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ONE STEP FURTHER With AmaWaterways


Showcasing Atlantic Canada’s Unique Wines Coffee Cocktails SPECIAL FEATURES The Hydrostone Market & Annapolis Valley

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Fall 2018 Volume 4 Issue 3 Owner / Publisher Seann Gervason seann@refinedmagazine.ca | 902.476.4700 Editor Lori McKay lori@refinedmagazine.ca | 902.877.5512

Editor’s Note With ReFINEd editor LORI MCKAY

"Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” – Jim Bishop


elcome to our fall and Christmas issue of ReFINEd Halifax. We have so much to offer in this magazine — from fabulous cold weather-inspired cocktails to ways to improve your business, and everything in between.

On our fall cover is AmaWaterways. This amazing travel company invites readers to check out its unique 2019 excursions, including trips to Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia. These vacations will take travellers down legendary rivers, past old-world villages and iconic heritage sites… are you up for an adventure? I recently spent a wonderful afternoon touring Halifax’s beautiful Hydrostone Market. I loved learning about the history of the community and visiting the charming shops, businesses and restaurants. I particularly enjoyed meeting the business owners and staff, and look forward to going back with a few friends to shop, browse and dine. In our Food & Drink section, check out our feature on the 2018 Atlantic Canadian Wine Awards. Sommelier Cheryl Doherty provides not only some must-try local suggestions, but also explains what makes these wines great. Also in this issue, we have a special section on the Annapolis Valley, a great editorial on skincare and tips for finding Nova Scotia’s “treasures of the forest”… mushrooms. We’ve packed this issue with great Nova Scotia recipes, entertainment ideas, travel suggestions and so much more.

Contributing Writers Rebecca Spinner, Cheryl Doherty, Colleen Thompson, Suzanne Rent, Susan Alward, Courtney Tait, Annika Borg, Anita Draycott, Lauren Thomander, Matthew Harpell Cover Photography Courtesy of AmaWaterways Photography Bruce Jollimore, Steve Jess, Colleen Thompson, Kate Hayter, Stoo Metz, Lauren Thomander, Mel Hattie, Andy Vanderkaay Distribution & Subscriptions seann@refinedmagazine.ca | 902.476.4700

Seann Gervason Owner / Publisher seann@refinedmagazine.ca 902.476.4700

Jason MacDonald Sales Manager jasonm@refinedmagazine.ca 902.233.9582

Rebecca Spinner Lead Writer & Proofreader

Ghislaine Moffitt Graphic Designer ghislainem@refinedmagazine.ca





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.

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Recipes: Tastes of the Province

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Climb Higher, Venture Deeper

AmaWaterways invites you to journey one step further during their incredible 2019 season! From Europe to Southeast Asia to Africa, travel down legendary rivers that sail to the very heart of Old World villages, grand cities and iconic World Heritage Sites.


heir active hiking and biking excursions throughout Europe allow you to climb the storied path to Dürnstein Fortress where Richard the Lionheart was once held captive, pedal through the French countryside, peer out over Bratislava’s unique cityscape from its hilltop castle, and so much more. Plus, in 2019, every AmaWaterways ship in Europe* will have a professionally trained wellness host on board, offering group fitness classes and engaging discussions related to health and wellness. Three new ships join the company’s award-winning European river fleet in 2019, each offering AmaWaterways’ signature locally-sourced cuisine. Bite into a crisp wiener schnitzel while sailing through Austria or savour a rich yet delicate crème brulee, masterfully handtorched by an expert chef. And as you enjoy these regionally inspired delicacies, your palate will delight in complimentary local wines, served with lunch and dinner every night. To elevate your culinary experience even further, AmaWaterways offers The Chef’s Table specialty restaurant on every ship sailing through Europe and Asia, giving you a chance to indulge in an exquisite multi-course tasting menu at no extra charge. In addition, two exciting new land extension programs in 2019 allow guests to discover the rich Basque culture in Spain and encounter the elusive mountain gorillas of Rwanda.

*Except Portugal







Discover Timeless Traditions Each year, at the first chill of winter, a spark is ignited. Timeless traditions spring to life at European Christmas markets, where thousands of twinkling lights, immense tinsel-clad trees, and charming booths brimming with traditional handicrafts adorn historic



town squares. With four unique Christmas market itineraries along the Rhine and Danube rivers in 2019, AmaWaterways sails to the best of these holiday fairs in cities like Budapest, Vienna and Cologne. From delicate crepes in Strasbourg to enormous hearts of fresh-baked


Nuremberg gingerbread to mugs of hotspiced GlĂźhwein throughout Germany, each Christmas market has its own unique aromas and flavours that will fill you with childlike wonder and awe. On board, decks are filled with boughs of holly, the staff with good cheer, as you indulge in feasts with flavours

Ashore, descend into historic cellars, tour acclaimed wineries, sip flavourful new wines just matured, and perhaps find an even greater appreciation for the wonderful world of wine.

beyond compare. Toast the new year and playfully engage in customs that rekindle memories long since passed. If you prefer an experience more richly immersed in culture and flavour, then discover Europe’s most celebrated wine regions on more than 60 dedicated Wine Cruises in 2019. See what ripens in Austria’s UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley, France’s renowned Bordeaux region, Portugal and Spain’s Douro Valley and other European destinations known for their winegrowing prowess. Accompanied by a professional wine host, actively participate in guided tastings and pairing events on board. Ashore, descend into historic cellars, tour acclaimed wineries, sip flavourful new wines just matured, and perhaps find an even greater appreciation for the wonderful world of wine.




The Extraordinary AmaMagna Debuting on the Danube River in May 2019 at nearly twice the width of traditional river ships, AmaMagna is luxury expanded. With more than 50 per cent of accommodations designated as suites measuring 355-710 sq. ft. and featuring full balconies, you’ll be treated to your own personal oasis — without limitations. With four unique dining venues, there are exciting new ways to enjoy AmaWaterways’ exquisite, regionally inspired cuisine. In addition to the main dining room and The Chef’s Table, you’ll delight in fresh air and a view with your locally-sourced meal at the new Al Fresco Restaurant or indulge in fine food paired with local wines at Jimmy’s Wine Bar Restaurant.



If you’re looking to stay active while cruising the Danube, a dedicated wellness host awaits in AmaMagna’s expansive Zen Wellness Studio, where you can participate in group exercise classes or work out on your own using contemporary fitness equipment, surrounded by retractable windows facing breathtaking landscapes. Later, you can even soothe your muscles in one of two therapeutic massage rooms, get a manicure or pedicure, or relax in the heated sun deck pool or whirlpool! What’s more, AmaMagna has the first water sports platform on the river, with a sleek sundowner boat offering intimate excursions at no extra charge. If you’re a golf connoisseur, you can book a departure featuring AmaMagna’s exclusive Concierge Golf Program and perfect your swing on some of Europe’s


most prestigious courses. Or, rekindle romance on board with AmaMagna’s amenity-filled Renewal of Vows package.

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With AmaWaterways, you won’t just glide past fairytale castles. You’ll climb higher, venture deeper and pedal further into fascinating cities and villages. Aboard our award-winning ships, you can finish your bucket list in this lifetime— and still have time to journey one step further.

SAVE UP TO $1,500 PER STATEROOM ON SELECT 2019 SAILINGS Receive additional CAA Vacations® Amenities From $600-$960 savings per stateroom $150-$300 USD onboard credit per stateroom Plus a welcome gift Terms & Conditions: All prices listed are in CAD and onboard credits are in USD. Offer valid on new bookings only on select 2019 CAA Vacations® Amenity dates. CAA Vacations® Amenity offer is combinable with CAA Member Benefits and with current promotional offers available at the time of booking. *CAA Vacations® Amenity offer of up to C$960 savings per stateroom is already inclusive of AAA Member Benefits for 14-night Europe cruises, based on double occupancy (solo travelers receive half). 7-, 10- & 11-night cruises receive C$600 savings per stateroom based on double occupancy (solo travelers receive half). Onboard credit is $150 USD per stateroom on 7-, 10- & 11-night cruises and $300 USD per stateroom on 14-night Europe cruises, based on double occupancy (solo travelers receive half). Cruise must be booked through CAA Travel in order to receive CAA Benefits. Stateroom category upgrades, land programs, and roundtrip airfare are additional. Availability is limited on each cruise and the offer is subject to change or discontinuation without notice. Other restrictions may apply. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California. CAAVAC. CST#2065452-40.


Susan MacIntosh, owner of Props Floral Design.

The art of Christmas

at The Hydrostone An experience steeped in local history, flavours, art and style By Lori McKay Photos Bruce Jollimore

Visitors to Halifax’s Hydrostone Market already love the area’s unique shops and eateries, historic architecture and European-style shopping. They will love it even more during the holiday season. With its white lights and beautiful holiday window displays, the place has a magical feel.





he Hydrostone Market is a very special place to be at Christmas,” says Props Floral Design owner Susan MacIntosh. Her shop, located along the quaint market street, has an all-natural theme for the holidays. Visitors will find natural lush greenery and beautiful tablescapes, wreathes, candles and more. They’ll also find inspiration everywhere they look, and the shop’s team of flower experts are on hand to help with ideas and advice. “We often have little demonstrations going on for customers, such as how to create a centrepiece with foliage, or how to enhance a fresh wreath,” says MacIntosh. The shop also hosts regular workshops. She says all their workshops are incredibly popular, especially for private events. Some companies, she notes, book with them every year for a team-building night. The shop has a full basement and can host groups of up to 25 guests. Props also has a selection of houseplants and pots, and even hosts workshops to help people enhance greenery in their own homes. “So many of us have houseplants but don’t want to get into the mess of re-potting at home,” says Props’ Jayme Melrose. “We can do it here together. It’s nice to bring nature inside, especially during the winter months.”

Hamachi Kita Sushi

The Hydrostone

Liquid Gold

Made in the Maritimes Artisan Boutique

One of the market’s newest restaurants is The Ostrich Club, which opened in July. Offering casual dining with international flavours, co-owner Mike Hase says the menu changes often, based on what’s available. “I try to use what’s in season whenever I can.”

This is the shop’s sixth year in the Hydrostone, but they have been around since 1998, having moved from downtown. “This is my favourite store so far,” says MacIntosh, who has worked in the flower industry for 35 years. “The Hydrostone is a wonderful place to work.”

Open for dinner six days a week, for lunch on weekdays and brunch on weekends, the owners suggest trying a number of smaller plates to taste a variety of flavours when you visit. Hase says the restaurant’s beverage offerings are selective and of high quality, with a focus on natural and biodynamic wines, as well as local beer and cocktails.

She says the people who live, work and shop in the area are particularly loyal to the businesses there. “People really support us here. We have a lot of dropins and repeat customers.”

Co-owner Rachel Knox adds that the restaurant is known to host random pop-up dinners, wine sessions and the occasional Sunday afternoon dance party.

Watch for Props’ annual Christmas open house. “That’s when we’re all geared up for all the fabulous things we do for Christmas.”

This is the second Christmas season for the Hydrostone’s 14 Bells Fine Art Gallery. Open since last March, it features both local and national artists.


Built after the Halifax Explosion of 1917, the Hydrostone District in the city’s north end is a perfect example of an English-style garden suburb. Completed in 1920, the neighbourhood was created by town planner Thomas Adams. The buildings are constructed from “hydro-stone” concrete blocks and arranged along the sides of wide tree-length boulevards. It’s a style of community that encourages people to spend time outdoors with neighbours. The commercial area, the Hydrostone Market, was designed with some of the same goals in mind. It inspires an older-style European shopping experience, where people shop daily instead of weekly — they pick up a coffee, a fresh loaf of bread and browse the stores. Larex Properties, under the direction of Larry Swinamer, purchased the Young Street commercial buildings in 1993 and tastefully and authentically restored them with minimal architectural change. With its unique shops, services, eateries and architecture, walking down the streets of the Hydrostone Market is like stepping back in time. The artisan boutiques feature local art, clothing and jewellery. In the shops, you’ll find everything from flowers and fresh baked goods to flavoured oils and yarn. Dining options include sushi, gourmet pizza, casual dining and more. The Hydrostone offers a quaint, intimate feel that appeals to many, whether they’re living and working in the area, or there to shop, peruse, dine or celebrate a holiday get-together.



Liquid Gold Olive Oils & Vinegars. Halifax’s first EVOO & Balsamics tasting bar.

LK Yarns is the largest and most comprehensive yarn shop in the area.

Every day, 14 bells chime from the hill in Fort Needham Park in commemoration of the 1917 Halifax Explosion. When the windows are open at the 14 Bells Fine Art Gallery, you can hear the bells chime.

Owner Cheryl Bell says the gallery will be showing a special group exhibit this December called Wild Ones. The show and sale will focus on wildlife and feature a selection from various Canadian artists.

Julien’s Patisserie Bakery & Café is celebrating 25 years in the Hydrostone Market.



“I also have four artists doing a painting challenge throughout the month of November,” says Bell. “They’re each doing a painting a day and will choose their favourites for a display. It’ll be interesting.” Although she has no other concrete plans for the holiday season, Bell

Uptown Salon and Spa offers an exceptional spa/salon experience in a beautiful historic space.


Cheryl Bell, owner of 14 Bells Art Gallery.

The Ostrich Club

says she has been known to host a spontaneous party, “As in, ‘let’s get together and sell art!’ We do that quite often,” she adds with a laugh. 14 Bells, with its 1,400-square feet of bright open space, is a great place to hold events for 30 to 40 people. In addition to traditional openings, where an artist will have their collection hung for several weeks, they also do venue rentals, such as engagement parties, birthday parties, book launches, wine tastings and live music. The space is also available to non-profit groups for meetings or small events. When asked how she got interested in art, Bell recalls how she fell into an art job when she was living out west in her 20s. She ended up spending 10 years under the mentorship of the McCafferyPelham family at the Canada House Gallery in Banff. “I got a lot of training and background there. I didn’t realize at the time how valuable that training was.” When Bell moved to Halifax years later, she worked in high end furniture and then car sales. “When I eventually decided to open a business, I realized I knew how to do it.”

14 Bells Art Gallery.

It was a love of art that ultimately led her to open the gallery, but she also noticed a real need for artist space in the city.

Everything at Made in the Maritimes Artisan Boutique is locally-made and one of a kind. This unique pen, made from the Bluenose II’s original wood, can be found at Made in the Maritimes Artisan Boutique.

“When I started looking for artists, I didn’t even have a space yet, or any kind of reputation in the local art world, but when I approached artists almost all




of them agreed right away. It made me realize there just aren’t enough galleries.” Bell currently works with 35 Canadian artists, the majority of whom are from Nova Scotia. She says one of the amazing things she discovered thorough owning the gallery is that there are a lot of art lovers living here.

Sarah Taylor of Lady Luck Boutique. The shop features the work of Canadian jewellers and artisans.

“The response so far has been great. It’s beyond my expectations,” says Bell. “Every single person who climbs those stairs — and the many stairs can be a challenge — is interested. They may not be in a position to buy something, but they are legitimately looking and appreciating the art.” When searching for a space for her gallery, Bell knew she wanted to be in the Hydrostone. She already lived in the area and really liked the community. She says when she first walked into the space, with its natural light and unique history, she knew she had found the spot. Then, she says, she had to come up with a name. “I was walking through the park one day and decided I wanted to do something to honour the Halifax Explosion. The name, 14 Bells, just sort of came to me.”

Hamachi Kita Sushi and Asian Flare. Food artistry at its best.

Every day, 14 bells chime from the hill in Fort Needham Park in commemoration of the 1917 Halifax Explosion, which saw a large part of the city destroyed and killed more than 1,900. When the windows are open, you can hear the 14 bell chimes from Bell’s gallery. “After I opened, a friend said, ‘Oh, that must be named after your family?’ And I said ‘No,’ but then I counted down from my dad to my youngest niece and discovered there are 14 of us,” says Bell. “It was just meant to be.” Be sure to check out the Hydrostone’s annual neighbourhood Christmas tree lighting on Friday, Dec. 7 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Salvatore’s Pizzaiolo Trattoria voted “best pizza in Halifax.”




Young Street, Halifax hydrostonemarket.ca

Heather Whitman Design. Luxury Linens. Loungewear. Bath & Body.


“I believe rest is life’s simplest luxury.” – Heather Whitman, owner of Panache Luxury Linens Conveniently located in the Halifax Hydrostone area, Panache offers a world of modern romantic luxury. The boutique store is filled with all of the elements of rest and bespoke gifts for the discerning customer this holiday season. Blushing fragrance stories by Lollia, silk and alpaca throws, and the latest European and Canadian styles with curated lines of natural bed linens, down products and loungewear are to be found at Panache or by shopping Online at www.panacheluxurylinens.ca

Panache Luxury Linens 3132 Isleville St., Halifax 902.484.2799 www.panacheluxurylinens.ca

Feminine Fashion,

Johanna Ventoso

With A Slight Edge The North End’s Guapa Boutique By Rebecca Spinner Photos Bruce Jollimore


t’s easy to embrace the playful, modern energy at Guapa Boutique, the new North End addition to Halifax’s fashion scene.

Local entrepreneur Johanna Ventoso — whose fashion and retail career has already spanned two decades — opened the shop in September. Vibrant and upbeat in person, Ventoso describes her aesthetic as “feminine, with a slight edge.” There’s no second-guessing that description once you spot the painting hung behind the boutique counter: a



rose-adorned skull, with a mysteriously cheeky gaze. “I found that painting in Quebec City, in Artists’ Alley,” explains Ventoso. “Again, it’s edgy, but feminine.” While Ventoso herself is “born and raised in Halifax,” her extended family resides in Italy and Spain. “That’s where I got my passion for fashion, and things that are beautiful and unique,” she notes. Guapa’s cult-favourite clothing, jewellery and sunglass brands are, accordingly,


sourced from throughout North America and Europe: Lamarque, Liquid Silver, Rock ‘N Karma, Privé Revaux, Save My Bag, Save the Duck. “Lots of Haligonians travel to New York or Toronto to shop,” says Ventoso. “Why not keep shoppers here, and bring unique, exciting fashions to Halifax?” Although Ventoso discovered a number of the boutique’s eye-catching garments and accessories abroad, she keeps Maritime lifestyles in mind while making

“Hola, guapa!” “Guapa means beautiful in Spanish,” explains boutique owner Johanna Ventoso. “In Spain, ‘guapa’ is an endearing term. If I visit family, they’ll say ‘Hola, guapa! Como estas?’ — 'Hello, beautiful, how are you today?’” The loanword encapsulates Guapa Boutique’s inclusive philosophy perfectly. “To me, guapa is a representation of women,” says Ventoso, who selects varied stock to suit wideranging ages and body types. “I think all women are beautiful — all different shapes and sizes.”

old pair looks as though they’re in mint condition.” Longevity and durability are key to Guapa Boutique’s selection; Ventoso has deliberately positioned her boutique outside the “fast fashion” system, preferring to offer “mindful fashion.” “European women shop for quality,” she says. “They take care of their clothes and dress for themselves, to feel good and look good.”

selections. The boutique’s Italian-made Save My Bag purses, for one, may be poised to become a Halifax fashion staple.

Maritime winters. “They’re water-resistant and breathable. Vegan, too, so they’re good for people with feather allergies.”

“They look like Birkin or Celine bags,” says Ventoso. “But they’re waterproof! The weather here tends to be temperamental, so it’s nice to have a unique, waterproof, vegan bag.”

Selections from Canadian designers Lamarque and Rock ‘N Karma number among Guapa’s head-turning denim and leather jackets. Torontonian brand Rock ‘N Karma already “has a following,” Ventoso says —indeed, she herself is a fan.

Italian-designed Save the Duck coats, meanwhile, incorporate artificial down technology capable of weathering

“Everybody should have a pair of Rock ‘N Karma pants. They fit phenomenally, and the longevity is wonderful. My six-year-


That said, Ventoso doesn’t see “mindful fashion” as exclusive to Europe. “It’s starting to happen here. I see people stepping outside their comfort zones, trying something edgier, investing in their clothing. Everyone’s evolving.”

Guapa Boutique 3059 Gottingen Street St. Joseph’s Square Halifax, NS 902.431.3111 info@guapa.ca




Everyone Deserves

a Clear Complexion Here are a few tips By Susan Alward

Do you or one of your children struggle with acne? Do you ever feel like your/ their skin will never clear up? As one blemish clears, does another one appear? If it is your teen or pre-teen with acne, do you struggle to find the best way to help? Acne-prone skin can certainly be frustrating and take an emotional toll. Clearer skin is possible but it is going to take time, effort and patience. Having worked with acne-prone skin concerns for more than 35 years as a clinical esthetician, I have seen some common errors that people make when trying to help their, or their children’s, situation, due to a lack of information.




There is no one magic pill or magic lotion. In life, most of us are in search of that one magic solution to our problems. But we have also learned that it is often a series of steps or actions that achieves answers and solutions. It is the same with acne. Just having your dermatologist write a prescription for a pill will not give long-term success for acne-prone skin. It may take a team of several health care and skin care providers to assist in a long-term solution. At a minimum, I recommend that if you or your teen has acne, you visit a clinical esthetician and a dermatologist. The clinical esthetician will often provide a more long-term vision, more comprehensive education, plus understanding and assistance with the emotional aspects of the condition. They often allow considerably more time for each visit to ensure all home care steps are followed effectively, plus they will recommend the use of appropriate cosmetics for concealing acne spots while they clear. Detective work is often necessary with acne to pinpoint potential causes or lifestyle habits that are making it worse. This takes time for conversation — be open and honest with your answers to help your provider and yourself. Clinical estheticians also provide the service of removing blackheads and other skin congestion safely and effectively, which is not typically a service provided by most dermatologists.

Be sure to let your clinical esthetician know what your dermatologist recommended and what you are using, and vice versa. Some treatments and products will not work together and they will need to know.

Seaflora’s organic Foaming Fucus Cleanser. It is also important to get specific guidelines on how to use these or other cleansers correctly to achieve the desired results.

Take the time and allow the budget to create a proper home care regime for yourself. Have it revised regularly as your skin improves and seasonal or lifestyle changes occur. What works to clear your skin will not be the same as what works to maintain its health and clarity.

exfoliate or over-treat your skin. When using professional and active products, you only need a small amount. Using more will not make your skin clear up faster. Trying all types of acne products on top of each other often leads to adverse reactions and potential chemical burns. It can dry out the skin and when the barrier is not able to function

Here are five simple tips that will work toward giving you and yours clearer, healthier skin.

Tip 2: Less is more. Do not over-

Tip 1: You must keep the skin as clean

as possible. You should be cleansing the skin in the morning and evening. Although we often recommend one of the following cleansers, it is important to have your skin assessed by a professional, as every skin with breakouts is different. Here are the names of some of my top picks: Glymed Plus Serious Action SAL X Purifying Cleanser, Skinceuticals LHA Cleanser, Skinceuticals Soothing Foam Cleanser, GM Collin Mild Cleansing Gel, and

The dermatologist is also very important in this process as certain types of acne and especially advanced stages will require prescription medication for faster clearing of infection. They may not be able to provide extensive amounts of time for consultation, but their role in achieving long-term success is critical. Be aware that if a quick prescription is written following a short appointment, it can leave you with the impression that it is a one magic pill solution. This will not prove true.




Remember, no matter what you are advised to do or use, have patience. Nothing works overnight. It might take one to two months, or more, of consistent care before you see improvements.

properly, bacteria can get into the skin much more easily, which can result in a breakout.

Tip 3: Do not allow sweat to sit on the

skin for extended periods of time. If you (or your teenager) play sports, make sure you are cleaning your skin right after finishing a workout. We suggest having a bottle of either Glymed Plus Serious Action Astringent #2 or Yonka Pure Emulsion and some cotton rounds handy in your gym bag. For sensitive skin with acne that is also very dehydrated, try Kaia Naturals Juicy Bamboo (biodegradable!) cleansing cloths. They make it simple to just swipe across the skin for a quick clean. You will find that keeping the face clear of sweat will greatly reduce the number of breakouts.

turn into unwanted pigment known as PIH. Improper extractions can also push bacteria deeper into the skin and make the breakouts worse.

Tip 5: Use a moisturizer. This can’t be stressed enough. When the skin is dehydrated (and flaky) and the barrier is not functioning properly, it makes it easier for bacteria to get in and spread. Many acne medications are dehydrating, making it imperative that a moisturizer is applied afterwards. Here are a few effective moisturizers for acne-prone skin: GM Collin’s Hydramucine Optimal Gel, GM Collin Ceramide Comfort Capsules, Skinceuticals Hydra B5 Serum, and Seaflora’s organic Balancing Sea Kelp Concentrate.

Nothing works overnight. It might take one to two months, or more, of consistent care to start to see improvements. When it comes to acne management, patience is the hardest part, but will bring the biggest rewards.

Tip 4: Do not pick at your face.

Extractions should only be performed by a master clinical esthetician. If you are constantly picking at your face, not only will it spread bacteria, but it can also



Remember, no matter what you are advised to do or use, have patience.


Susan Alward is a master clinical esthetician, electrologist and laser technician at The Summit - Skin Care & Hair Removal in Halifax.

Retirement Living that Feels Like Home

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MARITIME DANCE ACADEMY Your one stop shop for all things dance in HRM Photos by Kate Hayter and Photomaster


n business for more than 37 years, Maritime Dance Academy (MDA) has established itself as the largest dance school in Eastern Canada. Starting from humble beginnings, Phyllis Paton started the academy as an after school program while working as a special education teacher. Quickly developing a following, she opened a studio in the basement of her home in



Lower Sackville and her unique program took off from there. Paton’s “student first” approach is what makes the dance school’s children’s program so successful. The goal is to have each student enter and leave their dance class feeling appreciated, valued and encouraged. Now, operating from two state-of-the-art locations in Bedford


and Halifax, Maritime Dance Academy is a force in the dance community and offers classes and programs for all ages and experience levels. The littlest aspiring dancer can start lessons at just 18 months of age in a parent and tot class and eventually grow into the children’s, teen, or the intensive training (ITP) program. MDA prides

itself on being an inclusive studio that offers programs to students looking for recreational classes all the way through to pre-professional training, for those who wish to pursue a career in dance or the arts. Maintaining its status as a family business, Paton’s daughter, Alicia Paton Clavette, has assumed the role of ITP director and co-owner and her other daughter, Julia, is also involved and helps to run the children’s program. The three women have assembled an amazing team of directors who are all integral parts of the business and keep the “behind the scenes” aspect of the school running smoothly. The amazing staff and faculty at Maritime Dance is truly what makes the dance studio unique. With dance teachers from all across Canada, and even throughout Europe, MDA is always up to date on the latest teaching tools and techniques available to dancers. The studio is an examination-based dance school and their students take exams with the Society of Russian Ballet (SRB) and the Performing Arts Educators of Canada (PAEC) associations each year. All teachers must complete a rigorous teacher-training program, which MDA offers in-house, to gain their teaching license through the SRB and PAEC associations. This holds the instructors and the students to a national standard, which can be carried over to many different parts of the world.

For the more advanced student, MDA offers performance teams of the noncompetitive and competitive varieties. MDA is home to three non-competitive elite teams, and six competitive dance teams who all do additional training to be awarded the chance to perform more. These teams are a unique opportunity for MDA’s dancers. To be able to train at the elite level in all disciplines and be given the opportunity to do so as a noncompetitive and/or competitive dancer is a distinctive characteristic of Maritime Dance. These students often participate in community outreach activities such as performing at local elementary schools and for senior citizen’s retirement homes around HRM. Each location (Bedford and Halifax) has its own dancewear store where students from all dance schools can purchase everything for their dancewear needs, including trusted brands such as Bloch, Capezio, Mondor, Sansha and


more. Also, don’t forget to check out the theatre, musical theatre, voice and piano lessons offered for the more “theatricalinclined” in the family. Bring in this article or mention it over the phone and get the registration fee for free until the end of January 2019.

Maritime Dance Academy maritimedance@eastlink.ca www.maritimedanceacademy.com 36 Duke St., Bedford 902.835.5776 998 Parkland Dr. Halifax 902.443.3144 *See website for office and dancewear shop hours




Nancy Beaton and Andre Albert



f you aim to increase the longevity and function of a valuable item — such as your health — you must care for it. You regularly bring your car to a professional service centre to change the oil, align and rotate the tires, and repair parts that are wearing out. The same needs to hold true with your body. It makes sense to regularly visit a healthcare professional that specializes in the areas of your body that need work. Healthcare professionals understand the implications of doing nothing and they can offer individualized advice about ways to maintain the longevity and function of your body and health. The body is a highly sophisticated machine that is connected via the fascial system — one continuous sheath embedded in a fluid intelligence system. Patterns of restrictions and adhesions can develop in our bodies due to repetitive activities, traumas and surgeries and our tissue dries out in restricted areas. Tissue becomes hard, doesn’t move well, and feels stiff and tight. Areas of wear and tear surface as pain and alignment problems. All areas of the body are connected. An unaddressed problem in one area will eventually lead to dysfunction in other areas.

Are your health beliefs limiting your wellness? Our beliefs govern our behaviour. In terms of our health, our beliefs guide what actions we take to address health



issues such as back pain, leg numbness or shoulder pain. It is important to stop and examine beliefs and consider they may not be as “correct” as you perceive them to be. They might actually be limiting your state of wellness.

Examples of how erroneous healthcare beliefs affect health outcomes: Patients often say, “If I knew that something could have improved my leg pain I would have come in sooner.” When asked why they didn’t seek treatment earlier, someone might report an anecdotal story about a neighbour who suffered with sciatic pain for years, so when the patient themselves began experiencing pain in their leg they assumed their fate was likely to be that of their neighbours. They resigned themselves to putting up with the pain, believing nothing would change it. This type of belief is erroneous. Each person has an entirely different confluence of factors that led to the pain (their job, their daily tasks, comorbid conditions, daily routines, resting positions, inflammatory responses, prior surgeries, etc.) and likely has a different underlying diagnosis. Even if a similar diagnosis is given, seeking treatment with a skilled healthcare practitioner to help you understand and address the factors causing symptoms can make a significant difference in your individualized outcome. In the case of the neighbour, treatment could help


reduce the sciatic pain to an episode lasting a few weeks as opposed to something he chose to live with for years. Consider a 20-year-old woman who experienced a significant ankle sprain with torn ligaments in the late 1980s. After the swelling and pain resolved, the ligament damage remained. Treatment was never sought and she went on to live life unencumbered by the sprain. By not attending treatment, she never came to know that she was experiencing significant pronation of the ankle and

Nancy Beaton, MScOT

Andre Albert, BScPT

with each step her right ankle dropped in. Fast forward 20 years. Her medial knee pain in the right knee is present as osteoarthritis and lateral right hip pain comes and goes as a bursitis. Belief: No residual effects of my ankle sprain need to be addressed. My old ankle sprain and my current knee pain and hip pain have no relationship. Missed: Overpronation at the ankle would have been helpful to prevent wear and tear at the right inside knee, which eventually developed osteoarthritis and hip bursitis. Opportunity: Treatment today can help reduce symptoms at the knee and hip, provide good advice about ways to reduce pain in the future, address the overpronation that is still occurring at the ankle and address the bone change that likely occurred in the foot. Consider a past patient who attended for a previous neck problem but now is experiencing knee problems. When asked why he didn’t seek knee treatment sooner, he replied he thought he could manage it with exercises. Belief: I have the skills to manage my knee pain because I have a past repertoire of neck and back exercises. Missed: Restrictions in and around the knee and quad were related to a leg length discrepancy and the patient stopped wearing the heel lift given a year earlier. Exercises for the neck and back previously given would not address the restrictions in the upper leg, forming alignment issues driven by leg length discrepancy. Opportunity: Treatment today — correct identification of the problem, some soft tissue release work and self management exercises enabled the pain to be addressed in the knee. Take Away: Regular visits to a healthcare professional such as a physiotherapist, who specializes in diagnosing, understanding and addressing sources of pain in the body, can be very beneficial to your longevity and function. A physiotherapist is trained to develop an individualized treatment plan and advice to address areas of your body that need work. This will go a long way toward keeping you running smoothly on the journey called “life.” It’s better to take a proactive approach to your health than stay away and pay later.

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.


In addition to expertise in Myofascial Release Therapy, Riverlakes’ therapists have studied fields including physiotherapy, 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 admin@riverlakes.com www.riverlakesphysiotherapy.com



COMPASSION AND EXPERTISE at True North By Courtney Tait Photos Steve Jess


inding the right mental health practitioner can be a challenge for anyone in need of help. Where to start? What therapeutic approaches do they use? Will they understand what you or your loved one are experiencing? As mental health is an essential part of one’s wellbeing, it’s important that the process of assessing and treating conditions is done in a caring manner by experienced professionals.



At True North Psychological Services, clients are treated with respect and compassion. With a diverse team of two psychiatrists and 15 psychologists, the clinic serves children and adults using a variety of techniques best suited to their individual needs. Founded in 2013 by psychiatrist Dr. Mark Johnston, True North first opened in Kentville and has since expanded to four locations, including New Minas, Kingston and Halifax. Dr. Johnston says


that part of his intention in opening the clinic was to provide clients with a more integrated approach to mental health treatment. “I’ve always felt strongly that almost all my patients need to be connected to a psychologist as well as a psychiatrist,” says Dr. Johnston. “There’s a synergy between psychiatry and psychology, and I was trained that we work together and complement each other. It’s especially relevant for my work with Veterans and also ADHD.”

“We focus on providing clients with a comfortable and confidential space.”- Sarah Williams As a medical doctor, Dr. Johnston explains, his role is often confined to diagnosis and medical treatment. For this reason, he works closely with psychologists and refers his patients to them for counselling. By having psychologists as part of the True North team, patients can receive multidisciplinary services within one location. In addition to psychiatry and clinical psychology, True North offers assessment-based psychology services. Clients might be referred to the clinic (or self-refer) for an in-depth assessment of attention (ADHD assessment), learning (psycho-educational assessment), or workplace skills (vocational assessment). Sarah Williams, a psychologist who offers psychoeducational and ADHD assessments at True North, says the assessment process enables practitioners to gain a clear picture of why an individual is struggling. For someone struggling with learning, for example, the issue could be related to how they pay attention to information, understand language, remember information, or demonstrate their knowledge. “The assessment answers a lot of questions, enabling us to give recommendations to make learning easier,” says Williams. Recommendations could range from specific strategies to further develop skills based on an individual’s unique learning profile (strengths and challenges), strategies to minimize the impact of learning challenges at school (programming adaptation, for example), as well as recommendations for additional consultation with various professionals, such as occupational therapists and physicians.

TOP-BOTTOM Sarah Williams and Dr. Mark Johnston

True North is currently expanding its assessment division and welcomes new referrals. Part of what makes True North a welcoming environment for its clients is the clinic’s atmosphere. The main waiting room offers comfortable seating, coffee and tea, magazines, and a kids’ area with toys. For patients who want more privacy, a second waiting room is also available. Offices have a living room feel with a couch and chairs, as well as pillows and blankets.

True North welcomes anyone seeking help to reach out to them. Their dedicated staff can answer questions, provide guidance on insurance and help you connect with the right practitioner for you. True North Psychological Services Suite 440, 36 Solutions Dr., Halifax 902.406.6734 www.truenorthpsychological.com

“We focus on providing clients with a comfortable and confidential space,” says Williams.




This is your life…

make it beautiful

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



ravity is an important constant force that keeps us grounded to the earth. But what effect does it have on our upright spine? If you think about it, a baby is born without a neck curve and a lower back curve in their spine. As the baby grows, they learn how to hold up their head and the neck curve is formed. Then a lower back curve develops soon after as part of the baby’s ongoing development. We constantly have to work to maintain these two learned curves — the neck curve and the lower back curve. From a side view of the spine, the curves are quite a remarkable concept. Having the curves in the neck and lower back be different from the curves in the mid-back and pelvis means all the vertebrae line up to absorb the weight and shock of our head against gravity, and to be upright. When I look at the patients seeking care for acute pain, the majority experience their pain in the neck and lower back areas. There is a reason for this. Our society, overall, is not focused on maintaining our neck and lumbar spine curves, and most people present with a forward head position, rounded shoulders and a flattening of the neck curve. By losing the curve in the neck area due to poor posture, the force of gravity and load of the head are not distributed equally through the spine, and then both ends of the neck have to work harder. For instance, the trapezius muscles next to the neck, toward both shoulders, get tight and the vertebrae tend to get

restricted in movement. The space where the nerve leaves the spine can become smaller in diameter. In the neck area, there are many nerves that leave the spine and travel into the head, arms and hands. If those nerves are affected, pain can manifest in the neck area, and also in the head, shoulder, elbow, wrist and/or hand. Over time, if the area is not addressed and balanced, weakness can even present in the areas the nerves supply. Likewise, the lower back curve tends to change for patients if they are not active and spend a lot of time sitting. Nerves that supply the legs and feet leave the lower back, so again these nerves can also bring about different types of pain and weaknesses. Unfortunately, most people today don’t grasp the concept of sitting properly and maintaining the proper curves in the spine. It takes daily effort to maintain these curves. With education, more and more people are realizing the importance of proper sitting ergonomics, footwear and head positioning when using electronic devices, as well as proper ergonomics with all active daily living activities.


Next time you see your loved one slouching or sitting slumped, gently remind them to sit better. By constantly being mindful of maintaining neck and lower back curves with daily activities, our spines will be much happier. Also consider visiting a chiropractor to help keep the neck and lower back curves aligned and moving well.

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 info@healthylinkwellness.ca



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

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Cornerstone Naturopathic Clinic | 14 Old School Road, Upper Tantallon | 902.820.3443 info@cornerstonenaturopathic.ca | cornerstonenaturopathic.ca

WITH Dr. Ben Connolly Cornerstone Naturopathic

ANTI-AGING AND NAD (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide)


ging is a process that every individual undergoes, owing to genetic and environmental factors. Numerous theories have been postulated related to the process of aging. Some researchers believe that small damages to the DNA over time can pile up, so much so that the repair mechanisms are exhausted and cannot overcome the damage. This ultimately leads to cell loss and loss of function, viability and freshness… observed as aging. Although a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise, balanced diet and avoidance of trauma and accidents are all known factors to help a person stay healthy for a longer duration of time, numerous medicines have come into play claiming they can help increase the candles on the cake by a significant number and for a considerable time. Caloric restrictions, hormonal therapies, antioxidants, telomere-based therapies, stem cells, etc., are known modalities that have been tested and tried for this purpose. NAD is an essential molecule in our bodies that reacts with oxygen in the mitochondria to generate the energy required for the vital daily life activities of the body. Decreased levels of this molecule have been found to give rise to numerous medical conditions, notably: depression, anxiety, addictions and pain. This deficiency can go unnoticed and can be the reason behind various disturbing conditions the body experiences. NAD is the activated form of vitamin B3, which becomes NADH when it combines with oxygen and acts as a coenzyme. Since

hydrogen is highly reactive on its own, it needs a carrier molecule to be safely utilized by the body. NAD provides this safety. NAD is vital for the generation of a particle that is utilized by almost every organ in the body. As soon as the energy reserves of the body run out, signs and symptoms affecting the organ appear, such as difficulty focusing or concentrating (the brain is the organ that uses the most energy generated in the body). Important functions performed by NAD include: • High energy levels in cardiac cells • High energy levels in the brain • DNA protection and repair

to aging. If the pool of NAD is restored, it can be an effective anti-aging medicine. From the above discussion, it can be deciphered that NAD plays a pivotal role in regulating all those activities that are anti-aging. For all those who wish to keep blowing those candles on the cake a little longer, NAD might be the magical element they have been searching for! The best way to increase and replace your NAD levels in your body is to receive an infusion. This will increase your NAD levels immediately, providing your body with the necessary amounts of NAD to slow the aging process. Contact me for more information or to set up a complimentary consult to see if NAD infusions are right for you. For more information on NAD and the science behind it, check out our website.

• Antioxidation • Low levels of cholesterol • Increasing mood elevating neurotransmitters • Increased nitric oxide and improved blood flow NAD levels significantly decline with age. A person at age 50 might have half the number of total NAD he once possessed, and by 80 this can be reduced to a merely one or 10 per cent. Diminished levels of NAD increase DNA susceptibility to damage and hasten the aging process. Since NAD also helps minimize inflammation, chemical stress, DNA damage and mitochondrial death, it controls all the factors that pave the way


Dr. Ben Connolly Cornerstone Naturopathic 14 Old School Rd. Upper Tantallon 902.820.3443 info@cornerstonenaturopathic.ca cornerstonenaturopathic.ca



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In business for 45 years, HQ offers professional, exceptional service.

WITH Dr. Magda Barnard Bedford Orthodontics



bsolutely we can! Interceptive orthodontics includes growth modification. Growth modification utilizes a series of different appliances, such as headgear, expanders and removable retainer-like appliances to favourably change how teeth and jaw bones grow. Consider a child with a significant overbite, where the top teeth are ahead of the bottom teeth by a large amount. A lot of children with such an overbite can look like they have “buck teeth” and a lower jaw that looks like it is too far back. Teeth that come out too far forward are more prone to trauma and breakage. Growth modification appliances, when used at the right time during prepubertal growth, can reduce the overbite substantially. For a lot of children, a growth modification appliance can improve the profile of the face and balance the jaws. Not all patients are good candidates for these types of appliances. If you suspect a bite problem, it is imperative to have your child screened by an orthodontist to see if he or she would benefit from such treatment. Frequently, growth modification prevents jaw surgery in the future. It is always better to improve a poor growth pattern than to correct the result of one later with an operation. When a child is growing into an underbite, the top front teeth sit inside the bottom front teeth. A lot of children look like their lower jaw is prominent; meanwhile, it can be their upper jaw that is not growing forward enough.

By using a special headgear appliance, which is worn after school and overnight, we can make the upper jaw grow properly and correct an underbite. In fact, we prevent a surgical correction for approximately 80 per cent of underbite patients in our practice. An orthodontic screening by age seven is very important for our patients because the optimal age for this therapy is usually between eight and nine years of age. Crossbites of back teeth and narrow upper jaws are also issues that can be corrected with growth modification appliances known as expanders. A palatal expander increases the width of the upper jaw so that the upper and lower jaw bones and the teeth fit together properly. These expanders also create additional space for teeth. Sometimes crossbites can cause a shift in how teeth line up when a child bites. Such a functional shift can cause asymmetrical growth of the jaws and must be intercepted as soon as possible, ensuring growth continues in a symmetrical fashion. Orthodontics, in our clinic, is as much about preventative treatment and interceptive treatment as it is about braces and aligners to correct poor bites, crooked teeth and misaligned jaws. Having your child screened at age seven can prevent severe problems that require invasive and complex solutions once growth is complete. Growth modification therapy is a comfortable way to change the way a child’s jaw is developing or growing to create a balanced profile, a good bite and a lovely smile.


Dr. Magda Barnard

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 www.bedfordortho.com

NOW also welcoming patients at:

Metro Orthodontic Specialists Suite 200, 5991 Spring Garden Road Halifax 902.423.7331 www.metroortho.ca




EASE AUTUMN ACHES AND PAINS at the Hawthorn Clinic Photos Bruce Jollimore


atients at Kentville’s Hawthorn Clinic hold various vocations, says naturopathic doctor Susan Ritcey: nurses, teachers, businesspeople and factory workers, to name just a few. Each profession, she says, can produce characteristic aches and pains. For

example, “nurses commonly have upper back and neck pain from frequent lifting. Teachers have shoulder and neck pain from computer work and marking.” Such musculoskeletal pain isn’t necessarily rooted in a specific injury; a stiff neck or bad back might also be caused by strain or stress.

Susan Ritcey




The Hawthorn Clinic team uses a range of modalities to treat musculoskeletal discomfort. Their extensive treatment menu incorporates acupuncture, Chinese medicine, cupping, massage therapy, naturopathy, thalassotherapy and more. The clinic is also dedicated to restoring and supporting patients’ emotional

balance. “We help many people with stress relief and relaxation.” In short, the clinic is an invaluable resource for Valley residents from all walks of life. When a new patient books an appointment, even their initial consultation typically incorporates revitalizing massage. “With our hands, we obtain more information on what’s going on in the body; we’re providing treatment and assessing at the same time.” Based on observations noted during that first visit, Hawthorn’s clinicians guide patients toward treatments targeting their needs. Spine-specific musculoskeletal pain, for example, might be relieved via R.Ac Sharon Conroy’s tui na treatment. “Tui na is a form of Chinese massage, using massage techniques over meridian systems according to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine,” says Ritcey.

In addition to tui na, a number of alternative massage modalities are available; four registered massage therapists offer services onsite at the Hawthorn Clinic. Meanwhile, Ritcey says her work as a naturopathic doctor often incorporates naturopathic bodywork, which consists of a combination of techniques (including Swedish massage, acupressure and hydrotherapy). The Hawthorn Clinic team enhances its diverse massage treatments with tools like infrared technology, hot stones and cupping; the latter technique “creates suction and increases blood circulation, bringing more oxygen and nutrients into areas of muscle tension.” Cupping’s popularity among Olympic athletes has reportedly helped to popularize the approach. Patients experiencing fatigue, rather than site-specific pain, might prefer to book a thalassotherapy seaweed

“It feels great to hear patients describe our clinic as a place to de-stress and feel rejuvenated, as well as a place that has a positive impact on their optimal health.” - Susan Ritcey

treatment. “The seaweed is absorbed through the skin; it has a detoxifying effect, increasing B vitamins and stimulating lymphatic flow,” says Ritcey. “Afterwards, people feel less congested and more energized.” This fall, the Hawthorn Clinic is offering two seasonal treatments. Visitors can book an RMT-administered hot stone massage, enhanced with locallysourced pumpkin spice-scented body products, or a naturopathic session focused on foot care, which is an especially appealing option for plantar fasciitis sufferers. The Hawthorn Clinic is located in a beautifully-renovated century home, featuring attractive hardwood floors, an elegant central staircase, and a striking red brick fireplace — all of which help provide a warm, welcoming and nurturing environment. “It feels great to hear patients describe our clinic as a place to de-stress and feel rejuvenated,” says Ritcey, “as well as a place that has a positive impact on their optimal health.”

Hawthorn Clinic 16 Webster Court Kentville, N.S. 902.678.4142 www.hawthornclinic.ca info@hawthornclinic.ca




A sense of terroir

Located at 43 Water St. in Windsor, N.S., Winegrunt wine bar offers the broadest assortment of local wines of any wine bar in the province.

“In addition to local, we have some old favourites and well-known wines from all over the world. Guests will also find local beers and ciders to round out the experience.” – Rob & Astrid, owners

THE BEER WITH CLASS Brewery, Taproom, Kitchen, Brewtique Exquisite, artisanal, locally sourced food features accompany your wine and complete your Nova Scotia gastro-oenological journey at Winegrunt. WINEGRUNT est. 2018

43 Water St. Windsor, N.S. 902.472.2863 info@winegrunt.com www.winegrunt.com

A true sense of Nova Scotia terroir begins with Winegrunt… located on the Windsor strip!

Schoolhouse Brewery 40 Water St., Windsor, N.S. 902.471.4677 cam@schoolhousebrewery.ca schoolhousebrewery.ca |

Windsor & West Hants invite you to

There’s nothing like exploring The Santa Windsor and the communities Parade of Lights of West Hants during the is on Friday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. holiday season. Shops It starts at the Fort Edward are decorated and offer Plaza and meanders a unique array of gifts for through the downtown, everyone on your list. ending up at Victoria Park for the Christmas Tree lighting.

Check out the Town of Windsor’s Facebook page, or

valleyevents.ca to see all the wonderful things you can do this holiday season.

A mere 45 minutes from downtown Halifax, Windsor and the Avon Region provide a great escape from the hustle and bustle during the holiday season. There are country inns, diverse shopping experiences and don’t forget the walking trails and Ski Martock to work off all those wonderful treats. Whether you are looking for local books, furnishings or crafts, or just need a friendly place to eat and sample some local craft beer and wine, Windsor and the Avon Region offer something for everyone this holiday season.

like us

902.798.6679 | www.town.windsor.ns.ca on Facebook www.facebook.com/TownofWindsorNS/

Sarah Trask, HD (RHom), DSHM


offers quick, effective relief from pain Photos Bruce Jollimore


oping with chronic or acute pain on a daily basis can affect all aspects of a person’s life — from work and family to relaxation and exercise. Homeopathic Doctor Sarah Trask has recently added a technique to her services that is a game changer for her patients dealing with pain. Using a homeopathic-based treatment called Pattern Reflection Technique (PRT), her patients are experiencing quick, effective and painless pain relief. “PRT is able to minimize a patient’s pain almost instantly,” says Trask, who has



been using the technique since April. “I’m seeing incredible results.” Microcurrent has historically been used in a variety of modalities, including physiotherapy, chiropractic, and even in the anti-aging world of aesthetics. This particular technique using the microcurrent has been systematically developed over 20 years of application and clinical use by Dr. Joseph Kellerstein, Trask’s mentor in Ontario, and she is only the second student of his to be trained in this innovative technique. “We’re the only ones in Canada practicing this technique,” states Trask. “I’m beyond grateful to be able to apply this amazing


method of pain relief as a value-added service to my patients here in Nova Scotia.” Trask uses PRT to treat conditions such as arthritis pain, TMJ, headaches, plantar fasciitis, carpal tunnel, and pain and inflammation due to injuries. It uses a minimal amount of stimulus for maximum results, which Trask says is how homeopathy works. “We use minimal doses to ignite a healing response and the body does the work.” Pattern reflection technique uniquely locates where the system needs healing and very gently stimulates this healing

In January, I started suffering with pain in my right elbow. This was a huge problem for me, as I am an extremely busy hairstylist and a co-owner of the business. It got to the point where I was having a hard time coping at work. I’d tried massage therapy, laser therapy, physiotherapy… none of this helped. I was gobbling up a lot of Advil to try to mask the pain. I had mentioned this to one of my friends and she pointed me in the direction of Sarah. After having several treatments with Sarah, it was unbelievable the difference I felt. I could work 12-hour days without having pain! I haven’t had any pain in my elbow since my last treatment. – Nadine Coleman, Kentville, N.S.

using patterns unique to that individual. At the cellular level, this technique promotes communication between cells, restoring the tissue frequencies, neutralizing inflammation, and creates a dramatic increase in ATP, the energy that fuels all biochemical functions in the body. It also bumps up protein synthesis, which is necessary for tissue repair. The subsequent enhancement in blood flow and decrease in inflammation translates into reductions in pain, as well as increased range of motion. A patient recently came into Trask’s office with tendonitis in her shoulder. It took just five minutes of PRT to alleviate her pain. “She couldn’t lift her arm to the side. In just a few minutes of the treatment, the mobility was completely back. She had no pain.” The amount of time the relief lasts will vary from person to person, depending on the severity of the pain and the type of condition. “The results are cumulative, so improvements are seen instantly, and the patient continues to see improvements in the days following. They only need further treatment at the first sign of the condition returning, to keep it on the improvement path. For example, with carpal tunnel, the condition is most often completely alleviated after five treatments, but can

require less if the patient rests the arm, and more if the patient is over-using it. The PRT is definitely a “value-added” service to Trask’s Homeopathic Practice, Homeopathic Healing, which she owns and operates in Wolfville, N.S. “I have been treating patients suffering from chronic and acute health conditions for 10 years, so the PRT has been a seamless addition to my practice, and my patients have been extremely pleased with the results. It allows me to use both treatment methods homeopathically, of which the basis is safe, gentle, and effective stimulation to ignite the patient’s own healing response.” For more information please visit www.sarahtrask.com

PRT The PRT works to stabilize and regulate misdirected signals to the brain that are presenting as acute or chronic pain. It works with the body’s natural electrical system to retrain these impulse signals.


It felt like I was walking on sharp stones. Plantar fasciitis was no fun. Along came Sarah with her miracle treatment. A few twitches and spasms later, I was pain free. Instant relief! I couldn’t believe how quick the results were. Now a few sessions later, I’m pain free and back to my regular routine.” – Lynne Fuller, New Minas, NS

Homeopathic Healing 112 Front St #219 Wolfville, N.S. 902.542.2317 www.sarahtrask.com



BENT RIDGE Nova Scotia’s Apres-Ski Winery By Rebecca Spinner Photos Steve Jess

Nothing complements red wine as beautifully as a snowy night. For Nova Scotian wine lovers waiting out months of cold weather, there’s no question that a strategically uncorked Cabernet Sauvignon, Marquette, or Syrah can go a long way.


he team at Avon Valley’s Bent Ridge Winery knows a glass of excellent wine is key to lifting wintertime spirits. Come November, Bent Ridge won’t hibernate: the winery plans to welcome guests steadily throughout the winter.

Brothers Glenn and Steven Dodge opened Bent Ridge (as well as its inhouse microbrewery, Bent Nail, and restaurant) in July 2018. The operation is located on a family property, which the Dodges trace to the 18th century. “We’re the fifth generation farming this particular piece of land,” says Steven. An adjacent apple




Brothers Glenn and Steven Dodge

orchard, providing classic Valley scenery, is run by a cousin of the Dodges’. In the dining room, Bent Ridge offers tableside wine and beer tastings, as well as a menu by Chef Benjamin Kelly. Given Bent Ridge’s location, just minutes from Ski Martock, the gastro-winery seems destined to become a premier apres-ski destination. It’s a perfect spot to indulge and socialize after hours on the slopes, during a weekend getaway, or for a winter pick-me-up. “It’s a very comfortable, inviting setting; people sometimes sit at their tables for hours,” says Glenn. “They enjoy the mountain scenery and relaxation. And the food — pizzas, cheese boards, charcuterie, smoked salmon and bruschetta — is phenomenal.” To keep their winter wine hub cosy, the Dodges plan to enclose the winery’s outdoor patio in a “glassed-in, postand-beam pergola.” Inside, guests will be able to cocoon themselves in blankets near the enormous fireplace. The beverage menu will shift to include winter favourites like cocoa and mulled wine. Bent Nail Brewery will also get in on the act, brewing wintery stout and porter drafts. Throughout autumn and winter, the Dodges will host a series of dinners at Bent Ridge, serving wines created onsite alongside Chef Kelly’s recipes. In a nod to Bent Ridge’s Italianate architecture, the first such dinner followed a Tuscan theme. “It was wonderful,” says Glenn. “There was lots of time between courses for people to mingle. By the end of the evening, everyone was friends.” The next dinner in the series, planned for October, will be harvest-themed. Glenn describes their winemaking ethos eloquently. “Bent Ridge produces a variety of wines, with an emphasis on reds. The vineyard is 100 per cent Marquette grapes,” he explains. “After extensive research, I chose Marquette for a number of reasons. It’s a relatively new grape, with Pinot Noir and other vinifera parentage. In our climate, it makes outstanding red wines.” By sourcing L’Acadie Blanc, Riesling, and Vidal grapes from local vineyards, Bent Ridge also produces white and rosé wines. Although their 2018 wines are still

in production, the 2017 offerings include a white blend, a dry rosé, and, says Glenn, “a 100 per cent, full-bodied, dry Marquette red, and an Appassimentostyle red so popular it sold out.” “We’re most proud of our two reds. They’ve gotten the biggest reaction,” he continues. “The entire Nova Scotian industry is producing better and better reds; I’d put ours up against any of them. We have very good red wines here. Not


only by Nova Scotian standards, but at the international level.”

Bent Ridge Winery 4499 Highway 14 Windsor, N.S. 902.441.3530 glenn@bentridgewinery.ca steven@bentridgewinery.ca





Coffee and cocktails have a longstanding history as drinking companions By Colleen Thompson



As cool fall weather rolls in, we want subtle, warming libations that keep us cosy and comforted. Whether you’re starting the day with a long lazy brunch, giving your evening a boost or ending with a nightcap, a coffee elixir might be the perfect balance of bitter, sweet and acidic. Coffee — whether it’s in bitters, espresso, cold brewed or a liqueur — is a delicious component in coffeetails. After all, mixology is all about finding that sweet spot of balance in a cocktail — one in which the flavours complement each other, build and meld together into a cohesive sip.


All mixologists will agree that the art in coffee cocktails is in making the coffee shine, and allowing it to be the prominent taste, along with using ingredients that complement coffee’s signature taste.


offee and cocktails have a longstanding history as drinking companions. One of the oldest libations is the famous Café Brûlot, created in the 1890s. The name means “burned brandy,” and is credited to one of New Orleans’ oldest and finest restaurants: Antoine’s. This classic cocktail consist of cognac, Grand Marnier, brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and of course, strong New Orleans coffee. The drink enjoyed real popularity during prohibition, when the coffee provided cover for the then-contraband alcohol. Today, however, with all the pomp, ceremony and ritual involved in its preparation, it’s not exactly inconspicuous. There was also the classic coffee cocktail first encountered in 1887 and created by legendary barman Harry Crabock at London’s Savoy Hotel. The cocktail is a frothy libation of port, Cognac, a whole egg and nutmeg — but no coffee. It really wasn’t until the inception of the Irish coffee, that the duo was put on the map. In 1943, a Pan Am flight from Ireland to New York had to turn back due to bad weather and landed in the town of Foynes, on the west coast of Ireland. Joe Sheridan — a local chef and bartender — was asked to prepare hot drinks for the freezing passengers. He put a splash of Irish whiskey into their coffees and when asked by a passenger if he had used Brazilian coffee he replied, ”No, it was Irish coffee.” Then he continued to put the coffee in a glass and topped it with pouring cream, and the Irish coffee we know today was invented. It took almost a decade before the tipple travelled across continents. In 1951, Stanton Delaplane, a travel journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle, took his first sip in an Irish bar and was hooked. Back home, Delaplane raved about the newfangled Irish coffee drink to Jack Koeppler, owner of the Buena Vista Cafe. The duo tried to re-create Sheridan’s recipe, stirring and sipping all night, but the taste was off and the cream collapsed on the surface. They finally discovered that if the cream was frothed to a precise consistency it would float on the surface of Jack and Stan’s special concoction.

Author Tristan Stephenson is quoted in his book, The Curious Barista’s Guide to Coffee, that Irish coffee ruined three drinks — coffee, whiskey and cream. He called it “an abomination of epic proportions, where nuances are lost and subtleties abandoned leaving you with wood flavoured coffee and alcohol fumes.” The ’80s espresso martini was created by bartender Dick Bradswell as an answer to a request from a famous model to “wake her up” and “mess her up.” The original cocktail consists of Wyborowa vodka, Illy espresso, Kahlúa and Tia Maria. It’s shaken over ice, strained into a martini glass and garnished with three espresso beans. Bradsell went to the grave without ever revealing the model’s identity, but the drink became a classic across the globe for party animals well into the ’90s. Coffee cocktails have come a long way since the invention of that handful of seminal, original cocktails. Coffee has emerged as cold brews, single origin, bourbon barrel aged and even craft liqueurs are popping into the game. Back in the heady days of the vodka espresso, if you wanted to include a coffee liqueur in a cocktail, you were limited to Kahlua or Tia Maria. Now, the new uptick in craft coffee liqueurs has reinvented the category. Distillers are distilling booze with coffee. Liqueurs like St. George NOLA coffee liqueur; Fair Cafe from a Cognac-based distillery; Licor 43 Baristo made from coffee from the Canary Islands and the New South Wales-based roaster and distiller Black, who has added cold brew coffee to 14 distilled and macerated botanicals. There’s also a growing trend of combining coffee shops and bars, as the border dividing bartenders from baristas grows closer. Places like Fort Defiance in Brooklyn are cafes by day and bars by night. Their Irish coffee was recently named “Best in the known world” by the New York Times. “Our Irish Coffee is special in several ways,” said Al Culliton, manager of Fort Defiance. “The first distinction is that we use espresso in our Irish coffee instead of brewed coffee. We find that espresso stands up to the whiskey, sugar and cream with more force than brewed coffee. We use Powers blended Irish whiskey, which is a high-quality product that we believe has the




ideal profile for this drink. We also use hand-shaken, unsweetened cream to top our Irish. Finally, we use freshlygrated cinnamon to garnish each one.” The Randolph in Manhattan has become famous for its crafted coffee cocktail menu, with drinks like The White Russian — a cold coffee cocktail featuring the bar’s house-brewed coffee, vodka, amaretto and cream. In Halifax, Shane Beehan of Lot Six mixes up white port, cold brew coffee and tonic for the Shadows At Dusk cocktail. Mixologist Keegan Mcgregor at Field Guide on Gottingen Street combines Reposado tequila, Yellow Chartreuse, coriander, clove, cardamom, coffee, tonic and egg white in their complex and sublime Evening Café Cocktail. “In creating The Evening Café, I wanted to serve something complex yet approachable,” said Mcgregor. “This cocktail was inspired by my love of Latin American flavours, and how beautifully they pair with coffee, and the spiced syrup with Yellow Chartreuse and tequila has always been a favourite combination of mine. The incorporation of egg white provides a silkiness to the cocktail that is reminiscent of a cappuccino or latte, while the tonic water elevates and adds brightness to create this delightfully imbibable drink.” All mixologists will agree that the art in coffee cocktails is in making the coffee shine, and allowing it to be the prominent taste, along with using ingredients that complement coffee’s signature taste. Great coffee cocktails seek to fuse these worlds together. It’s essential to use a good quality coffee that has been extracted properly, so your best bet would be to start with an espresso or French Press. Vodka’s unflavoured neutrality and absence of taste make it a particularly good companion. Rum and whisky also work well, as do Amarula and Baileys, coffee liqueurs and Amaretto di Saronno. We’ve gathered a few cocktail recipes that highlight the best of coffee. The recipes range from quite accessible to a bit complicated, ensuring you will find something that matches your style, ability and taste.



PHOTO Colleen Thompson

Café Brûlot 1 stick of cinnamon 6 whole cloves 1 whole orange 1 tbsp lemon zest 3 sugar cubes 1/2 cup brandy 2 tbsp Grand Marnier or Cointreau 3 cups hot, strong black coffee 1 long fireplace match


Mix orange zest and cloves. Add to medium saucepan with brandy, liqueur, lemon zest, cinnamon and sugar. Warm through over medium heat, stirring. Tilt pan over gas burner (or use a long match) to ignite carefully (flames will shoot up). While flames subside, slowly pour in hot coffee. Ladle into small cups.


Martini 2 oz vodka 1/2 oz simple syrup 1/2 oz Tia Maria or Kahlua 1 oz freshly brewed espresso 3 coffee beans Add all of the ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake. Finestrain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with three coffee beans. PHOTO Colleen Thompson

Koffie Van Brunt 1 oz Bacardi 8 rum 1/2 oz Cherry Heering 1 oz simple syrup aerated heavy cream (unsweetened), to top freshly-grated cinnamon and orange, for garnish

Prepare the same as Irish Coffee, swapping out the whiskey and subbing in rum and cherry liqueur in amounts above. Garnish with fresh cinnamon plus orange zest grated on a microplane. – Supplied by Fort Defiance

“Our Koffie Van Brunt is named for the street on which our restaurant is located. Koffie is Dutch for coffee, of course. That same part of the world, near Denmark, produces Cherry Heering, used here. This drink is another winter favourite at Fort Defiance.” – Al Culliton, manager of Fort Defiance




Evening Café 1.5 oz reposado tequila (We like Cazadores Reposado Tequila) 1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse 3/4 oz spiced syrup* 3/4 oz lime 1 oz cold brew coffee egg white topped with Fever Tree tonic water garnish: star anise pod, shaved coffee beans Add all ingredients, excluding tonic water, and reverse dry shake. Strain into a Collins glass half full with ice. Let the cocktail sit for 30 seconds, then top with Fever Tree tonic water. Garnish with star anise pod and shaved coffee beans. *Spiced Syrup In a mortar and pestle, or spice grinder, grind one star anise pod, seven coriander seeds, two green cardamom pods and six cloves.

PHOTO Colleen Thompson

Mix together 500ml water, 500g white sugar, and spices until sugar is dissolved. Let sit overnight in the fridge and strain out spices the next day. Cold Brew Coffee Grind 18g coffee and place in a container with two cups of water. Shake and let infuse in the fridge for one to two days. Strain.

Hotline Operator 1 oz Manzanilla Sherry 1 oz Cocchi Americano .5 oz Vecchio Amaro Del Capo .5 oz cold brew coffee Stir all ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with an orange zest.

“The Cocchi Americano could be replaced with any other aperitif/ aromatized wine or bianco vermouth and the amaro could technically be any other amaro, but vecchio works so lovely here.” – Williston Irvine

– Supplied by barman Williston Irvine, Bar Kismet




Everything You Need For Your


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

Ratinaud 2157 Gottingen St., Halifax 902.446.8222 Ratinaud.ca

Open Tuesday to Sunday.

The Exchange on Hollis



By Annika Borg Photos courtesy of The Exchange on Hollis

ocated just a block up from the Halifax waterfront, The Exchange on Hollis is the city’s latest premium casual dining venture by owner Rob Moore. Although the restaurant has only been open a few months, The Exchange makes a lasting impression. Chef Carlos Bonilla has created a menu with a broad range of dishes that focus heavily on one of Nova Scotia’s largest exports: seafood. The menu is influenced by historic Caribbean, French and Spanish trade routes through Nova Scotia. That theme is deliciously showcased by dishes such as the seafood ceviche (marinated in lime juice with red onion, red pepper and avocado) and the Caribbean lobster (served with Caribbean rum butter, potatoes and corn on the cob).



“We have lots of social plates, which are a huge part of dining out these days,” explains Moore. “It’s about entertainment. We want to cater to every taste and every occasion, and our menu has something for everybody.” The décor is elegant yet intimate, consisting of an open space and several private dining rooms. Ornately-framed paintings hang from the ceiling and red brick walls. There’s even a chandelier made entirely from oyster shells. “You could visit five or six times and have a different dining experience each time,” says Moore. The Exchange on Hollis may only be in its first few months of business, but that hasn’t stopped it from making a huge impact on the community. Prior to opening, The Exchange invited 140 people from Feed Nova Scotia — volunteers, beneficiaries, families — to


visit the restaurant and enjoy a meal. After The Exchange’s soft opening and media nights, staff donated their tips to Feed Nova Scotia, providing a meal to 4,500 Haligonians in need. The restaurant is all about creating a great experience; one that’s memorable for guests. “We want an environment that is comfortable for everyone,” says Moore. “We’ve had 97-year-old grandmothers and 21-year-olds having a birthday party right next to each other, and everybody’s having a great time.” “We want to make an impact,” adds general manager Andrew Flynn. “Because Halifax is such an amalgamation of different walks of life, cultures and histories, we wanted to make sure we cater to whoever walks through the door, without compromising quality. We want everyone to feel welcome.”


& SPECIALS The Exchange on Hollis boasts two happy hours; the first, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., includes buck-a-shuck oysters. The second, from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m., features a burger and side. During meatless Monday, a dollar from each vegetarian option sold is donated to Feed Nova Scotia. Tuesday is “Cask Night,” when you can try creations from your favorite local craft brewers. Thursday night features private label bottles of wine for half price, and “Punched Out Fridays,” offer $10 off The Exchange’s signature rum punches. At the brunch buffet on Sundays you can make your own Caesar, mimosa and smoothie, as well as indulge in a visit to the waffle station, eggs Benedict station, or prime rib station.

It’s about entertainment. We want to cater to every taste and every occasion, and our menu has something for everybody.” – Rob Moore


The Exchange on Hollis 1579 Hollis Street, in the Maple Halifax, N.S. 902.421.8847 www.xoh.ca info@xoh.ca

“Like Home for Everybody” Le Bistro’s Seven-Year Renaissance By Rebecca Spinner Photos courtesy of Le Bistro By Liz

Le Bistro by Liz — the wide-windowed, red-roofed French cafe overlooking Victoria Park — is one of Halifax’s most beloved neighbourhood restaurants.


ts first incarnation, Le Bistro, opened in the 1970s. The enticing French eatery quickly became a local culinary landmark, remaining a South End favourite for decades. After briefly vanishing in the 2000s, it re-emerged as Le Bistro by Liz, helmed by onetime Le Bistro server Liz IngramChambers. Under her guidance, Le Bistro by Liz flourished. “Now, we’re celebrating seven years in business,” says Ingram-Chambers.




Her approach to Le Bistro’s renaissance has been loving, almost reverent, building on recipes honed decades ago: crepe marocaine, salade a l’orange et aux amandes, soupe a l’oignon gratinee. “You have to be consistent, and offer products that’ve been popular over the years,” she explains, adding an anecdote about a visitor who recently indulged in Le Bistro’s lemon parfait pie: “She said she’d originally had it in 1976!” The evolution of Halifax’s dining scene has influenced Le Bistro. “Now, we concentrate more on buying locally, and supporting other local businesses.” That attitude extends to Le Bistro’s bar, which offers creations from Saltbox Brewing Company and Nova Scotia Spirit Company. Staff are sometimes creative about showcasing Maritime products. “The other night, a fisherman brought a 45-pound swordfish to my back door. We put it on as our special!” At one time, Ingram-Chambers says, night owls were key to the restaurant scene. Indeed, Le Bistro by Liz still caters to the late-evening crowd, frequently hosting live music. “On Friday and Saturday nights, we usually have a lineup out the door,” she admits.

Nowadays, however, Le Bistro by Liz is also defined by its irresistible brunch, which pairs main courses like hollandaise-smothered crepes with a complimentary Caesar, bloody Mary or mimosa. “We’re one of the only places that still makes hollandaise sauce from scratch!” In addition to representing local producers, Ingram-Chambers has deepened Le Bistro’s regional connection through ties to local charities. “We feel it’s important to do things in the community.” Chosen causes range from athletics to cancer research to Hospice Halifax. But Ingram-Chambers — herself a mother and grandmother — acknowledges she’s drawn to initiatives benefiting children. “Yesterday, Le Bistro participated in the [Kids Help Phone fundraiser] Ruth Goldbloom Ladies Golf Classic,” she says during our interview. “We’ve done that for six years.” Residents of Chisholm Services for Children, meanwhile, partake in a weekly lunchtime meal donated by Le Bistro. “We provide fresh bread and homemade soup every Wednesday,” confirms Ingram-Chambers, a Chisholm board member. Le Bistro undertakes an additional yearly commitment at


Chisholm’s annual charitable gala, Blind Date with a Star, catering almost two dozen three-course meals. Ingram-Chambers is also dedicated to Le Bistro’s staff — offering set schedules and medical coverage, and occasionally even funding the education of long-term employees. “If you’re good to your staff, they’ll stay with you,” she says simply. “Le Bistro is like home for everybody. It’s home for the staff, and it’s home for the customers.”

Le Bistro by Liz 1333 South Park St., Halifax 902.423.8428 www.lebistrohalifax.com



Showcasing Atlantic Canada’s Unique





Terroir & Creativity 2 0 1 8 A tl a n

a ti c C


ia d a



By Cheryl Doherty

We have a wonderful and ever-growing variety of wines and wine styles in our region of the world. I thought I would highlight some of this year’s Atlantic Canadian Wine Award winners and chat not only about the wines that won, but what makes our regional wines unique. 62




ach year, the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers in Atlantic Canada present the Atlantic Canadian Wine Awards in association with “With Zest,” a food and wine tour and event management company based in Halifax. All wineries in the region are invited to submit their top wines for consideration. The awards are judged by a panel of Atlantic Canadian sommeliers who represent wine stores, restaurants, educators and other industry professionals, all of whom share a passion and deep love of the Atlantic wine industry. The majority of grape wines come from Nova Scotia, but the other three provinces do produce a variety of fruit wines, which are highly regarded. This year, however, Nova Scotia took all of the prizes and I am proud to highlight the winners here. A relative newcomer to the Nova Scotia industry, Lightfoot & Wolfville took many of the top awards this year. Founded in 2009, this winery has quickly established itself as a leading producer of vinifera (European) varietal wines. Historically, these varieties have not performed exceptionally well in Nova Scotia. This winery (and possibly a bit of global warming) is making that notion obsolete. Lightfoot & Wolfville took the awards for Best in Class White Wine, Red Wine, Sparkling Wine and were also named Winery of the Year. The Best in Class white was their wellknown Ancienne Chardonnay; barrel fermented using indigenous yeasts from biodynamically grown grapes from the Lightfoot & Wolfville estate. The winning red was an estate grown Kekfrankos; a cool climate grape variety from Central Europe better known in Germany as Lemberger and in Austria as


Blaufrankish. It is new to our region but obviously shows great promise. The Best in Class Sparkling was the 2013 Blanc de Blanc Extra Brut, Late Disgorged. Late disgorgement signifies that the wine was allowed to age on its lees longer than is usual, and this one was aged on the lees for four years, adding depth and complexity. By comparison, the minimum age for vintage champagne is three years, though many are aged much longer. Domaine de Grand Pré Winery was awarded the Top Tidal Bay with its 2017 vintage. Tidal Bay is Nova Scotia’s first designated appellation. Officially launched in 2012, it is a crisp, aromatic white wine designed to showcase Nova Scotia’s unique maritime climate and to match the seafood for which we are internationally renowned. The ocean is a main climatic factor in the province’s ability to successfully grow grapes. It moderates our climate, allowing grapes to survive our winters and it lengthens our growing season. The Grand Pré Tidal Bay is refreshing and crisp with a slight balancing sweetness, which adds body and accentuates its delightful finish. Domaine de Grand Pré also took home the award for Single Varietal Hybrid with their Vintner’s Reserve Leon Millot 2015. Artisanal lifestyle winery Planter’s Ridge took home some hardware this year with their Non-Traditional Sparkling Wine Award for Elevation and their white blend Quintessence White. Quintessence is a blend of New York Muscat, L’Acadie Blanc and Frontenac Blanc. A palate of tropical fruit and lychee gives this wine a full flavour and a long finish. The Elevation is a Prosecco style blend made with the same grapes as the Quintessence, but in differing proportions. Prosecco style indicates that the secondary fermentation (the one that provides the fizz) takes place in a tank, making the wine fresh and more fruit driven than a traditional method sparkling wine.



Avondale Sky Winery, located on the Avon Peninsula, has a long history of making great wine in Nova Scotia, not to mention a talent for delightfully descriptive names for their wines. This year they took home the awards for Best Single Varietal Hybrid with their D’Vine Morsels Restaurant Muscat and Top Dessert Wine for their Martock Late Harvest Vidal. Late harvest grapes contain less water than traditionally harvested grapes, concentrating the sugars and phenolics within the grape. This gives the wines incredible body and flavour. Our final winner was in the Top Fruit Wine category. Lunenburg Count Winery’s Birchtown Blackcurrant was the winner. This stuff is delicious. Lunenburg County Winery has produced wines for three generations and is a staple of fruit wine production in Nova Scotia. This year’s winners, perhaps even more than in previous years, show amazing creativity and diversity within our



winemaking culture. Whatever your palate, mood or food pairing, the wines of our region have something to surprise and delight. Try some today.

WINES TO TRY: Domaine de Grand Pré Tidal Bay Pale lemon in colour, pretty and intense nose of crisp yellow pear, apple and lemon translates to the palate with white nectarine, pronounced minerality, a hint of sweetness and a mouth-watering finish. A light bodied wine with a terrific intensity of flavour. Pair with any Nova Scotia seafood dish, seared scallops are a nice complement, while a lightly breaded haddock would enjoy the lift and contrast provided by the fresh acidity of this wine.


Avondale Sky Winery Martock Vidal Late Harvest Medium gold in colour, with a nose of peach, apricot and a hint of marzipan. Ripe tropical fruit balanced with a fresh acidity and a touch of minerality leads to a balanced finish. Sweet wines pair well with a remarkable variety of foods. For something unique try this with some spicy Thai coconut curry or a Szechuan dish. Sweet wines with good acidity also suit blue cheese appetizers or a tart dessert. Food pairing note: Always make certain your wine is sweeter than your dessert for the best experience possible!

Plate Place a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of a round dish. Place five stuffed shells triangle fashion on top. Drizzle additional sauce over the middle of each shell, don’t drown. Total sauce should be about 1⁄2 cup. Top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Microwave one minute. Bake for five minutes. Serve on a long plate with Caesar salad on the side.

WINE PAIRING Mercator Vineyards Upper Ridge Marquette 2016 Nova Scotia NSLC $24.99 Marquette is a hybrid grape variety with a complex pedigree, first patented by the University of Minnesota in 2006. It has a rustic yet smooth and elegant style and is showing great promise in cold climates throughout North America. This version is a medium bodied wine with deep dark cherry and blackberry fruit. Its fresh acidity and vibrant fruit complement the savoury nature of the fresh tomato sauce and the richness of the ricotta cheese.

RECIPE PAIRING Shrimp Stuffed Pasta Shells


Tomato Sauce Ingredients

5 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and pressed dry

1 large can diced tomatoes

1 lb ricotta cheese

8 minced garlic cloves

2/3 cup grated parmesan

1⁄2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 egg

1 tsp brown sugar

1⁄2 tbsp crushed fennel seed


2 tbsp frozen chopped basil

4 tbsp chopped basil leaves

The Mercator Marquette was barrel aged in French oak for 13 months before bottling.

6 tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced 1⁄2 tsp salt 1⁄2 tsp pepper 1 lb baby shrimp, thawed and pressed dry 25 jumbo pasta shells, cooked al dente

Directions Lightly combine all of the above ingredients (except shells). Fill each pasta shell with cheese mixture. It is not necessary to overfill; mixture will expand when it is cooked. Each finished shell should weigh about 2 oz.

Directions Pulse tomatoes in food processer to a coarse puree and set aside. Heat 2 tbsp of oil, garlic and red pepper flakes over medium heat until fragrant, about a minute. Stir in pureed tomatoes, sugar and 2 tsp salt, bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, 20 to 30 minutes. Once off the heat, stir in the remaining 4 tbsp of oil and the basil.


Cheryl Doherty Cheryl is a certified sommelier, WSET Level 4 Diploma Certified 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.



Nova Scotia Seafood

Nova Scotia Lobster Roll If you’re looking for the perfect fall recipe, you’ve found it. First, whip up this delicious Nova Scotia Lobster Roll. Second, grab a bottle of Blomidon Tidal Bay. Lastly, find yourself a picnic table with a view of the ocean and enjoy. INGREDIENTS 400 g cooked, Nova Scotia lobster meat, preferably claw, tail and knuckle 1/2 cup celery, diced small 4 tbsp mayonnaise, or to taste to taste salt and pepper to taste romaine or leaf lettuce

DIRECTIONS 1. Chop lobster meat into medium-tolarge pieces.

Local Source Guide

2. Place in mixing bowl with mayonnaise and celery. Toss to coat; add salt and pepper to taste.

Market, Stirling Fruit Farms, Masstown Market or one of the many other farmers’ markets of Nova Scotia.

3. Use a broiler, grill or toaster oven to lightly toast the buns inside and out, then butter them. 4. Line the buns with lettuce, either full leaf or chopper, depending on your preference.


5. Fill with lobster mixture, sprinkle with chives (or green onion), and serve while bun is still warm.

fresh chives (or green onion), thinly sliced

6. Pair with Blomidon Estate Winery Tidal Bay.

artisan white hot dog buns




Local Produce: Noggins Corner Farm

Nova Scotia Wine: Blomidon Estate Winery

Local Lobster: Evan’s Seafood & Restaurant, Arichat Seafood Market, Clearwater Seafoods Ltd. or Fishermen’s Market Recipe and photo courtesy of Taste of Nova Scotia tasteofnovascotia.com, #TasteofNS

Lobster Chowder In Nova Scotia, we love lobster all year round! Whip up this rich lobster chowder in the winter to warm up on a chilly day or in the summer for a delicious weekday lunch. INGREDIENTS


1 cooked Nova Scotia lobster

1. Cook the lobster to your preference, and then place in an ice bath to cool.

2 ears corn, brushed with oil and paprika 1 jalapeno, small diced 2 stalks celery, small diced 2 medium potatoes, small diced 2 tbsp olive oil 1/4 cup Nova Scotia white wine 2 cups clam juice 2 cups whipping cream 2 sprigs fresh Italian parsley 1 sprig fresh tarragon 1 sprig fresh thyme

2. Once cooled, remove meat from shell. 3. Grill corn until fully cooked. Once cooled, cut kernels from cob. 4. Lightly sauté celery, onions and half the jalapeno in olive oil. 5. Deglaze with white wine and reduce by half. 6. Add clam juice and bring to a simmer. 7. Add whipping cream and reduce by half, about 20 minutes. 8. In another pot, boil diced potatoes in salted water until just cooked, and then cool.


9. Reduce heat of chowder then add potato, corn, lobster meat and fresh herbs. 10. Heat until warmed through.

Local Source Guide Local Produce: Noggins Corner Farm Market, Stirling Fruit Farms, Masstown Market or one of the many other farmers’ markets of Nova Scotia.

Lobster: Evan’s Seafood & Restaurant, Arichat Seafood Market, Clearwater Seafoods Ltd. or Fishermen’s Market Recipe and photo courtesy of Taste of Nova Scotia tasteofnovascotia.com, #TasteofNS



Nova Scotia Seafood

Serves 4-6

Lobster Dip If there’s a party in your future, make sure you bring this lobster dip to guarantee your spot as the most popular person in attendance. Made with freshly cooked Nova Scotia lobster meat, it’s perfect for dipping both chips and veggies.

Local Source Guide Local Produce: Noggins Corner Farm Market, Stirling Fruit Farms Ltd., Masstown Market, or any of the farmers’ markets of Nova Scotia

Local Seafood: Afishionado



4 cups freshly cooked lobster meat, cut into large pieces

1. Whisk together softened cream cheese and sour cream in a large bowl until smooth.

200 g cream cheese, softened to room temperature 200 ml sour cream 2 cups local peas, lightly blanched 3-6 tbsp spicy pickled peppers (depending on level of spice desired)

2. Fold in remaining ingredients and season to taste with salt. 3. Chill for two hours before serving with chips, crostini, or raw local vegetables.

1 tbsp pickled pepper juice Salt to taste




Fishmongers, Arichat Seafood Market, Clearwater Seafoods Retail Stores, Comeau’s Sea Foods, Evan’s Seafood & Restaurant, Fisherman’s Market, Halls Harbour Lobster Pound, Masstown Market

Recipe and photo courtesy of Taste of Nova Scotia tasteofnovascotia.com, #TasteofNS

Atlantic Seafood Crepes This savoury seafood crêpe features the perfect combination of distinctive Nova Scotia seafood in a creamy sauce. Try pairing it with a Jost Vineyards Tidal Bay for the perfect balance of flavours.

3/4 cup whipping cream



6 medium mushrooms, thinly sliced

1. Sautée mushrooms and 6 tbsp green onions in butter until tender; then add haddock, scallops and shrimp, and allow to cook through.

6 tbsp green onions, chopped 1 cup cooked Nova Scotia lobster meat, chopped 1 cup small scallops (or chopped medium scallops) 1 cup medium shrimp, chopped 6 oz fresh haddock, diced 4 oz cream cheese, cubed 8 oz goat cheese, crumbled (reserve 4 oz for garnish)

3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped 2 tsp ground cardamom (freshest possible) 1/4 cup chopped green onion (for garnish)

Serves 8

6. Plating: Place two crêpes per plate, top with a bit of crumbled goat cheese, extra seafood mixture. Garnish with chopped green onion. 7. Serve with Jost Vineyards Tidal Bay, as the texture of the fresh seafood cream and delicacy of the cardamom balances beautifully with this wine.

16 warm, unsweetened 8-inch crêpes (previously prepared)

2. Add lobster meat. 3. Add whipping cream, cream cheese, 4 oz goat cheese, cardamom and parsley in the pan, over low-tomedium heat, until the cheese has melted and mixture thickens. 4. Remove from heat and set aside.

Local Source Guide Local Seafood: Evan’s Seafood & Restaurant, Arichat Seafood Market, Clearwater Seafoods Ltd., Masstown Market’s “catch of the day” or Fisherman’s Market

Recipe and photo courtesy of Taste of Nova Scotia tasteofnovascotia.com, #TasteofNS

5. Fill each crêpe with 1/4-cup seafood mixture.




Nova Scotia Blueberries

Makes 12 muffins

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins These classic and fluffy blueberry muffins are easy to make in a pinch and make great use of Nova Scotia’s delicious wild blueberries. INGREDIENTS


3 cups all-purpose flour

Preparation time: 10 minutes, active

1 tbsp baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 375F and line a 12-muffin baking pan with muffin paper, or grease with lard.

1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp kosher salt 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled 1-1/2 cup sugar 2 large eggs, room temperature, whisked vigorously 1 cup buttermilk 1 tbsp vanilla extract 1-3/4 cups blueberries, frozen or fresh 3 tbsp brown sugar, coarse or turbinado



2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. 3. In a medium bowl, mix the melted butter, sugar, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla until uniform. 4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and gently fold with the rubber spatula until just mixed. There can be small clumps — by not over mixing the batter you are ensuring that your muffins will be fluffy and have a nice high top. Add the blueberries and mix very gently, again.


5. Divide the batter into the 12 muffin cups, with a large spoon or ice cream scoop. Fill moulds to the brim. It’s okay if the dough is thick and makes a mound, because the muffins will be taller. 6. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. 7. Once the muffins are out of the oven, sprinkle the top with turbinado or brown sugar, let cool, and enjoy!

Local Source Guide Local Blueberries: Noggins Corner Farm Market, Masstown Market, Stirling Fruit Farms Ltd., and any of the farmers’ markets of Nova Scotia Recipe and photo courtesy of Taste of Nova Scotia tasteofnovascotia.com, #TasteofNS

Nova Scotia Blueberry Grunt Nova Scotia is home to more than 40,000 acres of wild blueberries, so if we had an official dessert… blueberries would be in it! The unusual name comes from the sound the blueberries make while boiling under the dumplings.

INGREDIENTS 4 cups Nova Scotia wild blueberries, fresh or frozen 3/4 cup white sugar 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp lemon zest 1 cup orange juice 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup spelt flour 1/2 cup cornmeal 1/2 cup butter 1 tbsp baking powder 1 tbsp sugar 1 tsp salt 1 cup yogurt

3. Cut the butter into flour mixture with a fork until butter and flour are combined in small crumbly pieces. 4. Add yogurt to flour mixture and blend with fork until combined. The dumpling batter should look slightly more wet than a biscuit recipe. 5. Pour blueberries into a cast-iron pan or a similar heavy-bottomed vessel. Add sugar, orange juice, lemon juice and zest.

Local Source Guide

6. On the stovetop, bring blueberry mixture to a simmer on medium-high heat.

Farm Market, Masstown Market, Stirling Fruit Farms Ltd., any other of the farmers’ markets of Nova Scotia

7. Scoop dumpling batter with a 1/4-cup measuring cup or ice cream scoop and arrange on top of hot berries.


8. Carefully cover dish loosely with aluminum foil and place it in oven.

Preparation time: 40 minutes

9. Bake, covered, for 15 minutes.

1. Preheat oven to 375F. 2. Make the dumplings; it’s best if they are made first so the flour can absorb moisture. In a large bowl, whisk flour, spelt flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar and salt.

NOTE: This recipe can be easily adapted to cook over a campfire. Instead of placing the cast iron pan loosely covered with foil in the oven, seal the foil tighter around the pan, and check dumplings after 10 minutes.

10. Bake, uncovered, for five minutes. 11. Remove dish from oven and carefully remove foil.

Local Blueberries: Noggins Corner

Recipe provided by: Chef Andrew Farrell, Kitchen Door *Watch Chef Andrew prepare this dish on Kitchen Door’s web show Chit Chat Chop: Episode 45, Blueberry Grunt Recipe and photo courtesy of Taste of Nova Scotia tasteofnovascotia.com, #TasteofNS

12. Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes, and serve with ice cream or maple whipped cream.




Nova Scotia Apples

Apple BBQ Pulled Pork These apple BBQ pulled pork sandwiches are the perfect combination of sweet and tangy. Made with pork shoulder, brown sugar, local apples and onion – the fresh, delicious flavours in this recipe will not disappoint. Add apple slaw, and these pulled pork sandwiches will hit the spot and leave you wanting more.




INGREDIENTS for wet rub 3 lbs boneless pork shoulder 3 tbsp brown sugar 1 tbsp kosher salt 1 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp smoked paprika 1 tsp allspice 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper 2 tbsp vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS 1. Mix all the dry ingredients for the wet rub in a medium sized bowl, and then add the oil and vinegar. 2. Place the pork shoulder in a deep Dutch oven, or roasting pan, and spoon the rub over the top. Cover the shoulder in the rub, massage it in with your hands for a few minutes. 3. Toss the onions and halved apples into the pan, and let sit, refrigerated for at least two hours, and ideally overnight. 4. In a large bowl, mix together all the sauce ingredients with a whisk, set aside. 5. At the end of the marinating time, preheat oven to 275F. Cook the shoulder for three and a half to four hours, until the meat is tender and can easily be shredded. 6. Remove the pork from the oven and let cool; place the apples, onions and some of the juices from the pork aside in a bowl. Using either your hands or two forks, pull the pork apart, going along the muscle fibres to create “strings.” 7. Put the sauce mix into a blender with the baked apples, onion and juices. 8. Pour the sauce over the pulled pork, and either store or keep warm in the oven to serve.

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

9. Serve with buns, mayonnaise, coleslaw and greens.

Local Source Guide

1 medium, yellow onion, sliced

Local Apples/produce: Noggins

1/3 cup brown sugar 1 cup ketchup 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 1/4 cup Dijon mustard 1/2 tsp ground clove

1 large Nova Scotia apple, cored and julienned 1/3 cup carrot, coarsely grated 1 cup purple cabbage, shaved on mandolin or coarsely grated 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar 1 tbsp olive oil 1-1/2 tbsp mayonnaise 1 tsp sugar 2 tbsp vegetable oil 1 tsp grainy mustard 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper 1/2 tsp celery seed

DIRECTIONS 1. In a mixing bowl combine vinegar, oil, mayonnaise, sugar, mustard, salt, pepper and celery seed. 2. Add the apple, carrot and cabbage to the mixing bowl, toss, taste and add salt if necessary, then refrigerate. 3. Eat on your favourite sandwich, as a side or with fried fish.

Local Source Guide

4 large baking apples, peeled, cored and halved



Corner Farm Market, Stirling Fruit Farms, Masstown Market or any farmers’ markets of Nova Scotia.

Pork: Pork Shop products can be purchased from their locations in New Glasgow and Denmark as well as at Masstown Market and Stirling Fruit Farms. Visit Meadowbrook Meat Market’s Berwick or Alderney Landing (Dartmouth) locations for a variety of pork products.


Local Apples: Noggins Corner Farm Market, Masstown Market, Stirling Fruit Farms Ltd., any farmers’ markets of Nova Scotia

Recipe and photo courtesy of Taste of Nova Scotia tasteofnovascotia.com, #TasteofNS



Nova Scotia Apples

Apple Pie

Serves 6-8

This classic recipe is a slice of delicious nostalgia. INGREDIENTS for the filling 6-8 apples, McIntosh or Gravenstein lemon juice of one lemon 3/4 cup sugar 1 /4 cup all purpose flour 1 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp salt 3 tbsp salted butter

INGREDIENTS for the pie crust 1-3/4 cups (plus one tbsp) all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp salt 1/3 lb lard 1 tsp egg, beaten 1 tsp white vinegar ice water extra flour for dusting surfaces 1 egg or 1/4 cup cream for brushing the pastry

DIRECTIONS Preparation time: 30 minutes active, one hour 30 minutes total 1. To begin making the dough, stir the flour and salt together then cut in the lard with a pastry cutter or two knives until the shortening is in pea size pieces.



2. In a 1/3 measuring cup, combine egg and white vinegar. Top the rest of the measuring cup with ice water. Stir gently. 3. Drizzle the water mixture over the flour mixture, and using a wooden spoon, mix together until it forms a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for one hour. 4. Peel, core and slice apples, keeping as much of the apple as possible. Drizzle the apples with lemon juice, toss and set aside. 5. In a small bowl, thoroughly whisk together sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. 6. Pour the sugar mixture onto the apple slices, and toss until the apples are evenly coated. 7. Preheat the oven to 425F.

12. For the pie top, roll the remaining dough and cut into eight straight strips. Start by laying four strips down all in the same direction, and then start the cross section, going over and under. 13. Cut the extra dough off with scissors to half-inch overhang from the pie plate, then fold the dough over the edges and either pinch or press down with a fork. 14. Once the pie is ready to bake, brush the crust and top with either beaten egg or heavy cream. 15. Cover the crust with tinfoil. 16. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until pie is golden brown. Remove the tinfoil for the last 10 minutes of baking. 17. Let cool for 20-30 minutes before serving.

8. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut it into two equal portions. 9. Lightly flour the work surface and roll dough into two equal-sized rounds. Use the pie pan as a measure for the size; the pie dough should exceed the edge of the pan by 1-1 1/2inches. 10. Put the crust base into the pie plate and fill it with apples. The apples should make a mound that goes an inch or two above the top of the pie plate. 11. Take the 3 tbsp of chilled butter and pinch small pieces off and place all over the top of the apples.


Local Source Guide Local Apples: Noggins Corner Farm Market, Masstown Market, Stirling Fruit Farms Ltd., or your local farmers’ markets of Nova Scotia. Recipe and photo courtesy of Taste of Nova Scotia tasteofnovascotia.com, #TasteofNS

Celebrate THE HOLIDAYS AT elements on hollis

HOLIDAY LUNCH BUFFET NOV. 29 & 30, DEC. 6, 7, 12, 13, 14 | 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY BUFFET DEC. 25 | 11a.m. – 1:30 p.m. / 5p.m. – 7p.m.

Indulge on our weekly lunch buffet, a fabulous festive spread including turkey and all the trimmings.

Brunch or supper: Celebrate Christmas Day at our famous annual Brunch Buffet. Whether you join us for brunch or supper, a classic roast turkey is the centrepiece of this lavish buffet. Your festive favourites transform from day to night!

FESTIVE SUNDAY BRUNCH DEC. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 | 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday is for eating… a lot. We are known for our Sunday brunches but this is much more special. RESERVE A BIRD DEC. 24 & 25 Christmas Turkey dinner to-go. Don’t like fancy cooking… or cleaning up? Take our turkey to go. Roast Turkey, field greens, fresh baked rolls, cranberry and sage stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and a medley of vegetables. Christmas log or plum pudding with French vanilla crème anglaise to finish it all off.

NEW YEAR’S DAY BRUNCH JAN. 1 | 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Ring in the New Year wide eyed and bushy tailed at our fabulous New Year’s Day Brunch. Includes all your brunch favourites, such as delectable seafood, mouth watering carvery and a selection of the chef’s finest concoctions; with live music.

elements on hollis The Westin Nova Scotian 1181 Hollis St. 902.496.7985 holiday.happenings@thewestinnovascotian.com www.elementsonhollis.ca

Treasures of the forest Article and photos by Colleen Thompson

As evening temperatures start to drop and fall rain settles in, magic is happening beneath a canopy of spruce, fir and oak as mushroom season in Nova Scotia begins to flourish. Puffballs, lions mane, hen-of-the-woods, matsutake — beautiful to look at and poetically named — and for a few brief weeks, the forest floor is a veritable feast.





hey resemble icicles, cauliflowers, soccer balls and human brains. They arise from beneath carpets of green moss, sprouting from tree trunks and protruding from dead logs. Turning bright blue or red when bruised, others glow in the dark. It’s the busiest season of the year for a forager, which means mycological maestros are out from sunrise to sunset, traversing one end of the province to the other in search of fungi. Nova Scotia is a mycological paradise, with more than 50 types of edible mushrooms. “Nova Scotia has a uniquely diverse range of microclimates and varying topography and trees species,” says mushroom forager and all-round mushroom guru Brendon Smith. “Pretty well every county in the province has a few species that are more abundant or prevalent than anywhere else in the province. I have one county that is particularly abundant in matsutake and on the other side of the province there is a county rich in things like maitake (hen of the woods), but the two species are seldom found growing (at least in abundance) in the same area.” The early fall beauties are the chanterelles. Perhaps the gold standard for most mushroom hunters, their distinctively peachy, apricot smell and furled, fleshy golden caps are easily identified. The mushrooms are the fruit that spring from an underground web of mycelium, and as long as the mycelium survives, the chanterelles come back every year. Too much foot traffic can break the web and over harvesting can reduce the chances the mushrooms have to spread to new places. Chanterelles are gregarious and grow in clusters, but always in the presence of living trees, with whom they form a symbiotic relationship. The mushrooms draw sugar and carbohydrates from the trees’ younger roots and in turn provide phosphorus and minerals. Despite the best efforts to cultivate chanterelles, they are still handpicked in the woods — which is also why they’re so expensive and so sought after by chefs.

PHOTOS ABOVE BY Carolina Andrade

Mushrooms have very unique and particular ecological preferences, whether it’s their relationship with a particular tree species or type of moss, or the type of substrate or proximity to fresh or saltwater. Understanding these intricate factors and what to look for, as well as how to predict where a particular species might be growing in abundance, is something that takes years of learning and practice. Fred Dardenne of Halifax-based FD Wildfoods learned to forage for mushrooms as a young boy with his grandfather, growing up in the forests of Belgium. A true master of his craft, there is almost no one else who knows


more about mushrooms in the province than Dardenne. This is by far his busiest season, as he picks up to 100 pounds of mushrooms in a day — shipping them off to chefs from Halifax to Montreal. All of the mycorrhizal species Dardenne picks depend on certain trees, in certain habitats, and can’t just be cultivated like common buttons or shiitake mushrooms. His fungi require foraging, where he picks both popular and rare, including lobsters, blue chanterelles and matsutake. “There is nothing that smells as good as this,” says Dardenne, holding out a large, white matsutake mushroom for me to sniff. The noted mycologist David Arora



wasn’t wrong when he described them as “a provocative compromise between Red Hots and dirty socks.” “When matsutakes are young they are almost completely buried underneath the moss. You have to look for small bumps in the moss and pat around with your hands to feel for them.” More than any other species, matsutakes require very careful picking and handling because their value is determined on a graded scale. If they are being sold to the Japanese market, then they use a number of observable characteristics, like the veil and the base being completely intact. The popularity of foraging for fungi grows each year as more and more Nova Scotians — be they foodies, countrylovers or urban romantics — are joining in to reap nature’s treasures. HERE’S THE CATCH Of the roughly 2,000 varieties of wild Nova Scotia mushrooms, only around 50 can be safely eaten, and therefore



it’s essential to know your stuff. Just as there’s nothing quite like freshly made risotto ai funghi, there’s also nothing quite like discovering your face bloating up like a balloon. Although few wild mushrooms will actually kill you, the hazards are more likely to range from an extreme laxative effect to kidney failure. Brendan Smith learned about mushrooms through the Nova Scotia mycological society at one of their annual forays and later went on to work as a naturalist and guide at Trout Point Lodge. “Learning about mushrooms takes time,” says Smith. “If it’s someone’s first season picking mushrooms, I often suggest taking pictures of the species around their property or what they see while out on hikes over the course of a season. They can then compare these pictures to those in field guides. They can also attend the Nova Scotia Mycological Society’s outings and submit photos on the Society’s Facebook group for help with identification. I also suggest to people to actually start by learning our


toxic species, and then work up toward edible species.” The hot summer and lengthy periods between rainfall this year has affected the mushroom season and particularly some of the species. The majority of the fungal organism is underground in a thread-like mass called mycelium. The mycelium has to collect enough nutrients and water necessary for the high energy demand of producing the fruiting mushroom body. If these nutrient demands aren’t met, the mycelium isn’t able to produce any mushrooms and lies dormant until the proper conditions are met. September and October are typically when the highest diversity of mushrooms are out in Nova Scotia. “There have been a great number of golden chanterelles popping up in certain parts of the province. This year has also been great for the American Caesar mushroom (Amanita Jacksonii). This is a close relative to the highly desirable Caesar mushroom collected in Europe,” said Smith. “The mushroom starts off as an egg like structure then the bright red cap pops out of its protective sac. This was by far the best season for collecting Caesars that I’ve seen in Nova Scotia. Interestingly, Caesars belong to the most toxic mushroom genus in North America, the amanitas (the death cap and destroying angel belong to this family). For this reason, they are not typically a species that is necessarily recommended for people just beginning to pick mushrooms.”

PHOTO BY Carolina Andrade

TOP 5 WILD EDIBLE MUSHROOMS IN NOVA SCOTIA Yellow Chanterelles: These prized fungi grow from the soil under hardwoods (particularly oak) and conifers, either on their own or in loose groups. The smooth caps are yellowish to pale apricot, ranging from one to five inches across. The edges are rolled under on young specimens, turning upwards and becoming wavy. Hen of the Woods: They usually grow in abundance in stands of old oak trees. The bigger the oaks, the better chance you will find mushrooms. They grow on the ground near the base but can also be found within several feet of the tree. They are delicious in a variety of ways — sliced and pan fried, diced for mushroom soup, or battered and deep-fried. Puffball: If you spot what looks like a volleyball off in the woods, you might have found a giant puffball. These large, globe-like mushrooms are typically eight to 12 inches across. Puffballs rest directly on the ground and have no stem, although a short root may be present. Beginners should collect only puffballs that are at least six inches across. To confirm edibility, cut giant puffballs in half from top to bottom. The inside should be pure, featureless white; if it is darker or has any shadowy shapes, discard it. Diced puffballs work well in recipes that call for white button mushrooms; thick slices can be brushed with oil and grilled. Lion’s Mane or Bear’s Head: This is a striking white ball that grows on a

dead log and might be overlooked by everyone except a mushroom forager. This beauty, also known as “teeth fungi,” is adorned with what looks like pretty white icicles on its branches. It is delicious when sautéed in olive oil or added to eggs or a vegetable stir fry. Porcini: The name porcini means “piglets” in Italian. They’re also known as the king bolete, cèpe (in French), steinpilz (the “stone mushroom” in German), and a host of other names from all over the world. Porcini mushrooms can grow a rather large cap, up to 12 inches in diameter and are usually brown or reddish-brown with a thick stem and slightly sticky texture. You can find porcini mushrooms on the ground in hardwood forests near pine, chestnut, hemlock and spruce. They are sublime chopped up and sautéed on their own with some fresh thyme. Hedgehog: This is perhaps the most foolproof mushroom to identify of all the wild mushrooms. Its yellow/ orange cap and fruity smell is similar to chanterelles, but its toothlike underneath is what distinguishes it. Their best use is in casseroles, where they add a rich, earthy flavour. Black Trumpets: The mushroom’s name suggests its shape. They are charcoal-coloured with a delicate structure with gently flared and curled ends. The mushrooms have a waxy exterior and a deep brown, near black flesh. They have a soft yet chewy texture and a rich, buttery, woodsy flavour with a sweet aroma.


Did you know? Of the roughly 2,000 varieties of wild Nova Scotia mushrooms, only around 50 can be safely eaten. CARDINAL RULES Always cook wild mushrooms before eating. Never sample a raw wild mushroom. •

Enlist the help of an experienced forager when learning about wild mushrooms. Join the Nova Scotia Mycological Association, where you’ll learn from experts.

Consult a reliable guidebook with photos and ensure that all identification points listed match your specimens.

When trying a new wild mushroom for the first time, eat just a small portion; some people react badly to mushrooms that others can eat with no problem.

Some wild mushrooms don’t mix well with alcohol, and reactions differ from person to person.

When in doubt, throw it out. Never, ever eat a wild mushroom unless you are 100 per cent sure of its identity.




OLD STOCK: A Refugee Love Story How Halifax’s 2b theatre blazed a trail Off-Broadway By Rebecca Spinner Photos by Stoo Metz




“When we did it in Halifax, it felt like a party; in Ottawa, it felt like serious theatre. In New York, it was a mix of the two.” – Christian Barry, 2b theatre artistic co-director

When 2b theatre company brought Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story to New York, lost luggage or lukewarm reviews were not artistic co-director Christian Barry’s main concern. “The big question was, ‘is anybody going to come?’” he says.


t the time (early 2018) Old Stock had already enjoyed a sterling critical reception. In Halifax, it snagged seven Merritt Awards; at the Edinburgh Fringe, it collected a Herald Angel and Scotsman Fringe First. It also caught the eye of 59E59 Theaters, which would host Old Stock Off-Broadway. Touring productions are a 2b specialty. However, the company’s seven-week 59E59 engagement “was our first proper, sit-down run for New York audiences,” says Barry. “Being there for that long involved a lot of risk.” A lot of groundwork, too. The show’s actors, musicians and select support artists — plus Barry and playwright Hannah Moscovitch, who are married — required residences in New York City. “We found a beautiful old Upper West Side brownstone for the company,” says Barry. “Their commute to work was a one-hour walk across Central Park.” Barry and Moscovitch, meanwhile, headed to the boroughs. Through a chain of connections, Barry snagged “an incredible one-bedroom flat... it looked like the Friends apartment... in a very hip Brooklyn neighbourhood on the edge of Park Slope and Prospect Heights.” Brooklyn’s neighbourhood atmosphere was appealing, since Barry and Moscovitch had a toddler in tow. “Manhattan is cool, but it’s the big city... it felt like the amenities of a healthy, balanced existence were at our fingertips in Prospect Heights.” (See the sidebar for some of Barry and 2b’s Brooklyn and Manhattan hangouts.)





Following Old Stock’s New York premier in March, nervousness over attendance evaporated. “Ticket sales were extraordinary. They went beyond what we ever imagined. We were full every night.” How did a regional export like Old Stock attract audiences in the hometown of The Lion King and Hamilton? For one thing, Barry says, the narrative struck a nerve. “What makes it resonate and reverberate right now, in particular, is the international refugee crisis. The play tells the true story of my wife’s greatgrandparents emigrating to Canada in 1908. They were Romanian Jews fleeing the pogroms.” A great deal of Old Stock’s magic comes down to a surehanded cast, as well. Local songwriter Ben Caplan stars; he also served as the show’s musical anchor, shaping the narrative and providing songs. “It’s kind of a concert woven together with a play... a music-theatre hybrid show,” says Barry. That unique structure reportedly produced unpredictable effects in audiences. “When we did it in Halifax, it felt like a party; in Ottawa, it felt like serious theatre. In New York, it was a mix of the two.” Following sold-out shows and evergreen reviews, Old Stock was



nominated for six Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Musical. “The Drama Desk is unique in that they don’t discriminate between Broadway and Off-Broadway,” explains Barry, who himself received an Outstanding Director of a Musical nomination. “We were competing with SpongeBob SquarePants and Tina Fey.” Fey was one of numerous entertainment heavyweights in attendance at the Drama Desk Awards. “We definitely felt we were surrounded by the creme de la creme of the theatre world,” says Barry. “I was able to say a quick hello to Nathan Lane.” While the star-studded event provided stiff competition, hearing the winners named “felt like a very honourable loss,” Barry says gracefully. Although Old Stock’s Off-Broadway run has concluded, engagements in Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom — plus closer to home, at Montreal’s Segal Centre and Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre — are upcoming. Will Old Stock play in Halifax anytime soon? Barry doesn’t provide specifics, but promises “it’s definitely coming back.” Meanwhile, it’s worth glancing around for a 2b show next time you’re somewhere far-flung.


2b in Brooklyn Swinging through New York? Scope out some of 2b’s favourite spots. Proximity to 59E59 and excellent Mediterranean cuisine made Amali perfect for Old Stock’s “Nova Scotia night.” 115 East 60th St. “Travelling with a child, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum was a regular hotspot,” says Barry. “We visited at least three times.” 145 Brooklyn Ave. Barry’s a fan of Ample Hills Creamery’s mint chocolate chip ice cream. We’re intrigued by the “Ooey Gooey Butter Cake” flavour. 623 Vanderbilt Ave. The Oxford Cafe “sounds very grand, but it’s an old-school lunch counter with incredible burritos.” 109 East 59th St. Barry paid frequent visits to Sit & Wonder Cafe, where Seattle-sourced Stumptown Coffee is the signature bean. 688 Washington Ave.

Halifax student vying for title of

Canada’s Smartest Person Junior By Lori McKay Photos by Andy Vanderkaay (courtesy of CBC)


BC is airing a new show this fall called Canada’s Smartest Person Junior, and one of the country’s smartest kids is from Halifax.

Danica Scully, 11, first heard about the show from a TV commercial. “My mom was watching Coronation Street and I saw the commercial,” said Danica, a Grade 7 student at Armbrae Academy. “I was kind of bored that night and thought, ‘Hmm, why don’t I go and apply for this? Anything can happen.’ And I was right. Anything can happen. I ended up on the show.” Canada’s Smartest Person Junior was filmed this past summer at the CBC studio in Toronto. Danica and 11 other Canadian kids — ranging in age from 10 to 12 — competed for the title. The show is a spin off from Canada’s Smartest Person, which first aired in 2012. “It was such a fantastic experience,” said Danica, who is on the debate team, plays competitive soccer and wants to pursue a career in law when she grows up. Hosted by Canadian actor and comedian Paul Sun-Hyung Lee — you’ll recognize

him from Kim’s Convenience — the show challenges and tests the kids’ smarts in six categories: physical, musical, linguistic, social, logical and visual. Danica said she found the linguistic challenges the most difficult. “Basically, there was a word that was scrambled, and we had to unscramble it and see what word it actually made. I found that pretty tough.” She said she found the logical questions pretty straightforward. When it came to preparing for the show, Danica said there wasn’t much she could do ahead of time. “My strategy was just to be ready for anything… I tried to remain cool, confident and collected. You never knew what was going to be thrown at you.” It was long days in the studio for the kids, but the trip to Toronto wasn’t only about the show. Danica also got to visit Ripley’s Aquarium, the Hockey Hall of Fame and Wet ‘n’ Wild Toronto with a few of the other kids. She said everyone got along really well. “I know we will be lifelong friends. There are only 12 of us who can say we were on the first season of Canada’s Smartest Person Junior.” The contestants were chosen from applicants all across Canada. According to Robert Cohen, executive producer and CEO of production company Media Headquarters, selecting the final 12 wasn’t an easy task. “We received a huge response to our nation-wide call for applicants that exceeded our expectations,” said Cohen. “The final competitors were selected through a series of interviews and rigorous testing.” He said the studio is thrilled with the first season of the Junior edition of the show.


Danica Scully

“These kids were all fierce competitors who came to win the title Canada’s Smartest Person Junior,” said Cohen. “I think audiences will be inspired by their smarts, and equally impressed by their generosity towards each other. We can’t wait for the whole country to meet them this fall.” Canada’s Smartest Person Junior will begin airing on Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. on CBC and run Wednesday nights for six weeks.



Artist Spotlight as casually mysterious as a twilight walk through the woods. Prior to Quiet the Station, Legere already ranked among Atlantic Canada’s most fascinating multidisciplinary performers. As an actor with Zuppa Theatre Co., he’s performed internationally; as a singer with The Heavy Blinkers, he’s opened for superstars like St. Vincent.

From singing to songwriting to acting A conversation with Halifax’s Stewart Legere By Rebecca Spinner Photos Mel Hattie

When I ask Stewart Legere how his day’s going, he immediately paints a picture of Nova Scotian summer bliss. “I woke up this morning at a cottage on the North Shore,” he says. “I went there with my boyfriend two days ago. Went kayaking, canoeing, went for a run down a country road, drank old-fashioneds, made hodgepodge, sat on the couch and read.”


t sounds like an idyllic getaway. But crammed into two days, it also sounds hectic — especially during a summer Legere admits was “quite busy with work.” Still, the voice on the phone seems relaxed, unhurried. Legere released his first solo album, Quiet the Station, in 2017. “It took five years to make,” he says. “I got married when I was really young — 22. When that marriage ended, material for the album started coming out.” Despite poignant



beginnings, Quiet the Station is lilting and gossamer-light — defined by winsome melodies, haunting harmonies and lyrics


That extensive stage background helped Legere stay grounded as audiences and critics absorbed Quiet the Station. “I’m used to making things, putting them out into the world, then deciding how to engage with the feedback,” he says. In retrospect, “I had a wonderful time releasing it. I feel like it just happened — I can’t believe it was over a year ago.” Thom Fitzgerald’s new film Splinters, part of the Toronto International Film Festival’s 2018 programming, is the next major showcase for Legere’s talents as an actor and musician. “Thom asked me if I would — not only score the film — but write songs for it, and play them in-character,” Legere explains. Compositions for Splinters will comprise Legere’s second album (still in the works at the time of writing, and awaiting its final track list and official title). But nascent Splinters soundtrack wasn’t Legere’s sole focus this fall. He also embarked on a three-date Maritime tour alongside iconic singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright. Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Legere remains enthralled by the province’s landscapes — or, rather, waterscapes. “The lakes are a big thing for me; swimming is a big deal,” he says. “In summertime, I try to get to the lake at least once a day. I get a lot of inspiration there.” Which lake, specifically? Legere reels off a list: Lake Banook, Chocolate Lake, Long Lake, Williams Lake. “There’s something about them,” he says. “It’s taking a break; it’s getting exercise. But it’s also jumping in, and swimming across and back. It’s time to think. It’s a feeling of buoyancy — of feeling lifted for a minute, and being lighter.”

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Paris is the city of eternal clichés. And around every delightful corner it lives up to every accolade: city of lights, city of romance, city of grand boulevards and monumental architecture, city of artists and bohemians, city of revolutionaries and hedonism. Let’s not forget, haute couture, champagne and the cancan.





ome might opine that “budget Paris” is an oxymoron. I beg to differ. Many of the pleasures in the city that Ernest Hemingway described as “a moveable feast” are free and there are savvy ways to scrimp and save. And just because you haven’t won the lottery doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in a few frivolous fantasies. Here’s how to make the most of your Euros and enjoy la vie en rose. (Note: all prices are approximate.)

THE “YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE” SPLURGE LIST Eating Paris Eating Europe offers food-walking tours in several European cities. This summer they launched a Paris jaunt in the hip Canal Saint-Martin area (10th arrondissement) for ¤85. We met our guide, Leo, in a park and proceeded to walk along the canal to our first stop, Fric

Frac (French slang for breaking the rules), where we tried a classic croque monsieur with ham and cheese and their “green monsieur,” a vegetarian version with pea pesto, pine nuts, asparagus, avocado, capers and tomato. What I like about Eating Europe tours is that along with food finds, you get a history lesson about the area. For example, Leo explained that Napoleon I ordered the construction of the canal to bring in fresh water from the River Ourk to help prevent the spread of cholera. In order to finance the project, the government put a tax on wine… so basically, wine paid for the canal. At TSF Epicure, we sampled charcuterie and wine; at L’Amalgame we enjoyed hand-rolled couscous and vegetarian tagine with merghez sausages. Leo explained that after the bombings of World War II, Paris, needing manpower to rebuild, opened its borders to such North African countries as Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. These immigrants




star. The newly renovated spa boasts a swimming pool and a menu of divine treatments.

Maison Blanche On the seventh floor above the Théatre des Champs-Elysées, an almost all-white décor contrasts with glorious views of the Parisian skyline and the Seine, seen through wall-to-ceiling glass windows. Chef Fabrice Giraud brings seasonal Mediterranean flavours to the menu. Starters might include lobster with pear dressing and avocado. Try the veal loin with orange zest foam and save room for wild strawberries with chamomile panna cotta. When you leave, walk along the avenue Montaigne for a peek at the Eiffel Tower lit up like a Christmas tree.

Eat With Locals

brought with them their own customs and cuisines. That is why couscous is now one of the most popular dishes in Paris. The cheesemonger at Paroles de Foragers prepared a cheese tasting with more wine. We devoured raspberry tarts and chocolate éclairs in the garden of the Square du Temple where ironically Marie Antoinette (reputed to have said “Let them eat cake” during the French Revolution) was imprisoned. Our final stop was a jewel-box of a shop called Buly where beauty products are sold on one side while the other half of the shop serves coffee. The back courtyard was a foundry in the 1800s where Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker was cast. Eating Europe Paris packs a lot of delicious tidbits into their four-hour romp.

Star-Spangled George V

Eat With is a website that offers the opportunity to dine in the homes of Parisians. I chose “A Cozy French Luxury Dinner” with Carla and Stanislas, ¤74.

Parisians regularly nip into the stunning lobby of The Four Seasons Hotel George V just to admire the floral creations of Jeff Leatham. His massive vases might be filled with black calla lilies or exotic tulips. The hotel delights all of the senses and is the only one in Europe to have five Michelin stars in its three restaurants: the three-star rated Le Cinq plus the Le George and L’Orangerie, each with one

Carla and her husband were the consummate hosts. Their apartment was lovely and Carla was a fantastic cook. Somehow they managed to orchestrate a gourmet dinner with fine wines and still be on hand to chat and make guests feel like friends. This was a five-star experience for myself and four other diners from the U.S. When I return to Paris, I will go again sans doute.

Window Licking We say window-shopping. The French say lèche vitrines, which literally means window licking. No society creates more delicious displays. Start with a stroll down the fashionable rue Fauberg St. Honoré. At Hermès (number 24) you might be tempted to buy the ultimate French status item, a silk scarf or tie. Further along at Place de la Madeleine, venture into Fauchon, the ultra gourmet store.




THE “CHEAP THRILLS” SAVE LIST My (no longer) Secret Hotel Thanks to a previous job that sent me to Paris at least twice a year, I’ve stayed in dozens of hotels — from luxurious (back in the good old days of expense accounts) to budget properties on the Left Bank. Some were so snug I could touch both walls from a narrow bed; others so noisy I had to sleep with the TV on full volume to drown out the street noise. Finally, I’ve found a terrific, inexpensive gem in the fifth arrondissement. I almost hesitate to reveal my discovery for fear that it will be fully booked when I next want to check in. But I’m feeling magnanimous, so put this in your Paris file and book far in advance. Hotel des Grandes Ecoles (75, rue Cardinal Lemoine) has 51 rooms starting at ¤140. Décor is grandmother-style but rooms are spacious and immaculate with reliable wifi. Some, on the main level, open into the garden. What sets this apart from most budget hotels is the idyllic, peaceful location down a cobblestone path leading to a Provencestyle courtyard garden where guests mingle and enjoy alfresco picnics. Proximity to the Sorbonne explains the hotel’s name. The Metro Cardinal Lemoine is two minutes away. The Luxembourg Gardens, Notre Dame Cathedral and more delights of the Latin Quarter are all nearby. Rue Mouffetard, two minutes from the hotel, is crammed with inexpensive restaurants, bars and cafés, plus butchers, bakers, fromageries, fruit vendors, chocolate makers and more.

Le Petit Pontoise Taking the advice of Marie, the chic director of the Hotel des Grandes Ecoles, I headed to Le Petit Pontoise (9 rue de Pointoise), a cheery bistro with the menu listed on blackboards. I tried a delicious artichoke tart followed by herb-crusted rack of lamb served over roasted vegetables. Other specialties include duck parmentier — a sort of gourmet shepherd’s pie consisting of layers of duck confit and mashed potatoes topped with foie gras.




Scenes from the Seine Embarking from the foot of the Eiffel Tower, a cruise along the Seine aboard Bateaux Parisians offers the ideal way to soak up the major sights. A pre-recorded commentary provides history and anecdotes as the boat floats under Paris’ many beautiful bridges, passing the Assembly National, the Musée D’Orsay, the Louvre, Notre Dame cathedral, plenty of joggers and the odd troll who’s camped out along the shores. Parisian monuments and architecture seem even more impressive when viewed from the water. The approximately hourlong cruise, ¤15, also offers new camera angles for avid shutterbugs.

Romancing Rodin The Rodin Museum gets my vote as the most beautiful in Paris. Start in the park — it’s particularly fragrant in summer with its masses of old-fashioned roses. Sit on a wooden bench and admire Le Penseur. The popular statue seems to be thinking with every muscle and sinew of his body. Walk around the Burghers of Calais and note the anguished facial expressions. Inside, the 18th century Hôtel Biron houses more masterpieces, including Rodin’s pièce de résistance, Le Bazier (The Kiss).




From the Sacred to the Erotic Take the funicular up to Sacré Coeur, a white wedding cake of a basilica for panoramic views of Paris below. Then wander down the hill through the winding alleys and bohemian cafés of Montmartre to the red light district of Pigalle. Since 1889, high kickers have been dancing the cancan at the legendary Moulin Rouge, though today’s cabaret performers probably flaunt more feathers, sequins and bare breasts than in the days of Toulouse-Lautrec.

Paris Pass Paris is vast. You’ll want to explore its many neighbourhoods on foot, but to get from one end of the city to the other I recommend a Paris Visite ticket (3 days ¤29.40) for unlimited travel on the subway, RER trains and buses in zones one to three. The bus system is well mapped and often preferable to the metro. Wouldn’t you rather see more of Paris and less of its tunnels? Some Metro stations are so big you’d swear you could walk to your destination by the time you reach the correct platform. Most bus stops have a free charging slot so you can energize your phone while you wait.

Pay Your Respects If ever there were a who’s who of cemeteries, it would have to be Père Lachaise. Named after Louis XV’s confessor, Father Lachaise, the 43-hectare park is the final resting place of Molière, Balzac, Edith Piaf, Chopin, Proust and rock star Jim Morrison, to name but a few. Oscar Wilde’s Egyptianstyle gravestone is covered with lipstick kisses. You can easily spend a peaceful afternoon wandering through the maze


of graves. Buy a map at the gates or nearby tabac store.

Chez Victor Hugo Café Hugo in Paris’ oldest and most magnificent square, Place des Vosges, is the perfect spot to stop for a steaming bowl of French onion soup or an allday omelet after a visit to the Maison Victor Hugo at number six. The writer’s former home is now a museum and literary shrine.



WITH Mike Clarke Fox Harb’r Resort



ith all the fantastic weather we’ve been having, it’s hard to believe fall is already here. Then, before we know it, the winter tires will be on and we’ll be longing for the smell of freshly cut fairways and the feel of the sun’s warmth. So how do you start your new golf season next spring with the same success you’re experiencing now? A journal, that’s how. Most — if not all — elite athletes keep track of their day to day. Get your tablet, phone or notebook and start with general points and practice habits. What did you practice and how

often? What did you like or think was working for you? If you could, what would you change? It’s important to know the parts you like, but also why. It’s much easier to start the following season with positive intentions, as opposed to those to avoid. Now the performance gaps are easier to fill. Are these gaps technical, knowledgebased, situational (decision making) or physical (fitness/functional)? This is when you can get on a launch monitor and confirm/affirm face to path differences for shot dispersion. The launch monitor is also a good chance to confirm equipment choices. You’ll find that you can tighten shot dispersion or distance by a simple shaft upgrade. Finally, something the adults can do as easily as the younger generation… perusing YouTube. Watch swings, shots or practice routines of the best in the world. Rehearse what you observe. Take the small movements in slow motion. Mimicking the best is a very effective and fast way to improve. The takeaway from this is to control the controllables. With good information, a plan can be formed to move forward with your game in the spring.




Mike Clarke Associate Golf Professional Fox Harb’r Resort 1337 Fox Harbour Rd. Wallace, N.S. Toll free: 1.866.257.1801 902.257.1801 eisenor@foxharbr.com www.foxharbr.com

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Oakfield Golf & Country Club Offers a

“Friendly Welcome to All” Story and photos by Lauren Thomander

Oakfield Golf & Country Club is widely recognized as one of Atlantic Canada’s premier golf facilities. General manager Eric Tobin and his team strive to stay one step ahead by remaining proactive regarding the industry’s changing demands. Oakfield constantly considers ways to enhance the golf experience and club lifestyle, while maintaining its championship-standard golf course and excellent service.


n contrast with the “boys’ club, closed door” stereotype often associated with membershipmodel golf clubs, Oakfield prides itself on providing a warm and friendly welcome to visitors.

Today, Oakfield warmly welcomes guests and new members. The club recently introduced an “experience package,” allowing curious golf enthusiasts an opportunity to try the championship golf course for a heavily discounted rate.

“We focus on a ‘members first’ culture,” says Racheal Weagle, director of membership. “That ensures members drive Oakfield’s wants and needs. It also promotes a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere that resonates with both staff and guests.”

“It’s a great way to sample the benefits of membership,” Weagle adds. “People can play the course, interact with other members, and see firsthand how amazing our club is.”

Oakfield was founded with an eye toward eliminating the prejudice commonplace in Halifax golf clubs during the 1960s. The club will celebrate its 57th anniversary in 2019, and providing a “friendly welcome to all” remains part of its reputation. “Oakfield was built on the basis that membership would be open to anybody,” says Weagle. “It was about inclusiveness and community. We continue to focus on that.”



The club has also reworked its membership options to better accommodate prospective members. “The structure includes flexible round packages for those who only want to play small amounts of golf, as well as an unlimited package for the full club experience,” says Weagle. “We offer packages to suit anyone’s lifestyle. We’re really trying to encourage families, couples and females to become part of Oakfield’s culture. We have an incredibly active ladies’ membership, and our junior program is arguably the best in Atlantic Canada.”


The “club lifestyle” is key to most discussions around Oakfield’s future. “We’re working hard to develop a lifestyle at Oakfield that includes activities besides golf,” says Tobin. Members currently have exclusive access to a private beach. They’ll also have use of a planned marina, boat club and swimming pool, as well as multisport activities outside of golf. “We call it the ‘modern club lifestyle.’ It’s family-centric, and golf is just one of the

“Oakfield is family-friendly, and strongly rooted in the community.” - Eric Tobin, general manager

experiences offered. We’re currently developing junior sailing programs and summer camps to attract young families, as well as cross-country skiing and indoor golf during the winter months.” The team at Oakfield hopes these planned changes will attract a diverse membership as the club moves forward. “Oakfield is family-friendly, and strongly rooted in the community. Unlike traditional clubs, we have no


initiation fee. We work hard to offer exceptional hospitality and seasonal cuisine — not to mention the bestquality golf course in Atlantic Canada.”

Oakfield Golf & Country Club 6055 Highway 2 Oakfield, N.S. 902.861.2777 www.oakfield.ca



Photo Nicole Lapierre Photography

A cozy getaway for any season By Courtney Tait Photos courtesy of Oceanstone

Over the last few years, you’ve likely come across the term hygge — a Scandinavian concept that’s become increasingly popular in North America. Pronounced “hoo-ga,” it refers to a sense of coziness, relaxation and wellbeing — essential aspects of Scandinavian culture.




Here in Nova Scotia, hygge can be found at Oceanstone Seaside Resort in Indian Harbour, with cozy cottages, roaring fires, delicious food and stunning ocean views.

resort for their wedding. The property hosts every aspect of the event, from the welcome reception and rehearsal dinner to the ceremony, reception and brunches.

“We focus on creating experiences, the backdrop to whatever our customers are looking for,” says Oceanstone president Susan Wilson. “There’s something about us, a touch of magic, that has people coming back year after year.”

Roberta, Oceanstone’s onsite wedding coordinator, ensures the details are taken care of, so couples can plan from afar without needing a separate wedding planner. Smaller weddings and elopement packages are also available.

First opened as a yoga retreat centre over 30 years ago, Oceanstone has long been a destination where people come for rejuvenation year-round. The oceanfront property is just five minutes from Peggy’s Cove, and features a main lodge, onsite restaurant, private suites and cottages with wood stoves, nearby hiking trails and access to a natural beach and bonfires. Today the resort caters to a range of guests, from couples and families to leisure travellers to business executives coming together for a work retreat.it has been named one of the Top 5 Places in Canada to Get Married by both the Canadian Wedding Industry Awards and Elle Canada. “We offer something different than anything in the area,” says Wilson. Couples choosing to get married at Oceanstone often rent the entire

Oceanstone is a popular destination during the holidays. Families rent multiple rooms or cottages to celebrate the season together, embracing the peaceful ambience. The cottages and many of the suites are equipped with kitchens, so guests can cook for themselves or dine at Rhubarb, the onsite restaurant. Rhubarb features a fresh, seasonal menu and reflects the surrounding community with works by local artists. Holiday parties take place in the main lodge, where teams can relax and enjoy a roaring fire, big comfortable furniture, food and entertainment in an atmosphere that encourages connection.


PHOTO TOP LEFT AND BOTTOM RIGHT Nicole Lapierre Photography; PHOTO BELOW Candace Berry Photography

Oceanstone offers gift certificates and can tailor them to be for a specific cottage or suite. As Wilson points out, “More and more, people want to create memories, and that’s what we focus on. We want somebody’s special gift to be a night at Oceanstone.” This winter, Oceanstone will launch hygge-themed packages, focused on slowing down, getting cozy and enjoying the season. For guests who wish to further upgrade their stay, the resort can book an in-suite massage with a local masseuse or even have their chef cook a private insuite dinner. “We’re always striving to make our guests feel taken care of while they’re here,” says Wilson. “We would love you to experience the true magic of Oceanstone — treat yourself or someone you love.” Oceanstone Seaside Resort 8650 Peggy’s Cove Road Indian Harbour, N.S. 1.866.823.2160 info@oceanstoneresort.com




Indoor Plants

Bringing health and happiness to your home By Suzanne Rent

Indoor plants are an easy way to bring nature into your inside space. They’re decorative, of course, but they have other benefits that make them great for your home and your health.





ot Brand, manager of Lakeland Plant World in Dartmouth, says the primary benefit of indoor plants is they absorb carbon dioxide while releasing oxygen. But indoor plants can also improve the air in other ways. A study on the benefits of indoor plants comes from a rather unlikely source. In 1989, the NASA Clean Air Study published a comprehensive list of indoor plants that remove toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air. The study was looking at ways to improve the air quality for astronauts in its space stations, but its list also provides great suggestions for plants that homeowners can use in their own spaces. Brand says while all plants clean the air, some are better than others.

Brand says mother-in-law’s tongue is a good plant for those who don’t think they have a green thumb. She calls it a “tough-as-nails” plant. “Some people love it and some people hate it, but I know for a fact it tolerates missed waterings and lowlight conditions,” she says. Factors to consider when shopping for indoor plants are how much light is in your home, the space where you want to display the plant, and the amount of moisture it will need. Succulents are also a good option for those without a green thumb. Over the winter months, succulents go pseudo-dormant.


“From that study came a lot of knowledge about what cleans the air the best,” says Brand. She suggests Sansevieria trifasciata, commonly known as mother-in-law’s tongue, as a good starting place. It’s on the NASA Clean Air Study list. Its leaves are dark green and structured and could fit well into any space. The NASA list also included peace lily, spider plants, a number of dracaenas, aloe vera, and Boston ferns. Besides cleaning the air, Brand says indoor plants provide a sense of calm, improve general wellbeing, add additional humidity to the air, and create a buffer against noise. Use plants on a windowsill to cut down on noise from outside, or place them along the wall in an office to lessen the noise from common rooms in your home. Not all plants on the list, however, will be suitable for every home. There are other concerns with indoor plants, such as the amount of maintenance required and if the plants are toxic and harmful to pets and children.





“As long as you have a nice sunny, bright spot for them, you can let them go bone dry and they do just fine,” says Brand. Some indoor plants are toxic to cats and dogs, so if you have pets, you’ll have to be careful. While the peace lily will clean your air, it will also make your cat sick. Dracaenas are toxic to cats and dogs. There are a number of ways to display your indoor plants. Basic terrariums made with a glass vase and lid or even a mason jar are suitable for succulents. Brand says to keep terrariums in a brightly lit spot but not direct sun. You can use old china or dishes or a decorative crate for a rustic look, just drill a hole in the bottom for drainage. “All plants are best when there’s drainage,” she adds. You can even make your own living wall. Brand says it’s as simple as mounting several pots on the wall, arranging them in a design, and deciding which plant to drop into which pot. Pre-designed living wall units are available for purchase, or if you’re handy, you can make a living wall out of a wooden palette, just check out Pinterest. The key to a successful living wall is in the plants you choose and where you place them. A kitchen or bathroom is a good location, as the rooms offer extra humidity. Succulents work well in this climate. “You have to choose plants that are easygoing and like that situation,” says Brand.



TOP TO BOTTOM Aloe vera, sansevieria trifasciata, peace lily


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Reinvent Your

HOME Design Advice from Wacky’s Flooring & Lighting Atrium By Rebecca Spinner Photos courtesy of Wacky’s Flooring & Lighting Atrium


nce upon a time, housewarming parties were our only chance to “ooh” and “aah” over a home’s interior. But Halifax homeowners have developed a flair for reinvention.

“The renovation market is better than it’s ever been,” says Mike Gaudet, construction division manager at Wacky’s Flooring & Lighting Atrium. “People are renovating their entire home. They’re making old properties brand new.” These days, there’s no telling what could dazzle us behind a friend’s front door: a living room redone with driftwood and a natural stone fireplace? A dramatic industrial kitchen? A window replaced by a balcony?

If you’re undertaking renovations — or choosing décor for a new build — Wacky’s Flooring & Lighting Atrium is a phenomenal resource. “Designers love to bring clients here,” says design consultant Anna Magyar. “Our staff can transition clients from flooring to window coverings, or to our lighting department. You can match colours, or take samples from one area to another. It’s a complete service.” Wacky’s Flooring & Lighting Atrium provides almost every element for major renovations. As of 2018, the business has expanded to include an in-house cabinetry and millwork division, providing clients with bathroom vanities, bookshelves and similar custom luxuries. Employees at Wacky’s Flooring & Lighting Atrium possess the insight to help customers navigate the astonishing selection. “Our staff’s experience runs very deep; they’re very knowledgeable,”




says director of lighting Mark Sadofsky. “We can take homeowners from rough drawings to finished projects.” In this issue, Gaudet, Magyar and Sadofsky share design advice with Refined readers, courtesy of Wacky’s Flooring & Lighting Atrium. Be Yourself. There’s more than one way to achieve a “modern” home aesthetic, says the team. “Every project is so different,” says Magyar. “Some people like a modern, clean look. Others like rustic country chic.” “Every person has their own taste, and you can’t limit that,” agrees Sadofsky. “We’re trying to carry as many options as we can.” Be Focused. A mishmash of décor trends can look erratic, warns Magyar. “It’s a little bit too confused, like painting every room a different colour... fall in love with one thing, then work off of that.”

Be Practical. Harmony between products and environments is a hallmark of successful design, says Gaudet, pointing out that soft hardwood floors suit empty-nesters better than growing families. “Pick the right material for the right application. Assess your own needs.” Be Educated. The team encourages clients to compare and contrast options prior to a showroom visit. “The internet’s a wonderful place to get some ideas,” says Sadofsky. Magyar singles out a low-tech, tactile alternative to Pinterest: print magazines. “Tear out all the pages that appeal to you. You’ll see a style emerge.”

biggest names in flooring, and they’re all Wacky’s partners.” Be Responsible. “I think consumers today like companies that look after their employees, and treat their staff well,” says Gaudet. In that regard, he says, Wacky’s Flooring & Lighting Atrium shines. “This is a good place to work; the owners of this group support their staff every day. They do it right.”

Wacky’s Flooring & Lighting Atrium 60 Highfield Park Dartmouth, N.S. 902.835.9974 www.wackysflooring.com

Homeowners should also research the manufacturer of their materials. “Lean towards quality brands that deliver quality product,” urges Gaudet, specifically praising Torlys, Mannington and Shaw by name. “Those are the three




“Your South Shore Escape” By Rebecca Spinner Photos Steve Jess


f Nova Scotians share a single pastime, it’s being “on the water.” Swimming and boating during the warmer months, seaside campfires and holiday dinner parties during the colder months, all while overlooking breathtaking sunsets reflected across a satin-blue lake. For many people, it’s not enough to steal a few hours at the beach or an annual Christmas vacation at a rented cottage. If you’re searching for somewhere “on the water” to claim as your own, Camperdown Meadows could be the answer. Camperdown Meadows is a planned community of 42 beautiful waterside lots.



Each property measures one-and-a-half to two acres, with flat or sloped terrain, and features a minimum of 150 feet of luxurious lake waterfrontage.

and “only 10 minutes from downtown Bridgewater.”

Camperdown Meadows’ lushly-treed lots showcase stunning Maritime beauty: in addition to private lake access and nearby golf courses, “some of Nova Scotia’s best white sand beaches are 15 or 20 minutes away,” points out Stephen O’Leary, co-founder of Waters Edge Leisure Living.

Waters Edge Leisure Living specializes in rural waterside communities throughout Nova Scotia. Past developments include Cornwall Estates, Sherbrooke Lake Estates and The Shores of Toney Bay. The Camperdown Meadows development, while still in early stages, fits beautifully into Waters Edge’s portfolio (approximately 100 waterfront properties are currently available through Waters Edge).

At the same time, he says, the community is within easy reach of Halifax, Lunenburg, Mahone Bay —

Camperdown Meadows hugs the shores of Rocky Lake and Spectacle Lake, both of which offer a unique approach to


In addition to lush forest and private lake access, “some of Nova Scotia’s best white sand beaches are 15 or 20 minutes away.” - Stephen O’Leary, co-founder of Waters Edge Leisure Living

“lakeside” relaxation and recreation. Spectacle Lake’s topography is well suited to powerboaters and waterskiers — anyone who recharges through excitement, and by venturing off the beaten track. On the other hand, O’Leary notes, “aptly named” Rocky Lake isn’t practical for powerboat usage — but “is perfect for swimming, fishing, kayaking and canoeing.” In other words, the area’s natural geography is guaranteed to safeguard peace and quiet. “For some people, ‘leisure living’ means sitting on the deck or dock in the morning... drinking your coffee, listening

to the loons, and watching the day go by,” says O’Leary. Those people, he says, are ideal Rocky Lake residents. For those interested in learning more about Camperdown Meadows, Waters Edge can provide information on the lots themselves, as well as the surrounding area’s many amenities. They’ve even created a temporary walking path along the shoreline, allowing visitors to view the lake’s charms up close. Once the ideal lot has been selected, Waters Edge can assist with design and build details to whatever degree a client desires.

Despite Camperdown Meadows’ relaxed rural atmosphere, the community is within easy reach of Bridgewater, Halifax, Lunenburg and Mahone Bay.

comfortable that they’re making the right decision,” explains O’Leary. “We want them to pick the lot that’s best for them — one that’ll provide them with years of enjoyment.”

Waters Edge Leisure Living 1.902.818.8108 (Halifax) 1.902.644.3639 (Lunenburg) camperdownlifestyle.com

“We go out of our way to make the process easy, and to have clients




The David Dunn Group

80 SHAUGHNESSY Place, Bedford Gorgeous 6,275 sq. ft. R2000 custom home with spacious principal rooms and an entry accented by the open upper foyer and gleaming wood staircase. The home has a dream kitchen with plenty of cabinetry and granite counters, 12-foot walkin pantry, open breakfast area, large private composite deck, two-sided fireplace and family room. The main level also boasts a butler’s pantry, formal living and dining area, home office, laundry and two-piece bath. Upstairs you will find a master suite

with spa-like five-piece bath, large walk-in closet, gas fireplace and a private deck. A second bedroom has its own full ensuite with a walk-in closet. Bedrooms three and four have a Jack and Jill ensuite. A second laundry completes the upper level. The lower level is fully developed with a walkout to a finished patio with large windows, movie room with surround sound, games/ rec room, exercise room, bedroom, full bath and utility room. The property has southwest exposure and amazing sunsets, large patio, concrete walkways, is fully landscaped and backs on parkland. Home includes solar panels.

1326 LARRY UTECK Boulevard, Bedford If you are searching for a lakefront retreat close to the city, look no further. This fabulous four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom home with over 3,800 sq. ft. of living space is privately situated on Kearney Lake. A great spot for swimming and kayaking, or just enjoying the serenity! Perfect for entertaining, this home boasts an open concept main level with an abundance of windows, maximizing views and natural light. The main level features a spacious family room with fireplace, kitchen with breakfast bar, dining nook as well as a large separate pantry and garden doors leading to the deck. There is a formal living and dining room and office, as well as a twopiece bath completing this level. The master suite includes a large walk-in closet, four-piece luxurious ensuite, reading nook, fireplace and private balcony. The other three bedrooms boast built-in cabinetry, shelves, window seats and workstations. On the lower level there is ample storage, a laundry room, rec and games room, but these flex rooms are perfect for whatever your family needs may be. Call to view this spectacular lakefront oasis designed by architect Sharon Fogo.

Contact the David Dunn group for information on these stunning properties

14 CLUB HOUSE Lane, Hammonds Plains This elegant 6,500 sq. ft. home is situated on a private one-plus acre treed and private lot. Backing onto the sixth green of Glen Arbour Golf Course, this impressive estate boasts luxury and attention to detail throughout, beginning with a double attached garage and built-in single. Generous room sizes and the open concept main level makes for the perfect entertainment venue for friends and family. The grand entrance boasts a foyer large

enough to house a piano, vaulted ceilings and crown mouldings, a gorgeous rich wood curved staircase, gleaming hardwood flooring and cove lighting. The chef’s kitchen features granite surfaces, six-burner propane cook top, breakfast bar, double wall ovens, pantry and an abundance of both cabinetry and work surfaces. The family room features a wet bar and fireplace. Also located on the main level is the massive master suite with two walk-in closets and four-piece ensuite complete with double water jetted tub. Also located on this level is a two-piece bath, office/den, laundry room and mudroom.

and double patio doors leading to a large deck. Upstairs there’s a decadent master suite with spacious walk-in closet and spa-like ensuite. Three more bedrooms, a five-piece bath and laundry room complete the second level. The third level features a fifth bedroom, fitness room, den and fourpiece bath. The lower level boasts a spacious media/theater room, three-piece bath and loads of storage. Decking, private balconies, triple bay garage and playhouse with loft in the backyard add to the home’s many features and amenities.

955 WINWICK Road, Halifax Elegant six-year-old custom Sawlor-built three-storey home located on a fantastic cul-de-sac deep in the south end. This spacious five-bedroom, four-and-a-half bath home is situated on a beautiful 13,708 sq. ft. mature-treed lot. The grand entrance with large foyer and beautiful staircase serves as an elegant focal point. The large open-concept main level boasts a gorgeous kitchen with granite surfaces, custom cabinets, gas cooktop, built-in appliances and a spacious pantry. The living room features gleaming hardwood floors as well as a fireplace

david@daviddunn.ca | 902.209.9177 | daviddunn.ca

An Interior Design Masterpiece ReFINEd explores an award-winning renovation of a 1960s bungalow By Rebecca Spinner Photos by Elemental Photography


rom beloved family homes to stately heritage properties, Nova Scotian residences often boast decades of history. But wear and tear and outdated interior design can tarnish homeowners’ ability to enjoy such homes here-and-now. When local entrepreneur Joanne Kline asked the interior design team at Tower Interiors to reinvent her bungalow — which she shares with her husband and mother — the “house was definitely overdue to renovate,” she says. “It was built in 1960, and everything had to be changed.” “We gutted and redesigned the whole thing,” says registered interior designer Pam Tower (Tower Interiors’ namesake,



she provides services through the company alongside registered interior designer Nicole LeBlanc). Initially, she admits, the bungalow’s interior felt “dated, and not functional for the family.” “Everything was cramped,” adds LeBlanc. “The kitchen and back entry were tiny and inefficient, yet there was a huge living room with wasted space.” Reexamining the bungalow’s floorplan and re-envisioning its possibilities allowed Tower Interiors to produce dramatic “open concept”-style results. Tower and LeBlanc began with a total floorplan overhaul. “As interior designers, we start working with the client in the planning stage of the renovation, drafting drawings of what will be built,” Tower


explains. The team then assists clients to the end of the renovation, even selecting lighting fixtures and furniture. The scope of the project meant it ultimately spanned two years (concentrated into the summer months). Kline’s aesthetic tastes meshed seamlessly with her practical lifestyle goals for the bungalow. As far as décor goes, she explains, “I like things clean, neat and tidy.” She says she envisioned an effortless interior, in which winter boots, or a child’s dirty hands, required minimal fuss or cleanup. At the same time, Kline frequently hosts guests at home. Thus, an interior that was merely Spartan and serviceable wouldn’t suffice. “When someone comes

Nicole LeBlanc and Pam Tower Photo by Steve Jess Tower Interiors is a creative team of Registered Interior Designers who specialize in functional design solutions for commercial and residential spaces. Their multiple awards include Consumer Choice Awards and Canadian Home Builder Awards for numerous Most Outstanding Renovation projects.

into my house, I want them to look at my kitchen and say ‘wow,’” she laughs. Many kitchen design details in the renovated space are eminently practical: appliance drawers, heated floors, clear sightlines from prep space to television. But aesthetics weren’t neglected. “The floor tile is stunning.” A third bedroom became a dressing room, featuring “wall-to-wall, floor-toceiling built-in cabinets,” Tower says. Reallocating closet space provided extra room for an impressively-sized main bath. “The bathroom has a beautiful walk-in shower — the tile goes to the top of the wall,” adds Kline. One of the renovation’s many defining

features is its basement level, where Kline’s mother resides. The space is now a full-fledged luxury in-law suite. Long-term accessibility was a constant touchstone: “Tower Interiors made the bathroom specifically barrier-free.” Indeed, Tower and LeBlanc confirm, accessibility via mobility devices (for example, a walker or wheelchair) is a key feature of the tiled basement bathroom. The suite’s bedroom was also designed to accommodate a wheelchair, Tower notes. Now that the project’s concluded, “there isn’t one thing I would’ve done differently,” says Kline. “Yesterday, I had a get-together with 25 people. It wasn’t crowded — there was lots of room.”


Kline is emphatic about the expertise Tower Interiors brought to the project. “I never would’ve been able to put all this together myself. Using interior designers saved me so much time, stress and money.” The renovated bungalow even earned the Tower Interiors team a Peter Kohler Peak Award from the Nova Scotia Home Builders Association. “I got exactly what I wanted,” says Kline. “Everyone just says ‘wow!’”

Tower Interiors Halifax 902.455.1544 www.towerinteriors.ca



Truly Great Customer Service: Tacoma Drive’s Dulux Paints By Rebecca Spinner Photos Steve Jess

The purchase of a can of paint can signal a milestone. Think of a baby-blue nursery changing to a grown-up green, or newlyweds choosing a colour for their new kitchen. Other times, purchasing paint marks a project’s beginning — a patio to be stained, furniture to be refinished, a house to be staged and sold.


he Dulux Paints team on Tacoma Drive in Dartmouth has guided customers through their projects and



milestones for decades. “We’ve been at this for a long time,” laughs owner Richard Coldham. “We develop personal relationships with clients. We know what they’re working on, what their tastes are. We share in their decorating successes.” Many of Dulux Paints’ Tacoma Drive staff have spent years at the business, and Coldham considers their skills integral to the shop’s exceptional customer service. “What makes us special is the care and attention we extend to our clients,” he explains. “Clients get the right product and the right advice to ensure their project works perfectly the first time.” Through the Tacoma Drive location’s newly-installed Colour Centre,


customers can peruse the Dulux selection, pinpointing their perfect shade of paint. The Dulux Perfect Palette helps harmonize multiple hues. “The Perfect Palette collection is a subset of our colour system. It allows clients to choose four or five different paint colours, knowing they’ll all work together,” Coldham explains. “It makes decorating easy.” “Our team also specializes in custom colour-matching,” he continues. “They can pull a colour from a swatch of fabric or a picture, or accurately match competitors’ colours. Our state-ofthe-art automated tint system allows effortless matches, making our colour availability virtually unlimited.”

Richard Coldham, owner

“What makes us special is the care and attention we extend to our clients.” – Richard Coldham, owner of Dulux Paints on Tacoma Drive

The modern taste for wallpaper is already common knowledge in the decorating community, and Tacoma Drive’s Dulux Paints location provides a range of in-stock papers enabling clients to create cutting-edge interiors. These days, says Coldham, “Most people use wallpapers for a feature wall.” He adds that geometric and wood panel-style papers are popular, and that some clients even coordinate their wallpapers to work with select décor elements (such as a favourite pillow or art piece). “Wallpaper technology has evolved over the decades,” he says. “The new wallpapers work beautifully. They’re much easier to install than previously. When it’s time to remove the paper,

you pull the corner, and it comes off in one piece.” The Tacoma Drive location also houses an onsite window-covering boutique — Seeview Blinds and Shutters — where clients can peruse a range of window coverings to complement the paint and wallpaper selection. “Our full-service Hunter Douglas gallery features Hunter Douglas’ complete line of window treatments. The Hunter Douglas Silhouette is most popular,” Coldham says. “The Silhouette line features many options; it’s highly customizable.” For clients seeking additional insulation and storm damage protection, Seeview also provides and installs exterior roll shutters.


The wallpapers, window coverings and paints available through Tacoma Drive’s Dulux Paints have allowed the location to blossom into a full decorating centre — one offering top-quality paints and diverse design products to help your home’s interior shine.

Dulux Paints #23, 50 Tacoma Drive Dartmouth 902.434.8292 www.dulux.ca





From Lakes and Forests to City Access,

Indigo Shores Offers the Best of All Worlds Photos Steve Jess

When a family’s searching for a new home, they’re sure to have made a list of “must-haves.”


ome will want easy access to Halifax; others, easy access to the Valley. Some will want a spot to swim or canoe; others, tall backyard trees for kids to climb. They may want to be close to a certain school; they may want to stargaze from the back deck. Indigo Shores subdivision offers exactly those must-haves, and more. Nestled between McCabe Lake and Highway 101, Indigo Shores’ unserviced forest lots number in the hundreds. The community also includes select riverfront locations. Numerous lots feature breathtaking new homes constructed by “some of the best builders in the region,” says Indigo Shores representative Susan Fillmore. “Every house is unique — just like the people in them.” Some turnkey homes are available, but buyers are also welcome to select an available lot and work with the builder of their choosing. “People are free to build what they’ve always envisioned,” notes Fillmore. Each Indigo Shores lot measures between one and four acres. Prices start at $90,000; each lot is private, wooded and surrounded by nature. “It’s perfect for people who want to let their kids run outside and play, or want to build a bonfire at night.”

The nearby river and lakes support numerous water activities, from fishing and boat trips to simply taking a splash in the lake. “There’s parkland being constructed on McCabe Lake right now. It’ll have walking trails and a landing for non motorized boats.” But those who prefer a relaxed lakeside experience should be in good company, says Fillmore. “I think lots of people will just sit beside the water and watch the sunset over the lake.” Despite Indigo Shores’ rural aura and rustic charm, the community connects seamlessly to nearby Bedford and Sackville. Youth residents of Indigo Shores may attend schools such as Via Vita Academy, Sackville Heights Elementary School, Sackville Heights Junior High and Millwood High School. “In the Sackville-Bedford area, everything’s within a 10-minute drive,” Fillmore says. “And we’re only 20 minutes from downtown Halifax. It’s an easy commute — all highway.” As for the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, she adds, it’s even closer than the city itself (15 minutes from Indigo Shores). Countless Nova Scotians work and socialize in Halifax, but prefer to relax in the Annapolis Valley — hiking, sightseeing, picking berries and apples. For “weekender” locals, Indigo Shores is 30 minutes from Valley wineries and great dining in Wolfville. “Turn around, and you’re 20 minutes to work or play in Halifax,” Fillmore points out.


“Indigo Shores has grown and grown. It’s known as the ‘place to be now.’” – Susan Fillmore, Indigo Shores

QEII Home Lottery A dazzling Destiny Homes fourbedroom in Indigo Shores is the Grand Prize Showhome in this fall’s QE2 Home Lottery (which continues until mid-November). Despite the showhome’s spaciousness, Fillmore says, “It almost has a cottage feel. When you walk in, it feels like a getaway.” This Grand Prize Showhome isn’t the first QE2 Home Lottery prize located in Indigo Shores. More than 40,000 people reportedly visited the first Indigo lottery showhome in spring 2018. Indigo Shores will also be the location for the spring and fall 2019 grand prize lottery showhomes.

Indigo Shores sales@indigoshores.ca 902.422.1402 indigoshoreshalifax.ca



Everything you need

For Your Outdoor Space Now is the time to plan your next landscape project. Offering outdoor lighting options and high quality natural stone, brick and concrete products for patios, walkways, driveways, retaining walls and more. “Working with homeowners and contractors, we’re a local company that helps clients choose amazing products that are right for their home and property.” – Wes Guthro, VP Operations at Bergman Landscape & Masonry

Bergman Landscape & Masonry Centres wes@bergmans.ca www.bergmans.ca Bedford 847 Hammonds Plains Rd. 902.832.0506 Dartmouth 743 Main St. 902.444.3506 New Minas 9370 Commercial St. 902.365.1400

You have heard of the rest… Call the best:

MADER’S ROOFING QUALITY WORK, PROFESSIONAL SERVICE Regardless of your roofing needs, Mader’s Roofing is up for the job. The quality roof installers have more than 25 years experience installing residential and commercial roofing systems, including flat roofs. • Quality work • Professional service • A company you can count on • More than 25 years in business • Competitive pricing • Great value

MADER’S ROOFING Lower Sackville 902.492.2868 | 902.830.4236 info@madersroofing.com madersroofing.com

Halifax’s Premiere Roofing Company with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau

WITH Maurice Meagher Archadeck of Nova Scotia

BUILDING A NEW DECK? Here are a few great material options to consider


ne of the most important decisions you make when building a new deck is deciding which material to use. Most deck builders use wood, composite or PVC decking. Here are some of the best options to last year-round in Nova Scotia. 1. Pressure-treated wood Pressure-treated wood is a great cost-effective option. It’s availability, affordability and durability make it a safe choice that requires no maintenance, as it is rot-resistant and will not decay. The sun will fade it over time to a silver-grey patina. If you would like to change the colour, apply a good penetrating stain. Pressure-treated wood can be used to build lots of different features: planters, benches, pergolas, decks, stairs, etc. 2. Western red cedar Western red cedar is a natural wood. Its high tannin content makes it naturally rot-resistant, and resistant to insect damage. It is lightweight, easy to work with and features a distinctive smell that most people appreciate. The red colouring will eventually fade to a silver grey colour. Cedar typically accounts for 15 per cent of the outdoor living and decking projects we design and build each year. You can expect to pay



approximately one-and-a-half times more for your outdoor living project cost, as compared to building a deck with pressure-treated wood. 3. Ipe tropical hardwood Tropical hardwoods provide a rich, dark mahogany coloured deck, and Ipe is a dense, durable material. It is naturally resistant to rot and insect damage. Its rich, beautiful colour is its biggest selling feature, as these materials account for five per cent of the decks we build in Halifax each year. Like any wood, the sun will diminish the dark brown colour to a silver over time.


Because these woods are so dense, they are difficult to cut and fasten, and often require pre-drilling before screwing, which can increase your labour cost. The fact that they are so dense makes them more difficult to stain, and they require seasonal maintenance. 4. Composite The most popular brands we use on our composite Halifax decks and railings are TimberTech, Trex and AZEK. There are, however, many different manufacturers available in Halifax. Composite decking projects account for approximately 40 per cent of the local decks we construct.

The biggest benefit of PVC decking is the quality and the extremely low maintenance of the material. Vinyl decks are made from either hollow or solid pieces of PVC and can last up to 45 to 50 years. The decking is costlier than composite and cedar decking and requires some expertise to install. 6. Duradek Archadeck of Nova Scotia is a proud supplier of Duradek. A single product solution for long-lasting waterproof protection, it offers an industry-leading warranty that gives excellent protection to the homeowner. Installation is only performed by trained and authorized installers. An attractive, lowmaintenance deck surface in a range of patterns and colours for long-lasting protection from the elements, Duradek is a perfect solution for elevated decks to provide a dry area below or for flat roof decks over a living space.

Each composite decking manufacturer has different levels of profiles and colour selection available. Composite decks typically cost approximately 1.6 to 1.8 times higher than pressure-treated deck projects.

Eco-Friendly: Composite boards get their name from the fact that they are made from wood scraps (sawdust, wood chips or wood fiber pieces) and plastics, and there is never a need for harmful paint, sealers or stain.

The benefits of composite decking products include:

Durability: Composite decks can offer up to a 25-year warranty.

Low Maintenance: Composite decking is virtually maintenance free. The boards resists fading and mould, and it won’t rot, warp, crack or splint. They’re mostly stain resistant, and any marks can be removed with soap and water. They don’t require seasonal staining or painting.

5. Cellular PVC Decking

Maurice Meagher, owner

When looking at PVC decking, you can find materials that are either new or recycled. It is warrantied against splitting and fading, ensuring a durable, stain-resistant and scratch-proof deck.

Archadeck of Nova Scotia 2569 Windsor St., Halifax 902.444.3325 novascotia@archadeck.net novascotia.archadeck.com




Interior Design by Kevin Muise

Host Flawless Holiday Dinners with GENUINE KITCHENS By Rebecca Spinner Photos Steve Jess


ome fall, many families spend additional hours in the kitchen. It’s the time of year when relatives and friends visit to indulge in seasonal treats: Thanksgiving turkeys and pumpkin pies, Halloween cookies, Christmas gingerbread, New Year’s Eve cocktails. Such festive delicacies often require extensive prep work, which makes a perfectly-designed custom kitchen the foundation of an unforgettable holiday season. Genuine Kitchens excels at customizing kitchen spaces to individual homeowners. “Every kitchen we do is different,” explains Darryl Braine, who co-



owns Genuine Kitchens with wife Tanya Braine. “Every design starts from scratch, based on clients’ needs and wants. Our in-house design, manufacturing and installation teams have the knowledge and experience to help take cabinetry or millwork projects from good to great.”

company’s design team can incorporate modern kitchen necessities without a “busy” or “cramped” vibe. “Since we manufacture in-house, we can customize cabinetry for every different appliance and maximize every nook and cranny, ensuring a truly custom, integrated look.”

Flawless kitchens, Darryl says, require streamlined “flow.” “How you flow through a kitchen partly determines how productive and efficient it can be,” he explains. “It’s more enjoyable to cook in a properly-designed space. When you’re working in the kitchen, the kitchen should work with you.”

Finished cabinetry designs are manufactured and installed by Genuine Kitchens, and Darryl highlights the company’s willingness to help customers with ongoing upkeep. “At Genuine Kitchens, we believe in long-term relationships with our clients.”

Genuine Kitchens’ custom cabinetry designs facilitate “flow” beautifully. The


First-rate appliances are also key to holiday cooking. “You need to suit your appliances to your lifestyle,” says Darryl,

“When you’re working in the kitchen, the kitchen should work with you.” – Darryl Braine, Genuine Kitchens

moisture levels, facilitating effective food storage. Jenn-Air ovens feature “baking drawers,” empowering holiday hosts to multitask. “You could cook a roast in the oven while making cookies underneath, in the baking drawer.” Meanwhile, customizable Jenn-Air cooktops can optionally incorporate flattop, grill and wok surfaces. Interior Design by Kevin Muise

noting this is especially true of major culinary projects, like a holiday meal. “If you’re entertaining guests often, double ovens, warming drawers, baking drawers and under-counter refrigeration are ideal,” Tanya notes. The Genuine Kitchens showroom stocks stunning Jenn-Air products, showcasing

an ingenious approach that revitalizes “standard” appliances. For example, Tanya explains, Jenn-Air refrigerators boast both “Twin Fresh climate control” and the “Produce Preserver” system. The Produce Preserver extends the shelf life of fruits and vegetables by curtailing ethylene gas production, while Twin Fresh creates a contrast between the fridge and freezer’s temperature and

In addition to necessities like ovens, cooktops and refrigerators, Jenn-Air provides a range of luxury appliances. Holiday hosts may find themselves reliant on a Jenn-Air warming drawer, especially if their guests could be delayed. “A warming drawer heats with moist air, so food doesn’t dry out,” says Tanya. “I’ve left things in a warming drawer for an hour; they’re still lovely afterwards.” A refrigerated drawer or undercounter refrigerator, on the other hand, allows hosts to offer abundant choices when it comes to chilled beverages. “It’s the perfect complement to a liquor drawer or cabinet, and it keeps beverages from taking up valuable fridge space,” says Tanya. Something to keep in mind if you’ll be toasting the New Year with chilled champagne.

Genuine Kitchens 38 Fielding Ave. Dartmouth 902.468.8431 sales@genuinekitchens.com www.genuinekitchens.com




Looking to keep your home warm and energy-efficient this winter? CONSIDER A MINI-SPLIT HEAT PUMP


ith cold weather on its way, many homeowners are looking for ways to keep their home warm and energy-efficient. A popular and simple addition to your home is a mini-split heat pump — a ductless air conditioner mounted on the wall that provides both heating and cooling. “It’s a home air conditioner that not only keeps your home cool in summer, but is also a heat source, which cuts back on winter heating costs,” says Capital Ventilation president Tammy Atton. More convenient than a window air conditioner, as a mini split doesn’t have



to be removed in the winter, it also burns far less power. “A mini split installed in your basement also helps to dehumidify your home,” adds Atton.

life of your HVAC, reduce your power bill and, most importantly, keep you and your family warm or cool, depending on the season.

The way a mini split works is similar to a regular heat pump and is an easy addition to an existing home. “Many new homes are going with a full, ducted heat pump system. The mini split is a great retrofit for after the fact.”

In summer, your system will be working its hardest to cope with high temperatures, so fall is an ideal time to perform maintenance (and then again in the spring, just before the hot weather hits).

Maintenance for mini splits and all HVAC systems With any heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, maintenance is always important. A little TLC can drastically lengthen the

Here are a few tips for maintaining your HVAC system:


1. Clean the filters. “A dirty filter can reduce the efficiency of the unit, increasing power costs,” says Atton.

“It’s a home air conditioner that not only keeps your home cool in summer, but is also a heat source, which cuts back on winter heating costs.” - Tammy Atton

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.

It will also keep your system from producing the amount of hot or cool air that you would like, cutting off a lot of potential airflow. It’s best to check these filters regularly. 2. Clear debris away from your system. This is most important during the winter, as snow can begin to pile up and surround your unit. Continually check on your system to make sure there are no branches, leaves or other debris blocking airflow into the unit. As a rule of thumb, it’s good to have about two feet of space surrounding the unit. Also, make sure to check the inside cabinet for any additional debris that may have found its way inside. 3. Inspect the coil. A full coil cleaning doesn’t need to be completed very often, but it’s always good to check in to make sure it hasn’t accumulated an unexpected amount of dirt. Dirty coils make the system run longer, reducing its efficiency and shortening its life. Don’t hesitate to call Capital Ventilation to schedule an inspection or repair. A knowledgeable and experienced technician will be at your door to ensure your system is working to its full potential without wasting airflow or energy.

Company president Tammy Atton at work in the Capital Ventilation shop


Capital Ventilation 62C Bluewater Rd., Bedford 902.835.9224 info@capitalventilation.ca www.capitalventilation.ca


Ventilation systems Heating systems Air exchangers Heat recovery Heat pumps




Build a Wellness Regime for Your Business By Matthew Harpell



Wellness is personal. It depends entirely on an individual’s aspirations to become an ideal version of themselves. Personal goals might include things like a weight loss plan or spending more time outdoors. Whatever the goal, the reason is personal. And when it comes to putting a plan into action, the process is linear and simplistic. For example, if you want to lose weight, you find a strategy, you see it through, and you get results.



n business, this process can be more complicated. Many companies struggle to articulate their “last 10 pounds” equivalent. As a result, companies drift into a “work-creates-work” conundrum, with little or no purpose other than to get the job done and involving unaligned activities, and wasted time, money and energy.

30-second strategy A wellness strategy isn’t hard, but it requires effort and attention. It must become your objective, scope and differentiator. Using a sports analogy, your strategy is: one, the trophy you’re trying to win; two, the type of sport/ league in which you’re playing; and three, how you’re going to use your secret weapon(s) to win.

Strategy pitfalls Defining your strategy is the first step. However, this isn’t where companies drop the ball. It’s often said that strategy falls apart due to poor execution. On the contrary, I believe execution falls apart due to poor strategy. So how do you avoid strategy pitfalls? The first step is being aware. Here are three of the most common ailments to successful strategy and execution: 1. Strategy and operations are worlds apart. Here’s an unpopular (yet true) statement: strategy hates KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). In fact, strategy couldn’t care less about KPIs. It cares about one “North Star” metric — a single indicator that says, “Yes, the strategy is working” or “No, the strategy isn’t working.” Too often, companies handcuff themselves with far too many numbers, reports, research, data, new processes, etc. The result: analysis paralysis. It is important to segregate operations from strategy — they are worlds apart. Operations are concerned with process

efficiency, improvements and getting the job done. Although contribution from operations personnel (to the strategic planning process) is paramount, they should not lead the process. New strategy may impose operational constraints, tension for change, and, temporary operational inefficiencies. By virtue of the way brains are wired (to get it done!), operational employees are programmed to execute effectively, not to define and map out a strategy blueprint. (Warning: operations leaders are very convincing when explaining their ability to lead both operations and strategy. Don’t be lured.) 2. Priority. Pick a few and complete them. Perhaps the most common strategy pitfall stems from a company’s inability to make decisions that may “rock the boat,” such as internal politics, breaking through red tape, personal reputation, etc. Stricken by the grasp of “the way it’s always been,” companies often create “priorities” that, taken at face value, are the right thing to say to appease stakeholders. Here’s the reality: strategy never avoids opposition. In fact, strategy, quite literally means you’ve decided upon a single direction. It also means not choosing alternative directions. You cannot please everyone. You cannot appeal to all clients/customers/patients. When companies attempt to sell to everyone, their resources (time, people, money) are pulled in opposing directions. Choose a strategy and formally denote your priorities to accomplish this goal. If you have more than three priorities, chances are, one of them isn’t a priority.

to be (current vs. future state). In such discussions, companies have no problem identifying the things that aren’t working well, and herein lies the problem. In business, people are taught to turn weakness into opportunity. This results in more time, energy and resources being invested back into activities to “improve” areas of weakness. The fact is, companies are afraid to swallow the best medicine: elimination. Strategy, as quoted by many strategic leaders, is less about “know what to do” than it is about “know what not to do.” In fact, your strategy (and priorities) should make it easy for you to say, “we’re not going to do that anymore.” Don’t try to make things better. Don’t try to patch things up. If it’s not on-strategy, it’s off-strategy. Cut it loose. Kick the old habits. Go cold turkey. Lose the ‘strat’-fat to become the ideal version of your company.

Source: Can You Say What Your Strategy Is? David Collis, Michael G. Rukstad. Harvard Business Review 2008.

3. Elimination Choosing priorities is about determining what you must do to achieve your strategy. Logic would suggest that once priorities are determined, all other activities (non-priorities) would discontinue. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Strategic planning traditionally includes an analysis of where the company is vs. where it wants


Matthew Harpell is the owner of Matlen Strategy (matlenstrategy.com), a company that aims to save time and improve results by providing business planning and support for business owners who are too busy working ‘in’ the business to find time to work ‘on’ the business.



Mac East

Offering Lifetime Tech Support

FOR OUR APPLE BUYERS Authorized reseller and service provider. Servicing everything Apple. We don’t “also do Macs,”

we only do Macs.

Mac East 108 Ochterloney St., Dartmouth (Entrance on Victoria Road) 902.444.4622 www.maceast.ca

Kathleen Sorensen, Barry Ring and Cinder, the empathy dog


Don Wishart

SEAMARK Asset Management



f you are like most small business owners, you plan to fund your retirement through the eventual sale of the business. Many owners would admit that it can be difficult to choose between contributing to their RRSPs or investing in their businesses. Putting all your retirement eggs into the company basket has obvious risks. Most importantly, the business may hit a down turn just when you are nearing retirement. A personal financial plan, reflecting retirement goals, should accompany your business plan. What is a Group RRSP?

One easily structured retirement plan is a Group RRSP. Business owners can establish group RRSPs that benefit themselves as employees. Group RRSPs are employer-sponsored retirement savings plans, wherein the company makes contributions to an RRSP on the employees’ behalf within the individual’s contribution limits. Contributions are deductible by the company and reported as earned income by the employee, who then receives a tax deduction for the contribution. Group RRSPs are creditor-proof, providing additional security for the owner should something catastrophic happen to the business. A Group RRSP is an easy way for small business owners to build retirement savings and provide some benefit for the company too. Additionally, included as a part of a total compensation package, Group RRSPs add appeal for prospective employees. With Canada pretty much

at full employment, they can be a way to attract and retain key talent. Are there other options beyond RRSPs?

Another option is the Individual Pension Plan (IPP). IPPs are one-person defined benefit pension plans achieving predetermined retirement income streams by using tax-deductible contributions. Allowable contributions are generally higher than those of RRSPs, enabling tax-free growth of a larger pool of retirement assets. IPPs are typically used by business owners and key employees over the age of 45 who have an annual income exceeding $100,000. Again, the assets are 100 per cent protected from creditors. IPPs allow for past service funding, and, if an individual retires earlier than 65, a terminal funding contribution can be made to provide further retirement benefits. Moreover, recent changes to the income tax act have made it less beneficial to accumulate capital in a small business, as passive income above $50,000 per annum will be taxed at a much higher rate than in the past. IPPs enable you to reduce taxable income without losing the capital, making it a tax strategy as well as a retirement plan. Small business owners may also use Retirement Compensation Arrangements (RCAs). Contributions are made to RCAs by the business to a custodian on behalf of the business owner. Half the contribution is deposited with the custodian and is invested, while


the other half is deposited with the CRA in a Refundable Tax Account (RTA). When the business owner eventually receives the benefits, 50 per cent is fully taxable and the other 50 per cent comes in the form of a refund from the RTA. Taxes paid on the benefits are often lower though, since taxable income tends to decline upon retirement. How can you access these?

SEAMARK offers Group RRSPs, IPPs and RCAs. Our Group RRSP is unique in that it enables the employee to obtain a direct relationship with a portfolio manager and to invest in a manner consistent with his/her specific investment objectives. We provide professional guidance to ensure your retirement plans are the best fit for both your personal and business needs.

Don Wishart, CMA, CPA, CFA President

SEAMARK Asset Management 810-1801 Hollis St. 1.888.303.5055 www.seamark.ca



These days, taxes are changing like our weather For All Your Small Business and Personal Tax Needs

Chartered Professional Accountants Licensed Public Accountants Tax | Reviews | Compilations | Bookkeeping | Payroll | Estates | Business Plans | Personal tax services

250 Baker Drive, Suite 214, Dartmouth, NS, B2W 0G3 Phone: 902.434.3301 www.shellnutt.com @ShellnuttCPA

WITH Niall Burke Cox & Palmer



n May of this year, the police were called to a home in West Vancouver due to noise disturbances from a teen party. What was different about this party was that the 14-year-old organizer didn’t choose her parent’s home as the venue, she had booked someone else’s home using an online home rental service and her parent’s credit card. Straight out of a bad teen movie, party numbers swelled and grew out of control after the invitation was circulated via social media. More than 200 teens attended the party and over $20,000 worth of damage took place to the rented property. Stories such as this serve as a reality check to homeowners who rent out their properties through similar sites. Although the source of income is tempting, many people don’t realize the liabilities they are exposing themselves to. The truth of the matter is that when renting out your home, you are always taking a risk. Homeowners should recognize the distinction between residential and commercial activities. A typical homeowner insurance policy only provides coverage when you’re occupying your home. Under most policies, friends and family can occasionally stay, but if you are making money renting your unit, this is a commercial activity that will void most insurance policies. If you are going to use your home as a rental property, talk to

your insurance representative and ensure that specific coverage options for rental properties are in place.

aware of the distinction as well as the potential tax implications if you choose the incorrect category.

Airbnb provides renters with insurance for property damage and third party damage in the amount of $1 million. However, if a gathering is being held for 200 minors, it is not difficult to imagine a situation where the damages could far exceed this allotment.

Regardless of how many positive reviews a potential renter has received, be aware of the risks. Protect yourself and your assets and you will greatly increase your chances of a problem-free home sharing experience.

Civil litigation is also a concern should the renter have an accident on a leased property. Therefore, if you are considering renting your home, you should ensure that all aspects of the property are up to municipal code. If you are a condominium owner, it is important to review your condominium declaration and by-laws. While as a condominium owner you own freehold title to your unit, there may be some restriction on your ability to rent out the unit for short-term rentals. Condominium declarations may include a clause restricting rentals to 30 days or more. For the majority of people, income gained from a home rental will be considered rental income, but this is not necessarily the case. Income could be treated as business income. If you are renting your home, you should be


Niall Burke Real Estate and Condominium Law Cox & Palmer Purdy’s Wharf, Tower 1 1100-1959 Upper Water St., Halifax 902.421.6262 www.coxandpalmerlaw.com




VOLVO OF HALIFAX Builds on Local History with Stunning New Models Photos Steve Jess


olvo’s origins are Scandinavian; the company was established in Sweden in the 1920s. Nevertheless, there’s something especially appropriate about driving a Volvo in Nova Scotia. “Halifax has a long association with the Volvo brand,” says Volvo of Halifax general manager John Gwynne-Timothy.



“For years, Volvo had a plant on the Halifax waterfront, then in Bayers Lake Business Park. Components were shipped from Sweden, and vehicles were assembled here.” Global influences led to the Halifax plant’s closure in 1998, but a strong local connection still exists. Volvo vehicles for the Canadian market are first received in Shearwater, then distributed across the


country. Halifax remains key to Volvo’s Canadian operations, and GwynneTimothy sees the “lengthy relationship between Volvo and Halifax as a major factor in Nova Scotians’ loyalty to the brand.” Volvo’s reputation for protecting passengers no doubt also plays into its local popularity. “When people think of Volvo, safety tends to be the first thing

“Volvo’s new generation of vehicles are a result of decades of experience and innovation.” - John Gwynne-Timothy

that the driver can’t stop the car in time to avoid an accident, City Safety with Autobrake will stop the car, or slow it down to minimize possible damage. “City Safety,” he says, “is just one of many safety systems and technologies that will help Volvo achieve its ambitious safety goals. Volvo’s mandate is that by 2020 no person will be killed or seriously injured in a Volvo vehicle. Everything Volvo is doing now is designed around that vision.”

that comes to mind,” says GwynneTimothy. Nova Scotia’s extreme and varied weather, particularly in colder months — snowy roads, black ice, low visibility — produces driving conditions that demand a safe, reliable vehicle. “Volvo is often described as ‘synonymous with safety,’” he adds. “Volvo’s new generation of vehicles are a result of decades of experience and innovation.”

Every new Volvo includes features designed to help drivers avoid collisions and protect occupants should one occur. Volvo’s ground-breaking new City Safety technology is integral to that strategy. “This innovation identifies other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and large animals in daytime or nighttime driving conditions, and warns the driver if a collision is imminent,” he says. If the vehicle detects


Environmentalism and renewable energy are also paramount at Volvo, which has worked with the United Nations in the implementation of automotive environmental initiatives. Volvo now plans to release multiple electric models over the coming years (in addition to hybrid models already in production), ultimately aiming to ensure that all future designs incorporate electric capabilities. In addition to its reputation for safety and environmental mindfulness, Volvo has always been a prestige brand — desirable for, in Gwynne-Timothy’s words, its “understated quality and luxury.” As Volvo’s models have continued to evolve, he says the brand’s



“City Safety is just one of many safety systems and technologies that will help Volvo achieve its ambitious safety goals.” – John Gwynne-Timothy

VOLVO’S new models have collected numerous industry awards, including: luxury elements are being appreciated by a wider audience. “Volvo is now on the cutting edge of design and in-car technologies, so we’re attracting a whole new buyer.” Volvo’s 2018/2019 lineup of vehicles features an unprecedented balance of safety, environmental viability and luxury features. “In 2015, Volvo launched a new platform, upon which the current models are based,” Gwynne-Timothy explains. “They’ve undergone a complete transformation.” The new lineup’s diverse designs range from the streamlined XC40 (priced below $40,000) to the sevenpassenger XC90. “We’re just launching the new V60 and S60; they’re the last new models to be introduced on the new platform,” says Gwynne-Timothy, pointing out that the S60 will be the first model built in Volvo’s new South Carolina factory. He says that professionals tend to be fans of the S60 and V60 designs. “The S60 offers the security of a fully enclosed trunk, while the V60 offers the functionality of a wagon without the



height of a sport utility.” The XC60 and XC90, meanwhile, may appeal to larger families who require a more spacious vehicle. A planned launch event this fall will allow guests to test-drive the V60 and S60 — the “last two models to be reintroduced with the new platform,” says Gwynne-Timothy. “Customers interested in these styles will now enjoy the benefits of Volvo’s all-new technologies and engine platforms — just like everyone who’s bought an XC90, XC60, V90, S90 or XC40 over the past few years.”

V90 Top Luxury Car (autoTRADER.ca, 2018) XC40 Car of the Year (Geneva Motor Show, 2018) XC60 Best in Class: Large OffRoad (Euro NCAP, 2017) Car of the Year (UK Car of the Year Awards, 2018) North American Utility of the Year (New York International Auto Show, 2018) World Car of the Year (New York International Auto Show, 2018)

Volvo of Halifax 3363 Kempt Road, Halifax 902.453.2110 info@volvoofhalifax.com www.volvoofhalifax.net


XC90 Top Luxury SUV (autoTRADER.ca, 2018) Top Pick Overall (autoTRADER.ca, 2018)

Powerful presence, engaging performance. The road ahead demands full control. With a highly refined chassis the 2019 Volvo S60 delivers a precise and dynamic driving experience defined by effortless performance and comfort. Inside, a thoughtful blend of intuitive technology and Scandinavian refinement creates an engaging and connected drive on any road.


A L L - N E W

2 0 1 9

VO LVO s 6 0 O U R




S T A R T I N G F R O M $42,400*


902-982-3887 www.volvoofhalifax.com

*Advertised prices not applicable in Quebec. MSRP is $42,400.00 for a new 2019 Volvo S60 Momentum. Taxes, $2,015.00 freight and PDI, $100 air conditioning charge and $499 dealer administration fee (which may vary by dealer), license, insurance, registration and applicable fees, levies and duties (all of which may vary by region and/or dealer) are extra. Retailer may sell for less. Dealer order/trade may be necessary (but may not be available in all cases). European models may be shown. Features and equipment may vary in Canada. Visit volvocars.ca for more information on Canadian models and features. Š 2018 Volvo Car Canada Ltd, 9130 Leslie St., Suite 101, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 0B9. Always remember to wear your seat belt.

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ReFINEd Halifax Fall 2018  

ReFINEd Halifax Fall 2018  


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