Stephen McNeil announced yesterday that he’s resigning as Premier of Nova Scotia. “I will be stepping down and leaving public office,” he says.

He adds that he plans to stay in the job until the Liberal party picks a new leader: “I will stay on and continue to govern and will be here to work with Public Health to keep Nova Scotians safe until the next leader is chosen.” He expects that “it will take months” for the party to elect his replacement.

Georges Island. Photo: Tourism N.S.

Public now able to visit Georges Island
Starting Aug. 8, people will be able to visit Georges Island in Halifax Harbour.

“For generations, Georges Island National Historic Site has remained off limits and out of reach,” says MP Andy Fillmore. “Access to this emerald gem in Halifax Harbour will immerse visitors in the diverse history and ecology of this iconic landmark, while enjoying Halifax from a whole new vantage point.”

The long-promised opening comes after government spent $3.7 million on a new wharf, allowing vessels from Ambassatours Gray Line/Murphy’s on the Water to dock at the island. It will be open on weekends until Sept. 6.

Carnival king: the story of Bill Lynch
His summer carnivals are the stuff of countless Nova Scotian childhood memories, but few know that Bill Lynch’s empire began with a steam-powered merry-go-round on McNabs Island, until the Halifax Explosion wiped out the family business. Lynch went to work in a machine shop but couldn’t get those summer revels out of his mind.

“Dreaming of the amusement business, Lynch returned to McNabs Island in the spring of 1920 … but people didn’t come to the island like they used to,” writes Tiffany Thornton. “Lynch decided to go to the people. He partnered with Ray Rogers and the two of them took their gig on the road during the summer months, stopping in small towns throughout Nova Scotia … Lynch had begun to establish himself as a successful showman.”

In this Halifax Magazine story, first published in 2014 and still a reader favourite, we explore the rise of the carnival king, and how he created countless Nova Scotian summer memories.

Maritime hospitality
As Nova Scotians staycation and rediscover their province this summer, they’re finding a warm welcome at the Fraser Cultural Centre in Tatamagouche. The art gallery and gift shop are closed but the tourist information desk is opened and busy.

That’s where many people meet Edie Larsen, who is drawing praise for her efforts to keep visitors up to date. “I keep up with what’s going on in the community through social media and the more traditional grapevine so I can give good advice,” she says. She tells Peter Martyn about her work in this story from The Light.

Celtic, country, and rock
The pandemic kicked a hole in the normally busy summer concert schedule at the deCoste Centre in Pictou but now the music is returning, as Doris Mason prepares to host a series of outdoor and indoor (with reduced seating) shows.

“We really have a great variety of performances for our patrons throughout the month of August,” says organizer Jennifer MacLennan. The roster includes Celtic band Còig, a classic country show with Cecil MacDougall, and a tribute to rock stars Bon Jovi and Brian Adams. For show dates and details, see this report from The Pictou Advocate.

It’s fitting that Doris Mason hosts the series. The singer is a perennial mainstay of Nova Scotia’s live music scene, noted for her support of other talents. She talks with Marjorie Simmins about her career in this Halifax Magazine feature from April 2019.

Nova Scotia loses accessibility advocate
Last month, Alex Peeler died from complications related to muscular dystrophy. Just 27 years old, he was an outspoken voice on issues related to accessibility and inclusion.

“Alex was an inherently positive person, caring, and wise beyond his years,” says a statement from the town of Bridgewater, where he worked as an events coordinator. “His energy and enthusiasm for our community constantly inspired the staff and committee volunteers with whom he worked.” Keith Corcoran writes about is life and work for LighthouseNow.

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