Nova Scotia continues to have no confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the latest government update. The last positive test for the disease in the province was on Aug. 2. So far, Nova Scotia has had 67,310 negative test results, 1,071 positive COVID-19 cases and 64 deaths. 

From the heart 
Canadian Blood Services is launching the #NovaScotiaStrong campaign, a two-week national blood drive to honour the victims of the April shootings. From Aug. 14–31, the organization urges people “to donate blood at their nearest donor centre or mobile event in memory of all the lives lost.” 

Among the shooting victims was Tom Bagley. His daughter Charlene plans to donate blood in his honour on Aug. 17. “If you knew my dad, he probably helped you at some point in your life,” she says in a press release from the organization. “I grew up seeing this all the time when he would drop anything to help out someone in need. I recently discovered that he received a certificate for donating blood 100 times.”

Bridget Stevens. Photo: Tammy Fancy

Keep your head up
After closing during the pandemic, Dartmouth’s Tribal Boxing Club is reopening on Aug. 17. And for coach Bridget Stevens and her fighters, that’s a bigger deal than many people might imagine. The club churns out championship boxers (most recently four medal winners at last year’s nationals); more importantly, it also changes lives through a combination of athletic discipline and compassion.

“I’m a really strict trainer,” Stevens says. “If they cross me—disrespect, not wanting to listen—if I see them start acting up with one another, I’m on them like a schoolteacher. They’ve got to be friends. And if they don’t, they get grounded… They’re not allowed to go out or go to other gyms. So they’re all scared, they don’t want to do nothing wrong. I have them in tight whip and they’re really good kids.”

Stevens isn’t just building fighters; she’s building a community. “It’s Tribal gym,” she says. “They come to sweat lodge with me. One [Muslim] kid, when it’s Ramadan he can’t eat or drink [during daylight], and when he’s training and he can’t, the rest of the class won’t either to support him.” Last summer, I visited with photographer Tammy Fancy and filed this Halifax Magazine report.

Overdue Thinkers Lodge work begins soon
Thinkers Lodge in Pugwash, the former estate of Cyrus Eaton and host of the renowned Pugwash Conferences, is an important National Historic Site. And like so many historic sites, it needs a lot of restoration work, particularly on its gatehouse.

“We need to not just stabilize the building but get it waterproofed and sealed before the winter,” says John Eaton, grandson of the famed industrialist. “We need to do it now because [the gatehouse] got really damaged during the hurricane last year.” And just in time, the charity that runs the site has secured the money it needs and is taking advantage of a pandemic-lull in business to begin work. Raissa Tetanish reports for The Light.

Hunting for business support
The Truro chamber of commerce is hoping a scavenger hunt, part of a national marketing campaign called “Canada United,” will prove a boon for local small businesses. “We need to continue to support small and medium sized businesses… they will play an integral role in helping the province bounce back,” says chamber president Ron Smith.

Running from Aug. 23–30, the scavenger hunt will send participants to local businesses to hunt for QR codes and clues that will give them a chance to win prizes. Learn more in this Hub Now story.

Home grown cannabis
Since government legalized cannabis, many Canadians have experimented with growing their own at home, and it’s a trickier endeavour than most people realize. But our colleagues at East Coast Living magazine are here to help. In this story from June 2019, Scott Neilson shares expert advice and all the information you need to (safely and legally) harvest your own dank bud. Spoiler: It takes time, space, money, and planning.

Need to know
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