I love history. As a creative artist, history inspires me. I love spending the time to learn with the stories that made Halifax the city we know today. Throughout its history, Halifax has been an important naval port and a centre of commerce. There are remnants of the city’s history and plenty of culture around us. With varying architectural styles along Barrington Street, historic buildings have survived years of peace, prosperity and turmoil.
Have you ever wondered what the city looked like from Halifax’s beginnings to the present? Why are buildings designed differently? Are there stories behind the construction? What about the people living during those times? So many lives have come and gone. It’s great to hear stories of people living in Halifax throughout the years. These same stories help shape a community.
On June 7th and the 8th, Halifax had its second annual Doors Open. The concept behind this event is to showcase the various places that shaped the identity and culture of a city. A lot of the buildings are usually not open or accessible to the public. Some places require an entrance fee. With Doors Open, the venues are open to everyone for free. Plus, it’s is a great way of getting to know your city.
Every building offers unique qualities in the community: architecture, culture, lifestyle and technology. For example, you can go to the Halifax Club to explore the various rooms. The areas of the Club feature a range of different lighting, texture of the building materials, ornate designs of the interior mouldings, the life-size oil portraits of people of yesteryear. The Old Town Clock is one of the newest venues this year. Built in 1803, the building’s design is a reflection of the Duke of Kent’s taste for all things round. This building features living quarters for the timekeeper and his family for generations.
Doors Open Halifax isn’t just about historical buildings. It includes modern, contemporary places of interest that also complements to the ever-changing surrounding and culture of the community. There’s the Environment Canada office in Dartmouth, home of the Canadian Hurricane Centre. You can learn how Meteorologists use current technologies to track weather patterns. You can check out the new Saint Antonio’s Antiochian Church. It’s one of a few places that’s integral to the Lebanese community. Not too far from there, there’s the beautiful Ummah Masjid Mosque and Community Centre for the ever-growing Muslim community. Those are part of a broad spectrum of venues in Doors Open. Depending on your taste, there’s a bit of everything for everyone.
I love Doors Open because I can explore a bunch of places I haven’t been. I like interacting with the volunteers to understand the stories behind each of the different places. With an array of places to choose from, it’s great to take a few snapshots for my personal reference. With a lot of stories to discover, the experience inspires me with endless, creative ideas.
I highly recommend for you all to explore Doors Open Halifax. Every year, the event gets bigger with more places added. So get out and explore your community. There’s plenty more to see and discover in Halifax. Who knows what you might see? Maybe it would inspire you?