Authors and Artists

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Night at the Gardens

What really happens in the Public Gardens after dark? Night at the Gardens is a lively adventure involving the statues of the Halifax Public Gardens and surrounding parks. As darkness descends and the Gardens’ gates clang shut, the statues “come alive”, climb down from their pedestals, stretch their limbs and once joined by Toby, the fun begins. One night the Gardens’ statues are plunged into chaos when the Jubilee Fountain’s nymphs ride off on the backs of the Juan Swans to head for the Atlantic Ocean! What is to be done? How do Victoria Park’s Robbie Burns and Sir Walter Scott help their neighbours? Read on … and track their lively adventures on the maps inside.


Characters based on the book: Three Centuries of Public Art: Historic HRM


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Exquisite Destinations:Adventures of a Maritimer in Lesser-Known Places

When we are young, we dream dreams. We fantasize about things we want to do, places we want to go, what we wish to be. Then, it is up to us, to time, chance and fortune, as to whether those dreams will come true.

A native of Nova Scotia, Peter L. McCreath grew up in the west end of Toronto, but has lived the last fifty odd years back in rural Nova Scotia. He is an educator and historian by training, but an entrepreneur by choice. He has led, to say the least, a very eclectic life, as a naval officer, teacher, author, union official, television broadcaster, honorary consul, Chair of Nova Scotia’s liquor monopoly, banker, human rights advocate, Member of Parliament and cabinet minister.

Through Exquisite Destinations, he shares some fascinating adventures and experiences he has had in close to a hundred countries around the world. Each chapter is based on a different country drawn from the five major continents. He has specifically focussed on countries that are less well-known and visited by the average traveller from Canada or the United States. All of the stories and experiences are true; there is no fiction here! But, there is adventure, life-threatening events, helping the disadvantaged and meeting presidents, prime ministers, and revolutionaries.

McCreath writes: “I’m sure you will enjoy this book and the stories it contains, and learning about countries that you may not have or even thought of visiting – but perhaps should. I have learned that there are many ways to be rich, beyond financial wealth: friendships, special relationships, meeting interesting people of different languages and cultures, good health and an abundance of unique and memorable experiences. These are some of mine and I invite you to share them with me.”

The book is part memoir, part travelogue and part adventure, with a good helping of history in each of the chapters. If these are not destination you’ve contemplated, perhaps you should or at least put some on your bucket list. This is Peter’s eighth full-length publication.


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The CITADEL on Stage: British Military Theatre, Sports, and Recreation in Colonial Halifax

Cover Description:  

The Citadel On Stage is a lively and entertaining social history of British military officers stationed in colonial Halifax. The object of this volume is to survey a wide range of social, theatrical, and recreational performances up until confederation; and to examine the reasons why the garrison officers were entirely involved in these activities.

The main focus is on the garrison theatrical society as a social, cultural, and charitable entity, and how its existence revolved around the British institutions of colonial government and religion, as well as economics. The author illustrates a relationship between the theatricality of political performance and acting on stage, and shows how closely acting and politics are bound up with one another. While attesting that the Anglican Church supported garrison theatre, he gives a critical review of the incessant opposition by the non-conformist puritan element in the community. He also points out that the progress of theatre, sports, and recreation in colonial Halifax parallels the rise or decline of the economy.

In his own style, A.D. Boutilier paints a vivid picture of the comedy and farce inherent in upper class society and in the British institutions moored at Halifax from 1749 to 1867.


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From CITADEL posters: the broad influence of Garrison Officers on settlement, sports and horses  (racing/breeding) plus boat racing & regattas,  and Theatre within the towns and cities of the Maritime Colonial period.


Settlement, wars and impact on settlers:

Settlement of Halifax and the role of the British governors, navy and army … and waves of settlers that followed populating the Maritimes.

Influence of immigrants to NS (current Maritimes) from the Loyalists to the Irish, the Foreign Protestants (e.g. , Germans, Montebeliards), Scots, others.

The influence of various wars: the French & Indian wars (Seven Years War), American Revolution, capture of Louisburg, & Quebec, War of 1812 … Fenians and more.

The Expulsion of the Acadiens (George’s Island) and the marginalization of the native peoples and those of colour began and continued for centuries.

The economic life of the city and region seemed much like a roller-coaster: up during war, down in between; and that continued well into the 20th Century and the two world wars.


Theatre and its spread to other cities, towns:


The first play written & performed in North America was on the Annapolis River: on Nov. 14th, 1606, by the Annapolis garrison. Note the later connection to Kings Theatre and Annapolis Royal after 1713. •

The role of established religion and upper class society in the on again, off again, development of theatre in Halifax.

The garrison theatre spread from Halifax to Annapolis Royal, to Windsor, Cape Breton, Saint John, Fredericton, St. John’s, Newfoundland and even Quebec City after it fell in 1758. Halifax Garrison regiments also performed in New York, Boston & Philadelphia between 1775-1783.


Sports & Recreation: connections to the 20-21st centuries:


Garrison races held by officers on the Commons eventually led to thoroughbred and standardbred racing and improved breeding within the Maritimes.

Racing, horse-breeding eventually spread from Halifax to Sackville-Windsor Junction, Windsor, Truro, Charlottetown, Sydney and more. Blood lines were improved with English and Arabian horses.

Formed the basis for the North Commons (race track), South (Public Gardens) and Central Commons (Egg Pond) for recreation; the Garrison Grounds, the former stables for Bengal Lancers and current Halifax Police mounted division.

Sports and recreation of those early years also continued into modern times and established the tradition of sailing and regattas in the region today.

ISBN 9781895814545: 384 pp, endnotes, biblio, indexed:  Available in fine book and gift stores, museums everywhere, as well as online on this site and retailers within Canada.

Price: $27.50
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