JUDIQUE: There are many plans for a special building here.
Rose Poirier, with the Storytellers Gallery, said there are plans to use part of their space for an artist-in-residence studio next year, but those plans will be fully fleshed out next spring.
“With COVID, we didn’t do the artist-in-residence this year,” Poirier told The Reporter. “We expect that we will have artists that will perform, for example, they could be fiddlers, they could be dancers, perhaps we’ll have some weavers, storytellers. And they if they stay for the week, then they would also perform, and possibly host some workshops.”
Poirier said they are resuming free Seniors Traditional Harvest cooking workshops into October, thanks to Nova Scotia’s Age Friendly Communities grant. For dates and times, she asks that people go to their Facebook page.
“It’s about traditional harvest and traditional foods,” she noted. “We can take up to 10 people. We will have some more upcoming workshops, I believe Sept. 6 is going to apples, and there’s going to be a seaweed one. Even Mary Janet MacDonald is doing her ‘Tunes and Wooden Spoons.’”
Poirier also said, depending on public health protocols and the severity of the fourth wave of COVID-19 transmission, they are also hoping to host a Ceilidh in the fall.
“It’s a small building and we used to pack people in shoulder-to-shoulder and you know what packing people shoulder-to-shoulder does,” she said. “That’s still very questionable because we don’t know what it’s going to do this fall. If there’s fourth wave, it will very questionable. We hope, we’d love, but we definitely have to keep health at the forefront.”
According to the Judique Historical Society, the 100-plus-year-old building, hauled from Port Hood in the 1930s, was once a mining company house and home. They said it evolved to become Jack’s MacDougall’s store, a meat market (Rankins), a diner (Geekers), and now a community hub and museum full of local photos and lore.
The furniture was obtained from Mabou’s former St. Joseph’s Convent, Poirier said.
“It has been an important building in the community for quite some time,” Poirier stated. “Eventually, it was bought by the historical society but they still called it ‘Jack’s Old Store,’ people still do that.”
The upstairs of the building has been transformed into a two-bedroom suite, Poirier said thanks to funding under Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors program. Judique Jobbers pulled splintered boards and filled cracks into air-conditioned comfort, the historical society noted. Now the public can search Storytellers Suite on Air BNB to book a spacious set of accommodations with a kitchenette, laundry, and dining area, the society said, noting that two singles and one king-size bed, which can be split into two, can sleep four people. Under deals for September and October, the third night is free, the society said.
“If anybody is interested in getting a place to stay for their family, or if they know of any tourists coming by, we’ve got two beautiful bedrooms, a spacious kitchenette, a shower, it’s all there,” Poirier said. “You can walk to the trails, it’s beautiful and it’s wide open for September and October.”
The historical society said a path beside storytellers takes hikers right to the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail.
Although the rental season is over, Poirier added they are considering offering that service next year.