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Comic relief

The Halifax Comedy Fest returns, showcasing top comics from across Canada

By Janice Hudson

Now in its 22nd year, Halifax Comedy Fest brings some of the biggest names in comedy to the city. With 30 performers at several shows and venues across Halifax, this is the East Coast’s ultimate celebration of stand-up comedy.

This year, the event runs from April 26 to 29 with an all-star roster of emerging talents and established veterans, including Mark Critch, Jeremy Hotz, Eman El-Husseini, Steve Patterson, and Debra DiGiovanni.

Debra DiGiovanni

A festival fan favourite, DiGiovanni is returning to Halifax for the first time since 2013. The Gemini-award winning comic has done two Canadian stand-up specials for CTV/Comedy, as well as Live at Gotham on Comedy Central. She was also a finalist in NBC’s Last Comic Standing. Her first stand up show for Showtime, Single, Awkward Female, is now playing on Netflix.

Catch DiGiovanni at the Opening Gala on Wednesday, April 26 at Casino Nova Scotia, and the Gala of Laughs on April 28 in the Spatz Theatre at Citadel High School on Bell Road. The Gala of Laughs also showcases Jeremy Hotz, one of Canada’s most unique stand-up comics. His quirky observational comedy nets him new fans every time he takes the stage.

Jeremy Hotz

Jeremy Hotz

This Hour Has 22 Minutes comedian and festival veteran Mark Critch returns to host the Gala of Laughs and the Gala of Laughs Finale on April 29 held in the Spatz Theatre at Citadel High School on Bell Road.

Mark Critch

Mark Critch

Look for seasoned comic Ryan Belleville at the Gala of Laughs Finale and as host at the Opening Gala. A regular on the comedy festival circuit, Belleville is a familiar face on TV and film on both sides of the border, and currently lends his talents to the new CBC TV show Workin’ Moms.

Ryan Belleville

Ryan Belleville

Also returning to this year’s festival is Steve Patterson, host of CBC Radio’s The Debaters. Coming off his latest cross-Canada theatre show, This is Not Debatable, and his tour for The Book of Letters I Didn’t Know Where to Send, Patterson appears in the Gala of Laughs and hosts the All Star Show on April 27 at Casino Nova Scotia.

New this year at the festival is Laughs for Lungs, a comedy show and fundraiser on April 26 for the Lung Association of Nova Scotia. Open to fans age 19 and older, the event takes place at the Mic Mac Amateur Aquatic Club in Dartmouth. Ted Morris, Erica Sigurdson, and Mike Delamont will take the stage.

One of Canada’s most popular comics, Mike Delamont will also be hosting a double feature of afternoon shows on April 29 at the Lower Deck Pub in the Historic Properties.

Eman El-Husseini

Eman El-Husseini

A self-described “walking, breathing comedy special,” Montréal comedian Eman El-Husseini draws on her personal background and upbringing to get the laughs rolling. She takes the stage at the All Star Show on April 27 at Casino Nova Scotia and at the 3pm Pub Comedy show on April 29 at the Lower Deck Pub. She’ll also be performing at the free Laugh@Lunch show on April 28 at the Halifax Central Library. Joining her onstage there will be Charlie Demers and Sterling Scott.

Sterling Scott

Sterling Scott

This year’s festival also includes performances by Lachlan Patterson, John Wing, Carol Zoccoli, Chantel Marostica, Charles Haycock, Charlie Demers, Darryl Orr, Derek Seguin, D.J. Demers, Jay Malone, John Beuhler, Keith Pedro, K. Trevor Wilson, Kyle Brownrigg, Landry, Matt O’Brien, Matt Wright, Nigel Grinstead, J.R. DeGuzman, Charlie Demers, Sterling Scott, and Matt Falk. For schedules and ticket information, surf to halifaxcomedyfest.ca.

Hot Shopping: Spring styles

By Suzanne Rent

Brilliant Clothing Boutique on Birmingham Street showcases the best in pre-loved clothing. That means fashionistas can find current styles and designer labels at affordable prices. Brands include Michael Kors, Rag and Bone, Steve Madden, and Frye.


Brilliant Clothing Boutique

Cintamani on Spring Garden Road and Sunnyside Mall creates outdoor wear designed and tested in Iceland. There are full lines of jackets, fleeces, and accessories for women, men, and children. Perfect for families that love to spend plenty of time outdoors.

Newly renovated with a stylish and modern look, Halifax Shopping Centre remains the largest shopping centre in Nova Scotia. Refresh your wardrobe with new looks from stores such as H&M and Banana Republic. Pick up a treat at the Newfoundland Chocolate Company or Laura Secord. Take a break in the new food court called Terrace, which has a variety of outlets to choose from.

Halifax Shopping Centre

Halifax Shopping Centre

KoKo Mod Floral on Portland Street, Dartmouth features floral designs of modern originality. Owner Korayne Romanchuk was trained by a European design master. Choose from fresh designs to celebrate a special occasion or person. Or check out the permanent designs, including wreaths or driftwood.

KoKo Mod Floral

KoKo Mod Floral

My Mother’s Bloomers on Spring Garden Road delivers flowers and designs for any celebration. Choose a design from one of several collections, featuring lilies, roses, orchids, blooming plants, or green plants. Or just find a design in a fresh bouquet to celebrate spring or Easter.

My Mother's Bloomers

My Mother’s Bloomers

To spruce up your space for spring, stop by Amazing Space Interiors on Almon Street. In the new retail store, there are design ideas for every budget and taste. Find high-end designer brands or fully customized furniture. It’s a great way to kick off the season in style.

Hot Dining: April eats

By Trevor J. Adams

Vines Pasta Grill on Panavista Drive in Dartmouth is a longstanding local favourite, boasting an array of Italian classics. Popular offerings include veal marsala, seafood linguine, and creative pasta dishes aplenty. Sunday brunch buffet.

Vines Pasta Grill

Vines Pasta Grill

Looking for a pleasant nook to while away an evening with friends? Intimate Little Oak on Lower Water Street is just steps away from the waterfront boardwalk. It boasts a small and dynamic menu showcasing global influences and seasonal ingredients, a huge (yet artfully chosen) wine list, and a selection of craft beers and ciders.

Bramosa Pizzeria & Beer Bar on Quinpool Road is the ideal spot to indulge in the classic beer and pizza pairing. Local craft brews pair with signature creations like the Tuscan Sun (white sauce, hot banana peppers, pineapple, sundried tomatoes, green olives) and Lombardy’s Fire (smoked bacon, jalapeno, pineapple). Free delivery on the Halifax Peninsula (on orders over $15) after 4pm.


Bramosa Pizzeria

Don’t let the location fool you: Fredie’s Fantastic Fish House, tucked away in a strip mall in Bayer’s Lake on Oland Crescent, is one of your best bets for a traditional feed of fish and chips. The tiny, casual diner boasts friendly service, huge portions, and perfectly fried fresh Atlantic haddock.

Fredie's Fantastic Fish House

Fredie’s Fantastic Fish House

A pair of homesick Korean students studying in Halifax launched friendly little Backoos Korean To Go Food on Birmingham Street, offering a take on fried chicken that you won’t find elsewhere in Nova Scotia. Deep-fried, crispy, and spicy-sweet: the flavourful offerings have made this casual spot one of the most popular newcomers to Halifax’s dining scene.



Halifax St. Patrick’s Day hot spots

Looking for the perfect spot to enjoy a St. Paddy’s Day pint in Halifax? We’ve rounded up a list of Celtic pubs that will get you in a celebratory spirit

By Trevor Adams


You won’t need a four-leafed clover to have a jolly time at these local Celtic hot spots. On March 17, the line will start forming at sun-up outside The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse on Prince Street. Enjoy traditional music throughout the day, a pint of ale from the old sod, and Irish cuisine like lamb stew.

A local favourite for an after-work tipple, Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub on Argyle Street boasts an array of popular pub grub. the Banger Burger is sure to satisfy hungry carnivores.


Across the harbour in Dartmouth, Jamieson’s Irish Pub on Cumberland Drive is a must for craft-beer lovers, with sixteen taps showcasing Nova Scotia’s best.

Hot Shopping

By Suzanne Rent


Kick off your casual spring wardrobe with a few looks from New Scotland Clothing. Everything used here is sourced in Canada and Nova Scotia, increasing the local appeal on the style. Pick from hoodies and t-shirts for men, women, and kids. Locations on Wentworth Street in Dartmouth, Historic Properties on Lower Water Street, and at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport.


On Spring Garden Road, Shop Olsen Europe has fresh new looks and trends. Inspired by styles on runways and in the streets, this line is known for its quality and sophistication. Fabrics meet the company’s commitment to sustainability. The new spring collection features tops in pastel patterns, skinny-cut trousers, and light scarves.

For something outside of the box, visit In a Box on Dresden Row. At this little department store, you’ll find one-of-a-kind and edgy fashions for women. Or browse their collection of stylish accessories such as bracelets, scarves, and handbags. There are also contemporary gifts for weddings, such as wine glasses and decorative decanters or lovely champagne flutes.


Foodies and chefs will love browsing the aisles and shelves at Liquid Gold in the Hydrostone Market or at the Sunnyside Mall in Bedford. Its stock includes oils from South Africa, Italy, Spain, Peru, Portugal, France, Greece, Tunisia, Australia, Chile, and California. At the tasting bar, try extra-virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world.

Pearls are a classic and graceful look and Pearl City in Bishop’s Landing on Lower Water Street offers necklaces, bracelets, and more made of these lustrous gems. Choose from its varied collection or help design your own style. You can watch your pearl jewelry being hand-strung on-site by top craftspeople.

Local Source on Agricola Street brings the farm to urban shoppers. Pick from an abundance of fresh products, such as seasonal fruits and vegetables, cheese, meat, and seafood. The bakery offers goods made with fair-trade and locally sourced ingredients baked on-site. An in-house dietitian is available for consultations and cooking classes.


Maple syrup is the sugar of the season and Acadian Maple in Upper Tantallon is the place to stock up on this sweet treat. Pick up maple candies, sugars, or coffees. Gift baskets include various maple treats. Purists will find bottles of maple syrup that will get them through the season and beyond.

Haskapa in Bishop’s Landing celebrates the deliciousness and nutrition of the haskap berry. This berry is the prime ingredient in all its products, including food items, wine and spirts, gifts, and health and beauty items.


Knitters in the city will love The Loop on Barrington Street, supplying the best yarns for all knitting projects. Find patterns to help make accessories for your own wardrobe or to give as gifts. Sign up for workshops for knitters of every level. L.K. Yarns in the Hydrostone Market on Young Street carries a large stock of yarns in textures and colours aplenty. Yarns, patterns, and accessories come from the best suppliers.

Break free!

From open-air sports to hands-on art, there’s plenty to do this Spring Break in Halifax.

by Janice Hudson

Halifax Emera Oval

Dust off your skates and grab some friends for a free skate at the Emera Oval on the Halifax Common, at the corner of North Park and Cogswell streets. It’s the largest outdoor, artificially refrigerated ice surface east of Quebec City. There are free on-site skate rentals for adults and kids alike (with photo ID), and helmet rentals for children 12 and under. Young kids can snag a handy glider for stability on the ice. Strollers are also welcome. Check out halifax.ca/SkateHRM/index.php for skate times.

There’s more sports action to enjoy at the Scotiabank Centre, including high-octane hockey with the Halifax Mooseheads, the city’s major-junior hockey team. Watch the team take on Charlottetown March 15, Cape Breton on March 17, and Saint John on March 18. For tickets, visit halifaxmooseheads.ca.


The Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street is once again hosting the AUS Basketball Championships from March 3 to March 5. Atlantic Canada’s top university basketball teams battle for the men’s and women’s regional champions. This joint championship was extended another year thanks to the event’s success. The men’s champion will compete in the CIS Final 8 championship at Scotiabank Centre from March 9 to 12.


Drop into the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on the afternoons of March 15 and March 16 for Sketching in the Gallery. Facilitated by local artists, kids can create their own art using a range of supplied materials. No registration required. March 12 is Family Sunday at the gallery, with more artist led hands-on activities inspired by the gallery’s 3D artworks. Kids can work with clay and other materials to create faces and figures.

From March 11 to 19, The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic hosts Arctic Quest Adventures, inviting youngsters to explore this fascinating region. Sail the ship Baffin through the Northwest Passage in search of fun, art and games. Play traditional Inuit games, sketch the Northern skies, and try interactive stations to challenge your child’s creativity and survival skills. Surf to maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca for more information.


Dragons take centre stage this month at the Museum of Natural History. Here Be Dragons explores the myth, literature, culture, and folklore of these dynamic creatures. As always, check out the museum’s permanent exhibition, Science on a Sphere, to learn about weather, shipping routes, and ocean currents. Visit Gus the gopher tortoise, who has been delighting young patrons for more than 70 years.

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


·        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.



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.



·        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.



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.



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



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).



·         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.



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.



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.”



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.




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.”



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

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.



  • 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.


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


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


·         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.



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.



·         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.



·         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.



·         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.




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.

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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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


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.



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.



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.



·         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.



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.




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


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.



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.