Downtown Lowdown with Downtown Halifax

Downtown Lowdown with Downtown Halifax Business Commission is where you can find all you need, or want to know, about Downtown Halifax. Hosted by Ivy Ho, Director of Communications, and Allana MacDonald Mills, Director of Marketing, Downtown Lowdown gives you the lowdown on what's new in business, events, development, and issues that affect Downtown. In each episode, we'll also talk to individuals that are key players who work to make Downtown Halifax better. 

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EPISODE 35 - October 20

On the 35th episode of Downtown Lowdown podcast, we interview Genaya Cameron, Senior Director, Event Operations with the Halifax Convention Centre and Scotiabank Centre. Genaya will be telling us how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the Scotiabank Centre, the logistics of re-opening, and what the next few months could hold for the Centre. Paul MacKinnon, CEO of Downtown Halifax Business Commission, has some updates on some of the Federal economic relief programs, and Ivy has an update on how to safely celebrate Halloween. We also tell you about some business milestones and updates, what events are coming up in Downtown Halifax, and we have a quick overview of the Evergreen Festival

This episode was recorded on October 15, 2020. 

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EPISODE 34 - October 6

On Episode 34 of Downtown Lowdown, we talk to Sarah Fillmore, the Chief Curator and Deputy Director of Programs at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. She tell us about the new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the Waterfront Arts District, the final three designs and more. 

We also have an overview of business updates and milestones, we talk about upcoming events in Downtown Halifax, and we tell you about our Downtown Halifax "trails."

This episode was recorded on October 1, 2020, at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel.  

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EPISODE 33 - September 22

This week on Downtown Lowdown, we chat with Paul MacKinnon, CEO of Downtown Halifax Business Commission, about his thoughts on the Mayoral Candidates Forum that was broadcast live on September 16. All 3 mayoral candidates participated in the forum including incumbent Mayor Mike Savage, Max Taylor, and Councillor Matt Whitman. To watch the full forum, click here or here.   

Paul also gives us an overview of the new federal funding for Black-owned and Black-led businesses, plus we have some business milestones and updates, we talk about where you can satisfy your pumpkin spice cravings, fall events in #DowntownHalifax and more.

This episode was recorded on September 17, 2020 at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel.

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EPISODE 32 - September 8

This week on #DowntownLowdownPodcast, we interview Tanya Davis, the Manager of the Strategic Transportation Planning Program for Halifax Regional Municipality. She tells us about the Halifax Mobility Response: Streets and Spaces Program that was created as a response to the pandemic.

Paul MacKinnon, CEO of Downtown Halifax, gives us an update on the Mayoral Candidates Forum, out-of-town students and office workers coming back to Downtown, plus we have some business updates, we share some ideas of where to get breakfast and lunch in Downtown Halifax, and more.

This episode was recorded on September 3, 2020 at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel.

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EPISODE 31 - August 25

On the 31st episode of #DowntownLowdown, we interview Victoria Horne, Manager of Parking Services with Halifax Regional Municipality. Victoria tell us about some of the upcomoing changes to on-street parking in the city (more information here).

Paul MacKinnon, CEO of Downtown Halifax Business Commission, is back with updates on government economic relief programs and face masks in Downtown Halifax, and we share some business milestones, talk about our featured business for August, Brawta Jamaican Jerk Joint, we give an overview of our new campaign, Meet Me Downtown, and more. 

**Special thank you to Podstarter - and owners Jonathan Burns and Rhys Waters - for inviting us to record in their space. Check out their website at podstarter.io for more inforamtion on their podcast services. 

This episode was recorded on August 13, 2020. 

LISTEN on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Anchor, YouTube or Podcast Atlantic

 

EPISODE 30 - August 11

On the 30th episode of #DowntownLowdown, we interview Ankur Gupta, Co-Owner and Vice-President of Business Development with Scanway Catering. Ankur shares with us how Scanway survived – and thrived – over the past few months, and what the long-term holds for the business. 

Paul MacKinnon, CEO of Downtown Halifax Business Commission, has an update on a few of the government relief programs as well as non-medical face masks for businesses in Downtown Halifax. We also share some business milestones and have an update on Downtown’s farmers' markets and more.

**Special thank you to the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel for letting us use one of their spacious meeting rooms so we were able to safely physically distance while recording this episode in-person.

This episode was recorded on July 29, 2020.

LISTEN on iTunesGoogle PodcastsSpotifyBreakerAnchorYouTube, or Podcast Atlantic.

 

EPISODE 29 - JULY 28

This week on the #DowntownLowdown, we chat with Jenny Nodelman, Marketing and Events Officer at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Jenny tells us what the Museum did during the pandemic, and how they are doing since re-opening. 

Paul MacKinnon, CEO of Downtown Halifax Business Commission, has updates on Bedford Row, the Peace and Friendship Park, and how the Department of Education's back to school announcement will affect Downtown. Plus, we review what attractions are open, business milestones and Discover Halifax's new 'Heart. Soul. Halifax!' Guide

**Special thank you to the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel for letting us use one of their spacious meeting rooms so we were able to safely physically distance while recording this episode in-person.

This episode was recorded on July 23, 2020.

LISTEN on iTunesGoogle PodcastsSpotify, BreakerAnchor, YouTube, or Podcast Atlantic.

 

EPISODE 28 - JULY 14

This week on the #DowntownLowdown, we talk with Gordon Stewart, Executive Director of the Restaurant Assocation of Nova Scotia. Gordon tells us about the challenges the food and beverage industry has faced during the pandemic, and how they are faring during the re-opening phase.

Paul MacKinnon, CEO of Downtown Halifax Business Commission, talks about Argyle Street, Grafton Street, the Downtown Halifax Crew, and more; and we have a rundown of what’s re-opened in Downtown Halifax, plus an update on Re-Open City HFX 2020.

This episode was recorded on July 13, 2020.

LISTEN on iTunesGoogle Podcasts, SpotifyBreakerAnchor, YouTube, or Podcast Atlantic.

 

EPISODE 27 - JUNE 23

On the 27th episode of #DowntownLowdown, we chat with Jeff Ransome, General Manager of the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel. Jeff talks about how the Marriott Harbourfront responded to the COVID-19 crisis, and as a member of the Halifax Hotel Association, he tells us his views on the pandemic's impact on the hotel industry as a whole and his expectations for the future of the industry.

Paul MacKinnon, CEO of Downtown Halifax Business Commission, gives us an update on DHBC’s latest advocacy efforts, and we tell you what to expect when you are out and about in Downtown Halifax. 

This episode was recorded on June 19, 2020. For up to date information on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit downtownhalifax.ca/covid19 or novascotia.ca/coronavirus

LISTEN on iTunesGoogle PodcastsSpotifyBreakerAnchor, YouTube, or Podcast Atlantic.

 

EPISODE 26 - JUNE 16

On Episode 26 of #DowntownLowdown, we welcome Rustum Southwell, CEO of the Black Business Initiative (BBI) in Downtown Halifax. He tells us about the work that the BBI is doing in Halifax and the importance of black business owners in our community. He will also weigh in on the momentum that the #BlackLivesMatter movement has gained in recent weeks, along with the impact of COVID-19 on the businesses BBI represents. 

Paul MacKinnon, CEO of Downtown Halifax Business Commission, gives us an update on DHBC’s latest advocacy efforts and new business grant programs, and we have an overview of #WhatsOpen in Downtown Halifax.

This episode was recorded on June 15, 2020. For up to date information on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit downtownhalifax.ca/covid19 or novascotia.ca/coronavirus

LISTEN on iTunesGoogle PodcastsSpotifyBreakerAnchorPodcast Atlantic, or YouTube.

 

EPISODE 25 - JUNE 9

On Episode 25 of #DowntownLowdown, we chat with Jenna Oosterholt, owner of The Ville Caffeine Bar, about the challenges she has faced as a small business owner during the COVID-19 pandemic and how she prepared to re-open her café after an 11-week closure. Paul MacKinnon, CEO of Downtown Halifax Business Commission, gives us an update on DHBC's latest advocacy efforts and new business grant programs, and we have an update on what's open in Downtown Halifax. 

This episode was recorded on June 8, 2020. For up to date information on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit downtownhalifax.ca/covid19 or novascotia.ca/coronavirus.

LISTEN on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Anchor, Podcast Atlantic or YouTube

 

EPISODE 24 - JUNE 2

This week on #DowntownLowdown, Jeremy Webb, Artistic Director, Neptune Theatre, tells us about how #Neptune has been coping through the pandemic, and about their new online show "Off the Leash with Jeremy Webb.Paul MacKinnon, CEO of Downtown Halifax Business Commission, is back and tells us about DHBC's new business grants and latest advocacy work, and we tell you what to expect with businesses starting to re-open. 

This episode was recorded on June 1, 2020. For up to date information on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit downtownhalifax.ca/covid19 or novascotia.ca/coronavirus

LISTEN on iTunesGoogle PodcastsSpotifyBreakerAnchorPodcast Atlantic or YouTube

 

EPISODE 23 - MAY 26

On the latest episode of #DowntownLowdown, we chat with Patrick Sullivan, President & CEO of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, and chair of the Nova Scotia Business & Labour Economic Coalition. Patrick tells us how and why #NSBLEC was formed and the work it is doing. Paul MacKinnon, CEO of Downtown Halifax, gives us an update on the latest developments with provincial and federal relief programs and DHBC's latest advocacy work. And we have an update on What's Open in Downtown Halifax, and how you can stay connected with the DowntownHalifax community.

This episode was recorded on May 25, 2020. For up to date information on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit downtownhalifax.ca/covid19 or novascotia.ca/coronavirus

LISTEN on iTunesGoogle PodcastsSpotifyBreakerAnchorPodcast Atlantic or YouTube

 

EPISODE 22 - MAY 20

On episode 22 of Downtown Lowdown, we interview Dr. Leanne Roach and Dr. Kelsey Bonang from Insight Optometry. They tell us how #InsightOptometry has adapted their practice and business to physical distancing. Paul MacKinnon, CEO of Downtown Halifax, gives us an update on the Nova Scotia Business Labour Economic Coalition (#NSBLEC) and DHBC’s latest advocacy work. And we finish with an update on What’s Open in Downtown Halifax, and how you can Stay Connected with the Downtown Halifax community.

This episode was recorded on May 19, 2020. For up to date information on the COVID-10 pandemic, visit downtownhalifax.ca/covid19 or novascotia.ca/coronavirus

LISTEN on iTunes, Google Podcasts, SpotifyBreakerAnchorPodcast Atlantic or YouTube

 

EPISODE 21 - MAY 11

On the 21st episode of Downtown Lowdown, Ivy and Allana interview Eric Jonsson, Program Coordinator of the Navigator Street Outreach Program. Eric tells us how the street-involved and homeless population is faring during the pandemic. Paul MacKinnon, CEO of Downtown Halifax Business Commssion, gives updates on the NS Business Labour Economic Coalition (#NSBLEC) and DHBC's latest advocacy efforts. We also have an update on businesses that have re-opened, and share some virtual events and programs to keep you connected to your Downtown Halifax community. 

This episode was recorded on May 11, 2020. For up to date information on the COVID-10 pandemic, visit downtownhalifax.ca/covid19 or novascotia.ca/coronavirus

LISTEN on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Anchor, Podcast Atlantic or YouTube

 

EPISODE 20 - MAY 5

On Episode 20 of Downtown Lowdown, we interview Erica Pellerin, Vice President, Marketing & Visitor Experience at Discover Halifax. Erica shares with us how Discover Halifax has pivoted their marketing efforts during the COVID-10 pandemic. We also have updates on the the Nova Scotia Business Labour Economic Coalition (NSBLEC) and the advocacy work that DHBC is doing. And we finish with an update on What's Open in Downtown Halifax, and share some Mother's Day ideas. 

This episode was recorded on May 4, 2020. For up to date information, visit downtownhalifax.ca/covid19 or novascotia.ca/coronavirus

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EPISODE 19 - APRIL 27

This week on another COVID-19 themed episode of Downtown Lowdown, we interview Susan Hanrahan, Executive Director of Craft Nova Scotia. Susan tells us how the COVID pandemic is affecting craft shops, galleries, individual makers, and craft organizations across the province. We also have updates on the advocacy work of the Nova Scotia Business Labour  Economic Coalition (NSBLEC), and their partnership with Inkwell Boutique to distribute their poster 'We Shall Never Rebuild Nova Scotia Unless Everybody Works Together' throughout the province. And we finish up with what's new with businesses that are open and open online, and how to stay connected with the Downtown Halifax community. 

 This episode was recorded on April 27, 2020. For up to date information, visit downtownhalifax.ca/covid19 or novascotia.ca/coronavirus

LISTEN on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Anchor, Podcast Atlantic or YouTube

 

EPISODE 18 - April 20

On the latest COVID-19 themed episode of Downtown Lowdown, Ivy, Allana and Paul interview Heather Rankin, Co-owner of Obladee, A Wine Bar. Heather tells us how they’ve changed their business during the Covid19 pandemic. We also discuss the latest on the NS Business Labour Economic Coalition, and share some updates on what’s open for business and how to stay connected with the DowntownHalifax community.

This episode was recorded on April 20, 2020. For up-to-date information, visit downtownhalifax.ca/covid19

LISTEN on Apple PodcastsSpotify, BreakerAnchorPodcast Atlantic or YouTube.

 

EPISODE 17 - APRIL 14

On another COVID-19 themed episode, Mimi Fautley, Owner of The Loop, a yarn retailer on Barrington Street, discusses how her business has changed since the pandemic began, and the importance of small businesses to Downtowns and Mainstreets. Paul MacKinnon, CEO of Downtown Halifax Business Commission, gives us an update on the NS Business Labour Economic Coalition, and DHBC's advocacy efforts during this crisis. Ivy and Allana also discuss other updates including businesses that are open and open online for business, and what other businesses are doing to stay connected to the Downtown Halifax community. 

This episode was recorded on April 13, 2020. For up-to-date information, visit downtownhalifax.ca/covid19

LISTEN on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Anchor or Podcast Atlantic

 

EPISODE 16 - APRIL 7

On the latest COVID-19 pandemic episode, Philip Holmans, Owner, World Tea House, joins Paul MacKinnon, CEO of Downtown Halifax Business Commission, to tell us what it's been like to run a small business during this pandemic. We also discuss updates on the government's economic relief programs and DHBC's involvement in the NS Business Labour Economic Coalition. Ivy and Allana also discuss other updates, including what businesses are doing virtually to stay connected to the community. 

This episode was recorded on April 6, 2020. For up-to-date information, click here: COVID-19

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EPISODE 15 - March 31:

Join Ivy, Allana and Paul for the third special COVID-19 focused episode of Downtown Lowdown:

  • Updates on the NS Business Labour Economic Coalition (new name) 
  • Developments on provincial and federal economic relief progrrams
  • Updates on businesses during the State of Emergency
  • What businesses are open and open online for business during the pandemic 

This episode was recorded on March 30, 2020. For up-to-date information, click here: COVID-19

LISTEN HERE

 

EPISODE 14 - March 24:

Join Ivy, Allana and Paul for another special COVID-19 focused episode of Downtown Lowdown. 

  • Learn about the progress of the NS Business and Employee Economic Council that was formed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Updates on provincial and federal relief
  • Updates on businesses during the State of Emergency
  • What businesses are open and open online for business 

This episode was recorded on March 23, 2020. For up-to-date information, click here: COVID-19

LISTEN HERE

 

EPISODE 13 - March 17

Special COVID-19 Episode with Paul MacKinnon, CEO of Downtown Halifax Business Commission.

This episode was recorded on March 16, 2020. For up-to-date information, click here: COVID-19

LISTEN HERE

 

EPISODE 12 - March 3:

Featured Interviews: Female entrepreneurs and business owners in Downtown Halifax for International Women's Day

LISTEN TO EPISODE 12

 

EPISODE 11 - February 18:

Featured Interview: IIHF Women's World Championship

LISTEN TO EPISODE 11
 

EPISODE 10 - FEBRUARY 4:

Featured Interview: Savour Food & Wine Festival 

LISTEN TO EPISODE 10 
 

EPISODE 9 - JANUARY 21:

Featured Interview: Winter events and activities in Downtown Halifax

LISTEN TO EPISODE 9 

 

EPISODE 8 - DECEMBER 17:

Featured Interviews: Holiday Donations

• Biz Buzz with Ethan Craig: What's new in Downtown Halifax

• The Coast Top 5 Events with Morgan Mullin: Top 5 events for the weeks of December 17 to January 20, 2020

• Interview: Billy Comer, Civic Events Coordinator, HRM: New Year's Eve in Grand Parade

• Shameless Self-Promotion: The Halifax Lights Festival wrap-up, Downtown Halifax Holiday Gift Guide 2019 and shopping local this holiday season

Blantant Propaganda: Winter snow removal, winter parking ban, street closures, DHBC holiday hours. 

LISTEN TO EPISODE 8

 

EPISODE 7 - DECEMBER 3:

Featured Interviews: How have retail businesses in Downtown Halifax prepared for the Holidays?

• Biz Buzz with Ethan Craig: What's new in Downtown Halifax

• The Coast Top 5 Events with Morgan Mullin: Top 5 events for the weeks of December 3 - 16

More event listings at thecoast.ca or downtownhalifax.ca/events

• Shameless Self-Promotion: The Halifax Lights FestivalDowntown Halifax Holiday Gift Guide 2019 and shopping local this holiday season

LISTEN TO EPISODE 7

 

EPISODE 6 - NOVEMBER 19:

• Featured Interviews: How are restaurants/cafes in Downtown Halifax preparing for the Holidays?

• Biz Buzz with Ethan Craig: What's new in Downtown Halifax

• The Coast Top 5 Events with Morgan Mullin: Top 5 events for the weeks of November 19 - December 2

More event listings at thecoast.ca or downtownhalifax.ca/events

• Shameless Self-PromotionDowntown Halifax 2019 Holiday Gift Guide and The Halifax Lights Festival 

LISTEN TO EPISODE 6

 

EPISODE 5 - NOVEMBER 5:

• Featured Interview: Eric Jonsson, Program Coordinator, Navigator Street Outreach: Overview of the Navigator Street Outreach program and how it provides homeless and street-involved individuals in Downtown Halifax with support.

• Interview with Donna Davis, Project Manager, Cogswell Redevelopment, Halifax Regional Municipality: Update on the redevelopment of the Cogswell Interchange.

  • Learn more about the Cogswell Redevelopment here 

Biz Buzz: What's new in Downtown Halifax

• The Coast Top 5 Events with Morgan Mullin: Top 5 events for the weeks of November 5-18

• Shameless Self-Promotion: Downtown Halifax 2019 Holiday Gift Guide and The Halifax Lights Festival 

Blatant Propaganda: Street closures for The Chronicle Herald Parade of Lights, plus where to park for the parade in Downtown Halifax

LISTEN TO EPISODE 5

 

EPISODE 4 - OCTOBER 22:

• Featured Interview: Paul MacKinnon, CEO, Downtown Halifax Business Commission: Overview of the new DHBC Strategic Plan 2019-2022

  • Learn more about our Strategic Plan here

• Highlights from Downtown Halifax Business Commission's 2019 AGM including:

• Interview with Frank Palermo, founding member of Leading with Transit 

  • Learn more about Leading with Transit and the Guiding Principles here
  • Listen to our full interview with Frank Palermo here:

• Biz Buzz with Ethan Craig: What's new in Downtown Halifax

• The Coast Top 5 Events with Morgan Mullin: Top 5 events for the weeks of October 22 - November 4

• Shameless Self-Promotion: Downtown Halifax 2019 Holiday Gift Guide, Halifax Lights Festival 

LISTEN TO EPISODE 4

 

EPISODE 3 - OCTOBER 8:

Federal Candidates Forum on Downtowns & Main Streets: Highlights from the forum held on Monday, September 23 at Neptune Theatre

  •  Watch PLANifax's full video from the forum here

•  Featured Interview: Lindsay Ann Cory, Executive Director of Nocturne: Art at Night Festival

  • Learn more about Nocturne: Art at Night Festival 2019 here

• Biz Buzz with Kuda Ndadzungira: New businesses, notable milestones, celebrations and more 

• The Coast Top 5 Events with Morgan Mullin: Top 5 events for the weeks of October 8-22

• Shameless Self-Promotion: Downtown Halifax 2019 Holiday Gift Guide, Halifax Lights Festival 

LISTEN TO EPISODE 3 

 

EPISODE 2 - SEPTEMBER 24:

Featured Interview: Suzanne Fougere, Executive Vice-President, Strategy and Business Development at Events EastFall conventions and the Halifax Convention Centre

  • See all upcoming events at the Halifax Convention Centre here.

Biz Buzz with Kuda Ndadzungira: New businesses that opened over the of Summer 2019 (Part 2)

• The Coast Top 5 Events with Morgan Mullin: Top 5 events for the weeks of September 24-October 7

Shameless Self-Promotion: Downtown Halifax 2019 Holiday Gift Guide, Halifax Lights Festival 

Blatant Propaganda: Argyle Street Summer Weekend Street Closure comes to an end

Pros on Cons: Hanita Koblents, Principal Planner, HRM: Argyle & Grafton Streets and how to use them

  • Learn more about the Argyle & Grafton Shared Streetscape Project here

LISTEN TO EPISODE 2

 

EPISODE 1 - SEPTEMBER 10

• Featured Interview: Kourash Rad, Senior Planner, Urban Development Strategist at RAD Consulting: Art of City Building Conference

• Bizz Buzz with Kuda Ndadzungira: New businesses that opened over the of Summer 2019 (Part 1)

• The Coast Top 5 Events with Morgan Mullin: Top 5 events for the weeks of September 10-23

• Blatant Propaganda: Update on the Argyle Street Summer Weekend Street Closure

LISTEN TO EPISODE 1. 

 

Downtown Lowdown is brought to you by the Downtown Halifax Business Commission. Follow us at @DowntownHalifax on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or email info@downtownhalifax.ca for more information.