Pjila’si, bienvenue, and welcome to our 2021 festival. Although it may often feel that our connection to the land has been somewhat disrupted by the pandemic and our heavy reliance on virtual space over the last year, we acknowledge firmly that we are in Mi’kma’ki. We are, along with any online viewer/listener/participant reaching us from Mi’kma’ki, in the ancestral, unceded and magnificent territory of the Mi’kmaq. We are all Treaty People here, each holding the responsibility of not only honouring, but also enacting peace and friendship as we share the land which continues sustains us. For those of you reaching us from outside Mi’kma’ki, please take a moment to acknowledge the Indigenous people and the colonial history of the place where you are.
Is this thing on?
I’m not going to lie. It’s been tough. But that’s no news to anyone.
Organizing cultural events during a pandemic with no clear sense of what might be possible has certainly made the path forward a shifty one. Cancelling was never an option, and we were intent on presenting a program that would never give us a sense of “it would have been so much better if it wasn’t for…”
Thanks to the hard work of our team, loyal support from our sponsors and partners, and generous public funding, we’ve been able to assemble one of our most exciting and ambitious programs ever.
Of course, by the time you read this, some things may have been altered or been postponed. But everything in this program will happen one way or another!
This year, we are starting off with a spectacular live concert of Aquakultre and DJ Uncle Fester’s Bleeding Gums Murphy, orchestrated with Erin Costelo. We’re also premiering Journey to the Zone, a sci-fi radio rock musical, and partnering with the Khyber Centre for the Arts to present a group exhibition featuring astounding artists who defy common conceptions of rural maritime art. What else? A feminist sewing workshop, board gaming and animated films co-presented with AFX. To top it all off, we’re closing the festival with a tribute concert to the longest workplace occupation in Canada – right on Gottingen Street.
It’s been a year of distancing and we deserve to have a chance to celebrate in whatever ways are safe. Together, let’s celebrate justice, workers and our collective efforts toward a better world for all.
Brothers, Sisters and Kin,
On behalf of the over 25,000 Union members affiliated with the Halifax Dartmouth and District Labour Council, welcome to the 2021 Mayworks Kjipuktuk-Halifax Festival.
When the Labour Council started the then Halifax Mayworks Festival we could never have imagined where it would be in 2021. This year’s festival has something for everyone and we hope you will find events that will both educate and entertain you.
Debbie Richardson, President
Halifax-Dartmouth & District Labour Council