Tag Archives: Uncommon Common Art

Another delicious day in the Annapolis Valley

The Minas Basin and a tiny corner of the Annapolis Valley from The Look Off. (Allan Lynch Photo)

Lookigng across the dykelands towards Blomidon – and the Look Off. (Allan Lynch Photo)

It’s been a delicious day in the Valley. This has been one of those days that kills any desire to leave Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. It’s a day to bask in the warmth of community and sense of community.

I started with breakfast at the Wolfville Lions Club with school friends Sue and Jane. Boy Scouts served and cleared tables. A retired RCMP officer sold raffle tickets. The local MLA stopped by to say hello. Other strangers just wished us a “Good Morning” and chatted. It this were America it would be a modern Mayberry, a place people dream of, but we live in. After breakfast I strolled to the Wolfville Farmers’ Market, where I saw this woman with greens strapped to the back of her bike. That’s very Wolfville. On a previous stop a saw this guy leaving with a backpack full of fresh vegetables.

My next stop was at the Deportation Cross at Horton Landing. Nearby cows stand guard on the Planters’ Memorial. To reach the Cross you drive the Old Post Road from Grand Pre. The road is like a green tunnel, past century homes housing the fourth-, fifth-, eighth- and ninth-generations of the families who built these places. This is all within the boundaries of UNESCO World Heritage’s Landscape of Grand Pre. It has a great continuity. And respect for the natural world.

This year’s roadside art installation at Evangeline Beach. (Allan Lynch Photo)

I then scooted across the dyke road to Evangeline Beach to see the new annual roadside art installation. Each year a local couple showcase their creativity on this roadside brow.

After that I attended the open house at the Kentville Research Station. First there was the barbecue hosted by the Greenwich Volunteer Fire Department. They were more than happy to make my burger extra crunchy. Then a wagon ride around the research station grounds.

The research vineyard.

Studying trays of vegetables for container farming in the North. (Allan Lynch Photo)

The grounds are fenced off and usually open only to plant scientists who have hundreds of on-going research projects. One is looking at the benefits of introducing carbon to plants to speed up growth. They are doing an amazingly diverse range of research. One orchard has 1,100 types of apples! There’s a research vineyard with seven types of vines. They are studying container farms for Northern Canada.

In Downton Kentville, The Devil’s Half Acre motorcycle event brought hundreds of bikes to town. At one time the community had so many taverns that it was known as The Devil’s Half Acre. Then, Edward, Duke of Kent, who was in charge of garrison in Halifax and Commander of Canada (a title all current Governors General hold) came to the Valley. As a royal duke and father of the future Queen Victoria, it was unseemly for his to visit a place of low repute. So in his honour the Devil’s Half Acre became Kentville.

While the two-wheel crowd are focused in town, a fleet of Mustang owners roamed the roads. And on foot, Geocachers gathered in Wolfville.

And it was the launch of this year’s Uncommon Common Art. You could bring or buy a t-shirt and progress to have a colour silkscreened on it at each of three stations: Willow Park, Waterfront Park and Clock Park. Each stop flushed out this year’s logo. And, being a green event, t-shirts are dried on the grass between each silk-screening.

This time of year, with bushes and trees in blossom, gardens blooming and fresh greens pushing out of the ground and trees the Valley is painfully beautiful. No one the early settlers called it an Arcadia.


A Pilgrimage of Remembrance as Performance Art

Leaving Aldershot.

Jessica Lynn Wiebe is an artist participating in this year’s Uncommon Art. She is also a veteran, who has completed two tours in Afghanistan.

Thursday May 25th Wiebe and a group of supporters set out from Camp Aldershot in the North End of Kentville to walk to the Acadia University War Memorial. Wiebe who is also an Acadia alumni felt too many memorials become invisible. So, around the two war memorials outside the old gym she is installing two walls of sandbags. One for each world war. On her 14k walk from the base to the university she is carrying a cement sandbag. The weight and the walk are what WWII recruits were required to carry and travel.

In front of my grandfather’s house.

Walking down Gallows Hill towards the DAR Station.

I photographed Wiebe outside the house my grandfather built on the top of Gallows Hill in Kentville. In July 1940 my father crossed this verandah and the single polished stone slab that is the short front walk. He walked down Gallows Hill, across the bridge over the Cornwallis River to the DAR train station just beyond. It was a walk he knew well. My grandfather and father were both railway men. For years it was their walk to work. On that July day his work was different. Instead of walking to the round house, he boarded the train for the journey to Petawawa for training. From there he went to England. He eventually fought his way up the boot of Italy as part of the Italian Campaign, then across France to Belgium, participated in the liberation of The Netherlands and into Germany for the victory.

In Petawawa before being shipped overseas for six years of service.

We were fortunate he returned to the house on the hill in time for Christmas 1945.


You can read about Wiebe’s project here:





In northern Netherlands with a war prize.