Tag Archives: Denise Davies

The Antigonish Summer Art Scene – Part 1

The Antigonish Summer Art Scene  – Visual Arts

Antigonish is a vibrant hub of the arts with events, exhibits, art fairs, performing arts.   Whether you are an artist yourself or enjoy participating in events there are many things to see and do. If you live in Antigonish – you’re lucky – if not – come and visit and stay a while.  Stroll around town with its colorful flower baskets and murals. Drop in to one of our many restaurants and Cafés. There is so much to see and do that this article focuses on the visual arts.  Check the links at the end of the article for up to date information from the individual websites and social media.  All addresses are in Antigonish unless otherwise noted in the out of town locations.

EVENTS & HAPPENINGS

St.FX Art Gallery Fundraiser GalaSt FX Art Gallery Fundraiser Gala 2017 will be an exciting evening for the arts. There will be a dynamic mix of Live Art, Live and Silent Auction, Reverse Raffle and Fine Art Door Prizes and an opportunity to watch artists create. The art items are from some of Nova Scotia’s finest artists and collections.  June 10. 7PM. Keating Centre, StFX. Tickets $40.

GoArts 2016 Alan Syliboy speaking at opening eventGathering of the Arts (GoArts) is an annual exhibition of regional artists’ work in the visual arts. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, GoArts will be showcasing 20 art installations in 20 unique venues around Downtown Antigonish. Opening Gala – July 4. People’s Place Library.  Exhibit continues July and August.

Antigonish Art Fair 2017Antigonish Art Fair: A fun filled family evening with a wonderful array of art, artisanal arts and crafts, multicultural foods and terrific performances. This family event includes the Creative Children’s Corner with a multicultural flavour. 2017 dates are Fridays 6 – 9 PM. June 23, July 7, 21, August 4, 18. Chisholm Park. Rain location will be announced on social media.

GALLERIES, EXHIBITS & SHOPPING

St. F.X. Art Gallery is an exceptional exhibit area on the campus of St Francis Xavier University. The gallery interprets a diverse range of art for community members and the public. It connects the University’s cultural life to that of the wider community through exhibitions, publications, and events and fosters an appreciation of visual arts & culture. First Floor Bloomfield Centre, StFX University Campus. Summer Hours Monday – Friday, Noon – 5pm

Lyghtesome GalleryLyghtesome Gallery. The gallery established in 1975, features an outstanding collection of original works by Nova Scotia printmakers, watercolourists & oil painters, as well as award-winning pottery, wood, clay & metal sculpture, art-related books & cards, and Celtic artwork. It represents artists Anna Syperek, Linda Johns and many others. Open year round.  166 Main St. Mon–Sat 10am–5pm.

Down to Earth GalleryDown to Earth Art Gallery displays a great selection of original paintings, carvings and iron work.  Works by J. Franklin Wright, Alan Syliboy, Kate Georgallas and more  240 Main St. Mon-Sat 9am-5pm.

 

 

Antigonish Town & County Library - The People's PlaceAntigonish Town & County Library – The People’s Place. Monthly exhibits in the Bistro area from local artists and art groups. July and August hosts the GoArts Exhibit. Browse throughout the library and the surrounding for art installations commissioned during the building of The People’s Place.  283 Main St.

 

Tall & Small Cafe - Art exhibit by Hearts & HandsTall & Small Café. Monthly art display by local artists.  The Café offers daily soup specials, fresh baking, fairly traded coffee and an array of teas.  342-2 Main St.

 

 

 

The Made in Nova Scotia Store.  Photography and wood, pewter, knitted and woven crafts by Nova Scotia craftspeople. 324 Main St. Tues-Sat 10am-5pm.

 

 

 

Aphrodite Art and FashionAphrodite Art and Fashion. Ladies Clothing Boutique and Gallery of Fine Craft and Art. 292 Main Street. Mon-Fri 10am-6pm. Sat 10am-5pm

 

 

 

Hearts and HandsHearts and Hands Shop.  Building community through art.  Open Monday to Friday 9 am to 3.30 pm. Everyone is welcome to come by and visit us. 4 West St.

 

Kirk Building.  Photography exhibit.  219 Main St. Corner of Main and Church Street.

 

 

 

Antigonish Farmers Market. Art, photography, crafts in addition to local produce, baked goods and entertainment in a great setting to meet the locals.  Saturday 8am – 1pm. Antigonish Arena, James St.

 

SHORT DRIVE FROM ANTIGONISH

Old Barn Galleries & Gardens  The gallery is situated in the middle of 350 acre Beaver Dam Farm with abstract and impressionist art by owner / artist Carol Rivoire, Surrounding the gallery are beautiful, old-fashioned perennial gardens and a charming courtyard. 71 Melanson Rd. Pomquet. Opening June 1.

 

Tickletree Ag and Art.  This is a new gallery that will be creating and showcasing fused glass, art and photography.  Contact via Facebook for opening dates and hours.

 

 

 

A Matter of Tastes.   Art gallery, etchings, work of Vicki MacLean, photography.  Hwy 7, Antigonish.

 

 

 

 

Studio Rally.  Check out the Studio Rally website for visual art and fine crafts studio and information. Select for “Northumberland Shore” for Antigonish area.

ORGANIZATIONS

Antigonish Culture Alive ACAAntigonish Culture Alive – ACA is the community arts council of Antigonish, a non-profit organization which strives to foster the creation and appreciation of the arts in the community of Antigonish.  A directory of artists and a calendar of arts events.

 

 

Arts Health Antigonish AHA! – AHA! values and respects the immense contribution of the cultural sector to community vitality, vibrancy and health and champions the role of the arts in a healthy community.

 

ASAPThe All-of-us Society for Arts Presentation (ASAP) is an artist-run centre located in Antigonish, promoting the work of local and regional artists, and addressing infrastructure, promotion, education, and funding opportunities for the visual arts in the community.

Anything missing? Please send any comments and suggestions of visual arts in Antigonish.  Stay tuned for Part 2 which will feature the Antigonish Summer Arts Scene – Performing Arts

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Fiddleheads

I love this early sign of spring – the arrival of fiddleheads.  This wild delicacy is the delicate furls of the Ostrich Fern found in Eastern Canada.  If the fiddleheads are not cut they unwind out to the full fern.

The ferns are found in moist areas, along river banks and woodlands. But for those of us who don’t pick our own, we find them in the farmer’s markets and sometimes even in the supermarket.  If you are foraging on your own, be sure to identify the correct fern as other varieties may be poisonous.  Also, it is recommended that you only cut half of the fiddleheads in the area so that the fern population will continue to thrive.

Fiddlehead s are delicious and their distinctive shape adds a unique visual appeal to a meal.

Preparation

Wash the fiddleheads well in several changes of water to remove all the brown papery covering of the fronds.   The water will run clear and the fiddleheads will be a bright green when cleaned.  Snip off the end of the stem that may be brownish.  Then drop the fiddleheads into a pot of boiling water and boil for 7-10 minutes.  Remove from the water and throw out the water. Don’t keep it for soup as it is bitter and has removed tannin from the fiddleheads.  Then use the fiddleheads in a variety of recipes.

Recipes

1 – Saute the fiddleheads in butter or olive oil with onion and garlic.

2 – Saute the fiddleheads with butter or olive oil, onion and garlic, and mushrooms.  Add pesto sauce and serve over noodles.  Optionally add salmon chunks.

3 – Fiddlehead quiche

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Nova Scotia and Antigonish Calendars 2017

This year I created 2 calendars.

The Out and About Nova Scotia Calendar 2017 is in its 5th year.  I love going over my photos from the past year to produce this calendar to enjoy throughout the year.  It has become a family favorite.

This year, I decided to produce an Antigonish Town and County Calendar.  We live in such a beautiful part of Nova Scotia and you may want to share this with your family and friends.

Both calendars are available online.  Click on the link below the photos for details.

Inverness Beach from the Boardwalk

Inverness Beach

Breathing in the salt air and digging my toes into the sand along with the wind and the sun make for a perfect setting to explore Inverness Beach.  The sandy beach stretches for 1.7 KM with views of the coastline up towards the Cabot Trail and back down towards Mabou along the west coast of Cape Breton.   This was a calm day with the waves lapping the shore.  It must be amazing on a stormy day when the waves crash in bringing “Mermaids Tears”- colourful beach glass washed up after years of churning in the ocean to make smooth and multi-colored shapes.

Spend an hour or a day exploring the beach with its pockets of colourful stones, bits of driftwood, sea grasses and dunes.  Swimming, building sand castles, going for a long walk or just sitting and relaxing in the clear air make for a great day.

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A beach boardwalk goes along part of the beach between the dunes and the Cabot Links.  You can watch the golfers on this spectacular course on one side, and views of the ocean on the other.

It’s a fascinating thought that the Cabot Links was built on top of a coal mining area. Along the Inverness Main Street and side streets you can see the company houses built in the early 1900s for the miners.  Stop into the Miner’s Museum housed in the old railway station on Lower Railway Street to learn more about this history.

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Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia – Five Top Experiences

There is so much to enjoy and memories to make all over  the island: hiking, winding roads with spectacular views, small villages, local artists and artisans, history, Celtic music, delicious lobster and seafood chowder, golf, kayaking, fishing, whale watching, beach combing, and heart-stopping beauty of nature.

This article by Denise Davies was published in Travel World International. Summer Issue 2016

And in a digital flip book edition on ISSUU Pages 18-23

 

Alexander Graham-Bell Museum, Baddeck

Baddeck on Cape Breton’s Inland Sea

 

Baddeck Village, on the shore of the Bras d’Or Lake in Cape Breton, is rich with land and sea activities for all ages.

Pick up a picnic lunch at the High Wheeler Café and stroll along the wharf and boardwalk.  There’s a great selection of restaurants in Baddeck where you can enjoy a lobster dinner, local cuisine and be sure to sample the Scottish Oatcakes.   Sip on a Big Spruce beer, a local craft beer produced in Nyanza just 12 km from Baddeck.

Shop for local arts and crafts in the boutiques and gift shops and visit artist studios Michael Keith a painter, Baddeck Yarns, and the Water’s Edge Gallery of Fine Arts and Crafts.

Explore the historic buildings including St. Mark’s Masonic Lodge, Telegraph House, St. Peter’s and St. John’s Anglican Church, Victoria County Court House and the many stately homes along the tree lined streets.

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The Bras d’Or Lake is a large Inland sea connected to the North Atlantic by several natural channels and the St. Peters Lock Canal at the southern tip of the lake. It stretches 100 x 50Km in the centre of Cape Breton Island with a tidal mix of salt and fresh water.  It is a boater’s paradise and a rich environment for wildlife and fishing.  The Bras d’Or Lake is now designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve which is an area in the world which is deemed to demonstrate a “balanced relationship between humans and the biosphere”.  Visit the special exhibit at the Alexander Graham Bell Museum.

In 1885 Alexander and Mable Bell fell in love with Baddeck and made it their summer home.  Alexander flew his Silver Dart airplane here above the frozen lake, the first flight in the British Empire.  Explore his many scientific inventions at the Alexander Graham Bell Museum.  “Discover” activities for children and “White glove tours” of the exhibits, kite flying and experiments are some of the hands on activities at the museum.

Enjoy a sail on the Amoeba schooner and look for bald headed eagles and their nests, view the Bell’s house Beinn Bhreagh, the Alexander Graham Bell Museum, the rolling hills and shoreline of the Bras d’Or Lake with its coves and islands and the Spectacle Island bird sanctuary, home of a large cormorant colony.  (June 1 – Oct 15)

In the summer months head over on the ferry to Kidston Island and enjoy the beach, stroll around the island and visit the light house.

For the sports fishing enthusiast there are rainbow trout (steelhead), speckled trout, brown trout, smelt, gaspereaux, cod, flounder, mackerel, herring, lobster, and rock crab. Licenses and guides are available from the NS Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

Go hiking to Uisge Bàn Falls, 14.5 Km from Baddeck the trail follows cliff tops along the North River through hardwood forests to a lovely waterfall in a granite gorge.

North River Kayak tours are available for experienced and novice kayakers and have salt-water tours.

Or take in a round of golf at the 18 hole Bell Bay Golf Club with dramatic views.  Enjoy lunch at Alexander’s Dining Room, open to all.

Baddeck is 57 min (87.4 km) via Trans-Canada Hwy from the Canso Causeway.

This article originally appeared in The Casket, July 25, 2016

Sunrise Trail Loop Northumberland Shore

Enjoy a scenic drive with ocean views, rolling hills, and stops at harbours a distillery and cheese maker.  Our road trip today goes in a loop from Antigonish and along the Northumberland Shore.

Start out in Antigonish on Hawthorne Street, to Hwy 245 and at Malignant Cove turn left on Hwy 245 W along the Sunrise Trail.  You are now traveling along the ruggedly beautiful Northumberland coast with vistas of the ocean and rural countryside.

Arisaig

Arisaig

At Arisaig turn right at the church down to the busy harbour.  The tangy salty sea air and the sound of the gulls and waves surround you while you explore the wharf and views from the Lighthouse.  You may see fishermen preparing to go out or on their return with lobsters in the May / June season.The beach at low tide is great for tide pooling and beach combing. Learn more about lobsters at The Lobster Interpretive Centre (July 1- Aug 31). The Dockside Tea Room has lunch pastries and chowder. In the summer season the Lighthouse Canteen will be open for ice cream and souvenirs.

Next stop is the Arisaig Provincial Park.  Explore the green forest trails with the clean scents of pine and spruce.  The interpretive centre describes the geology and history of the area and has a great view of Arisaig Harbour and the lighthouse.  Take the stairs down to the beach and look for fossils dating back millions of years.  At low tide you can walk along the beach to the harbour but be careful to check the tide times.

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Drop in to Steinhart Distillery and learn how local ingredients such as maple and cranberry are used to make fine vodka.  The Steinhart Gin in the blue designer bottle is also available with Haskap. Try this unique flavour.  The Distillery is open Monday to Friday 10-6, Saturday and Sunday till noon – 6 till Thanksgiving (2016). The view from Steinharts is spectacular with the Arisaig Harbour and lighthouse.  Check out also the chalets with their deck overlooking the coast.

The Red Roof Bed & Breakfast at McArras Brook is a great family place to visit or stay. This solar powered B&B welcomes visitors to drop in and meet the alpacas and donkeys, and to see the apple orchard and home garden.  Josie Dessouroux cards, spins, knits and weaves with the Alpaca fleece and is happy to show you the process from the raw fibre to the finished items that she has for sale.  The property has beautiful ocean views and a private beach with fossils.

Knoydart Farm is one of only 2 organic dairy farms in Nova Scotia. Family owned by Frazer Hunter, they produce organic Gloucester and Caerphilly cheeses in a variety of flavors including peppercorn, garlic, dill, cumin, chili, smoked, caraway and cranberry and Cheddar.  Call ahead to visit 902-867-1305

During your road trip keep an eye out and stop at several Historical Kiosks found in Lismore, Merigomish and Barneys River Station.  The plaques have interesting maps, tidbits on the area and historical photographs that will take you back to when these were thriving communities.

After Ponds, turn right to Big Island.  The narrow 2KM causeway connects Big Island to the mainland. Walk across the sandy dunes to the long sandy and pebble beach – perfect for beach combing and paddling.   Continuing on to the main island you pass through rolling green hills, with views across the inlet, wooded areas and even the occasional deer.

Back on Hwy 245 continue to Merigomish, a picturesque stop with the river, historical plaques and sign for Sunday tea on the old schoolhouse.

At Sutherlands River turn left on HWY 4 for a more scenic drive through rural country, or get on the HWY 104.

At Barneys River Station the one room school house was originally built in 1802.  These one room schools were phased out in the 1970s.   Read the Historical plaques to find out how Marshy Hope got its name and maps and business listings from the 1800s.

Merge on 104E after James River and take Exit 31 to return to Antigonish to finish the loop drive.

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Come by choice Saltscapes march april 2016 jpg

Come by Choice

We often hear stories of out-migration from Nova Scotia. Here are stories of people who have chosen to come and live in Nova Scotia.

Learn the stories of John Graham-Pole, Kulbir Singh, Carol Rivoire, Joe Van Heerden and Thomas Steinhart who have “come by choice” to Nova Scotia.

All of these individuals are living in small communities in Nova Scotia.  They see opportunities in our natural resources, the land,space, location and people. They have come by choice, and they bring new skills, talents, experiences and ideas and a fresh eye to what we have here. They often see potential in resources that we take for granted.

Download the article PDF
Come by Choice Saltscapes March April 2016

 

Antigonish Small Town Big Heart

Antigonish: Small town, big heart

This was a fun article to write.  Antigonish is my home town and I am a graduate of StFX University.

“Every September, the small town of Antigonish (population 5,195) doubles in size with the arrival of the students excited to start their new year at St. Francis Xavier University. Well known for its campus spirit, its strong international reputation, top ratings by students
in Maclean’s university rankings, and, of course, the X-ring, StFX easily attracts students and faculty from all over the world.”

  • The XPerience
  • International Connections
  • Small Town Charm
  • Arts and Culture
  • Economic Impact

This is one of a series of articles in Saltscapes Magazine on “Our University Towns” in the March/April 2016 issue.

See the attached PDF of the article
Antigonish Small Town Big Heart PDF

article photos Coady, People's Place, GoArts, Antigonish Sidewalk Fair

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Halifax Library

The Amazing Halifax Central Library

 

 

It was my first time to visit the new Halifax Central Library. The space is spectacular with the central staircases creating angles and patterns of light and shadow and giving the overall effect of expansiveness and encouraging exploration.

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The 5 storeys are easily accessible via the elevators. I decided to start at the top and work my way down. The top floor has a green area roof garden with views of Halifax. The Pavia Gallery Espresso Bar and Café rooftop patio with outdoor and indoor tables make a great place for a snack or cup of coffee. Comfortable lounge chairs for reading with a view and the adult fiction section complete this floor.

Every floor has an information desk with helpful staff. Computers and study areas, a changing use of space on each of the floors make the space inviting and interesting.

On the fourth floor you find the local history room, African History and culture, and Adult non-fiction. Quiet reading and study areas and meeting rooms of various sizes that can be reserved are found throughout the library.

The third floor is the home of the First Nations Circle. Adult magazines, multilingual materials, a Literacy Collection are found on this floor.

The second floor includes the children’s and teens and preschool areas. A media studio and creative lab and many computers are throughout the area.

The first floor entrance way has the Pavia Gallery Espresso Bar on the right with a selection of food and drink. To the left is a large comfortable reading area with magazines and selected collections for easy browsing. The art installation of 5000 paintings on the size of the traditional library card is amazing. These are all by the artist Cliff Eyland.  The Paul O’Reagan Hall (seating 307) hosts events and performances.

The Halifax Central Library is well worth a visit and if you live in the area a great community hub. It is wonderful to see such a community space in the heart of downtown Halifax and is not your traditional idea of a library.

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