Top Stories of 2017

Our Top Stories Of 2017

In his song ‘As Days Go By’, Jesse Frederick immortalized the words, “It’s a rare condition, this day and age, to read any good news on the newspaper page.” That was in 1989: a time before 9/11, Twitter, and Donald Trump’s political career. If he had only know what the next few decades would bring…  2017 was, at best, a warning shot. It was a new benchmark. It was a year that should stand out in history as a lesson, a painful reminder that we can do better, because while we could do worse, we wouldn’t survive it very long.

While we’re not unaffected by the relentless barrage 2017 has offered, we’ve been fortunate to cover a lot of really great stories here on the east coast. Here are the ones that were most popular this year.

Erin Costelo Makes History At Music Nova Scotia Week 2017

Amongst all the winners at Nova Scotia Music Week, one winner stood out in particular. Erin Costelo took home the award for Producer of the Year, which shouldn’t be as surprising as it is. It was a well-deserved award. Her album Down Below The Status Quo, featuring a slew of hits, was self-produced with fantastic results. The surprising part? Costelo was joining a shockingly small number of women to have been awarded that distinction in the music industry anywhere, and it was certainly a first for Music Nova Scotia…(read more here)

Eight Bands We Loved Seeing At ECMA 2017

The East Coast Music Awards took place in Saint John, New Brunswick. The port city was flooded with music and has been echoing ever since (and might be more noise than the city is prepared to handle). For a whole week there more show happening than any single person could humanly take in. We tried. Here are our favourites… (read more here)

Developer Proposes Saint John’s Gothic Arches As New Brewery

The Gothic Arches represents a lot of things to the people of Saint John. The former church has stood empty in the city’s south end for years, and with the proposed idea of restructuring of the building into condominiums having lost its momentum, developer Jody McCairns began looking for some creative options. Rather than seeing the historic and aging building demolished and reclaimed as scrap, McCairns fielded proposals from one of New Brunswick’s booming industries: craft beer… (read more here)

Pity City: Saint John’s All Ages Boom and Bust

2017 hasn’t been an easy year for music venues in Saint John. With ongoing battles against noise bylaws in gentrifying neighbourhoods that are developing around the very social hubs that are receiving complaints, it often seems like venues are stuck between a rock and a hard place. The challenge is worse for those few all-ages venues that are struggling to survive, let alone turn a profit. Alec Martin describes his own experiences as a teenager within the ebb and flow of Saint John’s music scene… (read more here)

Our Favourite Murals From Festival Inspire 2017

Moncton’s Festival Inspire has received international attention for making excellent use of an unlikely resource: its bare walls. The festival has attracted world-class artists, and the accompanying crowds, as those walls have transformed from blank canvases to massive works of art spanning the cityscape and turning Moncton into one giant open-air gallery. Here’s the list of our favourite murals from Festival Inspire 2017… (read more here)

Alert The Medic Tease New Album With Tragically Hip Cover

One of the great tragedies of 2017 was the loss of Gord Downie, frontman for The Tragically Hip. As the nation mourned, musicians across the country found ways of honouring Canada’s great rock poet. Halifax’s Alert The Medic teamed up with Our Lady Peace‘s former guitarist Mike Turner to cover one of the Tragically Hip’s greatest songs, ‘Grace, Too,’ from their 1994 album Day For Night… (read more here)

Benny’s Burgers: Halifax Is Getting Introduced To Vegan Street Meat

Going vegan isn’t easy. It’s like learning to eat all over again, not to mention cooking. A big part of the challenge is availability. A lot of restaurants simply don’t have vegan options, unless you enjoy eating salads for every meal. But it’s getting easier. The concept of vegan street meat was so blissfully futuristic that Halifax’s Benny’s Burgers came as a shock. Where a vegan restaurant might not find success, was the answer a vegan burger stand? (read more here)

Wharf Rats: New Web Series Proves That Comedy Is PEI’s Next Big Export

Never mind the lobsters, the best thing to come out of Rustico, Prince Edward Island is the comedy. In 2017, the island proved repeatedly that they were sitting on a gold mine of chuckles, turning out one web series after another. When the talents behind Just Passing Through and The Prince Edward Island Encyclopedia teamed up for a new series called Wharf Rats, there was no question it’d be funnier than your grandma after she’s gotten into the brandied fruit cake at Christmas… (read more here)

James Mullinger Aims To Pack Saint John’s Harbour Station A Second Time

James Mullinger, Saint John’s perennial news maker, is back at it again. He sold out shows at Saint John’s Imperial Theatre and Saint John’s Harbour Station, had a movie made about his early career as a comic in the UK and had his comedy broadcast nationwide on CBC Television. His announcement to perform a second arena-sized show once again at Saint John’s Harbour Station gained so much attention it was our second most read article this year… (read more here)

Future Forest: $30k Worth Of Gear Stolen From Organizer’s Home

One of the very few unfortunate stories we’ve had to cover this year was the story of when the home of Tim Kukula, organizer of the award-winning Future Forest music festival, was burglarized. The home was broken into while Kukula and his family were out celebrating his birthday. Police suspected that was less than coincidental, and the guilty individual was likely someone close to the family. $30k worth of DJing equipment, electronics, and a safe were taken from the house. Shortly after the news spread, a campaign was launched on GoFundMe in an effort to ensure the future of Future Forest… (read more here)