Memory living on through art

Arts & Entertainment Community Featured

It was just two years ago the former Roseland Cabaret and former movie theatre on Provost Street, New Glasgow, was condemned and nearing demolition. That is when local lawyer and property manager Jamie MacGillivray took ownership of the property with the intent of restoring it to its former glory.

Two years later, the roof of the property and the windows have been updated and renovations have taken place inside. Last year, the building directly beside the former Roseland was torn down leaving a large bare brick wall of the building exposed and in prime view.

“That big wall looked like a blank canvas,” said Alexis MacDonald of MacGillivray Law.

MacGillivray is now hosting an Atlantic Canadian art competition to fill the blank spaces on the walls of the building. As the former theatre was the site of one of Canada’s historic moments when Viola Desmond protested leaving her seat and moving to a ‘coloured section’ in the theatre, ending up being arrested, MacGillivray saw it suiting to have the art on the walls be inspired by the woman who is now on the Canadian $10 bill.

The contest officially opened March 1 and there have already been submissions received. Art is welcome to be created in any medium, as long as the finished product is two dimensional to allow for printing onto a metal plate to be hung on the building.

The law firm has offices in New Glasgow, Halifax and St. John’s, NL, and organizers encourage anyone with art to submit it to one of the offices or by mail.

“We don’t want people to limit their depictions to portraits of Viola or depictions of her story,” said MacDonald. They are open to any art that is inspired by Desmond or her act of social justice.

Prizes include $2,500 for Atlantic Canada first and second prize, as well as $2,500 for the winner of the under 12 submissions and the 12 to 18 age group as well as an additional $10,000 in prizes for other entries. More details about the contest can be found at

Deadline for the contest is May 31. It is hoped the panels of artwork will be up on the building in spring 2019.

Alexis MacDonald shows some of the submissions that have already been received for the competition.  (Brimicombe photo)


Submission guidelines:

Eligibility: All Ages

Artwork:Will accept all 2D mediums that can be shipped. Minimum size is a single sheet of paper (8½”x11”) to a maximum size of 4’ x 8’. If artist prefers to work on a small canvas, organizers may choose to enlarge it on the panel

Possible Art Mediums: Paint, Pencil, Crayon, Marker, Canvas, Wood, Panel, Paper, Poster

Design Theme: Artwork should be inspired by Viola Desmond’s act of protest. However, it is not limited to depictions of that particular event. Other than the piece being 2D, there are no limitations on the form or substance of work.


Deadline: May 31, 2018

Instructions: Artwork must be submitted in its original form, not as a digital copy. It can be submitted in person to one of MacGillivray Law firm offices, by mail or by courier.

In person:

• 5777 West Street, Halifax, NS

• 134 Provost Street, New Glasgow, NS

• 279 Duckworth Street, St. John’s, Newfoundland

By mail:

MacGillivray Law Office

134 Provost Street

P.O. Box 753

New Glasgow, NS B2H 5G2

If you do not live near one of McGillivray’s offices and are unable to mail or courier your artwork, special arrangements for collection can be arranged in Sydney, Moncton, Fredericton, Saint John, Corner Brook, and Charlottetown. Contact the law office to make arrangements.


Phone: 1-888-434-0398

More information can be found at