All posts by Annie Rankmore

Annie is the Community Manager for Discover Halifax and spends her days creating and curating share-worthy Halifax content (she may be a contender for the title of World’s Best Job). A dedicated beer garden enthusiast, self-proclaimed vegan foodie (a passion for eating makes you a foodie right?) and lover of all things Halifax, she considers plenty of time outdoors to be the golden key to any great weekend. Follow Annie on Instagram via @annie.rankmore.
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6 Things You NEED TO KNOW About the Halifax Oyster Festival

It’s happening people. It’s one SHELL of a weekend, one we’ve all been waiting for; it’s the 3rd annual Halifax Oyster Festival!!!

Celebrating the start of the Nova Scotia oyster harvest season, the Oyster Festival is a 2-day, all-you-can-slurp raw bar event on the Halifax waterfront, happening September 29-30, 2017. Continue reading

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8 FOOLPROOF TIPS to Sample Like a Pro at the NSLC Festival of Wines

The amateur wine lover’s guide to Halifax’s grapest wine event to hit Halifax.

FESTIVAL OF WINES QUICK FACTS:
WHEN: September 29-30, 2017
WHERE: The Cunard Centre, Halifax
WHAT: 350+ wines representing a dozen countries
TICKETS: Purchase tickets here!

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The wonderful world of wine can seem daunting for us amateur wine drinkers who, though enthusiastic, may not be confident in our ability to taste the difference between a Malbec from a Merlot.

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I believe firmly that wine should be enjoyed by all, so with the help of the NSLC and @TheRealWineGuy, Peter J. Rockwell, we’ve created a guide to the upcoming VIVA ESPANA: The NSLC Festival of Wines 2017! Now even the most inexpert among us can attend the Festival with all the confidence of a master sommelier!


HOW SAMPLE LIKE A TOTAL PRO
AT THE NSLC FESTIVAL OF WINES:

Tip #1 – Plan out your route ahead of time

From Argentina to Italy and every stop in between, the Festival will have wines from around the world, so make sure that you’re prepared with the event map.

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Tip #2 – Follow the Wine Discovery Guide

The Guide describes the tastes and flavours, and is organized into six colour-coded Taste Profiles. This will help you to determine which wines you like most and where to find them, both at the Festival and in store.

Take the Discovery Guide QUIZ before heading to the Festival. Even if you’re fairly comfortable with what you like, it can help you determine which wines to check out at the Festival, as well as provide some new suggestions you may not have known before.

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Tip #3 – Branch out and try something new!

Chances are, you’ve got a few standby bottles that have become tried and true favourites. Old faithfuls are always great, but the Festival is your chance to try something different! Pick a wine you’ve never heard of, or maybe can’t even pronounce. You may find a new favourite!

@TheRealWineGuy pro tip: Don’t be afraid to ask the pourer a bit about the producer, and the region of origin. The quickest path to becoming a wine expert is to feel confident in your own opinion.

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Tip #4 – Don’t arrive at the Festival with an empty stomach

There’s nothing worse than having to cut the experience short when the wine hits you harder than expected. Avoid this and enjoy the event to the fullest by getting something in your stomach before you arrive.

@TheRealWineGuy pro tip: Avoid spicy dishes when deciding on a meal to have before making your way to the event. The sharp, overpowering flavour of anything spicy will be hard to diminish and influence the flavour of every wine you try.

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Tip #5 – FUNCTION OVER FASHION!

Wear comfortable clothing. That means YES to sneakers and flats and NO to stilettos and slingbacks! Dress in comfortable clothing that you won’t have to adjust throughout the event.

@TheRealWineGuy pro tip: It is guaranteed that you’ll be on your feet for most of the Festival, so remember, it’s a long, long walk from Australia to Spain.

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TIP #6 – Swirl like a pro

For novice wine tasters, that swirl that people on TV do with their wine ACTUALLY HAS A PURPOSE! A little movement of the wine will release more of the wine’s aroma, which is another element of a wine’s profile and personality. Give it a light spin and breathe in the bouquet!

@TheRealWineGuy pro tip: Back away from the tasting table once you’ve been poured a sample. It allows other tasters a chance to approach and will give you more elbowroom to swirl your glass.

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Tip #7 – Get home safely

Part of planning to attend the event is planning to get home safely. Either have a designated driver, pre-book your ride home with NSLC’s taxi partner Yellow Cab, or arrange for accommodations within walking distance of the venue.

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Tip #8 – ENJOY YOURSELF

This is a fantastic event where you can learn and enjoy amazing wine from around the world. It really doesn’t get much better than this. So even if you’re like me and your relationship with wine veers more on the side of “enthusiast” rather than “expert”, remember, everyone is there to have fun and enjoy it themselves, just like you.

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Final tips from @TheRealWineGuy:

  • Don’t feel you have to drink everything you’re poured. You’ll experience a lot more of the Festival if your approach is to taste rather than drink your way around the room. You’re not going to fall in love with everything you try so spittoons are provided for you to pour out the less appealing choices that come across your palate.
  • Don’t come determined to try everything. With over 350 offerings it’s much better to browse through the catalogue you receive as you enter the Festival and highlight a few wines you find interesting or before the Grand Tasting use the NSLC’s Festival app to create your own personalized tasting plan.

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Get tickets to the event now!

Thank you to @TheRealWineGuy, Peter J. Rockwell for contributing his expertise.


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8 Reasons Why You Can’t Miss the 31st Annual Halifax International Busker Festival

Fire breathers, comedians, acrobatics and street magic; it’s all happening in Halifax from August 2-7, 2017 for the 31st annual Halifax International Busker Festival.300 shows. 6 days. 5 stages. 1 waterfront. Prepare yourselves. This massive FREE busker festival is hitting the Halifax waterfront and you’re not going to want to miss it!

1. The entire festival is FREE admission
Everyone is welcome, however it is strongly encouraged that audience members tip the performers following the show. How much you pay is up to you.

2. There’s a brand new stage this year with FREE live music.
This year the Halifax International Busker Festival is launching the Nova Scotia Marquee Stage. Located at Bishop’s Landing, you can see some awesome Nova Scotian musicians right on the Halifax Waterfront. In keeping with the spirit of the Festival, the entertainment is all free!
Check out the NS Marquee Stage schedule here.

3. This year’s program is right at your fingertips!
The Buskers event program is exclusively online this year so all the info is easily accessible, especially because of the BRAND NEW waterfront wifi!

4. There are some things that you have to see for yourself to believe
Bendy Em is going to squeeze herself into a tiny 16″ Perspex Box balanced on a 7ft rig.

5. You get to walk along the BRAND NEW seabridge!
While the Halifax Waterfront may be under some construction, Waterfront Development has come up with some awesome solutions and it’s totally worth it! The seabridge is 520 feel of floating dock that’s open 24/7 (the bridge gets lit up after dark!). The bridge connects between The Cable Wharf South Side, and the Museum Wharf North (where CSS Acadia is berthed).

Local tip: There’s also a brand new road train that operates daily from 10am-7pm in a continuous half-hour loop downtown and along the Halifax waterfront.

6. It’s not just buskers – there’s a carnival on the waterfront!
Who doesn’t love a classic carnival! Whether you’re a daredevil and can’t resist the rides, or you just want to check out some games and treats, the midway at the Salter Lot is always a festival highlight!

7. You can watch some homegrown buskers!
Halifax native, Mighty Mike is going to drive a nail through a board… with his hand…. You’re definitely not going to want to miss this.

8. You will never have to wonder…
The Buskers team is online during the festival answering questions on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, so any question you may have, just let them know and they’ll get right back to you. There’s also an FAQ section on their website.

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7 things you probably didn’t know about the 2017 TD Halifax Jazz Festival

Blog written by Annie Rankmore

This year’s TD Halifax Jazz Festival is coming in hot and we want everyone to know all there is to know about it! So, let’s start with the things you DID know about the Halifax Jazz Fest:

First and foremost, this is one of the coolest music festivals in Atlantic Canada. Period. Not only is it a festival ON THE WATERFRONT, but from July 12-16, 2017 the TD Halifax Jazz Festival will be hosting concerts throughout venues in Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford and beyond. You can experience this incredible event from all over the region; this is a music festival unlike any other.

Now that we`ve recapped the easy stuff, enjoy the benefit of our research, and learn about these 7 THINGS YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T NOW ABOUT THE 2017 TD HALIFAX JAZZ FESTIVAL:

1. The TD Halifax Jazz Festival is the largest summer festival in Atlantic Canada
Not only is it the largest, it`s also the oldest jazz festival in Atlantic Canada, with 2017 ringing in its 31st year of bringing some of the best and biggest music acts to Halifax. TD Halifax Jazz Festival attracts up to 55,000 visitors to Halifax each year to witness these incredible outdoor summer concerts and special events.

2. Jazz Fest is celebrating Canada 150 too!
TD Halifax Jazz Festival is celebrating Canada 150 with a concert series called Jazz Connects! For four days from July 13-16, the festival will be travelling to a different locations around the Halifax region, highlighting the music of talented Indigenous, African Canadian, and immigrant artists from across the Maritimes.

3. This years’ headliners are AMAZING
Performers this year include Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Blue Rodeo, Jo Mersa Marley, Jesse Royal, Ron Sexsmith, Bria Skonberg and over 50 more!

4. Two of the biggest names in reggae, Jesse Royal and a Jo Mersa Marley are kicking off the festival on July 12th!
Yes, you recognized the biggest name in reggae correctly. Jo Mersa Marley is the eldest son of Stephen Marley and grandson of Bob Marley. Watch him kick of Jazz Fest on Wednesday July 12 at 8:30pm at the Waterfront Main Stage with fellow reggae legend, Jesse Royal.

This show is predicted to be one of the highlights of the 2017 festival and it’s got everyone in Halifax talking. Hurry and get your tickets before they sell out!

5. All the daytime concerts are FREE!
And on closing day Sunday, July 16 all performances throughout the entire day are FREE, including the evening concert with Gyposphilia and The Mellotones. There aren’t many opportunities to see acts like these perform free!

6. There are some serious ~legends~ who come to Halifax to perform at Jazz Fest
Bria Skonbergand Allison Au both play #HJF2017 and were just named by CBC Music as 2 of the “35 best Canadian jazz artists under 35”!

Hear Bria on the main stage Thursday, July 13. Allison plays Friday, July 14 at 2:30pm on the Waterfront Main Stage (this is a FREE show!).

 7. The music is going to inspire you… fortunately, there`s opportunities to learn!
We hold interactive Jazz Labs at HRM Public Libraries and even one especially for kids on Theodore Tugboat as he sails around the harbour.

Are you convinced yet? Check out the 31st annual TD Halifax Jazz Festival running from Wednesday July 12 through to Sunday July 16, 2017.

Hurry and get your tickets for TD Halifax Jazz Festival before they sell out!

To purchase tickets: https://halifaxjazzfestival.etixnow.com 

  • Kiosk│ Etixnow kiosks are located at the Halifax Forum (2901 Windsor St.) and Music Nova Scotia (open weekdays 9am-5pm 2169 Gottingen St.), they accept debit and credit cards.
  • During the festival| During the festival, the Box Office will relocate to the Main Stage (corner of Lower Water Street and Salter Street), 10 AM-9:45 PM daily starting July 12 until festival’s end.
  • At the door│ Concert’s venue address, half hour before show time, subject to capacity. Cash or credit card payment accepted.

VIEW THE FULL #HJF2017 SCHEDULE: http://www.halifaxjazzfestival.ca/schedule/