City Guides » Hot Summer Guide

My summer: Kate Lavender, actor, producer

Lavender, an actor who lives in Toronto and Halifax, misses sitting on her balcony listening to The Stars.

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Splitting her time between Toronto and Nova Scotia, Lavender is a theatre and film actor who still regularly plays teenagers even though she's 29. She went to high school in Moncton, where she first trod the boards, then studied at Acadia and followed that up with work at Neptune Theatre. She spent some years studying in New York, but the Halifax scene eventually lured her back. You may know her from the 2008 production of Christopher Newton's The Devil's Disciple or Michael Melski's Growing Op ("I was Jasmine Fitzgerald, the high school bitch!"), and she also produces her own material, including working with The Ship's Company Theatre, the DMV Co-op (The Leisure Society, How I Learned To Drive) and her theatre company The Neighbourhood Watch (Tuesdays and Sundays).

The Coast: What do you love about being here in the summer?

Kate Lavender: When I lived in Halifax I was on Maynard Street. I was always privy to these summer concerts. I could sit on my balcony and have full-on concert view. I very rarely am interested, but it's become a thing. Oh, god, here we are, I am literally in the Stars concert sitting on my balcony, from the Common or the Hill, actually. The sound just travels so crazily.

TC: Any other particular shows? The Rolling Stones was a big one.

KL: I remember my sister calling me from the Stones, soaking wet. I remember her texting me and my mother freaking out. I was supposed to bring her rain gear. But for me, the reason I moved back to the Maritimes, I can remember when it shifted in New York City. I was sitting on my terrace, I lived in the East Village at the time. I remember sitting reading on the terrace and it was so bloody hot. I got up and stood on the wood, and my feet burned. And I think what is so important to me in Nova Scotia in the summer is the ocean. When I worked in Antigonish---this is a pretty good memory---what we used to do is rehearse during the day and then we would go for a swim and come back and do a show at night. That was pretty amazing, to have a couple of hours off to high-tail it out to the ocean. That's pretty special to me.

TC: When you do make it back to Halifax in the summer, are there events that you will try to catch?

KL: It would depend when I was coming in. The Busker Fest I remember from when I was a kid. I summered in Nova Scotia. We had a place in River John outside of Pictou for 11 years. I'd always catch the Busker Fest. You know what I'd like to catch this year? I always miss the Fringe Fest because I'm always in rehearsal. I would definitely be interested in seeing more of that. Also, another thing that interests me and I've been an advocate for is what's happening at the Bus Stop. I always do my shows there and rehearse there. I would probably check out any independent theatre.

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