Friday, November 26, 2010

Dumping Day

Experience "Dumping Day" first hand in the Lobster Capital of Canada, the Municipality of Barrington. The largest lobster fishing industry in Canada opens on the last Monday in November each year and while the majority of us are making our Christmas lists, a lot of the men (and some women!) are making their lobstering lists and checking them twice right now. Traps, bait bags, rope (lots of rope!), buoys, and the list goes on.  "Dumping Day" in Southwest Nova is considered the most dangerous day of the lobster season.  The day when all the pots (375 in District 34) are "dumped" into the ocean and the fishermen then hold their breath in hopes that they have placed them in the right, lucrative spot.

You can join in on dumping day festivities on Cape Sable Island with an early morning (starts at 4AM) hot breakfast at the Barrington & Island Fire Department in Centreville, then head down to any of the local wharves and join the many families gathered there waiting for the 6AM start of the lobster season and to wish the anxious fishermen well.

It is certainly a sight to see all the boats filled with lobster pots, gear and crew. With their motors humming they wait for their time to leave the wharf in search of the perfect spot to set their pots.  The lobster fishery accounts for 35 percent of total economic returns in southwest Nova, and each year starts with an uncertainty about what the years catch will bring and the price of lobsters.  The past couple of years has seen some of the lowest prices for lobsters most fisherman have ever experienced, but none the less, they risk their lives in high winds and waves on the Atlantic Ocean in hopes of making a good living to raise their families on.

Don't forget to come back and visit us in June, when we celebrate our Lobster Heritage during Lobster Festival, June 2,3,4 & 5th, 2011. Hope to see you then! 

Enjoy Nova Scotia Lobster!

Check out these great videos!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, 
everything is softer and more beautiful."
 ~ Norman Vincint Peale

The town of Shelburne welcomes you to come and spend a day or the whole weekend with them as they celebrate the Christmas season this year.  A full festive line up of events are on tap from November 25 - 28, beginning with the Phil Callen Senior High Basketball Classic which kicks off on Thursday night at 6PM at the High School.

Friday night, Jolly Ol' Santa comes to town with treat bags for the little ones.  The lights on the Christmas Tree will be lit while folks gather 'round for a Christmas Carol sing-along and a "mug up" of hot chocolate and cookies to keep you warm.  End your evening with some more great entertainment at the Osprey Arts Centre with our local basement theatre performance of Noel Coward's 1920's English comedy  "Hay Fever".

On Saturday, start your day with a little Christmas shopping and while you are out and about, don't forget to cast your vote for your favorite themed Christmas tree located throughout town.  The Shelburne Farmer's Market will be open at the Exhibition grounds and from there you can stroll over to the community centre for the Christmas Craft Fair and cross a few more people off your Christmas List with some great handmade crafts.


Step back in time when you purchase a ticket for the Christmas House Tour.  You will get to explore five homes in Shelburne all decked out for Christmas, a church and an Inn. You will be greeted by some of our local Historic Re-enactors as you experience Christmas with a little history! 

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If you haven't gotten into the Festive Season yet, you surely will as you watch the impressive Parade of Lights as it makes it way through the Town of Shelburne later Saturday night.

Come, be a part of the Magic and experience Christmas in Shelburne!
For a full schedule of events visit: Shelburne Celebrates Christmas

For a listing of Accommodations to plan your Festive Weekend Getaway visit: Discover Shelburne County

Friday, August 20, 2010

Queen of Awkward Meets Queen of Hearts

Life is filled with so many exciting twists and turns. Hop off the straight and narrow whenever you can and take the winding paths. Experience the exhilaration of the view from the edge. Because the moments spent there, that take your breath away, are what make you feel truly alive." ~  Stacey Charter"

I must confess, I am not very coordinated.  I've always stayed away from aerobic classes for this very reason.  I've always blamed my awkwardness on the fact that I'm left handed, who knows if this is true but it seems like a valid excuse!  So when I decided I was going to attempt to row a dory, something that I put on my summer "to do" list and something I knew would take a fair amount of coordination --- I was a wee bit scared. Probably more scared I was going to make a fool of myself than anything else!

All ready to give it a go.

I arrived at the Cape Sable Island Causeway on a Tuesday night, ready to take on this challenge and to take part in The Queen of Hearts Dory Club Fun Night. This event was started this year by the Club to allow visitors and locals alike to try their hand at rowing a dory, experiential tourism at it's best!  I met Nicole Jones-Hurlburt, my dory mate for the night down by the shore. Nicole is a 15 time International Dory Champion, I wasn't putting my first time in a dory in just anyone's hands -- I was putting it in the best!

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Nicole putting me at ease.

Nicole started rowing over 10 years ago and won her first International Championship in 1999 with her teammate Chrissy Atwood-Rose.  Together, they went on to win two more titles after that.  Nicole then started training with her sister Natalie, and together they have won 10 International Championships.  Nicole informed me that there are two International Championships held each year. One in Gloucester, Massachusetts and the other in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, with elimination races being held in each place prior to each championship. Nicole has also won 2 Mixed International titles, so she is a seasoned pro to say the least and a great ambassador to the sport of dory racing and to our Province.

2009 International Dory Racing Champions - Natalie & Nicole Jones (Photo courtesy of Nicole Jones)

There was quite a crowd gathered at the Causeway for the Club's Fun night, despite the fog and a little breeze, everyone seemed anxious (and maybe a bit nervous like me) to give this sport a try. Nicole told me to go ahead and jump in the dory we were standing by - there was no build up to this experience, just jump in and do it!  There were three other dories on the shore, each one with their own name, The Miss Cockawitt (which is a nickname given to the near by community of Wood's Harbour), the Miss Newellton (a Cape Island community) , the Sea Dog and the Lady Sarah, which I had just not so gracefully "jumped" in to. I got myself all settled into the stern of the dory, well, that was after Nicole told me I had to turn around and face the other way.

Onlookers and visitors gathered to watch and take part in the Fun Night Row

I was expecting the oars to be much heavier than they were, but they were surprisingly light and fairly easy to maneuver , much to my delight.  With a push off from another Club member, we managed to make our way past the anchored sailboats nearby and set our course up the edge of the Causeway. Nicole informed me that because I was in the stern of the dory, I would be the one setting the pace.  I told her to expect it to be a slow one!  My awkwardness showed up in full force as I struggled a bit with getting both oars in the water at the same time, but Nicole was very encouraging which was a huge help.  She suggested we trade spots, thinking I might have better luck in the bow of the dory and using her new oars.  She was right - I had a much easier time following her lead and the new oars seemed to fit me much better.

Getting a feel for things.

Nicole and I talked about the history of the Club which was started in 1997 by David Eldridge and Wylie Blades to provide recreational dory rowing opportunities in Shelburne County, and to promote and bring back the tradition of dory rowing and racing to our area. This year the Dory Club has approximately 50 members and Nicole told me they are all very interested in volunteering their time for events such as the Tuesday Night Fun Nights, promoting the tradition of dory rowing and seeing the club grow  This weekend a lot of the members are traveling to Lunenburg to take part in the Elimination Finals in the hopes of moving on to the International Dory Championships in Lunenburg in September. Where Nicole hopes to add to her list of titles.

Fun for the whole family - everyone can take part. (Photo courtesy of Nicole Jones)

By this time we had managed to turn ourselves around and head back to the shore. Nicole was very encouraging and was making my first experience very rewarding.  I was actually doing it...and not too badly, I might add.  It helped that I had an exceptional teacher!
We talked of the clubs plans for the future, and the hopes of making the club more accessible to it's members and visitors with the plans of infrastructure, building membership and more International titles. All in the hopes of keeping the sport of dory racing alive and well, not only in Shelburne County but in Nova Scotia.

Rowing at Sunset - Cape Sable Island Causeway (Photo courtesy of Nicole Jones)

Before I knew it, we were back on shore and there was someone else ready to take my place in the Lady Sarah for their first time.  I thanked Nicole for the great experience and told her I would probably be back to try it again. Possible new member? Maybe! If the Queen of Awkwardness can do it - so can you! Give it a try every Tuesday night at 6PM at the Cape Sable Island Causeway, Nicole and the rest of the Queen of Hearts Dory Club will be ready to meet you and make your first time a truly enjoyable and unforgettable one!

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 To learn more about Dory racing, rowing history and building visit the following links:

Queen of Hearts Dory Club

Dory Building History & Heritage in Shelburne County

The Birth of International Dory Races

The Dory Shop Museum - Shelburne, Nova Scotia

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Life is the Song, Love is the Music

Music speaks what cannot be expressed,
soothes the mind and gives it rest,
heals the heart and makes it whole,
flows from the heavens to the soul.

Whether you're a kid that loves to laugh, an inspiring singer looking to learn some new techniques, a local that just wants to dance, or a visitor hoping to take home a Nova Scotian made craft, you'll find it all and more at this year's Harmony Bazaar Festival taking place this weekend (July 23-25) in Lockeport, Nova Scotia.

Harmony Bazaar is fast becoming one of Nova Scotia's top music festivals and the beautiful seaside town of Lockeport is doing amazing things to help it to grow.  A new concert venue has been built in the middle of town with a tower reminiscent of a lighthouse complete with a stage in front. Take in the amazing view and stroll Lockeport's famous Crescent Beach while you are in town.

This year's festival, which is in its fifth year, is headlining the group Quartette which features Canadian music legend Sylvia Tyson, as well as Cindy Church, Gwen Swick, and Caitlin Hanford.  Also taking the stage during the weekend will be Irish Mythen, Coco Love Alcorn, Norma MacDonald and Christina Martin, just to name a few.  There will be lots of local talent throughout the days musical showcases and concerts including Lynne Crowell, Shelly MacIntosh, Jade Bennett, Judi Cleveland and Shelley Meisner.
Vocal workshops, arts and crafts, delicious homemade meals, singing, dancing and a whole lot of fun are all on tap this weekend in Lockeport. Martin Luther once said "Who loves not wine, women and song, remains a fool his whole life long.". Harmony Bazaar takes care of all three of these, so don't remain a fool, join us this weekend in Lockeport!
For more information visit Harmony Bazaar Festival of Women & Song.

Discover Our History

History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. ~ Winston Churchill
In 1783, more than 10,000 settlers came to Shelburne, Nova Scotia from New York and the middle Colonies of the Thirteen Colonies.  The Loyalists, who opposed the Revolution and remained loyal to Britain, were promised free land, tools and provisions in Nova Scotia (among other places).  Four hundred families traveled first to Shelburne (formally called Port Roseway) as well as a large group of Africans who were escaping American slavery.  They settled in Birchtown and formed the first and largest freed Black settlement in North America.

Many of the descendants of these Loyalists remain in Shelburne County today.  This week they, along with many others will gather to celebrate their culture and heritage during Founders' Day in Shelburne.  This four day celebration kicks off on Thursday (July 15th).  Be transported back in time as you stroll along Historic Dock Street and take in the sights and sounds of what is becoming one of Shelburne County's largest festivals.

 Delicious food, fun & games, musical entertainment, unique displays and re-enactments are just a few of the festivities that are yours to enjoy.  Take in a one of a kind experience you will only find here in Shelburne County - a row & ride in a 18th Century British Navel Longboat, happening daily on the waterfront during the festival, and all summer long on Tuesdays and Thursdays nights! Don't miss out! 

There's so much to see and do in Shelburne County this summer, come visit and discover us!

For more information and complete schedule of events visit Shelburne Founders' Days.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

This Is Your Life...

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"Where ever you go, go with all your heart"- Confusius
Welcome! There are so many reasons to come to Shelburne County, our great beaches, beautiful historic homes and museums, the scenery alone will make you want to stay! We also have amazing and friendly people!
I'm going to start my first blog entry introducing you to a few such people; Barrington natives, Darren Hudson and the Scott family.  Darren comes from a family with a long history of competing in the Lumberjack World Championships.  He is the nephew of nine-time world champion Phil Scott, who Darren credits for his success.  Hudson, who has been competing for over 19 years claimed his second men's pro logrolling title in 2008 defeating new pro roller David Sievert and took home a 4th place finish in the Men's Boom Run that year as well.  He now holds 4 World Championship Logrolling titles to date, and I predict more in the future!
As you watch the videos below and watch Darren going down the river...doing what he does best, you will learn he's a man not only following his passion but living a legacy.  In 1983, during the bicentennial celebration of the settlement of Shelburne by the United Empire Loyalists another celebration was being held in Barrington.  An old time log drive was being revived under the direction of Phil Scott.  This log drive was an event of cultural and historical significance to not only Barrington, but to the logging industry of Canada.
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The Scott's, who own a lumber mill in Barrington, during the early days of the logging industry, would transport their logs down the Barrington River to their mill.  In order to ensure that the logs drifted freely along the river, men called "log drivers" were needed to guide the logs.  This was an exceedingly dangerous occupation, with the drivers standing on the moving logs and running from one to another.  When one caught on an obstacle and formed a logjam, someone had to free the offending log.  This required some understanding of physics, strong muscles, and extreme agility.
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Today of course, with modern technology this method is no longer in use.  But the Scott family still run their family mill business and take their Timber Show on the road.  You can catch one of their very entertaining shows this summer at the Barrington Lion's Hall where they will be performing for a local fundraiser, July 4, from 1-4 or at the Barrington Exhibition, August 20-22.  It's a must see event!

Both Darren and Phil are living proof that a small town boy can make it big and no dream is too big.  If you want it to happen, it will. This is your life....are you who you want to be?


Monday, January 18, 2010

Storm Watch

Storm watching has become very popular in Nova Scotia, and we host some of the best sites to watch Mother Nature work her wonderful powers. Lockeport Cresent Beach, Bacarro Point Lighthouse, The Causeway Beach and The Hawk Beach are just a few local spots to get a glimpse of the rolling seas as a Hurricane passes our way. Please take caution and stay away from the rocks however! They may be amazing to watch, but we must remember the power of the storms!

Hurricane Bill - August 23, 2009 from Suzy Atwood on Vimeo.

Hurricane Bill - August 23, 2009


Come Discover Shelburne County

Welcome! Come explore Shelburne County with me. Find out what's going on in our County, and what there is to see and do!

We are located in Nova Scotia, Canada along the picturesque Lighthouse Route where you will  journey through an unforgettable landscape of coastal beauty and historic charm that has captured the hearts and minds of travelers for generations.

Here you can find wonderful places to stay, activities , including kayaking, boating, guided walking tours, museums, shopping & dining. Nearby there are terrific birding spots, lighthouses and beaches. Visitors come from throughout the world to vacation in Nova Scotia and we know you'll love it here. 

Come Discover Shelburne County...and stay!!