The Sackville Junior Badminton Club rallies hard to give Nova Scotia competitive badminton a national presence.
“Badminton is a small community,” says Karen Stadnyk, SBC club founder. “It started in Sackville, but we’re an HRM-wide program with members coming from Halifax, Hammonds Plains, Bedford, Dartmouth, Tantallon … and even Truro,” she says.
SBC formed about seven years ago in Sackville, but today only one of it’s 45 members comes from Sackville and practices are held at CP Allen, Citadel High School and Waverley Memorial.
There’s a photo tribute being snapped in several provinces across Canada by a photographer who discovered it’s not about trying to teach an old dog new tricks, but rather, looking them in the eyes and revealing soulful evidence of long lives lived, just beyond a decade.
A graduate of NSCAD, Toronto-based photographer Pete Thorne returned to Halifax in early January to photograph portraitures of elderly dogs from all over Nova Scotia for his Old Faithful Project, a collection of images and stories being published by HarperCollins later this year.
Thorne says he became inspired after photographing his grandmother on her 100th birthday and decided elderly subjects had much to reveal. Thorne began focusing on elderly dogs, initially unclear where the journey would lead him.
“I noticed how distinct older dog’s faces were compared to more youthful ones, and I realized that older dogs are often passed over in favour of younger, cuter puppies,” says Thorne. “It became clear they were the ones that needed more attention, not less.”
For a small kitchen, the crew of 20 bakers at New Leaf Enterprises are mixing up thousands of shortbread, rocky road and Santa’s whiskers cookies.
“We’re like little elves pounding out all this baking,” says Veronica Dale, Executive Director. As of Dec. 1st, Dale says they’ve produced 4,785 shortbreads and more than 2,000 cherry balls. Their popular chocolate covered peanut butter balls have rolled across the 4,000 mark.
But orders close on Fri. Dec. 12 and Easter Seals Nova Scotia president and CEO Henk van Leeuwen says order soon and invest in a good cause. “We do rely on sales from our social enterprises to be invested back into Easter Seals Nova Scotia … like our barrier-free camp and our wheelchair provision programs … but the food is excellent,” says van Leeuwen.
“They’re all made by hand, from scratch,” says Dale. “In our world, we use baking as a teaching tool.” And this time of year, Easter Seals Nova Scotia whips holiday nostalgia into their menu selection, offering a variety of baking representing what Christmas means to them. The hermit cookies are new to the menu this year and Dale says the recipe was her great grandmas.
“Our crew has a wide range of ability; some have physical disabilities; some have intellectual disabilities; and some would say they have both,” says van Leeuwen. The holiday campaign is in its 10th year and like all programs run through New Leaf, van Leeuwen says they are designed with skills training and inclusion in mind. “Our kitchen is the best kept culinary secret in Halifax,” he laughs while references the extra few pounds he’s added from sampling the goods. “We do high production and high volume and they freeze well.”
“We have people who put their order in with us and then they come back because they ate it!,” laughs Dale.
Christine Riley (24) has been with New Leaf Enterprises for two years and says she loves learning about baking. “Last week we went to NSCC Akerley Campus bakery and learned a lot visiting all the kitchens,” says Riley. She says they were taught how to work with chocolate and the varying temperatures. “My favorite item to make is the chocolate covered peanut butter balls … They’re sort of hard to make because we have to make sure the temperature of the chocolate we’re dipping them in is the same as the peanut butter,” she says.
“If you let them set too long, it’ll be too hard and goopy,” says Sonya Demone.
Last year the program raised $6,500 from Christmas baking. This year, they say they hope to raise more. Van Leeuwen says the Christmas baking engages their clients in a seasonal aspect of what’s happening in their community. “They acquire skills such as personal and professional development, reading and following a recipe, teamwork, friendship and skills around production including baking, wrapping and everyday kitchen operations,” he says.
“It’s a crazy, rushed time of year … You’ve a work party or a cookie exchange, let us do it for you,” says van Leeuwen.
The catering kitchen operates all year, but limited orders for holiday baking are extended until Fri. Dec. 12 for pick-up on Wed. Dec. 17.
Items cost $4.95 per dozen or loaf and can be collected at Easter Seals Nova Scotia, 3670 Kempt Rd. To order call 902-453-6000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Here’s the baking form: www.easterseals.ns.ca
Searching for that uniquely crafted Nova Scotian gift this holiday season, but missed Christmas At The Forum?
Fear not, many of these crafters will showcase their wares at the upcoming Dalplex Christmas Craft Market and their homespun flare can add a touch of maritime magic to a season often filled with commercially packaged, over-produced products.
“I love games,” says Ken Grandy of Uncle Ken’s Woodwork in Lawrencetown. Grandy hand carves his games locally and sells them on Kijiji under the name UKW.
“I have washer toss and the jenga game, called Stacked, goes up to six feet tall,” says Grandy.
Crocheted hats by Gabs & Eddy are for everyone in the family, even the furry members. Gillian Allen crochets her hats at her studio in Fall River
“We’re taking orders up to about the fourth of December, depending on where it has to be shipped … we also do gift cards,” says Allen.
A portion of every doggie hat sale goes to Bide Awhile animal shelter in Dartmouth. People can purchase at her home studio, by appointment or visit http://www.GabsandEddy.com.
Beachy gifts, forgotten treasures and seaside jewels
“I take previously loved jewelry apart and recreate it,” says Merlin Walsh of Merlin Walsh Designs. She also creates uniquely ornate windchimes from silver tea pots and cutlery.
“The balls are filled with tiny pieces of driftwood, shells and sea glass we’ve collected throughout the summer,” says Laidlaw. She says Cape breton is her favorite place to collect sea glass and says there’s a beach near Inverness that’s a goldmine for collecting sea glass for her jewelry. Christmas balls start from $14.
“Everything is handmade, beach-themed,” says Derek Stewart of Shore Things from Fisherman’s Cove in Eastern Passage. “We recycle and upcycle everything we have in our booth,” Stewart says he’ll be at the Dalplex Christmas market and possibly at Atlantic Superstore on Portland St., Dartmouth in Dec.
“We paint paddles in varying colours starting from about $40, and we also do the buoys,” says Byron Edelmann of Traditional Marine.
Traditional Marine harnesses quintessential maritime, selling everything from mermaids, to cod jigs and hand painted ores. The family business is based in Annapolis Royal, but despite the distance, owner John Edelmann says they sell their products online at http://www.traditionalmarine.com, shipping around the province. “We paint paddles in varying colours starting from about $40, and we also do the buoys,” says Byron Edelmann.
A little glow for the holidays
Artisan Kimiko Willgress says she makes her Prana Rock candles by hand and most of the rocks come from all over Nova Scotia.
Nature’s Natural Solutions in Bridgewater produces a line of goat milk skin care products that Michelle Breen, a Tantallon-based sales representative says make excellent stocking stuffers. “Great Christmas gifts would be our soaps, and our lip balms and deodorants make great stocking stuffers,” says Breen.
Dalplex Christmas Craft Market takes place Nov. 28 to Nov. 30. in Halifax.