Celebrating Canada 150 in King’s County and beyond

The Ritcey Report

Written by Lynn Healy-Goulet
June 22, 2017

As with the rest of Canada, Nova Scotia is geared up to celebrate our 150th Birthday this summer with an exhausting (especially if you have kids) range of events and spectacles to experience.

What follows is a necessarily selective list of options to choose from, covering events in our immediate Kentville and King’s County region, to others taking place in more distant (though drivable) locations in Nova Scotia. The scope of possibilities is enormous so forgive me for not being able to do justice to everything going on.

I don’t know about you, but my wife Melissa and I like spectacle, grabby events and experiences that are truly original, moving and make us feel proud to live and work in an astonishing part of a remarkable country. So let’s start with an event that, while not new, still has the power to inspire and delight:

Rendez-vous 2017 (RDV2017) The Tall Ships are coming to Nova Scotia

June 30 to August 16

More than 40 Tall Ships are sailing Canadian waters to celebrate Canada 150 – for all the details visit http://rdv2017ns.com

You’ll be able to enjoy most Rendez-vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta events for free, including boarding participating ships and – if you’re lucky and book early – a spectacular concert featuring awesome Natalie MacMaster backed by a the musical powerhouse, Symphony Nova Scotia.

The Tall Ships are visiting Halifax on July 29 to August 1 and a list of events is available at http://rdv2017ns.com/the-event-schedule/

Between late June and mid-August, The Tall Ships will visit 10 other ports around the province — Lunenburg, Pictou, Sydney, St. Peter’s, Louisbourg, Pugwash, Port Hawkesbury, Shelburne, Digby and will include an evening sail past Annapolis Royal.

Linked with RDV2017 is another smasharoo series of culinary events beginning with:

Digby Scallop Days

August 10 to August 13

This fabulous festival will be celebrated over a four-day period, starting on Thursday evening with our Coronation of the 2017 Scallop Days Queen and three days of festivities starting Friday and ending on the Sunday.

Every year they have different themes and this year’s theme is Dragging Up Our Past in keeping with the Canada 150th birthday, but as always, the festival reflects on our local scallops and the fishermen that harvest them. Scallops from Digby, the Scallop Capital of the World, are known worldwide for their unique and succulent taste. Don’t miss it!

Rolling right along, brace yourself for:

DEVOUR! The Food Film Fest

Devour! The Food Film Fest is the world’s largest film festival dedicated to all things culinary. Come celebrate cinema, food and wine with us in ‘Canada’s Secret Foodie Destination’ (The Hollywood Reporter) and the New Napa of the North (Gusto TV).

Few destinations celebrate food and wine better than Wolfville. Driven by a focus on local agriculture, home of many celebrated chefs and situated in the heart of wine country, Wolfville appeals to the foodie in everyone.

In 2016, Devour! – especially expanded this year to Celebrate Canada 150 – welcomed over 10,000 attendees to its sixth edition and hosted 94 unique events over five days including 80 new food and wine films in 30 screenings, 24 workshops, 20 tasting tours, and 20 dinners, plus a host of parties and events.

And it doesn’t stop there! In a special effort to Celebrate Canada 150 Devour! Is introducing:

DEVOUR! The Vines

Le Caveau Restaurant at Domaine de Grand Pre Winery

There is no other winery in Nova Scotia lucky enough to be just a stone’s throw away from a UNESCO World Heritage site. With a breathtaking view of the Bay of Fundy and the surrounding dyke lands of Grand Pré, prepare for an unforgettable evening – an intimate dinner set amongst rows and rows of vines.

Chefs Jason Lynch and Michael Howell will prepare a five-course meal paired with award-winning wines and delicious short films curated by the team at Devour! The Food Film Fest. Prices start at $195.00

For reservations and tickets, please call (902) 542-7177, visit www.shop.grandprewines.ns.ca or email lecaveau@grandprewines.ns.ca.


Get ready to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday by learning about Kings County history while touring some of the municipality’s hidden gems.

There is a tour for families scheduled for July 15. There is a $10 fee to hold spots. Another tour on Aug. 23 is for people 55 and over. Lunch and snacks will be provided. The purpose of the tours is to draw attention to some of the county’s many attractions.
Although the tours are being held in celebration of Canada 150, they could potentially become annual events.

There has also been some discussion of reaching out to refugee families in Kings County to give them an opportunity to tour the sites and learn more about their new home. For more information or to register, email rdearman@countyofkings.ca.

And what about some collaborative art? Check out:

Canada 150 Tiles Project

Check out our exciting Canada 150 community project, which will allow residents, businesses and community groups to participate in creating a lasting piece of collaborative art for Wolfville! Join us at Willow Park on Canada Day (July 1st, 2017) to make your mark on our collage of painted tiles. Thanks to The Clayground for their support and cooperation!

Looking for something offbeat, yet historical? Consider this:

A chair with history!

This chair is believed to have been made by a local craftsman around the time of Confederation. In 2016 it was rescued from the spring clean-up in Gaspereau, Nova Scotia. It was restored by Bill Zinck and Bill Naylor. With the approach of Canada 150 Celebrations in 2017 Kings County Museum Curator Brian Stokesbury asked local artist Victoria Marston to transform this little chair into a contemporary symbol to commemorate this historic year in the life of our country. Local photographers will be asked to create a visual celebration of the chair in locations of importance to them, and all Nova Scotians. The images will then be collected and shared on the Canada150Chair website.

For a comprehensive summary of everything there is to see and do in our area as part of Canada 150 go to:


Dave Ritcey, The Ritcey Team, Scotia Wealth Management