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Arts & Culture May 11, 2015

Top 5 Statues in Halifax You HAVE to See: PART 2

Were you surprised to learn about the many statues around Halifax in the Top 5 Statues in ‪‎Halifax you HAVE to see blog? Want to know more? If so, you’re in luck! We’re counting down 5 more public art pieces that you won’t want to miss! 

5. Celtic Cross – George Street

Like many cities along the Eastern Seaboard, Halifax has a strong Irish heritage. Erected to commemorate the original Irish settlers of 1749, as well as the contributions of the Irish community to Halifax, the statue is a twelve foot high polished granite Celtic Cross. The cross was unveiled on March 17, 1999 by the Charitable Irish Society.

To learn more about the Irish population in Halifax, make your way down Lower Water Street towards the Bishop’s Landing area. There is a street-side placard that gives more information on immigration and settlement of the Irish in Halifax.

4. Freedom Monument – Gottingen Street

For a while, the Memorial Bell Tower in Fort Needham Park wasn’t the only major public art installation commemorating the Halifax Explosion in the North End of Halifax. The North End Public Library on Gottingen Street was home to the Halifax Explosion Memorial Sculpture, created by artist Jordi Bonet.

The sculpture was dismantled in 1966 and was replaced by artists Doug Bamford and Stephen Brathwaite’s North is Freedom Monument, which stands to this day.

Fun fact: This was Halifax’s only piece of public art commissioned in the decade that followed the amalgamation of the region into the Halifax region. The sculpture is constructed out of COR-TEN steel, and features etchings that celebrate important people, places and events from the rich cultural history of Halifax’s North End. The piece was named for Nova Scotian George Elliott Clarke’s poem, “North is Freedom”.

3. Halifax Explosion Memorial Bell Tower – Fort Needham Park

The Halifax Explosion is one of the most well-known events in Halifax’s history. Occurring on December 6, 1917, it decimated entire portions of the city and killed nearly 2,000 people. The Halifax Explosion Memorial Bell Tower, located in Fort Needham Park, overlooks the area devastated by the explosion. The memorial exists to not only commemorate those who lost their lives in the explosion, but also the survivors who worked to rebuild Halifax, Dartmouth and surrounding areas.

An annual remembrance ceremony is held at the bell tower on December 6, with a short silence just before 9:05 a.m., the time of the explosion. Learn more about the cause and aftermath of the Halifax Explosion in this article by the CBC.

2. World Peace Pavilion – Dartmouth Waterfront

The World Peace Pavilion on the Dartmouth waterfront is a little piece of the world. The Pavilion opened during the 1995 Halifax G7 Economic Summit, and contains stones and bricks from over 70 countries – including pieces of both the Great Wall of China and the Berlin Wall. Other pieces were commissioned specifically for the project, such as a brass plaque made from fragments of WWII ammunition from Slovakia. Set on a bed of Nova Scotian sand, the Pavilion was conceived by Metro Youth for Global Unity and designed by Robert Parker Associates.

1. The Wave – Halifax Waterfront

It’s not an exaggeration to say that that The Wave is legendary in Halifax. Created by sculptor Donna Hiebert out of ferro-cement, you can find The Wave being climbed by children (big and small, young and old). The Wave stands twelve feet high and represents the shape of an ocean wave.

You can find The Wave at Sackville Landing on the Halifax waterfront, right across from the playground, and beside the Nova Scotia Visitor Information Centre.

Did I miss your favourite statue? Let Destination Halifax know on Facebook and Twitter!