A trib­ute

Show Satur­day cel­e­brat­ing di­ver­sity will in­clude mu­si­cians, play­wright pay­ing trib­ute

The News (New Glasgow) - - FRONT PAGE - BY CAROL DUNN THE NEWS

A lineup of mu­si­cians and other per­form­ers are set to play a con­cert Satur­day in New Glas­gow hon­our­ing Vi­ola Des­mond.

Ce­cil Wright said putting to­gether a con­cert in Vi­ola Des­mond’s hon­our is long over­due.

The vice pres­i­dent of the African Nova Sco­tian Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion said he got the idea for the con­cert when he was in New Glas­gow for the screen­ing of the doc­u­men­tary about Des­mond – Long Road to Jus­tice – which took place at Glas­gow Square theatre in Fe­bru­ary as part of African Her­itage Month celebrations.

“I looked around the venue and thought ANSMA should be do­ing some­thing here to com­mem­o­rate (Des­mond) be­cause New Glas­gow is the site of the in­ci­dent,” he said.

Des­mond, a Hal­i­fax beau­ti­cian and in­struc­tor who de­vel­oped her own line of spe­cial­ized beauty prod­ucts, was ar­rested in 1946 for sit­ting in a whites-only sec­tion of a New Glas­gow movie theatre. Jailed and fined for not pay­ing a theatre tax, she was par­doned posthu­mously by the Prov­ince of Nova Sco­tia 2010.

The in­ci­dent and Des­mond’s sub­se­quent le­gal bat­tle to have the con­vic­tion over­turned have been cred­ited with lead­ing to the elim­i­na­tion of seg­re­ga­tion in the prov­ince.

“We want to com­mem­o­rate the courage that she had to stand up when she did. Think about how dif­fi­cult it was. She was all by her­self – she stood up for her prin­ci­ples,

and we all stand to learn some­thing from that.”

Hosted by the Town of New Glas­gow and ANSMA, the First An­nual Vi­ola Des­mond Her­itage Con­cert takes place Satur­day at Glas­gow Square, and will fea­ture a wide va­ri­ety of African Nova Sco­tian mu­si­cians.

Wright said dif­fer­ent mu­si­cal gen­res will be rep­re­sented by the Sanc­ti­fied Broth­ers, Cyndi Cain, Univer­sal Soul, Asia & Nu­gruv, and Ced Marty & Dave.

ANSMA is a not-for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cated to the de­vel­op­ment, pro­mo­tion and en­hance­ment of African Nova Sco­tia Mu­sic. Formed in 1997, it’s made up of more than 50 lo­cal mu­si­cians and mu­sic in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als.

Cain will also per­form a mu­si­cal trib­ute to Des­mond, and Nova Sco­tia play­wright Juanita Peters will hon­our Des­mond with an orig­i­nal piece she com­posed es­pe­cially for the oc­ca­sion.

“We thought it would be im­per­a­tive to have a con­tri­bu­tion from a black fe­male since we’re hon­our­ing a black fe­male,” said Wright. “It will be a high­lighted part of the show.”

The con­cert is billed as re­flect­ing “the mu­si­cal di­ver­sity of the African Nova Sco­tian com­mu­nity, as well as the growth tak­ing place within the African Nova Sco­tian mu­sic com­mu­nity.”

Wright hopes that the Vi­ola Des­mond Her­itage Con­cert will be­come an an­nual event that may take place in var­i­ous parts of the prov­ince.

“It’s go­ing to be fan­tas­tic,” he said about the show.

Tickets are $25 and it starts at 6 p.m.


Cyndi Cain will per­form dur­ing the First An­nual Vi­ola Des­mond Her­itage Con­cert on Satur­day in New Glas­gow.

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