Roundup: COVID update, elements inspire East Coast artist, community helps biz after fire, voices for peace connect virtually

Mark Czajkowski

As of yesterday, Sept. 23, Nova Scotia has one known case of COVID-19, says the latest government update, adding that the person is hospitalized in ICU. Thus far, the province has had 89,037 negative test results, 1,087 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and 65 deaths.

Mark Czajkowski and the forces of nature
The elements inspire Prince Edward Island artist Mark Czajkowski. When a hurricane roared over his home last year, he was outside, furiously sketching as the wind and rain lashed him. His work is a riot of colour and motion.

And underpinning that primal energy is a soulfulness. He recalls one work, depicting people from his community searching for a fisherman lost at sea. “I stood on the banks and watched the fishermen and the search and rescue vessels,” he says. “What they were feeling, what the families were feeling, what we were all feeling is in those faces.” He discusses his work with Crystal Murray in this new East Coast Living story.

Out of the ashes
Independent shops like NovelTea Bookstore Café are rare these days. When a fire hit the Truro business on Sept. 13, the local faithful felt it keenly. Now a book drive is underway to help the owners replenish their lost inventory, as they make plans to rebuild and reopen. “Along with the book drive, a number of other fundraising efforts have been started,” says Raissa Tetanish.

For more about how the community is rallying around NovelTea and other affected businesses, see this story from Hub Now.

Joel Pink

For the defence
For 50 years, Joel Pink has defended the people accused of some of Nova Scotia’s most notorious crimes. But he doesn’t like being described as a “high-profile” attorney. “It’s my clients who are high profile, not me,” he says. “If you represent a number of these people, the public infer that you’re also high profile because they follow the cases and they associate you with your clients.”

And no matter who those clients are, he feels they deserve his best effort. “I believe in the three basic principles of law, which are the presumption of innocence, the burden of proof, and proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” he explains. “Those basic principles are the foundation of our criminal justice system,” Pink says. “If you can’t accept them, then you don’t understand what the criminal justice system is all about.”

Avery Mullen profiles Pink in this September 2019 Halifax Magazine feature.

Speaking up for peace
Today is the final day of Local Women’s Voices for Peace, a virtual conference that Antigonish’s Coady Institute is hosting in collaboration with the Nobel Women’s Initiative. With some 600 participants, it’s “a partnership with local women leaders working in areas of women’s rights, peace, and security around the globe,” say organizers.

They’ve explored topics like: responding to sexual violence, women’s leadership in conflict and peace building, and influencing policymakers. Today’s agenda includes effective storytelling and how to support each other. For details, see this story from The Reporter.

Speak up
Know a community group, good cause, or inspiring local story we should share? Email the editor.

This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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