First Bell: Winter 2017

By Our Children

Discovery Centre announces winners of 2017 awards

The Discovery Centre hosted its 15th annual Discovery Awards, Halifax’s most prestigious science recognition event, on Nov. 23rd at the Cunard Centre to celebrate Nova Scotia’s best and brightest science innovators. 

There were two Nova Scotia Science Hall of Fame Inductees: 

• Dr. William Feindel (1918–2014) will be recognized posthumously for his contributions to neurosurgical research and development of medical diagnostic equipment. 

• Dr. Peter Allen will be recognized for his leadership in creating one of the largest solar energy product manufacturers in North America.

There were also four categories for professional awards: Professional of Distinction, Emerging Professional, Innovation and Science Champion. Honourees in each category include:

• Professional of Distinction:
Jason Clyburne, environmental science and chemistry, Saint Mary’s University; Patrick McGrath, VP, research, innovation and knowledge translation, IWK Health Centre; and Fred Whoriskey, biology and the ocean-tracking network, Dalhousie University.

• Emerging Professional:
Amy Bombay, psychiatry and nursing, Dalhousie University; Ghada Koleilat, electrical engineering, Dalhousie University; and Samuel Veres, engineering, Saint Mary’s University.

• Innovation:
Densitas Inc., Mohamed (Mo) Abdolell, founder/CEO; Kinduct Technologies Inc., Travis McDonough, founder/CEO; and QRA Corporation, Jordan Kyriakidis, CEO/president.

• Science Champion:
Lisa Lunney Borden, education, St. Francis Xavier University; Kevin Hewitt, physics, Dalhousie University; and Matthew Lukeman, chemistry, Acadia University.

Finally, two Nova Scotian students shared this year’s Youth Award: Janani Venkat, a Grade 9 student at Bedford Academy, and Anisha Rajaselvam, a Grade 9 student at the Sacred Heart School of Halifax. Venkat and Rajaselvam were recognized for their science fair projects, which each earned gold-medal status at the 2017 Canada-Wide Science Fair.

Proceeds from the event support the Discovery Centre’s non-profit mission to bring STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) to life through fun, interactive learning experiences and continue to inspire generations of science professionals in Nova Scotia. Visit for more information.


Celebrate Christmas with a little German flavour

Christkindlmarket, Dec. 1 to 3, is a popular traditional German holiday market held at Alderney Landing on the Dartmouth waterfront. It features market fare, free family entertainment, carousel rides, Maritime Marionettes, and more. The Christkindlmarket tradition dates back to the Middle Ages, when farmers, tradesmen, and artisans met at church to share a meal and exchange small gifts. The annual festival is celebrated all around the world. Lots of fun for everyone. Free admission.


Nominate a special teacher

The Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence have honoured exceptional elementary and secondary school teachers in all disciplines since 1993, with more than 1,500 teachers honoured to date. Teaching Excellence Awards recipients are honoured for their remarkable achievements in education and for their commitment to preparing their students for a digital and innovation-based economy. The Teaching Excellence in STEM Awards honour outstanding Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics teachers that help develop the culture of innovation Canada needs today, and in the future. To nominate a teacher today, go to for more information. Nominations for the 2018 Prime Minister’s Awards are open until Jan. 12, 2018.


One hundred years in words and music

Join Parliamentary Poet Laureate George Elliott Clarke, and Symphony Nova Scotia on Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library to commemorate the tragic events and lives lost in the Halifax Explosion that took place 100 years ago. Clarke and the symphony will perform against a backdrop of images from December 1917. Participants will have an opportunity to reflect and add a personal tribute to the city’s Centenary Book of Remembrance.


Avoid the malls

Looking for a way to make this Christmas a little extra special for your kids? Why not avoid the crowds at the big box stores and visit the many local shops our city has to offer? Our Children has compiled a select list of destinations in Halifax and Dartmouth that offer an excellent selection of toys, games, and books for all the kids on your list (and even maybe a few of the “bigger kids” too).

1. Fiddleheads Kids Shop: brings together a curated selection of products for parents, parents-to-be and kids, with expert knowledge. Products are selected using such criteria as healthy, long-lasting, stylish, and local.
300 Prince Albert Road, Dartmouth
902-405-8801 |

2. Games People Play: carries the most popular board games, trading card games, and living card games. It also has action figures, gaming accessories and much more.
5217 Blowers Street, Halifax
902-444-4003 |

3. Halikids: provides a play-haven for kids and their families. It carries a range of local and Canadian products for kids and babies not found elsewhere. There’s apparel and shoes for anyone 12 and under, backpacks and lunch kits for daycare and grade-school, arts and craft supplies, and games for the young (and young at heart), puzzles, musical instruments, and more.
1445 South Park Street, Halifax
902-429-8720 |

4. Maritime Hobbies and Craft: is Canada’s oldest hobby shop, founded in 1946. It’s a general hobby store, with a little bit of everything from model trains, plastic modes, radio control, and much more.
1521 Grafton Street, Halifax
902-423-8870 |

5. Nurtured: provides a complete range of products for parents and kids, from newborns all the way up to elementary school. It chooses products with an eye to reducing the impact on the environment, making sure they last the life of your children and beyond, all while supporting independent businesses and the local economy.
2543 Agricola Street, Halifax
902-405-4367 |

6. Tattletales: is an independent, family owned children’s bookstore established in 1995. It specializes in books for infants,
toddlers, children and young adults. It also offers a special order department that will bring in items it doesn’t carry. Its toy department carries items from yesteryears to developmental and educational lines.
569 Portland Street, Dartmouth
902-463-5551 |

7. Woozles Children’s Book Store: is a place for and about children. As Canada’s oldest children’s book store (first opened in 1978), it carries books for parents and children alike, as well as toys, games, and accessories. It also offers workshops and serves as a significant community resource for sharing information about children and supporting activities to enhance reading and family life.
1533 Birmingham Street, Halifax
902-423-7626 |


Lighting up the season

Mainland North’s first annual tree lighting ceremony debuts on Dec. 9 at the Keshen Goodman Public Library. This free event includes a children’s program, face painting, picture taking, hot chocolate, cider and cookies and maybe even a visit from a special someone! East Coast Carolling is on hand to provide beautiful traditional holiday music. The event will be topped off with a spectacular tree lighting. In the spirit of the season, attendees can brighten the lives of the less fortunate by donating to Engage Mainland North’s second annual Hats and Mittens Project.