WHERE’S HOME?

Is Nova Scotia where you live? Where you love? Where you’d love to live – or leave?Where’s Home? explores the experience of home from the point of view of a wide variety of Nova Scotians, whether they were born into multi-generational settler families, arrived as immigrants or refugees, are descended from people who lived here before written history, or are long-time summer residents. Scenery, opportunity, happenstance, heritage, or the pervasive fog may motivate us to come to, stay in, go from, or come back to Nova Scotia. Or family, all ways. Some say they had to leave Nova Scotia to make their home and fortune where the grass was greener. Others long to live here, and think about how that might happen, every day. It examines the interactions between those who consider themselves “from here” and those who “come from away”. It’s complicated. Responses to the question “Where’s home for you?” show that “home” is a current and passionate topic with Nova Scotians, wherever in the world they happen to be.

Some of the people I interviewed, and generous contributors of art and essays, provided these short sketches and links. Get to know them.

Adams, Lydia, passionate Cape Bretoner and now a resident of Caledon, ON, is conductor of the renowned professional chamber choir, the Elmer Iseler Singers, 2019 JUNO award winners and Grammy nominees. www.elmeriselersingers.com

Borgerson, S.B., Two Hearts, Two Homes, is internationally published. She writes, knits socks, and walks her smashing dogs on the south shore of Nova Scotia. Her favoured genres are short and micro fiction, and poetry. She has fourteen draft novellas gathering dust. Sue’s collection of 150 micro fictions is to be published by Unsolicited Press in 2021. http://www.sueborgersen.com/

 Burch, Judith Varney lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Kingsburg NS. She is a research collaborator at the Smithsonian, Arctic Studies Center, National Museum of Natural History. She has been all over the Arctic and was drummed through the Arctic Circle in Siberia. Her heart is in Nova Scotia and Canada. https://alumni.duke.edu/magazine/articles/judith-varney-burch-58

 DeLong, Kacy Petersen is a community-minded organizer and social entrepreneur. She is a creative professional with a BFA from NSCAD University. Currently she is bending most of her efforts toward environmental activism and social justice. Post-pandemic, she hopes to host the Lunenburg County Climate Summit and run for municipal office. www.delongdesigns.ca

Dowdell, Catherine, From Away, after a period as an itinerant which included Halifax for about six months, seems to have landed in Rockland, Maine.

Eisner, Brandt is a contemporary artist and art show curator based in Halifax NS. He also sells antiques and collectibles online. www.facebook.com/brandt.eisner

Fells, Vanessa was born into a large family in the African Nova Scotian community of Yarmouth. In 2015, she was chosen to represent Canada at the United Nations Human Rights Fellowship Program for the International Decade for People of African Descent, in Geneva, Switzerland. She is dedicated to enhancing and advancing her community. Her hobbies include travelling, music / singing, writing, and researching Black History.

Fitzpatrick, Deanne, Between Two Places, is an artist and writer with a studio in Amherst and at www.hookingrugs.com Her work is in The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, The Canadian Museum of Civilization and The Rooms.

 Glenn, Lorri Neilsen divides her time between Halifax and Rose Bay. She is the author and editor of several volumes of poetry, nonfiction and scholarly work, most recently Following the River: Traces of Red River Women. Twitter: @neilsenglenn

Greek, Michelle, Our Paradise, lives with her husband Jason in central Barss Corner, overseeing the adventures of their three children, firefighting with the local Fire Department, volunteering with many other community organizations, and sewing in her spare time.

Haysom, Veryan is a lawyer who grew up in South Africa. He helped the Labrador Inuit gain recognition of their indigenous rights. He lives in Mahone Bay where he plays with his grandchildren and writes poetry.

Hearder, Valerie, Safe As Houses, is a textile artist who grew up in South Africa. She spends time among trees, gathering plants for eco dyed linens to stitch in her Mahone Bay home.

Hennigar, Tina, works for www.nowlunenburgcounty.com

Hickey, Alex, River Road, is a songwriter and singer who lives in Crousetown. She has produced three albums and shares her original songs on her YouTube channel. Hear her sing River Road: alexsings.bandcamp.com/track/river-road

Hull, Janet, Warm Winter Blues, is a stone sculptor: www.thestoneist.com

Hustvedt, Eric lives in the tiny (pop. 130) friendly, active, seaside village of Broad Cove, Lunenburg County, with his wife Phyllis Price. They enjoy bicycle trips on South Shore rail trails, and playing tourist around western Nova Scotia. Eric did communications work for the boatbuilding industry for several years. He currently represents a dozen rural communities as Deputy Mayor for the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg.

LeBlanc, Jay is a reluctant philosopher residing à la Baie Ste Marie and exploring various forms of art as communication. www.jayleblanc.ca

MacLean, Sandee is co-owner of www.thefarmersdaughtercountrymarket.ca

 Mood, Pam is Mayor of the Town of Yarmouth www.townofyarmouth.ca/council.html

Power, Janis lives in Lunenburg County with her husband, and enjoys an active lifestyle which includes running, cycling, gardening, stained glass work, home renovations, along with other activities that keep her life full and busy.

Price, Phyllis, a 40-year resident of Lunenburg County, has a longstanding history of helping to make things happen, from fighting to keep the local elementary school open, working to create a community hub at the Broad Cove Hall, to organizing around health, environmental and women’s issues. Other passions include cycling anywhere and everywhere, growing and preserving healthy food, and playing with artistic endeavours.

 Rafuse, Kathy owns and operates www.naturespointofview.com with her husband Tim.

Selig, Greg lives in New Germany with his wife, a cat, and a dog. He enjoys being outdoors, especially camping, fishing, and gardening. He also believes that we should all be volunteering in our communities to make them better.

Skafte, Steve, Biggest of the Little Towns, has lived his whole life on the outskirts of Bridgetown, and spends his time adventuring through the backwoods, discovering the crumbling history of rural Nova Scotia (and beyond). He’s shared it all in an uninterrupted daily journal of photos, prose, and poems since 2007. www.facebook.com/berserkerpoetry/

Shoub, Anna operates her business www.hatjunkie.com in Lunenburg.

Stoffer, Peter, Values Test, was born in Heerlen, Netherlands and immigrated to Canada via Pier 21 in 1956. He has lived in BC, Yukon, NS, and spent over eighteen years in and out of Ottawa. He has had a variety of employment including 18.5 years with C P Air and 18.5 years as a Member of Parliament. He currently hosts a radio show and volunteers for a variety of charitable organizations. Married with two daughters. He says home is anywhere you feel safe and can admire your surroundings.

Verschuren, Annette, O.C., continues to build businesses (most recently NRStor, an energy storage development company) and lives in Toronto with her husband, Stan. Profit with purpose is what drives her business approach. She and Stan love to travel, golf, and ballroom dance. Life is good. www.annetteverschuren.ca

Watts, Jennifer is CEO of ISANS: www.isans.ca/about/

 Zwicker, Peter, Who is a Lunenburger? is an accredited professional photographer (PPOC). Photography is a medium which permits him to reflect on the world as he sees it through his travels and in his hometown of Lunenburg. He was published in a National Geographic book of UNESCO Canada, a book on the famed Bluenose, and is working on a book on the history of Black Loyalists in Nova Scotia. Peter’s work is available online or in Lunenburg at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic or the Bluenose II Gift Store. www.facebook.com/peter.zwicker.3

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IN THE MEDIA:

Chronicle Herald NovaScotian, September 21, 2020:

Nova Scotia home

In her new book, Where’s Home? In Nova Scotia the Answer Can be Complicated (Moose House Publications), Lunenburg County writer and artist Jan Fancy Hull explores what makes Nova Scotia feel like home, and what sometimes blocks that sense of home. Using an online survey, as well as interviews to gather information, Fancy Hull found that the answer wasn’t always simple.

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The September 2020 edition of the New Germany Area Promotion Society’s newsletter Connections contains an article about Where’s Home?

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Chronicle Herald South Shore Breaker, September 4 2020:

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Chronicle Herald online, August 20, 2020.