News: Canada Day Weekend and Sawmill River Meeting

Canada flag over the bridge at Lake Banook

A quick update on two items that can’t wait until my next e-newsletter in July.

Canada Day: This Canada Day will be a bigger event than usual in HRM. On the Dartmouth side of the Harbour, the pancake breakfast at Alderney will proceed as usual, and there will be a concert at Sullivan’s Pond from 2:00-4:00 featuring The Rock A Barons, The BBQ Kings, and others. On the Halifax side, HRM is hosting a large concert on the Halifax Common featuring Deadmau5, Matt Mays, Ashelin, Izabell Ouellet, and Reeny Smith. The ferry will be free for the day and there will also be a free shuttle running from Dartmouth’s Bridge Terminal to Lower Water Street and then to the concert site on North Park Street.

Canada Day Eve will actually rival the main day in Dartmouth. From 6:00-8:30 on Friday, part of Portland Street will be closed and performers from the Tattoo will takeover the street. At Alderney Landing, the Boardwalk Artists event will bring art and crafts to Ferry Terminal Park. Fun stuff for the kids to be had there. Epic will also be kicking off their weekend of running, swimming and biking with 6.1 km run followed by a concert with the Mellotones at Grahams Grove and fireworks over Lake Banook. All we need now is for the weather to cooperate.

I have heard from a few people with concerns as to why the Canada Day concert and the official HRM fireworks have moved from Alderney Landing and the Harbour to the Halifax Common. The reason for this decision is because HRM received a large grant from the federal government for Canada 150 and, as a result, is able to put on a larger show than is normally the case. Alderney Landing can accommodate about 8,000 people, but the crowds for HRM’s Canada 150 celebration are expected to exceed that, drawing potentially 25,000. The Halifax Common is the only spot in town that can accommodate that many and the fireworks follow the crowd. I know it’s a decision that isn’t loved by everyone on the Dartmouth side of the harbour, but it’s a logical one from an event planning perspective. I have been assured that the concert and fireworks will return to Alderney and the Harbour next year.

What I have been very pleased with is the response from the Dartmouth community to the bad news of losing the Canada Day concert and fireworks. The Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission, Alderney Landing and Epic Dartmouth have, between the three of them, created a Canada Day Eve that will be quite a night. I have been pleased to assist with the good work that is being done by providing funding from District 5 (the mayor’s office has also contributed) and Epic has received $30,000 from an HRM Civic Events Grant.

Sawmill River Meeting: The other bit of pressing news is for right after the long weekend. Halifax Water will be hosting a community meeting to explain the upcoming Sawmill River project. The meeting will take place on Wednesday July 5 at 7:00 at the Findlay Centre. This will be a significant project for Downtown Dartmouth and it has the potential to be even more important when Phase 2 gets underway in future years. For a primer, you can read my earlier write up here


  1. Thanks so much for explaining this Sam. I did not realize the numbers of people expected!

  2. i continue to enjoy your page … always informative and positive even when the topic is controversial … nice to know what is going on!

  3. Thanks for the update! Still makes little sense to have the concert and fireworks at Grahams Grove! Epic Dartmouth really needs to rethink their venue planning.

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