Halifax Explosion
100 years 100 stories

Events

100 years have passed since the Halifax Explosion happened and we are asking everyone to take a moment to remember.

Throughout 2017, many engaging and thoughtful commemorative events will take place, including the annual morning ceremony at the Memorial Bell Tower in Fort Needham Memorial Park on Wednesday, December 6, 2017.

If you have an event or activity that you would like us to include, please contact us with the details.

For information about interpretive experiences, visit our experiences listing.

 


Hope and Survival: A Story of the Halifax Explosion with Laurie Swim

Date: Saturday, November 4, 2017

Time: 3:30 pm

Location: Halifax Central Library, 5440 Spring Garden Road

Admission: FREE

Laurie Swim will read from her book and answer questions on the process of creating quilt art. Some of the original illustrations created for the book will be on display.

Swim is a Portia White Prize winning fibre artist based in Lunenburg and the author of several books on quilting.

Learn more at: halifaxpubliclibraries.ca

 


St. Marks Anglican Church Memorial Service

Date: November 5, 2017

Time: 2:00 pm

Location: St. Mark’s Church, 5522 Russell Street, Halifax

Constructed in 1866 at the intersection of Barrington and Russell Street, St Marks’s Anglican Church was destroyed in the Halifax Explosion. Despite extensive loss of life among its congregation, those who survived assisted relief efforts in temporary first aid and feeding stations. This memorial service will pay tribute to those who perished in the event and celebrate the community’s strength and determination to rally together in the face of tragedy.

Learn more on the church’s website or contact the event organizer.

 


Picking Up the Pieces: Remembering the Mi’kmaq Along the Shores of Dartmouth

Date: Thursday, November 9, 2017

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: Alderney Gate Library, 60 Alderney Dr., Dartmouth

Admission: FREE

On December 6, 1917, at the time of the Halifax Explosion, the Dartmouth shore was home to the historic Mi’kmaq community of Turtle Grove.

Devastated by the blast, tsunami and fire, residents suffered tremendous injury and loss of life. Without a voice in the efforts to rebuild, the settlement disappeared – a brief footnote in historical accounts.

Catherine Anne Martin, Mi’kmaw filmmaker and cultural historian, will tell the story of her family, and speak the truth of Turtle Grove. She will be joined by Barbara Lounder and Mary Elizabeth Luka of the Narratives in Space+Time Society who will talk about their Across the Narrows Public Art Walk, and the importance of revisiting the past.

Learn more at: halifaxpubliclibraries.ca

 


Historical Presentation at Government House

Date: November 14, 2017

Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Location: Government House, 1451 Barrington Street, Halifax

The Honourable Arthur J. LeBlanc, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, will welcome Roger Marsters, Curator of Marine History with the Nova Scotia Museum, for a talk about the cultural landscapes of Halifax Harbour at the time of the 1917 Explosion.

This presentation is part of the Evenings @ Government House Fall 2017 Series. It is free of charge and open to the public.

Please register in advance by visiting Government House online, by emailing LGOffice@novascotia.ca, or by phoning 902-424-7001.

 


Dalhousie Symphony Orchestra Commemorative Concert Performance

Date: November 21, 2017

Time: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Location: Paul O’Regan Hall at the Halifax Central Library, 5440 Spring Garden Road, Halifax

As part of the Evenings @ Government House Fall 2017 Series, The Honourable Arthur J. LeBlanc, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, is pleased to host a concert by the Dalhousie Symphony Orchestra from the Fountain School of the Performing Arts. This concert will include a composition written and conducted by pianist and Fountain School of the Performing Arts faculty member Peter Allen entitled, “Variations on the Halifax Explosion”.

This event is free and open to the public.

Please register in advance by visiting Government House online, by emailing LGOffice@novascotia.ca, or by phoning 902-424-7001.

 


Lullaby: Inside The Halifax Explosion

Lullaby Performance Poster

In Lullaby: Inside The Halifax Explosion, we meet three diverse characters, moments after the explosion and we follow them as they comes to terms with the situation they find themselves in and who they are stranded with.As the characters share their stories, experiences and history, we the audience experience the tribute to the diverse communities and cultures in Nova Scotia.

Taking place from November 23 to December 10, 2017,  Lullaby: Inside The Halifax Explosion is a theatrical event; a dramatic, educational and emotive experience that explores little-told stories of the events of Dec 6, 2017.

The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is proud to host this special production by Eastern Front Theatre.

For tickets, go to www.tickethalifax.com or call 902-422-6278.

 


Stadacona Band Concert

A Moment In Time: A Musical Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Halifax Explosion

Date: Sunday, November 26, 2017

Time: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Location: Halifax Central Library, Paul O'Regan Hall, 5440 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax

Admission: FREE

Through music, song, and spoken word the nationally acclaimed Stadacona Band of the Royal Canadian Navy will commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Halifax Explosion in a Sunday afternoon concert. It wouldn't be a concert without a sing-a-long, and a medley of wartime hits will be included in the repertoire. In partnership with Maritime Forces Atlantic.

 


A True Gaelic Story of the Halifax Explosion with Emily McEwan

Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Time: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Location: Alderney Gate Library, 60 Alderney Dr., Dartmouth

Admission: FREE

One of the ships destroyed in the Halifax Explosion was the S.S. Curaca. Hear a true Gaelic story of one of the S.S. Curaca sailors, a Gael from the Isle of Barra in Scotland, from the perspective of his young sister.

The story will be told bilingually in both Gaelic and English, and Kate Dunlay will provide traditional fiddle accompaniment.

Learn more at: halifaxpubliclibraries.ca

 


Halifax Explosion Truths: The Africville Story

Date: Thursday, November 30, 2017

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: Halifax North Memorial Library, 2285 Gottingen St., Halifax

Admission: FREE

In the aftermath of 1917’s Halifax Explosion, the destruction in Africville, nestled on the shore of the Bedford Basin, was largely denied by city authorities. Emergency aid failed to appear; reconstruction support was refused.

Sunday Miller, former Executive Director of the Africville Heritage Trust, and Juanita Peters, local film-maker and playwright, will speak the truth of the Africville story, the impact of racism, and the resilience of the African Nova Scotian community.

Learn more at: halifaxpubliclibraries.ca

 


John and Belle DeMont with The Little Tree By The Sea: From Halifax to Boston With Love

Date: Saturday, December 2, 2017

Time: 2:30 pm

Location: Tantallon Library, 3646 Hammonds Plains Road (Hubley Centre), Upper Tantallon

Admission: FREE, appropriate for ages 4+

Little Tree By the Sea: From Halifax to Boston With Love is a sweet story about the origins of the famous Boston Christmas tree, which is sent yearly as a gift of gratitude to the city that helped Halifax recover after the great explosion of 1917.

This story, by two great talents who have teamed up on their first book project together, honours the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion in an enchanting and gentle way.

Learn more at: halifaxpubliclibraries.ca

 


The Halifax Explosion in Fiction

Date: Sunday, December 3, 2017

Time: 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Location: Captain William Spry Library, 16 Sussex St., (Captain William Spry Community Centre)

Admission: FREE

Join Carol Bruneau and friends for an afternoon of readings and conversations about the Halifax Explosion and the great literature it inspired.

Learn more at: halifaxpubliclibraries.ca

 


Halifax 1917: From Dreams to Despair

Date: December 3, 2017

Time: 7:30 pm

Location: Halifax Central Library, 5440 Spring Garden Road, Halifax

Admission: Ticket required. Visit tickethalifax.com to purchase online. 

WIN FREE TICKETS: Enter the Library’s draw for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the show. Lots of chances to win! Ballots will be available at all branches of Halifax Public Libraries starting Wednesday, October 18. Winners will be notified, November 15. 

1917 was a tough year for Halifax: In France, our soldiers were facing the brutal reality of war at the front lines. Back at home, the largest man-made explosion of its time rocked our city to its core. Here, the Halifax Camerata Singers pay homage to the 100th anniversary of the explosion—and the city's unbreakable spirit—with this show featuring The Rhapsody Quintet, Jeremy Webb and a poignant composition by Chris Palmer.

To learn more, visit halifaxpubliclibraries.ca

 


Film Shorts: Reflections on the Halifax Explosion

Date: Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: Halifax Central Library, 5440 Spring Garden Road, Halifax

Admission: FREE

Join us for a screening of new short animated and documentary films created for the centenary memorial of the Halifax Explosion. Participating artists will share their insights, talk about the film-making process, and answer questions.

In partnership with the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative, CBC, and Halifax Regional Municipality.

Learn more at: halifaxpubliclibraries.ca

 


100th Anniversary Halifax Explosion Memorial Service

Date: December 6, 2017

Time: 8:45 am

Location: Fort Needham Memorial Park, 3340 Union Street, Halifax

Admission: Free

The Municipality’s 100th Anniversary of the Halifax Explosion official commemoration ceremony will be held directly across the harbour at the recently reconstructed Fort Needham Memorial Park which overlooks the former neighbourhood of Richmond – an area virtually flattened by the explosion. The event will be on December 6, 2017 at 8:45 am.

The 100th Anniversary Memorial Service will follow the annual event program with additional guest speakers and special guests. Music will be provided by the Royal Canadian Navy Stadacona Band and the event will take place in the new Memorial Plaza in the Park.

The municipality has commissioned an original poem of commemoration by the Parliamentary Poet Laureate George Elliott Clarke who will read aloud excerpts of this special work. At 9:04 am the audience will recognize survivors with a moment of silence. Invited delegates will then be asked to participate in the official laying of the wreaths. Proceeding the official wreath laying, members of the public and relevant organizations with special ties to Anniversary are invited to lay wreaths in commemoration. The Anniversary service will be live streamed for those persons unable to attend in person.

After the ceremony residents are invited to attend a Reception at St. Joseph’s-Alexander McKay Elementary School, 5389 Russell Street, Halifax.

During the day of December 6, a 100th Anniversary Book of Remembrance will be available for the public to sign at the following locations throughout the day:

  • St. Joseph’s-Alexander McKay Elementary School: 10:00am - 11:30 am
  • Alderney Gate Library, Dartmouth: 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  • Halifax City Hall: 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
  • Halifax Central Library: 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Admission to this event is free. Learn more at HRM’s website.

 


Newspaper Structures: Rebuilding Halifax

Date: Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Time: 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Location: Sackville Library, 636 Sackville Drive, Lower Sackville

Admission: FREE, Registration required. Appropriate for Ages 5 to 9.

A hundred years ago, the Halifax Explosion took the lives of thousands and destroyed many buildings in Halifax. Join us on the hundredth anniversary of the explosion to hear a storybook about the event, "Explosion Newsie" by Jacqueline Halsey. Afterwards, we'll construct buildings out of newspaper.

Call 902-865-3744 to register. Learn more at: halifaxpubliclibraries.ca

 


Halifax Explosion Remembrance with George Elliott Clarke and Symphony Nova Scotia

Date: Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Time: 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Location: Halifax Central Library, 5440 Spring Garden Road, Halifax

Admission: FREE

Gather as a community to commemorate the tragic events and lives lost in the Halifax Explosion that took place 100 years ago. The evening will feature Parliamentary Poet Laureate, George Elliott Clarke, and Symphony Nova Scotia performing against a backdrop of images from December 1917.

Participants will have an opportunity to reflect and add a personal tribute to the City’s Centenary Book of Remembrance.

With support from the Halifax Regional Municipality. Learn more at: halifaxpubliclibraries.ca

 


St. Marks Anglican Church Commemorative Concert

Date: December 6, 2017

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: St. Mark’s Church, 5522 Russell Street, Halifax

Constructed in 1866 at the intersection of Barrington and Russell Street, St Marks’s Anglican Church was destroyed in the Halifax Explosion. Despite extensive loss of life among its congregation, those who survived assisted relief efforts in temporary first aid and feeding stations. The Halifax Explosion Commemorative Concert and Memorial Garden project pays tribute to survivors of the disaster and enhancements to the church grounds will represent a permanent memorial.

Learn more on the church’s website or contact the event organizer.

 


Author Allison Lawlor with Broken Pieces: An Orphan of the Halifax Explosion

Date: Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: Keshen Goodman Library, 330 Lacewood Drive, Halifax

Admission: FREE

One hundred years ago, on December 6, 1917, the French munitions ship Mont Blanc collided with the Belgian relief vessel Imo in the Halifax Harbour. Amid the confusion and devastation that followed the blast was fourteen-year-old Barbara Orr, who had been walking from her neighbourhood in Richmond to a friend's house.

Follow Barbara as she navigates post-explosion Halifax, learning about rescue efforts, the kindness of strangers, and the bravery of heroes like Vincent Coleman along the way.

Learn more at: halifaxpubliclibraries.ca

 


At This Hour: The Deposition of Harbour Pilot Francis Mackey

Date: December 16 and 17, 2017

Time: 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm

Location: The Halifax Provincial Court – 5250 Spring Garden Rd.

On December 6, 1917, in the narrows of Halifax Harbour, the Belgian Relief vessel IMO collided with an overloaded French munitions ship, Mont-Blanc. The resulting massive explosion wreaked havoc on both sides of the harbour and left at least 2000 people dead.

Within hours Ottawa ordered a full investigation. Despite chaos in the city the Wreck Commissioner’s Inquiry began the following week at the Halifax Provincial Court on Spring Garden Road.

Using excerpts from the inquiry’s transcripts, At This Hour offers a personal account of what happened that terrible morning through the words of Francis Mackey, the pilot on board Mont-Blanc.

To learn more about this verbatim theatre performance, visit the Zuppa Theatre website.