Five Projects Affiliated with the 100th Anniversary of the Explosion in Halifax Harbour

12 October – 17 December, 2017

The explosion in Halifax Harbour was a maritime disaster in Halifax, Nova Scotia, occurring on the morning of 6 December 1917. It was the result of a collision between the SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship laden with high explosives, and the SS Imo, a Norwegian relief vessel. The two ships collided in the Narrows, a strait connecting upper Halifax Hfarbour to the Bedford Basin, and the resulting fire on board the Mont-Blanc ignited her cargo. The ensuing explosion devastated the Richmond district of Halifax as well as the opposite shore of Dartmouth. Approximately 2,000 people were killed by the immediate blast, its concussion, and its debris, or by the resultant fires that engulfed collapsed buildings. An estimated 9,000 others were injured.

On both the Halifax and Dartmouth shores, nearly all structures within an 800-metre radius of the blast were obliterated. A pressure wave snapped trees, bent iron rails, demolished buildings, grounded vessels, and scattered fragments of the Mont-Blanc for kilometres. Hardly a window in Halifax and Dartmouth survived the explosion. A generations-old Mi’kmaq community at Turtle Grove, in the area on the Dartmouth shore now known as Tuft’s Cove, was also completely destroyed by a tsunami created by the explosion.

From 12 October to 17 December, the Dalhousie Art Gallery will be hosting five separate projects from Artists, Collectives, Historians and Cartographers to explore the lasting effects of the Halifax Explosion.

Projects will include:

Narratives in Space + Time Society

Walking the Debris Field: Public Geographies of the Halifax Explosion

Claire Hodge: The Hydrostone Project

Curated by Peter Dykhuis

The Footsteps of Art: Arthur Lismer and the Halifax Explosion

Curated by Paige Connell and Peter Dykhuis

Arthur Lismer and the Halifax Explosion

Selection of printed matter curated by Alan Ruffman

Halifax Digital Map

organised by James Boxall, Director, GISciences Centre, Dalhousie University