Five unique Atlantic Canada experiences to add to your bucket list
For anyone opting to do a staycation in Atlantic Canada this summer, there are endless unique experiences for you and your loved ones to experience. Here are five to add to your summer bucket list.
In New Brunswick, one unique experience is the Atlantic Ballet’s Ballet by the Ocean.
Featuring choreography by Igor Dobrovolskiy, Ballet by the Ocean is inspired by and created for the southeast shores of New Brunswick, where it is performed on an outdoor stage.
As part of the experience, guests participate in a local food tasting by chefs Tony and Gene Cormier, which features local specialties grown and cultivated in New Brunswick.
Where: Ballet by the Ocean takes place in a private setting on a protected wetland in Grande-Digue, N.B. A detailed map with directions is emailed to you after you’ve booked your ticket.
Cost: Tickets: $225 per person
Duration: Two hours Summer series: July 5-29, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 5 p.m.
Fall series: Sept. 2-23; Saturdays at 2 p.m.
In the event of rain: The event is moved to a back-up date; guests must be available for both the event date and the back-up (the next day).
Food: Dietary needs can be accommodated. Guests are welcome to bring their beverage (alcohol allowed) of choice to the event, and water is also available.
What to bring: Sunscreen, sunhats, a jacket or a wrap. Dress appropriately for the elements (ie: high heels are not recommended)
The Centre de la Mi-Carême, located in Grand-Étang, Cape Breton, is the only interpretative center in Canada dedicated to the Acadian celebration of Mi-Carême.
Mi-Carême (Mid-Lent – the Thursday of the third week of Lent) is a day when the discipline of Lent can be temporarily put aside, people
dress up in disguise and go from house to house asking for treats while singing and dancing in the Mummering tradition.
The mission of the centre is to enchant while discovering and preserving the beauty of the local artistic heritage and offers art workshops in an ocean setting, a masks workshop, a guided tour of the centre with interactive exhibits, and monthly cultural events.
Kerra AuCoin Mansfield, now living in Dartmouth, N.S., grew up in Grand-Étang about two minutes from the centre.
It wasn’t until AuCoin Mansfield left for university in Halifax that she realized The Centre de la Mi-Carême was something special to her hometown and surrounding areas.
“Growing up in a small village and not having travelled too much outside of Cape Breton, I never really realized that la Mi-Carême wasn’t a typical event or thing that happened outside of Cheticamp. I knew that it was always something that happened once a year and that people loved it. It’s a time of happiness, pride and fun. The community loves to gather, eat delicious snacks and enjoy the traditional tunes of Cheticamp. The centreincludes all of that,” she says.
AuCoin Mansfield feels that the centre has resulted in her realizing how the Mi-Carême tradition is a special part of her home community.
“It’s a place where locals meet and where tourists discover a tradition that they never knew existed or are brought back to memories of Mi-Carême celebrations when they were kids,”
“There is nothing else that exists in the area – or anywhere, actually – as La MiCarême is not a tradition that has continued in any other parts of Nova Scotia or the world, as far as I know. It’s a unique experience for you to be brought into Acadian culture and this special tradition.”
Where: 51 Old Cabot Trail Road, Grand-Étang, Cape Breton.
2023 season: June 28 to Oct. 15, Wednesday to Sunday (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Cost: Adults (19 to 64): $5; seniors (65+) and students: $4; under five free; families (two adults, 2-3 children): $12; Groups of 10 or more: $4 per person; school groups $3.50 per person.
Ivan Higgins is the owner/ operator of Cosby’s Garden Centre in Liverpool, Nova Scotia. He’s also an artist who has created 60-plus sculptures made of concrete, most of which are located at the back of his garden centre property in a 3.2-hectare sculpture garden.
Some of Higgins’ sculptures include a Grouping of Monks, Mermaid and Falcon, The Enchanting Castle, Mystical Warrior Fountain, Five Capoieras, and the Bears.
There is no fee to visit the sculpture garden, but donations or financial contributions are appreciated. The hours of operation vary depending on the season.
Higgins also offers creative concrete workshops in January every year at his garden centre, which are designed to guide and instruct everyone from the novice to the confident sculptor.
Where: 4122 Sandy Cove Road, Liverpool, Nova Scotia
Phone/email: (902) 3542133, concretecreations.ns@ gmail.com
Website: https://www. concretecreations.info/
Social Media: Facebook (Concrete Creations) and Instagram: (concretecreations. ns)
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
Have you ever stayed in a Mongolian yurt? If not, you don’t have to venture all the way to Asia to do so – instead, you can visit the Nature Space Resort and Retreat Centre in St. Peter’s Harbour, P.E.I.
The resort’s authentic Mongolian yurts are nestled in nature and provide a quiet and restorative glamping experience. Each yurt is equipped with everything you might need, in addition to your own private hot tub on a deck overlooking the woods, woodstove and extra wood and kindling for cooler months, an air conditioner for the summer months, hammock, as well as your own private campfire area.
Although there are no washroom or kitchen facilities in the yurts, the Bee Hive building is the place for guests to gather, cook, eat and hang out and has two full kitchens and a variety of private washrooms and showers.
If glamping is not your thing, the resort also offers cottage and loft suite accommodations. Its Eagle’s Nest Loft is a one-bedroom unit and GlowBug Cottage is a two-bedroom cottage surrounded by forests and trails.
Additional amenities include a yoga yurt (holds yoga classes, wellness retreats, and mindfulness-specific programs), sauna, walking trails, meditation walking labyrinth, a dock (offering kayak adventures and watersports), garden and greenhouse, chicken coop, as well as a boutique and gift shop.
Where: 631 St Peters Harbour Rd, Morell, PEI, C0A 1S0
Phone/email: (902) 9160136, email@example.com
Facebook: Nature Space Resort & Retreat Centre
• The Blue Jay Yurt and GlowBug Cottage are petfriendly.
• Yurts are suitable for up to three adults or a family of four.
• All accommodations have Wi-Fi.
• It’s a four-season resort.
• Retreats and packages are available.
The Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can view fossils that are 565 million years old.
The fossil site consists of a narrow, 17-kilometrelong strip of rugged coastal cliffs that contains the oldest known cluster of over 10,000 complex marine life fossils.
These fossils, from a prehistoric ocean floor, have been in stone for over 565 million years.
While public hikes and trailways are available yearround, access to the fossils is by guided tour, or permit only. Visitors need to book a guided tour ahead of time for fossil viewing as space on guided tours is limited.
Where: Located in Portugal Cove South along Route NL-10 (the Irish Loop).
Mistaken Point Interpretive Centre: (709) 438-1011 / firstname.lastname@example.org. com
Tours: The Ecological Reserve offers official interpretive tours from May to October. Individuals: $23 per person; children under 12 free; families (two adults and any youth ages 13-17) $57.50 per family. Fees are to be paid on the day of the hike at the Edge of Avalon Interpretation Centre.