Build it and they will come.
John Caraberis and Bonnie Bond had this in mind as they took on the huge task of transforming the Acadian Lodge #13 on Victoria Street in Pugwash last year. The long-time home of the local chapter of the Masons, the old brick building needed some tender-loving care and the commitment of the two entrepreneurs who have a history of seeing potential in their community, adopting and renovating old buildings to become assets to the village. Their hard work has paid off.
Renamed The Peace Hall, the building now offers itself up for community events, mostly cultural and educational in nature. And it will be hosting a series of concerts through July and August, bringing music back into the fabric of the village.
First up will be Ryan Cook on July 6. Mixing classic country music with modern satire, Cook forges a sound between contemporary folk and dyed-in-the wool country. With nuances of pop and western swing, his songbook reminiscences of the early hillbilly and folk pioneers but stays very much in the current landscape. Cook has toured extensively, receiving more than 20 award nominations in Canada, including three Album of the Year awards.
On July 21, The Modern Grass hits the stage. The Modern Grass makes original music fuelled by passion, ingenuity, and a love and appreciation for traditional forms of art and music. The Modern Grass was formed in 2011 and has since released three award-winning albums. The band Be-bops, doo-wops, and yee-haws its way through roots music freely, setting the mood for real life rambling, gambling and heartbreaking storytales.
On Aug. 4, Ariana Nasr returns to Pugwash with her partner, Curtis Thorpe. Whether she is singing Édith Piaf, Jacques Brel, an Italian art song or a jazz standard, Nasr puts everything into her performances. The duo’s most recent album, Padam Padam, is a collection of classic popular songs from France, the Balkans, and North America.
Award-winning Nova Scotia singer/songwriter Christina Martin brings her new album, Impossible to Hold, to the Peace Hall on Aug. 18. Martin is as comfortable singing a synth-led pop song as performing her Americana-led heartfelt acoustic compositions. Often using personal experiences in her songwriting, she delivers an intensity and integrity that endears her to so many.
On Aug. 31, multi-award-winning musician Ian Sherwood makes his first appearance in Pugwash. Sherwood’s fifth studio album, Bring the Light, dances between folk and pop, showcases guitar, saxophone, clever songwriting, and a voice that won him a 2013 Canadian Folk Music Award for Contemporary Singer. When not touring, Sherwood produces for other artists as well as for theatre, film, and television.
Tickets for any of the performances can be purchased at the Basic Spirit Craft Gallery, 9826 Hwy 6, on the edge of the village (902-243-3169), or the Chesnutt Cafe, 10163 Durham St. Tickets can also be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To stay up to date on upcoming performances and other events, visit The Peace Hall’s page on Facebook.