Casino Nova Scotia possesses all the usual attractions of blackjack tables and jangling slot machines to attract tourists and locals, but it also features three events spaces — the Schooner Showroom, the Harbourfront Lodge and the Compass Room — that host a variety of shows and performers. The Casino opened in 1995 in a temporary location in the Sheraton hotel, and in 2000 moved with great fanfare from the city to a $100 million facility on the Halifax Waterfront. The Casino offers a bit of glamour and excitement to the city, but don’t expect the MGM Grand.
You’ll find most acts in the Schooner Showroom, a venue with a capacity of 650. This theatre has played host to modern acts like Good Charlotte, Colin James, the Joel Plaskett Emergency, Melissa Etheridge and Serena Ryder, and a nostalgic mix of old favourites including David Wilcox, Hanson, Loverboy, the Philosopher Kings, Dr. Hook and Kenny Loggins. Since 2005, the Showroom has hosted Bruce Guthro’s Songwriter’s Circle, an intimate forum where four musicians play their hits and swap stories before an audience — Matt Andersen and Heather Rankin have dropped by, among others.
The Casino helps host the Halifax Comedy Festival, and brings in lots of comedic acts such as Bob Saget, Jeff Dunham and “Weird Al” Yankovic. Cover bands, hypnotist shows and other spectacles are also regular features on the Casino’s event calendar. The Compass Room and Harbourfront Lodge (which has a small stage) are mainly used for private parties and receptions.
The entire building has wheelchair-accessible entrances and parking spaces for individuals with mobility issues. The Casino is located downtown near most major hotels and bus routes, and a line of taxis can reliably be found outside.