A month of events on tap as March Fest makes its premiere in Yarmouth

The initiative is one that’s been pulled together by the Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce
Kathy Johnson | Posted: March 3, 2023, 10:29 a.m. | Updated: March 9, 2023, 8:32 p.m. | 11 Min Read

A celebration of the works of Maud Lewis is being celebrated as part of an Animated Projection Show being projected onto the side of the Western Branch of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Jim MacLeod Square in Yarmouth as part of March Fest, a month-long festival of events and activities that’s been organized by the Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce. The show runs Tuesdays to Sundays starting at dusk. The first three weeks are a celebration of Maud Lewis. The second three weeks will be a celebration of spring. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

YARMOUTH, NS – The Yarmouth & Area Chamber of Commerce is celebrating this month’s arrival of spring and Yarmouth’s vibrant downtown with March Fest – a month-long festival filled with fun activities for all ages to enjoy.

This is the first time the chamber has hosted March Fest.

“We’re building off the success of The Evergreen Festival extension held this winter,” says Jen MacMillan, project assistant with the chamber.

“Our goal with these events is to support our local businesses and encourage a sense of community,” she says. “We want to highlight the great things that our town has to offer. We’re trying to involve lots of organizations, whether it’s directly as a participant in something like the hot chocolate competition, or through helping to promote events that they’ve already got on the go.”

The feature attraction will be an animated light projection show that will transform the side of the western branch of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia from Tuesdays through to Sundays at dusk. The show begins March 7 and runs for six weeks, says MacMillan.

A celebration of the works of Maud Lewis is being celebrated as part of an Animated Projection Show being projected onto the side of the Western Branch of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Jim MacLeod Square in Yarmouth as part of March Fest, which has been organized by the Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

“The first three weeks will showcase the beautiful works of Maud Lewis and the second three weeks will celebrate spring and some of the features that make Yarmouth unique.”

“We’ll also have week-long intermission shows for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter, so be sure to visit more than once.”
March Fest kicks off on March 3 with a Hot Chocolate Competition, that runs to March 8. (Originally it was to end of March 5 but it was extended.)

“Ten amazing local businesses have created their own specialty hot chocolates. Customers can try the various entries and vote for their favourite creation. As a thank you for voting, they’ll be entered to win one of five $100 gift cards,” says MacMillan.

A map to help guide people through the March Fest hot chocolate competition. FACEBOOK

Participating businesses include Blueberry Fields Bakery Café; Futura; Gale’s Eatery (in the Rodd Grand Hotel); Heritage Brewing Co; Iceworks Dairy & Espresso Bar; Pair-A-Dice Bistro (in the Yarmouth Mall); Sip Cafe; Sister Sundays Cafe (in the Canadian Tire parking lot); Studio Yarmouth Cafe & Gallery; and The Style Merchant.

With activities ranging from shows, markets, workshops, and live music every Friday night at Heritage Brewing Co. March Fest offers something for everyone, says MacMillan.

“Mariners on Main is also running a variety of activities for March Break for all ages. Another exciting event will be the town-wide Scavenger Hunt running March 24 to 26. Teams will compete to complete missions throughout Yarmouth, including riddles, GPS check-ins, photo challenges, and more! Winning teams will receive prizes – and of course bragging rights as well! Team Leaders can register their teams for free at or by calling 902-742-3074.”

The side of the Western Branch of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is the perfect screen for a projection show that is running for six weeks as part of March Fest. TINA COMEAU PHOTO


(Note: You can find additional information about March Fest on the Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce Facebook page and on the chamber’s website, along with schedule information and updates.)

• March 1-18: The Secret Codes – African Nova Scotian Quilts Exhibit at the Yarmouth County Museum. This exhibit features some of the meticulously handcrafted quilts made by Nova Scotia’s Black communities from the past century. These amazing quilts are records of community and family history, as well as a celebration of Black women and Black culture.

• March 2-4 and 9-11: Murder on the Orient Express at Th’YARC at 7:30 p.m.

• March 3-8: Hot Chocolate Competition. Visit participating businesses and try their featured beverages. Each purchase = 1 ballot to vote for your favourite entry. When you vote, you’ll also be entered for your chance to win one of five $100 gift cards. Participants: Blueberry Fields Bakery Café; Futura; Gale’s Eatery (in the Rodd Grand Hotel); Heritage Brewing Co; Iceworks Dairy & Espresso Bar; Pair-A-Dice Bistro (in the Yarmouth Mall); Sip Café; Sister Sundays Cafe (in the Canadian Tire parking lot); Studio Yarmouth Cafe & Gallery; The Style Merchant. Be sure to check individual participant’s hours of operation.

• March 3-5: Live music at Heritage Brewing Co at 8 p.m. by Marc Durkee & Danielle Mahood.

• March 5: Yarmouth Makers Market at the Yarmouth Lions Club from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free admission. Gift basket raffle in support of SHYFT House

• March 7: A six-week Animated Projection Show begins on the side of the Art Gallery building in Jim MacLeod Square. Runs Tuesdays to Sundays starting at dusk. Runs for six weeks. New show starts on March 28.

A celebration of the works of Maud Lewis is being celebrated as part of an Animated Projection Show being projected onto the side of the Western Branch of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Jim MacLeod Square in Yarmouth as part of March Fest, which has been organized by the Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

• March 8: Barter Based Learning – Beginner’s Crochet with the Tri-County Folk School. Learn a new skill in exchange for bartered items (e.g. handmade crafts, eggs, baked goods, etc.) Seats are limited. Check their events on Facebook to register.

• March 8: Evening in Mexico Pop-Up Dinner by The Rural Foodie at 6 p.m. at Jacob’s Loft. Five-course dinner with a glass of wine. $60/person, to register text 902-307-6402, message on Facebook, or email

• March 10: Mario Day at Pair-A-Dice Bistro (Yarmouth Mall); Live Music at Heritage Brewing Co at 8 p.m. by Matt Muise & Cory LeBlanc.

• March 11: Hello Spring Market at the Yarmouth Mariners Centre by The Mom Market South Shore starting at 10 a.m. Free admission. Featuring local vendors, live music, a princess meet and greet, kids craft area and more.

• March 12: Barter Based Learning – Intro to Soap Making with the Tri-County Folk School at 1 p.m. Learn a new skill in exchange for bartered items (e.g. art or crafty items, baked or home-preserved goods, candles, seeds, plants, etc.) Seats are limited, register in advance.

Live music is a big part of the events at Heritage Brewery and that will be the case on dates during March Fest as well. CONTRIBUTED

• March 13-18: March Break Activities at Mariners on Main, which includes: March 13-17 March Break Day Camp at 8 a.m. to 4 or 5:30 p.m. Kids will have arts and craft time, some physical activity and games and lots of swimming. March 13-14 baking camp for kids. March 15-17 Learn to play racquetball. March 18 Teen Takeover starting at 7 p.m. This is a free event for teens ages 12 to 17 or those who are 18 and can show a valid high school Student ID. During this event, Mariners on Main will be closed to the general public, so teens can enjoy the use of the swimming pool, basketball court and games room including our Nintendo switch. Call 902-742-2155 to register for events and for more information.

• March 17: St. Patrick’s Day Kitchen Party at Heritage Brewing Co. Live Music by Matt Muise, Cory LeBlanc, Shannon Malone and Curt LeBlanc.

• March 20: Pottery Night at Futura at 6:30 p.m. Learn how to work with pottery and clay with Phillip Clairmont. Register by contacting Futura

• March 21: Pendulums at Futura (329 Main St.) at 6:30 p.m. Learn about pendulum work. A pendulum is more than just a weight at the end of a string. This is a powerful tool that has been used in divination for thousands of years. Register by contacting Futura. (Note: You can find them on Facebook: Futura New Age & Metaphysical)

• March 22: Tea Meditation at Futura at 6:30 p.m. Grace Amirault will be guiding the meditation. Register by contacting Futura.

• March 23: Sacred Pouch Making at Futura at 6:30 p.m. with Sandra LeBlanc. Register by contacting Futura.

March Fest in Yarmouth is a new initiative by the Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce. FACEBOOK

• March 24: Live Music at Heritage Brewing Co at 8 p.m. by Matt Muise & Cory Leblanc.

• March 24 to 26: Town-wide scavenger hunt. Complete as many missions as you can to win great prizes. Register your team in advance for free at or by calling 902-742-3074.

• March 25: Southwest Nova Pride Association Board Game Night at 6 p.m. at Pair-A-Dice Bistro in the Yarmouth Mall.

• March 26: Tri-County Folk School Makers Swap. Time TBA. Bring a few small items that you’ve grown, made, baked, brewed, or foraged. Everyone brings what they feel comfortable with giving to the community. All the items will go onto a big table of goodies. Each person will draw a number and when their number is called, they choose an item that another community member has brought to share. You can also find them on Facebook: Tri-County Folk School.

• March 31: Live Music at Heritage Brewing Co. at 8 p.m. by Riptide.

COVID-19 Vulnerability Report

Released today, the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council’s (APEC) latest report, commissioned by the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce (ACC), reveals how differences in industry and demographic factors may shape the recovery for the 47 counties and divisions in Atlantic Canada.

Travel-related, customer-facing and commodity-based industries are among the most negatively affected by COVID-19. Rural areas are typically more vulnerable to these economic impacts because of their greater dependence on these industries.

The Atlantic Industry Vulnerability Index used in this report measures the share of the labour force in industries that have been most adversely impacted by COVID-19. There are large differences between counties ranging from 18% to 53%. Yarmouth came in at 41.3% which is high and due to a larger share of the labour force in at-risk industries. The greatest relative risk is its dependence upon the primary (fishing), manufacturing (seafood) and retail industries.


The report also contains dashboards and comparative tables for all counties and divisions in Atlantic Canada, identifying key variables that measure their vulnerability to COVID-19 including health, labour force and long-term structural indicators. When it comes to Yarmouth County the report identifies a number of concerns. 

Labour force vulnerability of the county is rated ‘yellow’, there is a large Indigenous population and median income is low. Both Indigenous and low-income workers are at greater risk from the employment impacts of COVID-19. Health vulnerability is rated ‘yellow’ because the county has a high share of seniors that have a greater health risk from COVID-19. Overall physical and mental health was relatively good pre-pandemic. Long-term economic vulnerability has been rated ‘red’ as a result that  income and education levels are relatively low, and population growth is slow which might impede future growth prospects.

This report is intended to help communities and governments as they develop informed strategies to support their recovery. Further, governments should consider the distinctive aspects of urban and rural areas in their plans to support the recovery of all regions.

Medical Learner Housing Project Getting Underway

New Building to be Constructed to House Medical Residents and Students

(Yarmouth, NS: January 7, 2021) The Board of Directors of Coastal Financial Credit Union with the support of the Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce are moving forward with the housing project they have been planning at 30 Vancouver Street, Yarmouth Nova Scotia. After much effort to make the current structure work to address the housing needs of medical learners, the organizations determined that the current building will be replaced by a new facility. 

“The new building will fit very nicely in the neighborhood while complementing the lot and maintaining the current landscaping as much as possible,” says Kerry Muise, Vice-President of the Yarmouth & Area Chamber of Commerce.  She went on to say, “the existing structure is old, and while stately from the outside, the cost of renovating far outweighs the costs of new construction.” They say that another consideration was the ongoing maintenance and operating costs of the building in the long term. 

“I am very pleased with this decision; after months of work, doing our due diligence, we have determined that this is the best decision for the purpose and for our community,” says Rick Doucette, CEO of Coastal Financial Credit Union. The Credit Union, as owner of the property, will largely fund this project. The Chamber will operate the facility helping attract medical residents and students to the area. Doucette says, “I am super excited to now see this project move quickly ahead.”

The Chamber and Credit Union say that addressing housing issues for medical learners is key to assisting recruitment efforts. While several businesses, such as Garian Construction, Co-operators Insurance, and Bramac Plumbing have already donated considerable time and efforts to this project, Muise says, “help from the community will still be needed.”

Demolition is scheduled to take place this month and the drawings for the new building will go to tender soon. The Credit Union has hired Lloyd MacDougall, Certified Project Manager, to oversee this project. Lloyd can be contacted via the Chamber office if companies or individuals wish to contribute to this worthwhile project. 

“Having housing for incoming Resident Doctors and Medical Students is a huge advantage in the recruitment world,” says Rebecca Rose, Community Navigator. Rose says, “this will be a key recruitment tool in the near future.” She said that currently approximately 25% of her time is dedicated to finding housing and a large part of the Community Navigator budget as well. Doucette says, “in addition, this will also free up other rental spaces for local residents and ultimately this is a win-win for everyone and I can’t wait to cut the ribbon at 30 Vancouver Street next fall!”

CCC – 30 Simple Tax Policy Changes

Canadian Chamber reveals 30 simple changes in tax policy to help Canadians and businesses through COVID


(OTTAWA) – December 8, 2020 –After years of calling on the federal government to conduct a full review of the tax system, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce took matters into its own hands to explore tax reform options. Today it revealed the early results.

“Reforming Canada’s tax system can help the economy recover, and our tax panel experts have provided some initial steps that can be taken right now. Canadians and the businesses employing them need our government to build a competitive and growth-focused tax system, because any true recovery must, and inevitably will, be led by business,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

After consultations with a broad mix of Canadians, businesses and tax practitioners on how to harness Canada’s tax system to foster job retention and growth, the Canadian Chamber is sharing what its panel heard  is needed now.

While a more comprehensive report to be published early next year will set out ideas for long-term structural reform, the Canadian Chamber is releasing 30 specific recommendations for the government to enact now to help Canada recover from the pandemic’s impact.

“There are many small, simple actions the federal government can take right now that together will go a long way to helping Canadians and businesses cope with the pandemic’s economic fallout,” said Patrick Gill, Senior Director of Tax and Financial Policy for the Canadian Chamber. “There’s no reason the government can’t use tax policy as a lever to create better business conditions today to spur a faster recovery tomorrow. While it may be still too early to move forward with more far-reaching structural tax reform, Canada  can’t afford to let its tax system keep falling behind its G7 competitors.”

The Chamber’s simple tax reform suggestions to help Canadians and businesses include:

Support Canadians by:

  • Automating filing for simple returns
  • Enhancing the deduction for childcare
  • Simplifying the work-space-in-the-home deduction
  • Improving the use of electronic communications, includingthe broader use of email and permitting documents to be electronically attached to filings.

Support small employers by:

  • Introducing a temporary GST/HST holiday to spur local purchases
  • Demonstrating continued leniency with small business audits during the pandemic
  • Simplifying rules around income-splitting with children
  • Removing tax disincentives that arise on the sale of a small business to family members.

Support large employers by:

  • Processing work-space-in-the-home deductions without a T2200 form
  • Deferring the CRA’s right to collect disputed tax amounts
  • Increasing deductibility on capital expenditures in the year incurred
  • Accelerating the ability to turn tax losses into cash.

“As political leaders consider their next steps to foster recovery and prosperity post COVID-19, they would be well advised to consider the aggregate voices of everyday Canadians, tax experts and business leaders captured in the Canadian Chamber’s independent review,” said Dr. Trevin Stratton, Chief Economist and VP of Policy for the Canadian Chamber.

To review all 30 recommendations, click here.

The roundtables were conducted between August and November 2020, with over 450 participants. A panel of leading tax and business experts helped inform The Canadian Chamber’s tax review process. For more information about the Canadian Chamber’s independent tax review, visit

About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.


For more information, please contact:

Phil Taylor (preferred and fastest response time)

Change in Member Dues

Dear Chamber Members,

This past year has certainly been a roller coaster and we know that 2021 is full of unknowns, but through it all we continue to stand beside you ready to provide assistance and advice. With our partners we have strongly lobbied governments on your behalf to provide programs and assistance that would actually help and we have seen them make meaningful changes based on our advice. We will continue to do this moving forward and I encourage you to reach out to us with suggestions and input as this pandemic continues to play out. 

As we move into 2021 and a new membership year, we saw the opportunity to bring about a change in our membership structure in order to provide more value to you. We are officially moving away from charging based on the number of employees you have as this is an out-dated method. Instead our membership fees will be based on the benefits that you receive. Along with this change we have put in place a small increase in fees, the first time in many years. 

Going forward the Yarmouth & Area Chamber of Commerce will now have six different membership levels for businesses which will be called; basic, essentials, connect, growth, influence and champion. Each of these levels offers a different set of benefits and I encourage you to read the membership brochure to see all of the details. During this transition our current members will be moved into the equivalent new membership level based on what you are paying now. This transition is laid out below.

New Membership Level

Old Membership Level

Basic Fewer than 5 employees
Essentials Between 5 and 20
Connect Between 21 and 50
Growth 51 or more

Our new influence and champion level have no equivalent in our past structure. 

Individual and student memberships will transition to the basic level.

You will see renewal invoices emails come to your email Monday morning. Please keep an eye out. You can pay online and also make changes to your membership levels. If you have any issues with this please reach out.

I know this change will bring about many questions and I invite you to first check out our website and then call or email us with your questions. We have also created a membership FAQ page on our website which we will continue to update with answers to questions we receive.



Rick Allwright

Executive Director