Yesterday, health officials say a woman in her 80s from the Central Zone died from COVID-19. The pandemic has killed 90 Nova Scotians and 25,944 people across the country.

“I want to extend my condolences to those who are grieving the loss of their loved one,” Premier Iain Rankin says in a press release. “This virus is serious and can have devastating impacts. Please continue to follow the public health measures, get tested regularly, and get vaccinated as soon as you can.”

Nova Scotia has 124 known active cases of COVID-19, with eight new cases (all in the Central Zone) and 22 recoveries reported yesterday. There are six people hospitalized in Nova Scotian COVID units, including four in ICU.

Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, the province’s chief medical officer of health, are scheduled to webcast an update today at 3 p.m. They’re poised to announce details of Nova Scotia’s move into Phase 2 of the reopening plan, which is projected to start tomorrow, allowing indoor dining, gym and fitness centres to reopen, more personal and wellness services, larger gatherings, and faith services.

Firefighters at the Chester Playhouse. Photo: Andre Veinotte

Chester Playhouse officials appeal for help
While an investigators continue to seek the cause of a fire that tore through the Chester Playhouse on Saturday afternoon, theatre officials are asking for help salvaging the summer season. They’re looking for new venues, planning outdoor shows, and asking for donations to fund operations.

The eight-decade-old building was in the final stages of $1-million renovation when the fire broke out, burning through the upper levels.

“There are many questions about what happened, and what happens next, and we will provide answers when we have them,” theatre officials say in an online message. “Investigators and assessors will be examining the site over the coming days and weeks, and it will be some time before we know much.”

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

Three men hurt in stabbing
Police say that three men sustained non-life-threatening injuries during a stabbing in Pictou Landing around 11 p.m. on June 12.

Pictou District RCMP continue to investigate. They say the attackers and victims knew each other and it wasn’t a random incident. They haven’t revealed the number of attackers.

The Pictou Advocate has more.

Terena Francis

StFX providing degree parchments in Mi’kmaq
The coordinator for Indigenous student affairs at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish says providing all graduating students with degree parchments in Mi’kmaq will honour and recognize that the campus is located in Mi’kma’ki, the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaw.

“I feel like it’s a powerful act—this is not just for Mi’kmaq people, it’s for all of us because we’re all treaty people on this unceded Mi’kmaq land,” Terena Francis says. “We need to honour and recognize the original people of this land … It also highlights our language. We’ve lost so much of our language and we’re trying to revitalize that, and I think it’s a key step and reconcile these relationships.”

Drake Lowthers has the story for The Reporter.

Julia Festa. Photo: Submitted

Peggy’s Cove arts festival returns
After a one-year pandemic hiatus, the Peggy’s Cove Area Festival of the Arts is scheduled to return from July 7 to 18, featuring 73 artists.

Paint Peggy’s Cove (July 10 to 12) is the festival’s most popular component. The plein air event brings artists to the village, this year setting up their easels behind the Guard’s Museum, next to the tourist information centre. They’ll create their art on site, as they chat with visitors. The Studio Tour similarly reflects the festival’s ethos: a self-guided tour bringing people to 43 artists’ homes, galleries, and even greenhouses.

For artists like Julia Festa, those opportunities for personal connection are always important, and even more so this year. “With everything shut down, I didn’t want to create things to have them in the house,” she says. “It stifled me at times … It’s a great opportunity to remind people that it’s a beautiful area. We have very artistic people here that do hard work to create works of art that they hope people will enjoy.”

See Ameeta Vohra’s new Halifax Magazine feature.

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Halifax Magazine