It’s Halifax Urban Folk Festival Time Again!

If there’s anything good about the summer winding down, it’s because that means it’s time for the annual Halifax Urban Folk Festival, happening at The Carleton from Sunday, August 26th – Sunday, September 2nd, inclusive. This 9th version of HUFF boasts one of our best-ever line-ups and although the Steve Poltz/Carmen Townsend and Tim Baker & The Halifax All Stars shows are already SOLD OUT, there are plenty of other great shows still to choose from!

Do yourself a favour and come out to see, and hear, some of the best live music in Halifax. This festival rocks!


That’s a Wrap!

A huge shout out to all the talented artists who graced The Carleton stage in celebration of our 10th anniversary.  You were freakin’ awesome and we thousands (yup) of long-time and brand-new fans thank you for the music.

Special commemorative “tour” tshirts are still available at the joint for only $15.  They are snappy and will identify you as someone who (a) was there for this historic celebration and/or (b) is an active supporter of live music in our lovely city.

If you have a passion for food…

Please join The Carleton for the first of our In Concert With series as Chef Michael Dolente welcomes visiting chefs, winemakers, brewmasters, and performers to play together and serve up one of a kind creations.

On Sunday, March 25, Chef Michael is joined by Guest Chef Mark Gray from The Watch that Ends the Night. Together they will prepare and present an eight course dinner with such delectables as world-renowned sustainable Faroe Island Salmon, tender and ever-so-slightly smoky Charred Octopus, classic Sirloin of Beef in Sauce Bordelaise, and Hennessy Tiramisu (coffee, cognac, cocoa, all your favourites!).

Consider pairing with drinks specially chosen to complement each component of the menu, including a refreshing pre-dinner Aperol, the lovely off-dry layered aromas of Wither Hills Pinot Gris, and the exuberant dark cherry and ripe cassis of one of the very few organic ports Fonseca Porto.

Click here for Tickets !


Is The Carleton open? You betcha!


For Immediate Release  Monday, February 12, 2018

After an extensive month-long renovation, Halifax’s multi award-winning live music venue and restaurant The Carleton has re-opened its doors!

Executive Chef Michael Dolente introduces superb new menu offering refined and casual local fare

(Halifax, NS) – After an extensive month-long renovation, Halifax’s multi award-winning live music and restaurant, The Carleton is poised to offer an unforgettable social dining and live entertainment experience and has officially re-opened its doors.

“The Carleton team is thrilled to welcome guests to our refreshed digs!” said owner, Karen Spaulding. “From grey wood flooring to rich indigo walls, quartz bar to brass finishes, cozy seating to intriguing light fixtures, we have kept your comfort and enjoyment top of mind. Our private dining room has been fully upgraded to host personal and corporate events and on a practical note, long time patrons will appreciate the private modern washroom facilities.”

An exciting complement to the refreshed space is the introduction of a superb new menu by The Carleton’s new Executive Chef, Michael Dolente. “We invite you to discover Chef Michael’s winter menu, including new favorites such as calamari, scallop crudo, and a divine panna cotta,” added Spaulding.

Chef Dolente, who recently moved back to Halifax to take on the role at The Carleton, started his career in Nova Scotia and grew up working in kitchens such as The Cellar,   The Henry House and the Delta Halifax Hotel, where he completed his apprenticeship and earned his Red Seal. In 2012, he moved to Toronto to expand his knowledge base and experience and became Sous Chef at the Thompson Hotel. From there he opened The Shangri-La Hotel kitchen and refined his culinary and managerial skills as Banquet Chef, specializing in fine dining, European and Asian cuisines. Dolente appeared on the Food Network’s “Chopped Canada” and competed in the Hawksworth Young Chef Competition, where he earned first place in the Toronto heat.

“I am very excited and humbled to be back in my home town doing what I love in one of Halifax’s most historic buildings,” said Dolente. “We are working hard to bring a refined yet very approachable menu offering to our valued diners.”

With Chef Dolente at the helm in the kitchen, The Carleton looks forward to participating in several local food festivals and experiences, including the Savour Food and Wine Festival (Feb. 22), Burger Week (March 22-28) and Delish (April 28).

The re-opening of The Carleton offers an exciting line up of live music experiences, including this Wednesday’s SOLD-OUT Valentine’s Day Concert (Feb. 14), featuringAriana Nasr’s Edith Piaf Show.

As the 2018 entertainment program takes shape and the venue nears its 10th Anniversary celebrations in May, The Carleton promises a stellar array of local, national and international talent for all musical tastes.

Upcoming shows include: Quiet Parade EP Release Show (Feb. 16, 7pm), Son Latino(Feb. 16, 10pm), The Tom Rich Band (Feb. 22), Jon Bryant (Music Heals Fundraiser March 3), The March Hare (March 4), Alfie (March 9), Craig Cardiff (March 14 & 15),Liam Corcoran & Tyler Messick (March 23), Lynn Miles & Lynne Hanson (May 16),Harry Manx (May 23), Irish Mythen (May 24) Madison Violet (July 26), Fred EaglesmithTif Ginn (August 11) and more.

The venue will also host comedy performances, including James Mullinger (Feb. 17) andGreg Proops – The Smartest Man in the World Podcast Taping as part of the Halifax Comedy Festival (April 26).

For a full events list, visit:


Our Hours

Tues – Wed 4 PM – 11 PM
Thurs 4 PM – 1 AM
Fri – Sat 4 PM – 2 AM
Sun – Mon closed UNLESS there’s a scheduled show

About The Carleton

The Carleton is housed in a building in Halifax, NS that was built in 1760 and was the home of Richard Bulkeley. Apart from two churches, Bulkeley’s home is the oldest building in Halifax, NS. It was reported to have been made from the ruins of Fortress Louisbourg. Since 1786 his residence has been known as ‘The Carleton’. As one of Halifax’s premier live music venues for the past 10 years, The Carleton has earned numerous awards and accolades including three East Coast Music Awards and eight Music Nova Scotia Awards for Venue of the Year, and most recently the 2017 Canada Live Music Award for Best Small Venue in the Country.

For more information on The Carleton, visit:

Follow The Carleton socially:
Twitter: @CarletonHalifax
Instagram: @CarletonHalifax

Media Contact:

Wendy Phillips, Phillips Public Relations Ltd.
(902) 492-0960 /


We’re Back In The Saddle (Again)!!!

We’re back in business baby and The Blue Lane is going to entertain us all on our first open SaturdayFebruary 10th – since the renovations started waaaaay back before Christmas in the year 2017. We’re encouraging everyone to come in to see what we’ve done with the place (a TON of stuff), so we’re making it easy with a cheap $5 admission at the door and live music starting around 9 PM. We’re excited, we hope you are too!!!

The Blue Lane is one of our local favourtes and they play a fusion of rockabilly, jazz, blues, indie rock and pop music. The band has a unique sound that weaves sultry vocals, intricate harmonies, jazzy guitar shreds and passionately thick beats. In 2017 The Blue Lane released their 2nd EP Blind and the five song EP was awarded Music Nova Scotia’s “Jazz Recording of the Year.”

Since 2015, ECMA award winning artist Rachael Henderson (lead vocals/bass), Morgan Alexander Cruickshank (guitar/vocals), and “The Machine” A.K.A Connor Booth (drums/vocals) have been writing and performing genre-blending original music.

Take a ride with The Blue Lane, you’ll like it!

Special Valentine’s Day Dinner & Show Package Now Available!

If you’re at loose ends on Valentine’s Day, we’ve just announced a 3-course Dinner & Show Special available for Ariana Nasr‘s appearance on February 14th for only $65 per person! Please note, there are a limited number of these tickets and the prix fixe meal is only available with this deal.

Here’s the menu for the night…

Seared Digby Scallop – Celery Root Puree, Wild BC Side Stripe Shrimp Bisque, Crispy Potato, Fresh Herbs
Braised Short Rib – Slow Braised Atlantic Beef Short Rib, Roasted Forest Mushroom, Lobster Polenta Fritters, Red Beet, Red Wine Jus
Chocolate Tart – Dark Belgian Chocolate Ganache, Goat’s Milk Caramel, Raspberry, Sea Salt

We’ll have an a la carte menu on the night if you’re only buying regular tickets. Also available, two kinds of local bubbly by the glass: L’Acadie Vintage Cuvée and L’Acadie Cuvée Rosé at $9 for a five ounce pour.

Big Changes, Reno Schedule

We are thrilled to announce that our highly anticipated interior renovation has begun. Construction will occur between December 22 and February 8, 2018. We will open for shows as part of the In The Dead of Winter Festival, January 18-20 then close again on January 21 and officially reopen on  February 8, 2018.

Please contact us with any questions. We are excited to share the changes when they are complete!

We’re almost 10 – time to refresh!

For Immediate Release

Monday, December 18, 2017

Under new ownership, Halifax’s multi award-winning live music venue and restaurant, The Carleton is set to undergo an extensive renovation

The venue will temporarily close in two phases beginning on December 22 and reopening on February 8, 2018

(Halifax, NS) – Under the new ownership of Halifax-based business person Karen Spaulding, Halifax’s multi award-winning live music and food venue, The Carleton has just announced its plan to temporarily close on Friday, Dec. 22 to undergo an extensive renovation in two phases. It will open for shows as part of the In The Dead of Winter Festival, Jan. 18-20 then close again and officially reopen on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.

A life-long fan of good music and good food, Nova Scotian-born and raised Spaulding, who is also President of local software company, Metaworks Inc., purchased The Carleton earlier this year believing it was a natural fit and would be a true labour of love.

“It has been a whirlwind and a joy to move from long-time patron to owner of the Carleton. Since April, we have welcomed outstanding new and established artists to our stage, introduced Executive Chef Michael Dolente’s refined casual local fare, and listened to and learned from regular and prospective customers,” said Spaulding. “To offer an even more comfortable and welcoming space, we are embarking on a substantial facelift, modernizing the bar and facilities while paying homage to the building’s 250-year history- from Governor Bulkeley’s mansion to the Jury Room!”

“2018 marks our 10th year in business and we’re very much looking forward to celebrating that fact by continuing to bring the best talent we can get to our award-winning venue and to the fine music lovers of Halifax”, said Mike Campbell, Programming Director for The Carleton. “We also promise to continue to provide a stage for up-and-coming artists because everyone – like Steve Poltz, July Talk, The Strumbellas and many others we’ve hosted in the past – need to start somewhere.”

With the refresh, The Carleton also aims to provide an unforgettable social dining experience and an ideal option for downtown professionals and for people enjoying festivities around the city.

“We are excited to be part of downtown’s rejuvenation with Argyle’s stunning new streetscape and the Halifax Convention Centre’s impressive conference lineup. In the Spring, we plan to extend operating hours to include weekday lunch and weekend brunch plus add a year-round patio. Please join us next year at the Carleton for the best in food, drink, and entertainment!” added Spaulding.

About The Carleton

The Carleton is housed in a building in Halifax, NS that was built in 1760 and was the home of Richard Bulkeley. Apart from two churches, Bulkeley’s home is the oldest building in Halifax, NS. It was reported to have been made from the ruins of Fortress Louisbourg. Since 1786 his residence has been known as ‘The Carleton’.

As one of Halifax’s premier live music venues for the past 10 years, The Carleton has earned numerous awards and accolades including three East Coast Music Awards and eight Music Nova Scotia Awards for Venue of the Year, and most recently the 2017 Canada Live Music Award for Best Small Venue in the Country.

For more information on The Carleton, visit:


For interview opportunities, contact:

Wendy Phillips, Phillips Public Relations Ltd.
(902) 492-0960 /

So What’s The Dealio With The New Argyle Streetscape You Ask?

It’s taken years longer than it was supposed to but if the city’s to be believed, the Nova Centre will be open soon (tenants in the office tower are moving in this week) and the Argyle Streetscaping project is functional NOW. If you haven’t been downtown recently – or even if you have and can’t figure out how it works – here’s what we’ve gotten from the city on the subject!

Argyle is now a shared street and while it looks for all the world like a strictly pedestrian mall, it isn’t; there is traffic allowed on it and we don’t want you getting hit by a car or truck while meandering about with your earbuds in, staring down at your device of choice. Once everyone gets used to it – especially once the permanent patios are constructed in the spring (including the beauty one The Carleton will be building) it’ll become a lot clearer. In the meantime, read this snappy brochure and familiarize yourself with the dos and don’ts, we look forward to seeing you when you come back downtown to take a look at it all!

Good-bye Gord


Man, first an unimpeachable American talent like Tom Petty leaves us suddenly and then – even though we knew it was going to happen – we get the news today that we’ve lost the irreplaceable Gord Downey.

I spent the better part of the afternoon responding to questions from TV crews and radio hosts, much as I did two weeks ago after Petty’s death and even though it was only a matter of time for Gord, it’s still a very tough pill to swallow, knowing that he’s gone and he’s not coming back. I expect we all feel this way; that we all held out hope for some miracle, that somehow he – of all people – would be spared because he deserved to be spared.

The questions were what one would expect: When did you first meet him? When did you know the band was going to be big? What was he like personally? What has Canada lost? What, do you think, will be his legacy?

Whatever my answers were, they don’t come close to actually articulating what his loss means to us, to the country. And not because he was an iconic Canadian musician, he most certainly was, but because he was an exemplary human being, regardless of the accident of his nationality.

Yes, he wrote about this land we all love, and he communicated, expressed, that love better than anyone I’ve ever met but he also wrote about our shortcomings, our collective historical sins and our need to learn more about ourselves and to embrace – and acknowledge those, despite revisionist, or sins-of-omission, history.

Knowing that he had a limited time left with us, he chose to focus his remaining attention and creative juice speaking up for those who did not have the means he had at his disposal to do it. Imagine for a minute. Would you, or I, have done that? That’s a completely other level of courage and Gord had no shortage of that.

We are SO lucky to have been given warning of this! Perhaps that was the universe “sparing” us a greater grief. It allowed him to give us all he had to give before leaving: the final tour, the incredible documentary “Long Time Running,” the brief Secret Path tour, the new album that’s coming out soon. Honestly, I don’t know anyone, healthy or not healthy, that could have crammed that much production into such a short period of time with such beautiful, and selfless, results.

He was a singular performer and we’d not seen anyone like him before he came along and we won’t see anyone like him now that he’s gone. Be thankful you lived when he did and if he meant anything to you, honour him by trying to live your life the way he did – with grace, and compassion, and tolerance, and with the courage to change what you can to make life for those less fortunate even just a little bit better.

I am a better person for having known him and I will miss him…