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O2 Wellness Halifax’s Boutique-Style Gym WINTER SKIN CARE Improve Your Daily Routine

LOVE WINE? Host A Home Wine Tasting

ATLANTIC FASHION WEEK Designers Bring Their "A" Game


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Winter 2019 Volume 5 Issue 1 Owner / Publisher Seann Gervason | 902.476.4700 Editor Lori McKay | 902.877.5512

Editor’s Note With ReFINEd editor LORI MCKAY


elcome to our winter issue of ReFINEd Halifax. This magazine has a number of distinct winter themes that I hope you enjoy as you flip through the following pages.

One such theme is our story on the popular Danish concept hygge — which essentially means staying comfortable, cozy, warm and safe. Think cups of hot chocolate and tea, warm blankets and quilts, and a burning fire. Continuing on with this international theme is our feature on winter cocktails from around the globe. Did you know Finland was named the happiest nation on the planet? This could be because of their love of hygge, lagom, a Nordic diet … and now päntsdrunk, a term I found particularly amusing. Be sure to read about Finland’s drink, Glögi, to find out more. We also have a fabulous travel article on beautiful Barbados. You will be happily distracted from our cold, bleak winter weather as you read about the island’s beautiful beaches and attractions. A new year, a new you. Now is the perfect time to start a healthier routine or to try something different. On our cover is O2 Wellness, a fabulous boutique-style gym in Bedford’s Sunnyside Mall. O2 promotes all areas of a healthy lifestyle. Their slogan is “Eat. Train. Sleep. Be well.” One of my favourite topics to research and talk about is skin care. I had the opportunity to attend a Winter Skin Care Masterclass with Jennifer Brodeur, the founder of JB Skin Guru. Brodeur is the facialist/skin strategist for Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama. Her tips and advice were fascinating. Find out more in my article. Also in this issue, columnist Susan Alward writes about the benefits of retinol. Another of my favourite subjects is wine. I have always been a white wine drinker, with a particular love of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, but after attending a four-week series on Big Bold Reds at The Port by NSLC earlier this winter, I’ve found some new favourites. If you enjoy wine, I highly recommend taking part in one of these events. But a great way to try new wines at home is to host an event of your own. Check out our article on hosting a home wine tasting. Enjoy!




Contributing Writers Rebecca Spinner, Angela Campagnoni, Colleen Thompson, Suzanne Rent, Susan Alward, Anita Draycott, Matthew Harpell Cover Photography Bruce Jollimore Photography Bruce Jollimore, Steve Jess, Colleen Thompson, Brent McCombs of AlterEgo Photography Distribution & Subscriptions | 902.476.4700

Seann Gervason Owner / Publisher 902.476.4700

Jason MacDonald Sales Manager 902.233.9582

Ghislaine Moffitt Graphic Designer

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.










STYLE | 14


Host a home wine tasting


14 Atlantic Fashion Week: Season 12

40 Winter cocktails around the world



66 Travel Barbados

74 Hygge at home


NOW OPEN AT SUNNYSIDE MALL Fresh New You Halifax Genesis Ice Patch Hollow Indoor Playground 02 Wellness

Coming Soon

Massage Experts

Always Changing, Always Here SHOPS


Atlantic Lottery Booth • Bentley • Blossom Shops • Boso Bamboo Boutique • Brain Candy Toys • Cazza Petite David’s Tea • EB Games • Fluffy Bottom Babies • Freak Lunchbox • General Nutrition Centre (GNC) • Hallmark Hammock by Thornbloom • Indigo Spirit • Liquid Gold Lisa Drader-Murphy • Made in the Maritimes • Mark’s Naturalizer Shoes • Newfoundland Chocolate Company Northern Reflections • Nygard Fashions • Peoples Jewellers Poppy & Olive (Expanding) • Running Room • Shoppers Drug Mart • Silken Lingerie • SoftMoc • Stokes • Suzy Shier The Body Shop • The Village Green • Moe’s Menswear

Bedford iBrow & Laser Clinic • Carlos Barbershop • Comfort Orthotics & Podiatry Clinic (Expanding) • Eastlink • H&R Block • Koodoo Lullaby Lounge • Maritime Travel • Sameday Dry Cleaning • Shades Hair & Nail Salon • Sunnyside Tailor Shop • Wireless Wave

MARKETSIDE & DINING Finbar’s • II Mercato • Middle Spoon Desserterie and Bar On the Wedge Pizza & Panini Bar • Pete’s Frootique & Fine Foods • Second Cup & Pinkberry • Subway • Sushi Moto Thai Ivory Express

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O2 Wellness Brings Boutique Gym Culture to Halifax By Rebecca Spinner Photos Bruce Jollimore

O2 Wellness’s co-founders, Joe Daniel and Santana Anderson, honed their vision for a luxury HRM workout centre through extensive international research — and countless hours in the gym.


nderson was a professional bodybuilder for many years. As he travelled the world, he experienced different workout facilities. For a long time, a lot of the cutting-edge services he saw during his travels weren’t available in Halifax.

manager. “We started talking about the local gym industry,” recounts Anderson. “We thought the high-end offerings were falling short.”

He first brushed shoulders with Daniel — a veteran personal trainer — at an HRM gym where Daniel served as fitness

O2 Wellness opened its 24-hour facilities in Sunnyside Mall in spring 2018. Its minimalist interior —sparkling,



Daniel said they truly felt like they could do it better. “We decided that now would be the perfect time.”


spotless and sleek, accented with natural stone surfaces — is just one facet of its visionary approach to luxury gym culture, which Anderson and Daniel acknowledge is still something of a local novelty. Members range from students to retirees, and to accommodate everyone, O2 Wellness offers underground parking access and daily classes from 6:15 a.m. onwards. “There’s just no facility in the

“O2 Wellness is a full-service fitness centre in Bedford, Nova Scotia, designed to train each member for success with fresh-stocked meal services and exercise that will invigorate the mind, body and spirit. O2 Wellness is served by passionate employees who live fitness every day, to produce results and accomplish your personal wellness goals!” – O2 Wellness mission statement

city that’s comparable,” says Anderson, who describes O2 Wellness as a “boutique-style gym.”

Equipment O2 Wellness’ workout spaces are outfitted with top-tier equipment and technologies, sourced by Anderson and Daniel from among the industry’s most highly regarded brands: Hoist Fitness Systems’ ROC-IT Selectorized products, Precor cardio machines, plate-loaded Precor Discovery Series custom lifting platforms, and Rogue bumper plates and Monster Racks. “We picked each piece of equipment to be the best in its genre,” Daniel explains. That extends to the equipment’s technological appeal; many O2 Wellness machines feature smartphone compatibility and entertainment options.

The crowning glory of O2 Wellness’ equipment collection is the Precor Queenax. “The Queenax is a functional movement apparatus. It’s like a jungle gym for grownups,” says Daniel. As far as they know, they have the only Queenax system east of Montreal right now. O2 Wellness members can complete Queenax workouts solo, with a trainer’s assistance, or within an organized group class setting.

Staff The level of care Anderson and Daniel have applied to choosing O2 Wellness’ equipment is also reflected in their selections for the gym’s staff roster. “Most of our coaches are universityeducated, with years of experience,” says Anderson. “It’s a team-friendly environment.”


Since many O2 Wellness members collaborate closely with a trainer, the gym’s founders have made a mission of seeking out professionals whose skillsets combine knowledge, passion and positivity. “We’re proud of our team,” Daniel says. “They use their education and experience to ensure their clients hit every single one of their goals.” Daniel and Anderson agree the staff’s motivational strategies are key to the success of the gym — not to mention its guests. “We focus on the ‘why.’ Why are you here? What’s your number one goal? By starting there, we can cater our facility toward clients’ needs. We want to be able to help them focus.” Staff at the family-friendly facility also provide childcare morning and evening, weekdays and weekends, free of charge.



“The Queenax is a functional movement apparatus. It’s like a jungle gym for grownups.” – Joe Daniel



Classes at O2 Wellness O2 Wellness offers tons of classes — about 50 classes per week. Classes are offered between 6:15 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., and include the following options: Barre HIIT Pilates Primal Strength Queenax Spin TRX Yoga Zumba and more.

Lifestyle Multiple O2 Wellness staff members (head coach Michelle Long among them) have a thorough grounding in nutrition, and Anderson and Daniel are acutely aware of nutrition’s role in fitness. By offering the “Meals 2 Go” meal service through the gym, they provide O2 Wellness members with effortless access to flavourful, nutritionally flawless entrees. Each Meal 2 Go contains 100 grams apiece of starch, vegetables and protein. “Our Meals 2 Go are 100 per cent customizable. Clients pick their protein, veggie and starch, and the dish is built exactly the way they want it,” says Daniel. His favourite of the Meals 2 Go entrees is the Cajun shrimp. Anderson says he prefers “the braised beef with quinoa and broccoli.” O2 Wellness members can also stave off hunger and maximize their energy and stamina levels at the onsite smoothie bar. The bar’s most popular concoctions reportedly include the Chunky Monkey (banana, natural peanut butter and O2 Natural Whey chocolate protein) and It’s A Date (almond butter, banana, dates and O2 Natural Whey vanilla protein) smoothies.

shop,” which carries workout apparel from O2 Wellness and Montreal-based Lolë. Lolë was selected as one of O2 Wellness’ house lines thanks to the company’s well-rounded appeal, notes Anderson. “It’s a very high-quality, fashionable product.” Despite O2 Wellness’ relatively recent debut, Anderson and Daniel already hope to grow the brand. They are looking at potentially expanding the Sunnyside Mall facility, as well the possibility of additional HRM locations. That confidence is far from misplaced, given the enthusiastic response O2 Wellness has received to date. “Once someone tries the gym, they tend to stay,” says Anderson. “We offer everything. You just have to come in the door.”

Mention this article to an O2 Wellness consultant to receive complimentary access and classes for 14 days

O2 Natural Whey protein is also available through O2 Wellness’ “pro


Fusion classes also feature on the schedule, including an enticing barre/Pilates class, which combines the challenge of Pilates with the lithe, balletic elegance of barre. “Barre is great for ex-dancers. The wording and cueing are very similar,” says Daniel. Primal Strength, meanwhile, is an innovative workout focused around fitness fundamentals. “It consists of primal movements — squats, lunges, pushes, pulls, bends and twists — in a controlled classroom setting.” Class sizes are generally capped at around 20 attendees, but equipment-centred Queenax classes are limited to 12 spots. “Smaller class sizes allow us to provide participants with oneon-one focus.”

Sunnyside Mall 1595 Bedford Highway, Suite 210 (On the mezzanine level) 902.706.1700 @o2wellness




Designers Bring their


Atlantic Fashion Week


By Angela Campagnoni Photos Brent McCombs of AlterEgo Photography

Every Atlantic Fashion Week is different. The 2018 show, season 12, didn’t disappoint. Emerging and established designers brought kickass collections that were new and exciting. From streetwear by local favourites BZLY and Art Pays Me, to sizzling swimwear by Sueno Swimwear and elegant fine jewellery by Frida, and everything in between, attendees were left with an eyeful of amazing talent.




Large numbers gathered each night for Atlantic Fashion Week season 12, held Oct. 1821, 2018 in Halifax.


ew talent proved they had the vision and skill to execute relevant, wearable looks. With recent graduates from NBCCD, NSCAD, DAL and DaVinci alongside other new designers, AFW was able to showcase an impressive group of young hungry talent. Most within this category were in their first year of business, names like Michelle Rober Collection, Dauntless Devise Designs,

Donn Sabean, Designer

TUCY, East Coast Couture, Frankie Francis, Alyssa Kellar – Coastal Brave, Haus of Kirby and Cellophxne. And what else walked down the 150-foot AFW runway? Some of the most beautiful ready-to-wear collections we have seen to date, from designers like Twigg & Feather, Kelsey Erin, Adrienne Goodine, Chelsint, Donn Sabean, LORE, Esme Original, Chavah Design and our finale designer, Orphanage. Plus, droolworthy accessories from Artifacts World, TABITHA + CO and Ellaments by Tanya.




“Some attendees said this was the best year they can remember. This is the fuel that keeps AFW going and ensures our design community continues to have a platform for years to come.�- Angela Campagnoni

ABOVE Lemonade Stand Designs, Designer TOP RIGHT Frankie Francis, Designer BOTTOM RIGHT Melanie Jacqueline, Designer




The lines that stood out to me as fun and colourful — and much needed expressions of joy that are sometimes lacking in today’s world — were Drunk Gurl, Philomena Wear, Keikaikoa, Lemonade Stand Designs, Blue Ladybug Design and Melanie Jacqueline. Clothing can be a medium to bring the message of love and expression, and for me these lines found the perfect balance to spread the joy of vision and colour.

TOP LEFT Artifacts World, Designer TOP MIDDLE Veronica MacIsaac, Designer TOP RIGHT Drunk Gurl, Designer BOTTOM LEFT L-R Jody and Angela BOTTOM MIDDLE Adrienne Goodine, Designer BOTTOM RIGHT Kelsey Erin, Designer

Atlantic Fashion Week has always been my baby, and every year someone or something stands out and leaves an impression on me. This year it came from the support of the community. I loved seeing the designer shopping pavilion buzzing with shoppers, and the


excited faces on people as they snagged new pieces. Some attendees said this was the best year they can remember. This is the fuel that keeps AFW going and ensures our design community continues to have a platform for years to come.



TOP LEFT Vlad & Frida, Designer BOTTOM LEFT Chavah Designs, Designer TOP RIGHT Tabitha & Co, Designer BOTTOM RIGHT Orphanage, Designer




LORE, Designer

Thank you to everyone who attended past and present shows, and to all of our sponsors, designers, volunteers, models and backstage teams of hair and makeup artists. Also, a big thank you to our photographers and the AFW team. With more than 45 shows and featuring over 200 different lines in 12 seasons, I don’t see Atlantic Fashion Week slowing down anytime in the future.

Angela Campagnoni is the founder and creator of Atlantic Fashion Week, and has more than 25 years in the fashion industry.

Twigg & Feather, Designer




Artist Spotlight

Clothing and Cafe Faves “I don’t sit still for very long,” says Rena. When she does kick back, “I tend to go to cozy, quiet places.” Recently, she’s been visiting Glitter Bean Cafe (5896 Spring Garden Rd.). Rena’s signature style? Statement earrings and stunning vintage finds. “I wear earrings every day of my life! And, since 1975, I very rarely purchase anything new.” She’s known to browse at — and occasionally model for — Penelope’s Boutique (5685 Cunard St.).

Veronica MacIsaac Apparel

Lemonade Stand Designs

Rena’s Runway A self-described “unlikely model” on her fashionable calling By Rebecca Spinner Photos Brent McCombs of AlterEgo Photography


f you attended Atlantic Fashion Week 2018, you might have spotted a model with sparkling eyes and sleek, striking white hair. That’s Rena Kossatz. “I would say I’m an unlikely model,” Rena muses. The sometime graphic designer first appeared on Atlantic Fashion Week’s catwalk in 2016, following an open call. Come 2018, seven designers chose Rena to don their masterpieces on the runway. “I find it all quite a lark, actually — to meet the designers, be in their company, showcase their work,” Rena says. She’s now modelled for lines including



Lemonade Stand Designs, Veronica MacIsaac Apparel, and Orphanage Clothing. (In spring 2018, Rena also donned Orphanage Clothing in photographer Brent McCombs’ Dark Beauty Magazine cover shot.) She embraces each designer’s unique aesthetic. “Lemonade Stand Designs make me feel joyful. Orphanage Clothing suits my more theatrical side.” Rena is an actor, as well as a model, and has appeared frequently in local theatre and film — recent credits include Zuppa Theatre Co.’s This Is Nowhere, Malefic Films’ The Child Remains, and Fifteen Sixty Films’ My Mother’s Armenian


Orphanage Clothing

Christmas Bread Recipe. Given her theatrical background, it’s no surprise that Rena can connect with a crowd. “One of the most satisfying things about modelling is the audience response,” she says. “I’ve had women in my demographic express to me how delighted they are to see themselves represented on the runway. People are starting to recognize that fashion isn’t limited to a particular size or age.”

WITH Johanna Ventoso Guapa Boutique



ashion can be looked at in two distinct categories — fast fashion and mindful fashion. Fast fashion was introduced by large retailers that provide on-trend merchandise and change their stock every two to three weeks (think H&M and Zara). These clothes tend to be inexpensive and quality can be questionable. A mindful fashion consumer is interested in where the item was made, what fabrics are used and if the brand values sustainability. Shoppers are willing to spend a bit more for quality and longevity of their purchase when it comes to mindful fashion. There certainly is a place for both. Fast fashion is fun, inexpensive and can provide you with the latest trends. Mindful fashion includes those pieces that can be considered staples, basics or must-haves that should be in everyone’s wardrobes. These essentials can be worn in multiple ways. They can be mixed and matched with trendy pieces and worn casually or dressy. Versatility is key. You may end up spending a bit more on these items, but quality will ensure they last for years and will not go out of style. 5 Essential Items for Every Woman’s Closet Here are five essential pieces of clothing that should be in every woman’s closet. They can be mixed and matched in a multitude of ways and offer you choice, but will inevitably help with the “What will I wear today?” dilemma. 1. My first essential is a pair of black pants. It’s the only item of clothing I can think of that suits every age, body shape and size. They can be worn on a daily basis in a variety of

interchangeable ways — from casual to business to dressy. I urge everyone to invest in a great pair. You may spend a bit more than you initially planned, but in the end, you will have an invaluable piece that fits perfectly and will last a long time. 2. The second essential is a white top. It can be a short or long sleeve t-shirt, or a simple white shirt. This is an article that can be worn on its own or underneath a sweater, shirt or jacket. I’ve had clients object to white because they feel it’s not a colour they can wear, but I tell them it’s not necessary to wear white alone. Just having the white collar peak out of your favourite sweater can change the look of the outfit to be more polished. 3. Essential number three is a go-to sweater. It can be cotton, cashmere or a blend of fibres in a basic colour of black, cream, grey, navy, camel or even red. It can be a V-neck, crew-neck or cardigan. A sweater will provide warmth when needed and still keep the outfit looking cohesive and well put together. 4. The elusive perfect jean. This may be the most difficult piece of the puzzle to find, but it can be done. Be prepared to try on many — and I mean MANY! — pairs of jeans to find the perfect ones. Once you find them, celebrate with a well-deserved glass of wine! Great jeans can be an expensive purchase, but the right fit and good quality denim is well worth it in the end. A classic cut won’t go out of style and can be worn casually with a pair of sneakers or a sexy pair of heels. 5. The fifth and final essential is the little black dress. In my opinion, this


piece doesn’t have to be embellished or super fancy. The simpler the better. The degree of fancy comes with the accessories — jewellery, scarves, shoes, etc. You will know the right dress when you find it. You will see yourself in the mirror and feel comfortable and confident. Plan on having this piece for many years. I’m personally not a big fan of dresses. I prefer pants, but there are occasions — such as weddings, funerals, work parties and social engagements — where this LBD comes in handy. It’s nice to know it’s patiently waiting in your closet for when that special event presents itself. Fashion is a celebration and expression of ones own personal style. Remember to always choose what you really love, what is comfortable to you and ultimately what makes you feel beautiful.

Johanna Ventoso Guapa Boutique 3059 Gottingen Street St. Joseph’s Square Halifax, N.S. 902.431.3111 @guapaboutiquehfx @guapaboutiquehfx



WITH Dorothée Rosen designer goldsmith



et’s have a look at gold today — not the stock market version, but the good, hard, solid, wearable variety.

Thank goodness this gorgeous metal is making a comeback. Gold is such an incredible material. Its quality and beauty has made it a coveted metal for millennia all over the world. First, let’s demystify karats The math is simple: to get actual pure gold content, divide your karat by 24 and multiply by 100. For 18k gold, that means 18 parts out of 24 parts are gold, so 18 karat gold consists of 75 per cent pure gold, and 25 per cent other metals. Almost half (42 per cent) of 14k gold is not gold. Yellow, white, rose The combination of gold with other metals is called an alloy. Using different metals for the alloy results in different characteristics. For example, pure gold is alloyed with silver and copper for karat yellow golds, or just copper for rose golds. For white golds, either cheaper nickel or expensive palladium are added. Because of its yellow tinge, nickel white gold is generally thinly rhodium plated. That thin rhodium layer will rub off and will need to be replaced frequently. Is 18 karat gold really too soft? While gold in its pure form is very soft, it is the alloying with other metals that



increases its strength. I adore the weight, feel and colour of a well-balanced 18k gold.

More curious gold facts

Most commercial 18k jewellery is built too lightly, in order to cut costs. As a result, people think 18k will be too soft — it is not. Personally, I love the material so much that I use it in abundance — sometimes three feet of it in one piece!

• Gold is used as reflectors in glass — the reflective panes in Toronto’s Royal Bank Plaza contain almost $3million worth of gold

The joy of working this material is imbued in the finished pieces. 14k just doesn’t have the saturation or feel of 18k gold, to make or wear.

• The earliest gold relics date to 4,500 B.C.

• When made into thin gold wire, one ounce can be drawn into 80km of hair thin wire — that’s from Bedford to Wolfville! • 200 laptops will yield five troy ounces of recovered gold

A contemporary white gold When I work with white gold, I prefer 18k palladium white gold for its colour, feel and superior working qualities. The alloyed palladium is a metal in the platinum family of metals. Its gorgeous dark lustre and palpable density are highly attractive qualities. Palladium white gold lends itself to the forging techniques I apply. It is a durable, contemporary and very elegant alloy, which does not contain nickel. Extraterrestrial A final ‘nugget’ for you: did you know gold originated from space? It is so rare because it is created not inside a planet like the earth, but by the collision of neutrons from former super novae, which are very fast, catastrophic and extremely energetic kinds of explosions.


Dorothée Rosen, BFA NSCAD 2005 designer goldsmith Halifax private studio visits by appointment 902.422.9460 Society of NorthAmerican Goldsmiths Craft Nova Scotia - Master Artisan

DOROTHEEROSEN.CA | 902.422.9460

individually hand forging in Halifax

One footer THE


A True Modern-Day Women’s Boutique Poppy & Olive: Curated fashion for the everyday woman


e make it feel like you’re here with your girlfriends and its like a party on the floor,” says Darah Greenwood, owner of Poppy and Olive in Sunnyside Shopping Mall. And that’s why Poppy & Olive is being seriously shopped! Sometimes retailers make promises they cannot keep. It’s a tough business. Thus



far, however, Darah’s promise to bring trending fashion to customers who enjoy a holistic, feel-good experience is hitting a pretty high batting average. Fashionistas find the experience excitable. Mums feel assured that their pics are cool! And frequent flyers usually leave with more than their carry-ons can hold! It’s no wonder Darah decided to expand a bit to accommodate a jean bar and athleisure for cool streetwear.


Mission-minded Darah sources fresh product, which is showcased daily using a powerful social media campaign. “Our customers are drawn to ‘come on in,’” explains Darah. “The vibe is the hospitality of a real Cape Bretoner. That’s where my father’s from. And also Terry Delaney, who is a ‘ Caper’ through and through. Having worked with our family for decades, we’re fortunate to have her on board!”

Darah continues, “This great little success story might not have happened without a lot of retail coaching from my mum, the great community shoppers committed to brick and mortar stores, and the quiet confidence of the many successful Sunnyside retailers. And not to mention the free parking with the best Indoor parking in the region.” To her South End customers, Darah challenges “It’s not that far! I do it every day. And if you can’t make it, but see something you love on Instagram, call me. I do drop offs a lot!” Book a private shopping party soon. Treat your friends to a little bubbly and sweetness, and loads of dress up fun. It’s on the house.

Poppy & Olive Sunnyside Mall 1595 Bedford Hwy, Bedford 902.835.7009





Jennifer Brodeur




Winter skin care and wellness tips from celebrity skin strategist Jennifer Brodeur By Lori McKay

Winter may come with lovely snowy mornings, outdoor skating and cozy nights by the fire, but it can also wreak havoc on our skin, causing skin that is dry, dull, itchy and rough.


recently had the opportunity to attend a “Winter Skin Care Masterclass” in Halifax with Jennifer Brodeur, the founder of JB Skin Guru and the Peoni and Lumi lines of skin care. Brodeur is the skin strategist for Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama (for the past seven years) and works with both famous women on a monthly basis. She recently helped the former First Lady prep for her book tour and was also featured in the December issue of Vogue Magazine.

Brodeur’s masterclass offered a wealth of knowledge on skin care and wellness — from what to eat, to key ingredients to look for in your skin care products. She says, “It’s all about making small little changes.” I’ve included some of her fabulous tips below. Enjoy! 1. Prep your home. The drier the air, the drier the skin. Brodeur recommends using a humidifier in your bedroom at night to maximize the amount of water in the air. A cool air humidifier will increase the moisture level and help the skin’s barrier stay hydrated. 2. Glowing from the inside out. Increasing your daily intake of fats may help with dry skin. She suggests foods with good fats such as avocados, coconut oil, walnuts, olive oil, macadamia nuts, flaxseed, fatty fish and pumpkin/sunflower seeds. Don’t overdue alcohol or caffeine, she notes, as they are diuretics that can cause dehydration. 3. Warm and short showers, rather than hot long showers. Heating and various environmental conditions can dry out the skin. By reducing the amount of extreme temperature changes, such as shower temperature, can help. She also recommends keeping the bathroom door shut to seal in humidity and applying moisturizer immediately after your shower to maximize further hydration.




4. Choose your winter cleanser wisely. Brodeur recommends switching to a non-stripping cleanser to ensure the skin’s natural oils are not removed and provide optimum nourishment. She also suggests only cleansing in the evening, and double cleansing with oil once a week. She encourages facial massages to ensure good circulation. 5. Don’t over exfoliate. Aim to gently exfoliate no more than once or twice a week to avoid unnecessary inflammation and disturbance in the surface microbiome. Too much exfoliation can actually disrupt the skin barrier and lead to red, blotchy, stinging skin. She notes there are a lot of things that fall under “exfoliation,” including a mechanical face brush, a buff puff, and even a basic washcloth. 6. Choose moisturizing ingredients that are rich and protect against wind and cold. Switch to daily or evening moisturizers with higher oil contents. They will retain moisture more effectively than water-based creams. You can also supplement the hydrating power of your “warm weather” moisturizer with a few drops of nourishing facial oil. A serum made with super moisturizing oils is another way to fight dryness and make skin glow. 7. Try face and body mists. A facial mist can combat dehydration, and calm and protect against itchy, dry skin. They can work in any season or climate and are easy to stow and use. (She suggests a simple steeped green tea mist that you can make yourself.) Brodeur notes that toners are different from mists, and some can dry out the skin — they should be avoided in winter unless you have oily skin.

9. Proper layering makes a difference. Start light — the thinnest products go first, such as toner and serum. Add an antioxidant such as vitamin C. Take a break and let the products absorb into the skin. Then, lock it down with moisturizer. Add eye gel, SPF and makeup (if desired).

Omega fatty acids Omega fatty acids serve as the essential building blocks of the skin’s surface layers, creating a smoother, youngerlooking and healthier complexion, no matter your age or skin type. Topical omega healthy acids can: • Reinforce and smooth skin’s surface • Increase hydration without feeling heavy, and help keep skin hydrated


• Toss out old products every three to six months (including makeup brushes, mascara and lipstick) • Use Bend Beauty Inc. products (Nova Scotia company producing awardwinning anti-aging formula) • In winter, use a humidifier in your room

• Calm signs of external stressors, including redness and sensitivity

• Acne prone skin? Try sesame oil

• Eliminate signs of flaky, dehydratedlooking skin

• Use baby washcloths for your face. They are gentle, where most washcloths are too harsh

• Visibly strengthen skin against signs of environmental damage • Deliver antioxidants for anti-aging results

Extra tips for fabulous skin • Sleep on a silk pillowcase for antiaging • Be mindful of what you’re putting on

8. Face oils help maintain and strengthen the skin’s natural protective barrier. Used daily, oils rich in omega 3 and fatty acids will defend against various environmental conditions. To make the most of these ingredients, lightly massage or gently spread the oil on after a face mist and then apply your daily or evening moisturizer. Oils that are rich in omega 3 and fatty acids include flax seed, argon, hempseed and chia seed.


your skin. Ask yourself, “What does my skin need today?”


• In winter, cleanse at night not in the morning • Use upward movements when cleansing • Get lots of sleep, drinks lots of water, avoid stress • In winter, use a thicker, richer cleanser; in summer, use a light cleanser

“Our goal is to help you find the path to being your best self, so you can move forward with the tools you need for long-term success.” – The True North team


True North’s experienced team is dedicated to creating a warm and welcoming environment for new and returning clients. Their highly skilled professionals bring compassion and evidencebased practices to the forefront of their work.

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WITH Alicia Paton Clavette Maritime Dance Academy



e are often asked, “Why do you do dance exams at Maritime Dance Academy?” As the largest dance school in Eastern Canada, dance examinations are an important part of a child’s dance training at Maritime Dance Academy, and can start as early as age five. There are so many valuable aspects of dance exams that it’s hard to narrow it down to just a few! The first that comes to mind is the sense of accomplishment a child feels after working hard to learn an exam, and then successfully completing that exam! All successful candidates are awarded with a certificate (and sometimes a medal) outlining the exam level and mark. These provide great satisfaction to a child that has just worked for months to be able to take the exam, and also serve as a wonderful keepsake for the dancer to look back on. A dancer can take these credentials to any other examination school and know where they could fit into a program based on completed exams. We are thrilled to be able to provide our students with an examination-based and performance-based dance program that is unique to our school. How do you choose which exam associations to affiliate your school with? With multiple examination associations readily available in Canada, each dance school needs to work to find a specific syllabus that best aligns with that school’s goals and objectives. In our case, we have tried a few different syllabi over the past 37 years and have carefully chosen the Society of Russian



Ballet (SRB) and the Performance Art Educators of Canada (PAEC). As one of the largest schools in Canada to enter in the SRB exams, and the first and only dance school to bring the PAEC syllabus to the East Coast of Canada, we are confident that we have chosen the right associations to aid in the training of our dancers. Both associations are exceedingly encouraging of dancers and teachers alike, and truly want the children to have a positive exam experience. The exam levels are very fluid in terms of progression and offer students of various ages, backgrounds, and ability level the opportunity to be examined for feedback by a dance expert outside of their own dance studio. What are the main things that students and teachers take away from completing dance exams? For the student, discipline and hard work would be the main objectives reached. Exams require attention to detail, a certain level of technique to be obtained, and for the dancer to reach his or her own personal best. The examinations are graded based on the students’ talent level, technical ability, stamina, presentation and work ethic. For the teacher, it ensures that the instructor is properly coaching the student with a high standard. Teachers receive as much feedback as the students do in many cases. It provides the teachers with the opportunity to learn what they could do to improve the training of their own students. Examiners are all highly proficient dance experts, many of whom have had professional dance careers of their own. How do taking dance exams benefit students in other areas of their life? How do they better prepare them for the future? Dance exams teach the


dancer so much more than just how to remember dance exercises. The process inspires the dancer to work to their own full potential in each and every class; they will soon be in front of an examiner who will correct everything they need to work on as well as providing positive feedback on what they are doing well. Dance exams teach a dancer that the outcome of that exam, directly correlates to how much work they put in each week in their class, which is much like all other areas of life. Learning to be vulnerable, present their hard work to a virtual stranger for feedback, and be ultimately successful in doing so, certainly provides a young dancer with a heightened self-esteem that carries over into other aspects of life, such as school presentations, job interviews, and an overall sense of achievement and confidence.

Alicia Paton Clavette Maritime Dance Academy Maritime Dance Academy 36 Duke St., Bedford 902.835.5776 998 Parkland Dr. Halifax 902.443.3144

MARITIME DANCE ACADEMY Your one-stop-shop for all things dance in HRM

Ballet · Jazz · Tap · Hip Hop · Technique · Modern · Contemporary

Consumer choice award winner nine years in a row.

Atlantic Canada’s largest dance school provides a variety of dance styles for people of all ages and skill levels.


998 Parkland Dr. Halifax 902.443.3144

36 Duke St., Bedford 902.835.5776

*See website for office and dancewear shop hours

A gold star ingredient for skin health. Are you using it?

Understanding RETINOL By Susan Alward

The gold standard ingredient in antiaging skin care, retinol is a superstar that helps reduce the appearance of ďŹ ne lines, wrinkles, large pores, sun damage, hyper-pigmented, acne and dull skin — the list goes on. Yet it has its challenges, which sometimes stop people from trying it or using it. These problems are easy to overcome once you really understand how retinol works, and therefore how best to use it.





linical estheticians and dermatologists love retinol because of its ability to very effectively communicate and connect to almost any skin cell receptor site and tell them to behave like healthy, younger skin cells. It turns on your cells that increase collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid in your skin, and it slows down the making of the enzyme in the skin that breaks down collagen. It also functions like an anti-oxidant in its ability to stop the free-radical damage process that causes wrinkling and other signs of aging. It has been shown to help fade hyper-pigmented spots caused from sun damage and control acne-prone skin. It also works from the inside out, which is unique when it comes to skin regenerating products. For example, alpha hydroxy acids, such as lactic and glycolic acid, work from the outside or skin surface in. They work by exfoliating dead surface skin cells and stimulating their renewal along with collagen production in the lower layers of the skin, depending on the formula. You notice the difference on the skin surface immediately. With retinol, it takes several days to several months before you start to notice a difference. Retinol comes in several forms and differing percentages. Retinol over-the-counter formulations, compared to prescription formulas, use an ester form of retinol. This form requires the skin to convert it to retinoic acid once in the skin. This extra step slows down the action of retinol but still delivers excellent results. Prescription strength starts with a higher percentage that penetrates quicker, as it does not need to convert and ideally should deliver results quicker. The challenge is that it is not always ideal for all skin types and conditions, and is often used incorrectly causing irritation. Improper use is often the reason people discontinue use. They have either used too high of a percentage, applied with too heavy of a hand or started with nightly use. After a week of doing any of the above, the first application starts to become evident, and as each subsequent application begins to have an effect, the skin starts to exfoliate too rapidly

with irritation. Retinol does not need to have surface irritation to be effective. The irritation is better avoided by using it appropriately for your skin type and condition. So how do you get the great results of a healthier more youthful looking skin with retinol or retinoic acid? It’s important to remember that chemically, both forms do exactly the same thing — retinolbased treatments will just take a little longer and sometimes that is not a bad thing! Going slower with less irritation creates the best environment for long lasting success of retinol. It also allows for even sensitive skin to be trained to tolerate and experience the benefits. With a proven scientific track record and the ability to make the claim as a wrinkle reducer, this hard-working ingredient needs to be a top choice in most skin care regimes. Be sure to talk to your clinical esthetician or dermatologist to see if you are a good candidate.

TOP TIPS: 1. Use only at night. Sunlight destroys the effectiveness of retinol. 2. Start with the lowest percentage of retinol. Canadian-made GM Collin’s Advanced Retinol is an excellent starting point. 3. Use a small amount — no slathering on for better results! This is not intended as a moisturizer. 4. Begin with one time use the first week. Increase to twice a week the following week. Increase to every other night the next week. You might find your skin starts to feel tingly or sensitive. If so, stay at this rate until this diminishes before increasing to nightly use.

may not need to increase to a 1 per cent retinol. You may find it hard to achieve nightly use and therefore staying with a 0.5 per cent is the best choice for your skin type. 7. If you have dry, dehydrated skin, you will need a moisturiser applied on top of your retinol product. 8. Be sure to know what you are applying on top of your retinol cream! Do not apply creams or treatments that contain AHA’s, salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. This will definitely cause irritation. 9. Be patient — you will be rewarded with a healthier more vibrant, youthful looking and feeling skin. 10. If patience was not your virtue and your skin has become a little sensitive from inappropriate use, then stop using for a few nights. GM Collin’s Ceramide Comfort Capsules are ideal for soothing sensitized skin and also for applying on top of your retinol cream.

WARNING: DO NOT perform facial waxing on any areas that have had retinol creams used within the previous six weeks. To do so will cause skin peeling. BE SURE TO INFORM YOUR ESTHETICIAN OR DERMATOLOGIST that you are using retinol before having laser, electrolysis or chemical peels, as a delay in procedure may be required, or a delay in resuming the use of your retinol after the procedure.

5. After using your first jar of retinol, increase your percentage to 0.5 per cent retinol. GMC Medicals Retinol Cream or Skinceuticals’ Retinol 0.5 are excellent options. When you start this higher percentage, begin with only twice a week the first week and continue to increase usage as above. 6. After your first bottle of 0.5 per cent retinol, you can increase to 1 per cent. GMC Medicals Retinol Cream is a great formulation. You


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




Nancy Beaton and Andre Albert Riverlakes Physiotherapy and Myofascial Centre



oday technology keep us planted in our chairs, glued to ipads, computers and Netflix. This discourages us from keeping up with basic movement and promotes poor posture, neck, shoulder, knee, back problems and more. To consider what role movement plays in our ability to reduce pain, we need to go subsurface into our bodies to consider its effects on our musculoskeletal system. A March 2018 publication of Scientific Reports Benoias et al. provides real time imaging of human tissue during endoscopy (underfluid camera in the body) and describe, “previously unrecognised, widespread fluid filled space within and between tissues, a novel expansion of the concept of the human interstitum.” In short, the authors are describing the presence of the fascial system. Fluid filled space in collagenous bundles within and between tissues, compressible sinuses through which interstitial fluid flows around the body. The authors suggest the findings necessitate reconsideration of normal functional activities of different organs and disordered fluid dynamics in the setting of disease, including fibrosis and metastasis. These findings are consistent with the findings of other live endoscopic videos (under fluid body cameras), which show the fascial system as a continuous sheath in the body surrounding every cell. It also shows which areas of restriction dry out,



creating adhesions, lumps, trigger points and pain. This decreases the ability for fluid to flow around cells, decreasing or cutting off cellular exchange and health. As a result, areas of restriction and compression create pain, and compressed sites are at increased risk of developing disease. What does this have to do with movement, you ask? Well, by moving your body in ways that are different than your normal routine movements, it’s possible to release/free up areas of restriction and improve fluidity of motion. By moving the body, we are moving/ gliding the fascial system in multiple directions resulting in the release and freeing up of any energy that may have been trapped in the area causing symptoms. By continually assuming the same sustained postures, with repeated movements and patterns, the body tends to shorten and tighten in certain directions, often forming restricted postural patterns and compression. It may become difficult to rotate your neck, raise your arm, bend to tie a shoelace or put on a sock. We become very poor at other movements which are outside the “box.” Every part of our bodies is meant to move. Lack of/reduced motion will eventually cause dysfunction and will present as a physical symptom manifested in the body. The goal of myofascial release treatment is to help clients locate areas of restriction, bring awareness to those areas and make a change. The fascial system is non-linear and three dimensional, so it’s very important to allow the body to move in these three dimensional patterns to tug on our fascial sheath and challenge our postural restrictions. To improve movement: 1. Reduce the time spent on technology devices. 2. Move like a child. Kids sway, bend upside down, swing their arms, skip and move their bodies in very 3D ways that we as adults no longer do. In other


words, they move in all directions. Start there. Exercise caution with arthritic joints. Start slowly to avoid injury, NEVER FORCE a movement, small circles of the arms backwards, arm and leg swings in different directions, incorporate light bouncing in standing. All of these movements have potential to improve tissue health and reduce pain. 3. Visit a myofascial release therapist to identify and break down these restrictions and offer you customized advice about ways to move and improve your specific issue.

Nancy Beaton, MScOT

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

Local Myofascial Release Experts A hands-on technique that treats the cause of pain as opposed to the symptom

All 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 selfmanagement 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 | |

A MODERN APPROACH TO EDUCATION Newbridge Academy: Connecting with Today’s Students


ducation delivery is evolving, as is today’s learner. Students today are exposed to information at an alarming rate through social media and mobile devices. A natural question to any form of evolution is, how does a school adapt and ensure they are connecting with today’s students? Newbridge Academy is facilitating thought and stimulating meaningful learning to students in a modern learning environment.

enhanced learning and carefully curated physical activity into the school day, students at Newbridge are finding success in the classroom and in their sport discipline. Balancing enriched academics and daily physical activity within the learning environment creates a unique educational experience for their students. This balanced approach develops essential learning skills in problem solving, creativity, analytic thinking, collaboration, communication and accountability.

Newbridge Academy takes a modern approach to education and its students are thriving. With the combination of

A day in the life of a student at Newbridge Academy will look different when compared to other learning




environments. The students benefit from a highly qualified teaching staff encouraged to enrich the classroom’s curriculum. While in class, the teachers recognize that today’s learner is a complex, energetic and tech-savvy individual. Therefore, the small class, technology focused curriculum delivery has their students engaged and well prepared for the expectations beyond Newbridge Academy. There are many features that make the school’s teachers stand out from other private and public institutions. Notably, teachers have full creative license to facilitate enriching lessons that reach

It’s not hard to see when walking the halls that the students are motivated to do well at Newbridge Academy. the academic needs and interests of all students. Due to small class sizes, parents have confidence in teachers to ensure their child is challenged in the classroom. Additionally, the balanced approach between challenging academic and integrated activity creates an environment for clear focused learning. A student can benefit from two hours of physical activity integrated into their school day. Most students will have an enjoyable and structured physical education class and then have their sport-specific program. Baseball, golf, hockey and soccer are offered to student-athletes looking to work on individual skills while they play on teams around the province. Varsity sport options begin in junior high and offer the student a chance to represent their school while being coached by professional coaches. If academic enrichment or performing arts is more of an interest for a student, those are offered as well. The Academic Enhancement Program (AEP) is offered to elementary and junior high students looking to challenge themselves with additional curriculum that broadens their learning experience. Students cover fine arts, technology, entrepreneurship, math and science. Newbridge Academy 361 John Savage Ave, Dartmouth 902.252.3339

It’s not hard to see when walking the halls that the students are motivated to do well at Newbridge Academy. The program instills a strong understanding of the essential learning skills required for today’s modern learner.




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WITH Dr. Magda Barnard Bedford Orthodontics



f you or your child are considering braces, you might wonder about the components of fixed braces and how they work. Braces are made primarily of attachments called brackets, which are individually bonded onto the surface of each tooth and linked with a wire. Brackets are bonded onto teeth with tooth adhesive and are painless to place — there is no drilling or freezing needed, ever! There are a variety of brands of brackets and different designs, based on the doctor’s preference and teeth movements required. Brackets are essentially a way to hold the wire. They have a built-in prescription inside that slot where the wire sits; it directs a tooth to move in three dimensions of space. Brackets can be stock or customized with a specific prescription for each tooth and also for each patient. Brackets also differ in how they hold the wire in place. A self-ligating bracket means that a door or a clip holds the wire in place and the coloured elastics around each bracket are for decoration only. A twin bracket, on the other hand, has four little tie wings and relies on the little elastic ties to hold the wire into the bracket slot to express the prescription. There are various wires used in a customize sequence for each patient. Initially, a patient starts out orthodontics in a light wire that gets the teeth moving and progresses to wires that fit more snugly into the bracket slot. Over

time, the prescription in the bracket becomes expressed more, and more tooth movement occurs. Technology has advanced so much that we now use wires developed by NASA that have a memory built in. Modern wires are more comfortable, and some can actually be regulated by the patient. Some wires are sensitive to cold and we instruct our patients to simply drink or eat something cold to relax the wire if they are starting to feel some pressure on their teeth. An orthodontist will also bend certain types of wires in specific spots to move the teeth into alignment. Auxiliary light forces such as elastics, coils and springs can be utilized as well. Elastics usually run between specific brackets, or small hooks that are attached to the wires from one jaw to the other. Brackets and wires align the teeth in each jaw and make them straight, while elastics help to correct the bite. Tiny wire coils can be added to a wire to help open spaces for teeth that are crooked or to hold space for missing teeth. Certain springs can be used on the wire, just like elastics to correct the bite. These springs are smooth and comfortable and run from the top jaw to the bottom jaw, and can help correct overbites and underbites.

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

NOW also welcoming patients at:

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

With modern technological advancements, all braces are smaller, sleeker and comfortable — making it easier for you to achieve that perfect smile.





If you’re looking for a pick-me-up from miserable weather, look no further, we’ve got you covered. Our selection of winter cocktails has what it takes to warm you up from the inside. Whether you’re curled up on the sofa or gathered with friends to share a meal, fend off the cold winter days with these cozy libations from around the globe.

Winter Cocktails Around the Globe By Colleen Thompson




Literally translated as the “bomb” in Italian, this winter cocktail was created in northern Lombardia and is beloved by ski resorts in the northern Italian Alps. It is not unlike eggnog, but it is served warm, rather than cold, and has a higher level of alcohol — hence the name the “bomb.”

Bombardino - Italy


Legend has it that the Bombardino was created by a young man from the port city of Genova, who decided to leave the sea for a life in the Italian Alps. After spending years as an officer in the Alpini (the oldest active mountain infantry in the world), he opened a ski lodge in Lombardi. One day, four skiers staggered in from a blizzard, seeking something warm and rich to counteract the cold. He quickly stirred together milk, whiskey and zabaglione (an egg-based custard) and warmed the ingredients. One of the skiers tried the drink and cried, “Accidenti! È una bomba!” “Damn! It’s a bomb!” Ever since, skiers have travelled far and wide to taste the Genovese’s signature drink: the Bombardino. Many families in the north of Italy traditionally make their own Zabaglione or egg liqueur at home, but you can cheat and use Advocaat liqueur.

4 egg yolks 2 tbsp granulated sugar 1 tsp vanilla essence 2 ounces brandy Cocktail 2 ounces brandy 3 ounces egg liqueur whipped cream cinnamon

METHOD Egg Liqueur Combine eggs, sugar and vanilla in a small metal bowl and whisk until thick, creamy and pale. Add the brandy gradually, whisking all the time. Heat a small saucepan of water and place the metal bowl over the top. Whisk the mixture until it becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat. Cocktail Warm the egg liqueur in a small saucepan. Pour the brandy in a glass mug. When the egg liqueur is hot (but not boiling), slowly add it to the brandy. Stir well to combine. Top the cocktail with a generous amount of whipped cream, and a sprinkling of cinnamon.




Hot Toddy – India

The hot toddy is believed to have gotten its name from the Hindi word tari, which was an Indian fermented drink made out of the sap of a toddy palm — coconut moonshine. British colonizers who were particularly fond of the drink, adapted and anglicized a version of it in 1786. “Taddy” was officially written down and defined as a “beverage made of alcoholic liquor with hot water, sugar, and spices,” and was originally served cool. These days a hot toddy implies whiskey and is served steaming hot. It’s the perfect remedy for fighting off aches and pains from cold and flu this time of the year. Whiskey is a well-known decongestant — and, combined with maple syrup, lemon and steaming water, you have the perfect concoction. By the time you finish the drink, you’ll be breathing easier, and the whiskey will be working its magic in the sleep department.

INGREDIENTS Per Drink 3/4 cup water 2 oz whiskey 2 to 3 tsps maple syrup 2 to 3 tsps lemon juice, to taste 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced 1 lemon round 1 cinnamon stick METHOD Bring the water to a boil and pour into a mug. Add the whiskey, maple syrup, lemon juice and ginger. Stir until the maple syrup has disappeared into the hot water. Garnish with a lemon round and cinnamon stick.




Ponche Crema – Venezuela

Ponche Crema has been infusing Venezuelan family gatherings since Eliodoro Gonzalez first came up with the concoction in 1900. A drink like eggnog was made of milk, eggs, sugar and a mixture of pure grape alcohol. Eliodoro was a chemist, perfumer and tireless entrepreneur, and his Ponche Crema, which was so popular when it first came out, that president Cipriano Castro, personally signed the patent for it on March 17, 1904. The bottled version is still available in stores, but most Venezuelans have their own homemade recipes of Ponche Crema that have been passed down through generations.

INGREDIENTS Serves 6-8 8 eggs 1 tsp lime zest 1 cup of dark aged rum (more or less depending on your taste) 1 can condensed milk 1 tsp grated nutmeg

METHOD Whisk the eggs and lime zest in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the condensed milk and half of the rum and whisk until combined. Whisk in the remaining rum and nutmeg. Pour into a jug and refrigerate overnight. (It gets better with time!) Stir the mixture before serving. Pour into ice-filled glasses and sprinkle with grated nutmeg.




Glögi – Finland

This year Finland cruised in as the happiest nation on the planet. Not at all surprising, given their love of hygge, lagom, a Nordic diet — and now, kalsarikännit, aka päntsdrunk. Päntsdrunk means to drink an alcoholic beverage in your underpants. There’s even a new book out called Päntsdrunk: Kalsarikanni: The Finnish Path to Relaxation by Miska Rantanen that gives the low down. The concept is so popular it even has its own emoji and You Tube video teaching North Americans how to pronounce the word. What kind of libation would one sip on in one’s underwear? Glögi of course. Glögi is the Finnish version of mulled wine, known as glögg in Sweden and Glühwein in Germany. Finns typically serve the drink with gingerbread cookies. The drink has recently seen a resurgence in popularity with Finnish food blogs and mixologists creating exotic blonde glögi with blood-grapefruit juice, cherries and almond liqueur. Marianne Kiskola has a recipe in her book for strawberry juice spiked with cinnamon, vanilla and ginger and Sami Malila’s Moomin cookbook has a recipe using blackcurrant juice.




INGREDIENTS Serves 6-8 5 cups cranberry juice 2 cups apple juice 2 cinnamon sticks 4 cloves 3 cardamom seeds 1 tsp orange zest 2 star anise 4 cups red wine

METHOD Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Serve steaming hot in glass mugs. Garnish with an orange slice and cinnamon stick.

Sorrell Punch - Jamaica

Served everywhere across the island this time of the year, this lively punch is a combination of white rum, simple syrup, fresh ginger, lime juice, cinnamon, allspice and hibiscus flowers. Sorrell is the Jamaican word for hibiscus flowers, which grow abundantly on the island and shouldn’t be confused with the pungent green herb. The flowers originated in tropical West Africa and were introduced to the island by British colonialists in the 1700s. While Jamaicans make this punch with fresh flowers, it works well with dried flowers too. It’s served from a pitcher full of ice and sipped alongside a slice of traditional Jamaican rum cake.

INGREDIENTS Serves 6-8 6 cups water 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers 2 tsps fresh ginger, grated 3 whole cloves 1 cinnamon stick 1 cup Jamaican rum juice of 1 orange (about 1/2 cup) 2 cups of ice orange and lime slices for garnish METHOD In a medium saucepan, bring water to boil and pour over the hibiscus flowers, ginger, cloves and cinnamon stick and allow to steep for one to two hours. Strain the flower mixture into a pitcher or punch bowl, add the simple syrup, rum, lime juice and ice. Garnish with the orange and lime slices.




Host a Home

WINE Tasting By Rebecca Spinner

Wine lovers who sip exclusively in bars and pubs are rare. How can oenophiles reproduce the appeal of a favourite bar’s extensive wine menu at home? Well, if your friends and family are also wine drinkers, a home tasting is a novel way to entertain.





here’s a big difference between drinking and tasting wine,” says Erin Beazley, junior sommelier at Obladee Wine bar in Halifax. “Tasting is about assessing and appreciating the wine. You’re trying to look at it objectively.”

While home tastings might seem daunting, Beazley encourages a lighthearted approach. “There’s no right or wrong way to do it — especially with your friends. Just keep an open mind and have fun.” The modern interest in wine may complement Nova Scotia’s winemaking scene, but it’s a worldwide phenomenon. “Even the most basic pub in Ireland now has a variety of wines,” says Cheryl Doherty, chief minder at the Old Triangle. Below, Doherty and Beazley provide some professional tips on hosting a flawless amateur wine tasting.

Guests & Bottles: By the Numbers An ideal number of guests is around 12. Adequate samples for more than 12 guests, Beazley points out, may require backup bottles. Speaking of, how many varieties of wine should be provided? Somewhere in the neighbourhood of eight bottles is apparently ideal. “Four reds and four whites is nice,” says Doherty.

The Prep Work “Whoever supplies the wine should do a little research,” says Beazley. You can check a bottle’s label to learn a wine’s origin, varietal and year. Labels may also say a few lines about the bottle’s inspiration and flavour. Online databases — even Wikipedia — can quickly provide further context. Do a grocery run before the tasting. Mildly-flavoured foods like bread and crackers neutralize your palette, as does sipping a glass of water. (If tap water seems inelegant at a wine tasting, you could always serve ice water in a crystal pitcher, or opt for still or sparkling mineral water.) Serving food isn’t merely good manners, Doherty reminds readers. Offering guests snacks, in addition to alcohol, can be a matter of safety. “You want to feed them, and take into consideration how they’re getting home.” Both experts suggest providing an “aroma wheel” (a round chart listing a plethora of potential wine notes). This tool, Beazley explains, is useful when it comes to putting a name to notes you’ve picked out, but haven’t pinned down.





Uncorking and Pouring How do you choose which bottle to taste first? “We always start with the lightest, and move to the most fullbodied wines,” says Beazley.

To put this advice into action, two friends (Ali and Leslie) joined me for a mini wine tasting. We kept the mood playful by focusing on rosé styles. Online sources encouraged rosé/seafood pairings, so our snacks included shrimp, smoked salmon and cheese, followed by shortbread and strawberries.

Once samples have been poured, Doherty suggests inspecting their hue by scrutinizing “a piece of paper with some writing on it” through the wine itself. The text’s visibility, she explains, helps illuminate the wine’s visual properties; namely, “how deep and rich the colour is.”

Off the bat, confidently judging each bottle felt awkward. But as we settled in, we found our footing. Following (small!) samples from six bottles, we each chose a favourite rosé. Overall, the mini-tasting was an intriguing, quirky girls’ night (and much more easygoing than I expected).

After that, “smell the wine, and take in the initial notes,” says Beazley. “Then swirl your glass. That incorporates oxygen into the wine, and intensifies the aromas.”

Tasting and Timing While it’s common sense not to gulp wine, it needn’t be sampled a teaspoon at a time. “You can’t taste wine with a little sip,” says Doherty. “You have to take a good, big bite out of it!”

OUR FAVOURITES Rigamarole Rosé. Ali’s top pick. She called the Rigmarole “heavy-feeling,” singling out its maraschino cherry note.

“Swish it all around your mouth, almost like you’re chewing,” says Beazley.

Probiancco Lambrusco dell’Emilia. I loved this sparkling wine’s whimsical, cotton-candy sweetness. Ali called it “almost like ice cream.”

Professional tastings sometimes allocate five minutes or less per sample, but both experts encourage a more relaxed pace at home. “You have to practice to go that quickly,” says Doherty. “If you’re serving food, obviously you’re going to wait longer. Your first goal is to make sure everyone enjoys themselves.”

Casal Garcia Vinho Verde Rosé. Leslie settled on this Portuguese rosé, pointing out its “pure pink” colour and “airy, strawberry” flavour.

THE RUNNERS-UP Picnic Basket Rosé. Gorgeous in the glass. Ali called the hue “blush,” it reminded Leslie of “wedding pink.”

Villa Teresa Rosé Frizzante. Ali picked up a “wet slate” note here. “You can almost smell the tannins,” she said. Volcanic Hills Rosé. We all noticed this Okanagan Valley rosé’s uncompromising flavour, which Leslie termed “sulfuric.”




A Destination to Make Memories

Experience our winery all year round

Winery · Vineyard · Orchard · Brewery · Pizza & Small Plates A small batch winery and pico brewery, located in the middle of one of the province’s most popular u-pick orchards, Bent Ridge offers guests a unique escape and a great way to spend an hour or an afternoon.

BENT RIDGE WINERY 4499 Highway 14, Windsor, N.S. | 902.441.3530 | |

Il Trullo Ristorante: The Taste of South Italy Photos Bruce Jollimore

If you were to visit Puglia in southern Italy, one of the first things you might notice are small, white buildings with a conical roof peppering the landscape. Beautiful and unique, the buildings are known as trulli (or a trullo, singular). These traditional stone dwellings date back to the 1700s, where they were used for food storage and shelter, and later as homes.


he design of Il Trullo restaurant in Dartmouth was based on the natural elements of a trullo, with ceiling domes, a natural stone look and wood elements, but it’s the flavours of South Italy that customers will remember most. The two couples that co-own the restaurant take pride in ensuring the patrons get an authentic southern Italian experience at Il Trullo. Each owner has their own part in making it successful. The owners are Bruno Lanttanzi and Penny Lattanzi (formerly Kirby), and Giuseppe (known to everyone as Beppe) Giardino and Charline Cormier. Penny and Beppe are at the restaurant daily and each bring their own expertise. Penny is a business owner; she is the controller and manages the back of house. Beppe has more than 20 years experience in



restaurant management and looks after the front of the restaurant and customer service. Bruno had his own concrete company and with his construction knowledge he looks after the restaurant system’s maintenance. Charline’s background is in sustainable design and looks after the restaurant’s marketing, sustainability and designed the space. “We’re not just another Italian restaurant,” says Beppe. “We offer something different here. The owners are Italian, and we know Italian food. Also, the food we offer is distinctive to southern Italy. When you have experienced eating great food in Italy, you have to share it with everyone.” The combined food, wine and vibrant atmosphere really sets the restaurant apart.


“We only use the best quality ingredients in our dishes and simplicity is a big part of southern Italian cuisine,” says Beppe. “Italians possess a talent to take any ingredients and create magic. Real Italian cooking reflects simplicity and family. This is what we are about in our food and great service. We believe in healthy eating — Mediterranean dishes are the most popular and healthy diets around the word. Lastly, we provide tradition. The Italian way of cooking and preparing dishes are very special from one community to another. The restaurant’s menu has traditional dishes, such as lasagne, pastas and pizza (the Il Trullo pizza — with its housemade fennel sausage, tomato sauce, Genoa salami, mozzarella, chilli, fresh rosemary and lavender honey — is a customer favourite!), but the difference

between north and south is that the south has more of a focus around the ocean. “We have more fish on our menu, which blends well here in Nova Scotia with the province’s abundance of local seafood,” says Beppe. “We also have lighter sauces. We don’t have thick, heavy cream sauces. It’s typical Italian fare, but our recipes are just a bit different.” They take pride in making their own breads, pizza dough, pasta and desserts. “We take Italian southern cuisine and add a modern flair and presentation.” The restaurant takes reservations and welcomes walk-ins, groups and kids. They also have gluten free options available. They are open daily, except on Monday, and provide lunch (except Saturday), dinner service and brunch on Sunday. Designed with large windows for an abundance of natural light, every customer has a water view and even their kitchen staff enjoys the Dartmouth basin views while working. During the warmer climate, you can enjoy your food and drinks on their patio, which is enclosed with a high-glassed railing and has one of the best views in town. From April to the end of October, King’s Wharf offers a water taxi service that goes from downtown Halifax directly in front of the restaurant. “It’s a great way to avoid traffic and our customers enjoy

the trip across the harbour and make a night out of it.” The restaurant also provides free valet parking for customers on Friday and Saturday nights. Customers can park their car out front and someone will park it for them in the nearby lot. “People often worry about parking. It’s just one less thing they have to worry about,” says Beppe. When Il Trullo first opened more than three years ago, downtown Dartmouth was just starting to see growth and new businesses opening in the area. Today, the downtown is thriving. “The more businesses around us, the more people will stay in Dartmouth or travel over from Halifax. It’s a win for everybody. We are proud to be in Dartmouth and support the downtown community.” The restaurant has been receiving excellent reviews from customers and local media. One of their wait staff, Lindsay, was named Best Server in Star Metro Halifax’s 2018 Community Choice Awards. They were also named a “Favourite” in the Best Brunch category. “Italians aren’t big breakfast people,” said Beppe. “In the beginning, we didn’t offer a brunch. But Canadians like their brunch, so we started offering one with an Italian twist — for example, our eggs benedict is served on focaccia bread and we have a special brunch pizza.”


Restaurant co-owner Charline designs sustainable buildings for a living. When they were planning the restaurant, they incorporated sustainability into the overall design and lifestyle of the restaurant. Products were carefully chosen to keep them sustainable by providing local and recycled elements. “We compost, sort and recycle everything, and everything is picked up daily,” says Charline. “The kitchen is organized in a way that makes us different. There can be a lot of waste in restaurants, but we strive to reduce our waste to minizine our impact to the environment. Our take-out containers are compostable, and we try to avoid purchasing items that are packaged in plastic. We buy as much local as we can, but packaging and boxes are unavoidable. Everyone who works here says they’ve never seen what we do at other restaurants in the area. And we’ve been doing it since day one. It’s important to us, so we incorporate sustainable measure in all aspects of our operation.”

Il Trullo Ristorante 102 - 67 King’s Wharf Place Dartmouth, N.S. 902.461.2030



A Pioneer for Local Food All the ingredients for a perfect dining experience come together at The Wooden Monkey By Lori McKay Photos courtesy of The Wooden Monkey

With a focus on organic, locally-sourced, delicious food, it’s no surprise The Wooden Monkey is a popular spot on both sides of the harbour.


The restaurant also uses organic flour and instead of refined sugars, they use honey and maple syrup. Virtually everything is housemade, including their dressings and some of their bread. They have only Nova Scotia cider and beer on tap, and all the restaurant’s wines are local, sustainable or organic.

ith locations in downtown Halifax and on the Dartmouth waterfront, the restaurant has a unique menu that features as many local ingredients as they can source — from local grass-fed beef and sustainable seafood to seasonal salad greens and vegetables.

When The Wooden Monkey first opened in Halifax in 2004, owners Lil MacPherson and Christine Bower started with only two farm suppliers. Now they not only work with farms all over the province, but MacPherson has even started her own farm in Tatamagouche, where she grows her own greens and vegetables.

“The restaurant was offering ‘farmto-table’ before it was even a trendy term,” says Dartmouth restaurant co-owner Matthew Gass. “We want to serve quality food and support the local economy. It just makes sense. If you want your chefs to work with the best ingredients, you’re going to find it local.”

“Food security was a big driving force when we first opened the restaurant and now that we’re producing our own food, it brings it all full circle for us,” says Gass.



The Wooden Monkey’s second location opened on the Dartmouth waterfront in 2012. Located in Alderney Landing, it


provides guests with a beautiful view of the harbour and downtown Halifax. “You can’t beat the sunset,” says Bower. Both locations are ideal for holding events of various sizes — even weddings. In Halifax, they can host up to 55 people upstairs, where guests have their own bar and bathroom. The Dartmouth restaurant can host up to 150 people, with different size party rooms and a beautiful patio. With the exception of the restaurant’s daily features, the core menu hasn’t changed much over the years. “We’ve become a place where if you change something, people get upset,” says Gass. “It’s really awesome that we have this fierce loyal following.” The bread and butter of their menu, he says, is the light fare — very casual food of burgers, sandwiches and pizzas, “and the price point is all under $20, so it’s usually pretty reasonable for people.” They also have some elegant entrees,

L-R Matthew Gass, Lil MacPherson and Christine Bower

including great haddock, scallop and salmon dishes.

“It’s all about balancing the fats, proteins and carbs.”

He says although we aren’t aiming to be a “health food” restaurant, when you start with quality ingredients they are going to be more nutritionally dense and healthier for you. You are getting trace elements and micronutrients with many of our dishes, things your body needs to function.

Local athletes often frequent the restaurant. The Wooden Monkey was even asked to host Sidney Crosby’s two Stanley Cup parties, which took place at his home and at the restaurant.

“People might not realize why, but they just feel good when they finish a meal here and that’s one of the great compliments we get. Customers will eat a three-course meal, but they don’t feel too full or tired because they’re providing their body with good energy.” “You are what you eat is a cliché term, but we’re all about that here,” adds Gass.

“He trusted us with his entire Stanley Cup party,” says Bower. “It was a phenomenal experience and a real honour. We staffed, served and hosted the entire event over a few days, both years. Sidney is an amazing guy. He even sent us a thank you card after.”

“Anyone can come here and find it’s really easy to navigate our menu,” says Bower. “We’re a casual, friendly place with real food and something for everyone, including kids and conservative eaters.” To see the restaurant’s weekly or daily features, follow them on Instagram.

The restaurant is also well-equipped to handle food allergies, which is a big part of their business. They have many gluten-free and vegetarian items, and avoid artificial ingredients.

The Wooden Monkey 1707 Grafton St., Halifax 902.444.3844 Dartmouth Ferry Terminal – Level 2 Alderney Landing, Dartmouth 902.466.3100




Serves 10-12

Cranberry Shortbread Cheesecake This cranberry shortbread cheesecake might be almost too beautiful to eat… almost. Featuring vanilla shortbread from Mrs. MacGregor’s, a delicious and local cranberry sauce and candied cranberries, this cheesecake won’t last on the dinner table for long.




1/4 cup heavy cream



2 packages (2 x 180g) Mrs. MacGregor’s shortbreads

3 cups cranberries, fresh and whole

2 tbsp melted butter

CAKE 4 blocks (4 x 8oz) cream cheese, at room temperature

2 cups water 1 cup sugar

CANDIED BERRIES 1/2 cup water

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup sugar

2 tbsp vanilla extract

1 cup cranberries

5 eggs (large), at room temperature

1/3 cup sugar

pinch salt


DIRECTIONS Preparation time: 2 hours active, 6-8 hours passive


8. Place the spring form in the water, carefully. Place in the oven

4. The mixture should reduce enough to coat the back of a spoon

9. Cook for one hour and 30 minutes, or until the centre has set

5. Remove from heat and pass through a fire sieve, pushing it through with a wooden spoon, until there in only pulp and skin left in the sieve

1. Preheat oven to 350 F (with the rack toward the bottom 1/3 of the oven)

10. Once the cheesecake is set, let it cool in the oven gradually to prevent cracking

2. Place the shortbread cookies in a blender or food processor and turn to a fine powder or crumble

11. Turn off the oven and leave the cake inside for 20 minutes with the door slightly ajar

3. Scoop the shortbread crumble into a medium sized bowl. Add butter and mix well

12. Once the oven has cooled take the cake out and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour, until cool to the touch

4. Spoon the cake base mixture into a greased spring form pan 5. Spread the mixture evenly over the base, then pack down tight either using your hands or the bottom of a flat tool (measuring cup or spatula) 6. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool

CAKE 1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugar, salt, vanilla and cream cheese 2. Add eggs one at a time and mix well with hand mixer or stand mixer 3. Add heavy cream to the bowl and mix again until smooth 4. Preheat oven to 325 F 5. Wrap the spring form pan in aluminum foil, so there are no seams down the sides, otherwise water will leak in through the bottom of the pan 6. Fill the roasting pan halfway with water 7. Fill the spring form up to the edge with cake mix

13. Transfer to the fridge and let cool and set for six to eight hours 14. Ideally refrigerate overnight


6. Taste the sauce and add sugar if needed. Set aside to cool

FINAL TOUCH When you are ready to serve, spoon the cranberry sauce onto the cake and put a pile of the candied berries in the middle. Serve chilled.

TIPS: When baking the cake filling you can check to see if the centre has set by tapping the top with a finger. If it seems dense, it’s set. If it jiggles like liquid, it needs more time.

1. Simmer 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar over medium heat on the stove until sugar is dilute and mixture thickens 2. Let cool completely, then dump the cranberries into the simple syrup 3. Place the coated cranberries on either wax paper or a cooling rack over wax paper, separate them and let them dry for 30 minutes or until they are sticky but not wet to the touch 4. Place 1/3 cup dry sugar in a pan, and toss the cranberries in the sugar

Local Source Guide Cranberries: Noggins Corner Farm Market, Stirling Fruit Farms Ltd., Masstown Market or one of the many other farmers’ markets of Nova Scotia. Shortbread: Mrs. MacGregor’s Shortbreads

CRANBERRY SAUCE 1. In a small saucepan, combine the ingredients for the sauce and stir 2. Place over medium heat

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

3. Let simmer for 10 minutes stirring frequently




Serves 4

Creamy Tarragon Shellfish Linguine Creamy pasta and sauce meet fresh, local seafood in this decadent and hearty dish. Perfect for a filling weeknight dinner or a special evening with guests, one thing is certain, this rich recipe will not disappoint.

6. Cook for a minute, then add the cooked lobster, parmesan and tarragon. Stir and remove from heat. Add salt to your taste 7. Add the drained linguine to the pot, and toss. Serve immediately with parmesan to garnish



Local Source Guide

350 g linguine, dry

Preparation time: 25 minutes

1-1/2 cups leek, chopped

1. Cook linguine as directed, in salted water. Drain and set aside

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

2 tbsp butter 1/2 cup white wine 473 ml heavy cream 1/2 lb shrimp, northern cold water 12 large scallops 2 large lobsters, shelled and cut bite size 1 pound mussels 1 cup parmesan, grated 1-1/2 tbsp tarragon, chopped and packed salt to taste



2. In a large pot, on medium to low heat, sauté leeks with butter until soft and translucent 3. Add wine and cook until liquid has reduced 4. Add the heavy cream to the pan, and simmer until reduced by half, stirring frequently. The cream should coat the back of a spoon 5. Add scallops and mussels to the pot, and stir, then cover. Cook until all mussels have opened, and as soon as they have, add the shrimp to the pot. Stir and cover once again


Seafood: Clearwater Seafoods Ltd., Fisherman’s Market, Masstown Market, Evan’s Seafoods & Restaurant, or Arichat Seafood Market Wine: Try a fantastic Nova Scotia white wine Recipe and photo courtesy of Taste of Nova Scotia, #TasteofNS

4. Deglaze the pan with white wine until liquid is reduced by half 5. Add the cream and milk; simmer over low heat for 10 minutes

Serves 4-5

Nova Scotia Seafood Chowder One of the best things about a Nova Scotia seafood chowder, is that no two are exactly alike. From a bowl of chowder at grandma’s, to your favourite chowder on the waterfront, how can you choose?

6. Add the diced potatoes and cook until almost fork-tender 7. Melt 2 tbsp butter in another pan over medium heat and add all seafood 8. Once the clams and mussels have opened, transfer seafood into the chowder base 9. Add dill, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh dill (optional)


3/4 cup heavy cream

Local Source Guide

3 oz Nova Scotia lobster

2 cups milk

3 oz scallops

1/3 cup Nova Scotia white wine

3 oz salmon

3 tsp cornstarch (optional)

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

3 oz halibut 12 mussels 12 clams 3 tbsp butter 3/4 cup onions, diced 1/2 cup carrots, diced 1/2 cup celery, diced 3/4 cup yellow-fleshed potatoes, diced 1 sprig of thyme 5 springs of dill, chopped

DIRECTIONS Preparation time:

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

1. To start the base, melt 1 tbsp butter in a large pot over medium heat 2. Add diced carrots, celery and onions. Sweat (by covering) until onions are translucent; then add a sprig of fresh thyme

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

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




Serves 1

The Last Word If you’ve been looking for a new go-to cocktail, look no further. This classy and cool gin cocktail from Compass Distillers is made with their signature gin, developed using local botanicals and ingredients. Cheers! INGREDIENTS


3/4 oz Compass Distillers gin

Preparation time: 5 minutes

3/4 oz Green Chartreuse Liqueur

1. Add all ingredients into a shaker tin and fill with ice

3/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur 3/4 oz fresh lime juice

2. Seal the tin and shake hard for 10 seconds 3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass




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

Sweet and Savoury Grilled Cheese This sweet and savoury grilled cheese is about to be your new favourite comfort food! Fresh sourdough bread and hot melted cheese pairs beautifully with sweet honey and local pears in this recipe. INGREDIENTS

Serves 2

Helpful Tips: • The key to a good grilled cheese is getting colour and crisp on the bread, but also leaving the sandwiches in the pan long enough to melt the cheese. The grated cheese will melt more easily, helping out with this

1 cup grated local cheddar cheese

4. Place pear slices over the entire surface of sandwich. Add 1 tsp of Dijon and a drizzle of honey to the second half of each sandwich. Save the rest of the honey for later

1 pear thinly sliced

5. Close the sandwiches

Local Source Guide

2-3 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (approx. 6-8 thyme segments)

6. Put 1 tbsp of butter in the frying pan and let it melt, making sure to cover the entire surface area

Bread: The Old Apothecary Bakery, Scanway Catering & Grafton Street Café, Boulangerie La Vendéenne, Schoolhouse Gluten-Free Gourmet

4 slices local sourdough bread (we used rye sourdough)

2 tsp Dijon mustard 2 tbsp local honey 2 tbsp butter 1 clove garlic

DIRECTIONS Preparation time: 10 minutes 1. Put a large skillet on medium-tolow heat to warm 2. Take the four pieces of bread and make two pairs with them 3. Divide the cheese between the two sandwiches, then sprinkle each one with thyme, making sure to save a bit for later

7. Place the sandwiches into the frying pan. Leave the sandwiches be for three to four minutes then check for colour. If they are browned on the bottom, carefully flip with a large spatula. Add the remaining butter to the pan and move the sandwiches around to make sure they get greased with butter 8. Press down on the tops of the sandwiches with the spatula and wait another three to four minutes and check for browning. Check if the cheese has melted 9. Once the grilled cheese is out of the pan, place each on a plate, rub the top with the raw garlic clove and drizzle with honey and sprinkle with thyme


• Keep the temperature below medium to ensure a great grilled cheese

Cheese: Fox Hill Cheese House, Knoydart Farm

Pears: Noggins Corner Farm Market, Stirling Fruit Farms, Masstown Market or one of the many other farmers’ markets of Nova Scotia Honey: Cornect Family Farm Recipe and photo courtesy of Taste of Nova Scotia, #TasteofNS



Serves 10

makes approximately 3.5 litres

Hearty Pork and Vegetable Chili INGREDIENTS

Looking to warm up this winter? We have the perfect way to take the “chili� off! Using fresh Nova Scotian vegetables and flavourful pork, our hearty spicy and vegetable chili will warm your belly and satisfy your taste buds. Grab your biggest bowls and gather around to enjoy the ultimate hot dish this season.

1 kg medium ground pork 1 large local onion, diced 28 oz can crushed tomato 28 oz can diced tomato 3 local fresh tomatoes, diced 3 tbsp tomato paste 2 tsp cumin 3 tsp salt 2 tsp paprika




1/2 lb local mushrooms, washed and sliced

9. Put a few tablespoons of the chili in a small bowl to cool, and taste

for garnish small container of sour cream

10. Turn heat down to minimum to serve as a meal immediately

for garnish cilantro, chopped for garnish thinly sliced hot pepper to taste green onion, diced


3 tsp chili powder 1-1/2 cups water 6 small local carrots, chopped 3 cloves local garlic, minced 3 cobs local corn (removed from cob) 398 ml can black beans, drained and rinsed 398 ml can kidney beans, drained and rinsed 2 banana peppers, chili peppers or jalapeño peppers, chopped 4 tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped 1 green bell pepper or three to four small sweet peppers, chopped

11. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with a small handful of chopped cilantro and green onion. For extra spice, add thinly sliced hot peppers, either fresh or pickled

Preparation time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Helpful Tips:

1. Set a large, high walled frying pan to low heat. Add the diced onions and a sprinkle of salt and let them sweat for four to five minutes, stirring on occasion, until translucent

• When adding the pork to the chili, some people will say to strain off the fat, but not doing so will give richness, flavour, and texture to your chili

2. Turn the heat up to medium-high, let the pan get to temperature then add the ground pork. Break up the ground pork with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Don’t stir

• After tasting the chili, depending on your palate, you may want to add another teaspoon of salt or chili powder

3. Let the pork cook on the bottom and get slightly crispy. After a minute or two, stir the pork to turn the uncooked parts under. Keep stirring every few minutes until the pork is cooked all the way through then remove from heat 4. Set a large, heavy-bottom sauce pan, or soup pot to medium-to-low heat. Add crushed tomato, diced tomato, fresh diced tomato, tomato paste, cumin, salt, paprika, chili powder and water, then mix thoroughly. 5. Add carrots, garlic, corn, black beans and kidney beans and simmer for 15 minutes, or until carrots are tender 6. Add hot peppers, oregano, bell pepper and mushrooms and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes 7. Add pork to the chili pot

• This chili freezes well for two to three months in an airtight container

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

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

8. Let simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring frequently and breaking up any larger pieces of ground meat




Contrast & Complement Pair your dessert with the perfect tea By Suzanne Rent

When Phil Holmans at World Tea House pairs tea with desserts, he considers two factors in his choice of tea: contrast and complement. That means he can usually find at least two teas that pair well with any dessert.





ften a lot of my blends are based on desserts,” says Holmans. “I’m inspired by desserts, candy and chocolate.” With cheesecake, Holmans suggests a black tea with a vanilla flavour, such as his vanilla berry truffle tea. “It amplifies everything,” he says. For a contrast, he suggests black tea without the milk or sugar. For a chocolate dessert, such as mousse or a brownie, a complementary tea would be one that includes cacao, such as the World Tea House’s Chocolate Monkey. For the contrast in the sweetness of the chocolate, he suggests a hibiscus tea or a green tea, which will add sharpness to the pairing. A complementary tea for buttery pastries, such as croissants, would be something neutral like a white tea. A Chinese black tea would provide a nice contrast with buttery desserts. A nice tea for other pastries, like cakes and doughnuts, might be an Assam tea from India. “It goes very well with sweet bread,” says Holmans. The contrast, meanwhile, could be a green tea or a darker tea with a roasted flavour, almost like coffee. Think the coffee-doughnut combination, but with tea. Herbal teas that include fruit flavours, such as berries or apples, are a great complement for desserts with a lot of fruit or a basic fruit cup. A Ceylon tea from Sri Lanka is a good contrast with fruit. “It’s very smooth,” says Holmans. “It’s palate cleansing.” Another contrast tea pairing for fruit is a spicy chai tea. For spicy desserts, like pumpkin pie, any tea with a pumpkin spice goes well. But if you’re looking for a contrast, try a fruit-based tea, like one with Apricot Escape from World Tea House. Holmans says if you want to have a tea on hand that will go with any dessert, he suggests a black tea. “Black tea is always a great complement to any




dessert.” A breakfast blend, such as English or Irish Breakfast, will also work. Holmans says you should think about the texture when pairing teas with desserts. Simply not adding milk or sugar to your tea can change the way it’s paired. Mie Mie Sein, founder and CEO of Sawadee Tea House in downtown Halifax, offers 375 of the world’s finest loose-leaf teas. For desserts with dark chocolate, Sein recommends a Japanese green tea called Gyokuro. “It makes the flavour [of the chocolate] pop.” For milk chocolate desserts, she suggests an oolong, a semi-fermented Chinese tea. Sein offers a bergamot tea at her shop. This tea has a light orange flavour that pairs well with lemon pie, cookies and loaves. For desserts with fruit, she suggests a white tea. “The tea itself is very, very mild, unlike black tea.” Sein says even a basic dessert, such as a scoop of vanilla ice cream, has a perfect pairing. She suggests a rooibos tea such as their Hawaiian Colada or Almond Rocker. For scones and biscuits, she likes honeybush, a herbal tea from South Africa with a sweet taste that goes well with basic pastries. It’s also caffeine free. “It has a honey taste, but no honey,” says Sein.






SPRING The Bridge Neptune Theatre | Fountain Hall JAN. 22 – FEB. 10

Noises Off Neptune Theatre | Fountain Hall MARCH 22 – 24

Lo (Or Dear Mr. Wells) Neptune Theatre | Scotiabank Stage FEB. 5 – 24

The Colour Purple Neptune Theatre | Scotiabank Stage APRIL 9 – JUNE 2

Halifax International Boat Show Halifax Exhibition Centre FEB. 7 – 10

Stars on Ice Scotiabank Centre MAY 5

Imbibe: A Cocktail Event The Lord Nelson Hotel FEB. 7

2019 Men’s U19 World Football Championships Dartmouth Sportsplex MAY 7 – 12

Comedy at The Carleton with James Mullinger The Carleton FEB. 9

Mastercard Memorial Cup 2019 Scotiabank Centre MAY 17 – 26

Rare and Fine Wine Casino Nova Scotia FEB. 15 Craft Beer Cottage Party Halifax Seaport Farmers Market FEB. 16 U Sports Men’s Final 8 Basketball Championships Scotiabank Centre MARCH 8 – 10

PBR Monster Energy Tour Scotiabank Centre JUNE 1 Antique Car Show Memory Lane | Heritage Village JUNE 16 The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo Scotiabank Centre JUNE 29 – JULY 6 Women’s Heritage Celebration Memory Lane | Heritage Village JULY 13 ReFINEd HALIFAX



By Anita Draycott

Barbados is the ideal place to practice your liming skills. What’s liming? There seems to be no definitive definition, but basically liming involves chilling and relaxing with friends. Often food, a fermented beverage, some island music and a beach add to the enjoyment. 66



arbados, located in the Eastern Caribbean, boasts a unique British/ Bajan vibe. A short history lesson: In 1536, Portuguese explorer Pedro a Campos visited the island and called it “Os Barbados” (meaning the bearded) because he and his crew were fascinated by the shortleaf fig trees with their long stringy aerial roots resembling a man’s beard. The British first landed in Barbados in 1625. Brits with good financial backgrounds and social connections were allocated property on the island and within a few years much of the land had been deforested to make way for tobacco, cotton and sugar cane plantations. Between 1644 and 1700, Barbados dominated the Caribbean sugar industry.

Although Barbados gained its independence from Britain in 1966, the island has retained a decidedly British accent. Afternoon tea, cricket and polo matches are all part of the social scene. But it’s not all tea and crumpets. The island celebrates its African heritage through music and local flavours, such cou-cou (okra and cornmeal) and flying fish, the national dish. Read on for some insider tips on how to enjoy the best of both cultures.

In the Pink at Sandy Lane Sandy Lane is the place to stay if you want to be treated like a rock star. Few places on Earth can compare to Sandy Lane’s luxurious facilities and ultra-pampering service — or to its astronomical prices. But for those who can afford to stay here, it’s an unparalleled experience. The main building of this exquisite resort is a coral-stone, Palladian-style mansion facing a sweeping stretch of beach shaded by mature trees. One of the owners loves the colour pink and you will soon see that this is the place to experience “la vie en rose.” Guest accommodations, sumptuous in every detail, include three flat-screen TVs, full


in-room wet bar, a personal butler, and remote-controlled everything — even the draperies. The spa, housed in a magnificent Romanesque building, is a vacation in itself. Add elegant dining, three golf courses, a tennis centre, a full complement of water sports, a special kids club... even an airport welcome and transfers via limo.

One Lump or Two? At the Fairmont Royal Pavilion, complimentary afternoon tea is served to guests daily at Taboras restaurant. The hotel underwent a multi-million dollar renovation recently. All oceanfacing rooms have been updated and are just steps from a marvelous beach. A selection of brews are served with freshly baked scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam. Other perks include complimentary use of tennis racquets and balls, golf clubs and water sports equipment.

No Wetsuit Required The 48-passenger Atlantis Submarine turns the Caribbean into a giant aquarium. The 45-minute underwater voyage aboard the 50-foot submarine takes you to wrecks and reefs as deep as 150 feet. They offer both day and night tours.



Swanky Souvenir

Lunch with Locals

Reggie Medford and his team create beautiful sculptures out of local mahogany trees at Medford Craft World. His artworks have been presented to such dignitaries as Nelson Mandela. Take home a piece of Barbados.

In a parking lot near Pebble Beach, join the line of locals waiting to buy a flying fish cutter (fish on a bun) with or without cheese at Cuz’s Fish Shack. Just around the corner, the Indian Grill makes delicious rotis. At either place, you’ll have a filling lunch for less than $10. Wash it down with a Banks Beer.

Cliff Hangers Chef Paul Owens’s mastery and a dramatic cliffhanging setting make for one the finest dining experiences in the Caribbean at The Cliff. Every evening, hundreds of flaming torches create a magical ambiance and each candlelit table has a sea view with wave music. Service is impeccable. Reserve days or even weeks in advance to snag a table at the front of the terrace for the best view. From the foie gras terrine to the rum baba dessert, the menu delivers tempting choices. The adjoining sister restaurant, The Cliff Beach Club, has a similar spectacular setting but a more casual atmosphere and menu. Prices are also more relaxed.



Take the Bus Possibly the best bargain on Barbados is the local bus. It costs $1 U.S. (or 2 Bajan dollars) and you need to have the correct fare. Blue buses are government-run; yellow buses are privately owned and known as the “boogie busses” because passengers will be regaled by constant music.

home country of Barbados and the street of her childhood has been renamed Rihanna Drive. I don’t know who lives there now but they must be accustomed to fans stopping to read the plaque on the sidewalk and taking a few selfies. At the end of the street is another plaque honouring Rihanna and right beside it is a rum shop. The local tradition is to buy a bottle of rum and offer shots to fellow patrons. So, buy a bottle and make 10 new friends.

Friday Fish Fry Oistins is a fishing town on the south coast and on Friday nights it’s the place to chow down on freshly grilled or fried fish from various vendors, buy some crafts, enjoy the music (sometimes there are live bands) and practice your dance steps.

Rihanna and Rum Robyn Rihanna Fenty grew up in a modest home on Westbury New Road near Bridgetown. The singer has just been appointed “Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary” to her


Round House On the wind-blown east coast, the Round House has fabulous views of the sea and surfers. Bajan specialties include flying fish, macaroni pie and pumpkin

The terrace and beach at the Sandy Lane resort, Barbados, one of the most famous hotels in the Caribbean




fritters. They also make arguably the best rum punch on the island.

Rum and a History Lesson The island’s oldest great house, St. Nicholas Abbey, (circa 1650) with its unique stone-and-wood architecture makes it one of only three original Jacobean-style houses still standing in the Western Hemisphere. On the grounds you’ll find mahogany trees, formal gardens, and an old sugar mill. A fascinating home movie, shot by a previous owner’s father, records Bajan life in the 1930s. Behind the great house is a working rum distillery with a 19th-century steam press. Visitors can purchase artisanal plantation rum and enjoy light refreshments at the Terrace Café.

Swingin’ Bajan-Style For serious swingers, Barbados delivers an above-par experience. The island has seven courses but the “triple crown” includes Sandy Lane, Royal Westmoreland and Apes Hill, all located within minutes of each other on the “platinum west coast” near Hole Town. Let’s start with a stroll down Sandy Lane, Tiger Woods got married here; it was also a favourite haunt of opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti. The 7,060-yard Country Club course is so perfectly manicured you’d swear the fairways and greens were hand-trimmed nightly with manicure scissors. Home to the 2006 World Match Plan, the par72 Tom Fazio design incorporates five lakes and grand vistas of the turquoise Caribbean. You could steer the Queen Mary through the ultra wide fairways. This is resort golf, so the intention is to make you happy about your game. The scorecard cleverly names each of the five tee blocks: Ability, 7060 yards; Hope, 6542 yards; Humility, 6107 yards; Respect, 5661 yards and Reality, 5089.

playground for its owners and their pals. The course is only open to guests and outsiders from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. each day. I’d love to brag that I played it but the $4,000 green fee for outsiders was a tad rich for my budget. That’s $4,000 U.S., whether you’re a party of one or four. And that doesn’t include lunch. Guests get a “bargain” rate of $390 per player.

If you’re looking to rub shoulders with the super wealthy, you might stroll down Sandy Lane way, where thousand-dollar dinners and magnums of Cristal bubbly are de rigueur and gents are willing to shell out big Bajan bucks for what must be the most expensive round of golf on the planet. The Green Monkey, the newest course at Sandy Lane, is a private

During the 17th and 18th centuries, Barbados was full of sugar plantations. Rum was born here in 1703 when Mount Gay started putting the amber ambrosia in bottles. Most of the plantations have now been converted into resorts, polo fields, cricket ovals and golf courses. Before golf architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. left his mark, Royal Westmoreland



St. Nicholas Abbey plantation and rum distillery in Barbados.


was part sugar cane plantation and part coral quarry. The 6th Hermit Hole is named for a character who lived here in a cement mixer. After your round, the open-air pavilion-style clubhouse, with its tasteful mahogany furnishings, is the perfect place to brag about your birdies over a rum punch. Opened in 2009, Barbados’ newest course, Apes Hill Club, is, in my opinion, the best of the lot and certainly the toughest. Sir Charles William — who was knighted in 2000 by Queen Elizabeth for his outstanding contributions to Barbados’ development in construction, dairy farming, horticulture, agriculture and sports — developed the former plantation, quarry and dairy farm. Now in his 80s,

For serious golfers, Barbados delivers an above-par experience. The island has seven courses but the “triple crown” includes Sandy Lane, Royal Westmoreland and Apes Hill, all located within minutes of each other on the “platinum west coast” near Hole Town.

Apes Hill

Sir Charles is also listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the planet’s oldest polo player. You might spot polo ponies grazing in the pastures during your round as there are polo fields on the property. With an elevation of 1,000 feet above sea level, Apes Hill affords amazing views from every fairway. The first 11 holes are carved through dramatic undulating terrain on the west side of the island. From the elevated tees of number 12, golfers have views of the Atlantic Ocean on the east side. Banana plantations, outcroppings of coral, stately royal palms, natural ponds, green monkeys, lush landscaping and the deepest most daunting bunkers on the island are all part of the Apes Hill experience.

Royal Westmoreland




Maritime Hospitality, and So Much More No region in the country embodies the very essence of Canadian luxury — both in scenic splendour and community hospitality — like Nova Scotia.

Interested in making your vacation permanent? Fox Harb’r offers a variety of ownership opportunities. Resident membership includes all the boutique amenities that await their guests, plus the freedom and comfort of a luxury Maritime experience that is, at-the-ready and at your disposal

luxury or escape. It’s about the people. The experienced and dedicated team takes pride in the resort and it shows. Residents, guests and members alike are offered professional caring service to ensure that each stay — be it for a day, a week or a lifetime — creates lasting memories …


ox Harb’r is nestled into the utopic wonder of Nova Scotia’s Northumberland Shore. The five-star resort offers personalized service, a Graham Cookedesigned championship golf course, an award-winning spa, celebrated local cuisine, a world-class sport shooting facility, a junior Olympic-size pool, horseback riding, kayaking, boat charters and more. Whether you’re interested in a short stay or lifelong experience, Fox Harb’r’s adaptive luxury resort approach caters to boutique vacationing like no other Atlantic venue. Studio and executive suites, as well as townhouses and custom homes, are at the ready for your getaway’s indulgence. Every amenity and luxury are provided, from bonfire set-ups and s’mores fixings to the finest of dining, featuring farm- and pondto-table, seasonally-inspired menus showcasing the best local flavours, all served at their oceanside restaurant, Cape Cliff Dining Room and Willard Pub.



year-round. Executive townhomes of understated elegance, Marina Landing’s modern open-concepts, or custommade houses, offer unique, designer homes that balance east coast-style architecture with contemporary amenity and sophistication — all tailored to prospective homeowners’ spirit and individuality. When you own at Fox Harb’r, you are part of a community of unique individuals in a world-class resort. But what makes this slice of the province a worthy spot for your investment? Two words: Maritime hospitality. At the end of the day, Fox Harb’r is not about golf, or


Fox Harb’r Resort 1337 Fox Harbour Rd. Wallace, N.S. Toll free: 1.866.257.1801 902.257.1801


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


HYGGE A How-To By Rebecca Spinner

How would you spend a perfect snow day? Napping on your couch? Reading by the fireplace? Snuggling in a quilt or terrycloth robe? Sipping hot chocolate... coffee... tea?






hat mug of tea, fireplace, quilt — they’re hallmarks of hygge. “Hygge is a Danish term,” explains Lindsay Cato. “For Danes, the concept of hygge means staying comfortable, cozy, safe and warm, in order to survive their harsh climate.” Meik Wiking’s The Little Book of Hygge certainly enhanced the word’s Englishlanguage ubiquity. However, Lindsay says, a version of hygge is a longstanding Canadian cultural touchstone. “Canadians already know, understand, and practice hygge. It’s just that we’ve never had a term for it before.” Lindsay and husband Kevin Cato run Verdun (, an Ontario lifestyle brand carrying “Canadian hygge” products from knit goods to tea. “We sell items that make people feel good... that create a sense of comfort

and safety.” The Catos spent a morning with ReFINEd, discussing strategies to enhance hygge at home. For their tips, read on. Fan the flames. Keep a box of matches handy to hop on the hygge bandwagon. “There’s something about fire — whether it’s a fireplace or candle — that’s innately calming,” muses Lindsay. If you’re uncomfortable with open flame, the Catos say Edison-style incandescent bulbs provide a similar vibe. Fuzzy feelings. Glass and metal may be gorgeous, but when it comes to hygge, Kevin Cato says he prefers wooden furniture’s “softness.” Amp up the hygge with fluffy fabrics: “Throws, blankets and pillows soften the room and create cozy spaces,” says Lindsay. Act natural. Earthy materials — wood, stone, bamboo, silk, even cotton flannel — lend themselves beautifully to hygge.


Lindsay, a knitter, is an especially big wool fan. “Nothing holds heat like wool!” Mood lighting. “You want warmtoned lighting. Avoid anything that’s fluorescent, blue-toned or very bright.” To increase a bare bulb’s hygge factor inexpensively, you may wish to ensconce it in a simple paper or bamboo shade. Make room to reminiscence. Before hitting a department store to scope its hygge potential, comb your closets and attic. Some of the hygge treasures in the Catos’ own space include wedding snapshots, Kevin’s vinyl collection and an heirloom rocking chair. “Those things make the space uniquely yours,” says Kevin. Eat hygge. From Christmas dinners to summer lobster boils, “eating, and sharing food, is a big hygge activity,” says Lindsay. Treat your family to homemade shortbread for a hygge sugar rush.



WITH Maurice Meagher Archadeck of Nova Scotia



here’s nothing like gathering around a fire with family and friends. Whether you are designing a new deck or stone patio, or improving your existing outdoor space, fire features are an excellent addition to your home. Factors to consider when determining the style and use of your fire feature: • Budget. There are a variety of options available • Size, style and material • Location. Consider your landscape, view and wind protected areas Fuel Options There are a variety of fire feature options available, including wood fire, natural stone or gas fire pits, gas fire tables, fire bowls and outdoor fireplaces. Some clients prefer a wood burning fire pit or stone oven, but many of the Halifax projects we design and build are using propane, as it offers the convenience of lighting a fire quickly and easily. Choices for Wood-Burning Fuel Wood-burning fireplaces or fire pits are more cost-effective to have if you have easy access to firewood. They are not made for all parts of the country. If you live in a dry area, or do not have easy access to firewood, gas may be a better option. Wood fires give off more smoke and embers. You need to watch the fire carefully to gauge the size and heat the fire is emitting.



Choices for Gas Fuel Gas is usually a better choice for heavily wooded properties. If there isn’t a clear opening above the fire, a gas fire offers more control and is a better option than wood. However, if you are adding a fire feature to an existing space and had not planned for it, there will be additional costs for the setup of a gas line. A strong benefit of a gas burning element is the easy preparation and control of the fire. This is especially important if you have small children. Gas flames are much easier to control and use. They are easy to turn on, off, up and down. Additionally, there is no smoke and you don’t have to clean up any ashes. Fire Pit Placement and Location • In order to keep areas fire safe, Halifax Regional Municipality has regulations that indicate how far from a building your fire is allowed to be. Any fire element, especially a wood burning open fire pit, should not be placed near a combustible building. Contact HRM for more information.

• Pressure-treated wood • Driftwood • Magazines or newspapers Safety First • Remember to never – ever – leave any fire unattended, and have extinguishing material close at hand should it be needed: sand, dirt, water and a fire extinguisher.

• If you are considering a fire pit for your deck, a propane fire table or fire pit is your best option. • A wood burning fire pit would be appropriate on a stone or brick patio surface under most circumstances. Fire Materials Not to Burn • Wooden pallets • Particle bard


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

WITH Pam Tower Tower Interiors



ave you always wanted a larger kitchen? Bathroom? Closet? Mudroom?

The number one reason clients come to us, is because they are looking for more functional space. Most people think they have to add on to their home to get the additional space they want. However, as registered interior designers, we are experts at analyzing space, allocating it differently, and can often accommodate most of our clients’ needs without that costly addition. You may be thinking it is not possible in my home. All my space is used! But, there may be space hiding in your home. The most important step is to look at your home objectively, instead of emotionally. You need to assess each area to determine if there are some spaces in your home you could be using differently. For example, a lot of people don’t use their formal living room very often, and a great room would suit their lifestyle better. Consider converting the living room space into a dining space and the dining room could be combined into a larger kitchen. Another way we have gained more space for the kitchen is by moving it into the larger family room space, then use the living room as the new great room. Consider how many eating spaces you really need. If you have an island with an eating bar, skip the kitchen table and have one large dining table for family meals. When you want more storage but are tight on space, consider shallow cabinets. A 12” deep pantry will hold a lot of groceries, and no more searching

behind items. In a narrow dining room, 12” deep cabinets will hold most dishes, and if you keep the cabinet up off the floor, you create an illusion of more space. In the bathroom, you only need 6” deep cabinets for small toiletry items. If it’s your bathroom you are trying to make larger, look at the spaces that border it. Is there an adjacent closet that could be added to the bathroom space? Could you take a foot or two from a bedroom? If you are a bather, free-standing tubs take up much less space than a tub with a large deck. A tub caddy will hold your book, candle and glass of wine! If you are not a bather, remove the tub and build a large custom glass shower — as long as there is a tub somewhere in the house. Choosing the appropriate scaled furniture for each room is another way to make a space feel larger. Small rooms need to have small scale furniture in them, while large scale furniture works best in large rooms. Choose cocktail


tables and end tables that could also provide storage. Before adding on an expensive addition, let us help you find the space you need within your existing footprint. By reallocating space, your home could become the dream home you always wanted!

Pam Tower

Registered interior designer Tower Interiors Halifax 902.455.1544



Wacky’s Design Centre and the “DIY Mom” Turn a Historical Home into a Stylish Short-Term Rental By Rebecca Spinner Photos Matt McMullen


n East Coast oasis.” That’s how Rebekah Higgs describes her new shortterm rental property. Wacky’s Flooring & Lighting Design Centre at the Atrium played a key role in building that “oasis” — from providing products and custom millwork designs, to offering installation expertise. “I love their selection,” Higgs says of Wacky’s. “The one-stop shop model is very convenient. You can get tile, carpets, lighting, cabinets, countertops.” Indeed, Wacky’s has earned its local reputation



through its extensive range of products, which includes area rugs, custom tile, window coverings, and cabinetry, as well as countless flooring styles and types. Higgs called upon a number of Wacky’s departments before she began welcoming guests to her North End AirBnB property. Major, multi-room renovations were required to rejuvenate the property’s initially rundown interior. “The apartment predates the Halifax Explosion,” she explains. “It’s well over a hundred years old.” Thus, it exhibited flaws common to historical Halifax homes: cramped construction,


nonstandard shapes, an unsalvageable hardwood floor. “I basically had to gut the interior.” As the creator — and real-life titular character — of “DIY Mom,” an online home-improvement resource, Higgs was up to the task. Faced with a blank slate basement suite, she drew inspiration from an existing brick-and-stonework feature wall. “I wanted to pick products that didn’t compete with that beautiful stone wall.” At Wacky’s, Higgs sourced materials to update and enhance the interior, such as vinyl plank flooring. Strategic

interior design elements--for instance, herringbone tiles--allowed her to camouflage structural flaws. “The walls weren’t completely straight. A geometric pattern is a great way to distract the eye.” To perfect her kitchen and bathroom, Higgs relied on the custom millwork department at Wacky’s. “Some people may not know about our millwork division. However, we’ve been involved in a number of jobs around the city,” notes Wacky’s Marketing Director Morgan Brookfield. The Wacky’s team created two floating maple plywood shelves for Higgs’ kitchen, as well as an ingenious bathroom cabinetry setup. “A standard-sized cabinet wouldn’t fit, so we installed a custom vanity and custom shelving,” explains Wacky’s Design Consultant Alyssa Carrigan. Custom designs, created and revised at Wacky’s, enabled Higgs to conceal exposed bathroom plumbing. The finished product, paired with a customcut mirror, provides ample storage and prep space. “If you have an old home, or you’re trying to renovate an old house, it’s unlikely that things are square,” Higgs notes. “It’s really great when you can work with a company like Wacky’s, that will do everything custom.” Higgs’ DIY mom tagline--“Renovations on a Single Mom Budget”--didn’t necessarily rule out custom millwork, Carrigan explains. She says Wacky’s custom shelving and cabinetry are more accessible than many people realize. “Customization doesn’t always mean a super high-end, unaffordable

product. It just means fitting a product to a space.” Wacky’s constructed the vanity from melamine, which Carrigan singles out for its affordability. “Melamine can create cool effects on a budget. We used a high-gloss white finish to bounce the light around.” The apartment features a custom mural, lit by a Hudson Valley Mini Hinsdale fixture--also sourced at Wacky’s. “It reminded me of buoys floating on the water,” Higgs says. “Above the mural, it almost looks like a starry sky.”


Wacky’s Flooring & Lighting Design Centre at the Atrium 60 Highfield Park Dartmouth, N.S. 902.835.9974

Flooring & Lighting Design Centre



New Name, Same Excellent Team Serving Atlantic Canadians’ Home Heating Needs By Lori McKay Photos Bruce Jollimore


he name Maritime Fuels might be new, but the local people behind the scenes of one of Atlantic Canada’s largest home heating companies has remained the same, with hundreds of years of combined experience among them.

Most importantly, he says, their customers will notice better savings by having Maritime Fuels as their provider. “We changed the pricing structure, which was just one step in multiple steps of growing this business.”

also turnaround time and the ability to serve as quickly as possible.

After working in the business for more than 14 years, Charles Higgins purchased the company from Pepco in June 2018. He knew he could offer the public something better.

Before, the company was a full-service company, with service technicians and propane and other components to the business. When the ownership changed hands, Charles simplified everything by focusing on being a fuel and lubricant provider.

Maritime Fuels is the Atlantic Canada reseller for Esso. With 54 trucks, they are one of the largest home heating providers in the area, with delivery all over Nova Scotia, plus some areas of New Brunswick. The company has 42 people working in their Dartmouth main office, plus 72 drivers on staff, with bulk plants in Bridgewater, Digby, Port Hawkesbury, Amherst, Fredericton and Dalhousie.

“Our company motto is Delivering Excellence,” says Charles. “And that motto is part of everything we do — our service, delivery, price and product.”

He says their motto “Delivering Excellence” is about their ability to serve the general public better than other fuel providers — looking not only at price, but

“Our business requirements are supported by any one of our six bulk plants plus our arrangement with Esso in Dartmouth and Sydney to ensure




“We want people to know that if they do business with Maritime Fuels, they’re doing business with the right company. People who worked with us in the past are noticing the difference and understanding what we offer. People who are just joining us are seeing that we are the premier company to do business with now and in the future.” – Charles Higgins, General Manager of Maritime Fuels

adequate supply as required during our very busy season” Their main office is located in Dartmouth, but the company is local and present in all the communities they serve, whether it’s at the community centre, the ballfield or the rink. The list of charities and local organizations on their company website is long. They recently donated close to $10,000 to the cancer society and took part in Coats for Kids. They also help out with school breakfast programs in HRM. “We are about family and about helping and supporting kids and charities that make sense,” says Charles. “Local is key for us.”

Maritime Fuels is proud to sell a wide range of industrial products to support our ever-growing commercial business. Products offered are windshield wash, DEF, lubricants and greases in a variety of pack sizes, as well as other industrial supplies such as gloves, rags and absorbent pads. Charles Higgings with anti-wear hydraulic fluid. Suppliers include Mobil, Shell and Maritime Fuels Plus.

When a customer contacts the company, they reach a live person in their Dartmouth office. Someone is always available by either phone or live chat — 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. “That is substantial when you’re in a home heating business, with six months of winter here in Canada,” says Charles. Maritime Fuels also prides itself on being a family-oriented place to work. According to Rachael Wawin, who works in sales support and marketing at Maritime Fuels, Charles visits every department to say good morning.

phones to the finance department,” says Rachael. “It really is a different kind of company.” Maritime Fuels 44 Orion Court, Unit #1 Dartmouth, N.S. 1.902.463.0962 Toll Free: 1.855.554.0554 Toll Free N.S. & N.B.: 310.3776

“He greets everyone from the delivery drivers to the team answering the




Windows for Every Season Payzant Home Hardware’s Kohltech window selection offers energy efficiency and aesthetic appeal By Rebecca Spinner Photos courtesy of Payzant Home Hardware


Windows & Entrance Systems. As home designs feature ever-larger windows, however, it’s crucial for responsible homeowners to remain mindful of energy efficiency.

“These days, windows are bigger and bigger,” says Jeff Barsalou of Kohltech

That’s not exclusively true of new homeowners; older window products often require energy-efficient updates. Windows constructed from wood, or exhibiting condensation, are especially

hatever the season, Nova Scotia offers beautiful views: red and orange leaves in autumn, snow in winter, gardens in full bloom come spring. It’s no surprise that Nova Scotian homeowners are passionate about making the most of those views.




likely to require replacement, says Payzant Home Hardware’s Randy Greeno. “If water’s showing up through your window, then what’s in your wall?” Kohltech Windows & Entrance Systems is headquartered in Debert, allowing the brand a distinct advantage in providing Atlantic Canadians with durable, energy-efficient, and climateappropriate windows.

“Our professional installation team looks after the entire project — measurement, installation and cleanup.” – Matthew Payzant “Kohltech is Nova Scotia based-andborn. We test our windows in Nova Scotia,” explains Barsalou. “Kohltech also offers Passive House-certified windows. We’re one of the few North American manufacturers who can build to that standard.”

Nova Scotians can select and purchase Kohltech windows at any of Payzant Home Hardware’s five locations. “Payzant has been in business since 1964. We’ve been selling Kohltech windows as long as I can remember,” says general manager Matthew Payzant.

The company manufactures designs including single-hung, double-hung, and casement windows. “Casement products are generally more energyefficient, with better air filtration ratings,” says Greeno, who also recommends energy-efficient tilt-and-turn windows. “That’s a European design — new to the Maritimes but becoming extremely popular.”

While the Lower Sackville Design Gallery contains the widest array of Kohltech products, installs sales manager Nicky Perkins says each Payzant Home Hardware offers a curated Kohltech selection. Likewise, she adds, staff at each location are equipped to answer questions about Kohltech products, thanks to annual training through “Kohltech University.” They can also create digital renderings of clients’ plans. “We have industry veterans on-staff at all locations,” Perkins confirms.

Kohltech’s ability to provide clients with windows tailored to their specifications — which Barsalou terms “mass customization” — is integral to its success. Clients are free to specify windows’ dimensions and even colour, and Barsalou says requests for black, brown or custom colour-matched products are increasingly common. “Painted windows offer curb appeal and attract the eye.”

Should warranty services ever be required, Kohltech personnel can complete them. “Our lead service tech has 35 years of experience with the company,” says Barsalou. December 2018 marked the beginning of Payzant Home Hardware’s “Winter Windows Event,” featuring exceptional

Photos above by Bruce Jollimore

pricing on Kohltech products. For customers waiting on warmer weather to renovate, Payzant Home Hardware can store Winter Windows Event purchases. “We’re happy to hold orders until springtime,” Payzant confirms. “Then, when clients are ready, our professional installation team looks after the entire project — measurement, installation and cleanup.”

Payzant Home Hardware 250 Sackville Drive, Lower Sackville 902.864.0000 40 Wright Avenue, Dartmouth 902.468.3500 264 Highway 2, Enfield 902.883.2266 Unit 15, 5228 Highway 7, Porters Lake 902.827.3534 19 Mallard Drive, Sackville (New Brunswick) 506.536.4663




The David Dunn Group

Building rendering & photos from model suite


Surrounded by greenery and historic ambience, this 11th floor unit captures Halifax’s full beauty with views of the harbour, city and Public Gardens.

David Dunn and Carolyn Davis Stewart

This 1,005 sq.ft. PAVILION condo will offer open, contemporary living space with two bedrooms, two full baths and harbour views. The unit will feature designer selected finishes including quality cabinetry, wide-planked flooring, stone surfaces and a marble clad ensuite bath. Owners will enjoy the energy efficient stainless steel Bosch appliances in the kitchen, the comfort of a natural gas fireplace and a gas barbecue hook-up on the balcony. PAVILION features 24-hour concierge services, an owners’ lounge overlooking the Public Gardens, and will be home to the new YMCA centre of community. To find out more, contact The David Dunn Group. 902.209.9177

Protect Your Home for a Lifetime with a Forever Roof By Lori McKay Photos Steve Jess and courtesy of The Forever Roof


ova Scotia’s weather is unpredictable to say the least. Protect your home from storms, rapid temperature changes, beaming sun and heavy snowfall for a lifetime with a metal roofing system. Finwick King and Brian Squires started The Forever Roof company in 2007 to provide a unique flat and metal roofing system that would withstand anything our coastal weather could throw at it. King says it’s all about the material and he shares how this Nova Scotia-based roofing company has found the perfect roofing solution for our seaside lifestyle. “Our product has been used for 35 years and is still going strong,” says King. “It comes with a lifetime warranty that is non-prorated, as it comes direct from the manufacturer.”



Manufactured by Rare Manufacturing Inc. out of Surrey B.C., the Forever Roof product is durable in even the most extreme climate conditions. It offers no maintenance, a non-combustible fire rating and a lightweight durability that is strong enough to walk on. There are no exposed fasteners and the product doesn’t fade, peel or rust. The roofs have shingle style four-foot by 12-inch panels that eliminate expansion and contraction problems, and the company can usually install the new roof directly over an existing roof, which saves money and avoids mess. The roofing products are available in a wide selection of styles and colours and come in a high-quality paint finish — providing the finished home with an elegant, unique look. King has worked with many types of roofing materials over his 35-plus year


experience in the industry. He says homeowners should know that although the upfront cost is more for the metal product, it’s not more expensive in the long run. “Although the cost of metal roofing versus traditional asphalt can be varied in price, the product The Forever Roof offers pays for itself. While traditional asphalt tends to break down within a 10-year span, the product we use will not. The Forever Roof is just that — a forever roof. It’s also economically friendly, Canadianmade and perfect for maritime weather. It’s the perfect investment, as it will require no maintenance and add value to a home.” There is a broad range of customers investing in The Forever Roof. New homes, upgraded homes and homes that simply need a better roofing option.

TESTIMONIAL “We built our forever home 11 years ago. We tried to choose products that could withstand our coastal weather, so we purchased the highest rated hurricane strength shingles. Every year we lost a few shingles and have had to do repair, but this last spring we lost over 30, so we needed to make a decision. Did we want to replace our roof every 15 years, along with repairs ever year, or go to metal. A friend referred us to Finwick King at The Forever Roof company. We called and set up a home visit the following day. Finwick arrived with the product in hand, got the measurements and then answered all of our questions very thoroughly. We felt very comfortable with our decision. Three weeks later the crew arrived at 7 a.m. every day. They were all very professional and paid very close attention to the finer details as we have several roof line changes, which is more complicated. They did a fantastic job. Our roof is absolutely beautiful and now maintenance free. With our Forever Roof we truly have our forever home.” – Ron and Stephanie Clowes, Porters Lake, N.S.

Many of our customers don’t want the worry of re-roofing ever again. They want their property to be as maintenance-free as possible. Once a Forever Roof goes on, it’s there forever. It’s not coming off. With asphalt shingles, everything is unpredictable.” King stresses the importance that homeowners hire a professional when having a new metal roof installed. He says there can be problems with metal roofs if they are not installed properly. While other styles of metal roofing do come with higher maintenance factor, The Forever Roof does not. Some products on the market have some hidden maintenance — such as screws and washers — that homeowners tend

to be unaware of. The Forever Roof can confidently say the potential for deterioration and/or breakdown of the product will not occur, making this product a superior one. A Forever Roof is easy and fast to install. While more complex projects, such as a 6,300 sq. ft. roof recently completed in Porter’s Lake, can take a bit longer, a simple bungalow can take about a day if the weather cooperates. And really, the best feature of a Forever Roof is that once it’s on a home, the homeowner will never have to worry about the weather cooperating again.

The Forever Roof 311 Rocky Lake Drive, Unit 8 Bedford, N.S. 902.252.5801

The Forever Roof services Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I.




Landscape Gardening Embracing a “Holistic” Approach to

Photos courtesy of THE SHE SHED


any Halifax gardens are brown and bare come midwinter — even those that are vibrant during summer months. But at the frostiest time of year, your garden can still bring joy. Just ask Colleen Alexander; she’s well-versed in the art of “four-season” gardens. “A four-season garden offers visual interest year-round,” Alexander explains. “That may mean planting shrubs that hold their structure, or trees with textured or colourful bark, like dogwood and willow. They keep your garden perennially beautiful.” Alexander — a Dalhousie University Master Gardener graduate — is the



founder of The She Shed, an HRMbased “landscape gardening” company. “Landscape gardening,” she explains, is a creative niche that differs from smallscale maintenance providers, impersonal corporate gardening franchises, hardscapers, and landscape architects. Creating unforgettable gardens, Alexander notes, is landscape gardening’s signature. “At The She Shed, we are perfectly sized for nurturing client relationships and providing an eye for beauty and design.” The She Shed’s team curates gardens by visiting each client’s existing or proposed garden site, then creating custom plans according to clients’ needs and tastes. “We can help match your ‘outdoor home’ to your ‘indoor home.’”


To find ideal specimens, staff visit up to nine plant nurseries each week, looking for unique, ornamental selections to create distinctive gardens. “The She Shed employs high-performance female horticultural specialists with a professional interest in plants and beauty, in contrast to companies who employ landscape technicians, source commonly-used plant varieties, and create unimaginative gardens,” Alexander explains. She’s enthusiastic about employees with backgrounds including horticultural expertise, hands-on work experience with plants, and formal training in the arts and design. Senior landscape gardener and designer Amy MacInnes, for example, is a graduate of NSCAD’s Jewellery and Metalsmithing program,

“A garden is a living form of art.” - Colleen Alexander, THE SHE SHED

PHOTO BY Bruce Jollimore

as well as a 15-year veteran of the plant nursery industry. “Amy brings a beautiful aesthetic sense to a garden. Her gardening skills are impeccable.”

Some may be dealing with a garden emergency, like invasive species management, or yard conditions that are unsafe for pets or children.

Throughout fall and winter, The She Shed conducts client consultations. (“It’s helpful if clients can provide recent photos of their garden in July, August, and September, as well as an approximate target budget,” Alexander notes.) When spring and summer arrive, the team embark on creating new gardens, as well as completing planned garden renovations and maintenance services using “low-impact” garden care products like natural fertilizers and nematodes.

Others may wish to sell their home. Beautifully-landscaped gardens can significantly impact home sales, Alexander points out. “Your property’s street appearance makes a difference. Curb appeal is critical; the first picture a realtor will take will be your home’s exterior.”

Clients may enlist landscape gardening services for numerous reasons.

plants are loved by both clients and pollinators. “We take a cohesive, holistic approach to helping people create the garden they want.”

THE SHE SHED 458 Shore Drive, Bedford 902.209.3593

Clients enjoy The She Shed’s astounding ability to create beautiful, fashionable gardens. All-white gardens including plants and shrubs like bellflower, mountain laurel, peony and mock orange are popular, reports Alexander. She adds that gardens that include edible or native




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


Ventilation systems Heating systems Air exchangers Heat recovery Heat pumps



MCK Kitchen & Bath

Celebrating a 30-year Evolution in Kitchen and Bath Design By Lori McKay Photos Steve Jess


he kitchen is the centre of every household. It’s a place for cooking, for entertaining and for family. With countless hours spent in this space, it should be a place you love. When planning your next kitchen — whether it’s a new home or a renovation — MCK Kitchens and Bath is a great place to start. MCK is a family company, run by Mike Ryan, his wife Michelle and their son, Jonathon. In business for almost 30 years, Ryan says when they first started back in 1989, the timing was perfect for a company such as his.



“We’ve gone from a two-man shop to 35-40 people on staff. The company has become one of the most successful cabinet manufacturer and retailers in the province.”

they offer. The space was completely renovated and the showroom — the largest kitchen and bath showroom in Nova Scotia — has dozens of displays in a wide variety of styles.

MCK recently purchased the former IMP building in Burnside and moved everything under one roof, closing its other showrooms.

Ryan says the market for kitchen cabinets is stronger than it has been in a long time, and it’s still moving in the right direction.

“The move was for simplicity and efficiency, it just made more sense,” says Ryan. By having everything in the new 22,000 sq. ft. building, he says customers can get a better idea of what


“If you look around, there’s a lot of new homes and multi-units. We specialize in the one-off new homes, renovations and contractor work. About 30 to 40 per cent of our overall work is working with reputable local contractors.”

“It’s nice to deal with a locally owned company and know that we are getting good products and services. Thank you from the Happy Kitchen Galipeau Family.” – Jan and Pat Galipeau

“I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for the excellent job on our new kitchen. The natural cherry cabinets look spectacular and we couldn't be happier!” – Kathryn Sweet With 22,000 sq. ft., MCK now has the largest kitchen and bath showroom in Nova Scotia.

MCK is a full function kitchen and bath cabinet provider, with professional designers, builders and installers. The company is involved from the beginning to the end of each project. “We design, build, deliver and install,” says Ryan, noting that the company has been a consumer choice winner 10 years in a row. “We take the guesswork out of the projects. And we take accountability for our work. We do what we say, when we say we’ll do it. We build a beautiful product and if something goes wrong, we will send someone out immediately to fix it.”

When it comes to popular kitchen styles, Ryan says people’s tastes have changed considerably over the years. “People aren’t afraid of colour like they used to be. We’re not seeing a lot of wood these days, but still a lot of shaker. People like a traditional cabinet with a modern look. We see a lot of hanging vanities and solid surfaces.” The MCK showroom has thousands of choices in cabinetry, hardware and countertops, including granite and natural quartz. “About 90 per cent of homeowners will choose to put solid


surface countertops in their kitchen. We have a complete area dedicated to countertops.”

MCK Kitchen & Bath New Showroom Now Open 19 Akerley Blvd., Dartmouth 902.468.6453



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Photo by Richard Pelley

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Maritime Fuels 44 Orion Court, Unit #1 | Dartmouth, N.S. 1.902.463.0962 | Toll Free: 1.855.554.0554 | Toll Free N.S. & N.B.: 310.3776 |

WITH Niall Burke and Devon Cassidy Cox & Palmer



eary of the responsibilities of home maintenance? Dreading another season of shovelling? If you are considering condoliving, here are some tips to consider before signing on the dotted line. Know what your condominium unit includes Condominiums are composed of units and common elements. As a condo owner, you purchase the unit and an interest in the common elements. It’s important to understand what is included in your unit boundaries. For example, are the windows considered unit, or common elements?

A good general rule is the more amenities, the greater the common element fee. Items that may not be included, depending on the type of condominium, include snow removal or lawn maintenance. Often water usage will be covered in the common element fee, but heating and electricity will be the responsibility of the unit owner.

A well run and financially healthy condominium corporation is a great investment. Do your homework, think about your personal needs and goals, and seek advice from professionals. Cautious steps now mean an excellent condo experience in the years to come.

Review the condominium declaration, by-laws and common element rules

You also need to review the common elements. Some buildings have exclusive-use common elements, such as balconies. These are common elements that are only for the use of a specific unit owner. Parking and storage lockers can be unit or common elements. The condo contract, or condominium declaration, will describe your unit boundaries and common elements in detail.

Every condominium building has a unique set of rules and regulations, which govern that particular building. It’s imperative to understand the rules to be sure the building will be a good fit for you. Your lawyer will outline the general rules with you, but take the time to explore every detail of the agreement. Buildings may restrict or prohibit pets, may require you to only use approved colours for all window coverings, or prohibit Christmas trees. So, if you envision the family dog snuggled under a real pine tree at Christmas, you will want to ensure your dream condo fits all aspects of your life.

What is included in your common element fee?

Look into the financial health of the condominium

A common element fee is charged to each unit to cover the common expenses of the condominium corporation. When purchasing your unit, you should know what the common element fee is and what is included. The fee will generally include insurance and maintenance, but it is important to know what, if any exclusions, will apply.

When you buy a condominium unit you are also buying into the condominium corporation. For this reason, it’s important to be aware of the financial health of the corporation you will now be part of. Review the budget, financials and the reserve fund study to ensure the corporation and reserve fund are properly financed.


Devon Cassidy Real Estate and Condominium Law

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




New Business Habits for a Successful New Year By Matthew Harpell

As we venture into 2019, it’s not difficult to find information on selfimprovement. Articles, posts, forums, experts and influencers are all using the new year as an opportunity to promote fresh starts and a new you. But what about improvements for business?




As an independent consultant working with a diverse group of clients, I’m afforded a unique vantage point of both successful and struggling companies. Although I am not privy to a secret solution to automatic success, over the years I have witnessed several unwritten characteristics amongst some of the best companies. Here are five successful approaches that stood out to me.



It’s a subtle change, but you may have noticed some companies shifting their messaging — and the very infrastructure of their business models — from a “product (or service) first” to a “lifestyle first” ethos. If your company hasn’t made this shift, it’s time to get on board. Gone are the days when “we’ve been doing this for 50 years” is sufficient evidence of value. People look at the relevance of your company as it pertains to their lives today, not your ability to remain steadfast in “the way it has always been.”

Even though this longstanding debate has strong arguments on both sides, I can say definitively, as a third-party witness, that the companies placing greater value on autonomy and trust are the same companies working in greater strategic harmony. If you tallied the number of hours of preparing for, and participating in, meetings (usually operationallyfocused), the correlating line item on your financial statements would terrify you. Imagine using these hours to focus on learning more about the lifestyles of your audience or, dare I say, communicating with them outside of problem resolution.

The most strategic companies shift their efforts toward a lifestyle fit with their clients. Relevance has little to do with product superiority and everything to do with how your products/services fit with the lifestyle of your audience.

Employees of strategic companies are clear about their role and expected contribution. They are concerned with what’s next (future), not with status reports


and sales performance updates (past). Collaboration does not mean everyone on every call, all the time, every day. Less time on “progress-to-date,” and more time on “progress-tomorrow.”

3. THEY ACKNOWLEDGE MONEY MATTERS “It’s not all about the money.” This is a common statement made by many companies. It’s true, it’s not all about the money, however, companies with the highest regard for financial prudence understand that more flow today means greater reinvestment into what really matters tomorrow. The most strategic companies understand that money matters. They use technology to track, measure and report spending. They leverage in-house and independent financial experts. They actually adhere to a budget



The most strategic companies understand that “happy people” are mandatory. A no-ego culture breeds a company of no-ego employees. This does not mean a company can’t have a hierarchy (in fact, organizations that are too flat, generally perform worse). The difference with no-ego culture companies is in the way they administer hierarchy: it serves as the “last-resort” for decision-making, not a platform for showcasing position titles, rank and salary size. Strategic companies understand that hierarchy exists because in a room where bright minds come together, there is often healthy debate, but eventually someone must make the final call.

“It is amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.”

If you think you know more than the people you’ve hired, you’ve hired the wrong people. If you think you know better than the people with whom you work, tame your own ego. If you have a repeat “ego-fender,” address the individual promptly.

– The Wizard of Westwood, John Wooden

and understand that budget equals finite resources. They have triggers to signal anything “off-strategy,” and they can tell you what their top three areas of financial commitment are.

4. THEY COLLECTIVELY STEP AWAY FROM THE PHONE Admittedly, this is one of my personal pet peeves. We, collectively, have become so dependent on Siri and Google’s strategic advice, that we’ve stopped thinking for ourselves and communicating effectively. The most strategic companies are comprised of people who demand no-phone moments and acknowledge the vital importance of giving their



undivided attention. As a business owner and/or leader, the onus is on you to instill desired company habits through manifested behaviours: step away from the phone, make real connections, invest in your community, be part of a greater cause, think for yourself, be creative.

5. THEY LOSE THE EGO AND STRIVE FOR FULFILLMENT Have you ever had lunch alone in a common place during the work week lunch hour? If you haven’t, I encourage you to do so. I shudder to think about the dollar-cost associated with the amount of time people spend discussing negative experiences with fellow employees, managers, executives, etc.


Matthew Harpell is the owner of Matlen Strategy (, 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.

years 25 in the HVAC industry

CAPITAL VENTILATION LIMITED Home Comfort Systems for the Halifax Area Whether you’re building a new house or planning a renovation, consider upgrading your heating and ventilation system for increased comfort and energy savings.

Capital Ventilation sells and repairs: • Heat pumps • Heating systems • Air exchangers • Ventilation systems

Call today to book a cleaning or inspection of your heat pump and Heat Recovery Ventilator.

• Heat recovery • Air conditioning systems

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

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ReFINEd Halifax Winter 2019  

ReFINEd Halifax Winter 2019  


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