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Halifax Explosion Light Show. Source: DHBC

New light show commemorates Halifax Explosion

By Steve MacArthur Dec 6, 2022 | 12:41 PM

A brand new light show will pay tribute to a dark time in Halifax’s history.

Three animated scenes will commemorate the Halifax Explosion and they will be projected onto the old library on Spring Garden Road. It’s to mark the 105th anniversary of the explosion, which occurred on December 6, 1917.

The scenes include a tribute to Train Dispatcher Vince Coleman along with newspaper headlines and clippings in the aftermath of the explosion. It’s being organized by the Downtown Halifax Business Commission (DHBC) and the light show at Grafton Park was created by multimedia artist Nick Iwaskow of Wasko AV.

Source: DHBC

“Our goal with the light shows, as with all of our placemaking projects, is to turn a space into a place,” says Paul McKinnon, CEO of DHBC. “These light projections are meant to turn an otherwise plain building into a show, hopefully creating entertainment and spreading joy during the darkest months of the year. However, some shows, like this one, have been created with more of an educational component to it, a way for us to use the platform to honour people, and past events, that have shaped Halifax.”

The tragedy devastated the north end of Halifax, and killed close to 2,000 people. Roughly 9,000 were injured and many others were left homeless.

The SS Mont Blanc was full of munitions, and collided with the SS Emo in the Halifax Harbour at 8:45 a.m. and about 20 minutes later a massive explosion levelled much of Halifax and Dartmouth with a force so strong it caused a tsunami with nearly 200 people drowning.

Halifax Explosion light show on Spring Garden Road. Source: DHBC

“If we receive positive feedback from this year’s show, DHBC would love to make it an annual tradition, each year highlighting a hero or organization that emerged from this tragedy,” says Jonathan Goldson, DHBC’s Placemaking Manager. “Growing up in Jamaica, this specific project has been a unique learning opportunity, and one that highlights the resilience of this beautiful city.”

The “Halifax Explosion Light Show” will run from December 6-11  starting at 5 p.m. and going until 11 p.m. each night


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