Susan Walsh: Visual Artist

 

 

Susan Walsh is a talented visual artist living near Antigonish Nova Scotia.  Her works show a vibrant style and her heart, stories and dreams go into her paintings.

The following slideshow will auto play to show a few of Susan’s recent paintings.  To pause move your mouse over the painting.

See more information about Susan in a recent article in The Casket

Susan Walsh at her exhibition of paintings at the Tall and Small Cafe,

Susan Walsh at her exhibition of paintings at the Tall and Small Cafe, Antigonish October 2014. Photo by Corey LeBlanc

 

 

Cliff coastline at Glace Bay outlook from CB Miners Museum

Glace Bay: A Trip Down Memory Lane

 

I was born in Glace Bay and lived there for my first year. My memories include many years of visiting at my grandmother’s house with lots of music, playing in the big kitchen, great food, picking cranberries and blueberries on the hill behind the house. Saturday afternoons as I got older often my brother and I would walk down Main Street to “the show” at The Savoy. In those days westerns and cartoons would be my favorites. I saw my first grown up movie there at the age of 6 – Carmen Jones with Harry Belefonte.

Of course I heard the stories about the Savoy which was built in the 1920s by my grandfather John Connor. In the early days there were vaudeville shows, the stage was big enough for a boxing match AND the audience, how the long draping curtains on all the walls were sewn by my grandmother, my aunt Annie playing for “the flicks” the talkies and entertainers like the child Sammy Davis Jr. coming to Glace Bay.

It is wonderful to see The Savoy Theatre now. The interior is still in its original Victorian style. Changes to the exterior and renovations to the structure with a new entrance have expanded the lobby space and added an attractive entry. The Savoy is now managed by The Savoy Theatre Society. On my visit a few weeks ago, children were rehearsing for The Little Mermaid. Live shows and plays are regular events that draw people from all over.  The theatre interior looks much as it did when I was a child in the 40s and 50s with its wonderful architecture and feeling of stepping back into a more elegant time.

One thing that has remained the same is the feel of the wind coming up from the harbour to Senator’s Corner.

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Looking at my photos of Glace Bay now, I marvel at the blue sky. This was a coal mine and industrial area of Cape Breton until the 60s. The Sydney coal fields go out miles under the ocean. As you look on the map or drive along the coast the names conjure up the miners in the various collieries: Donkin, Dominion, Caledonia, Reserve Mines, Port Morien, Lingan, New Waterford, Sydney Mines and more. The Colliery Route and the Marconi Trail runs from Glace Bay to Louisbourg and includes the remnants of North America’s first coal mine, circa 1720 (Port Morien).

The Cape Breton Miners Museum in Glace Bay is situated on Quarry Point with a view out into the Atlantic and along the coastline. When looking at the view we can picture the miners working in the coal seams that went for miles out under the ocean – such brave hard working men.   The museum has also built a re-creation of the miners’ homes and the company store. You can find company houses in all the mining towns. My paternal grandfather was a miner and lived in a company house in New Waterford.

According to interpretive signs at the museum “During the 18th century, coal was mined from exposed seams along cliffs from Port Morien to Lingan. The cargo was then transported by boat. The main use for this coal was to fuel the building and operation of Louisbourg, a French fortress established in 1713. During that time the Atlantic Ocean was a bustling highway filled with fishing vessels. As you travel around Cape Breton it is interesting to see how the communities were linked together through coal and fishing.

Unfortunately the museum was not open on my last visit – all the more reason to go back again and continue to explore Cape Breton and its rich history.  I want to go down into the mine at the Miners Museum and visit the Marconi Museum, the Glace Bay Town Hall Museum and of course take in a live show at The Savoy.

This article originally appeared as “Glace Bay: A Trip Down Memory Lane” in the Cape Breton Star, Oct. 30, 2014. Pages 4, 8.

 More Information

Port of Sydney - Big Fiddle, Flavor on the Water

Sydney Cape Breton

Sydney: Then and Now.

Article in The Cape Breton Star. By Denise Davies. Oct 2014

Living in Sydney in the 50s and 60s the steel plant was right in view of our front yard. We could see the billowing clouds of yellow smoke, hear the sound of the shunting coal cars and of course the “yellow snow” and coal dust on everything. At night we could see the clouds lit up and hear the dumpling slag.

The steel plant and the tar ponds are no more — replaced by the Open Hearth Park which hosted an audience of 15,000 for a recent outdoor Aerosmith concert. The park is an amazing open area with winding trails, a wonderful playground including musical instruments as well as play activities, a variety of sports fields and just minutes from downtown Sydney. No one ever thought that the steel plant and tar ponds would be gone. In fact I remember great fighting to keep the mines and the steel plant. It’s amazing to see green areas and recreation in place of industry, with clear skies and places to play and enjoy for all ages.

Audrey Chiasson 1957-2014Then and now photo – 1957 – 2014

Read the full article in the Cape Breton Star http://thechronicleherald.ca/community/cape-breton/1240503-sydney-then-and-now

 Things to do

  • Big Fiddle.  Cruise ships tie up here. Gift shops. Interesting museum on 2nd floor with culture and heritage of Cape Breton.  Flavor on the Water Restaurant.  BIg Fiddle Market,
  • Open Hearth Park.  Amazing restoration of the Steel Plant and Tar Ponds to a recreation area with playgrounds, playing fields, walking trails and greenery.  Open Hearth Park
  • Flavor Restaurants.  Eat out at one or all of the Flavor Restaurants.  Flavor on the Water is on the 2nd floor of the Big Fiddle. Enjoy the versatile Florence Sampson at the piano on Friday nights.  CB Flavor Restaurants,
  • Wentworth Park.  Great place for a walk or run.  Photo from 1928
  • Membertou Heritage Park. Convention Centre, entertainment, restaurant, hotel, shopping, museum.  Membertou
  • Trip Adviser – Things to Do in Sydney
  • Old Sydney Society – museums, lectures and cultural events. Old Sydney
  • Things to do – Port of Sydney

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Side Trips

 Heart of Steel – Video

Fortress of Louisbourg

7 Fun Things to do in Louisbourg

 

 

There is so much to see and enjoy in Louisbourg plan on staying for 2-3 days if possible. Some of these suggestions are seasonal. Please check the website links for details of hours and specifics.

  1. Fortress of Louisbourg

Of course the Fortress of Louisbourg is the main attraction in Louisbourg. Give yourself at least 4-5 hours. There is so much to explore in the various houses and buildings. Talk to the people in their period costumes. You will hear stories and recounting of events and how people lived in 1744. Take one of their mini tours – check on the website or at the desk for what is available on the day you are there. The rebuilt fortress covers a large area so wear good walking shoes and bring your water bottle. Each season of the year has different types of activities. The “shoulder season” in the fall is a great time to visit with fewer crowds and more chance to ask questions. Parks Canada Website – National Historic Site Fortress of Louisbourg http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/ns/louisbourg/visit.aspx

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  1. Hike the Lighthouse Trail

The Louisbourg Lighthouse is the first lighthouse in Canada and the 2nd in all of North America. The trail is in various lengths and winds along the coast with terrific views of cliffs, cormorants, waves and a variety of vegetation and geology. The path is well maintained and just a few ups and downs. There are several hiking trails around Louisbourg https://www.facebook.com/pages/Louisbourg-Lighthouse-Coastal-Trail/573458949340263

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  1. Eat Lobster

The Lobster Kettle restaurant in down town Louisbourg serves a whole lobster in a cute presentation. The lobster is delicious and a lovely setting on the deck overlooking the harbour. There is also inside seating if the weather is not great and other choices on the menu. http://www.lobsterkettle.com/

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  1. Railroad Museum

The Sydney & Louisburg Railway Museum is on your right just as you are driving into town. Learn more about the relationship of the railway and marine trade and transport in 1895 hauling coal. Train buffs will love this and it brings the era to life through models, photos and artifacts. http://www.novascotiarailwayheritage.com/louisbourg.htm

  1. Louisbourg Playhouse

This performing arts center offers a variety of entertainers, musicians, plays. Check for programme details http://louisbourgplayhouse.ca/

  1. Beach trip

This beach is worth the 25 minute drive from Louisbourg along the Marconi Trail. I was really taken with the beach at Main A Dieu – a network of boardwalks through the seagrass and then a beautiful wide and long sandy beach. http://www.whatsgoinon.ca/cape-breton-beach-bum-adventures-main-a-dieu-beach/#.VCHXaRbP_sk

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  1. Historical Dinner – The Beggar’s Banquet

Dine in 18th Century Style with delicious selection of lobster, crab, fish or chicken. This is an experience – not just a dinner. Dining room of Point of View Suites http://www.louisbourgpointofview.com/dining/

More Photos

 

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Where to Stay

  • Point of View Suites. Beautiful location right on the coast with a view from the Fortress and across the bay to the Louisbourg Lighthouse. Spacious suites most furnished with a kitchen which makes it easy to stay a while and enjoy the area. http://www.louisbourgpointofview.com/
  • Cranberry Cove Inn. Easy to spot this place with its beautiful cranberry color and heritage house look. http://www.cranberrycoveinn.com
  • RV Park & Campground. On the main street of Louisbourg close to the boardwalk.  http://louisbourg.com/motorhomepark/
  • More Louisbourg accommodations on Trip Advisor http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Tourism-g499217-Louisbourg_Cape_Breton_Island_Nova_Scotia-Vacations.html

More Information (Links)