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🗞️ Halifax’s housing crisis uniquely impacts the city’s sex workers

Plus, Summer Sounds at Barrington delivering easy listening lunchtime concerts

Good morning Halifax,

I hope you all had a restful long weekend and got some hotdogs and beer in your guts despite the inclement weather situation. The rain did postpone or cancel a lot of Canada Day festivities—a true bummer strong and free—but I hope fun was had anyway.

I hate to take a dive to negative town because I like to lol as much as the next guy, but with Halifax Pride around the corner, I feel like I need to share a story that is truly haunting me. A same sex couple—two women—were harassed with homophobic slurs and then physically attacked by a large group of men outside of the Nova Centre last Saturday. Both women suffered injuries and the whole thing was captured on video (which is included in the link above, but is disturbing, so take care in viewing).

The women say they are now terrified of going downtown again and honestly, who could blame them? I really do take pride in Halifax being a place that takes Pride seriously. And this…this one hurts.

Let’s try to pull together and double down on our love and tolerance out there 💗

– Julie

🌡️ Traffic & Weather

Today: 🌤️ 25°

Tomorrow: ☀️ 28°

Next Day: 🌤️ 27°

🚗 Driving, biking or busing today? Check out the current traffic conditions and ongoing road closures.


Summer Sounds at Barrington delivering easy listening lunchtime concerts

📸 Credit: Martin Bauman / The Coast

Summer Sounds at Barrington is coming back around for yet another season of lunchtime concerts.

Starting on July 2 and running until Aug. 6, the concert series features an eclectic mix of artists playing interesting yet relaxing music for those looking for a quick lunchtime escape.

Organizer Wayne Rogers says the series first started in 2009 and has been building since then. Although COVID hindered their growth, last year proved the summer concert series was still a hit with the community.

“Last year was the biggest year we had, actually, with audience participation,” says Rogers. “It was hard the first year after COVID. In 2022, it was sort of iffy, but last year it picked way up.”

The concert series comes from a partnership between the St. Matthew’s United Church and the Downtown Halifax Business Commission. Rogers says the commission’s interest is in vitalizing the downtown for people who are out and about.

For Rogers, the church was the best place to have the series, noting its great acoustics particularly enhancing “instrumental and choral music.”

The first concert, starting at 12:15pm on July 2, will feature a jazz set from saxophonist Kenji Omae with his wife Heejung Choi on piano, Ron Hynes on bass and Nick Donovan on drums. 

“We hope to do our duty in bringing a positive spirit to the downtown core during lunch hour,” Omae tells The Coast.

Omae describes their music as “accessible, straight ahead, melodic” jazz rather than the “edgier, free jazz” you would perhaps hear elsewhere, making them a suitable act for the vibe the concert is going for.

There’s also a different feeling you get from seeing music live than sitting at a desk with your lunch, scrolling through your preferred music streaming app.

“The fact that it’s live can’t be recreated,” says Omae. “It’s a very unique experience, something that you tend to remember. It’s a special experience.”

For those looking to catch a concert, check out the full schedule of all the Summer Sounds at Barrington performances, all going from 12:15pm to 1pm. There’s no admission fee but donations are welcome.

  • July 2 - Kenji Omae (tenor sax), Heejung Choi (jazz piano), Ron Hynes (bass) and Nick Donovan (drums)

  • July 9 - Rhapsody Quintet (includes an ABBA medley)

  • July 16 - Margaret Champion, Rick Gunn, Scott Taylor, and friends

  • July 23 - HaliVox vocal quintet

  • July 30 - Atlantic Sound Machine

  • August 6 - Xaver Varnus (organ), Zoltan Schwartz (violin)

🤔 Need To Know

🩺 If you’re looking for a family doctor, you may need to ‘stretch’ according to the province’s health minister.

🌊 Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend is on display at the Museum of Natural History from July 6 to September 2, 2024.*

🕺 Catch FODAR MainStage Shows! Program One July 18, 20. Program Two July 19, 20. A tapdance legend. A tribute to Johnny Cash. So much more!*

🍁 Celebrate Canada Day at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. Features FREE admission, activities, and entertainment for all ages. (Also- parking!)*

*Sponsored Post


Countdown to Jazz Fest is on!

With just one week to go, excitement is building for the TD Halifax Jazz Festival. From July 9 to 14, the Halifax Waterfront will come alive with performances by headliners Killer Mike, Fitz and the Tantrums, Emmylou Harris, Matt Andersen & the Big Bottle of Joy, The War and Treaty, Charlotte Day Wilson, and Rankin MacInnis' Jazz Fest Jamboree! Tickets are on sale now.

Don't miss the free daytime programming at the TD Main Stage, Hydrostone Park, Ferry Terminal Park, and Jazz Labs at various Halifax Public Libraries. This year’s festival promises an unforgettable experience for all music lovers. Get ready to enjoy the vibrant sounds that Jazz Fest brings to Halifax!


Halifax’s housing crisis uniquely impacts the city’s sex workers

📸 Credit: Shutterstock

Alex MacDonnell had no idea that a routine outreach visit to a correctional facility would lay the foundation for where she is today—in the most literal way possible.

At the time, she was the executive director of the Hepatitis Outreach Society, where she did a lot of resource fairs in the Nova Institute for Women—one of six federal correctional facilities for women across Canada. On one visit, she met an offender named Sarah who she began a relationship with that would span the entirety of Sarah’s eight-year sentence.

When Sarah got out of prison, she was able to completely change the trajectory of her life and eventually began working at Northpine Foundation based in Toronto—an organization that lends financial support and expertise to explore unmet opportunities for underserved communities in Canada.

Which brings us to where we’re sitting today; in MacDonnell’s office in the new Stepping Stone facility on Primrose Street in Dartmouth where she is now the executive director. It’s a step up (pun intended) for the organization that supports both current and former sex workers. 

“This facility was kind of the final piece of the puzzle because we’re now able to have everything under one roof,” says MacDonnell. “We have everything we need to meet them wherever they are, whether on the streets, if they drop in here for food and now we can offer housing on site as well.”

Oh, and the down payment for the new digs? That came from none other than Northpine Foundation, spear-headed by Sarah—the one-time convict who MacDonnell supported so many years ago.

🗞️ In Other News

🇨🇦 44 people from 17 countries became Canadian citizens at a ceremony at Halifax’s Pier 21 yesterday.

✈️ WestJet executives and the union representing striking mechanics have announced they reached a second tentative agreement—ending a strike that resulted in hundreds of flights being cancelled.

🪿 Preventing goose poop from getting in the water could be the key to keeping Halifax beaches open this summer. A water specialist says there are a few ways E. coli can get in the water, but ducks and geese are the biggest offenders,

🥊 Wyatt Sanford—a 25-year-old boxer from Kennetcook—will compete in the Olympic Games for the second time this summer. He qualified for Paris at the 2023 Pan American Games where he won gold. 

🪲 A researcher at Acadia is studying a potential form of tick control that could limit the spread of Lyme disease. Luis Anholeto is examining a type of fungus that occurs naturally in soil and has been found to kill blacklegged and American dog ticks.


Celebrate patio season with Garrison Brewing

It's the season we've all been waiting for ☀️ Garrison Brewing wants to celebrate the sun with you! They've got drink specials & fun events happening all summer long - visit Garrison Seaport & The Oxford Taproom patios for good times that last. Follow @garrisonbrewing on Instagram for daily updates.


You're invited to the North by Night Market!

The second North by Night Market of the summer is happening Friday, July 5th at The Local Restaurant & Bar back patio! Enjoy a DJ dance party, good eats, vintage finds, and local artisans. Support your local economy and get to know your community better at the North by Night Market!

🗓️ Things To Do

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

🗓 By the Pound Thrift Clothing Pop Up: The third edition of this thrifter’s paradise is one night only at the Prospect Bay community centre. They will have adult clothing only (XS - Plus) and this year are partnering with the @Prospect Communities Farmers Market to bring local vendors, food trucks, and of course, thrifted treasures to be found for the same low price of $5.99 per pound. | July 3 | 4:30pm | $2

🗓 Wavemakers Presents: Julianna Riolino & Harbour Fireworks Display: Come on out and enjoy the musical stylings of Julianna Riolino, Callum Gaudet, Brooklyn Blackmore & DeeDee Austin. There will also be food and fireworks! | July 5 | 6:30pm | Free

🗓 The Fabulously Rich - Live at the Shore Club: Join a community bound together by their profound appreciation for The Tragically Hip's music and commitment to honouring Gord's legacy and contributions. | July 5 | 10pm | $25 advance and $40 at the door

Have an event to share? Let us know at [email protected].

⚓️ What’s In The Harbour

➡️ The Atlantic Sky container ship leaves Halifax for New York at 7am.

➡️ The Onego Degusto cargo ship leaves Halifax for known seas at 5pm.

🛳️➡️ The MSC Alyssa container ship arrives in Halifax from Montreal at 7:15am and leaves for Sines at 5pm.

➡️ The Queen Mary 2 cruise ship leaves Halifax for Canadian seas at 6pm.

➡️ The Algoma Mariner bulk carrier leaves Halifax for Canadian seas at 6pm.

🍴 Where To Eat & Drink

🍹 The summer cocktail menu has arrived at Brooklyn Warehouse. Try the sangria all summer long: rose, chambord, club soda, strawberries, blueberries, lemon.

🍔 Craving a burger but feeling fancy? Agricola Street Brasserie has you covered with the Brasserie Burger: house ground beef, smoked gouda, pickles, crispy onion, fermented mustard, garlic aioli.

👀 In Case You Missed It

🎧 NEW EPISODE - Wander Grounds Podcast: In this episode titled Sweet, Sweet Victory Matt and Martin recap the Halifax Wanderers' club record-setting 4-0 victory over Vancouver FC (a Nimick brace! a Telfer brace! A brace of braces!) and crunch the numbers on the path ahead to earning a playoff spot. Plus, in honour of Landon Donovan's Euro Cup gaffe, Matt and Martin trade bad hairdo stories. Listen now

🎧 NEW EPISODE - Grand Parade Podcast : In this episode titled The Windsor Street Sobriety Test Matt and Martin discuss HRM staff's eyebrow-raising plans for redesigning the Windsor Street Exchange while making transit worse, plus how councillors aren't using the powers they have at their disposal. Listen now

🌳 Over the next few years, a large piece of land in north end Halifax known as the Young District is going to change drastically—and HRM wants the community to have a say in what those changes will be.

🪧 David Robinson is the executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), a group that advocates for more than 70,000 teachers, librarians, researchers and other academic staff at 125 universities. On Wednesday, Robinson joined The Coast for a conversation about the intersection of academic freedom, free speech and violations of university codes of conduct.

That’s it!

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