A week from now, that New Year’s enthusiasm and exhilaration you felt as the ball dropped from 10 could be long gone. It’s the oft-noted crisis of resolution; like a New Year’s hangover, by the next morning, you’ve forgotten what it was that you were so excited about. But it isn’t too late. Hang on to that curiosity and desire for self-exploration. Try and pull yourself up and out of your usual skin to learn something new this year, and get involved in Halifax’s enormous arts community. It could be what you’ve been counting for.
Do It Live
Go see live music throughout the city. Gus’ Pub and the Seahorse often have great music showcases on a weekly basis. Halifax and Nova Scotia are home to a heap of music festivals happening throughout the year. In late January, hit up the In the Dead of Winter Festival, a week of singer-songwriter showcases. The Halifax Jazz Festival is in town in early July. If you have the means, head over to Sackville, N.B. for SappyFest in August. Whatever you do, don’t be content with an iPod: you need to hear, see and smell it.
Help Out and Hang Out
Halifax is overflowing with independent arts studios and galleries that would be only too pleased to have you stop in and lend a hand. Whether you’re popping into Eyelevel Gallery’s new location to sweep up or signing up with the Atlantic Film Festival as a ticket distributor, there are always perks to be had and friends to be made. There are a million things to keep busy with in the Halifax arts community; don’t be a stranger in your own home.
Do It Yourself
Why don’t you just do it, already? Interested in issuing your own handmade publications? Become a member at the Anchor Archive Zine Library and pick up some tips on crafting your own photocopied magnum opus. If you’re the type that dominates the playlists at every party, why don’t you sign-up at CKDU and learn how to set up your own radio show? Dal has plenty of societies that cover the entire breadth of artistic possibility, from the Dal Theatre Society to the Dal Photography Collective; there is really no excuse for feeling stifled creatively. All it takes is a little bit of that energy you were so alive with at the start of the year. Who knows where you’ll be by the next countdown?
Mat Wilush once went to see Agent Orange on the outskirts of Toronto, where the beer was salty and drunken teenagers took turns sitting in a prop electric chair. The music had aged poorly. A mohawk’d middle-ager danced through the first couple songs, but quickly tired out. There just isn’t much room for surf rock in the world anymore. What next? Mat Wilush wants to know.
Mat is the Gazette's Arts Editor. Follow him on Twitter at @wilushwho and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.