For so many in Canada and around the world, the year 2020 was a year of change and challenges. The same was true for Dr. Paul & MacKenzie Aitken who purchased the Maple Inn in November 2020. The purchase of a B&B was an optimistic & positive reaction to a year of dramatic changes for their family: in early January 2020 MacKenzie had a debilitating stroke during a surgery to repair a brain aneurysm, then six weeks later they lost their youngest of four boys to depression. Once COVID-19 hit in March, they were ready for a complete life reboot & restart -- and so they sold nearly everything they had and moved to Nova Scotia in search of a healing place to recover and renew. Parrsboro, and The Maple Inn, has already been a special place of healing in their lives -- and we hope that it will be for you, too.
Paul grew up in Southern Ontario, Canada and, after achieving a degree in music education from the University of Western Ontario, moved to the USA where he ultimately achieved a doctor of musical arts degree in choral music. It was during his tenure as a choir director at the Cathedral of the Rockiesin Boise that he met MacKenzie, a real estate broker, and together they raised four boys. The two oldest boys, Michael and Zachery, continue to live in Idaho and Wyoming, respectively; both are adults and busy with full-time jobs of their own. Another of their boys, Wilson, moved with them and has helped them considerably with the move to Canada. Wilson is presently assisting with the preparation of the inn, but will be attending Dalhousie University beginning in the Fall of 2021 to pursue a degree in vocal music. In the off-season, Dr. Aitken will continue to focus on his work as a headlining composer/conductor and is excited to have again been asked to produce a concert at Carnegie Hall in 2022; the concert will take place on April 30 and will feature his award-winning setting of Flanders Fields as well as several of his works for choir and orchestra.
The Aitkens are tremendously grateful to the generous and kind spirit of the people of Parrsboro; they have already been a healing balm in their lives. They are very much looking forward to becoming more deeply involved in the community (post pandemic, of course!) and are excited about finding ways that they can be positive and productive neighbours involved in local activities. In the meantime, they are busily working away on preparing the inn for the upcoming 2021 season by lightly renovating several of the common areas of the Maple Inn so that they can better serve the local community and guests alike.
We hope to see you soon!