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Halifax artists make a splash under national spotlight

Plus, strike action continues for federal government workers


Good morning, and happy Wednesday!

It’s always a thrill when The Coast’s arts and entertainment editor, Morgan Mullin, joins our daily story meeting with big news to share from Halifax’s arts scene, and today’s news is just that: Three of the city’s brightest talents are in the running for the most prestigious visual arts prize in the country—an award that our region has claimed just once in its 21-year history.

Today’s Coast Daily dishes all the goods you need to know there, plus more on the momentum behind universal basic income and a Halifax filmmaker’s feature-length debut.

P.S. If you’re interested in the local tech scene, you should sign up for Atlantic Tech Journal.

The Coast Team Signature

Halifax artists make a splash on 2023 Sobey Art Award long list

📸 Sobey Art Award nominee Séamus Gallagher - Submitted.

On Tuesday, the Sobey Art Award—the biggest visual art prize in the country—released its long list of nominees. Of the 25 artists in the running for the $100,000 purse, three are from Halifax—which is a strong showing for our city, considering how historically overlooked the east coast has been during the award's 23-year-history (the first time an Atlantic Canadian won the Sobey was Ursula Johnson in 2017).

And who are the three Haligonians to make the cut? Alan Syliboy, Séamus Gallagher and Aislinn Thomas.

We caught up with Gallagher—an artist we’ve watched grow since 2019—yesterday afternoon to talk about the news, their winning work and how drag, the climate crisis and neon colours continue to inspire their work.

Need to know

🌤 Today’s weather: Mainly sunny, with a high of 15C and a low of 4C. UV index 7 or high. Clear overnight.

🚨 Halifax councillors have opted for more time to consider a report on transforming policing in the HRM. Council will return to the issue at its next meeting.

🚧 Expect altered lanes and/or lane reductions at the intersection where Larry Uteck Boulevard meets Brookline Drive and Broad Street, starting today until May 29. The HRM is building a new roundabout at the crossroads.

☀️ The sun is coming out, so shake off winter with some fantastic free events at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.*

🚶‍♂️ Saunter through the city with Scratch the Surface, a walking tour of the labour history of Downtown Halifax, on Apr. 30. Presented by Mayworks Kjipuktuk/Halifax.*

*Sponsored Post


Julius Zarand

Crowther & Brayley Ltd. live auction featuring estate items

Saturday, Apr. 29 at Waverley Legion, 2234 Rocky Lake Drive, Waverley.

Preview starts at 9am, and sale commences at 10am. No advance viewing available on Friday.

You can find paintings, watercolours, and prints by Julius Zarand, John Cook, Earl Bailly, Ken Tolmie, Arthur Lloy, M. Zwicker, Dusan Kadlec, and MacAskill photos, etc.

Other items available include sterling jewellery and costume jewellery, geodes including amethyst turquoise and agate, antique and modern furniture, clocks, folio books, collectibles, Himalayan glow salt lamps, china, glass, box lots, and more!

Due to space constraints, there will be no seating available, only walk around auction.

Terms and Conditions: Cash, debit, Visa, and Mastercard. 10% buyer’s premium, all items to be removed day of sale!

On The Coast


Get ready for the East Coast Music Awards!

Get ready downtown Halifax, because the East Coast Music Awards (ECMA) are almost here! Taking place from May 3–7, the ECMA celebrates East Coast artists and music. Don’t miss all the festivities including the free family fun-fest presented by Downtown Halifax Business Commission on May 6 from 12pm until 3pm on the south block of Argyle Street.

In other news

💵 Basic income, anyone? Halifax is among several Nova Scotia municipalities calling on Ottawa and the province to pilot the idea, CBC News reports.

🏗 A proposed bylaw shaping the future of development in Peggy’s Cove will go to a community info session this Thursday. When passed, it will be the first change of its kind in 30 years, CTV News reports.

💸 Some Nova Scotians on income assistance say they’re struggling to make ends meet after the province opted to freeze welfare payments amid historic inflation rates. [Canadian Press]

🎥 A Halifax filmmaker is getting ready for her debut feature-length film to hit cinemas across Canada. Koumbie tells CityNews the buzz for her film Bystanders is beyond her “wildest imagination.”

🏒 The Halifax Mooseheads continue their QMJHL playoff run as they open a semifinal series at home against the Sherbrooke Phoenix this Saturday. The Mooseheads advanced after a 4-1 series win over the Moncton Wildcats. [SaltWire]


A dispatch from the front lines of the (middle-)class war: The PSAC strike

It’s a windy Monday afternoon in Dartmouth, and four women are sitting around a picnic table. They’ve all been working for the federal government for over 20 years. They’re striking now—among more than 150,000 federal employees on picket lines across Canada—but on most days, they’re cooks for the military. And right about now, despite the line of work, they’re worrying about going hungry.

“I can't afford to be out here at all personally; I live alone,” one of the four, Cindy, tells The Coast. (We’ve opted to withhold her last name out of sensitivity.) She’s living paycheque to paycheque, working hard to join the middle class, but can’t get ahead on her current wage. Even though she can’t afford to be striking, she wants to support her co-workers. Her strike pay is half of her normal paycheque. This Friday will be the first cheque on strike wages; in a very real way, folks in Cindy’s position will start going hungry next week, if they haven’t already.

After six days of striking—an income loss totalling approximately $400 at the time of this writing—her long-term savings are annihilated. “It’s going to take me a long time to recover.”

🤝 Now hiring

Hiring? Reply back and let us know!

📸 Coast Cam

Lion, sun, or both?

Each week, we showcase a different photo from across the HRM and invite readers to share their best guess about where it was taken.

Any idea where this week’s Coast Cam was taken? Reply and tell us!

Sure things

Looking for something to do this week? Check out these Coast picks:

🗓 Concertos & Serenades: Dartmouth-based singer-songwriter Adam Baldwin performs his sophomore full-length album at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium tonight, with special guest Old Man Luedecke. | Apr. 26 | 8:00pm | $31.50-36.50.

🗓 Dark and Dirty World: Indie/folk rocker Ted Simmons is hosting an album release party this Saturday at New Scotland Brewery, with special guests Factory Girls. | Apr. 29 | 8:30pm | $5 at the door.

Find more Halifax events in The Coast listings

Shop talk

🗣 Dartmouth cocktail bar Dear Friend and Halifax’s Highwayman, Bar Kismet and The Ostrich Club have been shortlisted in the 2023 Spirited Awards for the Best Bar Team in Canada (Dear Friend) and the Best Restaurant Bar in Canada (Highwayman, Bar Kismet, Ostrich Club).

Eat this

🌭 Korean-style hotdog hotspot The Kon Dog (771 Bedford Highway #7) has been slinging crispy-coated dogs (think corn dogs, with an added twist) since opening at the end of last December.

Drink this

🍺 North end craft brewery 2 Crows Brewing (1932 Brunswick Street) has rolled out its first batch of non-alcoholic beers: A raspberry sour and tropical IPA.


💸 Vintage clothing shop iON Vintage & Antique (5206 Hwy 329, Blandford) is hosting its 2nd annual Mayfair Spring Sale on May 6 and 7.

Have a local special we should feature? Reply and let us know!

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And if you have any news tips, questions, or thoughts about Halifax, drop us an email.

The Coast


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