Discussing Connection to Place through Conversations 

International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Canada
Halifax Central Library | May 25-27

How do we develop connections to places? How does a community express these connections? How can we “read” a place to give a glimpse of its meaning to someone else?

These questions are at the heart of a three-day experience being offered at the Halifax Central Library by ICOMOS.

From May 25-27, individuals with diverse cultural and professional backgrounds will interact with the public to share perspectives on “place.” Join us!

Thursday, May 25

11:30am – 12:15pm
Windows Through Time: Connecting to Place Through Working with Historic Material
Luke Pitman and Brent Schmidt, Parsons Lumber Company

Working with traditionally detailed wood windows connects us to both local history and those who came before us directly through inherited materials, skills and knowledge. Luke Pitman and Brent Schmidt will share examples of historic window constructions, demonstrate how their windows are made, share some techniques, and show current drawings and prototypes.

1:00pm – 1:45pm

Ta’n Weji-squalia-tiek – From Where We Sprouted
Roger Lewis, Curator of Ethnology, Nova Scotia Museum

This presentation speaks to the Mi’kmaq cultural landscape and how we examine its ancient boundaries and the meaning of that landscape from a Mi’kmaq perspective.

3:00pm – 3:45pm

YWCA Spryfield Centre and Housing Programs
Miia Suokonautio, Executive Director, YWCA Halifax

Social service providers located in gentrifying neighbourhoods are faced with ever-changing connections to place. Likewise, women in core housing need are faced with difficulties building connections while experiencing housing vulnerability.  YWCA Halifax will present on their decision to move their operations to Halifax's outer neighbourhoods as well as their award-winning housing programs for women.


Walking the Debris Field of the Halifax Explosion
Narratives in Space and Time (NiS+TS)

Can temporary, interactive and community-based art events act as viable alternatives to permanent monuments and official historic sites? In this session, NiS+TS presents its ongoing public art project, Walking the Debris Field of the Halifax Explosion. Focusing on the videos and digital media works that have been created during this project, the group will highlight the ways in which contemporary forms of public art and design can function as engaging and critical tools for commemoration.

7:00pm | Paul O'Regan Hall
Panel Discussion: Building Tensions
Moderated by Paul Kennedy, host of the CBC radio show IDEAS

This conversation will explore the meaning of place through the eyes of architects with experience in contemporary and conservation architecture. The tension between conserving heritage and creating new structures has gained renewed interest as cities are growing from immigration, communities are striving to define livable spaces, and an environmental consciousness has led to different building methods. The panelists share their experiences on negotiating questions of identity, livability, sense of place and sustainable development through their practice in cities around the world.

Friday, May 26

11:30am – 12:15pm
‘A’ is for Adventure
Jan Sebastian LaPierre and Chris Surette

A for Adventure began as two friends embarking on a 30-hour, non-stop kayaking expedition from middle of the Atlantic Ocean to Sable Island, and has grown into a nationwide movement that encourages people to lead adventurous lifestyles. Using captivating storytelling, this presentation will take participants on a journey across Canada, focusing on why connecting with nature is more important than ever.

1:00pm – 1:45pm

A Conversation with Sylvia Calatayud, Coordinator – Welcoming Communities, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)

Sylvia Calatayud will present on how her own immigration experience has changed her sense of place, identity and knowledge. She will share her creative approach to embracing her multicultural identity and how working with immigrants has helped her find ways of inventing and reconstructing a new social and cultural reality. 

2:00pm – 2:45pm

A Conversation with Leticia Smille, Senior Planner (Culture), Halifax Regional Municipality and Siobhan Witherbee

Recognizing that we need to know where we’ve come from to plan where we’re going, the first phase of HRM’s Culture and Heritage Priorities Plan is inventorying current cultural resources and investments. Leticia Smillie, HRM Cultural Planner, will explain the Cultural Mapping project and how this will inform and shape the dialogue on HRM’s priorities for cultural investment and development. The Culture and Heritage Priorities Plan is taking a broad view of culture and considering how HRM can better support the built heritage, cultural landscapes, creative environment and connections to place that make the region unique and vibrant.

Saturday, May 27

1:00pm – 1:45pm
Picturing Progress: Photography and the Changing Face of Halifax, 1950s-1960s
Sharon Murray, Halifax Municipal Archives

This presentation examines the role photography played in facilitating the urban renewal of Halifax’s downtown in the 1950s and 1960s. Photographs are some of the only remaining traces of the downtown how life was lived therein prior to its transformation. This collection of photographs offer the public an opportunity to connect with the city’s past – a Halifax that no longer exists – but it also puts into view the ideas and values that facilitated the city’s redevelopment.

3:00pm – 3:45pm
A Conversation with Catherine Martin, Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies, Mount Saint Vincent University