The first November chill hasn’t slowed a hot weekend for Halifax happenings. Around the HRM, you’ll find a Halloween pillowcase’s worth of tricks and treats to get up to—from back-to-back evenings of Mooseheads hockey to library jam sessions to a night with one of Canada’s biggest names in country music. Allow The Coast to be your weekend guide with these eight to-dos:
1. See works by Emily Carr and the Group of Seven at the Nova Scotia Art Gallery. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be rich? Really rich? Like, Logan Roy, Succession-type rich? Look no further than the Nova Scotia Art Gallery’s latest exhibition, “Generations: The Sobey Family and Canadian Art,” which sees a portion of the Sobey family’s private art collection go on public display until mid-January 2024. Works from Tom Thomson, David Milne, Emily Carr and the Group of Seven are all part of the exhibit, along with works from Indigenous artists like Kent Monkman and Annie Pootoogook. Here’s the best part: Admission is free.
2. Meet some of the best authors in Canada. The fifth-annual AfterWords Literary Festival comes to an end this weekend—and it sure closes with a bang. On Saturday, Nov. 4, RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award-winner Alicia Elliott (A Mind Spread Out on the Ground) leads a writers’ workshop, “Raising the Stakes,” on keeping readers invested in a story, then novelists Sean Michaels, Leo McKay Jr. and Sharon English spend the afternoon reading from their works at The Carleton.
On Sunday, Nov. 5, a lucky few will spend brunch with authors Charlene Carr (Hold My Girl) and Emma Donoghue (Room, The Pull of the Stars), then climate writers Karen Pinchin (Kings of Their Own Ocean) and Laura Tretheway join CBC Mainstreet’s Jeff Douglas in conversation about the state of our oceans. Finally, both Donoghue and Annapolis Valley’s own Amanda Peters (The Berry Pickers) will spend an evening in conversation with novelist Michelle Porter and journalist Sarah Hampson at St. Matthew’s United Church. Tickets are still available for $10.
3. Hear Canadian country legend Gord Bamford. One of the most successful country singers in Canada’s history, the Aussie-born, Alberta-raised singer-songwriter was born into music: His mother, Marilyn, had toured with a country band in Australia. At 19, Bamford entered and won Nornet Radio Network’s “Searching for the Stars” contest. Since then, he has won a staggering 26 Canadian Country Music Awards and earned three Juno nominations to boot. Debuting with 2001’s God’s Green Earth, Bamford has racked up 27 Top Ten singles in Canada, along with two Gold-certified albums (Is It Friday Yet? and Country Junkie) and a Platinum-selling record in 2013’s Christmas in Canada. He’s performing at Casino Nova Scotia this Saturday, Nov. 4. Tickets are $79.28.
4. Get your holiday shopping done early. The 12th annual Nova Scotia Art and Craft Show is happening this weekend at the Cedar Event Centre (111 Clayton Park Drive). Starting Friday, Nov. 3 and running until Saturday, Nov. 4, you can browse pottery, paintings and hand-knitted clothes, among other things, crafted by artists across Nova Scotia and beyond. Admission is free, but there will be a charity 50/50 draw in support of Beacon House Food Bank and Shelter.
5. Hear Grammy Award-winning string music at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium. The Kronos Quartet aren’t easily defined: Formed in Seattle and based out of San Francisco since the late 1970s, the group has been called “probably the most famous ‘new music’ group in the world” and covered everything from Jimi Hendrix to Tanya Tagaq to Nine Inch Nails. They’ve performed live with Paul McCartney, accompanied Allan Ginsberg for poetry readings and scored films including Requiem for a Dream and The Man Who Cried. And on Sunday, Nov. 5, they’ll perform live at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium (6101 University Avenue). Tickets start at $39.50.
6. Catch a special film screening for Holocaust Education Week. This Friday, Nov. 3, the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 is showing the documentary Dear Fredy, the true story of Fredy Hirsh, a “proud Jew and an openly gay man who fled Germany to the Czech Republic” in 1935 and was later captured and sent to Auschwitz. There, he persuaded his captors to set up a daycare centre, which he ran for 600 children until his death. The free film screening starts at noon. It will be followed by a Q&A with professor Dorota Glowacka, who teaches courses about the Holocaust at King’s University. Reserve a spot here.
7. Join an afternoon jam session in Dartmouth. Every Saturday from 2:30-4:30pm, the Woodlawn Public Library (31 Eisener Boulevard) hosts an “Acoustic Song Circle Jam” for new and experienced musicians alike. Not sure if you’re good enough? Don’t worry: The library promises a “no pressure or judgment” environment with “all types of acoustic instruments and genres in play.”
8. Cheer on the Halifax Mooseheads in their quest to climb the QMJHL power rankings. Last season ended in heartbreak for the Mooseheads: After topping the Maritimes Division with a staggering 107 points, led by hotshot winger Jordan Dumais (now with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets), they fell in six games in the QMJHL finals to the Quebec Remparts.
This year, the Mooseheads have a new (old) head coach in Jim Midgley, who returned to the team after two seasons as an assistant coach with the NHL’s New York Rangers. Midgley brought magic to the Mooseheads once before: He led the team to its last Memorial Cup title in 2013. Can he do it again? The Mooseheads will host Rimouski Océanic on Friday, Nov. 3, followed by the Sherbrooke Phoenix on Saturday, Nov. 4. Tickets are available for both games.