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🗞 The Halifax albums you need to hear

Plus, The Coast ranks a holiday favourite

Good morning! This time of year often finds me thinking of the amazing and tireless work of our province’s not-for-profits and volunteers—and while I’m not always as generous with my giving as I’d like to be, I’m especially grateful to The Coast’s Lauren Phillips this morning, who channelled her inner Scrooge and penned the following with a roster of resources well worthy of your support.

– Martin

Once a miserly magpie counting coins in cold shadows,
three Creightonesque phantoms have lit my safe passage.

De-shackled by greed and un-pinched my ha’pennies
I share clothes, food, gifts, toys
As Past, Present, Future Tidings. 

I, who humbugged my way through joyous occasions,
Now raise up the call, “Fog bless us, everyone!”

So, wrap your kindness with ribbons of care,
send warmth and strong sustenance to neighbours who bear,
the frozen storm gales of hardship’s cold glare.

🌡️ Traffic & Weather

Today: 🌧️ 4°

Tomorrow: ☁️ -1°

Next Day: 🌤️ -4°

🚗 Driving today? Check out the current traffic conditions and ongoing road closures.


These are the 11 album and EPs from Halifax artists you need to hear this year

📸 Illustration: The Coast

For years, our city has punched above its weight on the cultural stage—and 2023 was no exception. From new music by alt-pop artist Rich Aucoin to a surprising Bahamas country record to a stunning French debut from Laura Rae, there’s plenty to celebrate from Halifax’s music scene in the past 12 months.

Here at The Coast, we’re counting down the 11 best local offerings of the year, from established music veterans to newcomers. Get ready to update your playlists.

🤔 Need to know

💰 Nova Scotia’s finance minister says the province’s economy is showing signs of slowing down, as the province’s deficit stands at $264.3M for 2023-24.

👶 A new provincial report suggests the COVID-19 pandemic has had ongoing effects on early child development—from difficulties with communication skills to physical health and well-being.

📈 Canada’s population has officially passed the 40.5-million mark, according to the latest Census results just released.

🛍️ Shop local this holiday season at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia’s Gallery Shop. All proceeds directly support AGNS’ mission to support local artists and makers.*

*Sponsored Post


We asked, you answered: The results of The Coast’s Quality Street candy poll

📸 The Coast

There are 11 different flavours in a tin of Quality Streets. And whether you love em’ or hate em’, a lot of folks have a small, octagon-shaped space in their heart for these nostalgic treats. (Not The Coast’s news and business reporter, but you do you.)

Last Christmas, we asked our readers: Which Quality Street is the best? Hundreds of responses came in through our website and social media platform—and in total, nearly 1,300 of you had something to say.

🗞️ In Other News

⚡ Monday night’s windstorm closed more than two dozen schools across Nova Scotia yesterday and left more than 60,000 in the province without power.

🚨 Halifax police are looking for a suspect after a man robbed a Wyse Road pub on Monday night.

🐟 A new report from Canada’s standing committee on fisheries and oceans says an overabundance of seals—including in Atlantic Canada—is having a “significant and damaging impact” on some fish populations.

⛺ Volunteers and outreach workers offering aid at the tent encampment in Halifax’s Grand Parade are worried that more deaths are likely, as the community grieves recent tragedy.


A New Year's Eve Affair with Lot Six & DJ Henry T

Join Lot Six and DJ Henry T as they ring in the New Year in style, with fabulous cocktails, delicious oysters, and a glass of Bubbly for all at midnight. Capture the memories with the provided photo booth, and dance the year away!


The Wanderer Grounds podcast: A Christmas Extravaganza

📸 Trevor MacMillan / Canadian Premier League

The Halifax Wanderers were a gift to watch in 2023: After two straight years of missed playoff appearances and MVP runs cut short by injury, the Canadian Premier League soccer club won back the hearts of its supporters with fluid football, a roster loaded with more talent than ever before and a first-ever home playoff match at the Wanderers Grounds.

In the spirit of holiday giving, The Coast’s Matt Stickland and Martin Bauman return the favour with entirely real, definitely-not-made-up Christmas gifts for every Wanderers player (and most coaches)—and to do so, they enlist the help of Canadian soccer podcasters Joshua Healey and Mitchell Bailey (Healey & Bailey Notebook). The foursome also dishes out New Year’s resolutions for the Wanderers squad.


Don't risk delayed shipping. Shop local!

Support your community this holiday season by shopping local! Find unique and thoughtful gifts while helping small businesses thrive. From handmade goods to locally sourced food and beverages, the North End has something for everyone. Show your love for your community and spread holiday cheer by shopping local in North End Halifax.

🗓️ Things To Do

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

🗓 A Musical Interlude with Maurice McGaffney: Take in a free winter concert at the Central Library this evening as the cabaret pianist takes a whirl on the grand piano. | Dec. 20 | 6-7:30pm | Free

🗓 A Gift from Bob: Head to Woodlawn Public Library tonight for a free, family-friendly film screening of 2020’s British Christmas special about a struggling street musician and a stray cat, Bob, who changes his life. | Dec. 20 | 6:30-8pm | Free

🗓 Celebrate Winter at Pier 21: Tomorrow, the Canadian Museum of Immigration hosts a full day of performances, activities and workshops celebrating cultural traditions from around the world. | Dec. 21 | 10am-4pm | Free with admission

🗓 Booktoberfest, meet December: Postponed due to October’s weather, Nova Scotia’s annual book fair takes over the Central Library tomorrow night. Meet 50+ Nova Scotia authors who published new books in 2023. | Dec. 21 | 7-9pm | Free

🗓 Into the Time Slip: An All-Drag Rocky Horror Shadowcast: Watch a cast of Halifax’s best drag talent perform the cult favourite Rocky Horror Picture Show as the film screens in this one-night-only performance. | Dec. 21 | 8:30-11:30pm | $17.31

🗓 Miracle on Ochterloney Street: Enjoy a “heartwarming Christmas musical” with live music and family-friendly comedy at the Sanctuary Arts Centre. | Dec. 21-22 | 6:30-8pm | $1-30.28

🗓 Symphony NS: Handel’s Messiah: The annual choral classic returns to Dalhousie’s Rebecca Cohn Auditorium for two nights, starting tomorrow. | Dec. 21-22 | 7:30pm | $20-80

Find more Halifax events in The Coast listings.

🍴 Where To Eat & Drink

🍬 Barrington Street’s Bird’s Nest Cafe has handmade, hand-wrapped fleur de sel caramels that melt in your mouth.

🍗 In the mood for jerk chicken? Dartmouth’s R&B Kitchen was voted Best Carribean Restaurant in The Coast’s annual reader-selected Best of Halifax Awards.

👀 In Case You Missed It

🚗 Why does Trish Purdy want to cut Halifax’s new-car budget—and how did the rest of HRM council respond? The Coast’s Matt Stickland breaks down the budget debate at city hall.

🏠 Global Halifax has been producing an excellent On The Brink series about Nova Scotia’s cost-of-living challenges, including how a tight rental market opens the door to discrimination against tenants. Here at The Coast, we’ve been reporting on fixed-term leases and their limitations for the past two years—catch up on the issue here.

👗 A Nigerian-Canadian fashion designer is making a splash in Nova Scotia. CBC News caught up with Funmi Odeniyi about her colourful work.

📚 Looking for some local books to ring in the New Year with? The Coast’s Martin Bauman has you covered with 2023’s best offerings from Nova Scotian authors.

That’s it!

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