Our region is rich with things to keep you and your family busy and entertained. South Shore Connect is your starting point to help you find recreation sport, and physical activities in Shelburne and Yarmouth County. You will find the same for Digby County at Valley Connect.
There are exciting and varied events year-round in Western Nova Scotia. From cultural community festivals to art, food, and music celebrations, the region hosts events of all shapes and sizes. Whether your tastes lean toward cultural performances, sports events, or anything in between, there is something for you to enjoy most weeks of the year. Below are some places where these extraordinary events occur, and we recommend checking them out periodically to find out what events are taking place.
- Th’YARC is a year-round live theatre venue that offers a wide variety of entertainment for the whole family located in the Town of Yarmouth.
- Mariners Centre is southwestern Nova Scotia’s premier destination for sport, recreation, entertainment, and event hosting. Whether attending a concert, hosting a meeting, taking part in a trade show, or getting active at their arena, pool, fitness centre or walking track, they will help you play, connect, and be entertained.
- La Salle Père Maurice LeBlanc is 299-seat theatre located adjacent to the French secondary school ESPEB in Tusket.
- La Salle Marc Lescarbot is a 263-seat theatre located on the Université Sainte- Anne Campus in Church Point.
Keep an eye out for the region’s signature spring, summer, and fall events! Enjoy the local lobster in the lobster capital of the world at the Shelburne County Lobster Festival. Have a close encounter with unidentified flying object eyewitnesses at the Shag Harbour UFO Expo; take in the fishing competition at the Wedgeport Tuna Tournament and Festival; bring the family to Seafest in Yarmouth; make some noise at the oldest Acadian festival in the world, the Festival Acadian de Clare; get your motor running at the Wharf Rat Rally in Digby or indulge in a sweet treat at the Bear River Cherry Carnival!
We recommend checking out some of the following Facebook “Events” groups to keep up to date on what’s happening in your area!
Food & Flavours
Whether you’re a foodie, a budding chef, or just plain hungry, a significant and tasty asset in Western Nova Scotia is the variety of culinary options.
From Lebanese, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, and Mexican to traditional diner food and high-end options, our food is found in canteens, pubs, restaurants, cafes, and food trucks. We also happen to have some of the freshest seafood.
Local Tip: You can often buy fresh seafood on the side of the road from local fishermen! Keep your eyes peeled for handmade signs advertising fresh fish and seafood along the road.
There are farmers’ markets throughout the region where many local producers bring meats, veggies, cheeses, soups, sauces, honey, and many locally made products. Whether you’re fancying a road trip to explore the region or want to stay local, you can check out the Yarmouth Farmers’ Community Market, Argyle Farmers and Artisanal Market, Belliveau Cove Farmers’ Market, Barrington Farmers’ Market, and theDigby Farmers & Artisans Market.
You may hear about many traditional Acadian dishes here in the Western Region and want to try them. Rappie Pie is a well-loved dish; it’s a delicious mix of potatoes and meat that is a unique dish to the region. It’s available in many restaurants as well as in several grocery stores.
In Nova Scotia, no matter where you are, you’re never more than 67 kilometers from the ocean, and in the Western Region, you’re even closer. Our coastline is dotted with beaches that are the perfect place to walk, search for shells, relax with your feet in the sand or take the plunge and frolic in the waves.
A favorite activity is hunting for sea glass which are pieces or broken bottles that have been etched and worn smooth by the waves and then washed ashore. There are many provincial beaches and parks throughout our area that we recommend checking out!
- Central Grove
- Lake Midway
- Annapolis Basin Look Off
- Savary Park
- Smugglers Cove
- Mavillette Beach
- Port Maitland Beach
- Ellenwood Park
- Glenwood Park
- Sand Hills Beach
Enjoy many year-round waterways by exploring our lakes, rivers, and streams. Whether dipping your toes in the cool water or trying your hand at catching supper, you’ll enjoy the opportunities that come with living near the water.
The Tusket River is one of our most extensive river systems. It has numerous branches and associated rivers and flows through a series of lakes. The headwaters of the river lie in the Tobeatic Wilderness Area, part of the larger Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve. Many of our walking trails have water nearby, such as the Port Clyde Trail, Barrington Bay Trail, and Sherose Island Trail in the Barrington area; the Pubnico Point Trail, Rocco Point Trail, and Wedgeport Nature Trail in the Argyle region; Tkipok Trail, Leif Erickson Trail and Bunker’s Island in Yarmouth; the Petit Bois in Clare and the Balancing Rock, Acacia Valley and Van Tassel Lake trails in the Digby area.
Wharves, Marinas, and Launches
There are two municipally owned and operated marinas:
- The Killam Brothers Marina in Yarmouth includes a fueling station, ramp launch, repair facility, washrooms, showers, laundry services, and an onsite restaurant.
- The Royal Western Nova Scotia Yacht Club in Digby has been welcoming guests from around the globe since 1898.
There are wharves and watercraft launch areas in almost every community along the coast, including the Dennis Point Wharf in Lower West Pubnico which is the largest commercial fishing wharf in Atlantic Canada.
The Southwest Paddlers Association is a great association you might consider joining to meet like minded people who enjoy canoe or kayak sports.
Water safety is an important part of life in a coastal community. It’s always important to be prepared when heading out on the water, either on a watercraft or for a swim. This includes wearing a proper personal floatation device and following the rules of the waterways. Being informed about swimming in the ocean and what to do in the event of a riptide is an essential piece of enjoying a dip in the ocean.
To learn more about water safety, we recommend checking out these sites: beach safety and water safety. Not everyone may have had the opportunity to learn to swim and may want to learn or strengthen their skills. Check out our local municipalities’ pools to learn more about swimming lessons; Barrington Municipality, Mariners Centre, and Digby Swimming Pool and Centre Sportif Marcel-R.-Comeau
Fishing in Western Nova Scotia
For decades, commercial fishing has been one of the primary industries in Western Nova Scotia, offering some of the freshest seafood—from mackerel and haddock to lobster, scallops, oysters, and clams.
Sport fishing is a popular activity in our region, with our waters offering fish such as trout, kiacks (gaspereau), salmon, and bass.
The Great Outdoors
Our largest playground here in Western Nova Scotia is the great outdoors, with adventures and experiences to suit all activity levels and lifestyles.
- Playgrounds, swimming, skate parks, and trails for walking, biking, hiking, running, snowshoeing, and riding ATVs — you name it, we have places for it in our natural playground. Plus, we have snowmobiling, kayaking, golfing, boating, horseback riding, and much more, all ready and waiting for you to take in. To find parks, skate parks, or playgrounds near you, check out the following:
- Take a leisurely cycle on our roads or trails or connect with local cycling groups to push yourself and find some cycling pals. Make sure you take time to plan and are properly equipped for your ride, including a helmet (required by law)
- Bike safety
The Municipality of Clare hosts two cycling events- the Grand Fondo Baie Sainte Marie which is a mass start cycling ride which brings together road cyclists of all abilities as well as the Terra Fondo which is a mountain bike ride using the both challenging and more accessible riding trails in the region.
- Western Nova Scotia is home to a wide variety of wildlife and species. While we enjoy the natural wonders and the wildlife, animals in the wild can sometimes be a nuisance or a safety concern, especially when encroaching in more urban settings and around homes. You need to be especially cautious around deer, raccoons, and other small animals that are known to dart out in front of vehicles. You may notice deer crossing signs in areas where deer are known to be. If you’re exploring the outdoors, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the wildlife, plants, and safe hiking procedures. You can learn more about our wildlife, biodiversity, ecosystems and habitats, the law, permits, and regulations for hunting, and more at https://novascotia.ca/natr/
- Your furry friends
- For many people, pets are a part of their family, and finding a caring veterinary clinic is an important part of settling into a new community.
- Animal lovers fear not: we have a variety of wonderful clinics with caring staff ready to help you with all of your furry, feathered, or cold-blooded friends’ needs.
- Animal Hospitals and Veterinary Clinics
- Rescue, Pet Adoption, and Animal Welfare/Advocacy
We love sports in Western Nova Scotia, whether we’re competing, playing, or watching. School-led sport leagues and programming in the community allow for sporting and recreational opportunities for all ages and abilities.
- Find a sport
- Sport Hub Nova Scotia is a one-stop portal for information about local sporting opportunities. It allows you to search in your region and find out about the requirements (equipment, ages, pre-requisites, costs etc.…) of various sporting organizations as well as register to participate.
- We have traditional sports such as basketball, soccer, hockey, skating, softball, baseball tennis and swimming. To find a league or group check out https://novascotia.cioc.ca/?UseCICVw=13
- A fun way to find groups, explore a new activity or give a new sport a try is to connect with our local municipal recreation departments, which offer a variety of programming throughout the year Municipality of Barrington, Municipality of Digby, Municipality of Argyle, Municipality of Yarmouth & Municipality of Clare
- Special Olympics
- We have wonderful Special Olympics programs throughout our region. Special Olympics Nova Scotia is committed to enriching the lives of Nova Scotians an intellectual disability through sport. To find a special Olympics program near you or to get involved with them check out https://www.specialolympicsns.ca/
- Find a gym
- If you’re looking to get active, we have a variety of traditional gyms, private gym studios and fitness classes you can take. There are classes offered through municipalities and through our variety of gyms and studios in the region. To find a gym hear you, Google “gyms or studios near me”, a list of gyms, studios or fitness classes should pop up.
Arts and Culture
Rich in art, music and culture, Western Nova Scotia boasts incredibly talented artisans and performers who not only share their talents locally, but some have gone on to national and event international spotlights.
- Take in a show or performance, discover local art galleries, or find local artisans at
- Get Connected with creative minds by joining Bear River Arts and Action, the Yarmouth Art society, les Arts de la Baie or the Yarmouth Craft Guild
- Looking to learn or play?
Western Nova Scotia is known for its diverse culture. You can explore our communities to appreciate our rich history.
- Step back in time to discover how the Acadians lived in the early 1900s by visiting le Village historique acadien de la Nouvelle-Écosse or by visiting Musée des acadiens des Pubnicos
- If you’re interested in the history of our fishing village, visit the Seal Island Light Museum, the Chapel Island Museum and Sea Tower, the Wedgeport Tuna Museum, the Laurence Sweeney Fisheries Museum or the Yarmouth County Museum and Archives
- Other unique museums include the Barrington Woolen Mill, The Shag Harbour UFO Centre, the Argyle Township Court House & Gaol, the Firefighters museum of Nova Scotia and the Admiral Digby Museum
Local Tip: if you google “nova scotia museums” you’ll find a map that shows you where you can find all our fascinating museums.