the corners of the culinary world. A contestant on season four of Top Chef Canada, Colacitti applies the lessons of his varied cooking experiences—he’s worked in both fine-dining and corporate kitchens, and had stints at pizzerias in Toronto and Italy—to rise to the challenge of an ambitiously cosmopolitan carte that prioritizes seasonal and local ingredients, but uses them in dishes such as jerk shrimp, sarsaparilla side ribs and a half-dozen wood-fired pizzas. The restaurant’s large dining room is adorned with antique clocks, plates, photographs and other welcome reminders of home.  —Craig Moy

• The Good Son, 1096 Queen St. W., 416-551-0589; thegoodsontoronto.com
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