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CONSTRUCTION LTD. Paying Attention to the Details

BEST of the BEST REFINED | 2018

25 years

in the HVAC industry

A heating and cooling system is one of the fundamental components of your home.

WE SELL AND REPAIR: Air conditioning systems, ventilation systems, heating systems, air exchangers, heat recovery & heat pumps

CAPITAL VENTILATION Whether you’re building a new house or planning a renovation, consider upgrading your heating and ventilation system for increased comfort and energy savings.


to book your annual cleaning or inspection of your heat pump and Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV).

Capital Ventilation 62C Bluewater Rd., Bedford | 902.835.9224 | |



Craft Beer • Local Seafood • Guilt-Free Desserts Full menu available online at To book your event or group please call (902) 420-1015



Summer 2018 Volume 4 Issue 2 Owner / Publisher Seann Gervason | 902.476.4700 Editor Lori McKay | 902.877.5512

Editor’s Note

Contributing Writers Cheryl Doherty, Heather Waugh Pitts, Rebecca Spinner, Colleen Thompson, Kate Watson, Suzanne Rent, Tim MacPhee, Alysha Filion Proofreader Rebecca Spinner

With ReFINEd editor LORI MCKAY

Cover Photography Shari Tucker

“’Cause a little bit of summer is what the whole year is all about.” – John Mayer

Photography Bruce Jollimore, Steve Jess, David Muir, Colleen Thompson, Brent McCombs of AlterEgo Photography, Karen Veinot


try to spend as little time as possible indoors this time of year. Nothing is more enjoyable to me than sitting on a patio — either our backyard deck or at a Halifax/Dartmouth restaurant — and sampling local food and wine. This issue of ReFINEd highlights some great Nova Scotia food and drink recipes, some of which we’ll be trying at our home this summer. I encourage you to do the same and let us know what you think! Instead of our typical international travel story, we decided to stay a little closer to home this summer. Check out Rebecca Spinner’s Nova Scotia Staycation article, which notes some of the province’s best places to visit. Also in this issue, tips for improving your sleep habits, where to find fabulous artisan ice cream in the city, how to have glowing summer skin, and more. This is also the time of year for ReFINEd’s annual Best of the Best issue, where we highlight some of the city’s finest products, services and businesses. One such business is on our cover, our Best of the Best General Contractor: Matrix Construction Inc. We hope you enjoy this issue!

Here is a complete list of our 2018 Best of the Best featured businesses:

Pulse Signs & Design Inc.

Panache Luxury Linens

Archadeck of Nova Scotia

Be Gorgeous Bedford Orthodontics

Matrix Construction Ltd. Case Design/Remodeling

Beautiful Dresses at Avella

Capital Ventilation

Stanhope & Co. Hair Studio

Mader’s Roofing

Sunnyside Mall

Wacky’s Floor Design Centre

Bâton Rouge

Patterned Concrete

Oakfield Golf and Country Club

Revolution Windows and Doors Ltd.

Mac East

R&R Pools

Shellnutt Professional Accountants

Steele Jaguar, Land Rover Halifax


Ghislaine Moffitt Graphic Designer

Sand Seal Paving Select Ceramic Tile Inc., Bella Marble & Granite Inc., Milano Kitchens Inc.


Jason MacDonald Sales Manager 902.233.9582

Genuine Kitchens

Newbridge Academy

Minuteman Press

Seann Gervason Owner / Publisher 902.476.4700

Anita Kirkbride Social Media


Enigma Health Studio

Distribution & Subscriptions | 902.476.4700

ReFINEd Halifax is published by ReFINEd Magazine Ltd., which is independently owned. Opinions expressed in ReFINEd Magazine Ltd. are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or advertisers. ReFINEd Magazine Ltd. does not assume liability for content. All rights reserved ©ReFINEd Magazine Ltd. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. For reproduction requests, please call 902.476.4700. Canada Post Publication Agreement #43352027. Return all undeliverables to 1511 Lockhart Mountain Road, Coldbrook, Nova Scotia, B4R 1C1.

LOCAL INGREDIENTS, a global twist Sample global favourites with a local flair at elements on hollis.

To accompany these unique creations, this downtown Halifax restaurant offers local wine, beer and spirits.

elements on hollis The Westin Nova Scotian 1181 Hollis St. 902.496.7960











A Good Night’s Sleep

Nova Scotia: The Perfect Staycation


46 Brewing Up Tea Cocktails

70 Frozen Frenzy: Artisan Summer Treats



92 Cushions: The Final Touch to your Room

96 COVER FEATURE Matrix Construction Ltd.


Window of Opportunity Relax this summer and let SkyReach prepare your home for the season.

Halifax’s Leading Window Cleaning and Building Maintenance Professionals. Locally owned and operated since 1996, SkyReach is Halifax’s go-to company for professional window cleaning and building maintenance services. Window cleaning Pressure washing (home/decks) Caulking (seal leaks/drafts around windows and doors) Eavestroughs and downspouts cleared * And more! See their website for a full list of services


SkyReach Property Services Inc. 51-10 Akerley Blvd., Dartmouth | 902.423.2818 | 902.209.4737 |

Sandals Emerald Bay

HAS THE GAME OF GOLF DOWN TO A TEE Nestled along the sun-kissed shores of an exclusive peninsula on Great Exuma in the Bahamas, Sandals Emerald Bay brings unprecedented levels of luxury to the easy-going rhythms of the Bahamian Out Islands. And best of all….It’s all inclusive. All the time. Anytime. Join an exclusive group trip – January 10 – 17, 2019 – and enjoy the Bahamas Great Exuma Golf Classic a PGA Tour-sanctioned Tour event hosted at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course.

Special pricing starts at just USD$2221 per person (based on double occupancy) and includes : • • •

seven nights luxurious accommodations all meals and anytime snacks unlimited beverages, land and water sports, return airport transfers in-destination, all government hotel taxes and tips.

JAN. 10 - 17, 2019

EXCLUSIVE access also included to the Bahamas Great Exuma Golf Classic PLUS US$150 per couple – VIP Super Spectator Pass includes VIP Golf Course entry and Hospitality Tent Access,

Private Player Meet and Greet, Instructional Clinic with a Pro and more. US$499 per person – The Presidential Pro-Am Player Package includes complimentary practice and one playing position in a Pro-Am Team, Tour Player Panel and Private Meet and Greet with Pros and more.

Specializing in Group & Luxury Travel

Judi Oracheski, CTC 902-817-5867 or toll-free 1-844-333-6669

Space is Limited! For more information, contact:

Scott M. Penney Travel Specialist 902-223-0793 or toll-free 1-833-767-0767

It’s about time Halifax had its own rum.



1668 Lower Water St., Halifax | 902.431.0505 |


A GOOD NIGHT’S By Rebecca Spinner

The worst sleep I ever had was in a London airport. I attempted to tough out the wee hours between two flights on a terminal bench with fluorescent lights above me and frigid air blowing on me from somewhere. The best sleep I ever had was in Barbados. All those ocean swims, shoreline walks and seafood dinners made for starlit nights spent in decadent snoozing. But can you replicate eight delectable hours of vacation sleep in Canada?





s globetrotter Heather Whitman tells it, society does influence your relationship with sleep. “In Italy, everything shuts down from two until four, and people can take a nap,” she says. “it’s part of life.”

Whitman, the proprietor of Panache Luxury Linens in Halifax, is blunt about the pitfalls of our cultural tendency to cut sleep short. “I think we’ve been brainwashed to believe that the ladder to success is exhaustion. That if you’ve rested your body, you’re lazy.” But shoddy shuteye comes with consequences, she points out. “What are you going to do when you can’t be good to the people around you, because you’re exhausted?” When ReFINEd asks Whitman how to get “a good night’s sleep,” a “sleep schedule” is among her first suggestions. “Just like you might make time to go to the gym, set aside time that says ‘this is when I go to bed,’” she urges. “Twenty or 30 minutes before that, start slowing things down.” She’s also adamant about beds, mattresses and bedroom accoutrements that reflect sleep’s importance. “Finding the right linen makes you feel pampered. A pillow should support your head based on the type of sleeper you might be; find one that supports you physically.” Technology-wise, “I don’t feel that a television is a great thing to have in the bedroom,” she says firmly. And your cell? “Don’t use your phone as an alarm clock. Turn it to mute, set it on the kitchen island, and leave it there.” I’ve been skimping on sleep for eons, so I’ve got my fingers crossed that these suggestions will help me stop reminiscing about naps I took years ago. If you’ve had a hard time “drifting off,” why not give them a whirl?

Sleep Strategies When I asked friends, family and followers on social media for their “good night’s sleep” tips, advice varied. Many people pointed me in the direction of specific body care products. Others used herbal tisanes, hormones or mineral supplements. A bedtime glass of water was popular (although I was also advised against this). See a few of these “crowdsourced” ideas below. “Fall asleep listening to podcasts. And don’t work out before bed.” – Leslie A. “Don’t drink coffee after noon.” – June D. “Replay your day on fast forward.” – David G. “Stay outside in the sunshine during the day.” – Althea G. “A really dark room, with blackout curtains, always encourages the best sleep.” – Brittany G. “Avoid addictive streaming before bedtime: Facebook, Netflix, etc.” – Ian S. “Cuddling with my dogs and listening to their snoring works for me.” – Maria L.




BEST of the BEST


REFINED | 2018

Heather Whitman

PANACHE LUXURY LINENS CLOUD NINE FOR A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP By Rebecca Spinner Photos Steve Jess and courtesy of Panache Luxury Linens


good night’s sleep is important year-round. But come summertime, it’s crucial. Beach trips, pool parties, earlymorning hikes — they’re marvellous, but exhausting. Long daylight hours and topsy-turvy temperatures make restful sleep an even greater challenge. In Halifax, however, you can safeguard your sleep by visiting Panache Luxury Linens. This elegant Hydrostone boutique overflows with pristine sheets, blankets and nightclothes, as well as Lollia’s bath and body line. For Haligonians committed to “getting eight hours,” it’s a treasure trove. For



those struggling with sleepless nights, it’s essential. Owner Heather Whitman’s demeanour is serene, unhurried — yet she’s spent more than two decades as a businesswoman, and visited more than 20 countries. She’s an interior designer, former yoga instructor, and mother of a young son. In short, there’s every reason to take her advice on productivity: “To achieve the things you want, you need to be well-rested.” While Panache’s products are luxurious, Whitman’s definition of “luxury” is carefully considered. “Luxury is quality,”


she says. “Egyptian cotton, Belgian linen, silk, wool, cashmere — we think these are luxuries, but they’ve been ‘workhorse’ fabrics for centuries.” Her own passion for bedtime luxury dates to childhood. “I was raised with great linens. It’s a visceral memory: a little girl, tucked into bed with fresh sheets.” A wall print of billowing, windblown bedclothes occupies a place of honour at Panache. It’s a family photograph, Whitman reveals, of her own grandmother’s linens. Family memories remain a touchstone for Whitman, who calls Panache’s

locally-exclusive Mirabel Slabbinck linens “something my grandmother would definitely approve of.” “I’m in love with Mirabel Slabbinck’s product,” she adds. “It’s clean, it’s contemporary, it’s European. The quality is just beautiful.” For summer nights, she recommends Mirabel Slabbinck’s “gorgeous” linen loungewear. In fact, Panache carries a range of nightclothes, some custommade for the store. (The selection will soon expand to include slippers and new sleepwear. “All I can say is, Oprah loves these ones,” she hints.) Whitman encourages clients to choose percale cotton in warm weather. “Percale is meant to be breathable, light and fresh. The basket weave allows for air movement.” She also recommends Formesse’s “aloe-infused” blankets. “They’re beautiful and lightweight. You

feel like you have nothing on top of you. You’ll often experience those in Europe.”

selections, and even offers step-bystep instructions.

Panache stocks numerous St Geneve products, including down-filled pillows, felted cotton blankets, and the temperature-adaptable Soving duvet. “The Soving is called the ‘duvet of all seasons,’” Whitman explains. “The baffles either remain open, to release heat, or — if you flip the duvet — close, to keep warmth near the body.” Given Nova Scotia’s infamously changeable weather, the Soving is especially useful, she says. “I’ve dubbed it the ‘Panache signature duvet.’”

“I’ve literally shown people how to make beds,” she laughs. “I smile every time I do that. It’s as if my grandmother is beside me.”

Panache Luxury Linens 3132 Isleville St., Halifax 902.484.2799

Panache clients can also enlist Whitman’s design services in fine-tuning their sleeping spaces. “I’m not just selling products, I’m offering a new experience,” she explains. “I love helping people build their own sanctuary of rest.” She helps clients choose which items to invest in, explains how to make the most of their




WITH Dr. Ben Connolly Cornerstone Naturopathic

Collagen Induction Therapy is scientifically proven to improve the skin’s appearance, resulting in more youthful looking skin.



ith summer in full swing, there are a few simple and natural things you can do to have glowing, healthy skin, and most of them start with what you put inside your body. Skin health starts on the inside. Eating a nutritious diet, rich with healthy fats and omega-3 oils will provide the essential building blocks your skin needs to produce plump, healthy skin cells. In addition, omega-3 suppresses a hormone produced by the liver called insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which can reduce spots and blemishes. Consuming collagen supplements provides the skin with essential proteins and amino acids that help revitalize the skin, and are a great supplement for overall health and well-being. As we age, our collagen stores in our skin begin to deplete, and we begin to lose elasticity, causing wrinkles. Drinking plenty of water is also crucial. Your skin is the body’s largest organ and just like any other part of your body, the skin cells require water. If your skin is not getting enough water, it will be dry, flaky and prone to wrinkles. Smoking, sun damage and sugar intake can affect the skin’s collagen production as well. Unfortunately for the skin, it’s the last place water reaches. All other internal organs receive water before it reaches your skin, so drinking plenty of water and preventing dehydration is essential for skin health. A small amount of UV rays is actually quite beneficial to our health. It creates vitamin D, which aids calcium, which



your body needs to build and maintain healthy bones. Too much UV exposure can result in early aging, skin cancer, a lowered immune system, and even eye tissue damage. Making sure you protect your skin from the sun by covering up and wearing sunscreen is crucial for maintaining beautiful and healthy skin. If you are looking for help with your skin concerns and don’t know what treatment is best for you, we offer a few non-surgical treatments that are more cost-effective than cosmetic surgery, and more importantly, less invasive. Collagen Induction Therapy (also known as micro-needling) is a procedure that improves the facial skin’s appearance by reducing wrinkles, stretch marks, and acne scars by stimulating the skin’s natural ability to repair itself.

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments use plasma taken from the patient’s own blood, which is rich in platelets. This procedure has been used successfully for years to heal sports injuries and is now on its way to becoming the treatment of choice for women and men to improve the appearance of wrinkles, scars, sun damage and even dark circles under the eyes. Both of these services are proven and are readily available at Cornerstone Naturopathic locations. With clinics in Upper Tantallon, Bridgewater, Yarmouth and downtown Halifax, we are able to help rejuvenate your skin across the province.

The medical grade micro-needling technique utilizes tiny and extremely sharp needles to create multiple microchannels in the outer layers of the skin. These micro-injuries stimulate the body to release growth factors and cytokines, which trigger the wound-healing process, resulting in increased levels of collagen.

Dr. Ben Connolly

During this process, the body produces more collagen, resulting in a thicker and more youthful-appearing skin. Collagen Induction Therapy is scientifically proven to be a natural, long lasting, collagen reformation technique.

Cornerstone Naturopathic 14 Old School Rd. Upper Tantallon 902.820.3443


Improve Your Quality of Life with Individualized Medicine Cornerstone Naturopathic strives to improve quality of life for patients by addressing the fundamental causes of disease, by healing the whole person through individualized treatment and by promoting the principles of healthy living and preventive medicine.

OUR SERVICES Naturopathic Medicine Infusion and Injection Services Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy Skin Rejuvenation Specialized Wound Healing Program Massage Therapy

Call us today to book your 15-minute complimentary skin assessment.

Cornerstone Naturopathic Clinic | 14 Old School Road, Upper Tantallon | 902.820.3443 |

BEST of the BEST


REFINED | 2018

Enigma Health Studios

A Team Approach to Your Physical, Emotional and Mental Health By Lori McKay Photos Steve Jess


ife isn’t always easy. For many people, emotional, physical and mental health issues are a reality of daily life. The staff at Enigma Health Studios is there to help… and they do so by working together as a team. Psychologist Carol Shirley opened Enigma in the summer of 2016. A psychology-based clinic, Carol believes in the benefits of some alternative services, and offers yoga, meditation, nutrition, reflexology, reiki, workshops and aromatherapy. “This is a place to come for your own wellbeing. It’s about your physical, mental and emotional self,” says Carol.



The yoga offered at Enigma is a healing type of yoga. Classes are set at a pace determined by the group and by the needs of the people within the class. Instructor Theresa Kersey believes strongly in the healing benefits of yoga. Teaching yoga since 2010, Theresa has been with the studio almost since they opened. “What I do in my class is work with the person as a whole,” says Theresa. “While here, we encourage people to slow their minds down and only focus on things that are for their own personal benefit.” In addition to her yoga training, Theresa is an aromatherapist and works with


other modalities of energy, which she often brings into her classes to help clients. She says certain scents, soothing textures, and a sense of overall calmness, bring guests into a place where they feel safe. “They’re not just coming into a yoga class for an hour and then it’s time to go home. We encourage them to stay and talk. These classes are very personal.” Classes are offered for a variety of sensitivities and conditions, including depression, anxiety, parent-child and concussion or brain injury. “We’ve seen some really big changes in people with brain injuries,” says Carol,

The studio’s logo, a circle and two colorful snakes, is an ancient Chinese representation of “rebirth.”

who notes the class is supported by the Brain Injury Association of Nova Scotia. “Theresa and I do a fair amount of collaboration,” says Carol. “If I have a client with me that I feel would benefit from yoga, I make the recommendation. Sometimes talk therapy with a client can be very difficult, especially if they’re really cerebral. Some people need that movement through the body to release blocked energy.” They also teach and encourage people to self-soothe and empower themselves. “We want people to understand their own self value,” says Carol. “We want you to be proud of who you are. It’s not

for us to compare or compete. It’s about looking inside and finding the value in there, instead of going outside and trying to find value. For us, it’s about giving people the tools.”

Enigma Services Psychology Healing yoga Meditation & movement Reiki Reflexology Aromatherapy Nutrition workshops

The studio sees clients of all ages, including adults, mothers and babies, children, teens and seniors. “Everyone is welcome. There’s a non-competitive atmosphere here.” In fact, the entire office has a welcoming feel. From the peaceful kitchen-like waiting area with cucumber water and soothing music to the neutral colours with splashes of colour throughout, Enigma is clearly a place for one to relax, feel at ease and be themselves.


Enigma Health Studio 255 Lacewood Drive, Suite 301 Halifax, N.S. 902.495.3181



BEST of the BEST


REFINED | 2018

Experience T he


Photos Steve Jess and courtesy of Be Gorgeous


ince opening its doors in 2015, Be Gorgeous — a luxury skin care and cosmetic store in Halifax — has become the top shopping destination in Atlantic Canada for handpicked, exclusive lines, such as By Terry, Tata Harper, Mario Badescu and Babor. It’s the go-to location for discerning women and men seeking superior international brands that aren’t carried by the larger cosmetic chains. “As a kid, I grew up on a small farm with animals and nature all around me,” says Tim MacPhee, creator and owner of Be Gorgeous. “That experience influences my passions and choices in terms of selecting skin care and cosmetic lines with healthy and natural ingredients, and backed by the best science.” Tim went on to live in New York City where he worked in elite department stores, learning from the best talent in the beauty business. “It helped me to




set a very high standard for products and services, with a little fun thrown in.” The store has given Tim a chance to bring his long-time dream to life — an intimate skin care and cosmetic boutique where anyone can feel at home, regardless of age, gender or budget. It’s no wonder Tim’s clients turn into loyal friends. “I love when my customers say the Be Gorgeous experience is different from other shopping experiences,” he says. “It’s because I take the time to find out about my clients’ needs and make sure they feel comfortable before I give advice. I want to put the spotlight on them, so I can recommend the best solutions for their needs and lifestyle.” Tim’s business also gives him plenty of opportunity to give back to both his clients and the community. He was the featured skin care and makeup expert on CTV’s Makeover Mondays, where amazing women share their stories of struggle and triumph and get a new look. Be Gorgeous also supports many causes focused on women. He is particularly honoured by his role as makeup artist for the Ovarian Cancer Canada Lady Ball. “It’s one of the premier annual fundraising events in Halifax,” says Tim, “and I think one of the most fun! I can’t wait to be part of it again this September.”

Bringing new and exclusive brands and product lines to Halifax is a key part of the Be Gorgeous difference. “It’s thrilling and so important to me to do my part to make sure the city I love has what other cities have,” he says. “You shouldn’t have to go to Toronto or New York to try the latest products you’re reading about in your favourite magazine.”

care brand; the brilliant Babor line, a vast range of incredibly effective skin care and makeup products made in Germany; and Mario Badescu, a simple, effective, and affordable skin care system with an international cult following. “If you’re a skin care fanatic, you have to visit us,” says Tim. “We have something for every skin type and age, and every budget.”

That commitment to bringing in top quality products and exclusive brands keeps customers coming back. “As an independent business, I really depend on my loyal customers that are so supportive of Be Gorgeous, and new clients are finding their way here every day. Even going into my third year, I still wake up every morning excited to bring my personal client-focused brand of beauty to Halifax.”

Be Gorgeous is also the exclusive retailer in Halifax for storied fragrance line CREED, one of the world’s oldest and most famous brands. In addition to all this, Be Gorgeous carries Marmalade of London soy candles, essential oils, and bath and body products, as well as Thymes fragrances, Marvis toothpaste, and Jack Black men’s grooming products.

One of the things Tim is most proud of is bringing the By Terry line to the city. These extraordinary products are made from scientifically researched compounds and rose stem cells from the farm of the founder, Terry De Gunzberg. From a CC cream that’s as light as whipped cream, yet covers like stage makeup, to a full skin care line, to some of the best cosmetics clients report they’ve ever used, Tim says the By Terry line is truly transformational. Other favourites are Tata Harper, an award-winning eco-certified organic skin


Tim believes we all deserve to look and feel our best. “Be Gorgeous offers more than great products. With us, you get a long-term relationship with an expert who cares about you and your skin.”

Be Gorgeous 5486 Spring Garden Road (Located at the top of the escalator in Sophie’s Place) 902.407.4404 @begorgeousbeauty



Healthy, Glowing

Summer Skin Your Most Important Beauty Accessory By Tim MacPhee




JUST LIKE THAT, summer is here… and everyone wants that perfect summer glow!


or most skin types, summer skin care is different from the rest of the year. The driest of skin can become oily, and vice versa. People are looking for products that are soothing, cooling and hydrating — and protect them from sun damage.

Achieving healthy, glowing skin is easy for some, but not so easy for others. And with so many options out there, you likely feel either confused or overwhelmed… maybe both. That’s where I come in. I’ve been in the beauty industry for a long time and I’ve come to know what really works. All cleansers are not created equal. Some of my favourite cleaners have essential oils that help remove dirt and makeup with one sweep, without irritating the skin. I also love enzyme cleansers, which will help slough off dead skin cells. With oily skin, the oil is like glue that doesn’t allow your skin cells to slough off fast enough, which is why people with oily skin can feel like they have dry, flaky skin. A drier skin can’t slough off fast enough and needs the extra help. That’s why an enzymatic cleanser is great for both skin types — it’s gentle but has extraordinary results. I love Enzyme Cleanser by Babor. It has vitamin C to brighten skin, which all skin needs to get that beautiful luminosity. Slip on a mask. Depending on your skin type, the next step to healthy, glowing skin is a hydrating and purifying mask. They help to rejuvenate, gently exfoliate, and hydrate skin to its highest glowing potential. Avoid masks with ingredients such as AHA, retinol or glycolic acids — in the summer, these acids can create sensitivity and increase sun damage. Look for organic plant ingredients because they’re a little more gentle. One of my favourite brands, Tata Harper, is 100 per cent free of GMOs, toxins, fillers, artificial colours and fragrances, and synthetic chemicals. Tata Harper’s Resurfacing Mask is perfect. It gives dull skin a vibrant glow with ingredients such as willow bark and pomegranate enzymes. What about a serum? I really love Babor’s A16 Booster Concentrate serum. It works similarly to retinol, but with no down time for the skin and no increased sun sensitivity. It reveals a beautiful fresh complexion with glow. Another favourite is Babor’s Vitamin C Concentrate. Its 20 per cent highly concentrated vitamin C derivative works to brighten, lighten and tighten skin. It also works wonderfully under sunscreens. Every skin needs hydration. Hydration and oil are two different things. Hydration is water for the skin and everyone needs it, regardless of skin type. A hyaluronic acid




The perfect sun protection Let’s face it — sun protection is confusing. Do you buy organic? A sunscreen or a sunblock? What are UVA and UVB, anyway?

There are two types of sun protection: Chemical sunscreens are the most common. They’re made in a laboratory and contain carbon compounds. Physical sunblocks contain either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide (both natural minerals). They reflect damaging UV rays and last longer on the skin, unless you’re sweating or swimming. Use broad-spectrum sun protection that blocks both UVA rays, which cause ageing, and UVB rays, which cause burns. I prefer physical sunblocks because SPF 30 blocks about 97 per they don’t allow UV rays to cent of UV rays, and SPF 50 penetrate the skin. There are many organic choices blocks about 98 per cent. available, and they usually A higher SPF doesn’t make cause no irritation, even much difference, but may for sensitive, rosacea- or contain more chemicals. blemish-prone skin. They also have a longer shelf life.

Fun fact

in a serum or cream can elevate your moisture levels for a perfect glow. Moisturizers with plenty of plant extract ingredients will also give back the moisture you might lose throughout the day. I love Tata Harper’s Illuminating Moisturizer with Diamond Radiance. It actually contains natural diamond dust! Make it up as you go along. Not really! My go-to makeup for a sheer and radiant finish is By Terry. Three products you can’t do without this summer are: 1. The Cellurose Brightening CC Radiance Serum, which gives sheer coverage and beautiful illumination. 2. All the By Terry anti-aging sun-boosting products leave your skin flawless and tanned with or without self-tanner, and they don’t darken sunspots — every woman’s dream. 3. Any of By Terry’s Sun Designer palettes, which include palettes for bronzing, blush and highlighting. A palette for your entire face all in one!

Tim MacPhee is the owner and creative force behind skin care and cosmetics boutique Be Gorgeous. A Nova Scotian boy through and through, he spent many years working in New York City’s most upscale department stores, learning from the top beauty gurus in the world. Today, he brings the world’s highest quality and healthiest beauty brands to Halifax through hand-selected skin care, cosmetic and personal care lines. Visit him at the top of the escalator at Sophie’s Place on Spring Garden Road, or shop online at

Freshen up! The last skin care must-have is a hydrating spray mist to cool, soothe, set makeup, and give immediate illumination. Two of my favourites are Mario Badescu Facial Spray with aloe, herbs and rosewater, and Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence. They leave your skin refreshed and shimmering for those long summer days and hot summer nights.




Retirement Living that Feels Like Home

Discover GEM Health Care Group, with beautiful locations in Nova Scotia, offering you and yours attractive and comfortable long-term care facilities, retirement and independent living, and residential care. When you are here, you become a part of our GEM family. Welcome to GEM.

Welcome home.

GEM HEALTH CARE GROUP | 902.429.6227 |

Melville Heights Retirement Living

Yarmouth Heights Seniors Residence

24 Ramsgate Lane, Halifax, N.S. 902.477.3313

64 Vancouver Street, Yarmouth, N.S. 902.881.5511

Centennial Villa Retirement and Residential Care 258 Church Street, Amherst, N.S. 902.667.5330

A Full-Body Workout in 30 Minutes By Lori McKay Photos Bruce Jollimore


ooking for a new workout routine to try? 9Round, a 30-minute kickboxing circuit that can burn up to 500 calories per session, might be just the thing.

to this market. We’ve only been open a few months and the response has been fantastic.”

Mike Cadden and his wife Krysta opened Halifax’s first 9Round this past April in Clayton Park, and will open a second location in Fall River in August.

9Round was founded 10 years ago by Shannon “The Cannon” Hudson, a two-time world kickboxing champion, in Greenville, South Carolina. There are now more than 700 locations worldwide, and the company is still growing.

“We’re excited to be the first here,” says Mike, “to bring something new

When Mike and Krysta decided to move from Ontario to Nova Scotia last year —




in search of a more laid-back lifestyle — they realized there were no 9Round clubs in the province. “Krysta was a member in Ontario and we really believed in the concept ... and now, here we are,” says Mike. When asked what he thinks makes the gym work for people, he notes a combination of factors. “First and foremost, it’s a 30-minute circuit based workout, so it’s fast, but

a full body workout,” says Mike. As the gym is boxing and kickboxing based, you’re not just working on legs or upper body or targeting your core — you’re working on everything at the same time. “Next, we don’t have class times,” says Mike. “At most gyms, you have to sign up and be there at a certain time, and sometimes that can be difficult, as people work and have busy lives. And because the workout changes daily, you and your body don’t get bored.” As the company name implies, 9Round has nine different stations. When a client comes in, a station is always available within three minutes, as each round is just three minutes long. “As you move on to the next station, that station becomes available. There’s always new people coming in and people going out.” Another big benefit for clients is that there’s always a trainer on the floor to guide, demonstrate, motivate and help people improve their technique. And Mike says people shouldn’t be deterred from giving it a try because they think kickboxing isn’t for them. He stresses that they work with every skill level. “We have members who have never worked out in their life, and they come in and start training with us. At the same time, we have some people with advanced qualifications.”

Krysta and Mike Cadden

9Round offers an experience very different from a typical gym workout, and Mike says many of their members appreciate that aspect.

“I felt at ease and welcome. Mike, Krysta, and their staff are warm and welcoming. I signed up immediately,” says Melanie.

9Round 287 Lacewood Dr., Halifax 902.700.4711 9Round Halifax, NS - Lacewood Dr. @9RoundHalifaxNS

“I hate the gym,” says Halifax 9Round member Melanie Bennett. “I have joined several just to donate my money and not go.”

She admits the 9Round workout is tough, and says she could barely sit after her first day, but she went back. And she continues to attend.

3286 Hwy 2 Suite 120, Fall River 902.700.4750 9Round Fall River, NS - Hwy 2

But as an avid runner, Melanie understands the need to keep in shape and was looking for an alternative workout option. When she saw there was an open house for 9Round in Halifax, she thought she’d check it out.

“They challenge us, support us, and keep us motivated to keep going,” says Melanie. “(The workout) is helping to strengthen my entire body. Nothing is missed... It’s exactly what I need to improve my running.”


* Downtown location opening soon



WITH Dr. Tasia Lazaros Healthy Link Chiropractic Wellness Ctr. Inc.


From Your Family Chiropractor 1. Summertime reading: Proper ergonomics is key to having an enjoyable reading experience. To avoid aches and pains, ensure you — and your kiddos — don’t “slump” (loss of neck and lower back curve with rounded shoulders) while reading. 2. Healthy snacks: We are what we eat. Try avoiding processed snacks by having washed and cut fruit and vegetables readily available, as well as other homemade healthy snacks. Also, have proper containers such as a thermos or ice pack for foods that are temperature sensitive. 3. Proper footwear: Ditch those flip-flops and opt for supportive sandals. Flip-flops provide no support and can actually bring on foot, ankle, knee, hip and lower back pain. Sneakers are great for activities involving running and high impact. 4. Stretch: Daily stretches of the neck and lower back are a great way to maintain flexibility and help prevent injury, especially if you play golf or tennis. Side to side stretching of the neck and opening up of the chest is great to counter the frequent looking down and slouched posture people often have throughout the day. 5. Hydrate: Drink plenty of water and avoid high sugar drinks. Also, if you or your kiddos are sweating a lot, try



making a homemade electrolyte solution to rehydrate. 6. Outdoor activities: Get yourself and your family outside. Not only does everyone benefit from fresh air and exercise, it’s also a great opportunity for family time. Throwing and catching the ball are great activities for maintaining and enhancing hand eye coordination. 7. Backpacks: Ensure both straps are used over the shoulders and that the backpack is not too heavy for you or your children.

handle aches and pains such as ankle, wrist, elbow, jaw, neck and back pain, and of course headaches too!

8. Sleep: Ensure you and your family get plenty of rest. It’s ideal to keep a consistent bedtime routine and to get plenty of sleep. Be sure to maintain proper sleep ergonomics, such as a thin pillow between the knees and a supportive pillow for the neck to avoid head tilting while sleeping on your side. For back sleepers, a thin pillow under the head and a thick pillow under the knees is helpful for the spine. 9. Laugh: Smiling and laughter makes everything better. No matter how tired you feel or what is going on in the world around you, you should strive to laugh and smile every day. Life is a gift and it is worth enjoying. 10. Visit your chiropractor for any aches and pains: A chiropractor has years of training and education to


Dr. Tasia Lazaros B.Sc.(H), D.C.

Healthy Link Chiropractic Wellness Centre Inc. 362 Lacewood Dr. Suite 201 (above Noble Grape/Smitty’s) Halifax, N.S. 902.446.5465

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Local Myofascial Release Experts Treating the cause of pain, as opposed to the symptom


ll therapists at Riverlakes Physiotherapy specialize in Myofascial Release Therapy (MFR). This leading-edge technique is a hands-on, soft-tissue treatment that directly targets any areas in the body that have tension or adhesions. Problems are commonly caused by postural issues or repeatedly holding the body in a position that, over time, can have a damaging effect on the body’s entire movement system. “MFR uses different hands-on techniques to restore balance in the body,” says Riverlakes’ Nancy Beaton, MScOT. “Most people have never heard of fascia, or MFR, and what it can do for their musculoskeletal pain or condition,” says Andre Albert, BScPT, an expert MFR therapist and co-owner of Riverlakes.



Riverlakes’ staff works with patients to release fascial restrictions, altering postural patterns. They offer advice to change problematic positions, teach self-management MFR techniques, and support body structures via bracing and exercise. Releasing scar tissue from past or recent surgeries is also important. “With MFR, scars can change from stiff and immobile to smooth and pliant,” says Andre, who notes people come to him because of back pain, but they may have had surgery to remove a tumor or breast, or had a C-section. In addition to expertise in Myofascial Release Therapy, Riverlakes’ therapists have studied fields including physiotherapy, osteopathy, massage, occupational therapy, pedorthics, acupuncture and kinesiology. All have training in more than one discipline,


allowing them to use numerous tools to help patients feel better. Local physicians commonly refer patients with diverse complaints — including shoulder, hip, neck, back, arm and ankle or foot pain. Patients might be heading into (or recovering from) surgery, managing a car accident’s aftermath, or recovering from a workplace or sport injury. Riverlakes also offers the latest laser therapy technology, capable of treating nerve root irritation and inflammatory conditions.

Riverlakes Physiotherapy and Myofascial Centre Suite 101, 1330 Fall River Rd. Fall River 902.576.6060


Nancy Beaton and Andre Albert



o understand Myofascial Release, one must first understand the term “fascia” and its role in the body.

What exactly is fascia? Fascia is believed to be the cytoskeleton of the cell and gives rise to the tissue that we think of as “connective” and through it all nerves, blood vessels, lymph, muscle, bone, adipose and organs are embedded like a spider web. It gives structure to our bodies as one continuous sheath through which all tissues of the body exist. It is an instrumental interface between the musculoskeletal and the nervous system. There is no empty space, meaning it is also the container of fluid in our bodies and plays an instrumental role to house electrical conductivity and cellular exchange. Why is it so incredibly important? In it all receptors for pain and function are found between its layers. Restrictions or adhesions in the layers of fascia pull in certain directions, creating pressure, pain and cellular malfunction. Trauma such as a fall, car accident, surgery or daily repetitive postures create postural patterns of restrictions, which are visible as pelvic rotations, a shoulder that sits too high on one side, or a torso that is rotated right or left, etc. Left untreated, one goes throughout life in an asymmetrical way, leaning forward or off to one side without a person really being conscious of their postural restriction and patterns but aware of the pain felt in their body. Over time the soft tissue tightens and twists, pulling on the bones

and creating further alignment problems. These compressive forces are known to exert up to 2000lbs of pressure on pain sensitive structures. The individual is really only aware that their knee, arm or neck hurts, unaware of the underlying soft tissue cause. Why has it been grossly overlooked? The fascial system is a continuous sheath. It does not show up on our current diagnostic tests, such as an MRI or CT scan. Medical companies have not yet developed the appropriate diagnostic tool to image the fascial sheath. We can see more obvious structures such as muscle or bone that are part of the fascial system but we cannot yet see the “fascial net.” Live endoscopies performed by skilled surgeons are beginning to record this system live in action like a mini underwater camera in the body giving insight to this incredible whole body system and its critical role.

application of pressure in the tissues in a time defined way, using only the hands of the trained practitioner. Its purpose is to release restrictions and adhesions which exist at multiple layers in the body. Therapists require special training in Myofascial Release and patients find it comfortable with occasional sharpness breaking through restrictions.

Nancy Beaton, MScOT

What conditions does it affect? All conditions are affected and influenced by the fascia as no living tissue exists outside of it. Common musculoskeletal conditions grossly influenced by fascia include neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, impingement, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, sciatica, surgical scarring & headaches and other trauma/emotional conditions. What is the treatment? The treatment is Myofascial Release. It is a hands on soft tissue treatment but is not massage. It involves the 3D


Andre Albert, BScPT Riverlakes Physiotherapy Riverlakes Suite 101 1330 Fall River Rd., Fall River 902.576.6060



BEST of the BEST


REFINED | 2018

Something to Smile About Photos Bruce Jollimore


our smile is the first thing people notice about you. It’s your first chance at making a good impression, therefore it is important that you take very good care of it. Sometimes that care involves seeing an orthodontist. At Bedford Orthodontics, you can be assured of getting the best professional care. Together, doctors Lee Erickson and Magda Barnard bring professionalism, knowledge, integrity and experience when caring for your oral health. Although people typically think of getting orthodontics for cosmetic reasons, there are many functional reasons for needing braces or Invisalign. According to Dr. Barnard, an impacted tooth can create many problems, including a possible cyst and damage of a neighbouring tooth or teeth. Other reasons for getting orthodontic treatment include spacing, food impaction, crowded



teeth, misaligned bite, misaligned jaws, significant overbites, open bites, cross bites and deep bites. These are all conditions that can cause problems if not taken care of. “There are also many aesthetic reasons for getting braces or Invisalign,” explains Dr. Barnard. If someone is shy or unhappy with their smile, seeing an orthodontist can help increase their confidence. “Tooth loss, lack of teeth showing on smiling, narrow smiles and certain types of jaw misalignments can make someone look older prematurely. Orthodontics can benefit you functionally and make you look younger,” she says. Braces and Invisalign may also be needed when teeth are lost due to trauma or other reasons, such as deep cavities. Preventative orthodontics is a big part of the practice at Bedford Orthodontics. Dr. Barnard recommends you start taking your child to an orthodontist by age


seven. “This allows us to guide the child’s teeth and jaw development and enables us to spot and prevent problems,” she advises. “We can guide teeth to come into better alignment and this can simplify braces in the future or prevent them altogether for some children.” Gone are the days of the dreaded “metal mouth” braces, and Bedford Orthodontics is on top of all of the latest technologies and products. Today’s metal or clear braces are smaller, more comfortable and easier to clean — plus, teeth move precisely due to the cutting edge technology that the doctors at Bedford Orthodontics utilize. Invisalign is a series of clear aligners that gradually move the teeth into place. Dr. Erickson and Dr. Barnard use a special scanner that allows fabrication of Invisalign aligners without molds of the teeth. The attitudes about braces have changed dramatically over the past couple of decades. “In fact, braces have even

become a fashion accessory,” states Dr. Barnard. “We have a variety of great looking braces that our patients love adding colours to.” The entire team at Bedford Orthodontics goes out of their way to make each patient’s visit a great experience. “Everybody here has the same vision,” says Dr. Barnard, “to put our patients first. We always treat our patients like they are family.” By offering a free consultation, Bedford Orthodontics is able to answer all your questions and help you feel comfortable about your treatment. “The best compliment is when patients tell us they are thrilled with their smiles and that they have fun in our office.” Discover your smile today by calling Bedford Orthodontics.

Bedford Orthodontics Suite 206, Sunnyside Mall 1595 Bedford Highway, Bedford 902.835.6531

NOW also welcoming patients at: Metro Orthodontic Specialists Suite 200, 5991 Spring Garden Road Halifax 902.423.7331




WITH Dr. Magda Barnard Bedford Orthodontics



ikely you already have a dentist that you see on a regular basis. If you do not, it would be very beneficial to find one that you would feel comfortable to see regularly. Dental health is extremely important. Unhealthy gums and teeth have been linked to several health issues, including certain infections and even heart disease. Dental disease tends to be silent, so you may not see cavities or gum issues yourself, or even feel pain until it’s “too late” for preventative treatment or small fillings. This is why it’s so important to see your dentist for checkups and cleanings as often as recommended. The frequency of these visits depends on your own individual dental health, so ask your dentist about a schedule that best suits you. Once your teeth are clean and your gums are healthy then you are ready to see the orthodontist, if there are some teeth that need to be straightened, or if your bite or alignment of your jaws needs to be corrected. An orthodontist is a specialist who has an additional two to three years of training beyond dental school. Orthodontists specialize in straightening teeth, and also in bite and jaw alignments. It is imperative that regular dental checkups continue during braces or Invisalign treatment, as the orthodontist will not be looking specifically for cavities and gum disease at the orthodontic visits. Furthermore, the orthodontist does not do the cleanings that are so important for your dental health. The orthodontist is also not licensed to perform general dentist duties, such as filling cavities or



pulling teeth. Your orthodontist and your dentist work very closely together and complement each other. A periodontist is another specialist that you could encounter during your orthodontic treatment, especially if you have an impacted tooth. An impacted tooth is one that is trapped inside the jaw bone and does not want to come down on its own. The periodontist would essentially cut a little window in the gum and attach a brace to this tooth to allow the orthodontist to gently guide a tooth like that into alignment. The periodontist is also the specialist you would see if you have any gum issues, such as thin gums that may require a gum graft.

Dr. Magda Barnard

If you have wisdom teeth and no room for them, or you are fully grown and have misaligned jaws, then the orthodontist may send you to an oral surgeon. The oral surgeon is a dental specialist that would perform complicated wisdom teeth extractions, extractions of other badly impacted teeth, and jaw surgery if it is required. When jaw surgery is planned for a patient, the patient would visit the oral surgeon for a consultation. Braces or Invisalign aligners are usually worn anywhere from six to 18 months before the jaw surgery is performed. The braces or aligners stay in place for the jaw surgery and actually help the oral surgeon position the jaw bones relative to one another. The braces remain on the teeth, or the aligners are worn on the teeth, after the jaw surgery for approximately six to 12 months and finish positioning the teeth into the new bite.

NOW also welcoming patients at:

Your dentist works very closely with all the specialists and your orthodontist is a part of that team.


B.Sc., D.D.S. (with distinction), M.Sc. (Orthodontics), F.R.C.D(C) Bedford Orthodontics Suite 206, Sunnyside Mall 1595 Bedford Highway, Bedford 902.835.6531

Metro Orthodontic Specialists Suite 200, 5991 Spring Garden Road Halifax 902.423.7331

WITH Lorelei Burgess Oxford Learning



o more teachers, no more books, no more... we all know this classic refrain that students sing to celebrate the last days of school and the arrival of summer. But while the warmer temperatures are certainly worth cheering, leaving the books and learning behind might not be as worthy of celebrating as we previously thought. In fact, many of our notions about summer vacation might be wrong. Take a look at some of the common myths about summer learning, and get informed about how summer learning should be on your family’s to-do list this year. Myth 1: Kids need the summmer off to recharge. While the school year can be tiring and mentally demanding, kids actually thrive within the framework that the school year provides. A break can be invigorating for a short period of time, but a too-long break rarely helps students feel recharged; rather, it leads to boredom and academic malaise. Without replacing the school day structure with summer camps or other regular day programs, children can become disengaged from not only their routines, but also from learning. Video games, texting, movies and lounging by the pool are fun, but eventually relaxation and downtime become boring too. Providing mentally stimulating summer activities that are reliable is the best way to avoid summer boredom and keep kids charged up all summer long.

Myth 2: If summer was not intended to be a break, schools wouldn’t shut down. The most common school year as we know it — from September to June — hasn’t always been the norm. In cities, year round education fell away due to medical concerns, fear of burnout, and poor attendance. Many families left the city during the summer to escape the heat, and schools followed suit. With air conditioning and instituted health care systems in place, the only reason to continue to break in summer is financial — many school boards cannot afford year round operating costs. Myth 3: Summer is not part of the school year. In terms of the brain, learning runs 24-seven, all year round. Time away from school is a very important opportunity for many students to fill in learning gaps, make sense of material learned during the school year, and improve/develop important learning skills such as reading comprehension and organization. It’s an opportunity to get extra help that might not be available while school is in session. As well, it’s the only chance students have to adequately prepare for the year ahead. Myth 4: Summer school is for students that get bad grades. While summer school may have at one time been reserved for those students needing extra help, that is no longer the case. Reports show that summer school attendance is on the rise, and not because of poor grades. Students are looking to get ahead, tackle extra credits, and get a competitive advantage via summer school.


Without having to balance the workload of the regular school year, students can make impressive academic gains and reduce school-year stress. Myth 5: A summer off will make students refreshed and ready to learn in the fall. Summer learning research shows that after taking a two-month break, students have lost approximately 20-30 per cent of their academic learning momentum. These studies also show that teachers typically spend up to six weeks reteaching last year’s material. Students aren’t ready to learn after a summer off; they’ve lost their learning momentum after two months of video games and relaxing at the beach. The summer slide, the brain drain, or summer learning losses — whatever you call it — can be easily prevented. For more information about summer learning programs, contact Oxford Learning.

Lorelei Burgess

Director Oxford Learning Halifax & Bedford Halifax 6270 Quinpool Rd. 902.701.9254 Bedford 540 Southgate Dr. 902.700.6489



BEST of the BEST


REFINED | 2018

NEWBRIDGE ACADEMY Where students find academic and athletic success By Alysha Filion Photos courtesy of Newbridge Academy

When Trevor and Carolyn MacEachern set out to find a school for their active son that allowed him to succeed not only in academics, but also in athletics, they weren’t impressed with the options. Being the entrepreneurs that they were, they decided to create the solution themselves and Newbridge Academy was born.


leven years later, Newbridge Academy is in a state-of-theart, fully accredited, $22 million facility located in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. With modern classrooms, advanced lesson capturing technology and professional grade athletic facilities, the school offers students world-class amenities and access to top-of-the-line



teachers and instructors to support their academic and athletic success. Whether it’s holding a master’s degree or having played or coached professionally, the teachers and coaches on staff are experts in their fields. They have the freedom and desire to enhance the curriculum that is evolving and relatable,


and are not forced to reiterate outdated material. The educators are engaged and challenge students to be the very best they can be. They could have chosen to go anywhere, but chose to be at Newbridge because of the school’s energy and purpose. The classroom technology features include Front Row voice amplification system, which projects the teachers’ voices from above the students so each of them can hear the lectures clearly while simultaneously recording it into a media file that can be saved and shared. This combined with the ultra short throw projectors and smart digital whiteboards creates a comprehensive modern classroom that works seamlessly

with Blackboard, an online e-learning platform. Newbridge Academy is the only school in Atlantic Canada with this level of technology integration designed to enhance a student’s ability to achieve success. At Newbridge Academy, students from Junior Primary to Grade 2 are introduced to a variety of activities including skating lessons, swimming lessons, soccer, dance and gymnastics. Students in Grades 3 to 12 are able to choose from specific sports and athletic programming. This aspect of their educational experience is unmatched in Canada. Newbridge Academy’s fully licensed teachers, many of whom hold their master’s degree in their specific fields of study, worked to create an enriched curriculum in all subjects. The school promotes the importance of setting and maintaining high expectations to better prepare student athletes for the rigours of post secondary. Newbridge Academy’s advanced stream, beginning in Grade 10, prepares students for

advanced placement courses in their Grade 12 year. This fosters the commitment to academics that is necessary to be successful beyond high school. At Newbridge Academy, students from Junior Primary to Grade 12 are taught with a steadfast commitment to learning. Top-tier varsity athletic programs are offered at the junior and senior high level for hockey, baseball, soccer and basketball. The teams compete in elite leagues throughout Canada and the United States. The exposure that the student-athletes receive with this type of scheduling allows them to expand their options for their next best step in both sport and education. Newbridge Academy offers students from all around the world an educational experience that cannot be obtained anywhere else. The students benefit from smaller class sizes that allow the teachers to nurture them into wellrounded student-athletes and leaders through active mind and body.


The students benefit from smaller class sizes that allow the teachers to nurture them into wellrounded studentathletes and leaders through active mind and body.

Newbridge Academy 361 John Savage Ave, Dartmouth 902.252.3339







on the EDGE By Suzanne Rent Photos Brent McCombs, AlterEgo Photography




Fashion + Art on the EDGE, a unique fashion event in May, showcased the talents and work of several designers and artists, while supporting the youth and programming at the MacPhee Centre for Creative Learning in downtown Dartmouth.


he MacPhee Centre offers programming for youth age 12 to 19 that empowers them through art and creativity. Programs include those in visual arts, technology, performance and creative writing. Held at Audi Halifax and organized by Parkhill Events, the event was created by Vlad Snytkin, designer; Nancy Smithers, owner of Nova Scotia Organics and one of the founding members of the MacPhee Centre; and Carrie Lamb, owner and designer with Frida Fine Jewellery. “My intention with EDGE was to showcase designers and artists on the ‘edge’ of their potential,” says Lamb. “We have many exceptional artists who deserve recognition.” Heather MacDonald, executive director of the MacPhee Centre, says the staff and youth at the centre got involved by helping with the website, tickets, sponsors, and




McCombs, Jenny Yujia Shi and Vasilis Vasili. Anya and the Unleashed Dancers, and DJ DJE provided the entertainment. “I was blown away by the diversity of the designers and the artists,” says MacDonald. “They all came together in a beautiful way.” branding for the event. The youth at the centre created small paintings that were handed out to attendees.

Interaction with the audience also allowed guests to learn more about the artists and possibly commission a piece.

“It was a collaborative effort,” says MacDonald. “For us, the evolution of the artists and designers showed our youth there are careers in creativity.”

“We really wanted an immersive experience for the designers, artists and audience on every level,” says Lamb.

The show was conceptualized to expose designers and artists to an audience that may not otherwise see their work.



Designers who took part included Kim Munson, Vlad Snytkin and Carrie Lamb in collaboration with Marie Webb. The featured artists were Janso Isso, Brent


The MacPhee Centre also hosts artists in residence, including Jenny Yujia Shi, who was part of EDGE. MacDonald says the show and the artist-in-residence program give the youth a chance to see firsthand the resilience and work of the artists. Caleb Johnson-Currie, one of the youth who attends programs at MacPhee, gave a speech at the event. Lamb says the group is already looking ahead to next year, and says they will push the boundaries further in 2019.




JULY 10 – 15 TD Halifax Jazz Festival Various Halifax locations JULY 19 – 29 Halifax Pride Festival Various Halifax locations AUGUST 1 – 6 Halifax International Buskers Festival Various Halifax locations AUGUST 4 Mother Goose Festival Alderney Landing, Dartmouth AUGUST 6 – 12 Eastern Passage Cow Bay Summer Carnival AUGUST 11 Atlantic Canada Harmonica Festival Memory Lane, Heritage VIllage AUGUST 11 Halifax Seaport Beerfest Cunard Centre, Halifax

AUGUST 7 – 26 Five Guys Named Moe A Musical Neptune Theatre AUGUST 12 2018 Clam Harbour Sandcastle Competition Clam Harbour Beach SEPTEMBER 4 – OCTOBER 7 Shakespeare in Love Neptune Theatre SEPTEMBER 13 – 16 2018 Pan American Canoe Sprint Championships Lake Banook SEPTEMBER 13 – 20 FIN Atlantic International Film Festival Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane SEPTEMBER 14 – 15 Maritime Race Weekend Eastern Passage SEPTEMBER 25 – 29 NSLC – Festival of Wines Various Halifax locations




BEST of the BEST


REFINED | 2018

Nova Scotia’s Most Beautiful Dresses Gorgeous formalwear for prom and mother-of-the-bride By Rebecca Spinner Photos courtesy of Beautiful Dresses at Avella

Beautiful dresses are crucial to any celebration, from your high school prom to your son or daughter’s wedding day. And gowns for those exact events — proms and children’s weddings — are the focus at local boutique Beautiful Dresses at Avella (“Beautiful” for short).


wner Denise MacIsaac — a recent Women of Influence nominee — handpicks Beautiful’s selection. This August, she reveals, she’ll scout designs in Atlanta, Chicago and New York. “I see anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 dresses,” she explains. “If a dress renders me speechless, that’s a tick in the box!”



Of course, the styles sought by high school graduates differ dramatically from those favoured by brides’ and grooms’ mothers. The selection at Beautiful, however, appeals across ages and tastes. Dresses may be ordered in standard through plus sizes. Once they arrive, the boutique’s seamstress is able to take over. “She can make sizing adjustments, or add sleeves, a wrap, a bolero. From


stock dresses, we can create customized designs unique to each person.” Promwear and mother-of-the-bride attire are Beautiful’s specialties, says MacIsaac, and her staff possess the expertise to assist with either. “I’ve been in the business of making women beautiful for 32 years, and this may be the best team of women I’ve ever worked with.”

“We’re a small boutique, dealing with clients one-on-one in a private setting. It’s very personal service — and early shoppers get the best selection!” - Denise MacIsaac, owner

When it comes to mother-of-the-brideattire, the traditional jacketed silhouette remains popular with conservative and more mature dressers, says MacIsaac. However, mother-of-the-bride styles have simultaneously undergone a renaissance. “The modern mom’s dresses can be shorter. There are lots of metallics, or beaded fabrics; they have a younger, more modern vibe.” Beautiful carries both styles. “It’s about finding a dress you feel comfortable and beautiful in.” MacIsaac realizes that mothers — regardless of their personal style — want to keep attention on the bride. “We’ll work with the bridal party’s colours so that you coordinate with them.” Nevertheless, she’s adamant that a mother’s wedding-day dress reflects their role. “The wedding of your child is one of the most special days of your life. You should be there in full regalia!”

Since Beautiful relies on custom orders to meet clients’ needs, MacIsaac encourages bridal party mothers to choose a gown well in advance of the big day. “Custom pieces may take up to four months to arrive,” she explains. When it comes to prom, she likewise suggests girls visit Beautiful in early autumn, after they’ve settled in school. This is especially important, she adds, because modern youth fashion is increasingly diverse. Thus, high school graduates “will appreciate the guidance of our personal stylists.” The Beautiful team can help young women navigate their choice. “We’re a small boutique, dealing with clients one-on-one in a private setting. It’s very personal service — and early shoppers get the best selection!” The prom selection reflects what’s “on trend,” such as plunge necklines, floral


appliques and so on. It’s also curated with an eye to parents’ budgets. “Being a mom of three myself, I’ve had to stretch my nickels,” says MacIsaac. “We want to keep ‘Beautiful’ dresses accessible for everybody.”

Beautiful Dresses at Avella 827 Bedford Hwy, Bedford 902.835.7766 @beautiful_Bedford Beautiful is also located at: 254 Main St., Antigonish 902.863.5562



BEST of the BEST REFINED | 2018


Visionary Hair Styles Personalized Just For You

Stanhope & Co. Hair Studio By Suzanne Rent Photos Bruce Jollimore


orking as a hairstylist wasn’t always part of Derek Stanhope’s plan. But despite an early change in career aspirations, this year marks his 19th year as owner of Stanhope & Co. Hair Studio. “I went into the business knowing I wanted to be my own salon owner,” he says. Stanhope & Co. offers all hair services, including cuts, styles, colour, highlights, up-dos and straightening. Stanhope actually completed his third year studying psychology at St. Mary’s University when he started rethinking the direction of his career. “It wasn’t the type of education I enjoyed,” says Stanhope. “I am more of an applied learner.” He took a year off school and with the help of his parents researched career options. He knew he wanted to do something creative, he wanted to work with people, and he knew eventually he wanted his own business. He decided on working as a hairstylist. “I like the immediate result, especially when it comes to hair cutting,” Stanhope says. “You can see the fruits of your labour.” Stanhope studied at Dante’s International School of Hair. Fortunately for Stanhope, Dante saw talent. While training at the school, Dante Di Mattia took Stanhope out of class and had him apprentice with him at his salon. “Dante was very passionate at his craft,” Stanhope says. “I admired his dedication and love of hair. It wasn’t long before I realized that I was also obsessed with the artistry of doing hair. Twelve-hour days would fly by and I was hooked.” LEFT Derek Stanhope




Di Mattia trained Stanhope in freehand hair cutting, which Stanhope says is a more artistic way of cutting hair that is individual to each stylist. In 1999, Stanhope went to Toronto to learn Vidal Sassoon techniques of hairstyling. Unlike Di Mattia’s training, Sassoon taught more structured and precision cutting. Stanhope says this training taught him to be more disciplined with cutting hair. “We as stylists take techniques that we learn and individualize them into our own style. “To become a good stylist, you have to be constantly upgrading and learning. You are only as good as your last haircut. Consistency is key.” Stanhope has seen an evolution in hair in his 25 years in the business. He says clients want to be involved in every part of the process, including product knowledge and how to maintain their style. “It’s our responsibility at Stanhope & Co. to be sure every client walking out the door has been educated on how to style their hair at home,” Stanhope says. “We

want the client to not only look good the day of their hair service, but everyday there after.” His mature clients are more fashion conscious and want to feel current and sexy, he says. “They are younger than generations before them. They want to celebrate life and they take pride in their overall appearance.” His younger clients are exciting to work with, and not afraid to push the limits with their hair. He says styles now range from free flowing with lots of texture to very structured bobs. Clients also love to explore the many exciting trends with colour.

“I have an amazing team behind me, full of creativity and personality. We do exciting high-quality work in a down-toearth environment. We love our clients and everyone is treated with respect and gratitude.” Stanhope says it’s not uncommon for a client to be five feet away from a celebrity at Stanhope & Co. and not even realize it. Past patrons of Stanhope & co include model Christy Turlington, The Rankin Family, Cathy Jones, and the list goes on. “I love it the most when we can put a smile on a client’s face,” he says. “We have a lot of fun.”

“It’s all over the map,” Stanhope says. “It’s very exciting for us as stylists.” These days, Stanhope says he loves the energy of working in a city that’s undergoing so many changes. “It’s amazing how multicultural the city is becoming. So many different walks of life and so much individual expression.” Stanhope says his salon is small and intimate.


Stanhope & Co Hair Studio 1455 Breton St., Halifax (Just steps off Spring Garden Road) 902.423.9433



BEST of the BEST


REFINED | 2018

Shop, Eat, Experience SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE AT SUNNYSIDE MALL By Suzanne Rent Photos Steve Jess and courtesy of Sunnyside Mall


unnyside Mall is a landmark in Bedford and has long been known as a one-stop shopping destination.

“Everyone will find something they like at Sunnyside Mall,” says Lynn Chisholm, general manager. “Whether it’s David’s Tea, Fluffy Bottom Babies, or the welcoming feeling given by the store owners or longtime managers. There is something here for everyone.” Sunnyside Mall is home to both national and independent retailers. Anchored by Shoppers Drug Mart and Pete’s Frootique & Fine Foods, Sunnyside Mall houses a



mix of independent boutiques, national retailers and services. One of Sunnyside’s newest retailers is Genesis Halifax, Hyundai’s luxury brand. The dealership is opening a pop-up shop across from Bentley’s and RUA Sports Fanatic. This showroom will give shoppers a chance to check out a few of the latest luxury models through interactive features. For a break after shopping, visit Marketside, Sunnyside’s unique food court, which offers healthy dining options. Grab a salad or a smoothie, a slice of pizza, bowl of soup, or sushi.


Marketside is also a place to gather. “We see all types of guests,” says Chisholm. “Retired RCMP officers who meet for coffee every morning. It’s the starting point for running groups coordinated by the Running Room, friends meet there on lunch breaks, and some people run their entire business out of Marketside.” Beyond Marketside, there are options for fine and casual dining. Make a date night for a full-course dinner, a sweet dessert, or a night out with friends. Several of the dining establishments have patios to enjoy.

Sunnyside also offers plenty of accessible features. The mall is on one level, with a decorative avenue stroll through the centre, making the mall easy to navigate for all. There’s also plenty of parking, including free parking outside, as well as underground and on the rooftop above Pete’s Frootique & Fine Foods, which is connected to the mall by an elevator. If you’re looking for a shopping experience without having to head downtown, Sunnyside is close to Dartmouth, Fall River, Lower Sackville and Clayton Park. And Halifax Transit stops just outside its doors. Parents will enjoy the Lullaby Lounge, a quiet spot with comfortable lounge seating that is a resting place for nursing moms. Parents can bring their toddlers here for educational and sensory toys as well as a colouring area. There are change stations and a water cooler to make the space more comfortable and convenient.

Sunnyside is also deeply connected with the Bedford community, serving as host to events such as Rouge et Blanc for Bedford Days. This annual event allows guests to explore the mall, tasting samples from vendors. This summer, stop into Sunnyside Mall to experience local shopping at its best. “Sunnyside Mall is dedicated to being more than just a shopping centre,” says Chisholm. “We believe in supporting our community as much as we can, whether it’s by hosting a free Craft Time for kids every second Saturday in the summer, or kicking off the weekends with Feel Good Fridays at Marketside every Friday in July, or celebrating at the end of August with a Family Day festival. Sunnyside Mall gives you a small-town vibe right here in the city.”

Sunnyside Mall 1595 Bedford Hwy, Bedford


WHERE TO SHOP: Atlantic Lottery Booth Bentley The Body Shop Boso Bamboo Boutique Blossom Shops Brain Candy Toys Cazza Petite David’s Tea EB Games Fluffy Bottom Babies Freak Lunchbox Fresh New You General Nutrition Centre (GNC) Hallmark Halifax Genesis Hammock by Thornbloom Ice Patch Hollow Indoor Playground Indigo Spirit Limoncello Lifestyle Lisa Drader-Murphy Liquid Gold Made in the Maritimes Mark’s Moe’s Menswear Naturalizer Shoes Newfoundland Chocolate Company Northern Reflections Nygard Fashions Peoples Jewellers Poppy and Olive RUA Sports Fanatic Running Room Shoppers Drug Mart Silken Lingerie SoftMoc. Stokes Suzy Shier The Village Green SERVICES: Bedford Orthodontics Carlos Barbershop Comfort Orthotics & Podiatry Clinic Eastlink Element Dance Studio H&R Block (Seasonal) IBrow & Laser Clinic Koodoo Lullaby Lounge Maritime Travel O2 Wellness Sameday Dry Cleaning Shades Hair Salon Sunnyside Tailor Shop Wireless Wave WHERE TO EAT: Finbar’s Il Mercato Middle Spoon Desserterie and Bar On the Wedge Pizza & Panini Bar Pete’s Frootique & Fine Foods Second Cup with Pinkberry Subway Sushi Moto Thai Ivory Express





Tea Cocktails By Colleen Thompson

Tea cocktails are popping up worldwide as mixologists utilise everything from Bombay chai to chamomile leaves, crafting libations with distinctive botanical notes. Tea is showing up in a variety of ways — infused in spirits, flavouring syrups or bittering tinctures — and with a world of tea to choose from, the possibilities are endless.


t may feel as if tea is just starting to have its moment in the cocktail scene, but this caffeinated drink has woven its history through our culture of libations. Chinese Emperor Shen Nung sat under a tree



in 2737 BC, sipping boiling water, when leaves from a nearby camellia tree fell into his cup. He let the leaves steep for a few minutes, sipped its delicate flavour and experienced a renewed vigour and clarity. He ordered the tree to be taken to his gardens and returned to his people,


extolling its virtues. Over centuries, it became a staple of Asian diets. From there, it spread to the Middle East and on to Europe. There is an historical precedent for tea in booze, most notably in the celebratory

IN AN INFUSION, SYRUP, OR A STRAIGHT-UP BREW, TEA GOES WAY BEYOND FUNCTION AND BRINGS OUT DELICIOUS AND COMPLEX FLAVOURS. punches of the 17th century. Quaffed by sailors, explorers and patriots, tea's ability to add both aromatics and tannin and hide less than perfect spirits, made it an essential addition. No surprise that tea remains a means of enlivening not only contemporary cocktails, but also modern interpretations of historic ones. In times of temperance and prohibition, it was the drink of choice for teetotallers, and teacups were used to conceal the tipples of rebels. English Milk Punch is one of the oldest tea-based cocktails, dating back to the mid-18th century and most recently regaining popularity. History also reveals that the classic “hot toddy,” with which sniffling Brits have fought the symptoms of head colds for centuries, traditionally featured black tea with whisky, cloves, honey, lemon and cinnamon. From those early days in ancient China to the ritual of teatime in the UK, its role in social gatherings has always been pivotal. Today, cocktail bars, mixologists and tea connoisseurs are delving into its uses and adding it to creative cocktails. People of the utmost sophistication are sipping their cocktails out of pretty teacups. Mie Mie Sein, tea aficionado and owner of Sawadee Tea on Granville Street in Halifax, regularly mixes tea blends for cocktails. “Black, green, rooibos and Earl Grey are all good teas for cocktails,” said Sein. “The teas need to be prepared beforehand and allowed to cool or made into a simple syrup. My favourite cocktail is a blend of gin and Earl Grey tea — the subtle botanicals in gin pair nicely with good quality Earl Grey tea and fresh lemon. The Earl Grey brings out the different levels of flavour in the alcohol, making it a very delicate and aromatic cocktail.”

Dave Arnold, renowned New York mixologist and founder and president of the Museum of Food and Drink, in his book Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail, ups the ante on cocktail classics using several tea-based recipes where he explains the science of tea’s acidity and why it’s often paired with milk in cocktails. Cognac distiller Hennessey teamed up with Theodor Tea Company and designer Mathieu Lehanneur for a concept that consisted of four seasonal recipes for cocktails.

TEA SIMPLE SYRUP Making a tea simple syrup is the easiest way to incorporate tea into your cocktails. Simply combine a cup of water, a cup of white sugar and two-to-three tablespoons of your favourite tea, or three teabags, in a saucepan. Any tea will work so try experimenting with Earl Grey, langsang souchong and masala chai. Bring to a simmer and dissolve the sugar, remove it from the heat and let the tea steep for five minutes before straining it into a resealable jar to keep in the refrigerator. The flavour-packed tea syrup can be used to replace simple syrup in any cocktail. Try black tea syrup in a Long Island Ice Tea or shake up some Earl Grey syrup in a gin marTEAni.

Their summer libation is a green tea laced with peach, melon, strawberry, simple syrup, lemon juice and egg white. DavidsTea has also launched a Cocktail Collection of teas. From an exotic Thai Martini with their tropical Exotica blend, to their Goji Pop Fizz with their light and fruity Goji Pop tea, along with three other cocktail tea blends. The possibilities for the types of tea best suited for cocktails are as far-reaching as any other ingredient and looking toward those that offer complementary flavours is one strategy for choosing. In an infusion, syrup, or a straightup brew, tea goes way beyond function and brings out delicious and complex flavours.


INFUSE YOUR BOOZE If you don’t want to mess with boiling water, you can always infuse your tea directly into your liquor. This will intensify the flavour and ensure that the spice and botanicals in your tea shine through in your cocktail. Use one-to-two tablespoons of loose leaf for every six ounces of spirit. Let that infuse at room temperature for one-to-two hours. Don’t let the tea sit too long, or it has a tendency to turn sour. Try infusing rye whiskey with chamomile, which makes a deliciously herbal Old Fashioned.



Mie Mie’s Earl Grey

MarTEAni 1-1/2 oz. gin 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice 1 oz. simple syrup 2 ice cubes 1 oz. strong Earl Grey tea, chilled (recipe below) Lemon twist, to garnish Coloured sugar to rim the glass (optional)

Earl Grey Tea Recipe 6 grams Earl Grey tea 3 oz. boiling water

In a cocktail shaker, combine gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, Earl Grey tea and a few cubes of ice. Shake well. Strain into a sugar-rimmed glass and garnish with a twist of lemon.

Supplied by Mie Mie Sein, Sawadee Tea House





Tequila Twist Chamomile Simple Syrup 3 tbsp chamomile tea 1 cup water 1 cup sugar

Salt 4 lime wedges 1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice 2 oz. tequila 2 oz. chamomile simple syrup Ice

Layer the salt evenly in a shallow plate. Run a lime wedge around the rim of the glass and dip it into the salt. In a cocktail shaker, combine lime juice, tequila, chamomile simple syrup and a few cubes of ice. Shake well. Strain into the salt-rimmed glass and garnish with a wedge of lime.




Flower Power


1 oz. St-Germain elderflower liqueur 1 oz. vodka 1 oz. hibiscus syrup* 1 oz. fresh lemon juice egg white from 1 medium egg rose water

Add all ingredients, except rose water, to a cocktail shaker and shake without ice. Add ice and shake until chilled. Spritz the stem of a chilled champagne saucer with rose water (I use an old perfume bottle). Double strain and pour into a glass and garnish with an edible flower. *Hibiscus syrup: Combine two cups sugar, one cup water and three teaspoons of fine cut hibiscus tea in a sauce pan and stir over high heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let steep for eight minutes. Strain out the hibiscus and refrigerate. Keeps up to one week. Supplied by Tim Evans, head bartender, The Press Gang




Everything You Need For Your


Pâté | Cured Meat | Rillette | Sausage | Cheese | and More

Ratinaud 2157 Gottingen St., Halifax 902.446.8222

Open Tuesday to Sunday.

Scallop Risotto Preparation time: 50 minutes Serves: 6

This scallop risotto celebrates the flavours of both our land and sea. The result? A mouth-watering local twist on an Italian classic! Paired with a glass of Tidal Bay, this recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

INGREDIENTS 24 large scallops 2-1/2 cups arborio rice 1-1/2 cups white wine 1 large butternut squash 2 cups water 900 ml vegetable broth 2 leeks, cut into 1/4 inch ribbons 8 large sage leaves, finely chopped 1-1/2 cups grated asiago




DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Peel squash, and cut into segments no more than an inch thick. Lay the squash out on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Bake for 50 minutes or until tender and the outside edges have browned, then set aside to cool. 2. Once the squash has cooled, put it in a blender with vegetable broth and blend until smooth. Transfer the squash liquid to a saucepan over medium heat, and whisk in two cups of water and a few pinches of salt. This liquid will eventually be added to the risotto to flavour it. 3. In a large saucepan, on medium-low heat, sweat the leek with a bit of oil until tender and translucent. Add the arborio rice to the pan and let toast for one minute, stirring frequently. Add wine and mix until fully absorbed. 4. The next step is cooking the risotto by slowly adding all or most of the warm squash liquid to the pan, a cup at a time. Stay close and stir the risotto frequently during this period, so the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan, or burn. Add a cup of squash broth every three to four minutes, until it is all gone, or until the rice is cooked, but has a slight firmness. You should taste small amounts of the rice every few minutes to know its doneness. Toward the end of the cooking, add finely chopped sage. If you run out of squash broth before the rice is cooked, use water, then re-season the risotto afterwards. Mix in the grated cheese. 5. Set a cast iron pan or skillet over medium heat with a teaspoon of oil. Rinse the scallops, then set to dry on paper towel. Pat the scallops dry on all sides for a better sear, and season with kosher salt. Place in the hot pan to sear. Do not agitate the pan, or move the scallops. If you wish to know how much the scallop is searing, just peek under one, with some tongs. Be patient and wait for browning. Once you see that they have browned and crusted along the edges flip them all over. Towards the end, turn the heat to low, and add a knob of butter to the pan, and spoon it over the scallops. 6. Spoon the risotto onto plates, and add three or four scallops to the top of each, finishing with more grated cheese and some shoots or chives.

Local Source Guide Local Produce: Pick up all your local produce at Noggins Corner Farm Market, Stirling Fruit Farms, Masstown Market or one of the many other farmers’ markets of Nova Scotia. Local Seafood: The teams at Evan’s Seafood & Restaurant, Arichat Seafood Market, Clearwater Seafoods Ltd. or Fishermen’s Market have you covered for all your local seafood needs. Local Wine: For a great Tidal Bay, look no further than some of our great vineyards, such as Luckett Vineyards, L’Acadie Vineyards, Grand Pré Wines, Sainte-Famille Wines or Devonian Coast Wineries.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Taste of Nova Scotia, #TasteofNS




Nova Scotia Seafood Chowder Serves: 4-5 people



3 oz Nova Scotia lobster

1. To start the base, melt one tbsp butter in a large pot over medium heat.

3 oz scallops 3 oz salmon

2. Add diced carrots, celery and onions. Sweat (by covering) until onions are translucent; then add a sprig of fresh thyme.

3 oz halibut

3. Add cornstarch to the pan if a thicker consistency is desired.

12 mussels

4. Deglaze the pan with white wine until liquid is reduced by half.

12 clams

5. Add the cream and milk; simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.

3 tbsp butter

6. Add the diced potatoes and cook until almost fork tender.

3/4 cup onions, diced

7. Melt two tbsp butter in another pan over medium heat and add all seafood.

1/2 cup carrots, diced 1/2 cup celery, diced 3/4 cup yellow-fleshed potatoes, diced 1 sprig of thyme

8. Once the clams and mussels have opened, transfer seafood into the chowder base. 9. Add dill and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh dill (optional).

5 springs of dill, chopped 3/4 cup heavy cream 2 cups milk 1/3 cup white wine 3 tsp cornstarch (optional)



Recipe and photo courtesy of Taste of Nova Scotia, #TasteofNS


Smoked Haddock & Corn Chowder Serves: 4-8 people



4 oz raw bacon, diced

1. Cook bacon until some fat is rendered. Add onion and cook in bacon fat until translucent.

1 small onion, diced 1 quart fish stock 1 lb smoked haddock, diced in 1/2-inch pieces 2 cups corn kernels (fresh, canned or frozen)

2. Add leeks and cook for one minute, then add potatoes and fish stock. 3. Simmer until potatoes are almost cooked through, then add smoked haddock, corn and cream.

3 cups heavy cream

4. Bring to a simmer and thicken with potato flakes to desired consistency.

3 tbsp potato flakes

5. Season with salt and pepper.

1 bunch green onion, thinly sliced (for garnish)

6. Ladle into cup or bowl and garnish with crispy bacon bits and green onion.

for garnish: crispy bacon to taste: salt and pepper Recipe and photo courtesy of Taste of Nova Scotia, #TasteofNS




Fish Burger

Dreaming of warmer weather? Us too! This fish burger has us thinking of dining outside on a warm spring evening. Made with local seafood and topped with homemade tartar sauce and coleslaw, this dish is a perfect blend of fresh flavours. Pair it with a local beer and the company of great friends. Cheers!






For Burger 4 sesame buns

For Tartar Sauce

16-20 oz white fish (haddock or halibut)

1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Place tartar sauce in a resealable container, set aside to refrigerate.

For Coleslaw

2 tbsp kosher salt

1. In a large bowl, mix cabbage, purple cabbage, apple and onion. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon, apple cider vinegar, oil, sugar, salt and pepper.

1 cup vegetable oil

2. Pour the liquid over the vegetables and toss, set aside.

1 cup flour

For Coleslaw 1 cup purple cabbage, shredded 1/2 cup cabbage, shredded 1 large green apple, shredded or made into matchsticks 1/2 small white onion, cut very thin and roughly chopped 1/2 lemon, juiced 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 1 tbsp neutral oil or vegetable oil 2 tbsp sugar

For Burger 1. Cut the fish into segments that will fit more easily on a burger bun. In a flat bottom sheet pan or casserole, mix salt and flour, and dredge the fish in a thin coating of flour on all sides. 2. Toast the buns in the oven on a low broil for a few minutes, or until golden. 3. Heat vegetable oil in a nine-inch frying pan on high heat. Do only a few pieces of fish at a time. Once the fish is put in the pan the oil should bubble and you’ll hear the frying, if the oil is hot enough. Let the fish get golden and crispy. Flip once. Remove and set on paper towel. Repeat for all the pieces of fish. 4. Spread tartar sauce on the top and bottom of each bun and add a small pile of coleslaw. Place a piece of fish or two in each. Enjoy.

2 pinches salt few pinches fresh ground pepper For Tartar Sauce 3/4 cup mayo 1/4 cup chopped gherkin pickles 1 tbsp sweet relish 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped few pinches salt

Local Source Guide Local Produce: Pick up all your local produce at Noggins Corner Farm Market, Stirling Fruit Farms, Masstown Market or one of the many other farmers’ markets of Nova Scotia. Local Seafood: The teams at Evan’s Seafood & Restaurant, Arichat Seafood Market, Clearwater Seafoods Ltd. or Fishermen’s Market have you covered for all your local seafood needs.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Taste of Nova Scotia, #TasteofNS




Maple Bacon Crêpe Your Sunday brunch just got better with this delicious twist on a classic crepe. With maple sausage, maple bacon, sunny-side up eggs and roasted potatoes we’re pretty sure this is the perfect breakfast. Drizzle with Nova Scotia maple syrup, pair it with a local maple wine, and you’ll have a new brunch tradition!

Preparation time: 40 minutes Serves 4



For Crepe Stuffing 4 eggs (sunny-side up)

1. Prepare all stuffing ingredients (eggs, bacon, sausage and potatoes/hash browns) to your liking, set aside and keep warm.

1 package local maple smoked bacon, fried or baked 1 package local breakfast maple sausages, pan fried and sliced into rounds 2 large potatoes washed, peeled, cubed small, seasoned and pan fried (hash browns) to taste: mayonnaise to taste: maple syrup For Crepe Batter 4 eggs 1-1/3 cup whole milk 1 cup all purpose flour 2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped 1/2 tsp salt dash fresh ground pepper

2. For the batter: In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, milk, butter, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix in flour a small amount at a time until the batter is uniform. 3. Place a nine-inch, or larger, frying pan over medium to high heat, and once it reaches temperature (a drop of water will sizzle and evaporate quickly from the pan) use a half cup measuring cup to pour the crepe batter into the middle of the pan. Immediately lift off heat and rotate the pan to coat the entire pan to its edges. Place back on heat for about 20 seconds, watching closely so it doesn’t burn, and flipping with a large spatula once goldenbrown. Repeat until batter is gone. HINT: Any extra crepes can be frozen in a plastic sealable bag with wax paper between each crepe. 4. Keep the crepes warm in the oven, on a plate, at the lowest setting. 5. To assemble, place one crepe on each plate, and place a tablespoon sized dollop

of mayonnaise (or for those more into sweetness, substitute peanut butter or maple syrup) on each, and spread around the middle. 6. Place the egg, a few strips of bacon, and 1/4 of the sausage slices and hash browns into the middle area of each crepe, season with salt, and then fold the edges toward the middle to make four folds. 7. Serve with maple syrup, salt and pepper.

Local Source Guide Bacon and sausage: Meadowbrook Meat Market, The Pork Shop Maple syrup: Acadian Maple Products, Sugar Moon Farm Milk: Fox Hill Cheese House Produce: Noggins Corner Farm Market, Stirling Fruit Farms, Masstown Market or one of the many other farmers’ markets of Nova Scotia.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Taste of Nova Scotia, #TasteofNS




Tidal Bay Marinade & Dressing

Preparation time: 5 minutes Makes: One large bottle of dressing or enough to marinate six or more 6 oz filets

This fresh, zesty sauce, made with Tidal Bay, can be used as a tasty marinade or tangy salad dressing. Use it to marinate fresh local salmon, trout or tuna filets, or to dress a fresh salad. Enjoy with a glass of the same Tidal Bay for a harmonious pairing. INGREDIENTS


Local Source Guide

2 tbsp honey

1. Combine all ingredients (except oil and parsley) in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk vigorously until uniform.

Local Seafood: Evan’s Seafood & Restaurant, Arichat Seafood Market, Clearwater Seafoods Ltd., Masstown Market’s ‘Catch of the Day’ or Fisherman’s Market

1/2 cup neutral flavoured oil, or mild olive oil 1 large lemon, juiced 1 tsp apple cider vinegar 1/4 cup Tidal Bay (white wine) 1 tsp kosher salt 1/4 cup parsley leaf, chopped

2. Slowly add oil, continue to whisk until the mixture emulsifies (combines together and appears to thicken). 3. Whisk in chopped parsley. 4. Taste your dressing and add salt to taste. 5. To achieve the best flavour, allow the fish to marinate for up to three hours.

Local Wine: Luckett Vineyards, Grand Pré Wines, Sainte-Famille Wines, Devonian Coast Wineries, Avondale Sky, Benjamin Bridge, Blomidon Estate Winery, Lightfoot & Wolfville, Planters Ridge Local Honey: Cornect Family Farm

Recipe and photo courtesy of Taste of Nova Scotia, #TasteofNS




Beer & Cheese Dip Looking for a quick, easy and cheesy appetizer? This recipe is a perfect snack to pair with a local beer for a night of entertaining or celebrating. Grab your cheese-loving, beerdrinking friends and enjoy!

INGREDIENTS 2 tbsp salted butter 3 garlic cloves, minced 2 tbsp white flour 1/2 – 3/4 bottle of Nova Scotia beer (add extra beer for a more intense beer flavour) 3 cups aged cheddar cheese, grated to taste salt for garnish green onion or chives (optional) 8-10 fresh pretzels for dipping (optional)

DIRECTIONS 1. On low heat, sauté garlic in butter until fragrant in a small saucepan. 2. Add flour, about 1/3 of a tbsp at a time, whisking continuously until the mixture thickens.

Preparation time: 10 minutes Serves: 6-8 people

3. Turn heat up to medium. Wait a minute for the contents in the pot to come to temperature, then add beer slowly while continuing to whisk. 4. Allow mixture to simmer on medium heat until it thickens and beer is well absorbed. 5. Add the cheese a handful at a time. Continue to stir until cheese is fully melted and it has a thick, gooey and even consistency. 6. Do the taste test! 7. Add salt if need be, and garnish with green onion or chives if desired.

Local Source Guide Local Beer: Boxing Rock Brewing, Garrison Brewing Company, Propeller Brewing Company, Saltbox Brewing Company, Meander River Farm & Brewery, Rare Bird, Schoolhouse Brewery, Sober Island Brewery. Local Cheese: Knoydart Farm or Fox Hill Cheese House Pretzels: Boulangerie La Vendéenne

Recipe and photo courtesy of Taste of Nova Scotia, #TasteofNS




Nova Scotian Old Fashioned

We all know the Old Fashioned — it’s a timeless favourite! This recipe takes this staple cocktail and adds some great local flavours. With hints of maple syrup and rosemary, the Nova Scotian Old Fashioned will have you and your friends raising your glasses in celebration of local.

Makes: 1 cocktail


Rosemary Infused Maple Syrup*:

1/2 oz rosemary infused maple syrup*

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm 3/4 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup water and four or five rosemary branches.

2 oz Caldera Distilling Hurricane 5 Canadian whisky 2-3 dashes angostura bitters to garnish: 1 sprig of burnt rosemary, zest of an orange

2. Muddle the rosemary with a wooden spoon, as you stir the mixture and it infuses.


3. Let the rosemary steep and warm in the maple for five to 10 minutes; you should smell the rosemary.

1. In a large old fashioned or rocks glass, pour rosemary infused maple syrup, Caldera whisky and bitters over two large cubes of ice.

4. Strain out the rosemary, let the maple cool, and store in a sealed jar for up to three weeks in the refrigerator.

Local Source Guide Local Whisky: Find Caldera Distilling whisky at their distillery (open seasonally), at select NSLC stores and at private liquor stores, like Bishop’s Cellar. Maple Syrup (for syrup): Stop by Acadian Maple Products or Sugar Moon Farm to purchase some great local maple syrup.

2. Stir with a bar spoon for 15 to 20 seconds, or until the ice has slightly melted. 3. Add a sprig of burnt rosemary to the glass, and zest the orange over the cocktail glass. Garnish with the orange zest.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Taste of Nova Scotia, #TasteofNS




Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict Preparation time: 10-15 minutes Serves: 3-6 people



6 poached eggs

1. Poach eggs in simmering water with a pinch of salt and splash of vinegar, for approximately four minutes.

6 whole wheat English muffins 12 slices J. Willy Krauch & Sons smoked salmon for garnish: smoked paprika, finely chopped fresh tarragon, crispy bacon, capers, Hollandaise sauce

2. Remove eggs from water using slotted spoon, and immerse in ice water to stop cooking. 3. Hold until ready to serve. 4. Split all English muffins in two halves. Butter and toast. 5. Place slices of smoked salmon over bottom six rounds of each toasted English muffin. 6. Re-heat eggs (trim excess cooked egg white) by immersing in simmering hot water for one minute. 7. Place re-heated eggs over smoked salmon on each round. 8. Drizzle Hollandaise sauce to taste over poached egg and garnish (optional). 9. Place top of each muffin on top, and serve.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Taste of Nova Scotia, #TasteofNS




Off the Beaten Wine Path:

Portugal NOT JUST A PORT IN A STORM By Cheryl Doherty

It may seem unusual to talk about an entire country as being “off the beaten wine path,” but for centuries Portugal has been known and revered for its production of rich, delicious, heady fortified wine that is often only consumed at Christmas or in the cigar rooms of elite gentlemen’s clubs. Port is a wonderful, exotic wine and sadly, less appreciated today than in days past.


ortugal, however, also has a long history of making still wines from a plethora of indigenous grapes that we in North America are afraid to pronounce, let alone purchase. This is a shame as the wines of Portugal not only represent some very high-quality complex wines, but are a terrific value to the consumer. Probably the best-known unfortified wine from Portugal is Vinho Verde. Although made in white and red versions, most of what is exported is a refreshing white wine with a zippy acidity, citrusy flower notes, and at its best a light herbal and spice note. Historically, the wine was slightly effervescent due to malolactic fermentation, which softened the wine and added a sparkle; nowadays it may be injected with just a little CO2 to add some fizz. The wine is made primarily with the Alvarinho grape, sometimes blended with Louriero and Arinto. Portugal’s red wines tend to be more complex. The country’s unofficial national grape, Touriga Nacional, is considered the great grape of port, but also creates bold, full-bodied rich coloured tannic reds that stick to your mouth and stain your teeth. If you like a hearty Malbec or a Napa Cabernet, this is a wine you must try. It is frequently blended with Tinta Roriz




WINES TO TRY: Quinta dos Carvalhais Duque de Viseu Rouge

(aka Tempranillo or Aragonez) and/or Tinta Frances to soften the mouthfeel and smooth the palate. The wines most often come from the Douro or Dão regions of Portugal. Alicante Bouchet is an interesting red grape, in that it has red flesh instead of the clear juice we usually see from red grapes. These red-fleshed types of grapes are known as teintures. The grape originated in France, but has made a home in the Alentejo region toward the south of Portugal. Often grown on 100-plus year old bushtrained vines, the wine is concentrated with blueberry, blackberry and smoky richness. Think of a warm climate red Zinfandel. Jaén (pronounced zsa-ine) is a Portugese grape almost unknown in our part of the world, though it is now receiving some well-deserved acclaim as Mencia from the Bierzo region of Spain. Bierzo is an ancient and almost forgotten region of Spain that has been “rediscovered” and is now becoming



trendy. The Jaén grape of Portugal is the same variety and is a wine of earthy, peppery flavours with dark plum and raspberry fruit, bright acidity, fine grained tannins and a smooth palate. If this were a French grape, everyone would know about it already. Portugal suffered for decades under the Salazar regime, which encouraged mass produced, cooperative wine making and kept Portugal isolated from much of the world. Modern government and EU membership have seen an influx of money into Portugal and its wine industry and the movement now is toward estate produced wines and independent production. Portugal is a rising star in the wine world. The wines are a very good value and many are quite age-worthy, for those wishing to store them. As their popularity and reputation expands, the prices will rise, so check them out now — they punch above their weight.


Dão, Portugal NSLC $14.99. Grapes: Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Jaén. One of the best values in Portuguese wine available in our market. Deep ruby, with aromas of black fruits and sweet spices. Full-bodied but soft on the palate. This wine should be opened for a while prior to drinking and will improve with decanting. It will last a few days in the bottle, should you decide not to finish it in one go — but you will!

Food pairing: Paprika rubbed roasted lamb leg with oven baked sweet potatoes. Quinta de Lixa Pouco Comum Alvarinho Minho, Portugal NSLC $18.78. Aromatic, ripe and richly textured white wine. Lemon zest and minerality with fresh pear and green plum fruits. This wine has enough weight to be very food-friendly, but also exhibits enough freshness and complexity to enjoy on its own.

Food pairing: Boiled king crab with butter. Sometimes simple is best! Let the food and wine both shine.

Blueberry Jam Ingredients 1⁄4 cup sugar 2 cups blueberries Squeeze of lemon

Directions Cook over medium heat until thick and let cool. Keep refrigerated.

Presentation Place a slice of duck curled on a serving spoon or small dish with a little jam and an unsalted potato chips. Garnish with anything pretty — a little arugula, chive blossom, micro green — whatever is handy!


Arrogant Frog Syrah Rosé (Ribet Pink) Languedoc – Roussillon France NSLC $14.99. Mild intensity, fruity, floral, mildly spicy and dry — a fun wine to keep the mood light!

With the popularity of charcuterie, “small plates” and local food as dining options in today’s market, I thought we’d try something different. Here we have a duck prosciutto with some blueberry jam and a potato chip. The following will detail how to make your own duck prosciutto and jam and wow your friends at your next get together!

Duck Prosciutto Ingredients 2 garlic cloves, crushed 2 sprigs rosemary 2 bay leaves 1 tap chili flakes 1 tsp cracked black pepper 2 cups sugar 2 cups salt 2 duck breasts

Directions Mix first seven ingredients thoroughly and completely coat duck breasts. Place in non-metallic pan, cover and place in the fridge for about three days. Rinse duck, pat dry and wrap in cheesecloth, tying the ends with kitchen twine. Suspend the breasts in the fridge — a coat hanger or large skewer across the underside of a shelf works — and leave for two weeks. Invite your friends over while they are hanging and impress them with your culinary skill. Once cured, the breasts may be frozen until needed or will keep for two weeks in the fridge. Use a very sharp knife to thinly slice across the grain and voila! You have made your own duck prosciutto.


Cheryl Doherty Cheryl is a certified sommelier, WSET 3 graduate and co-owner of The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse, a successful quartet of pubs/restaurants in Atlantic Canada. Cheryl is president of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers Atlantic Chapter and a guest instructor at NSCC.



BEST of the BEST


REFINED | 2018

Enjoy the Experience of Bâton Rouge By Kate Watson Photos courtesy Bâton Rouge

Summer’s coming (it really is), and that means two things in particular at Bâton Rouge: luscious lobster and patio dining.




TOP LEFT PHOTO BY Steve Jess TOP RIGHT PHOTO BY Joseph Robichaud/ Tanglewood Studio

While the patio is a lovely place to enjoy a meal, Bâton Rouge boasts a lovely experience inside, too. The restaurant is built in an ironstone warehouse building that was constructed in 1841, and it contains an interior archway that dates from 1753. Filled with brickwork, stonework and wooden beams, it offers a unique and comfortable atmosphere.


he seasonal Lobster Festival menu is available from the end of May until early fall, and it features mouthwatering dishes made with locally-sourced lobster. “I think we have a reputation to uphold here in the Maritimes,” says Benoit Beaulne, the general manager and coowner at the Hollis Street restaurant. “You know our lobster dishes are going to be good because people expect that here.” One of the most popular items with tourists and locals alike is the lobster sandwich, which combines big chunks of lobster meat with a layer of avocado on a fresh, lightly toasted bun. It makes a tasty lunch or light supper. The special menu includes a large variety of dishes including lobster pasta. The succulent lobster-stuffed mushroom caps are available all year long, as is the addition of a plump lobster tail to any of the other items on the menu. For those who aren’t lobster fans, Bâton Rouge has a diverse menu that highlights

beautifully marbled, high-quality beef, cooked to order. “Honestly, we have an amazing menu, but if I really had to choose, I’d say my favourite item is the goat cheese sirloin,” says Beaulne. “It’s a tender cut of meat drizzled with olive oil and topped with goat cheese, parsley and walnuts. So good!” Another customer favourite is the pork back ribs, offered as the Friday lunch special for only $10. The ribs are slow cooked at low heat for eight hours and then basted with the signature Bâton Rouge BBQ sauce, a recipe that has been in use for more than 25 years. This is such a popular dish that Beaulne estimates the restaurant goes through 300 to 400 racks of ribs per week. When the weather is fine, all these delicious items can be enjoyed on the patio at Bâton Rouge, where diners can truly take in the historic vibe of downtown Halifax in a setting that is both vibrant and relaxed. The large outdoor space is surrounded by glass panels and features a state-of-the-art sound system.


“We talk a lot about how great our food is, because it actually is, but we also want people to enjoy the whole experience of coming to Bâton Rouge,” says Beaulne. “The ambiance is wonderful and our servers are friendly and knowledgeable — really second to none.” Visit Bâton Rouge today for some of the best food and atmosphere that Halifax has to offer.

Bâton Rouge 1877 Hollis St., Halifax 902.407.0007



cocktail & gourmet burger



1-1/3 lbs local ground beef

1. Mix ground beef, breadcrumbs, shallot, Dijon mustard, egg, garlic, salt and black pepper together in a large bowl. Refrigerate mixture to incorporate flavours, 20 minutes to two hours. 2. Form ground beef mixture into six patties. 3. Heat a skillet over medium heat; lay back bacon slices in a single layer in the hot skillet. Cook back bacon for three to four minutes. Remove back bacon from skillet and keep warm. 4. Preheat grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate. 5. Cook patties on the preheated grill until burgers are cooked. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the centre should read 160F. 6. In a clean bowl, combine mayonnaise, Barrelling Tide Chili Vodka, maple syrup and chives to make the spread. 7. Add spread to both sides of the bun as desired. Place one burger into each of the buns; top burger with back bacon and grated cheese.

1/2 cup bread crumbs 1 shallot, minced 2 tbsp Dijon mustard 1 egg 1 tsp. minced garlic 1 pinch kosher salt 1 pinch ground black pepper 6 slices Canadian back bacon 1-1/2 cup Fox Hill Cheese (five year cheddar) 1/2 cup mayonnaise 2 tbsp Barrelling Tide Chili Vodka 2 tbsp Canadian maple syrup 1 tbsp chopped chives 6 hamburger buns, split




THE CHERRY SMASH INGREDIENTS 1/4 oz Barrelling Tide Vodka 2 oz Barrelling Tide Cherry Liqueur 5 oz lemonade


Barrelling Tide Vodka and Gin are available at NSLC stores thoughtout the province.

1. Start with a chilled tumbler, add ice. 2. Pour 1/4 oz Barrelling Tide Vodka and 2 oz Barrelling Tide Cherry liqueur over ice. 3. Add 5 oz of lemonade and seasonal fruit to garnish. Enjoy!




frenzy frozen THE PERFECT ARTISAN SUMMER TREAT By Colleen Thompson

Ice cream has moved far beyond the days of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. Today, there’s a whole new world of flavours to choose from. Think cucumber and dill flower, or how about raspberry fig choc-ice?


uly is National Ice Cream month and our love affair with ice cream continues to burn hotter than ever. In an ever-evolving culinary scene — where artisan, craft and local remain



buzzwords — simply offering chocolate or vanilla scoops of ice cream isn’t going to bring people back for more. Artisan ice cream shops are popping up all over, offering unique creations and taking great care and pride to bring whimsical flavour ideas to life — a testimony to what happens when cream, sugar and a little salt meet below-freezing temperatures! Reading an article in National Geographic recently about the Top 10 places across the globe to get ice cream, it struck me that the major criterion for the ranking was flavour creativity. Eel ice cream in Japan, green tea ice cream in Florence, and ice cream made from the milk of


Amish grass-fed cows … ice cream has come a long way.

FOUNDING FATHERS OF SCOOPS The history of ice cream is swirled with colourful stories and there are more myths and legends surrounding its origin than there are flavours of Ben & Jerry’s. Some credit the ancient Romans with inventing ice cream, others say Marco Polo brought the discovery back to Italy from China, while others believe Catherine de Medici introduced the French to ice cream when she married the future King Henri II. American historians have said ice cream was first made by Martha Washington, some

“I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM.” When he was president, Jefferson had an icehouse built for the president’s house — and on Independence Day in 1806, he hired a servant to turn the ice cream maker. The first Canadian to start selling ice cream was confectioner Thomas Webb of Toronto, around 1850. William Neilson produced his first commercial batch of ice cream on Gladstone Avenue in Toronto in 1893, and his company continued to produce ice cream at the location for close to 100 years. say it was brought back from France by Thomas Jefferson and others think it was invented by First Lady Dolley Madison at the White House. The precise story, as in so many matters of history, is open to debate. The first actual documented account of ice cream being served in America was in Maryland in 1744, when Governor Thomas Bladen put it on his dessert table. It was May and warm and the sight of something frozen to eat astonished the guests. George Washington is known to have purchased a “cream machine for ice” in Philadelphia in 1784. Later household inventories show receipts for ice cream that Washington purchased along with

10 ice cream pots. At the time, ice cream was an elite treat, reserved only for the wealthy, due to the expense of machines and scarcity of ice. But we really have the Congress of 1784 to thank. They sent Thomas Jefferson to Paris to serve as secretary of state and it was there that Jefferson discovered a passion for ice cream. He brought back a recipe for a French-style vanilla ice cream, along with 40 vanilla pods. The recipe, which was made with egg yolks, is often credited with popularising the flavour in the United States. The recipe calls for “two bottles of good cream, six yolks of eggs, half pound of sugar” to be flavoured with vanilla and frozen in a sarbottiere (ice freezer).


WHAT MAKES ICE CREAM ARTISAN? “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.” But not all ice cream is created equal, even if it’s a simple combination of milk, sugar and eggs. These once noble treats that were hand cranked and made from fresh, all natural and seasonal ingredients, lost their way for many years, like many other massproduced products. Some might say they became sticky, over-sweet and artificially flavoured gloop. Redemption for the masses arrived in the 80s, in the form of two guys from Vermont who ended up making ice cream because bagel-manufacturing equipment cost too much. Ben and



Jerry were real people, behind real ice cream and they became the darlings of ice cream consumers everywhere. What they managed to do was ignite a new generation of ice cream makers that rejected common practices like the addition of milk powder, vegetable oil and artificial flavourings. “The key to great ice cream is always using high quality real ingredients,” says Ditta Kasdan, owner of Dees Dees Ice Cream in Halifax. “We use organic cane sugar, which is very different from refined white sugar. Freezing our ice cream very fast gives it a smooth texture and we never skimp on the things that create great flavour." The sheer act of making ice cream is expensively complex and timeconsuming. Today’s artisan ice cream makers are opting for hormone-free, local milk. Annapolis Valley Foxhill Cheese House is a sixth generation family farm, and a true “cow-to-cone” operation. They pipe their milk from their Holstein and Jersey cows directly from the barn to the factory, where they produce a range of small batch ice creams and gelatos. And it doesn’t get more artisanal than West Dublin Buffalo Dairy, owned by young farmers Desiree Gordon and Stefan Kirkpatrick, who create insanely delicious soft serve buffalo milk ice cream that they sell in summer.

TOP The soft serve from Roll On Two Chimney Cakes in Halifax; BOTTOM Jolly Rancher/Bubble Waffle from Portland Street Creperie in Dartmouth



Rather than using cheaper ingredients to stabilise and thicken ice cream, artisan makers opt for the more expensive choices of fresh, heavy cream and egg yolks, and seasonal, local ingredients. Rousseau Chocolatiers, Nathalie Morin and Julien Rousseau-Dumarcet, have always incorporated as many local ingredients as possible into their handmade chocolates, and they are doing the same with their handmade ice cream. Wild rose petals from FD Wildfoods, lavender buds from SeaFoam, maple syrup and maple flakes from Acadian Maple, sea salt from Maritime Sea Salt and honey from Ames Wildflower will all be infused into their ice cream or incorporated into toppings.


Dee Dee’s Ice Cream also places an emphasis on local, seasonal ingredients. “The first fruit to come out in the spring is rhubarb and we make a ginger rhubarb sorbet. Next to ripen are strawberries, which we use for rhubarb strawberry ice cream and also a strawberry balsamic sorbet. We move on to blueberries, raspberries and other fruits. In the fall we use cranberries and pumpkin for our pumpkin spice ice cream and we also use flowers like lavender and rose.” Vanilla, chocolate and then strawberry are Canada’s favourite ice cream flavours, according to a recent survey by the International Dairy Foods Association — with butterscotch, caramel, coffee, mint chocolate chip and maple walnut tied for a distant fourth. When it comes to artisan ice cream, however, flavour and texture is what separates them from the crowd. Dartmouth based father and son team Neil and Max Cook of Portland Street Creperie are serving handmade soft serve ice cream in bubble waffles. “Bubble waffles are a Hong Kong street food,” says Neil Cook. “We use a traditional bubble waffle recipe and we make the bubble waffles daily. Food

Find Your

Local Scoop

• DEE DEE'S 5668 Cornwallis St. (corner of Cornwallis St. and Bauer St.), Halifax What started out as a small seasonal shop in Peggy’s Cove is now a Halifax summer institution. Handcrafted, small batch seasonal flavours are churned out fresh daily. Must Try: Rhubarb Ginger Sorbet

• FOX HILL CHEESE HOUSE 2760 Robie St., Halifax Ice cream is only as good as the milk used to make it. That’s why Fox Hill uses milk from its own happy, grass-fed cows. Must Try: Liquorice Gelato


simplicity is a very strong thing for us and you can’t get much simpler and more delicious than waffles, ice cream and toppings. This summer we’ll be making a salty caramel ice cream bubble waffle topped with caramel sauce, mini Rolo candies and pecans. Additionally, we’ll be featuring a chocolate fudge ice cream with chocolate sauce, real brownie bites and chocolate sprinkles. We try to be creative with both appearance and flavour, but it’s got to taste unbelievable,” says Cook. Roll On Two Chimney Cakes on Granville Street is also changing up the idea of ice cream cones, with their traditional Hungarian chimney cakes. The name refers to a stovepipe — as the fresh, steaming cake in the shape of a truncated cone resembles a hot chimney. The soft dough-like cones, which are made by hand each day by husband-and-wife team Andrei and Orit Paunesc, are crunchy on the outside with airy open centres that are filled with soft vanilla ice cream. By all means, keep enjoying your vanilla, strawberry and chocolate cones, but just know this is not where your ice cream adventure needs to end this summer.

1451 South Park St. & 5755 Young St., Halifax With more than 10 flavours created daily, made with the freshest ingredients, these artisan gelatos and sorbets include flavours not seen anywhere else in Halifax: Madagascar bourbon vanilla, melograno (pomegranate), nocciola Piemonte (hazelnut), Saigon cinnamon, Thai coconut milk. Must Try: Persian Rose

• DAIRY BAR South Park St. Offering kooky soft serve flavours, sundaes, artisanal ice cream sandwiches and handmade ice pops, this seasonal creamery is tucked in with the Stillwell Beer Garden. Must Try: Lemonade/Pineapple Mint Freezie

• PORTLAND STREET CREPERIE 55 Portland St., Dartmouth Dad and son team Neil and Max Cook serve handmade bubble waffle cones filled with vanilla or chocolate ice cream, with an array of delectable toppings. Must Try: The Jolly Rancher

• COWS 1891 Upper Water St., Halifax Beginning with an old-fashioned recipe that originated on P.E.I., Cows still makes all natural, small batch ice cream in more than 30 flavours. Must Try: Lemoon (Lemon cake ice cream with shortbread pieces and marshmallow swirl)

• ROLL ON TWO CHIMNEY CAKES 1810 Granville St., Halifax Hand rolled Hungarian chimney cakes rolled in sugar and cinnamon, and filled with soft serve vanilla or chocolate ice cream.





WITH Devin DeBay Fox Harb’r Resort



ith golf season well underway, it’s time to zero in on how you practice. For most of us, time is limited. So it’s important to learn how to “practice smart.” So what is the best way to spend your practice time? Many golfers will grab a bucket of balls and hit a few with 7- irons and drivers on the range. Unfortunately, this way of thinking is slightly flawed. One of the reasons why golf is so difficult is because there are so many variables presented to us. With most sports, you typically have a constant playing field — hockey surfaces in North America are always the same area, a soccer pitch always has the same dimensions, and a tennis court is always a standard size. In the game of golf, there is no constant. Golf course conditions are never the same and the weather you play in is forever changing. You never have the same lie twice and no two holes are ever the same. When it comes to practice, the cliché is... we need to practice smarter not harder. One of the few things you can practice in your game that does stay the same is hitting the driver. In general, you are hitting a driver on a flat surface, with short grass on a tee. This is actually something you can focus on at the range



to get a good sense of what you could replicate in a game-like situation on the golf course. But when was the last time you hit 10 7-irons in a row on a perfect lie on the golf course? It doesn’t happen. You should try to narrow your focus to get the most out of the time you have. The ultimate goal in golf is to get the ball in the hole in the least number of strokes possible, so let’s head to the golf course! I suggest you play a few holes, even if it’s just two or three. You will get more benefits from being on the golf course simulating playing than you ever would by hitting ball after ball on the range. If it’s the end of the day and the course isn’t busy, play a few golf balls hitting different shots from different lies. Vary your approach. Try uphill, downhill and side hill, and try to recreate similar situations you would encounter on a golf course. Try to hit different shots around the greens. Sometimes, short game practice facilities won’t have rough or tightly mown areas for you to practice on, but the golf course certainly will. Remember, a driving range is nothing like a golf course. Practicing on the course is not only a more enjoyable way to improve, but you will play more golf. And on a course is where you want to be!


Devin DeBay Assistant Golf Professional Fox Harb’r Resort 1337 Fox Harbour Rd. Wallace, N.S. Toll free: 1.866.257.1801 902.257.1801

16th Best Golf Resort in North America & Caribbean - Golf Digest Magazine Canada Select 5 Star Resort, CAA/AAA 4 Diamond Award


Y O U R F R O N T Y A R D. Introducing Marina Landing. Modern seaside living, championship golf, and luxuriating resort amenities are closer than you think. • 1 866 257 1801 • Eric Lum, Real Estate Sales Manager •


PERFECT STAYCATION Enjoy Nova Scotia’s one-of-a-kind scenery and local history By Rebecca Spinner




The best part of summer in Nova Scotia? You can “get away” in the blink of an eye. With no real planning — and in next to no time — you can hop in the car and whisk yourself wherever. Golf games and boat rides, breweries and patios, whimsical gardens and magnificent forests can be committed to memory within the span of an extra-long lunch hour. With a history as rich as the East Coast’s, even brief escapes are magical. My favourite micro-getaway in HRM is Hemlock Ravine Park. If you’ve got a weakness for historical romance — come on, we all watched Outlander! — you’ll be enchanted by the quirky “heart-shaped pond” and its origins (supposedly, the pond was a royal tribute to 18th-century charmer Julie St. Laurent). York Redoubt, Point Pleasant, Sir Sandford Fleming Park, and McNabs Island offer the same idyllic combination. We’re especially big fans of McNabs here at ReFINEd. It’s minutes from cosmopolitan downtown Halifax, yet feels miraculously rustic and relaxed. Taking the boat in and out is the cherry on top, as a boat trip across Halifax Harbour is one the city’s biggest treats. Naturally, Nova Scotian scenery can hold its own without help from forts and towers. Case

PHOTO LEFT The Peggy’s Cove lighthouse is an active lighthouse and an iconic Canadian image. It’s also one of the busiest tourist attractions in the province.



in point: Cape Split, a wooded hike to an incomparable cliffside view of the Bay of Fundy. This one’s not a lunchtime stroll, but block off a Saturday with a few intrepid friends, and it’s a worthwhile journey. And regardless of whether you frame snapshots or pop them onto Instagram, the final cliff is a sensational photo op. If you reside in southern Nova Scotia, Cape Breton takes a little extra planning. Still, the area’s beauty more than justifies the long drive (glamourize your getaway by renting a convertible and booking a bed-and-breakfast). Hike the Skyline Trail, tour beautiful Baddeck, and finish your weekend at the Fortress of Louisbourg. A bevy of skilful costumed interpreters make this historical stronghold an excellent family outing; engaging, but never over-the-top. The fact that Book of Negroes, Frontier, and Take This Waltz all shot footage at Louisbourg is a testament to how evocative and immersive the fortress’s architecture remains.

offers tours ranging in price and length, which gives guests flexibility in planning a pilgrimage that suits their family’s style.

Louisbourg dates to the 18th century, but the groundwork for the Joggins Fossil Cliffs was laid millions of years back. The cliffs became a UNESCO World Heritage Site some 10 years ago, so if you’ve never visited, it’s time you caught up on these millennia of history. The Fossil Centre

Stewiacke’s Mastodon Ridge also blends history and natural science, honouring the paleolithic bones discovered nearby with an eye-catching mastodon statue. A trip to the ridge can be paired with an excursion down the Stewiacke River Trail or a visit to Coldstream Clear Distillery.




Finally, there’s Peggy’s Cove. My family tends to visit the cove while hosting visitors from away; anytime I visit without guests, however, I’m equally struck by the shoreline’s magnificence. Try planning a visit in July, when the Peggy’s Cove area celebrates the Festival of the Arts. The festival’s multi-day “plein aire” (outdoors) painting event sounds like a fascinating Bohemian twist on an already-beloved local landmark.

Our Faves

The ReFINEd team offers a few words on our favourite Nova Scotian gems.

“My family and I visited the Joggins Fossil Cliffs a few years back while on our way home from a friend’s cottage in New Brunswick. It was a spur-of-the-moment detour and we were blown away. The interpretive centre was amazing, as were the tour and scenery. We even found a few fossils on our beach walk.” – Lori McKay “There are so many amazing tourist spots in Nova Scotia, but perhaps one that stands out for me is Luckett’s Vineyard in the Annapolis Valley. I love that you can taste wine, shop and dine all in one spot. Their location is ideal, with beautiful views overlooking the Valley.” – Ghislaine Moffitt

“One of my favouite places to visit in Nova Scotia is Hall’s Harbour. It’s a great place to check out the highest natural tides in the world. You’ll also find a still-active fishing community, an unobstructed view of Cape Split and great places to eat.” – Seann P. Gervason

A view of Hall’s Harbour at low tide. This picture shows the tidal extremes of the Bay of Fundy. In a few hours the tide will rise to the top of the pier.

The Joggins Fossil Cliffs are a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site. The cliffs are famous for their record of fossils from a rainforest ecosystem 300 million years ago.


“My family and I visited McNabs Island last summer and we couldn’t believe we hadn’t been there before. It felt like we were 100 km away. From the trails and lagoons, to the forts, old houses, lighthouse and overall history, I can’t stop talking about it. We can’t wait to go back.” – Jason MacDonald

ABOVE Luckett’s Vineyard; BELOW McNabs Island



BEST of the BEST


REFINED | 2018

A FIRST CLASS GOLF EXPERIENCE for members, guests and visitors Oakfield Golf and Country Club By Suzanne Rent Photos Bruce Jollimore


akfield Golf and Country Club opened for the season on April 26, and the 18-hole championship course on the shores of Grand Lake is ready for play.

Oakfield is located just outside the city, but is still close enough to the downtown core to be accessible. “Our members feel like they’re getting away to somewhere new,” says Tobin.

But you don’t need to be an experienced golfer — or a golfer at all — to enjoy the atmosphere and scenery at Oakfield. Inclusiveness has been the club’s philosophy since it opened in 1962.

The course is exceptionally walker friendly, with no elevated greens and spectacular views of Grand Lake from the course. The pace of play is just under four hours.

“I think the friendliness of the club is our No. 1 feature,” says Eric Tobin, general manager.



Laurie’s Diner Oakfield also has a new member on staff. Red Seal Chef Luis Clavel recently joined


the team and is working on a new menu for Laurie’s Diner and Lounge, which is open to the general public. Clavel is an award-winning chef who has opened and led some of the top restaurants in HRM. When he started at Oakfield, Clavel took a drive around East Hants to get a feel for the community. He came up with the diner concept. Clavel uses local ingredients whenever he can, and makes everything on the menu from scratch. “We have really great food that gives people a chance to try the classics with a

contemporary twist,” says Clavel. “We’re focused on flavour with quality food.” The food menu pairs well with the drink menu, which includes wines from Bishop’s Cellar, beer from Molson, including its craft beers, and cocktails with local flavours.

Professional staff Oakfield has PGA award-winning staff members who work with new and experienced golfers on their game. Pat DeCoste, Oakfield’s director of golf, joined the team in 2016. DeCoste won the PGA of Canada Atlantic Tour Championship in 2010 and was named PGA Canada Atlantic Player of the Year in 2004. He’s a PGA professional and served as the president of PGA Canada Atlantic. Sara Wilson, head teaching professional at Oakfield, is a PGA Canada professional, the owner and operator of Metro Ladies Golf, and serves as the director of play development with the Nova Scotia Golf Association.

“Sara has done a tremendous job introducing kids and women to the game,” says Tobin.

Membership options The club has a large membership but is actively welcoming more, as Oakfield offers flexible memberships that accommodate prospective members to get more out of golf. “The biggest challenge for people is time, so our membership fits perfectly to anyone’s lifestyle.” The Oakfield membership features an abundance of benefits for a low price, as members can establish their own golf schedule with playing packages based on the number of rounds estimated to be played throughout the season. Members have access to all the facilities that Oakfield offers, such as the driving range and the private beach, as well as versatile monthly payment options and reciprocal club privileges. With no initiation fee and no minimum spending requirements, members can golf for the right price, at the right time.


Oakfield’s history is still present today, as they strive to be an inclusive, progressive and family-oriented club. The atmosphere that members experience at Oakfield is invaluable, whether it is on the course or in the clubhouse. Oakfield is open for new or experienced golfers until October, perhaps November, depending on weather. “At Oakfield, our vision is to enhance the enjoyment of the game of golf for all,” Tobin expresses, “with this, we want all Nova Scotians to visit our course to experience the challenge of a championship caliber course in a friendly setting, and to play great.”

Oakfield Golf and Country Club 6055 Highway #2, Oakfield 902.861.2777 Proshop: 902.861.2658



BEST of the BEST


REFINED | 2018

Mac East’s

Lifetime Tech Support for Apple Buyers By Rebecca Spinner Photos Steve Jess

Sleek Mac products, marked with the company’s playful bitten-apple logo, are now both indispensable and universal. But Mac East owner Barry Ring was ahead of the trend.


started in the computer industry in 1989,” he explains. “After working on my first Mac, I literally gave away my brand new, top-of-the-line PC. Mac was just so



much better than any other computer.” Having grasped Apple’s advantages early, he specialized in the brand after graduating from Dalhousie University’s computer science program.


Barry Ring, owner

As the digital age encroached, however, he noticed a less thrilling pattern. “The companies I worked with were being bought out, and customer service was getting lost. That’s why I opened Mac


Kathleen Sorensen, Barry Ring and Cinder, the empathy dog

East — to provide customers with the service and support they deserve.” It’s now rare for a privately-owned business, such as Barry Ring’s, to retail and service Apple products firsthand. “Mac East is one of Canada’s few remaining independent Mac resellers,” he confirms. “That unusual format benefits our customers, since we offer lifetime technical support on anything bought from us.” That’s a significant expansion on “the standard 90 days of technical support.” Ring is friendly and plainspoken, underplaying his years of expertise. “The thing about the computer industry is, it changes so fast, and so often. What we knew six months ago is irrelevant today.” By training directly with Apple, he explains, Mac East’s staff (Ring, his wife Kathleen Sorensen and associate Daniel Green) stays attuned to changes. “We constantly do courses to keep us up-todate on new machines.” Nevertheless, Ring admits, extra decades provide a professional edge. “Mac East is able to work on older machines other places can’t. No matter when you bought your Mac, we’ve seen it before.” Throughout his career, he’s noticed Mac users’ “well-informed” approach.

“The typical Apple customer understands the benefit of buying a product once, and having it last seven years or more, as opposed to 18 months.” Ring’s respect for Mac East’s client base is evident. “I really enjoy talking to customers, solving problems, and helping them out.” And clients are encouraged to take an active, collaborative role. “The biggest part of support is listening to the customer. We want to listen and communicate back, and then for the customers and ourselves to reach the same conclusion.” Mac East encourages Apple users to take advantage of their resources. Today’s lifestyles don’t permit much leisure time, Ring notes, and contacting a professional can minimize at-home troubleshooting. “If my car doesn’t work, I don’t have the time to try to figure out why. I take it to an expert!” In addition, he says, increasingly intricate modern technology has compounded the risks of DIY repair. “As machines get smaller, thinner and lighter, they’re more integrated inside. You can damage them just by opening them up.”


Daniel Green, associate It’s possible to schedule a consultation with Mac East by phone, or via Apple Support online. However, “you don’t need an appointment to see us,” Ring says. “You can come in off the street to talk to us, and right away, we’ll start looking after you and your Apple product.”

Mac East 108 Ochterloney St., Dartmouth 902.444.4622



BEST of the BEST


REFINED | 2018

“INTEGRITY 45 years of

& Approachability” Shellnutt Professional Accountants By Rebecca Spinner  Photos Steve Jess

From cafés and corner stores to boutiques and breweries, small local businesses are key to the Maritimes’ charm. Yet even the most passionate local entrepreneur can falter when it comes to their budget, or to fully understanding the Canada Revenue Agency’s rules.


hellnutt Professional Accountants (formerly Bill Shellnutt & Associates Limited) has spent 45 years helping clients navigate personal and business finances. “We serve clients from Halifax, the South Shore, the Valley, Moncton, and P.E.I.,” says owner, CPA/ CGA Mike Shellnutt. Over the years, he notes, various local enterprises have relied on the Shellnutt team’s expertise: golf courses, wineries, contractors and lobster-fishing operations.



But while Shellnutt’s customers range from fishermen to winemakers, Shellnutt and its clientele share common ground. “Our firm is a small business, too,” Mike points out. “I think that makes it easier to talk to clients, and relate to them.” Mike’s father, Bill, founded Bill Shellnutt & Associates Limited in 1973. “He went into business the year I was born,” laughs Mike, who joined in the mid-90s. “I wanted to stay in Nova Scotia. I met my wife Denise here, and we wanted to raise our three kids here, too.” When Bill Shellnutt passed away in 2012, his firm endured what Mike calls a “period of uncertainty.” “That was a challenge for all of us: the staff, Denise and myself,” he says quietly. “My father was very much the face of the business.” Ultimately, Mike decided that he was given the torch, and it was his responsibility to keep it lit. “With help from my staff, and support from Doug MacNeil, FCPA, and Mike Jodrey — both accountants, and long-time friends of my father — we continued the work. Clients responded; they understood.” These days, he concludes, “Shellnutt Professional Accountants


“An accountant looks at a financial statement, and there’s a story there... we tell the story.” – Mike Shellnutt, owner

has emerged as a more focused public accounting firm, providing many of the same services Dad started. I think his legacy’s there.” The firm’s staff roster still includes individuals mentored by Bill Shellnutt. Some, Mike notes, have 35 years or more of experience. “Everybody here has played a role in our success and longevity.”

SERVICES Accounting Estate Planning Bookkeeping Financing Payroll

Customers’ needs range from corporate and personal tax returns to commercial financing, estate management, and more. “We prepare personal taxes for a range of clients, with varying levels of tax complexity,” Mike says, noting that they’re also skilled at assisting with tax minutiae. “To a small business owner — especially a new one — navigating Canada Revenue can be pretty mindblowing.” Some Shellnutt clients have been with the company for decades, and Mike reports that “word of mouth” has benefited them hugely. “Some of that

may come from the support we’ve offered local schools and community groups,” he muses. As the Shellnutt team helps clients untangle their taxes and finances, “integrity and approachability” are essential, says Mike. “Money, business, success, failure — they’re tough to talk about for lots of people,” he acknowledges. “However, it’s possible to work through anything. An accountant looks at a financial statement, and there’s a story there. We understand it, and we tell the story.”


Shellnutt Professional Accountants Entrance C, Suite 214 250 Baker Dr., Dartmouth 902.434.3301



BEST of the BEST


REFINED | 2018

Minuteman Press:

Always Growing

I was asked to speak and I ended the speech with this quote by Confucius: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Photos Bruce Jollimore


inuteman Press made a major move two years ago into a new facility, and quickly filled it with state-of-art embroidery equipment flown in from Germany, making them one of the industry leaders in clothing and apparel branding. This past year marked the company’s seventh and eighth acquisitions since they began growing their business. Fusion Print and B2C Communications, along with their employees, have now merged into Minuteman’s two locations in Bayers Lake and Burnside. This merger makes them a full-fledged mailing house. “There is no amount of mail we cannot handle,” says Minuteman’s Kris Webster.



Minuteman is a family business. Kris’s wife Chantal is one of the owners, and her brother and father are very heavily involved in the business as well. “I am very proud to work here,” says Kris. “We all work very hard. You always hear how important a company’s customers are, but we pride ourselves on our employees just as much. When both are happy — and we feel they are — good things happen.” Things like winning the Consumer Choice award eight years in a row for printing, and winning the Family Business Award for the Maritimes in Advancement and Growth. “We love what we do,” says Kris. “When we accepted the award earlier this year,


Minuteman Press Dartmouth Location 60 Williams Ave., Burnside 902.434.1434 Halifax Location 19 Crane Lake Drive, Halifax 902.450.0508


BEST of the BEST REFINED | 2018

The writing is on the wall...

And that’s a SIGN Photos Bruce Jollimore

Signs. You see them on every street corner, in every store, and literally everywhere you go.


ulse Signs — which offers inkjet/large format printing — is taking the industry by storm. Only a few short years ago, the staff at Pulse Signs was small. Now, Pulse is constantly looking to expand, and has a staff of more than 15. Two boom trucks are on the go in the province at all times. State-of-the-art flat bed printing, vehicle wraps and CNC machining are just a few of the things now available and done in house at their 60 Williams Ave. location. This industry continues to grow at a

rampant pace, but this doesn’t scare coowner Michael Maheux Jr. as he adapts and moves with it. Being family owned and operated counts for a lot. There is detail and care in every piece produced in the plant. At Pulse Signs, they know a sign is a crucial part of every business. You are not advertising your business without a sign.

A sign is a crucial part of every business. The more you get your name out there, the more people will see it, and you. It will help you grow your business.

Pulse Signs & Design Inc. 60 Williams Ave., Dartmouth 902.434.4787

“When driving your vehicle to work, home, store, play... have it wrapped in your business logo/name for maximum vantage,” says Michael. Pulse Signs will continue to expand its facility and staff in order to meet the needs of its clients.




WITH Anita Kirkbride Twirp Communications Inc.


Social media can take a vacation when you do


veryone needs to take a break sometime… especially a break from social media! Whether you want to take your fans along on your vacation or you want them to be oblivious to the fact that you’re gone, there are a few different ways you can handle your social media accounts. Plan ahead The best tool you have for finding time off is planning. Whether it’s a day off, or a week, find a tool that will schedule your content to post while you’re away. Hootsuite and Buffer each offer a free account that will accommodate up to three social networks and 10 scheduled posts. If you’re only using Facebook, the built-in scheduler is your best option. Keep in mind, content you schedule should be evergreen and should not play on events you “expect” to happen (in case they don’t). Work from away Perhaps you can schedule a few things to post while you’re on vacation and only check in once a day for comments? Or maybe you are a morning person and want to get up early, work for an hour and have the rest of the day to relax? There are ways to keep your work to a minimum while you’re away if you can’t simply turn it off. Share the day If you’re not a scheduling-type person, and do most of your social media



manually, the best option might be to simply tell your fans you’re taking a day off and then share a picture. All entrepreneurs need a reminder that it’s OK to take a day off once in a while. Of course, you need to be careful about announcing you’re out of town for a week and your house is completely empty. Sub-out There’s always the option to hire, or delegate, someone to manage your accounts while you’re on vacation — perhaps an assistant, intern or other staffer. Provide guidelines and let them have fun with it for a day or a week. Maybe you’ll discover they’re better at it than you and you never have to touch Facebook again! Shut down Yes. You can do it. You can let your Facebook and Twitter profiles remain silent for a day (or a week). It’s OK. Most people understand the need to take vacation and quite honestly, most of your readers don’t expect you to be there 24/seven to answer their questions. Whether you choose to “announce” your social media vacation or not is completely up to you. But it can make it easier for fans, as they might notice you aren’t responding.


Anita Kirkbride Twirp Communications Inc. 902.240.3702

What if social media made you this happy?

Find new customers, new leads and new opportunities with social media mentoring! A Social Media Mentorship with Coach Twirp provides you with personalized social media consulting, planning, strategizing and education to build a social media plan that fits your company. You could have: • an abundance of personalized content for your website, blog and social media profiles. • confidence, knowing your content meets your marketing goals and isn’t just making noise. • a plan and a schedule to focus your efforts. • personalized help with each step of getting up and running. • the knowledge and confidence to manage your own social media marketing.


for more information

WITH Jocelyn M. Campbell and Andrea L. Pierce Cox & Palmer


Don’t forget to cross this important item off your to-do list


ewly engaged? About to tie the knot? Or maybe you are still coming down off a post-wedding high? Amid the flower arrangements and caterers, the honeymoon and thank you cards, you will want to make sure this crucial item is checked off your list. It’s time to talk about your marriage contract, more commonly known as a pre-nuptial agreement. While planning a wedding, the last thing you want to think about is the possibility of your marriage not lasting forever. Many feel pre-nuptial agreements are unromantic, cynical, and most importantly, not for them. Some believe only celebrities or the wealthy require a marriage contract. These are common misconceptions. Here are a few reasons why getting a marriage contract is the smart thing to do: 1. Timing – Separation and divorce are emotional. The stress of these events often bring out the worst in people. There is no better time than when your hearts are full of love and you have common goals, to discuss how you and your partner might address topics of co-parenting, dividing assets and other tricky issues. Take the time now to decide how you will treat each other, and your assets, should you ever go your separate ways. 2. Control – Rather than negotiating important issues when emotions will be running high, a marriage contract



gives you control over the outcome of separation or divorce. If negotiation fails, the default and often imperfect legal rules will govern the outcome. These legal rules may not produce a mutually agreed upon outcome. Don’t risk letting a judge decide important issues; take control and get a marriage contract. 3. Peace of Mind – You and your partner will not always have the same level of income, assets and debts that you have now. Separation or divorce can have an unintended and devastating financial consequence for you. If children are involved, the risks become higher and more emotional. A marriage contract provides you with protection against unexpected and unwanted outcomes and liabilities. While it might be an awkward topic, you may find that your significant other is relieved to hear you want to put a practical contingency plan in place. Having a marriage contract does not mean you are selfish, pessimistic or uncommitted. It simply means you want to protect yourselves from uncertainty, turmoil and potential expensive legal proceedings should you separate or divorce. A marriage contract can be as simple or as detailed as you wish. They are completely customizable to your personal and financial circumstances and plans for the future. A contract can even be created after you are married. But the easiest time to do it, is now.


Our family lawyers will be pleased to provide you with the assistance you need to cross this item off your to-do list.

Jocelyn M. Campbell, QC Family Lawyer

Andrea L. Pierce Family Lawyer Cox & Palmer Purdy’s Wharf, Tower 1 1100-1959 Upper Water St., Halifax 902.421.6262

WITH Robert G. McKim SEAMARK Asset Management



ollowing the stock market debacle of 2008/2009, it became abundantly clear to us as portfolio managers that there should be a place for low volatility investing for institutions and private clients alike. That conclusion was driven by the impacts, real and perceived, of the ravages of a two-year decline in share prices. Low Volatility (Low Vol), as the name implies, suggests a path of smaller ups and downs than the general stock market. Volatility is akin to risk, so it is safe to say that low volatility strategies target steady returns, accompanied by lower risk. Will I give up returns by investing in Low Vol?

Not necessarily. But the pattern, or the timing of returns, will be different. Admittedly, low volatility investing will take a back seat to the market in a year like 2017, which was basically straight up throughout the entire year. Where Low Vol makes up ground is in the market corrections, or setbacks. Arithmetic doesn’t lie. If you can save a dollar on the downside, it takes less to get back to even. In an extreme case, by example, if $100 declines by 50 per cent to be $50, it then takes a return of 100 per cent just to get back to even. No wonder that when surveyed most investors lean toward preservation of capital as part of their investing DNA. How does the investment world approach Low Vol investing?

Low Vol, as a relatively new investment

mandate, is approached differently by the investment community. The earliest Low Vol strategies relied on methodologies that have a focus on the characteristics of the stock, the quantitatives, if you will. In this case, the portfolio construction process is often driven by formula. SEAMARK, by contrast, applies traditional fundamental security analysis in its approach to Low Vol. Our team focuses on the characteristics of the company and how it performs financially, particularly during periods of low or negative economic growth. We buy companies whose sales and earnings hold up well, regardless of the economic backdrop. And our focus on dividend paying companies adds an additional layer of safety for investors. Is Low Vol investing value or growth?

institution that needs a decent income contribution to fund a significant part of its outflows. Should Low Vol be a part of every investor’s investment solution?

Investors might be well served to think of their investments as falling into different risk buckets; low, medium and high. When looking through this prism, the investing maze may look a little less cluttered. Every investor should have some commitment to low volatility equities, as the foundation of the portfolio. If need be, additional risk can be layered in as it may suit the investor’s circumstances. SEAMARK’s Low Volatility Equity mandate allows investors to sleep at night and stick with their long-term wealth generating strategy.

Maybe both. The investor has to look beyond just the moniker of “low volatility.” The approach that relies heavily on quantitatives may capture more growth-type companies, which bodes well for investors when markets are rising. SEAMARK’s reliance on the fundamentals of the company may capture more value-type companies. More mature companies that have sustainable operations and attractive dividend yields fall into the value bucket. Value tends to pay you along the way via dividends, which makes more sense for an individual who relies on drawing income from their portfolio, or for an


Robert G. McKim, CFA

CEO & Chief Investment Officer SEAMARK Asset Management 810-1801 Hollis St. 1.888.303.5055






Cushions… the final touch to the design aesthetic of your room Styled and written by Heather Waugh Pitts Photos David Muir


n the late 90s, walking up Yonge St. Toronto, I walked into Putti Fine Furnishings, a Europeanstyle home décor boutique. The shop owner had a display of antique vintage textile pillows brought over from France — a plethora of cushions made from tapestries and velvets, and ornately trimmed. The experience was transformative in how I imagined cushions could be. They were jewels… pieces of art.



Functional and beautiful, cushions can update and change the way a space feels. As well as offering layering, texture, colour, soul, luxury and comfort, pillows can be an extension of your art collection. Constructing an art pillow is a multistep process, as pillows themselves are transformative. I want to discuss just


how far you can go to produce a work of art. When it comes to shapes, everything needs to be taken into consideration, from geometric form to the outline of the image itself. The cover may have original artwork that is hand screened, or photographed and digitally printed. The textiles may be vintage, loomed, hand hooked, made of pure silks, velvets, mohair, linens or wool. The back

Functional and beautiful, cushions can update and change the way a space feels.


2 may be a mirror image, or one of the textiles mentioned. The pillows may be hand cut, lined and seam serged. They can also be zippered and tagged with an original logo design. There are various embellishments that can be added, such as playful pompoms, brush fringe, tassels, braid, lace and cord trim. The cushion insert expense will depend upon the ratio of down to feather — from a mainstream Ikea $15 range to $100 (plus). The range in pillows from mainstream to handmade luxury cushions is vast… adding either just a fun burst of colour or a unique piece of art. Scatter your cushions on daybeds, beds, sofas, chairs, or stack on the floor for lounging. This issue’s pillow photos were taken at the inspiring shop Workshop & Co. on Maynard Street in Halifax.

1 | 1930s overdyed rug, Cisco leg pouf ottoman, antique English library chair, floral kaleidoscope linen pillow, wool needlepoint pillow and striped woven pillow from Workshop & Co. From silk roses on purple pillow, silk flowers and butterflies green-blue pillow, silk peony halftone pillow, wool hooked pear pillow. Antique tapestry golden pillow from Putti.

2 | Linen Japanese art deco pillows from 31 Westgate, 1970s optical painting in red, custom charolais hair on hide chair, French demijohn lamp with coloured cord, oak barrel tabletop.





3 | Custom kitchen bench in ebony finish, vintage red enamel factory pots, blue lantern, rustic wood table, hand screened original art on pillows by local artist Marilyn Smulders.

4 | Edwardian antique leather club chair. From Silk orange crown pillow.

4 94




Heather Waugh Pitts is a designer and artist. Her work has been published in several local and Canadawide magazines and featured on W Network in Real Houses Of ‌ Heather has worked on commercial and residential projects, including new stores, cathedrals, mixed residential, commercial community planned projects, resorts, private residences and charity fundraisers. She collaborates with architects, commercial builders and trades professionals to bring a balance of function, strength, creativity and personality to her projects.


5 | Edwardian antique chair, Cisco brothers Vista sectional in Belgian linen, vintage Indian rose garden stool, English gentlemen portraits, vintage green artist side stand. From silk alien head, silk graffiti eye blue, silk cyan crown skull. 6 | John Dorian field bench in indigo, large graffiti art pillow on velvet, Chinoiserie silkscreen art pillows from 31 Westgate.


David Muir Photography is a Halifaxbased commercial photography studio specializing in product and location advertising for clients across Canada and the United States. David’s award winning photographs have been used through Getty Images and Masterfile.




Paying Attention to the Details MATRIX CONSTRUCTION LTD. By Rebecca Spinner Photos Shari Tucker


atrix Construction Ltd. is astonishingly prolific. Between construction and renovation contracts for local businesses and residences — plus work on local institutions like Atlantic Lotto, Canada Post and Shoppers Drug Mart — their handiwork has permeated the Maritimes for 15 years. “We’ve retained a lot of customers over the years — some of them, from day one,” says Matrix founder Robert MacLellan. “We have major clients we’ve worked for over and over.”



Given Matrix’s scope, one might expect the company to employ dozens of staff. Yet MacLellan says the core crew consists of fewer than 10 people. The exclusive, close-knit team helps ensure quality, he explains. “The employees we have, we’ve had for a long time. We trust them completely, which makes a big difference.” Clients are known to take a shine to Matrix’s “friendly, likable” team, coowner James Turner adds. “We’ve done jobs in Newfoundland where the guys are onsite for a week at a time. By the end, the owner’s inviting them in for meals!”


Matrix Construction was established 15 years ago by MacLellan and Jim Turner (the father of MacLellan’s current partner, James Turner, an electrician and business graduate). Following Jim’s 2017 retirement, James Turner and Robert MacLellan have begun sharing leadership of Matrix. James Turner’s skillset has permitted the now-multigenerational company to branch into electrical services, in addition to construction and renovation. Despite its compact staff, Matrix can execute large-scale contracts, thanks to its connections with local tradespeople. “We use a long list of subcontractors on a


BEST of the BEST REFINED | 2018

From private residences to public libraries and animal hospitals, this local construction firm always excels.

regular basis. They go out of their way to accommodate us,” says MacLellan. Not long ago, Matrix Construction wrapped up work on the new Lunenburg Library. “That was a neat job. The architect’s specifications were very detailed,” MacLellan notes. “Matrix looked after the supply and installation of millwork, fixtures, furniture, shelving, as well as renovations — everything.” The library is housed in the stunning Lunenburg Academy, a rural Nova Scotian landmark. MacLellan says grapevine recommendations made animal

hospitals an unexpected Matrix Construction speciality; “word got around their community” following Matrix’s excellent work on an animal hospital project. (Their reputation in the arena is well-earned; in 2009, the Fall River Animal Hospital won an HRM design award.) A few commercial animal hospital clients have even rehired Matrix for private residential work, he adds. Matrix Construction’s ability to attract both residential and commercial clients is remarkable. MacLellan and Turner acknowledge that many construction firms limit themselves to either commercial or residential contracts.


“Residential and commercial jobs are like night and day,” MacLellan muses. “They’re different beasts altogether.” Frequently, he says, that’s due to duration and timing. “A $200,000 commercial job will be finished in four or five weeks. A $200,000 residential job may take three months.” “On commercial projects, clients are familiar with renovations,” Turner elaborates. “On residential projects, clients aren’t always sure what to expect, so we take more time to help people through.” That said, Matrix’s residential clientele appears as loyal as their commercial customers. One residential






“We have major clients we’ve worked for over and over.” – Robert MacLellan

client, MacLellan says, has hired them on a roughly annual basis for about a decade. “We’re actually starting another job there tomorrow.” When contacted by prospective residential clients, MacLellan and Turner endeavour to visit the property personally. They also review existing design documents, although clients needn’t provide paper plans. “Often, clients will just describe the project as we do a walkthrough,” MacLellan says. (Matrix Construction Ltd. can recommend a designer, if desired.) In some cases, a follow-up visit with one or more of Matrix’s preferred subcontractors will be scheduled. This allows MacLellan and Turner to obtain a more nuanced picture of the requisite supplies and labour. After initial meetings, MacLellan and Turner provide potential clients with a quote. A standard Matrix quote indicates, not merely the total cost of the project, but where and how expenses will be incurred. “We try to break costs down in as much detail as we can,” says

MacLellan, noting that they don’t mind finetuning the resulting figure alongside the client. “We might be back and forth three times before we settle on a price and scope.” Across both commercial and residential contracts, Matrix Construction strives to meet the needs of multiple stakeholders: architects, property owners, designers and so on. “Our job is to keep everybody happy,” MacLellan says. “It’s a balancing act. But when it’s done, and the client says ‘you’ve done a wonderful job,’ that’s a good feeling.” Turner agrees. “It’s always nice when the customer says ‘thank you,’ and we see the smile on their face, because they like the work we’ve done.”

L-R Robert MacLellan and James Turner

SERVING Mainland Nova Scotia New Brunswick P.E.I. Newfoundland and Labrador

SPECIALTIES Residential construction Commercial construction

Matrix Construction Ltd. 902.404.0113


Renovations Repairs Electrical services



The David Dunn Group

20 Partridge Lane, Bedford This beautiful private waterfront property is located just off sought-after Shore Drive in Bedford. Enjoy the stunning views from this four bedroom, three-and-ahalf bath home on Mellow Cove. With a newly rebuilt, drivedown boathouse, deep anchorage and a large, sheltered wharf and dock, this is a boat lover’s dream. The home features a

multitude of decks and a gorgeous rebuilt kitchen/dining/bar area with propane stove and fireplace — perfect for entertaining. The home has new bathrooms throughout, exposed-beam ceilings, upstairs laundry, a grand stone fireplace in the formal living room, gym with a full bath and stone patio walkout, and beautiful landscaping. It’s also equipped with an auto start generator, ducted heat pump, cold storage room, lots of storage and large workshop. This is luxury living at its finest!

289 Viewmount Drive, Head of St. Margarets Bay Exquisite six-bedroom oceanfront estate in picturesque St. Margarets Bay. This stunning property offers a truly peaceful sanctuary and oasis located just 20 minutes from downtown Halifax, and five minutes from all local amenities. The home has more than 7,450-sq.-ft. of elegant living space and is situated on 1.8 acres (340-ft.) of water frontage, offering south/west exposure and spectacular sunsets. Approximate $1.9M has been reinvested in numerous significant upgrades in the past two years, from restructured facades front and back, to a professionally designed pool with stone decking and retaining walls, new roofing, and a modern pool house with bath and bar. The property is beautifully landscaped with mature trees and gardens, and new perimeter fencing, including electric entry gates. The interior offers an upgraded and luxurious ensuite baths and a redesigned games/entertainment area that includes a walkout to the pool area. The home has a spacious gourmet kitchen for those who love to entertain. This elegant oceanfront estate has a solid deep water protected wharf, a large boathouse with lift and a four-car garage.

Contact the David Dunn group for information on these stunning properties

37 Boscobel Road, Halifax Welcome to 37 Boscobel Rd., a tranquil and private estate situated in a park-like setting with almost an acre of water rights on the Northwest Arm. The water views at 37 Boscobel Rd. are spectacular year round! With substantial renovations and upgrades, this historical home features modern day luxuries inside, with practical maintenance and upgrades completed both inside and out. This beautiful home boasts over 5,000 sq. ft. of elegant living space, three

bedrooms, four baths and a number of flex rooms, which can be utilized for any number of purposes. Three heat pumps were added for economical year-round heating and cooling. The home has gleaming hardwood floors, luxuriously renovated baths, kitchen upgrade with high-end finishes, and much more! An additional renovated guesthouse can be utilized as a home office, nanny suite, guest suite or whatever your needs may be. The enlarged floating dock offers space for three boats. This home is just a short walk to the Dingle, Yacht Squadron, Frog Pond and Deadman’s Island.

You have the chance to create one of the most amazing and customized penthouses in HRM, just steps from the waterfront and boardwalk, with a cosy enclave of sophisticated shops and restaurants. This opportunity may never come again. It’s a blank canvas for you to develop your own personal space.

1477 Lower Water Street, Halifax A truly unique opportunity for an amazing penthouse suite in one of South End Halifax’s most desirable condo buildings. Situated on the edge of the Halifax Harbour, the entire sixth floor of the building has been vacated, creating a more than 4,200-sq.-ft. penthouse with 360-degree views of the city and harbour. The penthouse features three terraces and three balconies, totaling over 1,000 sq. ft., plus four parking spots and all the amenities and perks that Bishop’s Landing provides. | 902.209.9177 |

BEST of the BEST


REFINED | 2018

Transform YOUR HOME Case Design/Remodeling provides improvements for all areas of the home, including kitchens, bathrooms, additions, basements, interior, exterior and whole house remodeling. By Lori McKay Photos courtesy of Case Design/Remodeling




“We are re-building homes that families can grow in, entertain in and live in for a very long time.” – Maurice Meagher, owner of Case Design/Remodeling


very homeowner can use the help of an expert when planning a home renovation — from cabinetry and lighting to flooring and overall style. Case Design/ Remodeling provides customers with a turnkey approach to renovations that starts with design and follows through to project completion. “A lot of times people don’t know exactly what they want to do and need help getting all their ideas pulled together,” says owner Maurice Meagher. “We are able to provide design help and creative solutions along with construction management and trades work. It’s a design-build, process-driven approach.” Offering improvements for all areas of the home, the highly qualified Case team specializes in kitchens, bathrooms, additions, basements, interior, exterior and whole house remodeling. Case’s staff includes an in-house architect, trained kitchen and bath designers, construction and project managers, as well as certified agingin-place specialists. Throughout the process, Case looks after all supplies, delivery, permits and inspections. Clients

do not have to call on other contractors to do any of the work. “We’re able to handle the full scope of the renovation,” says Meagher. He says the projects that make the most sense for them to work on are ones that need a design component, require different trades skills, and where different selections/options are required. “A lot of our jobs, regardless of the size, encompass different complexities.” The Case team takes the time to learn a client’s style, design tastes, and understand their timing and budget. From there, they’re able to propose multiple solutions and can provide clients with different design options and price levels. Clients can select which path they want to take. They are also able to provide their clients with a fixed cost. “We work really hard to prepare the upfront work to clearly define the scope and the cost of a project,” says Meagher. “The depth of our experience and the formal process we use throughout the design, material selections and construction sets us apart.”

Working on homes in the Halifax area for more than a decade, Meagher says he started Case because he saw an opportunity to create living spaces that would help improve the way people live. “Our services can transform a home, making it more functional and more valuable,” says Meagher, who also owns Archadeck of Nova Scotia, a multiple award winning deck-building company. “Today we are re-building homes that families can grow in, entertain in and live in for a very long time.”

Each Case Design/Remodeling project has three phases: Phase 1 | Design. They put together preliminary concepts and provide full colour renderings, project budgeting numbers — with cost ranges for the design options presented — and timelines. Phase 2 | Detail and Selection. The team helps clients select cabinetry, tile, countertops, flooring, trim details, etc. They provide a comprehensive fixed price and payment schedule. Phase 3 | Build. Case includes and looks after all permitting and inspections. They have project and construction managers that build and complete every aspect of the project.

Case Design/Remodeling 2569 Windsor St., Halifax 902.454.CASE (2273)




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LIVING at its Best By Lori McKay Photos couresty of Archadeck




Looking to commit more to your outdoor living? Archadeck of Nova Scotia has your backyard needs covered — from screen porches, decks and patios to outdoor kitchens, fire pits, stonework and outdoor lighting.


f there’s one thing that has changed in the decking industry in recent years, it’s that people are getting more elaborate with their outside spaces, says Maurice Meagher, owner of Archadeck of Nova Scotia. “We’ve noticed more projects are combination projects — a deck with a shade or roof structure, or maybe they incorporate a fire pit, cooking and dining area, plus lighting elements. People are committing more to their outdoor living.” Meagher says they recently completed a project on a lake in Dartmouth that had a multi-tier deck incorporating an outdoor kitchen, fire pit area and hot tub. A lower area, at the lake, transitions into a floating dock. “It was just beautiful,” he says.

With Archadeck’s design-build process, the company designs, builds and manages the entire project, from working with the homeowner on the concept to creating the final design, and then constructing the project down to the smallest details. “We handle everything full cycle,” says Meagher. Each project they work on is meant to complement the existing house. They take everything into consideration, and the design is created around the architecture and style of the home. “Another recent project we worked on incorporated stone columns, a lower patio and retaining wall, and a lowmaintenance railing. It all fit perfectly with the existing house.”

When it comes to today’s railing and overall design styles, he says they see more people choosing sleek, modern and low maintenance. They often install a mix of wooden materials and different low-maintenance manufactured materials, such as aluminum, iron, glass, composite and PVC materials. “People are busy, and the majority of our customers are conscious of that,” says Meagher. “They are choosing not to have maintenance in the future.” In business since 2002, Archadeck has seen continuous growth over the years, and has added more and more professional staff to their team to keep up with the demand. “I think the growth we’ve experienced over the past 16 years has allowed us to better service our clients,” says Meagher. “We have more available resources, which allows us to do projects in a timely manner. We have the experience and the capacity.” Archadeck of Nova Scotia has an A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a Certified Residential Builder with the Nova Scotia Home Builders’ Association. The company has won numerous awards over the years, including a Peak Award for Most Outstanding Residential Renovation of One Room; a consumer choice award in the deck and patio category; Archadeck Outdoor Living’s top design award, which recognizes building design excellence among its franchise locations; and the Best Of Design award by Houzz, a leading platform for home remodeling and design.

Archadeck of Nova Scotia 6070 Almon St., Suite 112 Halifax 902.444.DECK




WITH Maurice Meagher Archadeck of Nova Scotia



dding an enclosed structure to your home can create added enjoyment, as well as improve resale value. When planning, consider what the structure will be used for to determine the style you want to build. Styles to consider include: • Roof structure • Screened porch • Three-season sunroom • Sunroom There are many factors to consider when determining the style and use of your structure, including: • Budget — A wide variety of materials are available in order to fit your budget • Consider size, colours and low maintenance material options • Location — Considering your landscape, view, and the position of the sun during active hours of your new structure Roof structure addition Adding an addition to your home not only increases its value, but it will give you a functional and beautiful light-filled room to enjoy year-round. Your roof addition should be built to complement the architecture of your existing home.



Screened room A screened room addition allows for plenty of sunlight and gets you closer to nature. While the roof and screens protect you from evening insects and rainy days, these rooms are not weather proof and are not a warm space to lounge in during our colder Nova Scotia months. To enjoy your sunroom in cooler seasons, such as early spring and late fall, we suggest you consider adding propane heaters or a fireplace feature to your design. Three-season room Three-season rooms are similar to full sunrooms, but they are not insulated for the coldest months. A three-season room can save you money up front on insulation costs, heating in winter, and window selection. However, it is much more difficult to upgrade features once the structure is built, this is why we strongly suggest you consider how and when the room will be used to be certain this is the structure style that’s right for you.

Sunrooms are built with large glass windows spanning from floor to ceiling, which are used to infuse the space with as much light as possible. In Nova Scotia, we suggest double or triple-pane insulated windows, which will help regulate the temperature throughout the year.

Sunroom Sunrooms create a comfortable and usable space all year long. They are a great way to add square-footage and allow natural light to flood your home. The large windows let you enjoy the great outdoors — even on the coldest winter days.


Maurice Meagher, owner Archadeck of Nova Scotia 2569 Windsor St., Halifax 902.444.3325


Gardeners of all Ages


The greenhouse is very familyoriented. We want to be a place where the community can learn and socialize.” – Cathy Oulton, owner

plant selections and learn from Bloom’s knowledgeable staff.

• • • •

Hanging baskets Custom arrangements Design services Workshops

Bloom Greenhouse & Garden Centre 1421 Hammonds Plains Rd. Hammonds Plains, N.S. 902.832.9268

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Cabinet design by Henhouse

Genuine Kitchens’ Jenn-Air Appliance Line Personalize Your Kitchen By Rebecca Spinner Photos Bruce Jollimore

“Dream kitchens don’t come out of a box or catalogue. They’re a blend of functional, creative design and quality, stylish appliances,” says Tanya Braine, co-owner of Genuine Kitchens.


hether you’re planning a complete kitchen remodel or replacing your appliances, the designers at Genuine Kitchens have the tips and insights to guide you through the planning process and turn your vision into reality. “In today’s kitchens, everything is typically designed around appliances,” says Darryl Braine — Genuine Kitchens’ co-owner, and Tanya’s



husband. “Clients purchase appliances, and then we design around them.”

have no idea there’s a Jenn-Air dealer right here in Burnside.”

Considering that Darryl acknowledges appliances as the cornerstone of kitchen design, it’s telling that Genuine Kitchens carries a single appliance brand: Jenn-Air.

Jenn-Air produces an array of products — dishwashers, refrigerators, ovens, stoves, ventilation systems, and more — at varied prices, allowing Genuine Kitchens to accommodate diverse budgets. Customers can finetune their aesthetic by choosing Pro-Style or Euro-Style Jenn-Air products. “The Pro-Style series has a bold commercial

“Jenn-Air is a versatile, high-end, highquality, innovative appliance line,” says Tanya. The brand is somewhat exclusive as local carriers are limited. “Most people


When it comes to framing Jenn-Air appliances beautifully, Genuine Kitchens has an edge, thanks to their extensive experience designing and manufacturing custom cabinetry. Appliances today demand individualized planning, says Darryl. “Fridges, for example, come in different widths and heights. It’s important that we design a kitchen where the fridge fits properly. We provide both appliances and cabinetry, so our customers get exactly what they’re looking for.”

“We turn dream kitchens into reality.” – Tanya Braine look. The Euro-style series is sleek and contemporary, with cleaner lines.” The brand’s exceptionally customizable cooktops deserve special mention. Electric-, gas-, and induction- powered models are all available. Furthermore, Tanya notes, Jenn-Air’s “module”-style cooktops allow buyers to mix-and-match cooking surfaces, enabling customers to integrate a griddle or wok alongside conventional heat elements. Game-changing ventilation technology components complement these customizable cooktops. Along with traditional ventilation options, Jenn-Air offers patented “downdraft ventilation,”

which allows for added versatility in kitchen design and style. The brand also offers forward-thinking “smart” technology. Wi-fi connectivity allows customers to control appliance power and temperature settings remotely, through their smart phones. At Genuine Kitchens’ newly renovated Fielding Avenue showroom, JennAir appliances are displayed within functional kitchen stagings — so functional, in fact, that the appliances are hooked up and ready for use. “If a client wants to come in, and get a sense of what it’s like to cook with an appliance, we’d be open to that,” says Tanya. “Most appliances are fully operational.”


Jenn-Air models come in attractive black or stainless steel finishes. “We offer panel-ready options for dishwashers and fridges as well, for customers looking to blend their appliances into their cabinetry,” says Tanya. “We’re doing kitchens where you walk in and have no idea where the dishwasher or fridge is,” says Darryl. Designing an elegant, understated kitchen takes skill. “Clean lines are very important. If you change something at one end of the kitchen, it’ll affect something else.”

Genuine Kitchens 38 Fielding Ave. Dartmouth 902.468.8431



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Reinvent Your Driveway with Sand Seal Paving By Rebecca Spinner Photos Bruce Jollimore and courtesy of Sand Seal Paving


hatever your favourite form of summer entertaining — from barbequing burgers to sipping front-porch merlot — your driveway is probably part of the backdrop. Does its appearance do justice to your garden? Your lawn? Your home? Or is it one part of your property you’ve overlooked? Sand Seal Paving and Construction Ltd. lays down high-grade asphalt and sealant that complements HRM’s most beautiful residences. The company offers



speed (average driveways are finished in about two days) and painstaking professionalism: “The sealant is usually floated on by hand,” says Sand Seal owner Justin Lewis. “We always order a little extra product, just to make sure we never run short.” Originally hailing from Cape Breton, Lewis entered the paving trade to help fund his studies at St. Francis Xavier University. In the following years, his workmanship was in increasingly high demand — ultimately leading him to Halifax, where he took on the Sand Seal brand.


Sand Seal can re-pave or re-seal existing asphalt driveways, ripping up some or all of the rundown pavement, and replacing it with a sleek substitute. However, it may be those property owners scraping by with gravel driveways who require Sand Seal’s services most urgently. Gravel driveways aren’t merely drab-looking; during Nova Scotian winters, Lewis explains, they’re an outright nuisance. “It’s much easier to clear a paved driveway of snow,” he elaborates. “A paved driveway also improves the appearance of a property, and prevents

“A paved driveway improves the appearance of a property, and prevents potholes and washout. It’s definitely going to improve property value, as well. Lots of people repair and reseal before they sell their home.” – Justin Lewis tons of product,” Lewis notes. The team recently completed a project requiring a full 160 tons. “That was our biggest job last year, and it went off without a hitch.” In addition to paving, Sand Seal provides concrete (including stylish polished and exposed aggregate finishes), excavation, snow removal, and more. They’re also frequently called upon for asphalt repairs and touch-ups. Clients choosing Sand Seal for their initial paving enjoy a 20 per cent discount on such maintenance tasks. Justin Lewis ensures that Sand Seal’s social media is up to date, so that it’s easy for potential clients to peruse the company’s results on Facebook or Instagram. Once a homeowner proceeds to get in touch via phone or email, Sand Seal can visit their property to provide a complimentary quote.

TOP PHOTO Justin Lewis, owner

potholes and washout. It’s definitely going to improve property value, as well. Lots of people repair and reseal before they sell their home.” First-time homeowners may never have “shopped around” for a pavement provider. However, Sand Seal’s achievements speak for themselves. A two-year warranty accompanies the business’s handiwork, and they carry full

liability and workers’ compensation insurance for all employees. “It protects our customers,” explains Lewis. Their A+ Better Business Bureau rating is further evidence of Sand Seal’s integrity. Sand Seal’s residential and commercial jobs vary in scope. “We can do a five- or six-ton residential driveway, or a parking lot requiring hundreds of


Remember, guests and visitors see your driveway before they ever set foot in your home — so your pavement shouldn’t be an afterthought. Sand Seal Paving and Construction Ltd. can help ensure the space is one of your property’s highlights.

Sand Seal Paving and Construction Ltd. 902.471.4666



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of Providing Atlantic Canadian Homes with Style, Design and Function


t’s a stunning showroom: beautiful quartz and marble slabs, floor coverings for days, modern light fixtures, appealing cabinetry designs and more.

significant. “We’re celebrating our 30TH anniversary at Select Ceramic Tile,” says Bartolacci. (Bella Marble, meanwhile, has spent 15 years serving Atlantic Canadians.)

Technically, four separate businesses share this space — Select Ceramic Tile Inc., Bella Marble & Granite, Milano Kitchens Inc. and Select Lighting. But in practice, the four brands work together as complementary divisions of the company Rosita Bartolacci’s parents created three decades ago.

The showroom’s staff also boasts impressive credentials. “Everybody here has 10-plus years of experience. We try to educate customers — to help them make the best decisions for their lifestyle, taste and budget.”

For Select Ceramic Tile and Bella Marble & Granite, 2018 has been especially



Customers who aren’t hiring a private professional home designer may find the showroom staff can play a similar role. The team is accustomed to


recommending product combinations for specific design goals, Bartolacci says. “Whether you’re budget-driven or style-driven, we can discuss your specific requirements, and customize a design that’s just right for you.” Endless designs and patterns greet visitors to Bella Marble’s slab warehouse. “Sometimes the selection’s a little overwhelming, especially if it’s your first build or renovation,” says Bartolacci. Clients can peruse various colours and materials — quartz, granite and marble — as well as coordinate their choices with cabinetry and flooring selected from the showroom.

Choosing Your Countertop “One of the most common questions we’re asked at Bella Marble is, ‘Which material is better for countertops? Granite or quartz?’” says Rosita Bartolacci. Maintenance requirements vary between materials, she acknowledges. “Both have pros and cons. I tell people, ‘It’s about what’s better for you and your lifestyle.’” Both quartz and natural stone are cut and installed by Bella Marble’s skilled crew. “Our knowledgeable staff is on hand to help find the counter most suitable for you,” says Bartolacci. “When it comes down to it, there’s no wrong choice; just personal preference.”

“Thin slab”— which Bartolacci calls “the next big thing” — is a modern, innovative porcelain product. “Slabs measuring up to 10 feet, and as thin as 3.5mm, can be used for floors, walls, interiors and exteriors,” she explains. “Thin slab has been garnering much attention from designers and architects for its seamless look and versatility.” The showroom’s lighting department staff are adept at guiding clients toward up-todate styles (matte black and soft brass fixtures are current favourites). “Today’s homeowners invest more time and money on outdoor living spaces,” Bartolacci explains. “Select Lighting carries both

residential and commercial landscape lighting products.” Laser-cut mosaics for walls and floors are also available. “They come in various designs and materials, with gold, mother of pearl, or glass inlays.” Budget-conscious shoppers can apply a subtle touch with this luxury product, Bartolacci notes: “use it in a small area, or as an accent.” Expertise, and an eye for style, make this team an invaluable resource. Their astoundingly wide range of classic and modern products ensure the showroom is “a must-see” for Nova Scotians renovating their homes.


Rosita and Maria Bartolacci

Select Ceramic Tile Inc. Bella Marble & Granite Inc. Milano Kitchens Inc. 2 Fielding Ave Dartmouth, N.S. 902.468.3416



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Capital Ventilation’s Tammy Atton evolved from receptionist to company president By Suzanne Rent  Photos Steve Jess

When Tammy Atton started at Capital Ventilation, she took on the role with gusto. Her boss, owner Garry Schimp, wasn’t convinced of her talents right away. In fact, he didn’t expect her to last very long with the company. But within a couple of months, Tammy took on new responsibilities — including accounting, bookkeeping, payroll and more. And Gary changed his mind.


ammy was with Capital for five years when personal circumstances led her to move to Yarmouth with family. During her time in Yarmouth, Gary approached her saying it wasn’t working out with the current receptionist. “He realized how much he missed having me there,” says Tammy. “And how much he needed me to help run his company.” Seven years after she first started working at Capital as its receptionist, Gary approached Tammy about running the entire firm. She debated the decision for a few months, but eventually said yes. Tammy is a hands-on owner. As the president of Capital Ventilation, Tammy works on sales and visits the sites where

PHOTO LEFT Tammy Atton at work in the Capital Ventilation shop




HEATING AND COOLING EXPERTS If you’re looking for a way to cut down on your energy costs while improving the comfort of your home, contact Capital Ventilation Limited. Providing HVAC services, as well as heat recovery systems, they help local homeowners create living spaces with the best temperature and air quality. work is being done. And while she has a new receptionist, she even still does some of the office work. Tammy also learned about metal fabrication from her staff. She says when it comes to running a business, knowledge is key. “Most of the metal coming from the shop is made by me,” says Tammy. “I really wanted to learn every aspect of the business.” Tammy says her favourite part of owning the company is meeting with the clients and getting feedback, whether it’s positive or not. She says the constructive criticism helps her understand what the company can do better. And she says the environment at work is one of family and mutual support of staff. “It’s really still a mom-and-pop atmosphere,” says Tammy. “The staff are really important to me.” Capital Ventilation provides HVAC and heat recovery systems to clients in the HRM. Its clients are commercial and residential. They work on a lot of multi-unit residential complexes and commercial spaces. They also sell and repair systems for air conditioning, heating and ventilation, as well as air exchangers, heat recovery and heat pumps. Tammy says she wants Capital Ventilation to grow. She has a staff of

20 but would like to hire more, so that growth can continue. Tammy says Gary often shares her story with Capital Ventilation with some of their clients, telling them how Tammy evolved from receptionist to now owner. “We laugh about it now,” says Tammy. Tammy says she looks back on her journey and says it required a lot of strength to accomplish what she did. “I didn’t realize the strength I had,” she says. “I have to be responsible for so many people.” She remembers some people weren’t always supportive of her decision to take on ownership of the company. Tammy has advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs thinking about making the leap. “Have the confidence in yourself,” she says. “Confidence is key. If you want something badly enough, go for it.”

CAPITAL VENTILATION SELLS AND REPAIRS: Air conditioning systems Ventilation systems

Capital Ventilation 62C Bluewater Rd., Bedford 902.835.9224


Heating systems Air exchangers Heat recovery Heat pumps



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REFINED | 2018

Roofing Needs By Lori McKay


hen it comes to having a new roof put on a home, homeowners are often looking for a number of key factors. They are looking for a quality product that is installed in a timely manner, and they are looking for workers who respect their properties. “We pride ourselves on our service, our attention to detail and our cleanup,” says Larry Mader, owner of Mader’s Roofing. “To us, customer satisfaction is key. I would say 90 per cent of our clients would say if they weren’t at home during the process, they wouldn’t have known we were there until they looked up at their finished roof.”

Larry or a member of his team will leave a fully detailed quote — which includes a full list of materials, so you know exactly what products you’re getting and how many — along with all their insurance and workers compensation information, and their accreditation with the Better Business Bureau.

“Whether you are looking for residential or commercial services, we have the expertise to tackle just about any roof.” – Larry Mader

He says the process of roofing is always an inconvenience to the homeowner — an unavoidable truth of the trade. “Roofing is very invasive. There’s noise and there’s mess. But we do everything we can to make it as painless as possible. And everyone on my crew is courteous.”

Larry does a lot of research into quality products. They use heavier drip edges, ice and water shields, underlayment and shingles, and they always use real steel nails. “All these things make a difference in a quality product.”

He says his customer satisfaction ratio is very high, and he knows this because customers highly recommend his company to family and friends, and don’t hesitate to use their name as a referral. The roofing process with Mader’s begins with a quote. Appointments for a free estimate can be set up through email or by filling out an online request form on their website; both of which go directly to Larry himself. You can then set a time to meet, although you don’t have to. “We can go to your home, write up the estimate and leave it in your mailbox. People are busy. We understand that.”



“A lot of estimates I see from other companies are an address, a price, tax and a lot of things that tell them what it could possibly cost them once they open up the roof. They’re set up for extra costs right out of the gate. People should look at the quality they are getting for their money. I always tell people, ‘If you see a price 20 or 30 per cent lower than mine, what aren’t you getting? What’s missing from your roof?’”


Larry Mader, owner

In business for more than 20 years, Larry has worked hard to establish his company’s reputation as a respected business that keeps up to date on the latest roofing techniques and materials. “It starts with the approach to the customer, right through to the finished product,” says Mader. “We do everything in our power to give people the best quality of roof their budget allows.”

ventilation systems and condition the roof is in, and their price structure is based on that. “We don’t simply re-skin a roof to make it look good,” says Mader. “Our focus is on doing the job correctly. We take a roof apart and all the components of a roof will be there when the job is complete. The emphasis for us is on the quality of the project, and doing it correctly.”

He says they put into your roof what your roof needs, given the pitch,


Mader’s Roofing Lower Sackville 902.492.2868 902.830.4236



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REFINED | 2018

Timeless Flooring, Beautiful Lighting “We have you covered from floor to ceiling” Photos Bruce Jollimore and courtesy of Wacky’s Floor Design Centre


hen designing a room, everything from flooring to lighting comes together to complete the final look. Whether your project is a small reno or a new build, the



team at Wacky’s Floor Design Centre can help you find floors and lighting options you’ll love for years to come.

they’re searching for an elegant copperand-crystal chandelier, breathtaking maple floors, or Venetian blinds.

Its showroom (measuring 18,000 sq. ft.) offers top-tier products and professional guidance to all customers, whether

“Wacky’s is all about convenience, quality and expertise,” says Morgan Brookfield-Chaisson, marketing director.


“We can customize any job to suit your lifestyle and budget.” Morgan says clients — homeowners, as well as builders and renovators — appreciate the convenience of a one stop shop. “Having everything under one roof cuts back on travel time and just makes everything easier.” Wacky’s location at the Atrium is attached to a custom countertop retailer, a custom kitchen cabinetry store, and four furniture stores, making it even more convenient. A recent expansion of the custom millwork shop enables Wacky’s to produce custom closets and millwork.

LIGHTING Wacky’s incorporated a lighting showroom last summer. Like the location’s flagship flooring department, phenomenal products and service define the showroom. The store stocks top-tier brands for diverse styles and budgets. Booking an appointment with one of Wacky’s lighting specialist is encouraged, as it’s a great way to discuss personal budgeting and aesthetic goals.

Morgan and lighting director Greg Lawlor travelled to Dallas in January and June of this year to attend Lightovation, one of the world’s biggest lighting conventions. They say the visits provided a chance to peek at new products and scope out inspirations. “It was great to see classic fixtures redefined with new finishes and colours,” says Greg, who notes they have incorporated many of these new trends into their showroom.

FLOORING “When it comes to flooring we have everything,” says Morgan. “Flooring of all types... residential and commercial, special order and in-stock, you name it!” One of the hottest flooring products on the market these days is luxury vinyl plank and tile, which Mike Gaudet, Wacky’s residential contract manager, says offers a cohesive appearance. “When you install it throughout a house, you don’t see any transition mouldings. It’s seamless from room to room.”

Wacky’s representative will visit their home and show them samples. Staff will be equipped to give them an in-home quote, and once a client selects flooring, Wacky’s can install it. “The mobile flooring service is a really good option for seniors, as well as busy people who work every day,” says Roy. Wacky’s flooring installation warranty lasts for three full years. “That remarkable length is virtually unique to Wacky’s,” says Morgan. But that’s consistent with Wacky’s philosophy. “We like to say when you’re our customer, you’re a customer for life,” says owner Scott Brookfield.

Wacky’s Floor Design Centre 60 Highfield Park (The Atrium) Dartmouth, N.S. 902.835.9974

Wacky’s flooring department also offers a mobile service, which is headed by flooring installation veteran Roy Snow. Customers can book this complimentary service via phone or online, and a




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REFINED | 2018


CONCRETE Photos courtesy Devetech Industries




“Exciting things are happening right now in the concrete industry in Nova Scotia,” says Brent Pottle, president of Devetech Industries and owner of Patterned Concrete. “Not only are there big changes in our company, as we recently moved operations to Bedford, but also in the adoption of some cutting-edge surface coating technologies. We are seeing an emergence of popularity in the profession of polishing concrete.”


olished concrete is more than a buzzword thrown around the internet and interior design shows, it’s quickly being regarded as the flooring solution of choice for many new retail outlets and commercial establishments. Not only that, but today’s savvy homeowners are picking up on this hot trend as well, and for good reason. Polished concrete offers an ultra modern look, which can be tailored to your décor using colours, specially selected aggregates, architectural saw cuts and varying levels of sheen (gloss). When considering the design options, attractive price and the fact that this is a sustainable green flooring solution, it’s a wonder anyone would go with another flooring type.

What exactly is polished concrete? A properly prepared polished concrete surface is any concrete (new or old) that is repeatedly ground by increasingly finer diamond grits until the natural concrete develops a high-gloss shine. This shine reflects light and grows clearer over time. No wax or sealer is used. No volatile chemicals are used. Minimal waste is produced. The shine is naturally produced with diamond buffing only; similar to a granite countertop. Nothing to chip, fade or peel. Polished concrete floors require minimal maintenance and will last a lifetime, even in industrial and high traffic applications.

Not all polished concrete is the same. According to Pottle, one of the biggest challenges they face in the polished concrete industry is the rise of inferior techniques that produce shiny concrete at the onset, but do not perform over the long run. In the polished concrete industry, this is commonly referred to as “grind and seal” technique. Granted, this process will give a beautiful floor, but eventually the applied sealer will scratch, chip or flake, leaving a dull floor that will have to be refinished in a matter of years or even months. A true polished concrete floor such as Husqvarna HiPERFLOOR is achieved by mechanical abrasion only, with no topical application of acrylic, epoxy or other superficial coating. The result is a picture perfect reflection that does not scratch or delaminate, and is not affected by moisture transmission through the concrete. You can expect a true diamond polish to last a lifetime!

Polished concrete as a “green flooring solution.”

made from the most abundant mineral on earth (limestone), and is 100 per cent recyclable. While Devetech Industries and Patterned Concrete is experiencing tremendous growth in all areas of architectural concrete — including stamped concrete, cementitious overlays and advanced coatings — Pottle understands the importance of educating homeowners and business owners alike on not only the benefits of polished concrete, but also arming them with the right questions to ask when shopping for a new flooring solution.

Devetech Industries Patterned Concrete 23 Bluewater Rd., Unit 1 & 2 Bedford 902.835.8890

Concrete in general is a friend of the environment in all stages of its life span, from raw material production to demolition, making it a natural choice for sustainable construction. Polished concrete lends itself to this trend as it is hypoallergenic, does not contain VOCs, has a high thermal mass to retain heat or cold, is highly reflective allowing owners to reduce energy costs from lighting, is




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Committed to Service & Quality

Revolution Windows and Doors Ltd. By Suzanne Rent Photos Karen Veinot

Bob Wood, president of Revolution Windows and Doors Ltd., has seen many changes in the trends and construction of windows and doors in his 20-plus years in the industry.

more resistant to fading in the sun. A metal exterior reflects the sunlight better than a vinyl exterior. Hence there is less fading with the colour on painted metal exterior surfaces.

“Products nowadays are made better than they were even five to seven years ago,” says Wood. “Many things have changed.”

Technology has changed what seems like the smallest of details on windows and doors. One trend Wood is seeing now is dark exterior colours on windows, which is being used on all buildings, from single-family homes to commercial buildings. Wood says black is the most popular colour, with darker browns, and sometimes colours like green and red, showing up in some spaces.

He says clients are spending more money and attention on front entrances, often changing up the look of the door by swapping out its glass kit.

And these paint colours, Wood says, on aluminum clad products in particular are

Wood has advice for clients looking for new windows and doors. “Consider

Technology has been a key factor in these changes, from painting to installation — all of which make for better products for clients. Revolution sells windows and doors from producers such as Pella, Laflamme, and Sierra Pacific, all of which continue to introduce the latest in technology.




“It gives more curb appeal,” says Wood. And because of the simplicity of replacing these glass kits, it is much easier now and can be done in a very short period of time.

products that have built-in window treatments, such as blinds or shades like those in Pella’s Designer Series for windows and doors.” Technology has even changed the way these blinds are used. With the simple click on your smartphone or device, you can control the opening and closing of a blind, even from a distance, if you’re away from home. And Wood adds the products with builtin window treatments are safer for a home with children and pets. Revolution also offers FlexScreen by Sierra Pacific Windows. FlexScreen is made with a PVC coated, highperformance spring steel frame. Unlike traditional window screens, FlexScreen doesn’t require hardware. The screen is installed by holding the sides, squeezing and flexing it to fit the window. He also suggests investing in products with stainless-steel hardware, which is more durable and better suited to our climate. And finally, Wood says when shopping for windows and doors, clients should consider colour, what material they’d like in their products, and what kind of maintenance they are willing to do. Wood sees more clients paying attention to the windows in their kitchens and bathrooms. He says renovations didn’t always include a new window in those

spaces, but clients are now making those investments. “People want to spend more time in their homes now,” Wood says. Revolution Windows and Doors has been in business for 12 years. Wood and his team serve clients in Nova Scotia and around Atlantic Canada. He says besides using the best windows and doors, their goal is the best customer service. Wood says the key to Revolution’s continued success is that its staff listens to clients, their ideas, budgets, and goals for their home renovations.

Revolution Windows and Doors Ltd. 270 Wyse Road, Dartmouth T 902-464-5050 F 902-464-4747

“We want raving fans,” Wood says. “Not just happy customers.”




BEST of the BEST


REFINED | 2018

A Swimming Poo is  Lifestyl R&R Pools Creates Gorgeous Inground Summer Retreats


s your backyard a welcoming space for family time and relaxation? If not, maybe you’ve daydreamed about adding a pool. Perhaps you’ve pictured an expanse of glittering water, accented by fire features? A streamlined, spartan rectangle, perfect for morning laps? A family-friendly slide, and a net for impromptu ball games? The staff at R&R Pools considers a backyard swimming pool “a lifestyle.”



To them, pools aren’t just scenery, but private backyard escapes that are perfect for chilling out, socializing and celebrating. R&R Pools has been in business for 35 years, specializing in custom inground vinyl-lined pools. “It’s a family business in more ways than one,” says Kara Redden, partner with R&R Pools. “R&R’s pools create retreats that allow families to come together.”


Kara handles much of R&R’s planning work, guiding clients through design choices. The approach is low-pressure and unhurried. Customers are encouraged to become knowledgeable and adopt a long-term attitude. Kara urges customers to ask themselves, “Will we still love it in five years? Will it still meet our needs?” Proceeding step by step, she says, can help homeowners enhance their pool with design features such as foliage and outdoor lighting.

“Our goal is to have our clients love their backyards again.” – Kara Redden, R&R Pools

35 Years of Success Derek and Cindy Redden founded R&R Pools in 1983. Their daughters, Kara and Brandy, grew up working in the company. After 19 years with the company, Kara says this “family affair” still includes herself and her sister as office staff, and her husband, Ryan Fitzpatrick, as project manager. “We have a strong team. Everyone plays an important part in helping customers achieve their backyard dream.”

Kara’s husband, Ryan Fitzpatrick, is R&R Pools’ project manager. He plays a key role in creating a backyard pool that reflects each client’s vision. He and his team troubleshoot installation challenges onsite, work alongside other contractors, and outline pool maintenance requirements.

equipment, such as automated pool covers. “The pool covers reduce heating costs and chemical usage,” says Kara. R&R also offers automation technology. “Automation saves time and money by giving you full control of your backyard features using an intuitive app.”

“It’s all about communication and education,” says Ryan. “We figure out, and deliver, what the customer needs. It’s fun to see the homeowner’s excitement throughout the installation process. Sometimes, as the water’s filling into the pool, there’s already a kid sliding into the deep end.”

While R&R excels at reinventing a “blank canvas,” Ryan says they are equally proficient at renovating older installations, or adding “bells and whistles,” such as tanning ledges, to existing pools. R&R Pools wants to remind clients that simply replacing a pool’s liner can make it look brand new.

R&R tracks industry trends meticulously. Clients have access to cutting-edge

“Our goal,” says Kara, “is to have our clients love their backyard again.”


As Derek steps back from the business, R&R Pools will continue to install beautiful inground pools, now with Kara and Ryan at the helm. “Ryan and I love this business,” says Kara. “We’re looking forward to being part of the swimming pool industry for the next 35 years.”

Contact R&R Pools to discuss how to make your backyard retreat a reality.

R&R Pools 902.876.2773



BEST of the BEST


REFINED | 2018

STEELE JAGUAR, LAND ROVER HALIFAX This award-winning local dealership is celebrating Land Rover’s 70th and Jaguar’s new I-PACE Photos Steve Jess and courtesy of Steele Jaguar, Land Rover Halifax


and Rover has reached a massive milestone: seven full decades since the trailblazing brand’s origins.

“Thanks to its ability to venture into remote areas, statistically, a Land Rover was the first vehicle seen by more than



half the world’s population,” says John Gwynne-Timothy, general manager of Steele Jaguar and Land Rover Halifax.

Amazon rainforest, you see a Land Rover. And when you see the royal wedding, you see a Range Rover.”

Land Rover’s creations are also perfect for modern metropolises. “They represent both rugged usefulness and luxury. When you see a vehicle in the

From the 1950s on, hardy Land Rover vehicles epitomized drivability and style. In 2015, the brand even introduced a convertible SUV. Later this year, they’ll



“After choosing their first Jaguar or Land Rover, people tend to be very loyal ambassadors.” - John Gwynne-Timothy, general manager

place new hybrid Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models on the market. “The timing is perfect, since Nova Scotia recently announced a province-wide charging station rollout, enabling electric vehicles’ owners to charge quickly in various convenient locations,” says Gwynne-Timothy. Charging stations are also being installed at Kempt Road’s Jaguar Land Rover dealership, “to coincide with the new Land Rovers’ release, and to support the introduction of the groundbreaking I-PACE,” he says. “The I-PACE is Jaguar’s first all-electric vehicle; the most advanced Jaguar ever built. With a range of up to 386 km between charges, and a starting price of $86,500, the I-Pace will impact the electric vehicle marketplace immediately. You’ll start seeing it in late summer.” Dealership sales and service staff will receive new model training throughout




June and July in Toronto, California and New Jersey. Afterwards, Steele Jaguar will welcome Nova Scotians to assess the vehicle. “People can come see the I-PACE, sit in it, drive it.”

versatility.” This adaptable creation “suits active lifestyles: young couples and empty-nesters who ski and golf, growing families with strollers and baby seats.”

Meanwhile, local interest in Jaguar’s E-PACE (a February 2018 arrival) has been strong. “The E-PACE incorporates design cues from Jaguar’s sports car heritage in a sport utility vehicle’s body. It drives like a sports car — turbocharged engines, quick acceleration, dynamic performance — with an SUV’s

Gwynne-Timothy says Jaguar’s “prestigious mystique” can cause misconceptions regarding price. “You can get into an E-PACE from $42,700. We feel it represents the best value in its class.” Land Rover’s Discovery Sport and Evoque models likewise “start under $50,000.”




Land Rover’s 70th birthday, and Jaguar’s recent E-PACE and I-PACE, are internationally significant occasions; however, Steele Jaguar/Land Rover Halifax is also marking a local accomplishment. “We received our first Jaguar/Land Rover ‘Award of Excellence’ this year,” says Gwynne-Timothy, who believes the accolade reflects the team’s strength. “Our staff combines experienced professionals with employees new to the brands,” he explains. “I feel it’s

important that customers see familiar faces while shopping, or bringing their current vehicle in for service. Meanwhile, new team members have brought in great ideas that have fueled our recent growth,” he continues. “Customer satisfaction and sales have increased as we’ve strengthened ties with repeat clients, and forged new relationships with first-time customers.”

Steele Jaguar, Land Rover Halifax 3365 Kempt Rd., Halifax




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ReFINEd Halifax Summer 2018  
ReFINEd Halifax Summer 2018