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Posts from the ‘Arts & Culture’ Category

Chris Benjamin’s Favourite 2014 Reads

As has become an annual tradition, here are the books I most enjoyed reading in 2014 [Click on the image to visit the book’s goodreads page]:


Driven: How the Bathurst Tragedy Ignited a Crusade for Change by Richard Foot – A magazine assigned me this book to review. I’d never have read it otherwise. To my surprise it was really well written, touching and informative. It had many insights about the nature of social change and how different people respond to tragedy. If I weren’t a parent I might not have found it so powerful.

river thieves
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Great Wall

“Great Wall” is a short story commissioned by Halifax playwright and actor Michael McPhee as part of the Doppler Effect’s Cadimus Protocol, a trans-media art project that imagines a world where “environmental cataclysm forces vigorous regulation of humanity’s procreation rate in order to balance our ecosystem.” So far it includes works of theatre, visual art, music and more.

Read “Great Wall” at


Room with a view

This story first appeared in Atlantic Books Today in Fall 2013:

Author and publisher Lesley Choyce’s workspace offers an escape from the real world—but a window that frames the ocean view is essential.
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A Halifax journalist’s suspenseful exposé on the Cuban Five

This story first appeared in Atlantic Books Today in 2013:

With surgeon-like skill, Kimber dissects, bottom up, an injustice perpetrated at the highest US levels on Cuban patriots acting for their government with few financial resources in a hostile foreign country. The Cuban Five’s spy efforts were Read more

Bookmark’s for sale

This story first appeared in The Coast on Jan 17, 2014:

Atlantic Canada’s oldest indie bookstore seeks new ownership

Halifax’s only independent adult bookstore is for sale, along with its Charlottetown counterpart. Bookmark is the longest running independent bookstore in Atlantic Canada. Read more

Lorax Consumption

This story first appeared in The Coast on Mar 22, 2012:

I don’t remember reading The Lorax when I was a kid. I read it to my kid now. But I’m not a Lorax purist.

So, on a Friday afternoon I hit the Empire and paid my $13, got my 3D glasses in cellophane wrapper and prepared for a sermon. Read more

Maritime artists address environmental issues

This story first appeared in The Coast on June 11, 2009:

Laura Burke, Carla Gunn and Emily Vey Duke discuss their varying approaches to art and the environment. Read more

True Crime

This story first appeared in The Coast on Nov 13, 2008:

A Halifax film crew is trailed while shooting a cybercrime doc. It’s no surprise to hacker mafiaboy. Read more

Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine

This story first appeared in The Coast on Sept 24, 2008:

Naomi Klein argues that right-wing ideologues create and use moments of crisis to advance a regressive agenda.
By Chris Benjamin

It starts with a violent coup by dictatorAugusto Pinochet September 11, 1973. The Chicago Boys, a gang of Chilean economists trained by free market guru Milton Friedman, are uncannily prepared with a manifesto of economic policy, “The Brick.” It lands heavy on the left-leaning populace, inducing a state of shock. Read more

Africville art marks the spot

This story first appeared in The Coast on Sept 4, 2008:

Dal students and community leaders mark the doomed African Canadian community with signposts and structures. Read more