Get your Red & White on!

Whether you’re visiting Halifax for our nation’s birthday or live here year-round, chances are you’re busy making plans to celebrate this Monday, July 1st.

Luckily our city always has lots of great Canada Day events to enjoy. As usual, I’m rounding up the info to make your lives easier! So read on, and make plans for an unforgettable 146th birthday party!

Monday, July 1st, 2013

8am – Grand Parade is hosting the Pepsi Pancake Breakfast & Flag Raising

“Free pancake breakfast, while supplies last. Flag raising and singing of O Canada. The Tattoo Choir will be in attendance along with your local councillors! Celebrate Canada Day in the morning with free food, coffee and juice!” (

10:30am – Annual Canada Day Parade, various locations downtown

11am – Official Opening Ceremony at Citadel National Historic Site

“Free admission on Canada Day to the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site.

Join the Canada Day Committee, Government Officials and Sponsors at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site of Canada featuring the Canada Day proclamation, flypast from 12 Wing Shearwater, cake, and a 21-gun salute.

Singing of O Canada and FREE Canada Day Cake at 12:30 pm.” (

12pm – The Argyle Entertainment District – Molson Canadian Canada Day Celebration

“A street-wide celebration with fantastic Molson Canadian beer promotions, a Proud to Be Canadian audiovisual show running in Neptune Theatre every 30 minutes, tons of free Molson “I am Canadian” swag, a red & white competition for the chance to win $300 in the AED.

Wear your best red & white, get your photo taken at the photo booth – located at the Neptune Theatre Canada Day Headquarters – any time between 12-5pm. Tag yourself on our Facebook page for a chance to win $300.

Visit the headquarters for info, maps, and exclusive coupons for the district. The Molson street team will be handing out buttons, tattoos and other swag all day long.”

3pm – FREE CAKE – along Argyle Street

5pm – Molson Canadian presents the Canada Day Main Event, Alderney Landing

“The biggest FREE Concert in Atlantic Canada for the 5th year in a row featuring Juno Nominees TOKYO POLICE CLUB.

Molson will keep the drinks cold and we will keep the energy up all night long.

The lineup is stacked with talent from all over the country including

SKRATCH BASTID(Halifax/Toronto)

The event is FREE and we ask you all to come down in your best red and white to celebrate our Country’s birthday together.

The Molson Beer Garden area is $5 (Open to attendees 19 years of age or older)

The ferry service will be extended until 1:45 am FOR FREE. All Day free ferry service to and from Alderney Landing” (

10pm – Canada Day Fireworks, almost anywhere downtown

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For the Beer-Loving Dads…

As we all know, Father’s Day is coming up THIS weekend. As both a tribute to the beer-loving dads out there, as well as an idea for anyone needing a last-minute Father’s Day gift, I wanted to take this time to point out the thriving craft beer scene in Halifax.

If your dad is a real beer lover, enjoys trying new brews, and believes in supporting local… you should head out to the local craft breweries and put together an amazing sampler for Dad! 

Garrison Brewing Company

Let’s start with the biggie. Garrison has been around for years – we’ve all seen their impressive looking location in the Halifax Seaport. They just won best craft brewery in The Coast’s 2013 Best Of Awards.

My recommendation? Stop by there and pick up a few of the seasonal and specialty beers.   Make a mix ‘n’ match for Dad. Right now the Nit-Wit Belgian style wheat beer is on the shelves, as well as an American Red that they’re describing as sweet and bitter. Or go with one of the year-round classics, like a six-pack of Tall Ship Amber, a real crowd-pleaser. If Dad likes it dark, there’s usually large bottles of Martello Stout or Baltic Porter in the fridge.

Propeller Brewing

Next, head to the north end, and add a few Propeller beers to the collection. Their highly-reagarded IPA is sure to please any serious beer-drinking dad. If he’s a slightly new to the craft beer scene, perhaps start him off with the regular Pale Ale, or the Honey Wheat.

Can’t decide? Pick up a Propeller gift card.

Bridge Brewing Company

The newest brewer to the Halifax craft beer scene is conveniently located in the north end – so continue your journey to Agricola Street to visit Bridge Brewing. Currently they’re brewing two Belgian style beers, which have been received very well by Halifax craft beer drinkers. Personally I say, grab a 750ml re-fillable of the Farmhouse Ale and surprise Dad; he’ll probably like it so much he’ll want to go back again and again to restock.


More Beer

Looking for a more involved experience? Follow the links above to either of two bigger breweries and book a group tour (get a few friends and their dads together) for a night out of beer-drinking and many laughs. Or, check out their event listings, there may be a beer and food event happening in the near future – perfect to buy dad tickets to, for Father’s Day!

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What’s on for June 2013

We’re all ramping up for summer here in Halifax. There’s a lot of activities and festivals on the books for our seaside city in the 2013 sunny season! Since there is so much going on, let’s take a look at a few June event highlights…

HRM Bike Week

Starting THIS weekend and lasting until June 11th! Click here for full event listings – there are fun, active bike-related activities happening all over HRM for the whole family. Our favourite is the annual Open Street Party at the Halifax Common and skating oval (on this Sunday).

Seasons by Atlantica is offering 15% off food for anyone who comes in with their bike helmet during Bike Week! PLUS we’re extending that offer through the end of August for anyone who comes in with their I Heart Bikes receipt from that day!

Stay tuned for our summer Spot the Bike photo competition!

The Oval: Summer Edition

We are just so excited that our neighbour the Emera Skating Oval will be opening to roller and inline skating, plus other activities over the summer! The city is buying hundreds of pairs of inline skates that will be available to the public. All the details aren’t ready just yet – but stay tuned here. (Also stay tuned for stay and skate packages coming your way!)

Matt Mays Free Concert

You DON’T want to miss this one – as part of his coast-to-coast tour, on June 8th, our hometown rock ‘n’ roll hero Matt Mays will be rolling through on his Red Bull tour bus and playing a free concert on the Halifax waterfront. Wanna go? Just RSVP here.

Multicultural Festival

The annual Multicultural Festival is back at the Halifax seaport on June 21-23. This event is just packed full of delicious international foods, music, dance… and there’s shopping too!

The Tattoo

Starting on June 30th, the must-see Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo is back! Do I even need to say more? Buy your tickets now!

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Get up and Go on Victoria Day Weekend!

The first long weekend of the sunny season is upon us – and you know what that means – time to make plans to get out and have some fun!

Maybe you’re visiting Halifax from out of town, or perhaps you’re a local who’s just not sure what’s going on over the Victoria Day weekend. Aside from spending some quality time with family and friends, there are many different kinds of activities happening in Halifax. Here are four different experiences open to you over the weekend…


The Halifax Concert Band will perform at the Grandstand in the gorgeous Halifax Public Gardens on Monday May 20th, starting at 2pm. This is a free and wonderful way to get outdoors, listen to live music, and experience the flowers and foliage that our public gardens have to offer.

Food & Drink

The Patio Weekend kick-off event in the lively Argyle Entertainment District is on all weekend. Grab a seat Friday night and experience the official patio lighting on Argyle Street at 9pm. Enjoy live entertainment at almost all venues, along with beer and food specials on patios all weekend long!


The 7th Annual Maritime Tattoo Festival is happening over the long weekend at the Halifax Forum. Even if you’re not ‘inked’ this event offers pure entertainment: reality television celebrities, drag shows, live music and a “freakshow” sideshow!


Last but not least there is, of course, the Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon! Head downtown to cheer on participants and take in the energetic vibe – there’s even still time to volunteer. It’s a great environment to kick start some self-motivation and positive energy!

Be sure to check out Seasons by Atlantica’s amazing three-course offering as part of the 26 Myles Menus  - ending May 19th.

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Pin your way through Mother’s Day!

Oh, that Pinterest. It just has so many ideas for so many different occasions. Not feeling particularly inspired to think up an original Mother’s Day idea? On a budget? Wondering what’s new and trendy? Just visit Pinterest. Here are some ideas, categorized by the types of moms, that I’ve found…


Is mom the traditional type? Keep things classic with old favourites like beautiful flower arrangements, potted plants, gourmet chocolates (there are many local companies in Nova Scotia to choose from) or jewelry.

Click photo for source

Click photo for source

Retail Junky

Maybe your mom’s a shopaholic – and she’d prefer a stylish fashion find on the special day. In that case, look for perfect Mother’s Day gifts like spring purses, scarves or sun/gardening hats. Be sure to visit one of Halifax’s many independent clothing shops for items just like these – and to find something unique, just like her.

Click image for source

Click image for source



Most moms out there just want a gift that comes from the heart. If your mom would rather you put a little time and effort into her gift, instead of just spending money, consider a fun DIY project. Check out Pinterest daily for even more of these great ideas!

Click photo for source



If mom’s a foodie, you’ve got two options: make her an incredible Mother’s Day meal, or take her out for a decadent Sunday brunch. If you’re looking to do the latter – you should seriously check out the Mother’s Day offering at Seasons by Atlantica.

If you’re going to do the former – go all the way – and whip up something impressive (there are a ton of recipe ideas on Pinterest).

Click image for source


Happy Mother’s Day!

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The Benefits of Fresh Air

Now that it’s finally starting to feel spring-like in Halifax, I’m super excited to get outdoors, like everyone else. Lucky for us Halifax has many beautiful greenspaces, like the Common or Point Pleasant Park. Plus, we’re on the ocean!

What is it exactly about being in the open air that makes us feel so great? Well, as it turns out, a whole lot. The physical and mental benefits to getting fresh air are vast and important. Here are just a few that I found in my research…

More Energy

Inhaling fresh air generally allows you to breathe more effectively (deeper and longer), because it cleans your lungs. This means more oxygen gets to your brain, which, among other amazing things, gives you more energy.

Improve Your Brain Power

The other great thing about getting more oxygen to the brain is that it will work better. This means better thought clarity, better concentration and essentially… more brain power!

Less Stress

We all learned in elementary school how trees and plants take carbon dioxide and turn it into oxygen, which humans need to breathe. Turns out there is also a self-protective chemical that they give off as well, called phytoncides. This chemical is at the centre of some stress-reduction studies that have shown people who spend time walking in the forest versus in the city have both lower blood pressure, and lower amounts of the stress hormone cortisol.

Helps Digestion

One of the best things you can do after a big meal is take a walk around the block! The fresh air is a digestive aid and suggested to many people who are trying to lose weight.

Now get out there and enjoy it while you can!

Resources for this article:

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DIY Herb Garden for Spring

Here at Atlantica Hotel Halifax we’re just finishing up our plot application for the Common Roots Urban Farm, or as you might know it, the urban garden just across the way on the corner of Robie Street.

We’re super excited for executive chef Luis Clavel to hear back as to how many plots and which plants he’ll be able to use for food in our dining room and at banquets! Talk about the 50 mile diet…

Because we’ll definitely be planting some herb action on our plot, I started thinking about my own backyard herb garden. Every year we fill several planters with soil and herbs. Our back deck gets the late afternoon sun, for several hours, and the plants seem to love it. They supply the flavour for our summer cooking all the way into October.

Using my favourite DIY research tool, Pinterest, and my own experience, here are some great tips for planting your own adorable herb garden this spring.


1. Get Creative and Make it Work for Your Space



2. If You’re not a Pro – Label Them!

from Etsy

3. Don’t Have a Yard? Don’t let that Stop You!

From Pinterest


4. Reuse Old Materials


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Spring Fever: 2013 Wedding Trends


Happy Spring! Rain or shine, snow or sun (especially snow), the first day of spring is upon us.

Being one of the most popular wedding venues in Halifax, around here, spring means one thing… that another wedding season is about to kick off!

One of my favourite topics to blog about is upcoming wedding trends. Around this time of the year, each year, I round up the most fabulous upcoming colours, dress styles, food, drink, invitations, flowers and decor I can find. My go-to trending tool? Pinterest, of course.

Here are some of the gorgeous upcoming spring and summer 2013 wedding trends…


My favourite trendy wedding colour this season is mint - it looks great paired with lots of other complementary colours, and has a real classy vibe. Other hot colours include grey, and creamy neutral tones like latte.


English garden flowers, specifically peonies, are the biggest trend in wedding flowers for 2013. Colourful, beautifully full-figured, and classy, it’s no wonder brides are demanding peonies for everything from centrepieces to bouquets.


There are a few invitation styles making the rounds, but I think the most fun is the neon trend. Neon was a big colour on the runway last year and its made its way into the wedding world. Another favourite is gleaming foil print invitations.


Coloured dresses are back in 2013 (like Jessica Beil’s when she married JT) including blush, pink, red and even blue. Other trends include fanciful backs, sleeves, and vintage style!


While I’m glad to hear that plated dinners are making a comeback (they never really went away for us), I love the trend of spotlighting your culinary heritage for the wedding meal. What a fun way to get your guests interested in the food!


Artisan cocktails, often using champagne, are hot this year. Another more non-formal trend is beer! Who doesn’t love a cold one at a wedding reception?


Again there are some incredibly cute decor trends popping up for the upcoming season. Covered centrepieces (like using birdcages for example) are big, as well as using mason jars for various DIY decor concepts.

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ECMA Action in Halifax

Why should you support East Coast Music Week, starting in Halifax today? Because we’ve got a ton of local musical talent to brag about – and we want everyone to know!

Also, because the event supports tourism and the economy in Halifax in the middle of winter. And because it’s just a good time!

So what exactly is going on over ECMW, you may be wondering? A lot. And most of it is very affordable, and accessible for anyone who wants to see some awesome live music.

One of my favourite East Coast musicians, David Myles, via

My Tips for ECMW

First, you may want to get organized. If you’re a music enthusiast and smart phone user, and you’re looking to optimize your time over the week (which will fly by) you may want to check out the ECMW app.

Can only make it to a couple shows? Carefully study the schedule of events here; and prioritize your valuable rockin’ out time during ECMW!

Study up on the artists so you don’t miss out on any of your favourites and you know who is in town.

Try to win tickets to shows. There’s a ton of giveaways going on via several different channels (social media, radio, etc). Here’s one local music blog giving away tickets to a show this weekend.

Get the kids out and make it a family occassion. Look through the schedule to find some free or kid-friendly venues, and expose the little ones to some great, local music! There’s even a children’s music showcase happening where the best children’s recording of the year will be awarded.

Stay downtown. Make a night or weekend out of it by booking a hotel room. Rooms are in demand in downtown Halifax – so don’t wait to call us and book!

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Seven Days of March Break

Planning on spending this March Break in Halifax? You definitely want to stay with us at Atlantica Hotel Halifax. Not only are we next door neighbours with the Emera Skating Oval, we’re the perfect central location for a ton of fun ideas. Enough to fill an entire week!

Friday Night, March 8th

Kick off March Break with a good old-fashioned hockey game! The Mooseheads battle it out with their rivals the Moncton Wildcats at the Metro Centre.

No kids? Maybe check out the second night of East Coast Music Week. The Rising Stars show at Casino Nova Scotia is sure to be a great one.

Day One: Saturday March 9th

Kids crazy about animals and nature? Head to the Museum of Natural History for the newest exhibit, Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo, Living Under Fire: Life in the Desert. Check out the number of other great, permanent exhibits while you’re there!

Day Two: Sunday March 10th

Have an active, family fun skating day on the Emera Skating Oval! When you get back to the hotel (Atlantica, of course – we are just across the street), have a swim in the pool and a relaxing night watching movies in the room.

Day Three: Monday March 11th

It’s hockey week in Halifax! The Mooseheads are at home again, taking on Acadie-Bathurst. Take a walk around downtown Halifax, exploring the shops and restaurants, then head to the game!

Day Four: Tuesday March 12th

Dress like pirates and head to Pirates on the Seven Seas exhibit at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Parents are encouraged to wear their finest pirate gear, too!

Day Five: Wednesday March 13th

Walk just down the street from us and paint some pottery at Clay Cafe! A great souvenir to take home and remember a great March Break in Halifax.

Looking for something more active? Get a Family Day Pass to the Canada Games Centre – it’s only $20, and gives you access to ALL areas of the centre. Including the giant yellow water slide. Child minding services are available for up to 1.5 hours if Mom and Dad want to get a grown-up work out in.

Day Six: Thursday March 14th

Time for more learning… you don’t want to miss the End of the Earth: From Polar Bears to Penguins exhibit at the Discovery Centre. The permanent exhibits are great too, including the always favourite bubble room!

Day Seven: Friday March 15th

Sign up the kids for a half or full-day art class at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia! While they’re there, Mom and Dad can have a grown-up day. Spa, anyone? Perhaps lunch at a fancy restaurant?

On Friday night, end the week like you started it – being the ultimate hockey fan! The Mooseheads are in Halifax looking to defeat Saint John.

Day Eight: Saturday March 16th

Relax! Pack up the family… head back home, and get things organized for school, work and regular life to start again.

See you next year!

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