🗞 John's Lunch bids farewell
Plus: The star of the menu at Devour! fest this year, and your Halloween weekend events guide.
Halloween weekend is upon us, and while the vibes might be spooky the forecast for Halifax is looking sunnier than ever. We’re predicted to reach a high of 21C this weekend with no chance of rain. Then again maybe the weather is a little spooky, considering the average temperature for this time of year is supposed to be around 11C 😬.
Rain or shine, if you’re still looking for plans to ring in All Hallows’ Eve make sure to check out the events planner below, stocked with family-friendly and not-so-family-friendly options. Enjoy!
☀️ Today’s weather: Sunny with a high of 21C and a low of 9C.
TABLE FOR TWO, PLEASE
Acadian food the star dish at this year’s Devour! The Food Film Fest
📸 Left: PaintingWithLightPhotography. Right: Phototyp
Shane Robicheau was born into the kitchen. A second-generation chef from Clare, NS, the 24-year-old grew up in his parents’ restaurant, Seashore Restaurant & Blue Rock Lounge, smelling the brine and salt and broth of freshly caught clams and lobsters, the simmering potatoes and onions, that made up the Acadian dishes his family had cooked and served for generations: Meals like rappie pie, chicken fricot and fring frangs—think potato pancakes, fried up with salmon or sausages or butter and molasses.
“It’s the simplicity of the dishes,” Robicheau tells The Coast. The food comes from what’s available in the region. It’s hearty and reliable—the kind of staples you can pull from the pantry mid-winter in southwestern Nova Scotia that will last you until spring.
This week in Wolfville, those dishes will take centre stage (or main course billing, if you will) at the annual Devour! The Food Film Fest. French and Cajun cuisine are also on the menu at the festival, which started Monday, Oct. 23 and runs until Sunday, Oct. 29. And while the town might be small, the festival’s reputation is anything but: Anthony Bourdain visited the festival in 2014. French chef and writer Jacques Pépin came in 2017, and delivered an online workshop in 2020. Actors Gordon Pinsent and Jason Priestley have attended through the years.
Need to know
🥾 The Mi’kmawey Debert Interpretive Trail has reopened after being closed for over a year due to damage left by Hurricane Fiona.
🖼️ Generations: The Sobey Family & Canadian Art is now on view at Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Nova Scotians get free access until January 14.*
🕺 This weekend Live Art Dance presents Christopher House with his intimate solo work, New Tricks. Don’t miss this icon of Canadian contemporary dance, get your tickets today!*
🧑⚕️ The Office of Healthcare Professionals Recruitment Community Fund is back for its second year. If you’re looking for financial assistance to aid in healthcare recruitment and retention, you can apply to the fund and potentially receive up to $100,000.
☕ Crisp air, cozy sweaters, warm drinks. There's just something about fall in Downtown Halifax. Get out and explore with this list to get you started.*
SPONSORED BY AFTERWORDS LITERARY FESTIVAL
It’s all happening at AfterWords
From a kick-off party at Cafe Lara featuring some of Atlantic Canada’s best writers, to a Sunday morning brunch with Emma Donoghue and Charlene Carr. From a free Saturday afternoon funfair for kids, to a thought-provoking panel discussion about the state of our oceans, AfterWords Literary Festival brings writers and readers together from October 29 to November 5 in venues around the city.
You can hone your own writing skills with workshops taught by Ali Bryan, Alicia Elliott, Sylvia D. Hamilton and more. Or just sit back and enjoy readings and conversations with Mona Awad, Zoe Whittall, Leo McKay Jr, Sean Michaels, Amy Jones, and others.
Find your new favourite read at AfterWords Literary Festival and get your tickets here.
On The Coast
SPONSORED BY ALLIANCE FRANCAIS
Let's celebrate our 120 years together
Alliance Française Halifax's anniversary Gala is an opportunity to get together and celebrate the French language. Live music, appetizers, a painting by Leya Evelyn and more!
A fundraising campaign will be organized throughout November to give a helping hand to those in need to advance their French language education. Register today!
In other news
🏫 With the number of violent incidents in schools rising, Nova Scotia’s education department is reviewing its student code of conduct.
🐋 Fisheries and Oceans Canada has confirmed an endangered North Atlantic right whale was injured while being tagged for tracking.
😟 Women living in Halifax’s Byrony House—a shelter for women escaping domestic abuse—are worried after being told they’d have to secure permanent housing and vacate the shelter after two months.
🧀 According to Food Banks Canada's annual Hunger Count report, Canadians are struggling more than ever when it comes to food insecurity.
🏳️🌈 The RCMP are investigating a potential hate crime after a Pride flag was vandalized at West Pictou Consolidated School.
🏦 The Bank of Canada is holding the interest rate at 5 percent—although an increase isn’t out of the question.
Thanks for all the fish: John’s Lunch bids farewell after 54 years
📸 Martin Bauman/ The Coast
Open the front door of John’s Lunch on Pleasant Street, decalled over with a slew of Best of Halifax awards, and once you pass by the rows of red vinyl booths and galley kitchen—fries and haddock tips sizzling away in the deep fryer—you’ll come across a wall. It’s a narrow one, not much wider than three or four feet. You’ll know the one when you see it. Scrawled all over it, in pinks, purples, oranges and blues, are hundreds of messages from diners and well-wishers spanning from Sackville to Bronx, NY to Haida Gwaii, BC. “Best clams ever,” they say. “Thanks for all you have done.” “You will be missed.”
It’s not an overly long story about why John’s Lunch is closing. It’s an all-too-common one, though: Business has become too expensive. In an industry where the margins are lettuce-leaf thin, the rising cost of food ingredients means the math just doesn’t add up like it used to.
🗓 Things to do: Halloween weekend edition
Looking for something to do over the weekend? Check out these Coast picks:
Thursday, October 26
🗓 Jah’Mila masterclass: Dal’s Fountain School of Performing Arts is holding an open voice masterclass with Halifax reggae musician Jah’Mila at the Joseph Strug Concert Hall | Oct. 26 | 11:35am-1:25pm | Free.
🗓 Eugene Ripper: The “godfather of Canadian punk folk” is in town this week to not only release his new single, “Folk Song 3000,” but to kick off his world tour at Gus’ Pub | Oct. 26 | 8pm | $10.50.
Friday, October 27
🗓 RobieScope Cinema: Movie nights at Good Robot Robie and the new Commons Beer Garden are back in honour of Halloween, so you can catch screenings of Hocus Pocus and I Know What You Did Last Summer. Ticket holders will also be entered into a giveaway and will receive 10% off beer | Oct. 27 & Oct. 31 | 7pm | $7.
🗓️ Rube & Rake: St. John’s duo Rube & Rake will be ringing in autumn with a “dreamy” live setlist at Ramblers this week | Oct. 27 | 8pm | $20.
🗓 Hallowheel: Meet at Argyle Street between Prince and Sackville Streets later this week for an ultimate collab between Halifax Critical Mass and Bike Party. It’ll be an evening of dancing, cycling and costume contests | Oct. 27 | 6pm | Free.
🗓 Hal-Con: Get your cosplay on, meet some of your favourite celebs and shop from 50+ vendors at the Halifax Convention Centre for this year’s Hal-Con | Oct. 27-29.
Saturday, October 28
🗓️ The Haunted Honky-Tonk: The ultimate country and Halloween mash-up will be happening at the Buffalo Club in Dartmouth this weekend, with a live performance by The Ordeals | Oct. 28 | 8:30pm | $5-$10.
🗓️ Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra: Join the NSYO for its Come as You Dare show featuring a night of classical Halloween favourites at St. Andrew’s United Church | Oct. 28 | 2pm-4pm | $10-$30.
🗓️ Family Movie Matinee: Bring your family down to the Woodlawn Public Library for a showing of the classic Monster House | Oct. 28 | 1:30pm-3:30pm | Free.
Sunday, October 29
🗓️ Halloween at the Museum of Natural History: Join in on some family-friendly fun at the Museum of Natural History this weekend. Get in your costumes and enjoy creepy crafts, puppet shows and more with your little ones | Oct. 29 | 10am-4pm Free.
🗓️ Ghosts & Ghouls Market: Get your spook on at this Halloween-themed artisans market hosted by The Mom Collective at the Cole Harbour Place | Oct. 29 | 10am-2pm | Free admission.
🗓️ Witches Paddle: The second annual Witches Paddle is happening this Sunday starting at St. Mary’s Boat Club. Stop by to watch, or get your witch costume on, grab your paddle and join in | Oct. 29 | 8am-10am | Free.
Find more Halifax events in The Coast listings.
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