Oceans Week HFX
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
June 3rd- June 12th
We kicked off Oceans Week at The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, which is conveniently located on our city’s harbour front. It’s always one of our favourite annual events because it introduces hands-on learning and focuses specifically on elementary school groups! While introducing basic conservation and ocean principles, being able to captivate their interest through engaging yet educational activities was key throughout the event.
The excitement that radiated from these kids, whether it was touching different critters from the sea or giving a giant lobster mascot their best high-five – those are the moments we remember.
The Tim Horton Children’s Camp, located on the north shore of Nova Scotia, was more than generous to opening their doors to the public, free of charge for an entire afternoon! With the launch of a new marine centre, which featured touch tanks and boat rides to deliver ocean-focused activities for all ages. This event is held with the goal of encouraging children to become engaged through marine-oriented activities and spark their interest to learn more about our oceans and how to enjoy and protect them.
It takes a special kind of person to influence and motivate others to live a more environmentally cautious lifestyle. We wanted highlight one individual in particular that we had the great pleasure of meeting during Oceans Week. Dr. Elin Kelsey, an educator and award winning author who is genuinely devoted to teaching others about ocean issues; she created a movement surrounding the idea of #OceanOptimism. During Oceans Week, a national conference was held that brought ocean lovers from across the country, to Halifax, and Kelsey was chosen to as the keynote speaker where she was given an opportunity to present her work. Her keynote lecture was in partnership with the Canadian Network for Ocean Education (CaNOE), which is a platform for the advancement in ocean literacy within Canada. A network thriving on the hard work of dedicated volunteers, ultimately people driven by the importance of ocean education.
A Halifax favourite enVie, a vegan kitchen, offered a five-course seafood inspired menu calling it a “Tribute to the Sea”. While still enjoying the flavours of popular seafood dishes, enVie transformed the way we looked at seafood – and how we can make more sustainable choices when it comes to dining. From a maki roll substituted with grilled ahi watermelon, to perfectly baked oyster mushrooms – these were just a few of the plates served during this intimate dining experience.
A few events we always look forward to, that also help strengthen the sense of community during the week, are various beach clean-ups and ocean side yoga classes. Both events are accessible and free to the public, which allows for plenty of variety in the turn out. What better way to spend your weekend than helping keep the coastline litter free; then heading to the park for a taste of yoga by the sea? It doesn’t get much better (or relaxing) than that.
While calling Halifax home for almost a decade, we have witnessed a growth in the community and it only seems to grow stronger every year. Being part of such a friendly, open-minded and optimistic community has made the upmost positive impact on our entire Oceans Week journey and overall goal in building marine stewardship.
Halifax harvests the second largest natural harbour in the world, which allows for both industrial and economical growth for ocean-related jobs. Nova Scotia itself is a base for many of today’s ocean and marine technological advances and intelligence. We were very lucky to have had support from a few of these companies and partners, mainly from the Ocean Technology Council of Nova Scotia (OTNCS). With their partnership, we were able to acknowledge that in Halifax ocean education and awareness stems from many sectors, but thrives with connect between community and industry.
by Monica Phung
Oceans Week HFX Coordinator