Downtown Halifax creates a special light show honouring Elder Rita Joe for Heritage Day

(Kjipuktuk, N.S.)Tonight, at sunset, a special light show honouring Elder Rita Joe will be added to Downtown Halifax Business Commission (DHBC)’s DELIGHTFUL DOWNTOWN at Grafton Park light show schedule for Heritage Day. 


Celebrated the third Monday in February, Nova Scotia Heritage Day is an annual reminder of our storied past and an opportunity to honour the remarkable people, places and events that have contributed to this province’s unique heritage.


“Elder Rita paved the way for many of us to follow. She is an inspiration to us all and anytime we get to celebrate her achievements, we should. Having her honoured on Heritage Day helps to keep her legacy alive and makes us proud to be Mi'kmaq," says Theresa Meuse, Cultural Educator at the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre (MNFC). 


Like DHBC's October 2022 light show for Mi'kmaw Heritage Day Month, the musical soundtrack is provided by Mi'kmaw musician Raymond Sewell, and DHBC's Placemaking team worked closely with the MNFC and HRM's Diversity and Inclusion Office to assure the show reflects all of Rita Joe's key accomplishments. 


“Rita’s collection of poems has inspired our Mi’kmaq people to express our stories through writing and creative outlets. As the Indigenous Advisor for the city, it was humbling to speak the words of the poem ‘I Lost My Talk’ on this powerful production,” says Cheryl Copage-Gehue, Indigenous Community Engagement Advisor, with HRM’s Diversity & Inclusion Office.


The Heritage Day light show starts tonight, February 17, at sunset and will be projected on the former Halifax Memorial Library at Grafton Park until Monday, February 20, at 11 p.m. and will be shown in rotation with our African Heritage Month light show. The whole series, DELIGHTFUL DOWNTOWN at Grafton Park, runs until March 31, 2023, with the shows changing to reflect relevant cultural and seasonal themes.


For more information on the DELIGHTFUL DOWNTOWN series, including the light show schedule, visit:  


To learn more about Heritage Day, visit:


Land Acknowledgement:

Downtown Halifax Business Commission 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) title and established the rules for what was to be an ongoing relationship between nations.


For more information, and media inquiries please contact:

Jayme Lynn Butt  (she/her)
Communications Manager
Direct Line: 902.428.5433