July pegged as ‘Automotive Heritage Month’ in N.S.

Car clubs and organizations ready for long-overdue celebration

By Jake Saltzman

After waiting more than a year for a proclamation from Nova Scotia Premier Darrell E. Dexter, antique car enthusiasts across the province are spreading the news that July has been declared Automotive Heritage Month.

The announcement came from the office of the premier last Wednesday, according to the Specialty Equipment Market Association.

In an official release, the association said it was due to the efforts of another group, the National Association of Automobile Clubs of Canada, that Premier Dexter saw fit to sign off on the proclamation.

According Conrad LeLievre, Nova Scotia president of the association of automobile clubs, Automotive Heritage Month is something that has been long-overdue in the province.

Setting up Automotive Heritage Month

“We were the ones that requested it from the province,” LeLievre said of her group’s involvement in pushing the idea of Automotive Heritage Month forward.

“We actually requested it in July of 2012 and had the same proclamation for the month of July. But I think what happened last year is all of the car clubs knew about it, but not many other [places] in Nova Scotia did.”

This year, LeLievre is making sure he contacts not only car clubs across the province, but also news outlets and broadcasters in Halifax. He cites a weekly automobile-specific column in the Chronicle Herald as one way to inform the public.

Halifax Antique Car Club is Halifax’s largest automotive club. Formed in 1963, it meets nine times per year at the Museum of Natural History. The club also publishes a bi-weekly publication called Antics. Members attend car shows across the globe year-round, and will be holding their 50th annual show this August.

LeLievre says clubs such as Halifax Antique Car Club will be invaluable in promoting ‘Automotive Heritage Month’ both in HRM and beyond. Still, clubs can sometimes be problematic, particularly in promoting all-encompassing events.

“The problem with the clubs is that each one of the individual clubs may have particular areas of cars that they’re interested in, or types. We have a British car club that handles things like Jensens and MGs; and (we have) the Classic Chevy Club here in Halifax.”

As a result says LeLievre, certain clubs often carry certain agendas. Sometimes, those agendas do not involve promoting such a broad cause.

Automotive history not forgotten in Nova Scotia

In the three months leading up to ‘Automotive Heritage Month’ and then into July, LeLievre says he hopes not for celebration and fanfare, but instead for increased public awareness. There is no plan for a parade, (not yet, at least) and any car show will have to be put on by a club.

“I think what we need to do is just let people know that the proclamation has been made by the Premier.”

While that may be the goal of the National Association of Automobile Clubs of Canada, it is also important for the public to know that Nova Scotia has a long history in the auto industry, and that many car enthusiasts remain throughout the province.

 

“There’s a large gathering of automotive enthusiasts here in Nova Scotia,” says LeLievre.

“We have over 14,000 cars registered as antique vehicles in Nova Scotia at the present time. And that number keeps growing every year obviously because cars keep getting older.”

New bilingual magazine ties together the Chinese community

The brand new Dakai Maritimes magazine is attempting to bring together members of HRM’s bilingual population.

 

Chinese markets, such as this one on Quinpool Rd, are already beginning to carry copies of Dakai Maritimes. (Jake Saltzman photo)

by Jake Saltzman

A bilingual magazine that debuted in Halifax last week is being met by praise across HRM, the magazine’s editor says.

Meng Zhao is the founding editor of Dakai Maritimes. It debuted in Halifax on March 6 at the Keshen Goodman Public Library in Clayton Park. The magazine’s content is printed in both Mandarin and English, making Dakai the HRM’s first bilingual English/Chinese publication.

Zhao says Dakai Maritimes will be covering a wide range of topics pertaining to area news and culture. Local freelance journalists will provide the magazine’s content. With two languages in print, Zhao says the magazine’s aim is clear.

“We are looking at the Chinese community. We’re looking at residents, students and immigrants,” she said.

Zhao has targeted local businesses, restaurants, cafés and office buildings. She says several booksellers already have Dakai Maritimes on their shelves, and a handful of Chinese markets in the city have also begun stocking their magazine racks with the debut issue.

Zhao says universities in Halifax will also carry the magazine, and readers can access an online version of each issue of the quarterly on Dakai Maritimes’ website.

Getting Connected and Staying Connected

For prospective readers, the notion of a bilingual publication is more than exciting. Dakai Maritimes will also serve as a wide open avenue through which to explore culture, heritage and tradition. Local university student Stewart Lore is half Chinese, and says the prospect of a new magazine with angles cast toward both the Chinese and the Chinese-Canadian population is a great way to stay connected.

Retrieved from: http://www.dakai.ca/

“I’m from Vancouver originally, and obviously there’s a much higher Asian population there than in Halifax. But a new magazine like this is a great way to get engaged, and, for a person like myself, to stay engaged.”

Lore says that while he identifies most comfortably as Canadian, it remains important for him to stay somewhat connected to his family’s heritage. Lore also takes a Mandarin Chinese language class, and says he looks forward to being able to tap into both sides of his ethnic background.

“Even if I’m not sure what’s happening in [Halifax’s] Chinese community, a magazine like this one will be good [for getting] in touch with this part of my culture, and probably [will be] for those like myself too.”

Related Audio

Stewart Lore shares his thoughts
Stewart Lore shares his thoughts.