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Evergreen Festival: Info for Businesses


About the Festival

Festival Features

Why Participate?

Marketing Support

How You Can Participate

Business Participant FAQ

Business Information Session: Oct 6 Webinar Recording

Get involved with Evergreen Festival

Are you a restaurant, hotel or retailer interested in participating in the NEW Evergreen Festival?

Click the links below to learn more about how your business can get involved.


Interested in submitting an event for the Evergreen Festival? Click the button below to find out how!

For information about Evergreen Stage programming, curated by Jazz East Rising Association, contact

For any other inquiries about how to get involved with the Festival, please email Donna Hatt at Develop Nova Scotia to find out how you can get involved.

About the Festival

Community comes alive with music, light, and joy across the Waterfront and throughout Downtown Halifax.


Evergreen Festival is a 4-week-long outdoor winter showcase of Nova Scotian culture, food, spirits, craft, art and memorable experiences to celebrate and embrace the essence of the season.

Retailers, restaurants, hotels, attractions, public spaces and more will bring to life illuminations, programming, and animations that create a festive feeling of celebration!


November 28 – December 21, 2020

Wednesdays & Thursdays: 4pm – 10pm
Fridays & Saturdays: Noon – 10pm
Sundays: Noon – 6pm


Halifax Waterfront & Downtown Halifax

The Festival is made up of curated, walkable, and safe outdoor experiences dispersed along the Halifax waterfront, Downtown Halifax, and Spring Garden Road.


Curated by Develop Nova Scotia, in partnership with Discover Halifax, Evergreen Festival invites locals and visitors alike to bundle up, get outside and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the festive season in Downtown Halifax.

To become the signature regional attraction of the holiday season, driving a long-term extension of the tourism season.

Festival Features

The 4-week long festival will be made up of a variety of experiential, event-based, and exploration-driven activities including:


Halifax Waterfront

Evergreen Stage

A curated collection of events held at a central stage on the waterfront throughout the 4 weeks of the festival.

Performances run Wednesdays through Sundays.

Evergreen Market

Within the Evergreen Festival there will be an outdoor Evergreen Market located on the Halifax waterfront. Consisting of a collection of 24 temporary wooden ‘chalets’, the Evergreen Market will welcome vendors from across Nova Scotia to the Festival.

Learn more about Develop Nova Scotia’s Evergreen Market Vending Opportunities for businesses, organizations, makers, producers and creators by visiting their website. Learn more here


Across the Halifax Waterfront and throughout downtown Halifax & Spring Garden Road

About the Festival of Lights

Key locations throughout the city will be illuminated with holiday light installations to create a walkable outdoor trail-like experience through the downtown core.

Festival of Lights will include:

A walkable outdoor trail of twinkling holiday light installations, experiences, and storefront displays along the waterfront and throughout downtown Halifax.

Charitable Organization Collaborations

Corporate Creations with Community

Storefront Displays

Festival-goers are encouraged to explore the sparkling streets of downtown Halifax under the glow of the Festival of Lights.

Walk the trail from Spring Garden Road to Peace and Friendship Park, along Argyle Street to Grand Parade, and across the Halifax Waterfront, from Historic Properties to the Halifax Seaport.


Evergreen Soups & Sips

Enjoy specialty soups and festive drinks to-go from participating food & drinks establishment as you explore the festival!

More Events & Programming

Programming and activations that will occur during the duration of the Festival to help increase attendance, including the annual Shopping Under the Stars events and more!


Participating hotels throughout downtown Halifax

Evergreen Getaways

Festive hotel packages that encourage locals and visitors to stay for a single night or an entire weekend of the Festival!

Make it a holiday weekend with Evergreen Getaways.

Hotels are encouraged to create packages that make it easy for locals and visitors to stay for a single night or an entire weekend of the Festival!

Why Participate?

– Encourage safe movement along the Waterfront and downtown core.

– Join your community in supporting and celebrating our local economy, culture, and one another.

Increase visibility for your business during the holiday shopping season.

Incremental sales for existing and pop-up businesses and operators.

– Your support helps build a case to make this an annual event.

– Be a part of making the city feel alive!

Marketing Support

Approximately $100K in media advertising within the HRM and throughout Atlantic Canada.

Press release, interviews, news channel partnerships and more!

To help your business show off its participation.

Launching Soon!

To ensure a central location for all Festival-related news and updates:

Instagram: @evergreenfestns

Coordinated efforts across organizations to amplify the festival:

Develop Nova Scotia
Discover Halifax
Downtown Business Commission
Spring Garden Area Business Association
And more!!!

Event photography, video b-roll, etc.!

How You Can Participate

Sign up is EASY and participation is FREE!



Help keep people warm as they explore and get some grab’n-go business!

Create a winter-themed soup or beverage special that will be available for the duration of the Festival (Nov 28-Dec 21).

Deadline to register: Nov 3

Participation Requirements for Restaurants

Create a festival-inspired soup and/or beverage offer*

Give your offer a memorable name!

Decide if you will offer it to-go and/or on your patio and/or for dine-in**

Upload a photo for the website/social media

*Alcoholic beverage specials are not permitted to be offered to-go.
**Program will be promoted as soups & sips ‘on-the-go’ to encourage movement around the festival, but you can opt to offer a dine-in option as well.

Top Tips for Evergreen Soups & Sips

Get creative with your offer – here are a few ideas 

– EverGREEN Goddess Soup: Broccoli, Kale, and all the greens!

– Ice Rink: A Bowl of frozen vanilla cream soup, AKA ice cream!

– Holiday Spice & Everything Nice: Mulled Wine

– Double the Fun: Two for one Spicy Hot Chocolate

Take maximum advantage of the marketing tools

– Put up Evergreen Collateral in your windows so folks walking by know you’re participating

– Share social media graphics and tag @evergreenfestns online for more visibility

– Provide a high quality photo of your special

Make your business FEEL like it’s part of the Festival

– Decorate with LIGHTS! LIGHTS! LIGHTS!

– Create warmth (literally and figurately!)

– Decorate your patio (if you have one)

– Play festive music

Please see the FAQ section for more information about participating as a restaurant.



Festive hotel packages to create an unforgettable holiday experience.

Design a hotel package for the festival by getting creative and finding unique ways to partner with local businesses!

Deadline to register: Nov 3

Participation Requirements for Hotels

Create a festive hotel package to be offered throughout the Festival*

Here are a few ideas:

– Work with your onsite restaurant

Partner with a restaurant or provide a gift card

– Offer gift with stay (Festive local package)

Offer must be redeemable for the entire duration of the event (Nov 28 – Dec 21, 2020)
Offers must provide a direct booking link

Top Tips for creating Great Getaways:

Get creative with your offer

– Partner with local business near you
– Give your package a memorable name
– Tie it to a Festival event

Please see the FAQ section for more information about participating as a hotel.


SHOPS #OpenForEvergreen

The Evergreen Festival’s key tie to retail will be in support of Shopping Under the Stars on December 4, 2020.

For more information and to get involved, reach out to:

Scott MacKendrick, Spring Garden Area Association

Allana MacDonald Mills, Downtown Halifax Business Commission

More ways retail and other businesses can be part of the Festival:

– Make your store/storefront festive!

– Engage with the Festival’s social channels 
(@evergreenfestns | #evergreenfestns)

– Let us (and shoppers!) know if you have extended hours or special promos by using the hashtag #OpenforEvergreen

Please see the FAQ section for more information about participating as a retailer.



Unique events and programming are a part of the Evergreen Festival experience.

Whether you are a business, partner, attraction or local organization – let us know about your festive activities so we can feature them on the Evergreen Events page!

Deadline to register: Nov 3

Requirements for Events or Programming:

– To qualify to be part of the Festival, events must include a time/date and location

– Can be a recurring or one-time event

– You can submit multiple events using the registration form

– Restaurants and hotels participating in the Soups & Sips and Getaways programs can also submit an event or activation

– Pre-planned festive and holiday events occurring within the Downtown Core or outside the Downtown Core also apply!

– We recommend submitting an image along with your event submission (link to upload is included in the registration form)

Thought Starters:

– Free hot chocolate on Fridays!

– Visit from Santa Claus on a specific date

– Christmas Tree lighting ceremony

– Live holiday tunes under the stars

– Tax Free sale event

Participating Business FAQ

In what ways can a small business without a premises participate?

The primary opportunity for small businesses without an existing premises is to apply for a space in one of the temporary chalets within the Evergreen Market.

However, another excellent opportunity is to partner with a business that has a premises to deliver a pop-up experience. Imagine a craft pop-up at a hotel or a local beauty business at a spa. There are many opportunities to work together to create some magic.

If you are a business interested in participated, but are unsure of where to start, reach out to us and we can help match you with potential partners!

How can I apply to become a vendor at the Evergreen Market?

If you are a Nova Scotia business, organization, maker, producer or creator and are interested in vending opportunities within the Evergreen Market on the Halifax waterfront, you are invited to respond to Develop Nova Scotia’s Evergreen Market Vendor Opportunity before October 19, 2020.

I want to create a special event or illumination for my business – can I do that if I’m a hotel or restaurant or retailer?

Yes, absolutely! All businesses are encouraged to decorate and put up lights! You can submit an event be featured or to discuss special activations and illuminations, reach out the Develop Nova Scotia team. Please email with the subject line “Evergreen Activation”.

Who do you contact if interested in learning more about performing on the Evergreen Stage?

Curated by Jazz East Rising Association, the Evergreen Stage will be a showcase of live and streamed multidisciplinary programming during the Evergreen Festival. For more information contact

What happens if the weather is bad?

Festival runs rain or shine, but events or activations affected by the weather will be rescheduled or cancelled on a case-by-case basis. We will use the Festival website and/or social media channels to communicate changes with the public.

How will you deal with people gathering in large groups?

Unlike many festivals which are confined to a specific space, Evergreen Festival is intentionally dispersed throughout Downtown Halifax in order to keep crowds to a minimum and make it easier to maintain social distancing while experiencing the event. The Festival will also occur over the course of four weeks, helping to further reduce the concentration of gathering.

In addition, there are precautions being observed throughout the various aspects of the festival including, but not limited to:
– Individual Businesses will continue to follow the Province’s existing health & safety guidelines
– At the Market, there will be physical distancing markers and appropriate space between kiosks to prevent crowding in lines
– At the Stage, there will be pods suitable for groups of up to ten and monitored to disperse crowds

For those with daytime operations, will the festival feel alive during the day or primarily evenings and weekends?

Only the market will follow specific open and closed hours. While the light installations will be most active in the evening and act as a strong draw, there are no restrictions as to ‘when’ a business wishes to activate their own programming.

How do you intend to ensure the marketing promotes the full area of downtown Halifax? What are your plans for encouraging travel to the rest of the City?

We will be featuring participating businesses and events from outside the Downtown core on our website. We’d also encourage businesses to engage with the @evergreenfestns accounts on social media. As much as possible, we will be reposting, retweeting and resharing information about participating businesses. Our marketing plan is still in development so stay tuned for more details !

How will you collaborate with local groups to bring diversity and inclusion to the festival?

The vision for the Festival was to be as inclusive as possible and to celebrate as many cultures and beliefs as possible. We encourage any interested local group or event to reach out to us to discuss how we can get you involved.

There will always be room on the event calendar to feature any local events throughout the downtown core and beyond. We’d also encourage groups/organizations/charities to apply for a chalet space within the Evergreen Market.

Wherever we can, we will try to help bring parties together to find collaborations and shared spaces to activate. There are no shortage of ways to be involved.

How do you plan to use the marketing budget to support local media outlets?

The main marketing priorities for the Festival are to build public awareness of the event and to support local businesses – which includes integrating our amazing local media within the plan. Our marketing plan is still in development so stay tuned for more details !

Will the Festival Stage area be licensed for alcohol?

The Festival will not be licensing the Festival Stage area itself, it will be embracing the businesses surrounding the Festival Stage area and their operations.

The Festival Stage program of performances will be streamed for free to anyone who wishes to watch it. This means the performances can be enjoyed at home or broadcast live at your businesses. This gives you an opportunity to bring the entertainment to your space and even turn it into an elevated experience for your customer that can then be listed in the Festival’s event calendar. Dinner for two & a warm seat for watching the stage performance, perhaps?

Will the Festival have any ties to Quinpool, North End, and/or Downtown Dartmouth?

The Festival will strategically leverage the Downtown Core as the draw, however the idea is to entice people here and then sell them on experiencing everything (and every place!) the holiday season has to offer in Halifax.

All areas of Halifax can and should participate. We recommend creating an event that can be featured within the upcoming website events calendar. For food & beverage establishments, we recommend registering for the Soups & Sips program. Or, if you have another idea for getting involved, let us know!

RESTAURANT QUESTIONS: FAQs for participating restaurants

Does my feature have to be take-out only?

No. We will be promoting the event largely to encourage outdoor exploration of the experiences, but restaurants are welcome to offer their special for dine-in consumption. When you register, you will be asked to indicate if your offer is available for dine-in, take out, and/or patio consumption. You can choose as many as apply.

Can alcoholic beverages be taken to-go during Evergreen Festival?

No, alcoholic beverages can only be consumed on site and are not permitted to be transported off-site during the festival.

Can my patio stay open for the festival?

This is dictated by the city’s by-laws. If you are in an area zoned for permanent patios, your patios can stay open. If you are in an area zoned for temporary patios, you will have to follow the guidelines set by the Municipality.

I don’t want to offer my Soups & Sips special on the weekend. Is that ok?

The offer must be redeemable for the entire duration of the festival (without black-out dates): November 28 – December 21, 2020.

I have so many ideas! Do I have to choose just one?

You are permitted to submit more than one offer! You can include as many offers as you like in your online registration.

Can I offer a drink AND a soup special?

Absolutely, you are permitted to submit more than one offer, and each offer can be for a different category.

Does my special have to be unique/exclusive to the festival?

Your offer does not have to be unique to the festival, but must fit with the spirit of the festival and be available for the full four weeks.

How should I handle take-out packaging?

We recommend using whatever you currently use for your to-go business. If you do not currently have to-go packaging and wish to participate, we recommend to-go coffee cups for both soups and hot drinks. Environmentally-friendly packaging is highly recommended.

Can customers bring their own reusable mugs?

No, as per current COVID restrictions, customers cannot use their own mugs.

HOTEL QUESTIONS: FAQs for participating hotels & accommodations

Does my package need to be unique for this Festival?

No, your package does not need to be unique to the Festival, however we encourage you to embrace the spirit of the Evergreen Festival when creating your package.

Where will my package be listed?

It will be listed within a “Getaway” section on the Evergreen Festival website.

Do I have to offer a ‘package’ can I just offer a good rate?

You can offer a special rate if you prefer. However, there will be more marketing support dedicated to promoting packages that align with the spirit of the Festival.

Will there be a contact who will help facilitate partnerships between businesses to help build hotel packages? Or will we be responsible for organizing these ourselves?

We encourage businesses to work together to find unique connections and build special experiences. Of course if you are having challenges, please reach out and we can help facilitate connections.

A great place to start is to begin thinking outside your own walls and even your own industry. If you’re trying to create a hotel package, know that a dining component is not a requirement – maybe instead you explore a tasting, a walking tour, or other different types of experiences.

What are some other ways to create a package other than with a food establishment?

Any activity, journey, adventure, experience, or thing to do can help create a package. A great place for ideas could be to visit where you’ll find lots of visitor experiences.

Maybe instead of dinner and a stay you pair the stay with:
– A half-day activities package
– TWO other components rather than one (dinner, spa, stay)
– A culinary walking tour
– A crafting activity and special hot chocolate
– A musical performance and meal

The possibilities are endless!

RETAIL QUESTIONS: FAQs for participating shops & retailers

My store hours end at 5:00PM, how do I take advantage of an evening Festival?

On Saturdays and Sundays the Festival will have programming during the day, giving you an opportunity to join in the festivities during your operating hours. Alternatively, you can offer extended hours throughout the course of the Festival. Let us and the public know you are open by using the hashtag #OpenforEvergreen on social media.

Can retailers offer free soups or drinks if they do not have a food establishment license?

Packaged foods or those that have been cooked/prepared on a licensed premises can be served, such as hot chocolate, coffee, tea and/or cookies, sweets and chocolates.

However, without an appropriate food license, a retailer cannot prepare and serve food on site. If you are unsure, please reach out to to confirm whether your offer meets food safety regulations.

Are there other ways to get involved other than Shopping Under the Stars?

Yes! You can offer extended hours during the course of the Festival. Let us and the public know that you are open by using the hashtag #OpenforEvergreen on social media.
OR, if you’ve got a big idea, you can contact Donna at Develop NS to discuss programming and/or light installation.

Why is there only one day/event focused on retailers?

This Festival is meant to attract and draw locals and visitors alike outside to shop, explore and mingle – safely. It is expected that increased foot traffic, motivated by Evergreen, will result in an opportunity to increase traffic to retailers, especially those who are intentionally making a connection and embracing the essence of the outdoor festival.  We believe the draw of this event will also create benefits for retailers throughout the whole festival.


What types of signage and decorations will be allowed on the exterior of the chalets?

These weather tight wooden structure Chalets are 2.87m x 2.24m (see License Agreement for specificiations) and equipped with basic power. Vendors can add temporary signage, shelving and product display and are encouraged to add accents, illumination and more to the interior of the Chalets to reflect their brand and offering.

If you are a Nova Scotia business, organization, maker, producer or creator and interested in vending opportunities within the Evergreen Market on the Halifax waterfront, you are invited to respond to Develop Nova Scotia’s Evergreen Market Vendor Opportunity before October 19, 2020.

Will there be an option to sell food in the Evergreen Market area? If so, how would that work?

Chalets are equipped with basic power only. They do not have water or sewage services and are not equipped for food service. Any vendors wishing to serve food will be required to adhere to current health and food service guildeines. If you are a Nova Scotia business, organization, maker, producer or creator and interested in vending opportunities within the Evergreen Market on the Halifax waterfront, you are invited to respond to Develop Nova Scotia’s Evergreen Market Vendor Opportunity before October 19, 2020.

Business Information Session

October 6 Webinar Recording

Webinar recording from the Business Information Session hosted by Develop Nova Scotia and Discover Halifax on October 6, 2020.