Fall events, Halifax Explosion, update on tax cap discussion, more

Hello residents,

Fall is truly here, and that means the community events list below is full of craft shows, but also many events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion.  

The municipality is asking everyone to take a moment to remember.  Throughout 2017, many engaging and thoughtful commemorative events have taken place. So many I can’t fit them all in the newsletter – you can read the whole list here: https://100years100stories.ca/

This year the annual morning ceremony at the Memorial Bell Tower on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 will take place in the newly renovated Fort Needham park.  Participants are coming from across the region, the country, and Boston.  It is going to be a very moving and memorable day.

I’ve been getting some concerned emails and phone calls about Council’s decision to ask the Province to explore removing the capped assessment.

I want to be clear – the proposal is not to abandon tax relief, it is to replace the universal cap, if we are allowed, with targeted tax relief for seniors and income challenged.

The idea is people on fixed incomes, retirees, etc, should receive a benefit similar to the cap, as needed. People like me, 45 years old, I am also capped, and I pay 40% less tax than my neighbor, who is around my age and bought his house just 4 years ago.  That makes no sense to me.

What we are asking the province for is:

  • move back to market rate
  • require the municipality to provide targeted tax relief to seniors and low income folks
  • introduce a ‘spike interrupter” or 3 year average of assessment to cushion the blow of rapid assessment increases
  • work with the municipality to ensure we lower the rate as the assessment changes, our intention is to lower the rate as the assessment roll increases
  • phase the change in over seven years, so no one gets a financial burden of a sudden adjustment.

Why is this an issue? The staff report suggests that right now about  50% of residents in Halifax South pay higher taxes under the cap than they would under a market rate, because the rates are forced to be higher because of the cap. This burden falls mostly on new home owners and disproportionately on the young and first time buyers.  I don’t think that is fair.  I think we can get to fair, and protect the most vulnerable, without causing undue harm.

Again, this is not a tax grab – we will lower the tax rate, and revenue growth is not a goal here.

Hope this provides some relief to you and addresses some of the concerns I am hearing.

If you have any questions about this or anything at all, do not hesitate to contact me, my contact info is at the end of this email!

Public Meetings

Halifax and West Community Council
Thursday November 15 6pm | Halifax City Hall, Halifax Hall
Community Council is meeting primarily to make citizen appointments to a variety of committees.

Peninsula Planning Advisory Committee
Monday November 27 4pm | Halifax City Hall, Halifax Hall
Peninsula Planning Advisory Committee meets once a month to discuss and provide feedback to council on planning proposals for the three districts on the peninsula.

Community Events

Historical Presentation at Government House
November 14, 2017, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm | Government House, 1451 Barrington Street, Halifax
The Honourable Arthur J. LeBlanc, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, will welcome Roger Marsters, Curator of Marine History with the Nova Scotia Museum, for a talk about the cultural landscapes of Halifax Harbour at the time of the 1917 Explosion. This presentation is part of the Evenings @ Government House Fall 2017 Series. It is free of charge and open to the public. Please register in advance by visiting Government House online, by emailing LGOffice@novascotia.ca, or by phoning 902-424-7001.

The King’s Theatrical Society Presents: The Weir
Wednesday November 15 to Saturday November 18, 8pm | The Pit, University of King’s College
The Weir is a play about a bartender, three local men and a woman from Dublin who spend an evening together in a dingy rural pub in the Northwest of Ireland. The men are intrigued by this woman from Dublin, and try to impress her with stories of the local area. These stories take a supernatual bend that builds on Irish folklore and mysticism. The stories are designed to scare and captivate the woman, but her own story ends up changing the men in a profound way. The Weir is a play without a straightforward story. It is a play that takes the audience on a journey that focuses on the relationships between the characters and on their pasts, rather than on their present day actions. Directed by Chris Tully, Produced by Hannah MacDougall and Ellen Zagar.

Symphonic Soul: The Music of Motown
Friday November 17 & Saturday November 18 | Dal Arts Centre · Halifax
Symphony Nova Scotia joins forces with three powerhouse local performers to salute the smooth, rich songs of soul. Hear stirring, funky favourites from R&B icons like Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, and The Supremes, fronted by the mighty voices of Halifax’s own Cyndi Cain, Owen “O’Sound” Lee, and R&B Hall of Famer Dutch Robinson. With unforgettable hit songs like Get Ready, Let’s Get It On, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Dancing in the Street, and many more, this soulful symphonic celebration will have you dancing in the aisles!  Featuring: Cyndi Cain, Owen Lee, and Dutch Robinson, vocals, Daniel-Bartholomew Poyser, conductor – visist www.symphonynovascotia.ca

Craft Nova Scotia Christmas Show 
Friday November 17 to Sunday November 19 | Cunard Event Centre 
Craft Nova Scotia is pleased to invite you to their 42nd annual Designer Craft Show at the Cunard Event Centre, Pier 23 — on the waterfront, with sweeping ocean views! For the latest updates on show events, exhibitors and photos visit our Facebook page and “Like” Craft Nova Scotia and “Follow” us on Twitter & Instagram, @craftnovascotia    Admission to the show: Adult $7, students & seniors $6, weekend passes $9 –children under 12 are free! Families (2 adults/2 students) $20 and Groups of Seven $40.  Advance tickets available at our  Designer Craft Shop, 1099 Marginal Road.  For further information, please contact us at (902) 423-3837 or by email, programs@nsdcc.ns.ca

The Khyber’s Night Flea Market
Saturday November 18, 6pm | The Khyber Centre for the Arts · Halifax
$2/PWYC  *$2 gets you a ticket for a raffle basket. Stop in on your way to or from another event! Special finds, unique beauties and some free items! Family friendly fun! Vendors will be selling artwork, craft, vintage, services, fashion, handmade items, books, music, food, and more. Want to be a vendor? We still have some area available! $35 regular and $25 for Khyber members.

2017 NS Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition Winner Concert
Sununday November 19, 7:30pm 19:30 | St. Andrew’s United, Coburg Road
Featuring: Chantal Peng (pianist), The Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra conducted by Dinuk Wijeratne and the MCPA Strings* (Celeste Yankowski, director)

  • Keith Bissell “Andante e Scherzo”
  • Schubert’s “Unfinished Symphony” *with the MCPA Strings (Celeste Yankowski director)
  • Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 16

Halifax Giller Light Bash 2017
Monday November 20, 7pm | Atlantica Hotel Robie Street
Join teh Giller for a film noir themed evening of prizes, cocktails, and CanLit to celebrate the Scotiabank Giller Prize and to support Frontier College (Nova Scotia) / Collège Frontière (Nouvelle Ecosse), Canada’s original literacy organization.
This year, the panelists are:

  • Sheree Fitch, Author and Speaker
  • Kyle Shaw, Editor of The Coast, Halifax’s Weekly
  • Rebecca Thomas – Poet, Poet Laureate, Halifax
  • Jan-Sebastian La Pierre, Author and CEO at A for Adventure
  • Jennifer Gillivan, President and CEO of the IWK Foundation

Want to go (film) noir? You can. They’re dressing up like our favourite femme fatales and hardboiled detectives. (But dressing like modern-day you is good too!)
Tickets: $10 (student), $25 (regular), $60 (patron)

Dalhousie Symphony Orchestra Commemorative Concert Performance
November 21, 2017, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm | Paul O’Regan Hall at the Halifax Central Library, 5440 Spring Garden Rd
As part of the Evenings @ Government House Fall 2017 Series, The Honourable Arthur J. LeBlanc, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, is pleased to host a concert by the Dalhousie Symphony Orchestra from the Fountain School of the Performing Arts. This concert will include a composition written and conducted by pianist and Fountain School of the Performing Arts faculty member Peter Allen entitled, “Variations on the Halifax Explosion”. This event is free and open to the public, but please register in advance by visiting Government House online, by emailing LGOffice@novascotia.ca, or by phoning 902-424-7001.

Neptune Presents: It’s A Wonderful Life
21 November–31 December · Neptune Theatre · Halifax
A Christmas tradition comes alive on stage! Get into the Christmas spirit with the stage adaptation of one of the most iconic films ever made. When misfortune befalls George Bailey on Christmas Eve, guardian angel Clarence swoops in to remind him of all the good he has done in the lives of those who love him most. Make a visit to Bedford Falls for the timeless message that faith, hope and family make life truly wonderful. Adapted for the stage by George Pothitos GET TICKETS: https://sales.neptunetheatre.com/Online/article/Wonderful

CCEPA – Media Coverage of Terrorism
Wednesday November 22 7pm | Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs, Franklyn Street (AST Campus)
*SPACE IS LIMITED* To register contact admin@ccepa.ca or 902-428-1416 (Facebook attendence doesn’t count)  Discussion lead by Dr. Kevin Quigley – Director MacEachen Institute Public Policy and Governance, Dalhousie University.  “Media coverage of terrorist attacks – like other disasters and crises- follows patterns. In this presentation, Dr. Kevin Quigley will lead a discussion about those patterns, examining the volume and tone of coverage, who gets blamed, and who gets praised for their actions. Does media coverage of terrorism differ from other emergency events, such as natural disasters, industrial failures, pandemics, and cyber events? If so, how, and what conclusions does this media coverage lead us to?” $5.00 Donation

Stories from Overseas; International Education Week at SMU
Friday November 24, 12 noon | Change Lab Action Research Initiative (CLARI)​, St. Mary’s University · Halifax
You’re invited to the 7th Annual Stories from Overseas event, as part of #InternationalEducationWeek2017 at Saint Mary’s University Halifax. Students who’ve returned from exchange programs will share stories and learning from their experiences. Students currently visiting SMU on exchange will share their impression of Halifax and our university, and introduce their home institutions.  A reception will follow after the presentations. Refreshments will be provided.

Dalplex Christmas Craft Market
Friday November 25 – Sunday November 26 | Dalplex, South Street
30 years of one-of-a-kind gift ideas. Buy local this holiday season at the Dalplex Christmas Craft market.  Featuring vendors from the Atlantic region and across Canada exhibiting their handcrafted pottery, jewelry, art, woodwork, toys, handmade treasures, delicious treats and more!  Featuring child supervision in Dalplex’s popular Fun Zone ($5 per child), wide aisles and wonderful live music, food concessions, spacious rest area, charity coat check, ATM, wheelchairs (limited number available).
Hours of Operation:
Friday, November 24        12-9:30pm
Saturday, November 25   9:30am-6pm
Sunday, November 26      10am-5pm

Celebrations – Choirs for Change
Saturday November 25 7pm | St. Andrew’s United Church (corner of Coburg & Robie)
“Celebrations” is a community music event that will give space for a number of perspectives on how different people and cultures choose to celebrate together. Presented in collaboration with Rebecca Moore, St. Andrew’s United Church and others, this event will feature both Polaris and Spira choirs.  Come join us for this uplifting and innovative musical event!  Suggested donation of $15

A Moment In Time: A Musical Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Halifax Explosion
Sunday, November 26, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm | Halifax Central Library, Paul O’Regan Hall, 5440 Spring Garden Rd
Through music, song, and spoken word the nationally acclaimed Stadacona Band of the Royal Canadian Navy will commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Halifax Explosion in a Sunday afternoon concert. It wouldn’t be a concert without a sing-a-long, and a medley of wartime hits will be included in the repertoire. In partnership with Maritime Forces Atlantic.  Admission: FREE

Pitch Competition – Immigrant Women Entrepreneur Showcase
Monday November 27, 6:30pm | Paul O’Regan Hall at the Halifax Central Library, 5440 Spring Garden Rd
The Pitch Competition is the final stage of the Immigrant Women Entrepreneur Showcase, a workshop series designed to teach entrepreneurship skills to newcomer women. Participants who have completed the workshop series will be competing to win prizes that will help them start a business. Competitors will take turns pitching their business to a panel of judges and members of the public. The Pitch Competition is a chance to celebrate the hard work and dedication of our participants.  This is an open event – friends, family, and members of the public are welcome and encouraged to attend to cheer on the ambitious women competing. If you are interested in participating in the workshop series or want to learn more, visit our website: https://www.hfxshowcase.ca/

Bluenose-Ability Film Festival (BAFF)
Thursday, November 30 – Sunday, December 3 | Various Locations
reachAbility Association is proud to announce the third annual Bluenose-Ability Film Festival (BAFF), Atlantic Canada’s first and only disability focused film festival for adults and youth. We’re excited to announce that our theme is Celebrating 150 Years of Diversity, in honour of Canada’s 150 Years of Confederation. The Bluenose-Ability Film Festival showcases the diverse contributions of both experienced and first-time filmmakers. This creates a powerful platform to encourage open dialogue about disability and mental health. We want give a voice to traditionally underserved and misrepresented individuals.  Best of all, the entire festival is free to attend, to ensure everyone has access to the most inclusive party in town.

Ben Caplan’s Holiday Classics with Symphony NS
Friday December 1 & Saturday December 2 | Dal Arts Centre, University Avenue
Ben Caplan’s 2015 appearance with Symphony Nova Scotia was a no-holds-barred, barn-burner of a show, thanks to Ben’s bold style, brilliant songs, and blustery orchestral arrangements. Now, Halifax’s favourite big-bearded bard returns to Symphony Nova Scotia for yet another massive orchestral mash-up – and this time, Ben will reinvent your favourite songs of the season. Hear old favourites in the tradition of Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole, and new classics arranged with daring and deft in this can’t-miss concert with one of Nova Scotia’s most charismatic and compelling performers.

Halifax 1917: From Dreams to Despair
Sunday December 3, 7:30pm | Paul O’Regan Hall at the Halifax Central Library, 5440 Spring Garden Rd
Music, memories and life in Halifax and the battlefront in France form the backdrop for this original show about the Halifax Explosion, to be performed just before the actual 100th anniversary of this devastating day.  Last March’s performance was sold out, and in June, Western audiences were enthralled when Camerata took this show to the Edmonton International Choral Festival.  Buy your tickets early so you don’t miss this highly acclaimed production, featuring Rhapsody Quintet and Jeremy Webb, and including a poignant composition by Halifax’s Chris Palmer. Tickets:  $25 Regular, $20 Seniors, $10 Students and Under waged

100th Anniversary Halifax Explosion Memorial Service
December 6, 2017, 8:45am | Fort Needham Memorial Park, 3340 Union Street, Halifax
The Municipality’s 100th Anniversary of the Halifax Explosion official commemoration ceremony will be held directly across the harbour at the recently reconstructed Fort Needham Memorial Park which overlooks the former neighbourhood of Richmond – an area virtually flattened by the explosion. The event will be on December 6, 2017 at 8:45 am.

The 100th Anniversary Memorial Service will follow the annual event program with additional guest speakers and special guests. Music will be provided by the Royal Canadian Navy Stadacona Band and the event will take place in the new Memorial Plaza in the Park.

The municipality has commissioned an original poem of commemoration by the Parliamentary Poet Laureate George Elliott Clarke who will read aloud excerpts of this special work. At 9:04 am the audience will recognize survivors with a moment of silence. Invited delegates will then be asked to participate in the official laying of the wreaths. Proceeding the official wreath laying, members of the public and relevant organizations with special ties to Anniversary are invited to lay wreaths in commemoration. The Anniversary service will be live streamed for those persons unable to attend in person.

After the ceremony residents are invited to attend a Reception at St. Joseph’s-Alexander McKay Elementary School, 5389 Russell Street, Halifax.

During the day of December 6, a 100th Anniversary Book of Remembrance will be available for the public to sign at the following locations throughout the day:

  • St. Joseph’s-Alexander McKay Elementary School: 10:00am – 11:30 am
  • Alderney Gate Library, Dartmouth: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Halifax City Hall: 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
  • Halifax Central Library: 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

For more information about the many events taking place to commemorate this event, please visit: https://100years100stories.ca/

The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
December 6 | tba
December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women in Canada. Established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada, this day marks the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal. They died because they were women.  The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women is about remembering victims; it is also a time to take action.  More information on events will be posted in my next e-newsletter.

From the Ashes
Wednesday December 6, 8 PM | St. Matthew’s United Church, Barrington Street
Premier of a new choral composition by Mary Knickle on the Halifax Explosion followed by the Faure Requiem conducted by the wonderful Wayne Rogers.    With a large 5 part chorus  this will be a memorable event to honour the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion.   The Faure Requiem will be performed with a small orchestra. Tickets are $20/25.

Citadel+Compagnie Present a Mixed Program of James Kudelka Pieces
Thursday December 7 – Saturday December 9, 8 PM | Sir James Dunn Theatre, University Avenue
Who can resist seeing one of Canada’s finest dance companies presenting a full evening of work by James Kudelka – one of this country’s finest choreographers? We welcome Citadel+Compagnie (formerly known as Coleman Lemieux et Compagnie) back to Halifax for a magical evening of three works including the iconic “The Man in Black” – a celebration of American working-class grit and the man whose voice embodied it so movingly: Johnny Cash. Citadel+Compagnie has distinguished itself through innovative, unbridled artistic vision.  $30 Adults; $25 Seniors; $20 Students (General Seating)

Help and more info

Call my office
Call our office for assistance with your municipal issues. Contact my Constituency Coordinator Melody Campbell by phone 902-490-2012 or email melody.campbell@halifax.ca or contact me directly. The best way to reach me is via email at my city email – waye.mason@halifax.ca or you can call my direct line at 902-490-8462.

311 – HRM’s Call Centre
HRM’s call centre is open 7 days/week from 7 am to 11 pm to respond to routine inquiries and complaints from HRM residents. Please use this service since it helps HRM keep track of issues that are of concern for residents (missed solid waste pickup, sidewalks not cleared, transit info or complaints, etc.) For more information please visit http://www.halifax.ca/311/

Regional Council Reports and Agendas
If you want to read reports coming to Regional Council (posted mid-day Friday prior to the Tuesday meeting) or to check the agenda please go to:  https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/regional-council

Halifax and West Community Council Reports and Agendas
Community Council meets on Tuesday evenings that alternate with Regional Council. Please check the webpage here for agendas (usually available a week before the meeting), locations and times. https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/community-councils/halifax-west-community-council

Peninsula Planning Advisory Council Reports and Agendas
Peninsula Planning Advisory Committee meets once a month to discuss and provide feedback to council on planning proposals for the three districts on the peninsula. Please check the webpage for agendas (usually available a week before the meeting), locations and times:  https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/boards-committees-commissions/h/halifax-peninsula-planning-advisory-committee