Bright lights, festive city: Dal set for Halifax Parade of Lights

Parade takes place Saturday, Nov. 17

- November 16, 2018

Construction team members (from left) Shaili Chauhan Adria Maynard, Julien LeBlanc, Kaitlin Murphy and Julie Leung. Not pictured: Travis Cook Young. (Danny Abriel photos)
Construction team members (from left) Shaili Chauhan Adria Maynard, Julien LeBlanc, Kaitlin Murphy and Julie Leung. Not pictured: Travis Cook Young. (Danny Abriel photos)

Dalhousie is bringing a 200th-inspired float to this weekend’s Chronicle Herald Parade of Lights in Halifax, helping kickstart the holiday season with an added dose of bicentennial cheer.

Students from Dal’s Faculty of Architecture (along with two students from the Faculty of Engineering) have been busy in recent weeks preparing their entry for the 23rd annual parade, happening this Saturday.

Like sand through the hourglass…

Influenced by Dal’s bicentennial year, the students came up with an idea for one big float centred around an hourglass figure.

“We were thinking about ideas around knowledge and knowledge transfer and time at the university,” says Shaili Chauhan, a student in the Masters of Architecture program and leader of the initiative for the second year in a row.

To illustrate those concepts in a visually engaging way, the team has created a series of brightly-lit tubes that will come out of the top of the hourglass figure and connect into transparent backpacks some members of the 12-person parade team will be wearing along with Dal gear.

Lasers and fog are also being integrated into the float, which, as in past years, has been designed with sustainability in mind.

“The way we are pulling our float is we are putting it on a cart and biking it down the parade route,” says Shaili. “We also tried to salvage as much material as possible.”

To top it all off, the float will be painted all in gold — one of Dal’s official colours.

“We’re most looking forward to actually seeing this thing in action, moving down the street… and working as a team to have the spectacle and a celebration of Dal 200 down the street,” says Shaili.

A special soundtrack

Parade-goers this year will also be treated to a selection of wintry holiday tunes with two separate performance from the Dalhousie Wind Ensemble, led by director Jacob Caines.

The first performance, which will be recorded and aired live on Eastlink's parade brodcast, will happen before the parade starts from 5:30-6 pm on the south corner of Barrington and Duke streets (just below Grand Parade Square). The band will be introduced to those gathered by the Herald’s on-the-ground correspondent.

Once that performance ends, participants in the Red Nose Run pass by ahead of the parade itself. The Fountain School of Performing Arts ensemble will then make its way to the corner of Barrington Street and Spring Garden Road for a second performance from 6:10-6:30 pm as the parade winds its way from its Upper Water Street starting point at 6 pm to its finish at University Avenue and Robie Street.

Parade details

  • Date: Saturday, Nov. 17
  • Parade start time: 6 p.m.
  • Fountain School peformance #1: South corner of Barrington / Duke, 5:30-6 p.m.
  • Fountain School performance #2: Corner of Barrington and Spring Garden, 6:10-6:30 p.m.
  • Full parade details and route map: Visit the Chronicle Herald website


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