One stage isn’t big enough for Nova Scotia musicians willing todonate their talent and time for tsunami relief efforts. For thenext week or so, volunteers will be busy at benefit shows beingheld in communities throughout the province. “Musicians from Nova Scotia and throughout the Maritimes, alreadywell-known as generous people, are doing what they do best tohelp those in need in Southeast Asia,” said Rodney MacDonald,Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. “It is a tremendousshow of generosity involving musicians, venues, corporatesponsors and donors.” For organizers of a benefit concert on Tuesday, Jan. 11 at theMetro Centre in Halifax, the response has been tremendous. AsifIllyas, a member of the musical group MIR, who is originally fromSri Lanka, began the process of putting the concert together. “The absolute overwhelming generosity of the community continuesto make me proud to live here,” said Mr. Illyas. “Everyone hascome together so willingly to put on this concert and to helpcontribute to all the efforts that are taking place to assistthose in need in Asia.” To support this music industry initiative, the Department ofTourism, Culture and Heritage is contributing $10,000 to helpcover the costs associated with producing Tuesday night’sconcert. One of the musicians at the concert will be the Tourism,Culture and Heritage minister, a fiddle player and step dancer.He will perform with another fiddle player, Richard Wood, ofPrince Edward Island. “Even with all of the TV images since the tsunami struck, it’sstill hard to come to terms with the magnitude of the catastrophein Southeast Asia,” said Mr. MacDonald. “At the same time, NovaScotians have risen to the occasion with unprecedented generosityand caring.” The Nova Scotia government has contributed $100,000 to the reliefeffort and continues to look at other ways to help.
TORONTO — North American markets nudged higher Wednesday as the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest meeting minutes signalled a December rate hike is still on track.The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 30.04 points to 15,800.40.In New York, it was another record-setting day on Wall Street, despite meagre market movements.The Dow Jones industrial average added 42.21 points at 22,872.89, the S&P 500 index inched up 4.60 points at 2,555.24 and the Nasdaq composite index gained 16.30 points to 6,603.55.Wednesday’s release of the Fed’s September meeting minutes showed that although officials struggled to come to term with persistently low inflation, some were worried that low unemployment could result in a quick rebound in inflation, and a third rate hike was needed. The central banking system previously raised rates in June and March.Still, this release signalled nothing new in terms of market expectations, said Macan Nia, a senior investment strategist at Manulife Investments.“The Fed minutes alluded to the likelihood of an increase in December by 25 basis points, that we believe has already been priced into the market,” he said.Nia added market participants were also watching Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump closely, but there were little signals from their press conference on Wednesday.“We’re all very interested to see the outcome in terms of the NAFTA negotiation,” he said.”We’re all sitting back and waiting to see more concrete details in terms of proposals.”Meanwhile in corporate news, shares of licensed marijuana producer Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED) rose 5.92 per cent Wednesday, on news of a tie-up with a B.C. greenhouse operator which would more than double its production footprint to about 2.3 million square feet.In commodities, the November crude contract added 38 cents to US$51.30 per barrel and the November natural gas contract was unchanged at US$2.89 per mmBTU.The December gold contract was down $4.90 to US$1,288.90 an ounce and the December copper contract was up four cents to US$3.10 a pound.The Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 80.01 cents US, up 0.02 of a cent.