Going NUTS in Annapolis Royal

Go NUTS in Annapolis Royal on October 18


Conkers? Has anyone really heard of conkers? New to many Nova Scotians, but an old tradition for anyone of British heritage, Conkers has been making a reappearance in Annapolis Royal in recent years.

The game of conkers involves, quite simply, a chestnut on a string.


Well, two actually, as each person in the duel requires the same armament. The objective – to break your opponent’s conker. Sounds simple, but it is actually quite difficult and makes for great fun for participants and spectators alike. To quote the Annapolis Royal organizers, conkers is “A game of Kings and school boys – This centuries old form of sporting battle is about to re-emerge.”


The 3rd Annual North American Conkers Championship will be held “centre-Courtyard” at the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens on Saturday, October 18 during the Winter Market. Registration is at 10am and the tournament begins at 10:30am as participants vie for the coveted Crofton Chalice. No entry fee, no experience necessary, all ages welcome! For details, visit www.annapolisroyalconkerclub.ca



After the tournament, head over to the Annapolis Royal Golf Club at 2:00pm to try your hand at a putting competition that will drive you NUTS, during the “Great Putting Challenge”. Yes, you guessed it – instead of balls you will be putting with conkers! Putter and conkers are provided.

Join us in Annapolis Royal for this unique day of events, and while you are here be sure to enjoy some of our many GHOST TOWN activities (www.exploreghosttown.com).

Conkers 2014 Poster

Meet you in Annapolis Royal!

Town Announces “Meet you in Annapolis Royal” Video Series

When they decided to create a series of five new promotional videos, the Town of Annapolis Royal had a great challenge. How do you capture more than 400 years of community and natural beauty in an attractive and engaging video production? With its particular mix of history, arts and gardens, Annapolis Royal is a community unlike any other. From the energy of the Saturday morning farmer’s market to the mystery of the candlelight tour at the Garrison Burial Grounds to the serenity of a walk through the roses at the Historic Gardens, Annapolis Royal offers a wide variety of experiences for visitors and residents. Capturing the spirit of the town was the task given to Edifice Media when the Town of Annapolis Royal partnered with various community groups to create the “Meet you in Annapolis Royal” promotional videos.

“My family and I have been spending summers in the Annapolis Royal area since 2006 and have always been drawn to this perfect little town” said Edifice Media CEO, Dr Christopher Cooper. “This past summer we filmed a series of promotional videos based on the Branded Entertainment model of short episodic snap shots of the best Annapolis Royal has to offer – as always just a pleasure to work with the core people taking on this initiative and what better canvas to paint with than Annapolis Royal!

This video project was funded by the Town of Annapolis Royal with support from the Historic Gardens, Parks Canada, The Historical Association of Annapolis Royal, Explorer Visitors Guide, Annapolis Heritage Society and Annapolis Region Community Arts Council. “It was such a pleasure to work with Christopher Cooper and all the community partners who collaborated on this project” said Trish Fry, Manager of the Historic Gardens. “With social media marketing at the forefront, it is vitally important to have visual and engaging media as part of our internet marketing, and Edifice Media delivered just that.”

The first of the videos in the “Meet you in Annapolis Royal” series was released in the autumn. This video featured Laura Lowe riding a bicycle along St George Street while greeting merchants and residents along the way. The remainder of the videos will be released March 3 through April 14 to build momentum leading into the 2014 visitor season. “Thanks to the Town of Annapolis Royal for leading this effort to get us this far” Fry adds. “Now it is up to all of us to ensure that this tool is used to its maximum potential.”

Meet You Placard

Check it out!   MeetYou in Annapolis Royal

Historic Gardens – Call for Sculptures 2014

Art in the Gardens – Inspiring!

Basalt II by Brad Hall

It’s hard to imagine how one could improve upon the award-winning Historic Gardens in Annapolis Royal… until you take a tour of the Garden Sculptures on display throughout the gardens each summer.

Several years ago, in partnership with the Annapolis Region Community Arts Council, the Historic Gardens started incorporating sculpture into the Gardens on a seasonal basis. As with everything in the Historic Gardens, the Sculpture Project is growing and blossoming each season.  Each piece is sited thoughtfully within the 17 acres of gardens; allowing the artwork to both enhance its surroundings and to be enhanced by the gardens around it. The resulting marriage of gardens and sculpture has been met with great enthusiasm from Historic Gardens visitors.

We are fast approaching the deadline for our annual call for Expressions of Interest, and therefore want to publicize once again as a reminder about this great opportunity for artists to showcase their work. If you are an artist, please have a look at the information in the link below. (Or if you know of an artist who might be interested, please share this with them.)

Expressions of interest 2014

We look forward to another exciting display of garden sculpture in the Historic Gardens in 2014.

Once an Annapolitan, Always an Annapolitan!

Once an Annapolitan, Always an Annapolitan!

This is a story about a local boy… someone who grew up in Annapolis Royal, riding his bike and climbing trees in his backyard, on the very lands that are now the Historic Gardens. He graduated from the Academy and headed off to build a life. But his hometown kept calling him, and as he began to retire (for he has been doing that off and on for years), he began to spend more and more time “back home” in Annapolis Royal. He carried many fond memories of this wee town wherever he went in life, and now feels privileged to once again call Annapolis Royal his home.

He and his wife returned to a changed community – there are many great “new” things that were not here when he was a lad. One of those is the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens. The Gardens added a special element to modern life in Annapolis Royal, and he embraced this special place as his own.


Peter enjoys a little down time with his camera in the Gardens…

This young man had a rewarding and successful career and upon returning to his hometown (and even before) he has chosen to give back to our community in many ways. And because of his strong affection for, and appreciation of, the Historic Gardens, he has given very generously to help ensure that the Gardens are here for future generations to enjoy.

One day he thought how wonderful it would be for more people to join him in supporting the Historic Gardens. To encourage this, he offered to match every new dollar donated to the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens in 2013 up to a total of $15,000.

From his childhood days through to his retirement days, Peter Nicholson has been proud to call Annapolis Royal his home town. And since the Gardens were created, Peter has considered them a source of immense community pride and a Canadian jewel. In his words: “The Historic Gardens are a precious and enormously valuable resource for our community, our province and yes, even for our country.”

This is part of the Gardens that was Nicholson property in Peter's childhood days.

This is part of the Gardens that was Nicholson property in Peter’s childhood days.

So a hearty thank you to Peter and Jane Nicholson for their continued support, which comes to us in so many ways. Their contributions of time, talent & energy to the betterment of this community are very much appreciated.

Peter’s Challenge is good until December 31 – he invites new donors to make a first-time donation, and equally he invites current donors to increase their level of commitment. “Join me in supporting this gem within our community!”

Donate Now 2

A Visit with the Hookers…

We have been selling tickets on a beautiful hooked mat this summer, donated by the Habitation Hookers to raise money for the Historic Gardens. With the draw only two weeks away we wanted to take a moment to recognize this dedicated group of hookers and to let you know where you can see this mat, and how you can purchase tickets.

I was invited to join this group at the Port Royal Community Hall to see them “at work”. And while this incredible project is most worthy of being labelled “work”, once you sit in with them for a few minutes you realize that it is indeed a labour of love for them all. They so enjoy their craft, and the social time they have as they hook and create, that there is no question that they simply love being hookers and have loads of fun doing it.

Thanks so much to this group creating this mat for us.

A Word from the Habitation Hookers:

Hope you like our “charity” mat. One of our members, Carol Thorne, created the pattern and put it on the backing. Our other members donated the wool fabric and the time required to hook the mat – several months of time. It was then whipped (the wool yarn edging was put on) and the binding tape was sewn on the back of the mat to finish it.

Have fun with it and we hope it is a successful fundraiser for the Historic Gardens!

The winning ticket will be drawn on Saturday, December 14, at 11am during the Annapolis Royal Winter Farmers Market.

If you have not yet picked up your tickets, or if you feel the need to help your odds of winning by purchasing MORE tickets, there are a number of ways…

The Mat will be displayed every day (Tues-Sat) at the Gardens office until December 14. Tickets may be purchased there as well. (There is one exception, as follows…)

The Mat will be displayed Saturday December 7 at the Annapolis Royal Fire Hall during the Christmas Craft Market. We will be there with memberships, calendars, cards, and yes… with raffle tickets.

And if you can’t get here in person but want to buy tickets, well this is 2013 after all so we have tickets available through our Web Store. You can buy online and if you win the Mat, shipping can easily be arranged.

Acadian Kitchen Party August 6 – Join us!

Acadian Kitchen Party – Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Historic Gardens, Annapolis Royal


Yes, it’s back!

Plan to visit the Historic Gardens in Annapolis Royal on Tuesday, August 6, 5-8pm for the annual Acadian Kitchen Party. A great time was had by all at the “first ever” Historic Gardens Acadian Kitchen Party in August 2012, and the community and visitors alike are looking forward to even more fun in 2013!


Experience a unique evening in the mid-summer Gardens surrounded by the dynamic sound of Acadian kitchen band Unisson! It will be a toe-tapping time – you won’t be able to sit still! Celebrated Nova Scotia story teller Laurent D’Entremont will join the fun to treat everyone a few tales. Enjoy nibbles with an Acadian flair and Nova Scotia wine, beer, and cider. Be sure to bring along a lawn chair or blanket so you can relax, settle in and enjoy the evening!


Children are welcome to enjoy this licensed event with their families! Please note: Minors under age 19 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Tickets $20 (Children 7-12 pay half price, and under 6, free). Cash bar.

The Acadian Kitchen Party is a wonderful cultural event that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Be sure to experience it for yourself!

For tickets & information, visit www.AcadianKitchenParty.com or www.HistoricGardens.com or call (902) 532-7018.