Fall is officially in full swing, and along with the return of pumpkin spice lattes and Dalhousie, King’s, Saint Mary’s University and NSCAD students, we’ve got a full lineup of shows, festivals and events coming to our corner of the province. Here, The Coast has got you covered with all the big show announcements, from folk singer-songwriter Donovan Woods to Michelle Obama.
Prismatic Arts Festival
The annual festival celebrating Indigenous artists and Canadian artists of colour is back in Halifax for its 15th year. Shows and exhibits span 18 venues across the HRM, from The Bus Stop Theatre to the Dalhousie Arts Centre. This year’s lineup of talented artists includes Juno Award-winning Afro-Cuban jazz duo OKAN, helmed by violinist Elizabeth Rodriguez and percussionist Magdelys Savigne, as well as multidisciplinary Mi’kmaw artist Alan Syliboy, screening his short animated film Little Thunder.
Sept. 29-Oct. 8, various venues, prismaticfestival.com for details [Festival]
The Vancouver-based indie rockers are touring Canada to mark the release of their newest album, Shuggie (out Oct. 12 via Dine Alone Records). It’s the band’s first full-length album since 2020’s Vindicator, inspired in part by listening to Fleetwood Mac and the Flaming Lips. Lead singer Jeff Innes describes the record as a “sort of wide reaching exploration of trying to find that something out of all this isolation.”
Oct. 4, Marquee Ballroom (2037 Gottingen Street), tickets $27.12 [Music]
Leanne Hoffman w/ Aquakultre and friends
Halifax singer-songwriter Leanne Hoffman’s The Text Collector LP isn’t your typical record: Not only does the 15-song album come along with a poetry book—Hoffman wrote 365 entries over the course of a year—it’s also accompanied by a series of visual art pieces, paired with each song. “I’ve always had big ideas, but never knew how to follow through on them,” the 31-year-old Hoffman tells The Coast. “And I feel like this project is a step in that direction.” To mark her project’s release, she’s joined by fellow Haligonian Aquakultre and special guests T. Thomason, Taryn Kawaja and Dana Beeler.
Oct. 5, Marquee Ballroom (2037 Gottingen Street), tickets $22.63 [Music]
Raised in Windsor, Ont., comedian and actor Dave Merheje has built a sturdy career over the course of two decades, built on the reputation as one of Canada’s hottest stand-up acts. A former cast member on Mr. D, Merheje stars alongside Mahershala Ali in the Hulu series Ramy and co-stars with Daisy Ridley in the forthcoming film Sometimes I Think About Dying.
Oct. 7, The Sanctuary (100 Ochterloney Street), tickets $34.50 [Comedy]
Billed as the Maritimes’ “largest one-day EDM and hip hop festival,” Magnetic World brings Orangeville, Ont. dance duo DVBBS and Memphis, Tenn. rapper NLE Choppa to Halifax for an outdoor festival at Garrison Grounds. Halifax emcee Quake Matthews joins the showbill, along with electronic act CORRUPT (UK) and New Glasgow rapper JayTheKidd.
Oct. 7, Garrison Grounds (5425 Sackville Street), tickets from $68 [Music]
Country music star Kip Moore knows how to pen a tune. Both the Georgia-raised, Nashville-based artist’s breakout single “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck” and debut album Up All Night have sold more than a million units since 2012. His Damn Love World Tour comes to Wolfville for one night—and tickets are nearly sold out. Moore is joined by Kentucky-based singer-songwriter Aaron Raitiere.
Oct. 12, Andrew H. McCain Arena (550 Main Street, Wolfville), tickets from $46.69 [Music]
Halifax’s annual all-night arts festival returns mid-October with a packed slate of programming, including yearly favourite Ferry-Oke—which, as you might’ve guessed, involves karaoke on the Halifax to Alderney Landing ferry. This year’s festival coincides with the Native American Art Studies Association Conference, bringing Indigenous artists together from across Nunavut, Alaska, Northwest Territories, Newfoundland and Greenland. Also new this year: Lindsay Dobbin and oceanographer David Barclay will premiere a nine-hour surround sound recording from the Marianas Trench—the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean.
Oct. 12-15, various venues, nocturnehalifax.ca for details [Festival]
The Doobie Brothers
California rock royalty comes to Halifax on Friday, Oct. 13 when The Doobies headline a show at the Scotiabank Centre. The San Jose band is in the midst of a somewhat-belated 50th anniversary tour—the group’s self-titled debut album came out in 1971—and was nominated for induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Oct. 13, Scotiabank Centre (1800 Argyle Street), tickets $85.50-$161 [Music]
Donovan Woods w/ Kellie Loder
Canadian folk singer-songwriter Donovan Woods proves, as usual, that he can draw a crowd: Tickets are already sold out for his show at the Light House Arts Centre, where he’ll be joined by St. John’s, NL artist Kellie Loder. Woods’ latest album, 2021’s Without People, was nominated for Alternative Country Album of the Year at the Canadian Country Music Awards. He’s in the midst of a North American tour that will see the Sarnia, Ont.-raised artist swing through New Brunswick, New York, Chicago and San Francisco from October to May 2024.
Oct. 13, Light House Arts Centre (1800 Argyle Street), sold out [Music]
The former FLOTUS herself is coming to Halifax later this month for a special evening “in conversation.” With whom? We don’t know. But we’re here for it. The evening is part of a 75th anniversary celebration of the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council. Tickets ain’t cheap—they’ll set you back more than $250 at this point—but they’re still available.
Oct. 18, Scotiabank Centre (1800 Argyle Street), tickets $255 [Event]
All-female Canadian dance rock group The Beaches formed in 2013 when sisters Jordan and Kylie Miller and drummer Eliza Enman-McDaniel, then part of a pop-punk quartet called Done with Dolls, parted ways with their guitarist and renamed themselves after the Toronto neighbourhood where they grew up. Their debut full-length album, 2017’s Late Show, earned the foursome a Juno Award for Breakthrough Group of the Year. The group followed that success with 2022’s Sisters Not Twins (The Professional Lovers Album), which won a Juno for Rock Album of the Year. Tickets are nearly sold out for their Halifax leg of the Blame My Ex Tour, but a few stragglers are available.
Oct. 20, Light House Arts Centre (1800 Argyle Street), tickets $44.45-$49.57 [Music]
Canadian music legend Bruce Cockburn comes to Halifax for one night only on Saturday, Oct. 21. The 78-year-old is in the midst of a globe-trotting tour that sees the Ottawa-born artist travel from Montreal to Maine to Milwaukee to Rome, Italy. Tickets are limited, but still available.
Oct. 21, Rebecca Cohn Auditorium (6101 University Avenue), tickets $59.50 [Music]
Tell all your b’ys that the long-running Newfoundland folk band that inspired the music from Come From Away is bringing its high-energy show to Hubbards later this month. The band was initially scheduled to play on Sept. 16, but, well… post-tropical storm Lee happened. Fingers crossed nothing prompts another rain-check.
Oct. 21, The Shore Club (250 Shore Club Road, Hubbards), tickets $44.64 [Music]
Canadian country rockers Blue Rodeo have released a whopping 16 full-length studio albums in their 40 years as a band. At the Scotiabank Centre this Oct. 22, the Jim Cuddy-led group celebrates the 30-year anniversary of the six-time Platinum-selling record Five Days in July.
Oct. 22, Scotiabank Centre (1800 Argyle Street), tickets from $56 [Music]