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Best Kept Secret 

Bella Muse/And Cafe

They say collage is the dominant artform of our meta-po-mo culture. Think of Bella Muse as the largest (interactive!) stainless steel collage you’ll ever see. Where recycling and interior design collide, Bella Muse owner (and sculptor and painter) Tobin Belanger has created a cafe/gallery space/performance venue (almost) entirely from: Junk! Garbage! Trash! Found art! A year in the making. A legion of volunteers. Funding from HRM’s solid waste management gurus, RRFB. Et voila! From the spiral staircase built of bike parts to the floor the bar stools the dishes (almost) everything salvaged or donated. Since May’s official opening Bella has hosted a suitably eclectic range of events: with folk and hiphop and indie rock shows, with art exhibits and social justice teach-ins and the Bondage Ball, with spoken word and kickboxing and theatre, and with mainstays like the Upstream Orchestra gigs and Cinema Rouge’s screenings of cult films. Best kept secret? (Oops.) The secret’s out. 2530 Agricola Street, 446-4464

Runner-up: Dio Mio Gelato

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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