July 23 - August 2, 2019: Canso, Nova Scotia, Canada
When we decided to come to this part of Canada we found a boondocker near Canso, Nova Scotia and their site mentioned the Stan Rogers Folk Festival. As we looked further into this, we discovered we could volunteer at the event, so...that is what we did! The Stan Rogers Folk Festival was July 25-28, 2019 so we adjusted our schedule to fit around those dates.
As we drove through Nova Scotia the terrain is very similiar to that of many of the States (New York, Maine, and even parts of Idaho). Rolling hills filled with pines and decidious trees. I imagine the colors are amazing during the fall. However, once you hit the coastal cities. WOW...absolutely gorgeous. The Atlantic Ocean and the many islands with lighthouses you can see from shore are spectacular. As you can see from the photos below, there are incredible old buildings and churches. Most of the churches had the headstones come right up to the foundation and surround the church. Also, notice the HUGE piles of wood, this was pretty common around most of the houses, so...a good indication of how cold it gets in the winter.
As a side note, we drove through Springhill, Nova Scotia which is...the birth place of Anne Murray! They have a museum at the house that she was born in, however we did not stop and go through it.
We stayed at a BoondockersWelcome couple about 8 miles outside of Canso, Nova Scotia. We had arranged to stay with them from July 23 - 31 so we could volunteer at the Stan Rogers Folk Festival and see some of the surrounding areas. However, after meeting Stephen and Laura, we clicked and had so much in common that we decided to stay a few extra days until August 2. And they had three adorable cats that we really enjoyed loving on!
Wow, what an incredible place Stephen and Laura have! The are tucked back off a road, surrounded by pine and deciduous trees and...with an incredible view of the ocean! It was so quiet and peaceful, all you could hear were the birds (Eagles, Loons, etc)
Stephen and Laura live in Ontario, Canada and bought this property with about 300 feet of rocky coastline as their retirement property. They will build a house over the next few years, but until then they are building a shed and working on the land. Both of these activities were right up our alley, so we spent about 3 days helping with the shed and yard work. Craig and Stephen completed the second story flooring, build rafters and then finished the sheathing, tar paper, flashing, and shingles. While Laura and I hauled rock, dirt, pruned trees, other misc yard work and painted trim boards for the shed. During this time Chuck (another boondocker who stayed a few of the days at Stephen and Laura's) helped with some measuring and lifting on the shed. Craig and I had a blast helping them and it felt great to be doing physical activity!
Ummm ya....don't ask me what the boys were doing. Something about measuring their tape measures... : )
We had a great time at Stephen and Laura's and we all look forward to seeing each other again whether in the US, Canada, or Baja!
It was Stephen and Laura's boondock bio that introduced us to the Stan Rogers Folk Festival (Stanfest) in Canso, Nova Scotia. Wow, what a great find! The 3 day weekend tickets were about $150 each and you know us...looking for the value. So...we volunteered in the Merchandise booth : ) The volunteer gig was totally fun! We helped setup before the event and folded about 400 t-shirts and sold all but 10 of them! We volunteered with a great group of people and met some really cool folks from all over the world who we hope to stay in touch with.
It is really cool because the WHOLE town supports and gets into the Stanfest. This is a small town of about 806 people and everyone literally sleeps, eats, and breathes the Stanfest which has about 10,000 in attendance. There are HUGE park areas at the festival so most people camp on site.
When we were not volunteering, we were able to hang out and listen to music. There were three outdoor stages and one indoor stage. Music began at 11:00am. During the days there were intimate songwriter workshops and performances and then the evening would be main stage performances. Then...after hours the music would move inside and go until 2am! We only made it until about 11:30pm each night.
One of the nights, we watched as the fog rolled in down the hillside, it was so surreal looking.
If you are not familiar with Stan Rogers, check out this Wikipedia link, what a talented musician!
What great music!!! I love folk music and we were introduced to some amazing talented artists that I will continue to follow (Villages, Bruce Guthro, J.P. Cormier, Dave Gunning). Below are a variety of pictures from the event and artists names:
The Small Glories
Dave Gunning and JP Cormier
Scandinavian String Alliance
Dave Gunning, Bruce Guthro, JP Cormier, and Nathan Rogers (Stan Rogers son)
Rose Cousins interviewing Suzanne Vega. This was very cool. And...the main reason we wanted to come to this was because of Suzanne Vega. As you can see Craig is all excited because the interview is happening behind him.
The Bombadils, Kaia Kater, and Lula Wiles
JP Cormier and Dave Gunning's son who I think is 14 and wow....very talented and amazing voice!
Singing Stan where many musicians sing Stan Rogers songs. Standing and signing is Stan Roger's widow and his son Nathan.
Garrett Mason, Lydia Persaud, and Joey Landreth
Madeleine Roger, Garnet Rogers (Stan Roger's brother), and Joey Landreth
In our volunteer uniforms with "Parka" the Park Canada Mascot
It was about 11:30pm and yes...it was that cold. I had on four layers on top and two on the bottom!
On the last night the final performance was all of the musicians on stage singing. What a cool way to end the weekend!
In addition to helping Stephen and Laura, volunteering/attending the Stan Rogers Folk Festival, we wandered around the small town of Canso. The temperatures were in the mid 70's with a little bit of rain at the beginning of the trip, but otherwise perfect weather!
One of our days in Canso we visited the Whitman House Museum. Canso was settled in 1604, was the first town to get the Trans-Atlantic cable, and...was the first to receive the distress call from the Titanic!
Is that a Lobster Roll? Yep, Craig bought it for me from the Sea Breeze Ccampground down the road while he was doing laundry. It was $8 here vs. $19-3 in Maine and...tasted exactly the same!
This is called a Western Sanwich. It is basically an omelette (egg, ham, onion) on bread with...Miracle Whip. It is like a fried egg sandwich that I make at home! YUM!!!
During our stay at Stephen and Laura's in Canso, we wanted to visit Cape Breton Island which is still in Nova Scotia and close to their area. So we left the trailer at Stephen and Laura's and took 3 days with the truck to see Cape Breton Island. Check out our adventures here.
Overall, we had an amazing time in Nova Scotia. Everything about the area, the people, our trip, our adventures was perfect and we loved it here. We will definitely be back to Nova Scotia and do more exploring.
THANK YOU STEPHEN AND LAURA for your hospitality, advice, and friendship!