Montreal's Strange Froots are among the performers at this year's Mayworks Halifax Festival of Working People & the Arts. Photo by Didi M'bow.
Montreal's Strange Froots are among the performers at this year's Mayworks Halifax Festival of Working People & the Arts. Photo by Didi M'bow.

Through a Nova Scotia Advocate media release, the Mayworks Halifax Festival of Working People & the Arts announced the line-up for its 10th anniversary festival featuring a month-long program of music, theatre, films, graphic novels and a number of interdisciplinary works of performance art.

Since it first started in 2009, the Mayworks Halifax Festival has grown to become Nova Scotia’s largest social justice themed cultural event, exploring issues of social, economic and environmental justice, in a multi-disciplinary format.

This year’s festival will kick off on May 1 with an opening reception at Radstorm immediately following the annual May Day Rally and March commemorating International Workers’ Day. The march gets underway at Grand Parade Square in downtown Halifax before making its way to the north end.

Other highlights in 2019 include Choirs for Change who will present Songs of Resilience, a choral arrangement of protest songs and chants collected from a century’s worth of social movements.

Then on May 15, the Graphic History Collective launches Drawn to Strike with two new additions to their graphic storytelling of Canadian labour history: the Winnipeg General Strike and A Graphic History of the Strike in Canada.

With 2019 marking the 100th anniversary of the Winnipeg General Strike, Mayworks will also present a reading from Halifax’s DaPoPo Theatre of Thomas McKechnie’s Remembering the Winnipeg General at The Bus Stop Theatre on May 20 & 21.

At the Glitter Bean Cafe on May 8 artist Colleen MacIsaac examines the creeping sea level rise resulting from climate change in a performance lasting 250 minutes. Back at Radstorm on May 25, textile artists Xiaocheng Li and Leesa Hamilton make use of fabric waste to construct artisanal ropes with the use of a rope making machine.

For the first time, Mayworks Halifax will also partner with both the Animation Festival of Halifax and OBEY Convention to co-present a number of events ranging from a panel discussion on the working conditions of independent animators, to a free outdoor concert featuring Montreal trio Strange Froots.

Halifax’s The Bus Stop Theatre will be the primary host for the festival featuring a panel discussion on Black Feminism, a short film program, and a new original play conceived by Alex McLean of Zuppa Theatre. Other shows at The Bus Stop also include a new presentation by the Beehive Design Collective, and an interdisciplinary project created by the Mi’kma’ki 2030 Collective.

The festival will close on June 1 at The Bus Stop with a pair of musical events featuring community five different DJs in an overnight dance party.

The 10th Anniversary Mayworks Halifax Festival of Working People & the Arts takes place at various locations around Halifax during May. Visit mayworkshalifax.ca for more information.