The long and short of iconic hair

Two men with exceptional hairdos aren’t worried about parting with their locks

By Erin Way

Connor Fitzpatrick let his five-o-clock shadow become a four-month shadow. Kyle McKenna has let his hair do its own thing for the past four years. Both of these men had a ‘why not’ moment and let nature do the rest.

Back in November, Fitzpatrick grew a moustache to raise money for Movember. After the month was up, he decided to stop shaving altogether.

“It’s definitely the biggest,” says Fitzpatrick of his current beard. “I’ve done Movember for the past three years and I’ve grown a beard for maybe a month before, but not this long.”

Although Fitzpatrick has committed to his gingery beard for the past five months, he does not think he will keep it for the long haul.

“It’s not really summer compatible,” he says, laughing.

Fitzpatrick says he gets one of two reactions from strangers about his beard.

“People either say nothing or they are very obsessed with it — like, ‘Can I touch it?’ and stuff like that.”

Although Fitzpatrick has avoided the tedious task of shaving every morning, maintaining lustrous facial hair is no cakewalk.

“You don’t shampoo because, unlike your scalp, your face doesn’t produce the oils you need for your hair,” he says.

“I condition it, then I rinse it out, then I use Moroccan Argan oil to keep it shiny and nice, and I trim it a little bit.”

Fitzpatrick’s hair care routine is the opposite of McKenna’s. In fact, all his dreadlocks require is a daily shampoo.

Similar to growing-out one’s facial hair, McKenna’s transition into dreads was passive.

“My hair is so curly it just dreads together on its own. I didn’t do anything to get them.”

McKenna has had his current dreadlocks for four years, but this is the third time he has had dreadlocks.

“(The first time) was the first year of high school I started growing the ‘fro, says McKenna. “Then I evolved.”

As with Fitzpatrick’s beard, no stranger has ever commented negatively on McKenna’s unique ‘do. His co-workers, however, have been known to jokingly tell him to ‘shave and cut your hair.’

“I kind of keep it just in spite,” says McKenna, laughing, “But I look good with short hair, and I’m alright with long hair, too, so either way.”

Once his dreadlocks grow and become heavier and more annoying, McKenna says he will take the scissors to them. After all, he has before.

“The first couple times I cut them off it was like I lost a bit of my identity,” says McKenna. “Like ‘Oh shit, I’m not the guy with the dreads.’ But you know, it’s all good.”

McKenna already stands taller than the average man and his dreads make him even more distinctive.

Regardless of how much time they have had their respective hairstyles, neither man seems worried about cutting it all off.

As McKenna says, “You’re never your hair. So if it goes, it goes, you’re still the same person.”

Trendy vendors give market artistic flair

The Halifax Seaport Market is known for its local meat and produce, but it’s unique artisans make the shopping experience special.

By Erin Way

The Halifax Seaport Market is known for its local meat and produce. The market also hosts many local creative businesses selling their handiworks. Profiled here are four style vendors that are found at the market most Saturdays.

Jewelry Gillian Hannah Berry Designs

Gillian Berry’s table at the market is packed with more than a hundred of her own jewelry designs. Berry is different from the run of the mill jewelry stand because each of her designs is made from repurposed material.  There’s a section of leaf inspired earrings, watch face bracelets and necklaces made of Scrabble game tiles.

Gillian Berry constructed this necklace out of a fake floral bouquet that her mom had. (Erin Way photo)

“I’ll recycle and reuse and also I’ll go to antique stores and flea markets and estate sales and find old pieces that I can turn into jewelry,” Berry says.

Although the materials she uses for each mini collection vary, her whole line maintains a vintage yet modern feel.

“I like to use birch bark, leather, antique clock faces deconstructed from old watches,” Berry says. “Really anything and everything.”

T-shirts etc.The Quarrelsome Yeti

Geordan Moore’s booth stands out at the Halifax Seaport Market because he’s one of the few clothing vendors, and because of the subject matter and intricate details in his artwork.

Moore draws all of the content that is silk-screened onto his products. He started printing t-shirts and posters then branched into postcards and market bags.

Moore is constantly coming up with more unusual content. He can often be seen drawing up new designs at his booth. (Erin Way photo)

“The style that I use right now is based on the relief print making process, like woodcut print making,” Moore says. “I am really interested in Japanese wood cuts and that reductive style of drawing and they’re kind of silly, usually.”

One of Moore’s more popular designs features a rabid looking beaver with brains leaking out of its orifices and gnawing on a log. Around the drawing is written “Welcome to Canada”.

“When I started the business… I told myself if I ever had an idea that I thought was too stupid, then I should do that.”

The Quarrelsome Yeti has found its niche at the market catering to those with a distinctive taste in fashion.

BagsThe Wind Bag Company

The Wind Bag Company is out of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, and sells in stores in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. Every Saturday you can find owner Pauline Dickison in the upper level of the Halifax Seaport Market singing praises of her products.

Primarily, the company sells various types and sizes of bags made from worn-out ship sails. Part of a Wind Bag’s appeal is that each one is unique.

“We use other materials to trim and line the bags,” Dickison says. “We’re all about giving these tough materials another life.”

A selection of bags made from old sails by the Wind Bag Company. (Erin Way Photo)

The company reclaims other materials such as seatbelts, leather, event banners and even the curtains from White Point Beach Resort, which burned down in 2011. For the past few years, NSCAD has been donating discarded painted canvases, which Dickison accepted gratefully and turned into bags.

“We do a little harvesting at the local junk yard,” Dickison says. “It’s all about giving this tough stuff another life and otherwise they end up in the landfill.”

Pauline Dickison, owner of the Wind Bag company


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Pauline Dickison talks about what makes each Wind Bag special.

“Every bag has a tag that tells you the story of the boat from which the sails came,” Dickison says.

From messenger bags to duffel bags, to pencil cases and wallets, there is a Wind Bag for every occasion.

Socks, Mittens and other wool products- Lismore Sheep Farm Wool Shop

On the North Shore of Nova Scotia near the River John area, 150 sheep are working hard to produce wool for the Lismore Sheep Farm. The farm is owned and operated by Gillian Crawford and her husband, and they use all the resources the sheep have to offer.

Some of the vividly coloured knitted mittens from The Lismore Sheep Farm. (Erin Way Photo)


“We raise our own sheep and then from the sheep we get lambs, which we sell for meat,” Crawford says. “Here at the market we sell all of the wool products: so the yarn, woven blankets and sheepskin blankets, are all woven from our sheep wool.”

Crawford works with River John locals to knit some of their products.  Their shop offers sheepskin shoe liners, blankets and wool dryer balls alongside brightly coloured knitted socks and mittens, all of them with felted wool inside to make their products warmer and cozier.

Morris House has new life

In January, the Morris House was hauled by truck from downtown Halifax to the North End in a dramatic move.

By Erin Way

In January, the Morris House was hauled by truck from downtown Halifax to the North End.

The Morris House still sits on the wheels that brought it to it's new home. (Erin Way photo)

Now, with the house in it’s new home, it’s time for the overhaul to begin.

With the house in its new location, the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia and Ecology Action Centre is ready to step in and fulfill the original intent of the move: to preserve and transform the 264 year-old Morris House into a livable building.

Saving the house

The Morris House was set to be demolished in 2009 in order to make way for VIC suites on the corner of Hollis and Morris streets. Once the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia realized that the Morris House was the fourth oldest building in Halifax, it teamed up with Ecology Action Centre to save the building.

Linda Forbes, President of Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia explained that the three-year lease of the Nova Scotia Power parking lot not only bought them a place for the Morris House to stay, but also time to make a plan.

“The Trust agreed to buy the building for a dollar,” Forbes said.

She describes the Trust as “a province wide organization concerned with promoting the protection of heritage buildings, providing educational opportunities and working with the government and community groups to insure the integrity and future viability of heritage buildings.”

Future plans

Metro Non-Profit Housing has arranged to take over the Morris House after the Trust and Ecology Action Centre are done refurbishing it. The goal is to turn it into housing for homeless young adults.

Since the building isn’t yet registered as a historical building, there are no specific heritage conservation laws to follow in the overhaul of the Morris House. So, the Trust is using ‘The Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada’ as a guiding principle for the project. The guide is content heavy, but Forbes says it’s one of the most applicable guidelines to their current project.

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Linda Forbes comments on the Morris House project.

“It’s basically just taking good care of, and recognizing the value of the building and being sensitive to what the building is and the work that it has done.”

“Don’t add pieces of a building that weren’t there originally, don’t make it what it wasn’t. Recognize that a building evolves. It’s not static,” said Forbes.

That mindset transfers over to how both the Trust and Ecology Action Centre tackle the Morris Project. For the Trust, preserving the individual architectural aspects of the building are crucial in maintaining the identity of the building.

“A heritage house isn’t necessarily more elaborate or more ornate than [any] other house, it can be very plain as well. And this one is simple and somewhat plain inside,” Forbes said.


The Trust aims to refresh the house more than embellish it. Using a painting and general knowledge of the era, the Trust knows that the style of the house is meant to be simple and elegant rather than lavish and grand.

“The stair handrail for example, is very fine, it’s very small and very simple, not like the Victorian posts that are large and heavy, they are very elegant and simple,” Forbes said.

For the Ecology Action Centre, leaving Morris House fundamentally unmodified means extensive research into the methods that will be used to heat, wire, insulate and plumb the building.

“One of the aims of the project is to show that older houses like this can have a useful purpose and can be made reasonably energy efficient,” Forbes said, “The house has lasted as long as it has because it was built in a certain way and if you try to change it, try to treat it the same as a modern house, it may not perform the same way and you could damage it.”

For example, in buildings as old as the Morris House, the sheathing boards under the shingles in the roof have gaps in them to let out air and moisture. If those gaps are covered up with sheathing paper, as is standard now, the building will react differently than a modern house would because it was not built to accommodate a tightly sealed roof.

“If you change one thing you have to be sure that you look for anything else that has to be changed at the same time so that you can continue to perform and stay healthy, Forbes says.”

The story of an old house being saved last minute from demolition then toted across town with intentions of being converted into housing for homeless young adults has also received public support. The Center for Art Tapes has made an animated short about the house. There is a new insulated foundation built on the site paid by donations.

“We’ve had some really good response so we’re feeling quite positive about it,” Forbes said.

“It’s really engaged the community.”