WhyHere? – Walker Dance

WhyHere? is a video project that we’re taking part in with the LQRDA featuring the local people that make the Lunenburg Queens region of Nova Scotia so great, and having them explain their reasons for being here.

This one features Jeff Walker, a classically trained ballet dancer who now lives in Brooklyn, Queens County. He grew up in Ontario but left for Europe in his early 20s to pursue a career on the world’s dance stages. After around 20 years, he wanted to settle down and his thoughts turned to the Liverpool area where he had spent much time as a child, having family in the area. Coming to an area like this, Jeff quickly realized that he could use his dance and fitness teaching skills, and set up his own business, Walker Dance and More. He now travels the Lunenburg-Queens region teaching a variety of dance styles as well as fitness. Jeff is a man who knows how to enjoy life, and really makes the most of this area. It was great fun getting to spend this time with him and experience some of his classes – I may become a ballerina yet! Watch this video to learn why he chose this area to live and start his business.

The soundtrack for this video is provided by Nova Scotia’s own Ryan MacGrath, with the song Sullivan’s Pond from the album Cooper Hatch Paris. This is one of my favourite albums of all time and I think this song suits the video perfectly.

WhyHere? – Kevin & Debbie Page

Today’s Why Here video is about Queens County residents Kevin and Debbie Page, who together run Financial Pages, a branch of the Investment Planning Counsel on Liverpool’s waterfront.

WhyHere? is a regional marketing project by the LQRDA that we’ve been working on for a few months now – The Picture House, along with Boost Media in Bridgewater, is producing videos of people who have chosen to live and/or work in this area and looking at their reasons why.

Kevin and Debbie are friends of ours, and are some of the most enthusiastic people we know! They have boundless energy and give so many hours to the community in many capacities. Whether it be organizing, booking and running the music festival part of Privateer Days, being members of the board for the Queens Association for Supported Living, chairing the host committee for Nova Scotia Music Week 2012, volunteering at the Astor Theatre – if there’s something going on in the community Kevin and Debbie will likely be involved! They are recent returners to this area – both grew up in Liverpool, but moved away to other parts of the Province for most of their working lives. A few years ago they made the decision to leave the city and move to somewhere that they could have the work-life balance that they wanted. Kevin and Debbie truly make the most of where we are – they work hard, but make sure that they pack their time with leisure activities and community events. Watch this video to see why Kevin and Debbie love this area so much and what brought them back here for good.

The music in this video is provided by Andrew Hunter and The Gatherers, based out of Halifax, and the band that Kevin and Debbie’s son Bryan drums for. Thanks for letting us use it!


WhyHere? – LaHave Forests

Third up in our WhyHere? video series with the LQRDA is LaHave Forests, and their Honeyberry Hurst Farm in Lower Northfield, Lunenburg County.

I didn’t know about LaHave Forests before this project came along, so visiting the farm was certainly an eye opener. Whilst their main crop and focus is the new haskap berry (of which LaHave Forests is the largest organic grower in North America), they do plenty more besides, including maintaining a large market garden which supplies fruit and vegetables to many local restaurants. Oh, and they grow hops too, for the forthcoming haskap beer! The haskap berry is a new superberry, and very healthy (and tasty – I’ve tried the jam and the juice!).

As well as various people who spend their days on the farm, we met Liam Tayler and Logie Cassells, both originally from the UK. Logie moved here with his family around 8 years ago from his life in the financial world of London, and Liam came here in 2011, from Ghana, after spending 15 months on board the Picton Castle sailing the world. It was on board the ship that he met a local girl who soon became his fiance. After reaching dry land Liam knew that he had to make his home here, and now he lives in the very picturesque Mahone Bay. It was interesting to spend time on the farm with these guys – I don’t have much knowledge of how a farm is normally run, but I was amazed by the care and attention that the whole team here puts in. There were plentiful haskap bushes, but Liam and Logie seemed to know each one individually and even knew how many berries were forming on each! They are also very passionate about soil health and have a very responsible approach to sustainable farming. Their methods are sure to bear much fruit!

Thanks Liam and Logie for spending this time with us and sharing your passion and your stories. Watch the video to see it in their own words.

The music in this video comes from Halifax based Grassmarket. The song is This is the Life from the album Port City. Grassmarket are another of those fabulous Nova Scotian groups that I’ve only recently discovered, I’ve been missing out, there’s such a lot of talent out there!

WhyHere? – Old Confidence Lodge Studio & Stage

Next up in our WhyHere? series with the LQRDA is Diego Medina at the Old Confidence Lodge recording studio in Riverport.

WhyHere? looks at people who have chosen to be in this area and examines the reasons for this. Diego Medina is a great example – he grew up in Chile, but moved to Canada as a young adult. After learning his trade in Alberta and across the country and working with some huge names, he was ready to set up his own studio and he looked east as  he wanted to be near the ocean and live somewhere affordable. The old Oddfellows building in Riverport was the perfect solution; he transformed it into the Old Confidence Lodge, and the rest is history. Diego now brings fantastic artists from across the country to work in this beautiful, peaceful yet well connected area. He’s a huge assed to the community.

Whilst we were at the Lodge making this video we had the pleasure of meeting Jennah Barry, who was in having her first listen to her new album Young Men, recorded there earlier this year. Jennah agreed to let us use the music from her album as the soundtrack for this video, and it fitted so well! Thanks Jennah. If you like what you hear (and you will!) check Analog Songs on Monday for the first of 2 videos we recorded with her.

If you watch this video you can’t help but feel inspired by his story in his own words. I’m jealous!


WhyHere?ca – Tanya Long

Over the past few months we’ve been working with the Lunenburg Queens Regional Development Agency on a project called WhyHere? It’s all about celebrating the fantastic people we have in our area and showing people what a great place this is to live and work. Us and another company (Boost Media, from Bridgewater) will be producing a lot of these videos over the coming months and I’ll post ours as we make them. It was important to us to try and use local music wherever we could, and since we’ve been lucky enough to work with some great local musicians since we moved to Nova Scotia, we have been getting them involved in this project by providing the soundtrack music, so big thanks go out to them.

First up we have Tanya Long from Veinot’s Print in Brooklyn, Queens County. Tanya is originally from this area, but moved away to go to university, travelled around, and lived mainly in Ottawa for many years. After returning here for a visit with a friend and showing her all the local attractions, she realized what she was missing out on by not living here, and promptly set about planning her return. Since coming back here she’s taken over the family business and had her own children. Tanya and her family are some of the first people we met when we moved to Queens County a little over 2 years ago and they are such great ambassadors for the area – they welcomed us with open arms and were a huge part of how quickly we became settled. In the video Tanya talks about the community spirit we see all the time here, and I don’t know if she realizes what a big part of that she is. They all give countless hours in voluntary work and are always involved in local events. We are surely lucky to have Tanya and her family in our community.

Massive thanks to Norma MacDonald too, for providing the soundtrack for this video with her song Sand off the album The Forest for the Trees. Norma is originally from Cape Breton but now lives in Halifax, and she’s another of those people who makes Nova Scotia such a fantastic place to live. Watch some of here videos here, and download her music here.

Liverpool International Theatre Festival

Back in May, Liverpool Nova Scotia played host to around 90 Canadian and international delegates for 5 days during the Liverpool International Theatre Festival. This festival happens every 2 years at the Astor Theatre and around the town.

We were honoured to be asked to document the events and Stephen even got to present an award for the Outstanding Visual Presentation (which went to the group from Slovakia, Homodram Theatre, for their play Anyad).

It was a solid 5 long days of hard work and burning the candle at both ends, but it was a real fun time. I learned so much about theatre from all the people I met and from listening to the adjudicator after the plays and at the daily coffee critiques. I’ve never particularly been a theatre person, but I have a new-found appreciation now having watched 10 plays in 5 days, many in foreign languages. I’m already counting down to the next festival in 2014!

Look out for our video coming soon. In the meantime, check the LITF website and their facebook page for all our photos to give you a flavour of the festival – you’ll be sorry if you missed it!


New album promo from The Modern Grass

We have just made this teaser video for The Modern Grass to promote their forthcoming album High on the Mountain. We shot the video in Halifax at CBC’s Studio H in around 25 minutes, as well as some extra footage from a rehearsal at their house. All the audio is from the studio recording, we didn’t do our own live recording for this one.

The Modern Grass will be going on tour across Canada after they release the album and I’d recommend checking them out. And from what I’ve heard of the album it’s going to be amazing!

Let’s be thankful for volunteer firefighters!


Recently we’ve been working with White Point Beach Resort on a few projects documenting what’s been happening since the main lodge burnt down in November 2011. As this week is National Volunteer Week, it seemed appropriate to feature our volunteer fire departments, since they played a critical role in ensuring the fire did not spread anywhere else in the resort.

So, a few weeks ago we sat down with some of the firefighters who were there at the White Point fire, and their wives, to tell us what their job is like from their perspective, and the impact that such a huge commitment has on family life, as well as the challenges they face in doing their job. It was an interesting and candid discussion and I left with a great sense of admiration for what these men do, as well as for their wives and children who support them unconditionally.

White Point wanted to make this video to say thank you to all the volunteers (and their families) for their tireless efforts to keep all of us safe. Join us in thanking them by watching this video and learning a little bit about what life is really like for these guys.

White Point – meet the rebuilding team

Over the past few months since fire destroyed the main lodge at White Point Beach Resort, we’ve been working with them to document some of the  resulting happenings, everything from recreating a White Point quilt to planning the rebuild itself. Today was the day we’ve all been waiting for when construction began. We made this short film over the last few months to document the events leading up to this point and to introduce everyone to the team that has been working so hard to get to this point.

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Our latest project with Bonny Lea Farm

For the last few weeks we’ve been spending a lot of time at Bonny Lea Farm in Chester, a centre for adults with special needs and disabilities. Following on from our initial project with the Queens Association for Supported Living last year, we’re working on a series of videos covering all of the different areas at BLF, of which there are many: they have day and residential facilities, as well as a variety of work and recreation programs. At this time of year the centre is just gearing up to get fully operational in the barn and greenhouse, so it’s an exciting time for us to be there.

The staff at Bonny Lea Farm wanted us to make some videos that they could use for education and advertising as well as to show donors how their money is used. There are still many misconceptions surrounding this and other similar programs in Nova Scotia, and they want to challenge these. The participants are all very keen to get involved in the videos and show us what they do as well as the skills that they use during their working day. We’re still working on shooting the footage at the moment but we expect to have the first video out in the not-too-distant future. Hopefully you will be as inspired as we have been by the staff and participants at Bonny Lea Farm!

Here are a few photos from our first few shooting days at BLF. Good times!


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