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#ShineOnTourism: Amazing Ambassadors

By June 22, 2021August 12th, 2021Blog

10 Nova Scotians who beam Maritime hospitality.

Nova Scotians are always ready with a warm welcome. In fact, we’re famous for it! Of course, there are some Nova Scotians that truly stand out as amazing ambassadors for our province. People that can’t help but sing their praises for our food, wine, coasts, and cultures. These people live in Nova Scotia’s brand of authentic, charming, and fast friends.

Here are just a few of those people. Do you know another amazing ambassador? Share their story on our Facebook page!

Pete Luckett, Luckett Vineyards

Pete Luckett’s vision and commitment to quality have helped position Nova Scotia as an internationally recognized wine destination.  Pete knows the value of creating memorable experiences and Luckett Vineyards has become a quintessential wine and culinary destination.  As a partner in Magic Winery Bus, North America’s only wine tour aboard a classic British double-decker bus, Pete’s roots shine and illustrate his collaborative approach to connect new customers to Nova Scotia wine.  Magic Winery Bus also operates the Niagara region and is Pete’s way of spreading Nova Scotia hospitality to another iconic Canadian destination.  Above all, Pete is passionate – passionate about Nova Scotia wine, fruits, and vegetables – his enthusiasm is contagious!

René Boudreau, Elevate and Explore

René is an avid traveller and Halifax-based entrepreneur. She created Elevate and Explore to promote Nova Scotia’s rich Black history and culture while supporting Black-owned businesses. In addition to sharing stories and content to encourage people to explore Nova Scotia, René also created the Elevate and Explore bicycle tour, showcasing Halifax’s Black history and culture.

Tanya Hinkley, True North Destinations

True North Destinations was one of the first dome accommodations to open in rural Nova Scotia. These five-star accommodations overlooking the waters of Pleasant Bay on the Cabot Trail can barely keep up with the demand. Tanya moved out of the province for a number of years but returned home to Cape Breton with her young family to build a family-based business. Now she wants everyone to know about her island paradise!

Quita Gray, Sugar Moon Farm

Quita and her family have turned a seasonal maple syrup shack into a year-round culinary destination. In addition to making great maple products, Sugar Moon Farm is an award-winning restaurant with unique culinary experiences featuring local, seasonal fare paired with maple (voted as having some of the best pancakes in Canada) and offers access to an extensive array of hiking trails – you can even rent snowshoes in the winter and order a take out lunch for the trail. Sugar Moon Farm has been featured on the Food Network’s Big Food Bucket List.

Jane McLoughlin, Patrick Jardine, Andrew Tanner, and George Anderson, Saltbox Brewing Company

Like the historical building they are named after, Saltbox brews small batches of quality beer as a deeply rooted expression of the heritage and craftsmanship found in small fishing communities around Nova Scotia. They have crafted some unique flavours and uniquely named craft beers but the one that put them on the map was Crustacean Elation, a lobster-infused beer that was developed as part of the annual Nova Scotia Lobster Crawl Festival. In the last couple of years, they have partnered to open a brewery in Bridgewater and this summer, a new brewery destination in Lunenburg. Their latest release is the Bluenose 100 Commemorative Ale. Saltbox was selected to brew this special commemorative ale to mark the 100th anniversary of the launch of the famed Bluenose in Lunenburg on March 26, 1921. The challenge for Saltbox was to brew a craft beer that would be popular but rooted in craft beer traditions. This is a true Canadian Maritime ale based in brewing lore from the prohibition era.

Tony Sampson, Salty Dog Sea Tours

Tony is a venerable salty dog having been to sea for decades and thanks the winds of fate for having washed him up on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. Originally from England and New Zealand, ​Tony has taught diving all around the world from the top of the Orkney Islands in Scotland to the bottom of the South Island of New Zealand and many places in between. Tony has been both cast and crew on every season to date of the popular TV show, The Curse of Oak Island. As a result, he started offering tours of Oak Island from the water and of course guiding the tours himself to give an inside perspective on the show and the mystery of the treasure hunt. He has since expanded to offer tours of Chester area to view some of the most expensive and impressive homes to be found in Nova Scotia.

Kevin Penny and Dee Osmond (Kev & Dee), Accessible Adventurers

Kev & Dee are an inter-abled couple who document their travels on YouTube and Instagram. They showcase accessible destinations while promoting disability awareness, equality, and accessibility. Kev has used a wheelchair since 1991 when a spinal-chord injury caused him to be paralyzed from the chest down. He met Dee, an occupational therapy assistant, through an adapted sailing program. Together they take on new adventures, breaking down barriers to accessibility wherever they can and advocating for equal access.

Tareq Hadhad, Peace by Chocolate

Tareq studied medicine at Damascus University and joined the medical relief efforts for the Syrian refugees when he arrived in Lebanon in 2013 as a refugee himself. Just after arriving in Canada, he and his family started their company in Antigonish to sponsor peace-building products and support the local economy. The company has turned into a phenomenon that inspired many people around the world and was mentioned at the UN summit in 2016 as a remarkable example of their contributions. Peace by Chocolate just opened its first storefront location in 2021 in the new Queens Marque development on the Halifax waterfront and have released the book “Peace by Chocolate” that documents the Hadhad family’s remarkable journey from Syria to Canada (soon to be released as a movie as well).

Donna Hatt, Travel Media Association of Canada

If you’ve worked in the tourism industry in Nova Scotia for any length of time, chances are you know Donna. Donna is past-chair of the South Shore Tourism Cooperative and has held positions at a number of tourism businesses and organizations including White Point Beach Resort, Authentic Seacoast, and Develop Nova Scotia. This spring she took on the role of Chief Administrative Officer of the Travel Media Association of Canada as one of several new adventures for 2021. Donna is a champion of Nova Scotia who brings a passion and enthusiasm for this province to everything she does, and she will be sharing that passion with travel journalists and influencers from around the world – and working with Nova Scotians as the TMAC conference convenes in Yarmouth in June 2022. Donna was the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia’s 2019 Tourism Champion of the Year.