Dawn Beaton – At Home Here in Nova Scotia

Occupation: Artistic Director, Celtic Colours International Festival & musician

Place of Birth: Born in Antigonish (NS) hospital wise, but Mabou is always home!

Currently Resides in what city: Similar to the above, I work in Sydney, but I’m home to Mabou almost every weekend!

Where’s your favourite place in Nova Scotia to grab a coffee?

If I get the chance or I’m in that part of town, I like to drop in at Wentworth Perk, or Doktor Luke's - A Respectable Coffee House.  These are places I’d take friends from out of town to, or agree to meet up with there.  And then there’s always Tim Horton’s….maybe do up a little Café Mocha if I’m treating myself, or Starbucks for a Chai Tea Latte!

Where’s your favourite place in Nova Scotia to grab a pint?

I can have all my pint needs handled at the Red Shoe Pub in Mabou….for sure! Have to grab a Big Spruce Cereal Killer. If I’m in Halifax, I’ve been known to drop in at the Old Triangle and meet up with friends.  I have fond memories of Your Father’s Moustache and Maxwell’s Plum from when I lived in Halifax years ago.

Where’s your favourite place to shop in Nova Scotia?

Driving from Sydney to Mabou as frequently as I do (and trust me, I know where every pothole is!), Farmer’s Daughter is right on the corner before heading home.  They make these incredible sweet buns (with say feta cheese and spinach, or various other fillings…they can’t keep them on the shelf)!  Take a look through the photos on their Facebook page:  I dare you not to get hungry!  Check them out on trip advisor too; they get great reviews! Just a few seconds away, I also love getting my Crème Brulee candles from Lake Ainslie Candle Company, although I usually shop at the Mabou Farmer’s Market to get those. Rebecca also makes the ‘Memories of Cape Breton’ candles.  I’ve sent them as gifts to Capers living away. She makes an oatcakes, gingerbread and tea candle that is pretty sweet!

And then of course, all of the great restaurants on the island! There’s too many to name, but I LOVE all of the Flavor restaurants in Sydney, The Mull in Mabou, and the Bite House in Baddeck….I’m giving away all my secrets!  These places will be too full for me to go!  But it’s so worth it!

Also, if you love history, comics, and all things excellent comedy, you can’t miss with the Hark a Vagrant book, courtesy of fellow Beaton and fellow Mabouian, Mabouer….you get the picture, Ms Kate Beaton! Check this girl out…she’s hit all the major book lists! http://harkavagrant.com/ I also wear a Kate Beaton shirt…just because!

Where in Nova Scotia would we stand to see your favourite view?

Heck of a question…where can’t you stand and grab a great view in these parts of the world!? I steal away to a few areas to reenergize the batteries: 1) below my parent’s house is the Mabou River.  Anytime of the year, I can go down there and feel peace.  In a summer evening, with the quiet of the day and the water so still, with ducks quacking in the distance, it’s mesmerizing.  In the winter, you can hear the ice crack and shift against the brilliant winter sun.  And then it’s how I get my exercise, thanks to the work of Blaise MacEachern, and some incredible volunteers up and down Inverness County and beyond.  Have a look at the Celtic Shores website

2) Also, off of Mountain Road, down by the Mabou Coal Mines…stunning!  mabou by dawn beaton

3) I also love love love Mabou Ridge Road, climbing that road with my chug chug diesel, turning around, and overlooking the village of Mabou.  I have the pictures to prove it!

Don’t believe me? Check out this fella’s amazing photography! http://steverankinphotography.com/ Home grown from Mabou and doing amazing things with a camera, he’s taken some stellar photos.  Margie made his photo of our grandfather’s fishing shack on canvas a perfect Christmas gift to my parents.  It’s my facebook profile pic too!

This list is getting long…get out and drive (or the environmentally friendly version: biking!)…and what better time than Celtic Colours!

Name 3 things we’ve gotta do when we visit Nova Scotia:

1. I might be a little biased, but ya gotta do Celtic Colours International Festival. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Margie and I have benefited from being an artist in the festival right from day one, back in 1997 while we were still in high school. Our appreciation for the festival has only grown since.  Festival Club is a knock out – all the best musicians with all your closest friends enjoying good times…I think it’s what heaven actually is when we get upstairs! Add to it incredible shows of incredible musicians, with community meals, hikes around the island, demonstrations and workshops with festival artists, sessions, crafts…your days are full and entertaining!

2. Head to the beach! Anytime of the year will do, although it helps when the water is a bit warmer! Really, any water activities in kayaking by dawn beatongeneral are fantastic.  I take my Oru kayak wherever I go as it fits in my trunk (with my bike) and find my secret little hiding spots and away I go.  It’s the best way to end the day, on the Mabou River.  God we’re lucky we live here! Don’t have an Oru or a kayak of your own? There’s lots of places to rent and if you’re staying at certain Inns (how about this one: http://mabouriverinn.com/), you can usually rent a kayak from the owner.  And there are lots of boat tours and whale watching tours.  I really have to make time for those one of these days!

3. Go to a square dance! I’ve got your morning, noon and now your night covered! Staying up late was never so much fun! You can hit up a dance pretty much every night of the week in the summer.  I’ve driven from Sydney all the way to Mabou many a night to visit the Brookvillage dance (with a stop to the Shoe for the session first on Monday nights), Glencoe Mills on Thursday nights, and West Mabou on Saturday nights!

What makes Nova Scotia such a special place on earth for you?

I’m sure my answers above give a glimpse into why I love this place, but truly, having travelled around the world a bit, I know how special we have it here, and what really stands out are the people. What an incredible bunch of dedicated people making big things happen in our corner of the world.  You just have to be here to experience it!

SABS On-Line Hook-Ups for Dawn Beaton

Website: www.dawnandmargie.com

Music - CDbaby   Sonicbids  iTunes


While you're here be sure to watch Dawn Beaton compete in a fun round of ECMA musical trivia - part of SEA AND BE SCENE TV's at the 2012 ECMA's - you can watch that episode by clicking here.


1 Comment »

  1. Dawn - your conversation with Wendy Berfeldt was excep;tional in its scholarship and articulation and sharing of insights. Thank you. Brilliant!!
    I have long thought about the many traditional stories I have recorded with CBC and with the Storytellers of Canada as possible stimjuli for new comjpositions I wish it were p;ossible to share some of them with musicians to see if thelyricism of the sotries encourage new composition. Your referencfe to stories and tunes in discussing Natalie reminded me of that tho0ught.
    Moran moran taing. Jim

    Comment by james St.Clair — March 2, 2019 @ 9:19 pm

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