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MacGillivray Law announces art contest in honour of Viola Desmond

Jamie MacGillivray (right), owner of the Roseland Theatre building in New Glasgow, met with Henderson Paris, town councillor John Guthro, Mayor Nancy Dicks and Central Nova MP Sean Fraser Wednesday to talk about his idea of adding a large scale art piece to the side of the Roseland in honour of Viola Desmond.
Jamie MacGillivray (right), owner of the Roseland Theatre building in New Glasgow, met with Henderson Paris, town councillor John Guthro, Mayor Nancy Dicks and Central Nova MP Sean Fraser last fall to talk about his idea of adding an art piece to the side of the Roseland in honour of Viola Desmond. He has since decided to make a contest of it with prizes totalling $20,000.

Two years ago when Jamie MacGillivray purchased the Roseland Theatre, where Viola Desmond famously took her stand against segregation, it was at risk of being demolished.

But he didn’t want to see that happen to the historic building. So he set about having the roof redone and completed gutted the interior of the building in an effort to preserve it.

Now MacGillivray’s business, MacGillivray Injury and Insurance Law, is calling on artists from around Atlantic Canada to help with their effort to invest in the arts and also focus on New Glasgow’s unique place in history.

The New Glasgow law firm plans to sponsor an art contest for artwork inspired by the moment when Desmond made history with her act of protest at the Roseland Theatre in New Glasgow, in 1946. When she refused to give up her seat in what was a whites-only section of the theatre, Desmond set the stage for the civil rights movement in Canada. The people with MacGillivray Law want to celebrate that moment, and immortalize it as part of the ongoing renovations.

Alexis MacDonald, marketing manager for MacGillivray Law, explained that a building located next to the Roseland was recently demolished, leaving a 40-foot wall of exposed brick “which we looked at as a big brick canvas which we wanted to decorate.”

The idea is that the winners from the art contest will have their work displayed on the wall.

“We plan to put up probably 20 to 30 pieces of artwork,” MacDonald said.

The two-dimensional art will be digitally copied and printed onto metal panels which will be featured on the building.

“We’re going to let the artwork dictate the layout,” MacDonald said. “It should be beautiful. It’s going to be really, really unique.”

A total of $20,000 in awards will be given out as part of the contest, which is open to artists of all ages, in all the Atlantic provinces.

For more information on the contest, visit www.macgillivraylaw.com/ProtestArtContest, email protestartcontest@macgillivraylaw.com or contact Alexis MacDonald at 902-755-0398.

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