Thursday, September 28, 2023
DELIGHTFUL DOWNTOWN at Grafton Park starts Saturday night, with a light show honouring ‘Mi’kmaw History Month.’
Kjipuktuk, NS – This Saturday, September 30, on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Downtown Halifax Business Commission (DHBC) will be launching their annual DELIGHTFUL DOWNTOWN at Grafton Park light show series, with a brand-new ‘Mi’kmaw History Month’ light show.
Projected on the façade of the former Halifax Memorial Library from dusk until 11 p.m. each night, the show pays tribute to this year’s theme for Mi’kmaw History Month, “Mi’kmaw Sports, Traditional Games, and Pastimes.” The three-minute show was conceptualized by DHBC’s Placemaking Team and a group of advisors: Ryan Francis, Sports Chair for NAIG 2023 & Founder of the Genevieve Francis Memorial Fund; Trena Empringham, Coalition Coordinator at the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre; and Theresa Meuse, Mi’kmaw Author & First Nation Knowledge Sharer.
“When we celebrate Mi’kmaw History Month it shows respect to the Mi’kmaq, the first people of Mi’kma’ki and being able to do that through a dedicated light show, that tells our story, is just wonderful,” says Meuse. “Storytelling helps to educate others and shares in our unique and rich culture. For centuries, many of our people, both men and women, have been recognized as athletes, and respected at many sports, so it’s great that we get to continue that education.”
The ‘Mi’kmaw History Month’ light show will be DELIGHTFUL DOWNTOWN at Grafton Park’s first of many vivid productions that will be projected on the façade of the former Halifax Memorial Library on the corner of Spring Garden Road and Grafton Street. This year’s series will feature 17 dazzling light shows, running until March 31, 2024.
“DHBC started DELIGHTFUL DOWNTOWN in 2021, during the thick of the pandemic, in an effort to give people something to do and see outside,” says Paul MacKinnon, DHBC CEO. “People seem to really like the rotating light shows, especially the ones that reflect seasonal and relevant cultural themes, like Mi’kmaw History Month. The brightness of the shows add light to Downtown Halifax during the darkest months, contributing to year-round vibrancy.”
For more information on the whole DELIGHTFUL DOWNTOWN series, including the light show schedule, visit: DELIGHTFUL DOWNTOWN 2023/24.
To learn more about Mi’kmaw History Month, visit: Mi’kmaw History Month.
DHBC acknowledges the history of Grafton Park as both the Poor House burial ground, as well as a park that saw the removal of homeless encampments in August 2021. We also recognize that our city is experiencing an unprecedented number of people living without a roof over their head, and that the need for deeply affordable housing has never been greater. Downtown Halifax's Navigator Outreach Program offers direct support to the unhoused and precariously housed population in the urban core. This includes, but is not limited to, support finding employment, accessing medication, obtaining identification, providing referrals to appropriate community programs, providing gift cards for specific needs like groceries and proper camping gear, and when we can, finding suitable/affordable housing. To learn more about how to assist us with these initiatives, visit: Downtown Halifax Navigator Outreach Program.
DHBC acknowledges that we are in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People. This territory is covered by the “Treaties of Peace and Friendship” which Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) Peoples first signed with the British Crown in 1725. The treaties did not deal with surrender of lands and resources, but in fact recognized Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) titles and established the rules for what was to be an ongoing relationship between nations.
Jayme Lynn Butt