In 2020, countless individuals in Canada and worldwide faced a year filled with transformative experiences and daunting trials. Dr. Paul and MacKenzie Aitken were no exception as they took a significant step by acquiring the Maple Inn in November of that year. This purchase marked their optimistic and positive response to a tumultuous period for their family. Early in January 2020, MacKenzie suffered a debilitating stroke during a surgery to address a brain aneurysm. Tragically, just six weeks later, they lost their youngest son, Caden, to depression. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March, they were ready to embrace a complete life reboot and restart. They decided to sell almost all of their possessions and relocated to Nova Scotia, specifically seeking a nurturing environment for healing and renewal. Parrsboro, along with the Maple Inn, has already played a profound role in their journey towards healing, and they aspire for it to offer the same for others.
Paul's upbringing took place in Listowel, Ontario, Canada. After earning a degree in music education from the University of Western Ontario, he moved to the United States, where he ultimately achieved a doctorate in musical arts with a focus on choral music. During his time as a choir director at the Cathedral of the Rockies in Boise, he met and married MacKenzie, who worked as a real estate broker. Together, they raised their four boys. The two eldest, Michael and Zachery, currently reside in Idaho and Wyoming, respectively, fully engaged in their own careers. Wilson, another of their sons, accompanied them to their new home and is currently pursuing a degree in vocal music at Dalhousie University. In his free time, Dr. Aitken dedicates himself to musical pursuits, such as completing commissioned works and organizing large-scale concerts in renowned venues like Carnegie Hall (photos below).
You can learn more about Paul's music at www.paulaitkenmusic.com.
The Aitkens express immense gratitude for the warm and generous spirit of the people of Parrsboro, who have already played a significant role in their journey of physical and emotional healing. They have seamlessly integrated into their adopted hometown, with Paul now serving as the volunteer choir director of the Parrsboro Citizen's Choir and as the Board Chair of Parrsboro Creative, an organization overseeing the Parrsboro International Plein Air Festival held annually in June.
We hope to see you soon!
Paul & MacKenzie Aitken