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Concierge Q&A

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Spencer LeBlanc is lead concierge at the Atlantica Hotel Halifax and a future member of Les Clefs d’Or Atlantic Canada. He has worked in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Poland before returning to his home province of Nova Scotia. He loves Halifax because its beauty and history are so accessible by foot or bicycle.

Q. What’s your pick for August’s can’t-miss event for visitors?
A. At the start of the month (August 2 to 7), the Halifax Busker Festival offer 300 shows over six days on the waterfront, with performers from all over the world. Later (August 20), a local highlight would be the Clam Harbour Sandcastle Contest. There is often more than 100 entries for the annual competition along this beautiful beach on the Eastern Shore.

Q. What’s your favourite Halifax patio for a relaxing drink with friends?
A. Agricola Street Brasserie has a great rooftop patio. The daily happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. offers up a great mix from local oysters to local craft beers. Agricola Street is known for its eclectic mix of antique shops and vibrant restaurants. Having a drink along this street will truly feel like you are living like a local.

Q. Where should nature lovers go to explore Nova Scotia’s natural beauty?
A. If you are leaving Halifax on a day trip I suggest going down the South Shore, past Lunenburg to the Ovens Natural Park. This site of the 1861 gold rush has a lot to offer. Take the cliff lined hour long walk exploring the sea caves along the way. Try your hand at gold panning on the beach or even stay the night in the rustic cottages. Close to the Ovens is an area called Blue Rocks, which offers some of the best kayaking in Nova Scotia.

Q. If you were picking out one gift for a loved one who hasn’t yet been to Halifax, what would you get?
A. I have a bit of a sweet tooth so my go to gift is always a cake from the Rum Runners shop in Bishops Landing. The Prohibition years had a big impact on Nova Scotia’s history so this gift is a great way to make that connection. It is a bit of Nova Scotia’s history you can taste!

Q. What’s the best place for a visitor to find made-in-Canada fashions and accessories?
A. Canook Trading is a new clothing store on Barrington Street that only carries Canadian-made and designed items. Another great spot is the Made in the Maritime Artisan Boutique store over in the Hydrostone Market on Young Street.

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