Wanna know more fun stuff happening in your city? We’ve got the breakdown of 2023's hottest events here.
Antigone: By Fire
Two Planks and A Passion Theatre—the outdoor outpost of drama in Canning, NS—kicked off its 2023 season on June 30. One of the two plays it’ll mount this summer? Kate Besworth’s adaptation of Sophocles’ tale of a girl who pushes back against society in the name of family. This show is Two Planks’ fireside show, meaning it happens post-sunset and lit by flame.
Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 9pm from June 30-Aug. 19, tickets from $25 for adults [Theatre]
The Wind in the Willows
Two Planks is also putting on a new musical adaptation of the all-ages classic The Wind in the Willows, a tale of friendship and belonging.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 6pm; Sundays at 2pm from June 30-Aug. 19, tickets from $25 for adults [Theatre]
Shakespeare By The Sea’s original musical debuted in July and runs until the end of the month at Point Pleasant Park. Halifax theatre mainstay Garry Williams (DaPoPo, Kamp) wrote the songs, and Jesse MacLean directs the show, that’s been described as “witty” and an “adventure.”
July 8-Sept. 2, showtimes and tickets available at SBTS’s website [Theatre]
Under The Spire Music Fest
This rural P.E.I. fest sees big Canadian indie names—Dan Mangan, Jeremy Dutcher, Kaia Kater—playing a former church turned concert venue all summer long.
underthespire.ca for details and schedules [Festival]
Romeo & Juliet
Shakespeare By The Sea takes on the ultimate teen tale at Cambridge Battery.
July 21-Sept. 1, showtime details and tickets via SBTS’ site [Theatre]
Both Halifax and Dartmouth’s waterfronts will be replete with summer fun and live performances in August, as Buskers does its thing on both sides of the harbour. Keep an eye for the new Seaport Busker Performance Stage, located at the south end of the boardwalk near the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market, Pier 21 and Garrison Brewery.
Aug. 2-7, Halifax and Dartmouth waterfronts, buskers.ca for details [Festival]
The Saskatoon rockers who made history as the first unsigned band on the cover of Rolling Stone play back-to-back nights at Shore Club this August.
Aug. 2-3, 9pm, The Shore Club, Hubbards, tickets $54.70 in advance, $59.83 on show day [Music]
Rapper and actor Michie Mee—considered one of the genre’s pioneers in Canada, after rising to fame in Toronto’s hip hop scene in the 1980s and 1990s—headlines a new festival celebrating Black music in Nova Scotia. Homegrown talents Reeny Smith and Maggie Andrew perform as well.
Aug. 4-5, details available on the Crescendo Fest website [Festival]
ANSMA Freedom Festival
This year, the African Nova Scotian Music Association’s showrunners have put together both a gospel and hip hop lineup of performers, with the likes of Adina Fraser and Revello Smith headlining the former, and JRDN, Universal Soul and DJ Bucky Blanks starring in the latter. Industry mainstay Tremayne “Trobiz” Howe will host the hip hop showcase at Alderney Landing from 6:30 to 9:45pm, while the gospel showcase will run from 2 to 5pm.
Aug. 6, 2-9:45pm, Alderney Landing, admission free [Festival]
Sackville, New Brunswick’s annual celebration of indie and outsider music returns, with Witch Prophet, Aquakultre and Nico Paulo amongst the musical acts involved.
Aug. 4-6, Sackville, NB, sappyfest.com for tickets and details [Festival]
The Riverfront Jubilee
The music fest in New Glasgow sees Randy Bachman, Amanda Marshall and Ria Mae on the bill.
Aug. 4-6, New Glasgow, thejubilee.ca for tickets and details [Festival]
Nova Scotia Folk Art Festival
Self-described as the “best four hours of fun in the province,” the 33rd annual Nova Scotia Folk Art Festival brings together over 40 artists from across the Maritimes. Explore 1,500 works of art, ranging from wood carvings to board paintings.
Aug. 6, noon-4pm, Lunenburg War Memorial Arena, Lunenburg [Festival]
Halifax Seaport Cider & Beerfest
Aug. 10-12, Halifax waterfront near Halifax Seaport, 1209 Marginal Road, seaportbeerfest.com for tickets and details [Festival]
Jerry Seinfeld at Great Outdoors Comedy Festival
The Seinfeld star is the headlining act of Halifax’s Great Outdoors Comedy Festival this August. He’ll perform an outdoor set at the foot of the Citadel.
Aug. 11, Garrison Grounds, sold out [Comedy]
India Fest 2023
Aug. 11-13, Halifax Forum, details via Facebook [Festival]
Northern Lights Lantern Festival
Aug. 12, Halifax north end [Festival]
The Barr Brothers
The Juno-nominated Montreal indie folk quartet have performed at Red Rocks with My Morning Jacket and appeared twice on the Late Show with David Letterman.
Aug. 12, 8pm, Light House Arts Centre, tickets $39.31 [Music]
New Waterford Boy: A Ceilidh
The Chester Playhouse mounts this musical from Halifax’s Heist Live Art, describing it as "an intimate, upbeat kitchen party where Richie Wilcox tells personal tales of being Rita MacNeil’s nephew for a week, conquering first kisses at junior high dances, the inner workings of Canadian Idol (he was in the top 11 of Season One) and more, as he also belts Cape Breton classic tunes from Allister MacGillivray, the Rankin Family, Rita MacNeil, and John Allan Cameron…The two-act show pays tribute to traditional Cape Breton culture while making way for the people of Cape Breton today, here and now.”
Aug. 12-13, Chester Legion, chesterplayhouse.ca for tickets and showtimes [Theatre]
Bill Burr at Great Outdoors Comedy Festival
Comedian, podcaster and actor Bill Burr is the other big headliner on the Great Outdoors... well, bill. He appeared in Breaking Bad, Reservation Dogs and The Mandalorian.
Aug. 13, Garrison Grounds, sold out [Comedy]
Clam Harbour Beach Sandcastle Competition
Aug. 13, 9am-sunset, Clam Harbour Beach [Event]
Chester Race Week
Aug. 16-19, Chester, chesterraceweek.com for details [Festival]
The August show at Ship’s Company Theatre in Parrsboro is inspired by the Swiss Air 111 disaster that struck off the coast of Peggy’s Cove in 1998 and traces the aftermath of tragedy in a small town.
Aug. 16-27, Ship’s Company Theatre, Parrsboro, shipscompanytheatre.com for tickets and showtimes [Theatre]
Nova Scotia Summerfest
The Fortunate Ones, Matt Andersen, the Ennis Sisters and Jimmy Rankin are among the acts performing in Antigonish this year.
Aug. 17-19, novascotiasummerfest.ca for tickets and details [Festival]
Halifax electronic/indie rocker Rich Aucoin’s Synthetic: Season 1 was nominated for a JUNO Award in 2023, and he just released Season 2 in May. Both are part of an ambitious four-part album Aucoin is releasing over the next two years.
Aug. 18, 9:30pm, The Shore Club, Hubbards, tickets $26.30 [Music]
Mabou’s multi-platinum-selling singer-songwriter has been a music mainstay since the late 1980s, when The Rankin Family took the country by storm en route to six JUNO Awards and 13 East Coast Music Awards. She’ll be performing six shows as part of the Argyle Street Kitchen Party, with both matinee and evening performances.
Aug. 22-27, The Neptune Theatre, neptunetheatre.com for tickets and details [Music]
Matt Mays w/Villages
Aug. 23-27, The Shore Club, sold out [Music]
Chester Playhouse Grand Re-Opening
The brand-new theatre (replacing the previous structure, which burned in 2021) is unveiled.
Aug. 26, 1:30-5pm, Chester, free
Long Distance Relationships for Mythical Times
Gloria Mok’s one-person show is produced by the award-winning 2b theatre and is showing at Ship’s Company Theatre in Parrsboro as August winds down. Billed as “a tender and intimate piece about long-distance relationships woven together with a timeless Chinese folktale about love and separation,” the play features tea, dumplings and enchanting puppetry.
Aug. 31-Sept. 3, Ship’s Company Theatre, Parrsboro, shipscompanytheatre.com for tickets and showtimes [Theatre]