Haligonians invited to recapture images in commemoration of Halifax Explosion

Capture photographs of affected areas in the city for the “legacy project.”

The Halifax Explosion Advisory Committee met on Tuesday, Oct. 24 to discuss the contents of Time Capsule 2 and flow of events for the 100th Anniversary of the 1917 Halifax Explosion. 

The new Stainless Steel Time Capsule will replace the original one that was buried in Fort Needham Park in 1985, on Dec. 6 this year. It will contain items that the board decided on, to commemorate the anniversary. 

The Committee confirmed several items at Tuesday’s meeting: a full coin set, a stamp, an official letter from the Prime Minister, the ever-changing list of victims, and a digital photo series. 

Renée Gruszecki, member of the Halifax Explosion 100th Anniversary Advisory Committee, proposed that the Committee adopt the comparative photography series project (from a previous anniversary commemoration) for the new Time Capsule. 

For this ‘legacy project,’ she suggested to invite the Nova Scotia Photographers Guild to retake the original 18 images this year. 

“I use the term legacy to show that it is there for the sake of historical continuity, I want to show what Halifax was a hundred years ago, and what it is today,” Gruszecki said. 

Her idea is to have the selected photographers retake these images from years 1917 and 1987 in the correct locations at precisely 9:05 a.m. on Dec. 6 and display them comparatively. 

Committee member Barry Cahill, addressed that when the city was being rebuilt, it failed to take into consideration those who suffered the most. Because of this, the Committee urges the public to contribute to the project. 

“Members of the public can access the NS archive collection, pick an image and take their own,” Renée Gruszecki said. “I feel that it [Time Capsule] should be reflective of everyone, so we need to encourage the public to get involved.” 

The photography series will highlight the areas affected by the Halifax Explosion, and show how the city had changed from 1917 to 1987 and now. 

Gruszecki picked out 18 photos that the NS Photographers Guild will take on. Among the list of locations of the photos taken in previous series: 

  • 5410 Young St. 
  • Hubley Block: 5458-5490 Young St. from sidewalk 
  • Albert Street, looking north from Young St. 
  • Kaye Street, opposite the church 
  • Northwest corner of Summer St. and Bell Rd. (in front of CBC TV Building) 

Renée Gruszecki suggested to use map keys for vantage points, from the 1987 commemoration at the provincial archives to recreate the same photographs this year. Provided by Gruszecki, Oct 2017. 

Craig Walkington, Chair of the Committee, agreed to include an invitation in Time Capsule 2 so that 50 years from now, the Committee in place repeats this photography series. 

The Time Capsule 2 will be officially sealed on Dec. 16 – ten days after the 100th Anniversary commemoration event. 

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Karla Renic

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