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Point Pleasant Park Artist-in-Residence - Public Art
Gates for Sojourn

Sarah Burwash, HRM’s artist-in-residence at Point Pleasant Park, will be spending the next several weeks creating a series of park-based installations, Gates for Sojourn, to encourage visitors to access the park in new and exciting ways.

Four gateway installations made largely of wood and fabric Sarah Burwash far woods imagewill include map illustrations and lead park visitors to specific places within the park. Some installations will include an information board with instructions and details on where visitors are being lead.

Through this series, Sarah will create intimate places that allow visitors to slow down, pause and experience the park, while also learning about its flora and rich history.

Picture of artist Sarah BurwashSarah Burwash grew in up in Rossland, B.C. and graduated from the University of British Columbia Okanagan in 2009 with an interdisciplinary BFA. Working in a variety of media from collage and animation, to ceramics and installation, Sarah’s work most often takes form in narrative watercolour
drawings. Her work is included in private and public collections internationally and has been shown in
Canada, USA and Europe. She has participated in residencies across North America and abroad, most
recently in Suldal, Norway and the Banff Centre. Burwash lives in Nova Scotia, working full time as an artist and freelance illustrator. 

Metro Transit Bridge Terminal- Public Art
Halifax-based artist Sara Hartland Rowe is currently working on a public art piece for the Metro Transit Bridge Terminal.

Sara’s proposal for the transit terminal project involves the creation of a large-scale, wall-mounted installation of laser cut sheet metal elements drawn from the artist’s sketches of transit users, the facility and the Common, amongst other things. Together these ‘sketches’, derived from particular drawings, will be brought together to form a bold and energetic image that will reinforce the sense of movement of buses and people through the terminal space, and more widely throughout HRM. The installation will run the length of the large retaining wall beneath the terminal’s pedestrian bridge and will combine elements of human figures and landscape features.

Sara Hartland Rowe on the busA lifelong transit user herself, Sara is committed to creating an artwork that enhances the user experience of the Metro transit system. Sara says, “The intention is that this artwork be embedded in the experience of travel, the images drawn from a real engagement with the place and the mental space of those of us that travel through the terminal… “

Sara continues, “In the wall-piece, I would like to show that riding the bus can be sociable or mindful, contemplative or relaxing. Although not documentary or literal, the piece will show people talking, thinking, working, dreaming, reading, resting, and playing, in the terminal or on the bus…it should be beautiful, and pleasurable to engage with. It should enhance and support the space, and be one more enjoyable aspect of our using the terminal.”

Sara is a Halifax-based painter and an instructor in the painting department at NSCADU since 2001. She has exhibited her work throughout Canada, in the US, the Netherlands, and Argentina and has produced large-scale wall paintings for the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the Windsor Art Gallery, Museum London, the Durham Art Gallery, the Koffler Gallery and Harbourfront Gallery.

Emera Oval - Public Art
Lace Up
at the Emera Oval

A one-of-a-kind sculpture has been erected on the Halifax Common as a tribute to the collective community that made the Halifax 2011 Canada Games one of the most successful in Games history.

Commissioned by the Halifax 2011 Canada Games Host Society, Lace Up depicts shoe and skate laces to create three-dimensional aerial paths that capture the feeling of weightlessness, representing the sense of freedom that people feel when using the Oval. Laces sculpture at the Emera OvalWhether on skates, roller blades, or on foot, people tend to trace elliptical paths when moving around the oval. The artwork’s arching forms invite viewers to stand under the structure or explore its form while sitting on the lace-like benches.

The sculpture has stamped and cut patterns on their broad sides resembling the surfaces of skate laces. Daylight passing through the cut outs create dynamic patterns on the hardscaped surfaces, and at night, an LED system projects light through the cut outs as well. The intersecting lace forms frame views of the sky, the Oval, and the North Commons, allowing the artwork to be well integrated with the site’s landscaped and natural characteristics.

The sculpture was designed by Ilan Sandler and fabricated with the help of his team in Dartmouth, NS.


Head shot of artist Ilan SandlerIlan Sandler has shown his sculptures, installations, and videos internationally and across Canada and has completed public art commissions in Toronto, St. Louis, Philadelphia and Busan, South Korea. He installed the public sculpture: A Departure in Lethbridge, Canada in 2009 and The Vessel in Toronto in 2011. He has also produced a large public art work called: What’s Your Name? for North Toronto Collegiate Institute and is currently producing The School Chair for the Halifax Regional Municipality and Under the Helmet for the City of Calgary. During the summer of 2011 Beach Chair was installed in Aarhus, Denmark for the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition. In 2012 his new series of Urban Artworks called Stolen Parts was premiered in Stockholm. He has received numerous awards, including grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Nova Scotia Department of Culture.

Born in Johannesburg (South Africa) in 1971, Ilan Sandler and his family immigrated to Toronto six years later, in 1977. Sandler studied at the University of Toronto, where he received a B.Sc. in Physics, and at the Ontario College of Art and Design, where he completed an Honours Fine Arts certificate. In 2000 he was awarded an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. He then went on to teach at the University of the Arts and Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, and most recently at NSCAD University where he held a SSHRC Research/Creation Fellowship until 2011. He is currently running Sandler Studio Inc. in Halifax, Nova Scotia. More information on Ilan Sandler’s work is available at


Halifax Central Library - Public Art
The Request for Proposals for Public Art for the new Halifax Central Library (RFP No. P12-039) has been awarded. The highest-scoring proponent is Winnipeg-based artist Cliff Eyland.

His proposal involves the creation of 5,000 paintings specific to this new building, the surrounding community, and the varied users and user-groups of the Library and its institutional and social function, etc. Each of these paintings would be created specifically in response to this opportunity and the physical parameters of the building. Each painting would measure 3”x 5” in direct relation to the size of a traditional library index card. Collectively, and from a distance, the paintings will operate as a loose, abstract formal pattern of colours and shapes. Individually, and up close, each painting will embody a particular piece of the overall Library ‘narrative’, to be constructed in close collaboration with library staff and community stakeholders. The collaborative nature of this enterprise was a central focus of the library RFP process.

Mr. Eyland was born and raised in Halifax and his proposal exhibited a great deal of familiarity both with the particular history and community context of Halifax, as well as with the Library as a Artist Cliff Eylandpublic institution. Mr. Eyland’s 30-year artistic career, beginning as a student of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, has been concerned with a contemplation of the connections between libraries and artistic production.

Halifax Central Library
The Halifax Central Library will be regional resource, an active information place and a reflection of the communities within the Halifax Regional Municipality. It will enhance Halifax Public Libraries’ ability to design and redesign services, and to reach out to and attract more people. Services will be flexible and based on the needs of the community combined with the best that technology has to offer.

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Mr. Eyland will be visiting the Halifax Central Library site in December 2013. He will be checking out the construction to see how his vision for his piece matches the developing surroundings.

Fallen Peace Officers Monument
Fallen Peace Officers Memorial
by Cody Stephenson and Adam Collins
Photograph by Gord Lehmann

defines public art as being permanent, semi-permanent, or temporary works of art in any media or combination of media that have been planned and executed with the specific intention of being sited or staged in the public realm and accessible to all. Pieces of public art will be created or managed by a professional artist and will be acquired through artist commissions, donations or artist-community collaborations.

The Public Art Policy To PDF Acrobat Tips informs presentations of public art, including temporary and permanent of public art.

Permanent public art describes artworks that are commissioned, designed, fabricated and installed with the intent that they will exist in situ for an ongoing and indefinite period of time. These works are part of HRM’s Public Art Collection, which is maintained on an ongoing basis, and mapped and interpreted as part of Cultural Affairs’ public art education programs.

Temporary public art refers to installations, performances or any other manner of artistic intervention in the public realm where the duration of exhibition or presentation is clearly defined.  Temporary public art animates civic spaces, inspires investiture in these spaces, and in general promotes a critical dialogue about art and public space. Cultural Affairs’ temporary public art programs focus on contemporary art, in particular works that are created through innovative approaches and new media; a focus of the program is to expand the public’s awareness of the diversity and range of public art forms.

For more information on public art within HRM contact:

Jamie MacLellan

Public Art Facilitator

tel: (902) 490-1039


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Programs offering opportunities for citizens to engage with the arts are facilitated through HRM's Public Art Section. This section specifically supports artists including writers, poets, musicians, media artists and visual artists and the public presentation of art.


Children playing piano installed in Point Pleasant Park as part of Will Robinson's Open Project entitled Parchetypes. Photograph courtesy of the artist.

by William Robinson


Open Projects

The Open Projects program supports artists’ projects that reimagine, remake and reinvigorate its civic spaces.

For the 2011-2012 fiscal year there are two calls for the Open Project program. Projects are peer-assessed by a committee of artists from diverse disciplines. Support through Open Projects is available at three different brackets:

  • $500-$2000
  • $2000-$5000
  • $5000-$8000



Residency Initiative

Through the Residency Initiative, HRM will provide an honorarium to arts organizations facilitating artist residencies within HRM. In exchange, organizations are responsible for the administrative support required to host an artist-in-residence. This includes the selection process, residency logistics and organization, program promotion, and any residency related programming.

For more information on public art programs contact:



Jamie MacLellan

Public Art Facilitator

tel: (902) 490-1039


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Mayor’s Poet Laureate

The Mayor’s Poet Laureate is a resident poet or spoken word artist who has achieved excellence and whose work is of relevance to its citizens. The Poet Laureate is an advocate for literary arts and reflects the life of the HRM community through program development and community outreach.

For more information on this program contact:



Colleen Connolly
Events and Cultural Initiatives
Tel: (902) 490-4944


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Nocturne: Art at Night


Installation shot of What Could Public Space Also Be? by Better City LAB
Installation shot of What Could Public Space Also Be? by Better City LAB
Nocture: Art at Night, October 16, 2010
Photograph by Gord Lehmann


Thanks to everyone who took part in the recent Nocturne: Art at Night

Nocturne: Art at Night is a fall festival that brings art and energy to the streets of Halifax from 6 p.m.-midnight. The completely free, fifth annual event showcases and celebrates the visual arts scene in Halifax. Nocturne, designed and planned by volunteers, is an opportunity for everyone to experience the art of Halifax in a whole new light.

HRM  supports this program through managing the anchor sites for the festival. HRM Civic Events supports this initiative through Civic Events Grants.


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Outdoor Public Art

The Outdoor Public Art Inventory of monuments, markers and outdoor sculpture was completed in 2008. It lists the full range of statuary objects and artworks (and murals, in some cases) in HRM and lists them by district. HRM is working to map these items and their locations and to make this and other relevant information available to the public.

Maintenance of HRM's current public art inventory is ongoing. Priority maintenance needs have been identified for major restoration including The Cenotaph in Grand Parade, completed in November 2009, and the Halifax Airfield Monument in Saunders Park, completed August 2009.

Click on images to enlarge.


The Kiss

Sculptor Andy Francis Cutti created

"The Kiss" as one of three statues

crafted from a granite staircase that was

removed from a renovated building

on Barrington Street.

The statue, located in front of the YMCA on South Park Street, Halifax, is an abstract image of a couple embracing.




Winston Churchill

The bronze Winston Churchill statute, weighing 1.5 tons and standing ten feet high, is found on the front lawn of the Halifax Public Library branch on Spring Garden Road, Halifax. Oscar Nemon sculpted this statue, honouring Sir Winston Churchill, former Second World War Prime Minister of Great Britain.

The statue was unveiled on January 20, 1980, and the figure represents the image of Churchill taken in a photograph while walking in Halifax.




Commissioned by the Atlantic Chief and Petty Officers’ Association, "Sailor" honours the many thousands of sailors who passed through the port of Halifax.

The 2.5 ton bronze statue figure's uniform is modelled after that worn by Canadian sailors from the Second World War until the 1960's Canadian Forces unification.

"Sailor" is located near the corner of Lower Water

and Sackville Streets, Halifax.



The Wave    

"The Wave", created by sculptor Donna Hiebert is located on the Halifax waterfront, in Sackville Landing at the base of Sackville Street.

"The Wave" was commissioned by the Halifax Waterfront Development Corporation in 1988.

The ferro-cement sculpture is painted bluish-green, and represents the shape of an ocean wave standing twelve feet high, with a diameter of thirty feet.



         Celtic Cross 2

Celtic Cross

Unveiled, March 17, 1999, by the Charitable

Irish Society, the black polished granite

Celtic Cross is dedicated to the original

Irish settlers of 1749 and to the contributions

of the Irish community to Halifax.

The twelve foot high statue is located near the corners of Lower Water and

George Streets and Bedford Row, Halifax.




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HRM Public Art Policy To PDF Acrobat Tips

HRM Cultural Plan
HRM Cultural Operating Stragegy
HRM Cultural Indicators

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
Creative Nova Scotia
Nocturne: Art at Night
Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture & Heritage

Visual Arts Nova Scotia

Writer's Federation of Nova Scotia