Nova Scotia

  • population: 942,926
  • capital city: Halifax
  • musical facts: Music Nova Scotia has over 700 artist and over 390 business members
  • musical facts: Most popular styles are Rock, Folk, Pop and Urban, with representation in all genres
  • With over 7,500 km. of coastline, Nova Scotia can lay claim to being “Canada’s ocean playground”
  • People from Halifax are called ‘Haligonians’

Nova Scotia is widely recognized for its folk and traditional music, such as The Rankin Family, Natalie MacMaster and the world famous Celtic Colours Festival of Cape Breton. As far back as the 1930s with Hank Snow, then with Anne Murray, April Wine and Sarah McLachlan decades later, Nova Scotia continues that tradition with Sloan, Wintersleep, Old Man Luedecke, Ben Caplan and The Town Heroes.

Music Nova Scotia is the voice of the music industry of Nova Scotia


With one-on-one consultations, educational workshops, regional, national and international showcase opportunities, a business resources centre, and unlimited networking opportunities, it’s no wonder Music Nova Scotia is the largest non-profit music industry association in Canada.

Music Nova Scotia has worked since 1989 to encourage the creation, development, growth and promotion of Nova Scotia’s music industry.

Music Nova Scotia exists to grow and nurture the Nova Scotia music industry, to develop our own natural resource and promote investment, by:

  • Providing education, information and resources to our membership
  • Acting as the advocate for the industry to all levels of government and private enterprise
  • Supporting membership in the promotion of the export of Nova Scotia music regionally, nationally and internationally
  • Membership is mainly made up of Nova Scotians but some join us from other regions of the East Coast as well as across Canada. We are songwriters, musicians, agents, managers, promoters, distributors, photographers, associations, lawyers, accountants and other industry professionals.

Music Nova Scotia is a participating industry partner of the East Coast Music Association.


Explore the Province of Nova Scotia

Halifax Pop Explosion

Nova Scotians are proud of our musical heritage. As the successes and achievements of our musicians and music sector increase, so too does our pride in, and love of, all types and genres of Nova Scotia music.

With a population of just under one million Nova Scotia has proven to be a cultural hotbed capable of    developing new and emerging musical talent.

Our provincial attractions celebrate the best of the Province, from legendary musicians, and reconstructed fortress towns to seaside vineyards – with a range of activities that include Tidal bore rafting on the highest tides in the world, and great year-round surfing, plus golfing, cycling, camping, and hiking.

Whale watching can be found throughout the province, but the best whale watching is along Cape Breton’s world famous Cabot Trail and around the Bay of Fundy’s Digby Neck area.

Whale watching on brier isl

For more general information about the Province of Nova Scotia, please visit:

Pinterest: Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore a #RoadLessTravelled

Key Regions in the Province of Nova Scotia

Halifax population 297,943

Key venues/clubs: ScotiaBank Centre, Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Cunard Centre, Alderney Landing, Casino Nova Scotia, Lower Deck, The Company House, Marquee Ballroom, The Carleton Music Bar & Grill, Halifax Forum, Gus’ Pub & Grill, Reflections Cabaret

Key radio: CKDU 88.1 (campus), CBAX-FM Ici Musique 91.5 FM (public music-fr), CKUL-FM 96.5 (adult alternative), CIOO-FM 100.1 (adult contemporary), CJCH-FM 101.3 (chr), CHFX-FM 101.9 (country), CHFX-FM 101.9 (country), CBH-FM 102.7 CBC Radio 2 Halifax (public music), CKHZ-FM 103.5 (country), CFRQ-FM 104.3 (active rock)

Universities and Colleges: Dalhousie University, Saint Mary’s University, Mount Saint Vincent University, University of King’s College, NSCAD University (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design), Nova Scotia Community College

Sydney population 31,597

Key venues/clubs: Highland Arts Theatre, Celtic Colours Festival, Savoy Theatre,

Key radio: Primière Nouvelle-Écosse, 101.9 the GIANT, The eagle, CBC Radio 1 Sydney, Caper Radio, The Coast 89.7, The Cape 94.9, MAX FM, CBC Radio 2 Sydney

Universities and Colleges: Cape Breton University, Canadian Coast Guard College, McKenzie College, NSCC-Marconi Campus

Nova Scotia's major festivals

East Coast Music Week 2016, NS

This year’s ECMA:

April 13-17, 2016 in Sydney, NS
Showcasing Artists and Schedule will be announced soon!
Awards Show tickets, Festival Passes, Wristbands and VIP Passes are now available

East Coast Music Awards Show

April 14, 2016, 8pm at Centre 200 in Sydney, NS
Broadcast live on Eastlink TV – Channel 610
Hosted by Ashley MacIsaac and Heather Rankin
Featuring performances by Hey Rosetta!, Natalie MacMaster, Jenn Grant, Fortunate Ones, City Natives and more!

East Coast Music Week 2016 – Industry Conference

April 13-17, 2016 at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre, Membertou, NS

Nova Scotia Music Week

NSMW is a four-day celebration of the music of Nova Scotia, with an industry conference, a gala awards show and a non-stop music festival.

The annual festival, held in a different city each year, features over 100 showcasing artists from across the province playing in a selection of venues.

Coinciding with the showcases is the NSMW conference, which brings in music professionals from across the country and around the world to participate in panels, presentations and workshops that examine the current and future state of the industry.

The accompanying awards show honours the very best in Nova Scotia’s music and music industry. It’s a celebration!

Halifax Pop Explosion, NS

This festival, founded in 2002, is an experiment obsessed with one basic question: what good are the arts? Over the years it has evolved way beyond the limits of classical concerts into a multi-arts, multi-season, multi-community organization.

Gros Morne Summer Music features young and established artists from around the globe in the unique and majestic setting of Gros Morne National Park and Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Heard cross the country on CBC Radio, this innovative, eclectic festival includes classical, jazz, blues, traditional, choral music, musical theatre, rock shows, dance, outdoor spectacles and more.

The Scotia Festival of Music

http://www.scotiafestival.ns.camultiple venues, Halifax, NS

Welcome to the greatest little chamber music festival in the world! The Scotia Festival of Music is an annual two-week chamber music festival held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, during the first two weeks of June, boasting over fifty public events.

Nearing the 40-year mark, the festival continues to feature Canadian and international talent of the highest caliber, with concerts, recitals, open rehearsals, master classes, coaching sessions, lectures, and more.

Stan Rogers Folk Festival, NS

It’s not often that the memory of one man can motivate an entire town to come together and build on a dream. But Stan was no ordinary guy.

Over 20 years old and still going strong, the Stan Rogers Folk Festival is one of Nova Scotia’s signature summer festivals. It is an international songwriter’s gathering, named in honour of great Canadian songwriter, the late Stan Rogers.

Hosted in July, in the picturesque Eastern Shore fishing community of Canso, the festival welcomes approximately 5,000 attendees per day. The festival brings international stars from around the world and showcases them alongside the finest East Coast and local/regional artists.

Past headliners have included Alan Doyle, Garnet Rogers, Don MacLean, Juice Newton, Nanci Griffith, Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, Richie Havens, Jim Cuddy, Judy Collins, Peter Yarrow and Ricky Skaggs.

Halifax Jazz Festival venues, Halifax, NS

The TD Halifax Jazz Festival is a jam-packed five-day event featuring jazz, world, blues, funk, Latin, R&B, and more. The Halifax waterfront hosts the festival’s main stage which offers free and ticketed performances.

Free programming will also take place in smaller venues, libraries, public spaces and parks such as the Halifax Public Gardens.

Formerly known as the Atlantic Jazz Festival, it is the oldest jazz festival and largest summer festival in Atlantic Canada. Designated a Hallmark Event by the Halifax Regional Municipality, the festival attracts up to 55,000 visitors, involves 450 volunteers and employs over 350 local musicians.

The 30th Anniversary of the TD Halifax Jazz Festival will take place July 13 – 17, 2016.

OBEY Convention, NS

The OBEY Convention presents a festival of contemporary and underground music and art in beautiful Halifax, Nova Scotia each spring. Incorporating artists from multiple genres and disciplines, our tightly curated programme is like no other in the country.

Audiences see the best in electronica, avant-rock, jazz, modern composition, noise, ambient, visual art, spoken word and beyond. Join with us to celebrate the fringes of culture and the power of new ideas.

Past performers include Peter Brotzmann, Container, Lubomyr Melnyk, Petra Glynt, Rebecca Baxter, Le1f, Tim Hecker, Tropic of Cancer, Chris Corsano, Tonstartssbandht, Eric Copeland, Pierre Bastien, Jerry Granelli, Aidan Baker, Nadja, Tyvek, Us Girls, Craig Leonard, Torso, and Metz.

Celtic Colours International Festival Breton Island, NS

For nine days in October, Cape Breton Island is home to a unique celebration of music and culture as the Celtic Colours International Festival presents dozens of concerts all over the island, an extensive line-up of community events, and a nightly Festival Club.

Over the years, artists have traveled from Scotland, Ireland, England, Wales, Brittany, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Germany, and Cuba as well as from across the United States and Canada to join the finest of Cape Breton’s musicians, singers, dancers, storytellers and tradition-bearers for the annual Autumn celebration.

Deep Roots Music Festival

www.deeprootsmusic.caWolfville, NS

The Town of Wolfville is located in the beautiful Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. The Valley is a tourist attraction in itself, especially in the fall, with its breathtaking colours, and bountiful orchards and fields.

In September, Wolfville plays host to local, national, and international singer-songwriters for a weekend celebrating all things folk music – singing, dancing, & drumming.

An annual event that brings together some of the finest folk and roots singers, songwriters and musicians in the world for a weekend of concerts, parties, workshops and celebration. The festival blends Nova Scotia’s rich and diverse musical traditions with modern roots music.

Nova Scotia music biz news