Friday, September 27, 2013

Lunenburg Venues: the Main Stage

All of the evening performances and the Sunday morning "Gospel" were given in a commodious (2000 capacity) tent up on Blockhouse Hill. The entry corridor was lined with food and souvenir stalls, and a merch tent. We soon discovered that we could to help Lunenburg celebrate its German heritage by purchasing and devouring huge weinerschitzel sandwiches befrore the 7 PM performances.

The Friday night performances were hosted by Juno winner Rose Cousins, who also performed a guest duet with fellow Juno winner David Myles and his sidemen.

Killing time between acts, Rose challenged the audience to a high-kicking contest. Her challenge was answered by a tall, surprisingly limber gray-haired woman, and my shorter, somewhat less limber younger brother.

The contestants were supposed to kick on the count of three, but John, trying to counter the greater height and leg length of the competitors, went at two, causing Rose to foul and awarding victory to the woman in the middle.

None of the Sunday morning performers actually knew any Gospel music, but Berklee grad and sometime Session Americana member Laura Cortese gave a performance that left us all feeling spiritually enlightened.

We were able to take close-up photographs because, despite nightly sellouts, we never sat further away than the fifth row. Canadians, with their innate politeness, are no match for Americans when it comes to open seating.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lunenburg Venues: The Wharf

A stage and risers for the audience were arranged on a broad commercial wharf where a large scalloper sounded its horn to applaud performers. Sailboats and tour boats breezed past during the shows. Overlooking the quay, many small cafes and bistros offered cold beverages and small plates on their shaded porches and decks.

  Lennie Gallant with his fiddler and two nephews

 Laura Cortese (r) had some trouble with the wind

David Myles played solo in his white suit

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lunenburg Venues: The Bandstand

During the afternoon, the Lunenburg Festival offers simultaneous concerts and workshops at numerous venues (including several churches), all within easy walking distance as long as you don't mind a few hills. Our favorites daytime venues were located on either end of King Street, the bandstand up on the hillside and the wharf down along the quay. All of the evening performances took place in the main tent, located in a park overlooking the town and its twin harbors.

The Bandstand

 The crowd gets comfortable on the hillside in front of the bandstand

The Once, a band from Newfoundland 
whom we had seen previously at Celtic Colours

Looking down King Street from the park to the wharf

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Lunenburg is an historic Canadian fishing center originally founded by German settlers. Many of the older buildings, including our inn above, have an architectural detail known as the "Lunenburg bump": the three-story hallway-dormer-gable affair in the front.

 Another example of the Lunenburg bump

Many of the buildings close to the harbor are painted in vibrant colors. suggesting that the town has evolved from its stoic Germanic roots into more of an island consciousness.

Lunenburg is quite hilly--a walk from the center of town to the waterfront and back will quicken your heart rate.

The harbor hosts championship dory races. The two young women approaching the finish here will represent Canada in international competition.

My brother, on the other hand, doesn't have both oars in the water.
 In fact, he lacks oars. And water.

Lunenburg waterfront from across the harbor

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia

Peggy's Cove, a small fishing village on the south coast near Halifax, is a favored location for tourists and, especially, photographers. A quaint fishing village, a picturesque lighthouse, and an ocean-smoothed granite shoreline seem to embody all that is fabled about the Cabot Trail.

The lighthouse is the biggest draw, so I was lucky to be able to get a shot without tourists.

Of course, that didn't mean I couldn't be in a shot.

A young piper wearing the Nova Scotia tartan was busking among the boulders.

The lighthouse taken from the memorial site for the crew and passengers 
of a Swissair flight that went down off the coast.