Category Archives: Antigonish

Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Out and About Nova Scotia Updates

I suspect that recent blog posts have not been sending out automatically to subscribers. So here is an update. Hope you are looking forward to exploring Nova Scotia this summer

·  Highland Heritage Week includes a video of Clan Thompson Pipe Band

·  Ballantyne’s Cove a lovely short drive from Antigonish

·  Out and About Antigonish Book Now Available

·  Eastern Shore Staycation Enjoy the NS Eastern Shore

·  Antigonish Staycation  Enjoy an Antigonish Staycation

Highland Heritage Week

The Antigonish Highland Games 2021 is being celebrated with Highland Heritage Week this year presented by the Antigonish Highland Society.  It is wonderful to hear the pipes again and to have virtual dances and music throughout the week.

Program

Clan Thompson Pipe Band entertained us on a wet and windy day at the Antigonish Legion.  Such a pleasure to see and hear the pipes again in Antigonish.

Click to watch the Highland Dancing at Chisholm Park with MacLeod School of Highland Dance

https://fb.watch/v/cN0oJNYuP/

Enjoy the week and celebrate our Scottish culture and heritage

Ballantyne’s Cove

A lovely drive from Antigonish is along HWY 337. Pass rolling farmland with so many shades of green and tantalizing views of the ocean as you pass Mahoney’ Beach. As you approach Ballantyne’s Cove there is a lookout on your right.

The Fish ‘N Ships kiosk opened for the summer and the feast of fish and chips was delicious.  A great selection of ice cream also available.  We took our plates over to the pebble beach behind the Tuna Interpretive Centre.  Such a beautiful peaceful spot. Just one other person on the beach.

Great place for a beach walk looking for colorful pebbles, or a paddle or a swim. I recommend beach shoes for the pebbles.

See more places to visit in the newly published “Out and About Antigonish”  HWY 337 past St. Martha’s Hospital.  Pages 42 – 58.   https://www.outandaboutns.com/out-and-about-antigonish-book/

Out and About Antigonish Book Now Available

Out and About Antigonish — Antigonish Town, excursions within 2 hrs, day trips, outdoor recreation, hiking, history, culture, beaches, trails, nature and more. By Denise Davies

Reviews

Out and About Antigonish showcases the beauty of Northern Nova Scotia.  It shares our story with visitors through many incredible pictures.  I would encourage visitors and residents alike to pick up this book and challenge themselves to visit our communities and enjoy all of the authentic experiences we have to offer. 

Cindy MacKinnon,  Managing Director
Destination Eastern and Northumberland Shores

“Denise Davies has created a masterful reference tool for both locals and tourists alike with her Out and About Antigonish guidebook. With excellent directions and descriptions for myriad day trips within a two-hour jaunt from Antigonish, the traveler’s most difficult decision will be which adventure to pursue first. Chock-full of beautiful photographs and succinct descriptions of each waypoint, Out and About Antigonish will help the traveler decide which spots to visit, and ensure no hidden gems are overlooked.  History buffs and photographers will find this tool especially helpful. I highly recommend this superior book!”

Dave Belt
Owner, Seafoam Lavender Company & Gardens
Seafoam, Nova Scotia

Out and About Antigonish is a superb and long-awaited guide to Antigonish and its surrounding counties. While it will particularly attract the growing number of tourists to northeastern Nova Scotia, there is much here for locals to learn about and enjoy. As a “come-from-away” (a mere fourteen years ago), I have made a point of exploring the many highlights of my new home. Yet I found in Denise Davies’s new book a feast of fresh information and excursions to look forward to.

None of this is surprising, because as readers we are in the hands of a highly experienced travel writer and a superb photographer. I counted over 150 photos, almost all in full colour and of the highest quality. Denise has also included an abundance of maps to supplement her descriptions. This makes it extremely easy for the newcomer to follow the wonderful array of trips and trails on offer. She has also kept her descriptions succinct, though never overly so, and there are links to a wealth of websites that allow for further exploration. This is especially appropriate given the depth of northern Nova Scotia’s cultural, political and economic history.

Denise achieves an admirable balance in tackling Antigonish and its environment’s rich tapestry of nature and culture, rural and maritime life. The arts and culture, museums and markets, prominent institutions including St Francis Xavier University and Coady Institute, the many beaches and other recreational spots are, each one of them, more than adequately covered, and I could find not one omission. 

Denise Davies is to be congratulated on producing such a beautiful and informative work.

John Graham-Pole, Publisher. HARP the People’s Press

Antigonish Staycation

by Denise Davies  

I live in Antigonish and find that it is the best of 2 worlds.  We have all the amenities for comfortable living and yet the advantages of a small town set in a delightful rural setting.  I love to show visitors around or give them ideas of what to do and what not to miss.  In these days of the Atlantic Bubble and Nova Scotia residents exploring the province for 2020 holidays what would be better than spending a few days in Antigonish where there is something for everyone.

Its best to check with establishments for hours and openings.  Remember to wear your mask and keep physical distancing.

The Arts

Antigonish is known as a hub of the arts.  Strolling along Main Street check out the Red Sky Gallery https://www.facebook.com/redskyantigonish/  for wonderful ambiance and a wonderful selection of Nova Scotia art – paintings, sculpture, jewelry.  Stop in to the Antigonish People’s Place Library  http://www.parl.ns.ca/locations/antigonish.php  for their monthly changing art exhibits and find out what is going on in town while you are here.  This is a hub of community events and activities for all ages.   Local artists are often featured at the Tall and Small Café.   Visit the Down to Earth Gallery for indigenous and a wide variety of artists.

The Antigonish Farmers Market is buzzing with arts and crafts, locally made produce, food and entertainment all in the new Farmers Market building on the Arena grounds on Saturdays.   The new building opened on the August 1 weekend and it was a delight to see the airy and bright space filled with vendors and their wares.  What a wonderful community space. www.antigonishfarmersmarket.ca

Unfortunately most of our summer events are cancelled but there are occasional smaller happenings that you may find.

Outdoors and Recreation

Set in rolling hills Antigonish creates a variety of outdoor activities in town and close by.  For kids the splash pad at Columbus Field is popular and the new Skate Board Park is a wonderful new addition.  For runners the track at Columbus Field and at St.FX, walking and biking on the Antigonish Landing Trail  www.outandaboutns.com/2018/01/31/antigonish-landing /that starts near the Museum.  

The Keppoch Mountain www.thekeppoch.ca  has over 20Km of maintained trails for all abilities including an accessible gravel nature trail for mountain biking, hiking and children’s’ climbing and play area. Relax in the clubhouse and meet some local outdoor enthusiasts. Bike rentals are available at Highland Bike Shop on Main St but check ahead for availability.

There are several beaches within a 30 min drive. Walk run and swim on the long crescent sandy Pomquet Beach with lifeguards, boardwalks with interpretive nature boards.  Look for pebbles and driftwood on Mahoneys Beach often frequented by kayakers.

You can even camp right in town at the end of Main St at Whiddens Campground and have your smores around the campfire.   

Short drives

Take a lovely drive along the Hwy 337 past St. Martha’s Hospital and on past Mahoneys Beach, Jimtown, Cribbons, Ballantyne’s Cove to the Cape George Lighthouse.  You will see signs for hiking trails along the route and spectacular views of the Northumberland Shore  www.outandaboutns.com/2018/05/23/cape-george-lighthouse

There are several beaches within a 30 min drive. Walk run and swim on the long crescent sandy Pomquet Beach with lifeguards, boardwalks with interpretive nature boards.  Look for pebbles and driftwood on Mahoneys Beach often frequented by kayakers.  Enjoy a Pomquet day trip www.outandaboutns.com/2015/08/30/pomquet-day-trip

There are many drives from Antigonish – Arisaig, Eastern Shore, Museum of Industry and more for another posting.

Stroll the Main

Enjoy the fine selection of restaurants along Main Street.  All have take out, some outdoor patios and indoor with physical distancing in place.  There is a new large patio at the Maritime Inn called Mi Patio. 

Explore the shopping on Main with trendy boutiques The Plum Tree, Posh Peppermint.  Find Nova Scotia souvenirs at Happenstance.   Head down to Granny’s Antiques for some lovely antiques, local preserves and sit in the shade.  Antigonish Small Town Big Heart www.outandaboutns.com/2016/03/25/antigonish-small-town-big-heart

Hope you enjoy your staycation in Antigonish and surrounding areas.  I would enjoy seeing your favourite spots in the comment section below.

Antigonish Gift Shopping – Shop Local

As the cool days close in the warmth of gift-giving is in the air.  This year while you are looking for that special something, consider shopping local.  We have so much bounty available to us from local producers, crafters, artists and local shops. 

Your money goes much farther when you shop local.  Buying a thoughtful gift that is made locally, or something sold in a local shop has a huge benefit in your community.  That money goes back into the community and has a multiplier effect.

Here are a few gift ideas to get you started.

Check out the Antigonish Farmers Market and local gift shops for unique items that can be combined to make a gift basket – or given individually as hostess gifts, stocking stuffers or placed under the tree.  These could include preserves jams and jellies, wine or spirits, cheeses, honey, maple or blueberry syrup, a pottery mug, a wooden cheese board, a pewter opener, a pate’ or cheese knife – you are only limited by your imagination! Steinhart, Peace by Chocolate, Havercort Maple, Cornect Honey and more. Farmers Market, Grannie’s Antiques.

Another themed approach for your gift basket is select self care items – soaps, lotions, bath salts, aromatherapy, lavender sachet, creams and gels and cosmetics.  The Farmers Market, Happenstance, The Posh Peppermint, The Plum Tree are great places to check out as you create your gift basket.  Add your suggestions in the comments.

For the kids in your life – hand made wooden toys are durable and will last to become a family heirloom.  Check out Venluke Hand Crafted Wooden Toys at the Farmers Market. Knitted and crocheted toques, vests, socks, scarfs are great for all ages. Cuddly animals will be a hit for children (my Mom loves them too!).

A Few Photos of designers, producers, crafters and artists in Antigonish

Local galleries and markets offer an array of art to suit all budgets.  Our area is home to gifted artists in all mediums.  Art works range from large paintings in the original, prints matted and framed, photography and gift cards.  You will find sculptures from wood, iron, metalwork, pottery and ceramics.   Red Sky Gallery, Down to Earth Gallery, Granny’s Antiques, Through Rodney’s Eye, Felt Like Painting, Farmers Market.

Peruse the 5c to $1 and Cole’s Books for books by Nova Scotia authors to suit all ages from kids to adults. Enjoy selecting from a range of written and illustrated books that will be a long-held treasure.  We have an amazing number of Antigonish authors – Check the 5c to $1 to find a great selection.

A Gift Certificate for dinner at a local restaurant, or for an overnight getaway to a cozy Inn or a night on the town would make a welcome gift.   Organize tickets to a local production or a gift certificate to buy on a time of their choice to enjoy a local theatre production or musical event.  A gift certificate from a local store, or for an art class or workshop are also possibilities.   To mention just a few – Gabriaus, The Brownstone, The Townhouse, The Bauer Theatre, membership at The Keppoch, SeaWind Landing.  Add your suggestions in the comments.

We have many talented local jewelry designers.  Rings, necklaces, brooches, earrings, from modern abstract designs to Nova Scotia and cultural heritage designs all bring joy to the wearer.  Check the Farmers Market, Happenstance, Posh Peppermint and the Plum Tree.

Traditional crafts such as quilting and fabric art create beautiful treasures for the wall, the table or to cozy up on a bed or as a lap blanket for watching TV.  A quilt can be a gift for any age and treasured forever.  Maybe a sheepskin for a favorite chair.  Farmers Market

Winter favorite gifts for apparel ideas include sweaters, shawls, capes and scarfs, mitts, hats and leg warmers.  Think soft warm and attractive colors.  Maybe a sheepskin for a favorite chair, or sheepskin slippers.  Felted and Fleeced Creative Designs, Brook Ridge Farm,

Find unique and beautiful items for all ages and shop local. Take a stroll around town, visit the Farmers Market, shop online with local producers and hand crafters and artists, and give a gift that has local meaning and local impact to merchants, producers, crafters and artists.

I’m sure you have suggestions for other gifts and shops.  Please feel free to add in the comments.  It wasn’t possible to add every designer, artist and producer or shop.  We have a wealth of possibilities.  Happy Gift Giving and Shop Local!

Denise Davies

A Few Shops and Galleries

A Visit to Steinhart Distillery

The Antigonish Chamber of Commerce organized their monthly networking meeting “Business Connects” with a trip on the Luxury Bus to Steinhart Distillery in Arisaig.

The Luxury Bus is a great way to chat and meet with people as the comfortable padded seating goes around the bus – not in row seats.  Our driver, owner, Gerard MacIsaac was engaging and helpful.  Great way to travel with a group.

Such a beautiful drive along the Northumberland Shore.  A beautiful view of Arisaig from the patio at Steinhart Distillery.  Thomas Steinhart gave us a tour of the operations and an interesting history of developing his business.  It is amazing to see how this business has impacted employment and agriculture.  Wherever possible the ingredients are locally sourced.  Truckloads of rhubarb arrived from multiple farmers to be made into the rhubarb gin. Several of the products have won awards nationally and internationally.

At the bar we ordered from their variety menu of gin, vodka and mixed drinks made to order.  A wonderful way to socialize and network with the Chamber members and guests.   Looking forward to future trips to other businesses in the area.

More Information

Arts Antigonish: Visual Arts

By Denise Davies

Arts and culture in its many forms is a pillar of community life in Antigonish where all ages participate.  The arts are important in continuing to keep up traditions and have enabled young people and established artists to stay in the community rather than moving away.  This small town in northeastern Nova Scotia punches above its weight in the arts. Stroll around town and enjoy the wonderful art scene.

Arts on Main

A stroll along Main Street is a great way to start exploring the visual arts in Antigonish. 

Grab a coffee or fresh locally made baking and lunch specials at the Tall and Small Café, a popular laid-back hangout.  Browse the latest art exhibit from local artists. Exhibits change monthly. https://www.facebook.com/antigonishtown/

As you continue down Main Street, be sure to visit the Red Sky Gallery, the newest Antigonish art gallery.  The curator, Rosemary Curry, will be happy to show you around. When asked about the name “Red Sky Gallery” Rosemary replied “I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t paused and taken a moment to fall in love with a red sky.   I think we all fall for a red sky at some point when it’s just right for us.  And the art we fall in love with is kind of the same. “The gallery is a wonderful space to enjoy local and regional art – photographs, oils and watercolors, pottery, sculpture in contemporary and more.  Featured artists include works by Anna Syperek, a realist printmaker and painter, Linda Johns with her metaphorical paintings and sculptures, and Kath Kornelson Rutherford’s mezzotint works. The open space design and peaceful welcoming atmosphere has made this a not to be missed spot on your art walk.  Upcoming shows include “Home Coming” – with artists from StFX University alumni, and popup shops of fashion and jewelry during the fall.  https://www.facebook.com/Red-Sky-Gallery-239919850108535/

The next stop is the People’s Place – Antigonish Town and County Library.  Opened in 2011 it has become a hub of community life.  Twenty-two local artist works were commissioned in the design including the colorful hanging silk art panels on nature theme in the Bistro area by Anne Camozzi, the large mural of Mi’kmaq children fishing by Alan Syliboy, the tapestry by Murray Gibson in collaboration with the L’Arche community, and many other interior and exterior art works.   Pick up the Artist and Artisan Guide from the PARL website.  The Bistro area has a monthly changing exhibit by local artists.  In July the GoArts Gathering of the Arts is jam packed with art and entertainment.  http://www.parl.ns.ca/locations/antigonish.php

Continue on Main Street to the Down to Earth Art Gallery featuring art by Alan Syliboy, a renowned Mi’kmaq artist, J. Franklin Wright – specializing in marine art.  Kate Brown Georgallas landscapes and etchings are inspired by rural life in Nova Scotia, and her murals are found around town including the mural over the main desk at The People’s Place  http://www.downtoearth.ca/

The Kirk Gallery, on the corner of Church and Main Street displays a changing exhibit by artists and photographers.

Head up to the St Francis Xavier University home to 3 art gallery areas on campus.  The StFX Art Gallery on the 1st floor of Bloomfield Center features a permanent collection and changing exhibits, talks and concerts.  The McNeil Gallery in beautiful Schwartz School of Business displays changing exhibits. The Student Success Gallery in the Angus L. MacDonald Library features the best of student art.  The fall Arts Gala is a special event with live auctions, artists painting and sculpting on site, and a fun social time with artists and art aficionados.   http://www2.mystfx.ca/art-gallery/exhibitions

During the summer a bi-weekly Antigonish Art Fair is held in Chisholm Park. This is a wonderful place to talk to artists with displays of their art work.  Enjoy the music and entertainment, a children’s corner and food trucks with international and local tasty treats. Art classes and workshops are offered at the Art House. http://antigonishartfair.ca/

Subscribe to see following articles on the Performing Arts and Arts organizations in Antigonish

Special Olympics Summer Games – Antigonish 2018

Welcome to the Special Olympics Summer Games 2018

Antigonish is eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Special Olympics athletes, their coaches, supporters and families.

The athletes and coaches will be housed on the St. Francis Xavier (StFX) campus and the majority of the athletic events will also take place on campus except for the softball and golf events.

There has been amazing community support with over one thousand volunteers.   The events, except for the ticketed opening ceremony are open to the public at no charge.  Come and view and cheer on the Special Olympics Athletes who are participating from all over Canada.

Several events have been planned to have the participants experience the hospitality and unique experiences of Antigonish and Nova Scotia.

Find out what’s going on at www.so2018.ca  and you can also follow the events live on Bell Alliant.  Details and links are on the Special Olympics 2018 website.

If you are tweeting and sharing on social media use the hashtag  #so2018

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While you are in the area enjoy exploring Antigonish and the surrounding areas.

Here are a few suggestions:

 

Fish and Chips and a Drive? Ballantyne’s Cove

What about an afternoon drive out to Ballantyne’s Cove.  Heading out on Hwy 337N from Antigonish, past the Hospital from the end of Main Street you pass through luscious farmlands with views of the ocean.  Then up hill and down dale with wildflowers along the roadside and occasional views of the Northumberland shore.  Just as you reach Ballantyne’s Cove stop at the lookout for a spectacular view of the cove, St. George’s Bay and Cape George beyond.  You can use the map there to identify some of the places that you see including Cape Breton on the horizon.

Stroll around the marina and look at the Tuna fishing boats and pleasure boats.  Learn about Tuna and Tuna fishing at the Tuna Interpretive Centre.  Find some amazing facts about Tuna that have been caught in the area, the largest was over 1400 pounds.  The Tuna season runs from August through October.  Several tuna sport fishing charters are based here.

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Behind the Interpretive Centre take a short walk to a crescent pebble beach perfect for dabbling your toes in the warm waters of St. George’s Bay, sunbathing and beach combing.

Enjoy a feed of Fish and Chips from Fish ‘N Ships.  Or select one of their burgers or an ice cream.

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