Seafood, Scenery, Sociables & Song – Small Town Nova Scotia welcomes back the Sound of Summer

It goes without saying that the pandemic has been extremely hard on the tourism industry everywhere and it is hard to believe that we have not had borders freely open since early 2020 to showcase all that Nova Scotia has to offer, especially during the summer months.  Now that restrictions are lifting and we are getting back to life as normal, well post pandemic normal, Nova Scotia welcomes residents and visitors alike to come and enjoy the Seafood, Scenery, Sociables and Song of Nova Scotia this summer.

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For some of you reading this you are from Nova Scotia, so you know what the province has to offer, and you are excited to see the long days and warmer weather to get out and enjoy all that this amazing province has to offer.  For others, well you might only know about Nova Scotia from what you see on the television show, The Curse of Oak Island, which follows two brothers from Michigan, Rick and Marty Lagina, as they search for one of the greatest hidden treasures of all time on Oak Island, a tree-covered island on the south shore of Nova Scotia,  that has intrigued treasure hunters for more than 200 years, but no one has been able to find it.

Well, one thing that we do know is that there are a lot of treasures that are to be discovered in Nova Scotia, which is located along the 45th parallel north, midway between the Equator and the North Pole, that are much easier to find than those on Oak Island as you explore Canada’s second-most densely populated province and second-smallest province by area.  But don’t let its size fool you, because as you will soon find out good things come in small packages and to those that wait.

Nova Scotia is the world’s largest exporter of lobster, with fish product exports exceeding $1 billion, to over 90 countries around the world, but don’t worry there is lots to go around and for you to enjoy as you travel around and sample the many unique tastes of the province.  Whether that is the many types of world-famous local seafood or other unique Nova Scotia foods like the Donair, which is spiced ground beef with sweet sauce pita wrap that was created in the early 1970’s by restaurateur, Peter Gamoulakos who wanted to share the flavours of his homeland-Greece with the residents of Halifax or the pizza in Pictou County which is known for its spicy brown sauce which was created by Greek-born restaurateur, George Kouyas we recommend that you give both a try.

Now that your bellies are full, you have the energy to check out some of the 87 National Historic Sites of Canada, the province has to offer including the Habitation at Port-Royal, the Fortress of Louisbourg and Citadel Hill (Fort George) in Halifax. Along with two national parks, Kejimkujik and Cape Breton Highlands, which are considered an extension of the Appalachian Mountain Chain.  The Highlands are surrounded by water with the Atlantic Ocean on the east, the Cabot Strait to the north and east, the Gulf of St. Lawrence on the north and west, and Bras d’Or Lake to the south. Elevations average 350 metres at the edges of the plateau (i.e. at the above-mentioned water bodies), and rise to more than 500 metres at the centre, including the highest elevation point in the province at White Hill, at 533 metres.

Speaking of water, in Nova Scotia, it’s impossible to be more than 67 km (42 mi) from the ocean at any time. Giving you the opportunity to dive into some of the warmest ocean beaches north of Virginia, on its Northumberland Shore, where waters can reach up to 22°C (72°F) during the summer months!  So, remember to pack your swimsuit, sunblock and surf board and head to the nearest shoreline. 

Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy has the highest tidal range in the world, and the iconic Peggy’s Cove is internationally recognized and receives over 600,000 visitors a year.   Old Town Lunenburg is a port town on the South Shore that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

The province has produced more than its fair share of famous musicians, including Grammy Award winners Denny Doherty (from The Mamas & the Papas), Anne Murray, and Sarah McLachlan, country singers Hank Snow, George Canyon, and Drake Jensen, jazz vocalist Holly Cole, classical performers Portia White and Barbara Hannigan, multi Juno Award nominated rapper Classified, and such diverse artists as Rita MacNeil, Matt Mays, Sloan, Feist, Todd Fancey, The Rankin Family, Natalie MacMaster,  Joel Plaskett and April Wine.

Given Nova Scotia’s diverse talents there should be no surprise that the province has many small venue music festivals to showcase both regional and international talent throughout the summer.  Some would say you come to Nova Scotia for the amazing Seafood, Scenery and Sociables, but we think you might want to add Song or a Summer Music Festival to that list and check out some of the amazing events making a return this summer after a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic. So why not add one of these regional festivals to your bucket list this summer that offer a more intimate music experience with some of the artists that you know and love while you visit the province or even build your vacation around the festival itself. 

 

Pictou Lobster Carnival
When: July 8th – 10th, 2022
Where: Pictou, Pictou County, Nova Scotia

A little about the festival: Started in 1934, the Pictou Lobster Carnival has become a Signature Event in Nova Scotia. This 3-day festival celebrates the end of the lobster fishing in the area and is rich in Maritime culture and music.  The whole Town is going to be buzzing with excitement! Feel it, Live it, Rock it!

The whole Town is buzzing with excitement as the Pictou Lobster Carnival returns after two years, to celebrate the 88th annual event that will see the main stage host four headliners this year. Friday night kicks off with headliner, Classified, one of Canada’s most successful rap artists taking to the stage to get the party started. Saturday night’s headliner is The Stanfields, who mix traditional storytelling with exciting performances, and an undercurrent of East Coast flavour. Crowd-pleasing good-time tunes from this five-piece rowdy Folk’n’Roll band is sure to keep the party going.  Storytelling is a big part of the Cape Breton culture, and a major source of entertainment, and Jimmy Rankin and his band will deliver just that on Sunday to keep the carnival rolling.  Rankin will treat Pictou to another lively show following his 2019 visit that rocked Pictou, sharing songs from both his solo and family band, covering his extensive career that spans all the way back to the 80’s. 

This event is sure to sell out so you will want to get your tickets soon for this one.

Ticket Prices:
Single Day Passes starting at: $15.00 CAD
Full Festival Passes starting at: $45.00 CAD

For more information on this event go to: http://pictoulobstercarnival.ca/

 

Stan Rogers Folk Festival
When: July 22nd – 24th, 2022
Where: Canso, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia

A little about the festival: The Stan Rogers Folk Festival is a celebration of musical talent honouring one of Canada’s most prolific songwriters, Stan Rogers. The weekend-long musical adventure features 28 artists from a variety of genres, including folk, country, jazz, swing, blues, rag, gospel, pop, rock, bluegrass, and world music.

Stanfest will have multi award-winning country music hitmakers like Alberta’s Carolyn Dawn Johnson and Nova Scotia’s George Canyon headlining on Saturday and Sunday nights respectively. Plus, consistent every year, the lineup builds on a solid core of East Coast talent and this year is no exception presenting festival alumni: Dave Gunning, Bruce Guthro, J.P. Cormier, and Lennie Gallant along with rock bands Slowcoaster and the Town Heroes and traditional Celtic artist group, Beolach along with many other local, regional, national and international acts like funk and gospel band, The Lee Boys and Grammy-nominated folk singer-songwriter and author Mary Gauthier, both from the US along with finger-style acoustic guitarist Tony McManus from Scotland and modern acoustic folk group Fränder from Sweden.

This year, Stanfest is limiting its audience to 1,500 weekend passes to ensure attendees feel safe and uncrowded. Additionally, the daytime program has moved away from 4-5 smaller stages and will focus on three larger stages, one of which will be the mainstage. Shows will take place on the mainstage from 10 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. each day with over 30 hours of concerts on the three stages over the festival truly celebrating the 25th anniversary of the festival after two COVID-cancelled years.

Ticket Prices:
Single Day Passes starting at: $50.00 CAD
Full Festival Passes starting at: $145.00 CAD

For more information on this event go to: https://www.stanfest.com/

 

Rock the Hub
When: July 29th – 31st, 2022
Where: Truro, Colchester County, Nova Scotia

A little about the festival: As we get ready to head into May, it is never too early to start thinking about warm weather, getting together with friends and outdoor festivals.  The fifth edition of Rock The Hub moves back to Downtown Truro this summer with an incredible lineup of headliners.   Monster Truck, Three Days Grace and The Glorious Sons take the stage as the headliners along with 12 other crowd-pleasing artists for this three-day festival in the Hub of Nova Scotia.

Ticket Prices:
Single Day Passes starting at: $79.00 CAD
Full Festival Passes starting at: $219.00 CAD

For more information on this event go to: https://www.rockthehub.ca/ 

 

The Jubilee
When: July 29th – 31st, 2022
Where: New Glasgow, Pictou County, Nova Scotia

A little about the festival: Pictou County borders the Northumberland Strait, which is famous for it’s amazing beaches and because of the strait’s shallow depths, home to the warmest ocean water temperatures in Canada, and some of the warmest ocean water temperatures on the Atlantic coast north of Virginia.  It is also home to the Jubilee that runs the long Natal Day weekend offering three days of amazing Canadian music talent on the banks of the East River.  If I were you, I would circle July 29-31st on your calendar as this is not only the return of outdoor festivals in Nova Scotia it is also the 25th Anniversary of The Jube that has been in the works for two years because of the pandemic.  Well good things come to those who wait and the annual three-day event featuring the best in Canadian and East Coast music, bringing top musical acts to our beautiful outdoor amphitheatre on the New Glasgow waterfront.  This year’s headliners are the iconic Glass Tiger on Friday night, Tom Cochrane with Red Rider on Sunday Night plus Toronto-based vocal powerhouse Serena Ryder headlining an all-female frontwoman evening at the Jubilee on Saturday. 

Veteran artist Joel Plaskett, Jully Black, Sloan along with 6 others artists representing all genres of music get each night rolling at 7:30pm which gives you lots of time to explore all the amazing things that Pictou County has to offer before heading to Glasgow Square located on the scenic East River for a music experience that is second to none and rivals some of the bigger venue events across Canada and the United States.

This is one festival that is worth planning your trip to Nova Scotia around as The Jube has provided 25 years of great music and memories and this year is sure to kick off another quarter century of quality events.  See you at THE JUBE this Summer!

Ticket Prices:
Single Day Passes starting at: Not available at time of publication
Full Festival Passes starting at: $125.00 CAD

For more information on this event go to: https://thejubilee.ca/

 

Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival
When: August 4th – 7th, 2022
Where: Lunenburg, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia

Why:  Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival is a small-town festival with a big reputation! Each year, music lovers flock to this distinct UNESCO World Heritage town for the best of Folk music and a healthy dose of fun. It is the longest-running music festival in Nova Scotia and one of the oldest in Canada.  The indoor and outdoor venues are small, giving you an intimate experience with the 24 artists that are steeped in history! Each venue offers seating and are within walking distance of each other. Musicians playing on the Wharf Stage are often accompanied by the songs of seagulls and fresh sea breezes to complete the Folk Harbour experience. Between shows, enjoy the numerous galleries, museums, shops, homemade ice cream, pubs and restaurants that make their colourful town so rich—with so much to do you’ll wish the festival was longer as you enjoy festival headliners Ashley MacIsaac, Martha Redbone
Roots Project, Stephen Fearing and Rose Cousins at main venues that are all alcohol-free, providing a comfortable all-ages environment for concert-goers. 

Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival is truly an intimate affair and a vibrant East Coast experience—a chance to get up close and personal with the artists who sing the songs that influence and shape our culture.

Ticket Prices:
Single Day Passes starting at: Not available at time of publication
Full Festival Passes starting at: $80.00 CAD

For more information on this event go to: https://www.folkharbour.com/ 

 

Country Rocks the Hub
When: August 5th – 7th, 2022
Where: Truro, Colchester County, Nova Scotia

A little about the festival: We’re excited to see this event back in Downtown Truro’s Civic Square!! Central to hotels, shops, and restaurants.  It’s great for local businesses for this event to be back at its original festival location in the heart of Nova Scotia’s Hub Town, and with Terri Clark, The Reklaws and Brett Kissel taking the stage as the headliners for this year’s festival along with 12 other amazing artists like Lonestar, Doc Walker, The Road Hammer and Madeline Merlo make Truro the center for country music in Nova Scotia for this three-day festival. 

Can we get a Yeeha!!!

Ticket Prices:
Single Day Passes starting at: $79.00 CAD
Full Festival Passes starting at: $219.00 CAD

For more information on this event go to: https://www.countryrocksthehub.ca/ 

 

Fox Mountain Country Music Festival
When: August 5th – 7th, 2022
Where: Aylesford, Kings County, Nova Scotia

A little about the festival: Fox Mountain Country Music Festival gets ready to return this summer with amazing lineup featuring performers from Nova Scotia, across Canada, and the US for this year’s festival!  The festival which starts Friday afternoon will see Tracy Lyn, Lisa Richard, along with her band, Ivan Daigle and Dirt County, Jackie Putnam, Zakary Miller, The Road Kings and The Broken Circuit all take the stage with some great country music that will keep you dancing (on the dance floor or in your seat) for the three-day festival! 

They have a lot of fun on the mountain, so come join them this year.

Ticket Prices:
Single Day Passes starting at: $25.00 CAD
Full Festival Passes starting at: $100.00 CAD

For more information on this event go to: https://foxmountaincampingpark.com/country/ 

 

Nova Scotia SummerFest
When: August 19th – 21st, 2022
Where: Antigonish, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia

A little about the festival:  A celebration of the finest Nova Scotia seafood, sociables and music as the Nova Scotia SummerFest moves its kitchen party to a new venue at Columbus Field in downtown Antigonish. This two-day festival offers something for everyone with Headliners The Trews and Walk Off The Earth with additional artists such as Neon Dreams, Jimmy Rankin, The Ennis Sisters, Myles Goodwyn, Campbell & Johnston, PINEO & LOEB, Cassie and Maggie, Anna Ludlow, Ian Sherwood, Elyse Aeryn, Maura Whitman, Brooklyn Blackmore taking to the stage and offering everything from classic rock, pop, folk, EDM, hip-hop, indie pop, Celtic and electronic music to keep this kitchen party going during the dog days of summer!

Ticket Prices:
Single Day Passes starting at: $35.00 CAD
Full Festival Passes starting at: $125.00 CAD

For more information on this event go to: https://novascotiasummerfest.ca/ 

 

As you can see there are many amazing things to see and do in Nova Scotia this summer so take some time to enjoy the seafood, scenery, sociables and sounds at these events and the small towns and local business that support them throughout Nova Scotia offer as they welcome you back to Canada’s Ocean Playground this Summer.

When attending the festivals on your bucket list this summer remember to tag us on social media (Twitter @spotlightbizmag / Facebook @spotlightbizmag / Instagram @spotlightonbizmag) so we can share your experience with our readers.

by Ryan Myson