Nova Scotians are being invited to help develop a tribute to Viola Desmond that will represent her legacy, and last beyond this year’s celebration.
Nova Scotia’s first Heritage Day will be held Monday, Feb. 16, and will honour Ms. Desmond, the African Nova Scotian businesswoman who was wrongfully jailed and fined in 1946 for refusing to give up her seat in the segregated section of a New Glasgow movie theatre.
The Remembering Viola Community Engagement Forum will be hosted by the North Branch Business Association on Monday, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., at the Halifax North Memorial Public Library, 2285 Gottingen St.
“Viola is an icon for social justice. She is one of our Nova Scotia heroes, and deserves this kind of recognition,” said Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Tony Ince. “The results of the workshop will be another way we are celebrating and remembering the inspiring story of Viola Desmond.”
Deputy Premier Diana Whalen and Mr. Ince will join Ms. Desmond’s sister, Wanda Robson, and community members to brainstorm a tribute that will be installed this spring in north end Halifax, where Ms. Desmond lived and worked.
“The North End Business Association is thrilled to be able to help facilitate the creation of a permanent memorial for Viola along Gottingen Street,” said executive director Patricia Cuttell Busby.
“It is important that we recognize and celebrate members of our community who make a difference. This is an exciting project, and we look forward to collaborating with local organizations to make it a reality.”
The We Heart Viola Youth Art Project, a collaboration between professional artists, youth artists and entrepreneurs from Halifax’s Gottingen Street, will also be revealed at the forum.
“The project used a shared passion for art to forge new relationships and support a more cohesive community,” said Ann Denny, Youth Art Connection. “We have worked together to create a three-panel, hand-painted, portable theatrical backdrop that we look forward to sharing on Monday.”
The films, The Viola Vignette and A Long Road to Justice, will also be screened, as will recorded performances from the three finalists of the Music Nova Scotia Viola Desmond Song Writing contest.
Nova Scotia Heritage Day falls on the third Monday in February each year. For the next seven years, the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage will work with communities to commemorate Nova Scotia Heritage Day and recognize its upcoming honourees. For more information, visit http://heritageday.novascotia.ca .
FOR BROADCAST USE
The North Branch Business Association is hosting the
Remembering Viola Community Engagement Forum on Monday
It is at the Halifax North Memorial Public Library
on Gottingen Street from 10 a-m until 2 p-m.
The forum is in honour of Ms. Desmond, the first honouree
for Nova Scotia Heritage Day.
She was an African Nova Scotian businesswoman wrongfully
jailed and fined in 1946 for refusing to give up her seat in the
segregated section of a New Glasgow movie theatre.
There will be a brainstorming session with Deputy Premier
Diana Whalen, Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Tony
Ince and members of the community to develop a legacy piece to
A community art project will also be unveiled, there will be
film screenings and recorded performances by the three
finalists of the Music Nova Scotia Viola Desmond Song Writing
For more information visit heritage day dot nova scotia dot