New Brunswick Week—Ending on a Good Note in Fredericton
After hearing about the Beaverbrook Art Gallery for years, it was great to finally tour the collection. Even with many of the more noteworthy works by the likes of Turner, Dali and Lucian Freud on the road in Calgary, the art museum still impresses. See the portrait of Lord Beaverbrook by Graham Sutherland, a work the wealthy press baron thought resembled a “mischievous gnome.” Nearby is Sutherland’s portrait of Beaverbrook’s good friend Winston Churchill and several paintings by Churchill himself. The highlight this summer is an exhibition by Canadian abstract landscape painter Eric Atkinson. Atkinson uses mixed media, including sand and glue, to create textural pieces like “Love You, Walk On The Beach” where the words “love you” are inscribed in the sand. Another one of his recent works, the vibrant blue “Harmony of Clouds over Huronia” showcases his newfound love of color.
I had lunch at Lunar Rogue Pub, a local favorite, where the owner is one of the preeminent collectors of Scotch in the world. His latest count is 509 different types of whiskey. Thanks to his vast knowledge on the subject, Fredericton has become home to one of the foremost whiskey festivals in North America, the NB Spirits Festival which takes place in November. Along with the Brewer’s Bash in mid-July, the Highland Games in late July, and the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival in September, Frederick has garnered a reputation as the Festival Capital of the Atlantic Maritimes. I caught up with David Seabrook, one of the founders of the Harvest Festival, over a tasty Picaroons Yippee IPA at the new locale of the King Street Ale House. He told me that the line-up for the 24th annual festival is one of the best yet, with the Blues Travelers, Robert Randolph, moe, Dr. John, and Buckwheat Zydeco among the 150 performers on hand for the 6-day event.
Of course, I planned my trip around the Fredericton Farmers Market, recently voted one of the "Top 10 Farmers Markets in the Country" by Canadian Geographic. The Market is open every Saturday from 6am to 1pm with over 200 vendors selling produce, home baked goods, meat, maple syrup, flowers, handcrafts, jewellery and much more. I grabbed a cup of coffee and made a beeline straight to the guy selling lobster rolls. The only way to end a trip to New Brunswick! Thanks to Tourism New Brunswick for designing another memorable trip to the province!