January 4th, 2021 marked the first day of Insight’s year-long challenge: Make Kindness the Norm. And to say we are excited is an understatement. This past year, our physical health and mental well-being took a big setback due to the pandemic, but we are determined to change the narrative. Scientific studies show kindness has major health benefits: it increases oxytocin (the love hormone), serotonin, energy, happiness, lifespan and pleasure. It is also known to decrease pain, stress, anxiety, depression and blood pressure.
Watch this video:
This year also coincides with our 40th anniversary. We want to celebrate in a way that is meaningful and hope the ripple effect of kindness has a lasting and positive impact within our workplace, at home, in our community and beyond.
Throughout the year, we will spread kindness with local businesses through social media love and other initiatives. How can you help?
Our August feature is all about books. Need summer reading for your vacation? Check out this small but mighty neighbourhood indie bookshop!
Merchants of Ideas, Inspiration and Insight
Bookmark is a locally-owned, independent bookstore, that is passionate about books. In Charlottetown since 1972 in and in Halifax since 1989, the Bookmark people have promoted the benefits of the written word, the beauty the book as physical object, and the value of sharing stories and ideas. They see independence as a virtue and are doing their part to keep our communities interesting.
Champions of Local
They believe in a local economy – that spending money is a political act, every dollar spent casts a ballot for the kind of world we want to live in. There is no right or wrong answer, but if you don’t shop locally, if you don’t support the local economy, in the real world, there won’t be one left when you step outside. At Bookmark, they are strong supporters of the local literary community. They also take seriously spending their dollars locally for marketing services, accounting, legal and other business services.
Mainly because of the books!
They carry some interesting sidelines but live to promote and sell books. It’s all about a love affair with the written word. At Bookmark, book lovers are among friends.
📍 5686 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax
🕑Mon-Fri 9AM-9PM/ Sat 10AM-5PM Sun 11AM-5PM
🚗 Curbside pickup available
🚚 Free local delivery in HRM (limited to the peninsular Halifax and weather permitting)
*August GIVEAWAY – @bookmarkhfx
For the month of July, we wanted to pick a small business that complemented the Jazz Festival and supported our local musicians at the same time. The music industry has been upended this past year and when we found out The Carleton was hosting the Halifax Jazz Festival Club Series, it seemed like the perfect match.
The Carleton is widely known as one of Atlantic Canada’s premier music venues, earning numerous awards and accolades for its live entertainment experience for the past 13 years. Recognized as the Judges’ Choice at the 2019 Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia Awards, The Carleton delivers fresh, locally inspired, elevated comfort food and a top selection of Nova Scotia craft beers, wine, and spirits. Originally a residence built in 1760, The Carleton is housed in the oldest commercial building in Halifax in the heart of the city.
July 22 GIVEAWAY – CLOSED
We’re so happy to see our city finally re-opening for business and The Board Room Game Café – our June business feature – is beyond thrilled to be able to open their doors for in-person shopping again!
June 18th – Great gift idea for Father’s Day (June 20th)!
The Board Room Game Café, located on Barrington Street, is the first of its kind in the Maritimes! Featuring a large Board Gaming area with a collection of 600+ games to play (teachers included!) The Board Room is a unique experience with espresso drinks, local craft beer and soda, tasty sandwiches, snacks, and a substantial retail area with a huge selection of board and card games for all ages, and experience levels!
🚚 Free local delivery in HRM for orders over $50. ($10 delivery fee for orders under $50)
This month we are featuring Inkwell Modern Handmade, our old neighbour. Even though they are not open to in-person shopping due to current restrictions, they are open 7 days a week and 24/7 online at inkwellboutique.ca. Inkwell is a modern handmade boutique and letterpress studio with an abundant selection of specialty printed paper products and handmade delights made with love, by artists from around the corner and across the world. Established in early 2011, this crisp, creative retail space provides a venue for modern, handmade art and incredible gifts from a diverse array of makers. With over 200 independent artists in one location and a focus on illustrative items, the boutique showcases an array of handmade products – art prints, homewares, ceramics, textiles, jewelry, apothecary and other great gift ideas – all year long!
📍 2011 Brunswick Street, Halifax
🛍️ Open online
🚗 Contactless curbside pick-up Tue – Sun 12-4!
🚚 $5 porch drop delivery within 15 km of the shop
📦 Free shipping on all orders over $125 (within Canada).
*May GIVEAWAY – CLOSED @inkwellboutique
Mary’s African Cuisine, which originally became a favourite at the Seaport Farmers’ Market, has a restaurant located on Barrington Street. It offers an array of tasty dishes from around the African continent, as well as local Canadian cuisine. Mary’s is currently open for take-out: curbside pickup or delivery. They are open Tuesday-Friday 9:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m., and Sunday 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
*April Giveaway – CLOSED @marysafricancuisine
Right in the middle of a pandemic, Black Sheep Restaurant made to bold move to relocate and expand. Their new location in the Halifax Historic Brewery Market on Lower Water Street triples its capacity from its previous location on Dresden Row. “We make awesome food and drinks from scratch, using quality ingredients, in a warm and welcoming environment. It is our absolute pleasure and joy to finally open our doors. We can’t wait to see you!”
*March Giveaway 1 of 2 – CLOSED @blacksheephfx
*March Giveaway 2 of 2 – CLOSED @blacksheephfx
Our staff nominated one of their favourite restaurants – Tokyo Roll – for this month’s feature. Tokyo Roll is located at 1598 Argyle St. It is a new venture by the original owners of Suzuki Restaurant on Dresden Row. After serving Halifax for 10 years, a take-out restaurant with the same superb quality is now available! Open Monday-Friday 11:00 a.m. – 7 p.m.
*February Giveaway – CLOSED @tokyorollhalifax
A big thank you to Nikon Lenswear, our Official Lens Partner, for joining the challenge and showing their support for local businesses.
We kicked off the year with our friends and neighbour, Steve-O-Reno’s.
Drop in to see them for a specialty coffee, fresh baked goods and comfort food. They are open Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
*January Giveaway – CLOSED @steveorenos
Unfortunately, there has been a surge of fraudulent accounts on social media platforms during Covid and Black Sheep Restaurant, as well as Downtown Halifax, were recently targeted. Their pages were duplicated, and the fake accounts reached out to people telling them they won the giveaway contest and asked them for their credit card information. Please be vigilant, never give personal or financial information on social media platforms and report suspected fraudulent accounts.
For this challenge, we were inspired by many individuals and organization from around the around world. One that stood out for us was the Random Act of Kindness Foundation (RAK), which we decided to join as RAKtivist. They have several valuable resources available for everyone.
Let’s upstage the negative stories by sharing your experience of a random act of kindness. Someone left you an anonymous note to lift your spirits? We’d love to hear from you. Share them on social media using #BeKindHFX
February 14-20th – Random Act of Kindness Week – #BeKindHFX
February 17th – Random Act of Kindness Day
November 13th – World Kindness Day
World Kindness Day is an international observance on 13 November. It was introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, a coalition of nations’ kindness NGO’s.