8 things to do in Halifax this weekend (Aug. 25-27, 2023) | Arts & Culture | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST
A tasting menu at Prelude and shows starring Brooke Lynn Hytes and Jah'Mila are just a few of the events happening in Halifax this weekend.

8 things to do in Halifax this weekend (Aug. 25-27, 2023)

From pop-up tasting menus to ceilidhs to live comedy, here’s your guide to weekend fun.

The last weekend in August has to bring out all the summer stops, doesn’t it? The evenings might be cooler and the days shorter, but that doesn’t mean there’s any shortage of Halifax happenings this weekend, from live soul and reggae to free concerts to Canada-famous drag performers. Allow us to be your weekend guide with these Coast picks:

1. Dine at a pop-up restaurant on the Northwest Arm. Halifax chef Colin Bebbington has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants in Chicago and London, UK, and hosted pop-up dinners from the back of Ratinaud to Indian Harbour. Since January, Bebbington and his partner, Alex Boudreau, have been serving four-course tasting menus out of the President’s Lodge in the Atlantic School of Theology (630 Francklyn Street). Bebbington took a four-month hiatus in April to study pasta making in Italy, but returned to re-open the pop-up earlier in August. Come for the top-quality food, stay for the waterfront views. Details and reservations here.

click to enlarge 8 things to do in Halifax this weekend (Aug. 25-27, 2023)
Stef Chapman / Scotian Heritage Foods (via Instagram)
Prelude is the pop-up dinner service run by Colin Bebbington of Scotian Heritage Foods.

2. Watch a night of standup comedy at Pacifico. Comedian Jared Nathan’s unique blend of humour and karaoke has won over audiences from Just For Laughs Toronto to the live podcast Kill Tony. This Friday, Aug. 25, he’s in Halifax for one night only on his Comedy on the Spectrum tour and is joined by a roster of special guests. The show starts at 8pm (5171 George Street). Tickets are $30 plus fees.

3. Hear Jah’Mila and The Joy Curve perform live at The Carleton. The Jamaican Canadian reggae powerhouse joins soul band The Joy Curve, fronted by singer and “trumpet slinger” Paul St-Amand, for a Friday night of horns and rhythms slick as kitchen grease. Indie singer-songwriter Bethany opens the show, which starts at 8pm (1685 Argyle Street). Tickets are $23 plus fees.

4. Enjoy a free afternoon concert at the Halifax Central Library. On Saturday, Aug. 26, hear award-winning violinist/vocalist Donald MacLennan perform for free at the Paul O’Regan Hall (5440 Spring Garden Road). Born in Cape Breton and based in Dartmouth, MacLennan has built a career on performances that “offer a unique blend of improvisation and virtuoso sensibilities, harkening back to 1940s Parisian laissez-faire.” The 2016 Music Nova Scotia “Jazz Recording of the Year” winner has toured internationally with the likes of Ben Caplan and Duane Andrews. On Saturday, he’s joined by guitarist Michael Dalton and double bassist Ronald Hynes. Show starts at 1pm.

5. Celebrate the best of Latin culture and cuisine. Head to the Halifax waterfront this Saturday for an afternoon of Latin food, live music and traditional dancing at Foundation Wharf (near the bottom of Salter Street). The LatinFax Festival is back for another year and promises fun—or la diversión—for all ages, from hijos to abuelos. Festivities run from noon to 5pm. No admission required.

6. Hear one of Canada’s best guitarists live in concert. That’s not an exaggeration, either. So prodigious are Don Ross’ six-string talents that he is the only person to have won the National Finger Style Guitar Championship (later the International Finger Style Guitar Championship) twice. “Nobody does what Don Ross does with an acoustic guitar,” Bruce Cockburn wrote in 2003. “He takes the corners so fast you think he's going to roll, but he never loses control.” Ross will perform a special solo guitar set at Serpent Brewing on Saturday, Aug. 26. The show starts at 8pm. Tickets are $36.48.

7. Take in a Saturday night ceilidh. Richie Wilcox was introduced to a national audience at nine years old, when he sang on Rita MacNeil’s first TV Christmas special. In New Waterford Boy: A Ceilidh, the Cape Breton-born and raised singer and former Canadian Idol contestant tells stories from his life, from growing up queer on Cape Breton to the inner workings of reality TV to being MacNeil’s “nephew for a week.” All the while, Wilcox sings songs from the Rankin Family, Allister MacGillivray and John Allan Cameron. The 43-year-old calls his show a “tribute to Cape Bretoners who have the songs of miners and fisherman embedded into their hearts and souls, whether they have set foot in a mine, or cast a net, or not.

“This is a night of storytelling to pay respect to the Cape Breton of my childhood, with hope for the future. This is a tribute to the Cape Bretoner I am and all the different types of Cape Breton man there can be. This is my Cape Breton ... where I can be Rita MacNeil’s nephew for a week, I can be a superhero and conquer a junior high dance and I can belt the tunes of Allister MacGillivray, the Rankin Family and more songs we all know, all night long.”

The show starts at 7:30pm at Alderney Landing. Tickets range from $25 to $45.

click to enlarge 8 things to do in Halifax this weekend (Aug. 25-27, 2023)
Richie Wilcox
Richie Wilcox performs New Waterford Boy: A Ceilidh at Alderney Landing on Aug. 26, 2023.

8. See a night of drag at the Marquee. Toronto-born drag performer Brooke Lynn Hytes has more than a few notches in her belt: Not only was she the first Canadian to appear on RuPaul’s Drag Race (she finished second); she also featured on the cover of New York magazine and became the first Drag Race contestant to become a full-time judge on a spin-off show (Canada’s Drag Race). The LA-based performer is in Halifax on Sunday, Aug. 27 for her Drag Me to the Maritimes Tour, joined by drag queens Stephanie Prince and Sminty Drop. The show starts at 8pm (2037 Gottingen Street). Tickets start at $80.97.

About The Author

Martin Bauman

Martin Bauman, The Coast's News & Business Reporter, is an award-winning journalist and interviewer, whose work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Calgary Herald, Capital Daily, and Waterloo Region Record, among other places. In 2020, he was named one of five “emergent” nonfiction writers by the RBC Taylor Prize...
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