Summer in the city
Halifax Jazz Festival | July 12–16
With headliners like Jo Mersa Marley, Blue Rodeo, and Dr. Lonnie Smith, the 2017 JazzFest is packed with great acts. Visit the waterfront tent for main-stage shows and free matinees, plus venues like St. Matthew’s and The Carleton.
Rawlins Cross at the Shore Club | July 14
The classic Shore Club dance hall in Hubbards + ECMA-winning Celtic band Rawlins Cross = a guaranteed rollicking good time.
Halifax Summer Opera Festival | July 15–Aug. 13
This year’s Opera Festival features three main stage shows: L’Egisto by Francesco Cavalli, Albert Herring by Benjamin Britten, and Carmen by Georges Bizet.
Tegan and Sara in Concert | July 27
If you can still get tickets for the Tegan and Sara show at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, grab them while you can. With opening act Japanese Breakfast, this one’s a sure thing.
Stan Rogers: A Matter of Heart | July 18–Sept. 3
Neptune Theatre presents a musical tribute to the folk singer/songwriter features timeless music that has captured the hearts of generations of Canadians, including “Barrett’s Privateers,” “Northwest Passage,” and “The Mary Ellen Carter.”
Bastid’s BBQ | July 30
If you missed the first six years of annual Bastid’s BBQs, you’ve got another chance to check out the entertainment, served up with a whole lot of good food in the parking lot of the Olympic Hall Community Centre.
Cape Breton Summertime Revue | Aug. 9
This annual fusion of music and Maritime comedy is a summer favourite. See Jenn Sheppard, Jordan Musycsyn, Margaret MacPherson, and more at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.
Naughty By Nature at Casino NS | Aug. 17
Still trying to get “O.P.P.,” “Hip-Hop Hooray,” and “Feel Me Flow” out of your head? Then it might be time to stop trying and just give in. Return to your musical roots in the Schooner Showroom at Casino Nova Scotia.
Séan McCann at The Carleton | Aug. 17
Séan McCann shares songs from his latest solo album You Know I Love You to The Carleton. Find out what he’s been up to since his days with Great Big Sea.
Matt Mays in Concert (x4) | Aug. 24–27
This year, you’ve got four chances to catch rocker Matt Mays at the Hubbards Shore Club. Don’t miss this one—it’s always packed to the rafters.
Vive la difference
Lebanese Festival | July 6–9
Don’t miss this chance to enjoy Lebanese music and dance, food, and art at the Olympic Community Centre. And really, don’t miss the baklava at Café Al-Arz—we’ve heard it’s amazing.
Halifax Pride Festival | July 20–30
This 10-day festival celebrates Nova Scotia’s pride community. Highlights include: a speaker’s series, live entertainment, art and the East Coast’s largest annual Pride Parade on July 22.
Africa Festival of Arts and Culture | July 21–23
Afrifest 2017 at Sackville Landing has something for everyone, from drummers, dancers, and acrobats to artists and food vendors. Blue-rocker Carson Downey—always good for a smokin’ live show—closes the festival.
India Fest | Aug. 11–13
Treat your senses at the Halifax Forum with music, dance, food, henna, and all things Indian.
Art in Transit | July 15
Take transit to a whole new level with this Argyle Fine Art workshop. You’ll take a ferry ride from Halifax to Dartmouth, and create an acrylic painting inspired by the journey.
Mystic Adventure Psychic Cruise | July 16
Curious about what it’s like to be a psychic? Hang out with 10 local psychics on the Tall Ship Silva and find out. They probably already know you’re coming, but advance tickets are required.
Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta | July 29–Aug. 1
Tall ships from around the world visit Halifax as they compete in a race around the Atlantic. Ships will be open to visitors while docked on the Halifax waterfront. Scheduled visitors include the Oosterschelde (a Dutch schooner), Galeón Andalucía (a replica of a historic Spanish galleon), Esmeralda (a Chilean naval sail-training ship), and Jolie Brise (an English cutter built in 1913).
They Will Surf Again | Aug. 19
Volunteer or participate in an all-day adaptive surf event at Martinique Beach, with adaptive surf and skate organization Life Rolls On.
Atlantic Film Festival Outdoor Film Experience | Continuing through Aug. 12
Outdoor screenings at venues around the city. Films include Strange Brew, The Grand Seduction, Meatballs, Moana, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, and Lego Batman. In support of Feed Nova Scotia.
Big Bike Ride Day | Aug. 10
Join or start a team to raise money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Bonus perk: you get to ride the Big Bike on Aug. 10.
Nine at Night Golf Tournament | Aug. 11
Love golf? Bet you haven’t played it in the dark. Play glow-in-the dark golf at Indian Lake Golf Course for a good cause—the event is hosted by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada.
2017 motionball Marathon of Sport Halifax | July 15
Participants team up with 30 teams of Special Olympics Nova Scotia athletes and compete in a range of sporting events, from road hockey to soccer.
Scotia Speedworld Driving Experience | Aug. 19
If you’ve always dreamed of driving a racecar, now’s your chance. Get the full Ride-Along or Driving Experience at Scotia Speedworld.
Backcountry 201: Wilderness Navigation | July 16
Join MEC Halifax for a full day of wilderness navigation and learn about everything from maps to GPS.
Randy King Live—Dirty Boxing Seminar | July 29–30
Do your self-defence skills need a little (or a lot) of work? Learn how to kick butt (legally, should the need arise; hopefully it doesn’t) in this street-fighting seminar.
Coastal Classic Beach Volleyball Tournament | Aug. 19
Get in on the action or watch from the bleachers, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Volleyball Nova Scotia Beach Facility.
Are you not entertained?
Shakespeare by the Sea | July 1–Sept. 2
Shakespeare by the Sea is a rite of summer for local theatre fans. This year, the Park Place Theatre reopens for rainy-day shows. The lineup: All’s Well That Ends Well, Julius Caesar, and Peter Pan.
UCW Summer Explosion | July 22
Wrestling fans, don’t miss Ultimate Championship Wrestling’s biggest event of the summer. See Maddison Miles face off against Victoria at the Spryfield Lions Rink on Drysdale Road.
Halifax Busker Festival | Aug. 2–7
Street performers from all over the world descend on downtown Halifax, with free daily shows on five stages: the roster includes street magician and illusionist Diogo Alvares, contortionist Bendy Em, interactive character artist Jenny Jupiter, and much more.
Halifax-Dartmouth Natal Day Festival | Aug. 4–7
Celebrate Nova Scotia’s birthday with live entertainment, parades, a garden party, a road race, pancake breakfasts, fireworks, and more.
SakKijâjuk: Art and Craft from Nunatsiavut | Continuing through Sept. 10
See the first major exhibition on the art of the Labrador Inuit, curated by Heather Igloliorte, assistant professor of aboriginal art history at Concordia University.
Paint Halifax Public Gardens | Continuing through Sept. 16
Whether you’re a pro or an amateur, grab your easel or a sketchbook, choose a spot in the gardens and get painting.
Peggy’s Cove Area Festival of the Arts | July 6–16
Get out and explore the art of Nova Scotia with this annual festival that includes an opening night celebration, art studio tour, silent auction, and a Paint Peggy’s Cove event.
Rat Tails and Wedding Veils Taxidermy Workshop at Plan B | July 9
Because who doesn’t need taxidermied bride and groom rats?
Folk/Funk Art Exhibit at AGNS | July 22–July 15, 2018
This exhibit focuses on the work of professional and folk ceramists who use clay as a form of storytelling. This one’s sticking around for awhile, so if you can’t fit it in over the summer, there will still be plenty of time later.
DCAF Dartmouth Comic Arts Festival | Aug. 13
Alderney Landing hosts 100+ artists, cartoonists, and creators (including Michael DeAdder, author of the best-seller You Might Be From Canada If…). dcaf.strangeadventures.com
Eating, drinking, merriment
Le Dîner en Blanc | July 22
Add yourself to the waiting list for the chance to participate in the top secret dining event of a lifetime. Thousands of people, dressed all in white, will gather in a public space for a “chic picnic.”
Halifax Seaport Beerfest | Aug. 11–12
Sample some 300 different craft beer, imported beer, and ciders from 110 different producers. You’ll find the finest local brews, alongside offerings from Quebec, British Columbia, Maine, and Ireland.
CORRECTION: Due to a reporting mistake, the print edition of this story gave an incorrect location for the UCW Summer Explosion event on July 22. The information above is correct. Halifax Magazine regrets the error.
This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.