Loving the local
COVID or not, Halifax is a great place to be at this time of year, and the Hot Summer Guide will help you make the most of it. A letter from Editor Kyle Shaw
Hello and welcome to The Coast’s 25th annual Hot Summer Guide. If you are new to The Coast and/or the city— shout-out to Atlantic bubble visitors!—here’s the deal: The Coast is a small but mighty newspaper and website, and you will not find a media organization on this planet that is more passionate about Halifax than we are. Until COVID-19 hit Nova Scotia in March, we spent nearly three decades putting out a weekly newspaper; now, with the paper on virus hiatus, we are publishing more stories than ever online at thecoast.ca. But our wonderful Coast community has come together to support this print version of the Hot Summer Guide, the handbook to local fun we’ve produced every year since 1996. We hope you like the HSG and Halifax.
If you are a regular Coast reader, omigod this COVID, right? We’re back, but we’re not
back back yet. This Hot Summer Guide is a special one-off print edition. Your weekly Coast paper is still on hold, and will not be publishing until the economy has reopened more strongly.
The coronavirus pandemic has wrought so much change, so quickly, it’s impossible to predict what will happen over the next few months. While the Hot Summer Guide is practically an essential service, it’s not a crystal ball. Details about what’s open and what’s closed might change, so it’s best to double-check right before you go to avoid disappointment.
One positive change COVID-19 created is that people are more consciously supporting their local economies. The Coast, a hyperlocal small business, has been a natural and vocal advocate for everything local since its founding in 1993. But now, with the whole idea of international trade at risk from COVID, even Nova Scotia premier Stephen McNeil is preaching the message: "Think local, buy local, support local."
This spirit of community collaboration is powering the Hot Summer Guide. A chance encounter with local branding agency Trampoline led to talk about how awesome it would be to bring out a print Coast. Trampoline rallied a team of local organizations to pay for a critical mass of advertising, and look what happened—now you’re reading the HSG!
Consider this a victory of the local over the coronavirus, and over a trend the virus exacerbated. Advertising is newspapers’ lifeblood; the global companies Google (owner of YouTube) and Facebook (Instagram) are vampires, making billions from their advertising duopoly. COVID lockdowns make people live online more, playing into the hands of Facebook and Google. You can fight back by using the HSG for what it’s designed to do—helping you make the most of what the city has to offer. Be aware of COVID, but not panicked by it, so you can safely get out and appreciate the Halifax summer in real life. Mask local, sanitize local, distance local, enjoy local.