THE VOICE OF ATLANTIC CANADA, DELIVERED DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX.
Robyn Manning is at the helm of this modern, fun, and endlessly creative brand. She is the principal designer and owner of the business, which offers services in residential design, commercial design, and interior styling. With a background in fine art and over a decade in experience, she is able to work with clients to create a bold vision that suits their needs. The wide variety of projects she takes on showcases their versatile style tailored to suit the clients' needs, but all with the resounding aesthetic of quality. Their overall portfolio is filled with bold colors, modern spaces, and smart designs that will leave you itching to renovate your own space. "Currently we have projects ranging from a modern-industrial vibe, to a chic white kitchen with a New York penthouse feel, and a lakeside kitchen renovation inspired by a Scandinavian Cottage. We do it all." Robyn tells [EDIT]ION. Each one works to prove their slogan of “We design spaces that work well and look cool,” to be true.
The business, located in Kentville, Nova Scotia, quickly gained recognition and now has has grown to include Marissa Buckley as a senior design consultant. Together she and Robyn bring a unique perspective to spaces, with keen eyes that are able to balance modern looks with timeless beauty and functionality.
[EDIT]ION met with Robyn to learn more about her business and the inspiration behind it.
[EDIT]ION: When did you first start Bricks + Birches?
Robyn Manning: I started Bricks + Birches in 2016 after leaving my job of seven and a half years to live closer to my partner in the Annapolis Valley. Things have exploded from there!
[EDIT]ION: Did you always have an entrepreneurial spirit?
Robyn: I originally didn’t have this self-awareness but in hindsight I always have. I actually had a flashback the other day to playing “store” in my parents unfinished basement as a child, setting up cardboard boxes so that my parents could shop my crafts. As an adult, I am more apt to identify with being an independent person and wanting to be in charge of my own career path. However, in looking back at all that my team and I have built over the past five years, it’s safe to say I have an entrepreneurial spirit.
[EDIT]ION: Do you have a favorite project that you've done so far?
Robyn: That is a bit like picking my favourite child. It’s tough, because I feel like every new project becomes my new favourite and I feel like the quality of our work keeps getting better every time. We’ve done some pretty shocking before-and-afters within the renovation space which are always particularly fulfilling. There is a pretty spectacular bathroom we completed last summer as part of a whole-home renovation that is major standout.
[EDIT]ION: How has your business evolved since you first started, five years ago?
Robyn: Five years ago I was working out of the guest room of our PMQ (“Private Married Quarters” aka, Military Housing) and slinging craft beer and club sandwiches at a pub nearby to support myself while I built my business. It took me a year to hire an assistant and within six months she was full-time. We have been so grateful for the Atlantic community for supporting us. Instagram has been an incredible tool for us, and word of mouth in this part of the country is a powerful thing as well. I think the Maritimes was just ready for a young designer with a fresh perspective. I saw the seat at the table and worked really, really hard to earn it. Now we are five years in and we are a team of three with a creative studio space and growing more every day.
[EDIT]ION: What makes owning a business in Atlantic Canada unique, to you?
Robyn: Maritimers are so community-minded, and they support their own. There’s no way we could have grown as much as we have in the past five years if we were somewhere else in the country, I really believe that. People seek out local businesses, they ask around. It’s very wholesome and old school, in a way. Even within the design community there seems to be a “community over competition” attitude. We all want to win and see each other thrive; the more we all succeed the more credible our industry becomes as a whole. Plus let’s be honest here; the Maritimes are booming! There’s room for everyone to thrive creativity and professionally here. The pandemic has impacted all of us in ways we never saw coming, but the importance of home has never been stronger.
[EDIT]ION: Where do you hope to take Bricks + Birches?
Robyn: Currently in the studio we are restructuring a bit to focus on more full-service projects and hourly consulting, and this summer we are venturing into the commercial design space in a way we never have been before which has us all super stoked. We are also announcing a new division of the company later this summer which will be more product-based. It’s something our followers have been asking for so we are excited to share more in the coming months. The big picture is to bring Bricks + Birches to the masses while keeping the design studio a boutique size. Ask me this question again in a few years. (laughing).
If you’re searching for a relaxed coastal experience, start your journey at the southeast corner of the province near Murray Beach, and drive along the Acadian coastline to end in beautiful Bay of Chaleur near Bathurst. Get ready to discover spectacular destinations like Kouchibouguac National Park and the Acadian Peninsula along the way.
SANDY DAYS AND STARRY NIGHTS
This adventure is perfect for anyone looking to capture that perfect view of the expansive ocean, take endless lobster-roll stops, and explore sandy beaches. If you’re ready for that quintessential summer escape, choose from the many campsites and cottages, and include this region’s two provincial parks and national park in your plans.
From lively music and summertime beach bonfires to enthralling local storytellers, the Acadians’ distinct joie de vivre is captivating. Discover the rich heritage of the Acadian people in places like Village Historique Acadien and Le Pays de la Sagouine. Then appreciate the joys of modern Acadie at spots like Distillerie Fils du Roy and Origines Maritime Cuisine.
To read more about the regions of New Brunswick to road trip through this summer, order a copy of our brand new volume of [EDIT] magazine by clicking here!
Brought to you by Tourism New Brunswick, #ExploreNB!
Owned and operated by Chefs and partners Stephanie Ogilvie (Top Chef Canada Season 8 Runner Up) and Brock Unger, Halifax’s Hopscotch Dinner Club began as a pop-up concept before moving into a location in the city’s downtown core. The duo prides themselves on creating an experience of ‘thoughtful casual dining focusing on Maritime ingredients and flavours.’ Their menu is elevated, beautiful, incredibly delicious, and each plate is created and garnished with an artists’ hands.
The pair have learned to quickly adapt to Covid restrictions while keeping their patrons (who seem more like fans) satiated. They currently offer two distinct dining experiences, ‘Hopscotch at Home’ (available for pick-up, and packaged cold with simple heating instructions. The menu includes Black Garlic Pork Sausage, Smoked White Bean Quinoa, and Linzar Torte), and ‘Hopscotch Hand Held’ (a ready-made, pick-up menu with choices like Mushroom Schnitzel, Beef Burgers, their celebrated Fish’wich and sides like Deviled Eggs, Crispy Potatoes and more. The menu also features alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks).
When the time is right, and restrictions ease, Hopscotch Dinner Club will likely be a first reservation made for many, and it is a sure bet that the [EDIT] team, who regard the restaurant as one of their favourite haunts, will be there…
Facebook and Instagram: @HopscotchDinnerClub
Visit their website to learn more about their menus and take-our options.
1537 Barrington Street, Halifax.
A summer night at the drive-in. It’s more than the film, it's the experience and that feeling that comes along with it. Warm air, snacks piled high, the sound of the radios dialed in, and the classic beeping of car horns, everyone joining in to signify they’re ready to start. It’s the definition of community; pulling up alongside fellow movie-goers, all with anticipatory smiles on their faces. There’s a nostalgic feel of the ‘50s drive-in outing, but now an added layer of a safe community gathering. There is truly no better way to spend an evening.
This past Saturday I experienced just that, at the Sussex Drive-in. Me and a group of six friends loaded into a car filled with blankets, treats, and pillows, and made the trip from Rothesay to Sussex, New Brunswick. We drove up and parked on the small rolling hills, which tilt your up to face the massive projector, and settled in to enjoy our double-feature night. As one of our favourite activities, it wasn't our first visit, and surely wont be our last of the summer. What keeps it exciting for me though, is that we don’t always go and see a film. The Sussex Drive-in has set itself apart through showcasing a range of entertainment options; stand-up comedy nights, concerts and other live shows. It makes for a brilliant mixture of sentimentality with excitement, for a new experience in a beloved setting.
This summer you can take your pick of events at the drive-in. This Saturday June 5th, [EDIT] co-founder James Mullinger is performing live with special guests Mike Biggar and Shane Ogden for the first live show of the season. If you have yet to experience a Mullinger show, this is the one for you. The stage comes to life and the crowd is sure to be filled with laughs and fun. Musician and ECMA winner Mike Biggar brings a contemporary roots and blues rhythm with a high energy, which is sure to complement the show. Comedian Shane Ogden is host and will also be performing a stand up set. Having shared the stage with Mullinger countless times in the past, they have their performance down to a comedic tee. There is also a very special guest appearance from the latest Brit to move to New Brunswick, Coldjack's Johnny Fraser. Fraser is a globally touring musician and he and his wife Heather moved to Saint Andrews to open a British shop last month. Mullinger will be bringing him to the stage for a couple of tracks in his very first live show since moving here!
Owner Don Monahan tells [EDIT]ION: "We are so excited about this weekend. It is the first of the three scheduled live events for this summer, followed by Maestro Fresh Wes on June 19th and Jimmy Flynn on New Brunswick Long Weekend July 31st. Last weekend at the Campground & Drive-In was a stellar success! We were completely sold out for RV sites, which is very encouraging considering they were all New Brunswickers due to border closures! Campers have enjoyed the Encore Nights Bon Jovi show, and our first Triple Bill of the season that keeps the die-hard movie goers up until the wee early hours of the morning!"
Stay up to date on this summer's events by following the Sussex Drive-In on Facebook: Sussex Drive-in
[EDIT] + ANBL
Stephen Hero x Brydon Cran
by Morgan Leet
Stephen Hero and Brydon Cran joining forces is the epitome of a creative collaboration. The New Brunswick artists came together to create a unique series of music videos, showcasing their new alt-rap poetry mixed over sample-based beats. Hero brings his signature flair of high energy and eclecticism to the project, which is releasing in stages throughout the summer.
Just today they have released an EP, featuring their single ‘Forever Now’. This exciting release is available now, so sit back and have a listen after you read [EDIT]ION’s exclusive interview with the genius behind it.
[EDIT]ION: Tell me a bit about your collaborative project with Brydon Crain.
Stephen Hero: Brydon and I have known each other since 2010, we met through the music scene. We’ve both always been interested in all different types of music, and over the years we’ve collaborated here and there. Brydon is one of the most talented people I’ve ever met, so I’m always super happy to be working with him. We did a track together for my album Class War back in 2017, and since then we’d talked here and there about doing more hip hop together. Last year he started sending me beats and we started talking about doing a producer/rapper project.
[EDIT]ION: What makes this project unique?
Stephen Hero: I think Brydon and I are both very open-minded about music in general, and so we’re pretty okay with being weird and we’re not at all concerned with trying to fit in with anything else that’s going on. The song structures and the lyrical content is all very much our own. For me everything I do is about my city, Saint John is the star of everything I make, especially when it comes to hip hop, cause to me that’s part of a deep tradition in hip hop, but also I often think of the work I do as a continuation of the work Alden Nowlan did in a lot of ways, and Brydon provides music that really suits that vibe.
[EDIT]ION: Where do you draw inspiration from?
Stephen Hero: We’re both extremely influenced by MF DOOM, his production and his lyricism and vocal styling and everything is just otherworldly, he’s one of the greatest of all time. Production wise I know Brydon’s very influenced by Knxwledge as well. We just love cool, dusty, sample based hip hop.
When it comes to my style, it’s something I’ve worked pretty hard to develop over the years. I started rapping in like the sixth grade, and back then I had no concept of the nuance to rapping, but when I was in my twenties working with producers and seeing local people out here doing great things like Phakt and Monark and the scotia scene, DJ IV, and DAM entertainment, etc. So much cool stuff was going on and I had a lot of different projects on the go, but I was kind of chipping away over the years trying to develop a style that was all mine, and that was honest and specific to Saint John and to my experience here. DOOM and Cam’Ron are probably my two main style touchstones, along with Cool J, and De La Soul. For me the daisy age era leading into the NY underground scene and later the Bad Boy camp is all really inspiring to me. I love that laid-back style of like, Big Daddy Kane and later Ma$e and Cam, and even DOOM sometimes, but in this way that’s kind of like Wiki, if he was in Saint John instead of New York. I love the idea of writing dense, complex rhyme patterns and wordplay and delivering it as though it was effortless. Almost like the cloud rap scene in some ways, just trying to be laid back and say some slick stuff. But thinking about patterns and melodies and stuff too, just how poetic and slick can you be and how many ways you can be musical with words. Once I got into Freestyle Fellowship and Digable Planets I really started to understand how much you can do with patterns, and it became less about punchlines and more about the musicality of rapping.
[EDIT]ION: What do you hope audiences take away from this project?
Stephen Hero: The best thing that can ever happen from making art, to me, is that it makes someone else feel like getting out there and making more, so I always hope that someone out there is inspired to make more art. Beyond that I just hope to make good hip hop that the east coast music scene can enjoy.
[EDIT]ION: Do you have anything else coming up?
Stephen Hero: Our new EP drops today, which I'm very excited about as it has three songs I'm very proud of and an amazing remix of the latest single by Fredericton's Wangled Teb, and by the end of June we'll have a brand new video out for two brand new tracks, which I think is our best material yet. I also have a few collabs in the works for later in the summer that I'm very excited about, but you'll have to follow me online for those announcements coming later this year!
*available on all streaming platforms*
YouTube: STEPHEN HERO
Photo by Josh Hooper
Darryl Whetter has recently released his climate-crisis novel, Our Sands, which is working to highlight the concerns surrounding the Alberta tar sands. His passion and energy as a climate advocate is clear in everything he does, and this book is no expectation. As a writer, editor and professor, his work has spanned poetry to books to magazine columns.
Whetter was always interested in the environment; “When I was a high-school senior in Orillia, Ontario, back in the late ‘80s, I co-created a student group that joined a grassroots resistance to help our community pressure the municipal government to overturn its previous decision to let a huge multinational corporation build a garbage incinerator to burn all of Toronto’s garbage... I was the Green Party of Canada candidate in Halifax in the 2008 federal election.” he tells [EDIT]ION.
His second book, Origins, is a book of poems centered around fossils of Joggins, Nova Scotia. The inspiration behind it was none other than the powerful Bay of Fundy. “One of the best decisions I’ve ever made is buying an old wooden house in Advocate Harbour, on an intertidal lagoon off the Bay of Fundy, back in 2002. I bought it for less than most Canadians spend on a car, and I owned a cottage before I ever owned a house. It’s been my soul home ever since, even though I only lived there full-time for two years, when finishing my first novel (The Push & the Pull). In part Origins is my valentine to the Bay of Fundy. More intellectually, evolution is the lesson that never stops teaching. The more you learn, the more wondrous life is. The fossil record at Joggins, near Advocate, those fossils are arguably the world’s best record of the key evolutionary milestone in which marine life relocated to land. I had to try to map that, and the teleportational and multi-faceted aspects of poetry were the right tools. Interestingly, though, Joggins recurs here in Our Sands. In ways I’ll never be done writing about energy, evolution and extinction.”
To learn more about Darryl Whetter’s work visit his website: darrylwhetter.ca