Halifax Down syndrome event celebrates 'loving,' 'awesome' kids

Halifax's Nova Scotia Down Syndrome Society celebration got families excited for the 10th World Down Syndrome Day on Monday.

'I found my community,' says event organizer Will Brewer

Graham Rose says his 13-month-old son, Aidan, loves to play and grab at things. (Steve Berry/CBC)

"Show the ability."

That's how Will Brewer ends every speech he makes.

He and his mother organized this year's Halifax Nova Scotia Down Syndrome Society celebration, an annual event that comes ahead of the 10th World Down Syndrome Day on Monday. 

The date has a special significance, a tribute to the true name of the condition, Trisomy 21. The genetic condition causes a tripling of chromosome 21. 

Will's mother, Allison Brewer, sat near the lectern where her son addressed a crowd of nearly 100 people Saturday afternoon at Saint Mary's University. 

"People with Down syndrome are in the community a lot more," she told CBC News. "We have this public display of art and fashion, all the things people with Down syndrome can do if given a chance."

'These kids are just kids'

Many here are parents that joined the society seeking guidance in how to best raise children with Down syndrome. 

Graham Rose cradles his 13-month-old son, Aidan. The Rose family knew Aidan had Trisomy 21 since before he was born.

Aidan smiled and giggled as he looked at his dad. 

"He's loving. He loves to play and grab at things. He's awesome. Events like this show the community that these kids are just kids," Rose said.

'Most beautiful thing'

The event was a chance to unite people with Down syndrome, and showcase the skills that they have. 

Turner Scott's father says: 'It's not an illness. It's not even a disability.' (Courtesy Robb Scott)

The walls and tables were covered in colourful artwork. Portraits of Michael Jackson, butterflies, and birds brightened the crowded space. 

Rob Scott took center stage, a hero to many of the parents here, as he became an advocate for people with the condition when a video of him went viral

The video shows Scott emotionally explaining how he missed an opportunity to inform someone about what Down syndrome really is. 

While renting a movie, Scott overheard someone describe Down syndrome as "a disease of not knowing anything."

"Down syndrome is literally the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to me," Scott said in the video.

'My community'

He said that video has spread to millions of people around the globe. 

For people with the condition, Saturday was a chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones. 

"Since I moved here, to me I found my community, the [society] in Halifax where I'm so privilege to meet people like me and be with them and be their brother," Will Brewer told CBC News before heading back to the stage to get people pumped up for Monday.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.