Celebrating a strong, creative, resilient Lunenburg County
NOW, MORE THAN EVER...
BY MARGARET HOEGG
Anneke van Bommel and Cameron MacLean dreamed of someday buying a century home with enough space for their two studios.
“We are both artists and designers that run the majority of our businesses online,” said MacLean, “so we really could be anywhere...we started to think, why not Nova Scotia?” They planned a destination wedding on the South Shore and “literally a day after the wedding during our honeymoon we found ourselves driving closely behind our real estate agent, looking at homes,” said van Bommel. “When we saw the home, something clicked.”
Anneke van Bommel is an artist and educator who works primarily in jewelry design and metalsmithing. She creates whimsical minimalist pieces that explore themes of memory, home, and identity.
Cameron MacLean is a certified furniture maker who creates mostly smaller scale, minimalist interior pieces for the home, both original designs and custom collaborations. The two entrepreneurs started their businesses, Touchthedutch and Offcut Studio, in Toronto in the early 2000s. Between their studio work, their creative collaborations, and crafting a life their ongoing project of restoring their century farmhouse, the couple dedicates their life together to their crafts and love of design.
They love that the calmer pace of their new life allows them to spend more time together. “We have zero transit time now,” said van Bommel. “No subway or bike rides through gnarly traffic to contend with. A calmer start to our days, most definitely.” They grow their own vegetables in the summer and love having access to small farms and food producers year-round. Van Bommel participates in The Lunenburg Farmers Market, which gives her opportunities to connect with her new community. The couple takes full advantage of all Lunenburg County has to offer. From checking out live music at the Old Confidence Lodge, to exploring the coast, visiting antique shops or art exhibitions, or grabbing a pint at a local microbrewery, there is always something interesting and fun to do.
“There is a fantastic energy here, a vibrancy that is tricky to pinpoint,” said van Bommel.
They have been surprised by some more unique Lunenburg
County traditions, such as horse and ox pulls, community suppers, and generous neighbours. Van Bommel said, “our neighbour has left us lobster, wine and smoked fish on our doorstep on a number of occasions...that’s always wonderfully
surprising!” “We were drawn to the welcoming arts community, the fantastic
farmers’ markets, the landscape and the entrepreneurial momentum that we experienced. I would definitely encourage others to take the leap! It’s a much calmer lifestyle and Halifax is only an hour away!”
You can find Anneke van Bommel at touchthedutch.com and Cameron MacLean at offcutstudio.com