Posted by: dbradbury | October 25, 2010

Halloween Hoopla 2010

Halloween happens to be one of my favourite times of the year because I love dressing up!  I think perhaps in a past life I was an actor, or maybe I just  like prending that I’m someone else.  One of my favourite events in the fall is the Halloween Hoopla.  The Hoopla started as a house party and quickly outgrew the house – I’m not the only person that enjoys Halloween.  The Hoopla is an annual fundraiser and my co-worker Glenn Bowie’s band has the honour of being the entertainment – we love them.  This year’s charity of choice is the Halifax Rotary Club.  Don’t miss this excellent seasonally scary event – you are guaranteed to see some very creative costumes!

Halloween Hoopla 2008

In 2008 I went as Ms. Westin Nova Scotian – I think I looked more like the Queen! 

Posted by: dbradbury | October 13, 2010

Happy (post) Thanksgiving

As Canadians we celebrated this past weekend and Holiday Monday by eating turkey with all the fixings and topping it off with pumpkin pie – one of my favourite times of the year.  As a  start to the weekend, and to give back in thanks for being happy & healthy, I jumped on the Lifebus with some friends of the WestinNova Scotian.  We gave blood as part of a corporate challenge they embrace all year long.  Here we are at the Canadian Blood Services clinic in Halifax on Friday afternoon…

Give Blood!

Posted by: dbradbury | September 29, 2010

Introducing Ashley MacDonald, Our Social Media Coordinator

Earlier this month I introduced blog readers to Grant Wade, Catering Sales Manager, here at the Westin Nova Scotian.  I thought you may be interested in meeting Ashley MacDonald.  Ashley holds the newly created position of Social Media Coordinator, however she is not new to the Westin.  Ashley’s career began here in 2006 as a Front Desk agent and before leaving to spread her wings and expand her knowledge she had move into our Reservations Department.  Here is a glimpse in to the exciting world of Ashley MacDonald, (in her words)…

  1. Raised in Cape Breton, NS.  Born in Edmonton, Alberta
  2. Went to Cape Breton University for Psychology and changed my mind
  3. Went to the Nova Scotia Community College for a diploma in Tourism & Hospitality Management (has Psychology ever helped me in this industry!)
  4. Graduated as Valedictorian in 2007
  5. Did my co-op at the Westin and still here!
  6. Transferred to Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) to the Bachelor of Tourism & Hospitality Management – 3 courses left to my degree
  7. Spent 6 months in Spain on an exchange with MSVU. Studied at a private university as part of a certificate for International Sustainable Tourism Management (the first certificate for this ever)
  8. Now chair the SustainabiliTEAM here at the Westin
  9. Visited 8 countries while there including Morocco, Africa (see below)
  10. Paraglided in Granada, Spain off of a mountain 1400 feet in the air 
  11. Got engaged under the Eiffel Tower
  12. My passion is sustainability and traveling
  13. My other passions include wine, beer, and food! Love to visit wineries, breweries, and vineyards!
  14. Love camping, outdoors, nature, yoga, writing, UFC, and soccer.
  15. My favorite places are Disney World, Spain, and the Cabot Trail..working on having my wedding at our sister property Keltic Lodge in 2012
  16. Hoping to one day have a job dedicated to sustainable tourism, possibly teaching.

Ashley in a small city outside of Fes, Morocco.

Thanks Ashley!

You can catch up with Ashley Tweeting and Facebooking about the Westin and our Nova Scotia Signature Resorts through our websites.

Posted by: dbradbury | September 23, 2010

It’s time for the Annual Port of Wines Festival!

As someone who enjoys experiencing new wines from around the world I always look forward to the annual Port of Wines Festival.  It usually falls near my birthday so attending the wine festival becomes part of the celebration.  This year the festival takes place on the Halifax harbourfront at the Cunard Centre, Sept. 30 – Oct. 2, and includes a Winemakers Dinner, Wine Auction in support of Symphony Nova Scotia and the always popular Grand Tastings.  Twelve countries are represented this year and the feature country is the United States. I’m looking forward to tasting the Caymus Zinfandel from the Napa Valley.  Oh, don’t forget to sample the wide variety of great wines from Nova Scotia.  

See you there!

Posted by: dbradbury | September 15, 2010

Canada Winter Games 2011 coming to Halifax

The 2011 Canada Winter Games are coming to Halifax, February 11 – 27.  It’s a great opportunity to visit the city and support Canada’s young athletes as they have the time of their lives.  I was fortunate to take part in the 1985 Summer Games and still remember the excitement. 

Many of our country’s participants at the 2007  Whitehorse Winter Games went on to compete in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.    Come see them at the start of their careers.  Stay with us at the Westin and watch the games at the near-by venues.

Posted by: dbradbury | September 10, 2010

Westin Patio Party

Our Sales & Catering Team christened the patio yesterday and invited a few clients to join us for happy hour.  The weather forecast called for rain but we didn’t let that dampen our spirits, or cancel the event.  Good thing we didn’t because by 2:30 pm the sun was out and when we hit the deck at 4 it was HOT!

The patio is packed!

Mingling & mini burgers were on the menu.

It’s sunny again today.  Hope you make it to the patio before the season is over!

Posted by: dbradbury | September 9, 2010

Get to know our Westin Associates

I thought it would be nice to periodically introduce readers of the blog and hotel guests to our associates.  We are very fortunate at the Westin Nova Scotian to have many dedicated, long-term associates who are very proud of the hotel and the job they do.  I was chatting with Grant Wade, Catering Sales Manager, the other day and we got to talking about his boys and how quickly they are growing up.  This lead us to his years living in Vancouver and when he started working at the Westin.  Ladies & Gentlemen I introduce to you, Mr. Grant Wade…

Grant with his wall of success - social events are his specialty!

  • Grant graduated from Halifax West Highschool in 1985.  While at the West he played football for the Warriors. 
  • He attended Dalhousie University and studied sciences.
  • One of Grant’s first jobs was as a banquet server at the Nova Scotian Hotel, 1986-87, (now the Westin).
  • He worked in Banff, Alberta during the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.
  • Moved back to Halifax after Calgary and continued his career in the hospitality industry working at the Keg Restaurant, World Trade & Convention Centre and Prince George Hotel.
  • Grant spent seven years in Vancouver, British Columbia where he worked at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.  His hard work paid off as he was promoted from fine dining server to Catering Sales Manager.
  • Grant married his beautiful wife Patty in 1994 and they moved back to Halifax in 1998.  They have three awesome, and active, sons; Donovan (13), Noah (11) and Owen (8).
  • Grant has been contributing to the success of the Westin Nova Scotian for the past 12 years.  You can find him at 902-496-7970 or
  • Grant’s most recent claim to fame is assistant coach of Donovan’s peewee football team, the Halifax Redhawks.  The team won their season opener last night with a score of 33 – 22.  Go Redhawks!!! 

Wade posse on the first day of school – September 2, 2010.
Posted by: dbradbury | September 3, 2010

Oktoberfest 2010

Looking for a great beer drinking/sausage eating event in Halifax in September?  Garrison Brewing in partnership with the German Canadian Association of Nova Scotia is holding Oktoberfest 2010 on Saturday, September 25th from 3 pm to midnight at Pavillion 20, directly behind the Westin Nova Scotian and across from Garrison Brewing.

Oktoberfest Poster 2010 for details.

Posted by: dbradbury | September 2, 2010

Halifax Heatwave!

It’s 33 C again today in Halifax!  We are awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Earl and hoping that it dimishes to a Tropical Storm by this weekend.  The Westin Nova Scotian team is ready for what ever happens.  We have four weddings taking place at the hotel and we are prepared!

In the meantime we are enjoying the hot, sunny weather and the ‘calm before the storm’.   Queensland Beach, near Hubbard’s, NS, about 45 minutes from downtown Halifax, was still crowded at 6:30 pm last night.

Sunning & swimming after work - September 1st!

Sun setting over Queensland Beach.

Is this the calm before the storm?

It’s hard to believe it was seven years ago that Hurricane Juan hit Halifax, devastating Point Pleasant Park and wiping out a large number of the city’s trees. 

Happy Labour Day Everyone!

Posted by: dbradbury | August 30, 2010

Heavenly Dog Beds at the Westin Nova Scotian

In case you didn’t know, we are pet friendly at the Westin Nova Scotian.  In fact, we cater to our furry four legged friends with specialty Heavenly Dog Beds.  The dog beds match the very comfortable Westin Heavenly Beds their owners enjoy sleeping in.

Some of our guests even have Heavenly Dog Beds for their pets at home!

Gemma posing pretty on her very own Heavenly Dog Bed!

You too can buy a Heavenly Dog Bed, and many other great Westin items on-line at the Westin Store.

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