Nova Scotia

Halifax concert amplifies Black voices, supports Black Lives Matter movement

The organizer of a waterfront concert on Saturday in downtown Halifax says the event was meant to amplify Black voices and add to the global wave of support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of George Floyd's murder.

Waterfront concert featured local Black artists

On the sidelines of a concert on the Halifax waterfront, a supporter wears a Black Lives Matter sweater. (CBC)

Six weeks after the murder of George Floyd, which triggered a wave of anti-racist activism around the globe, a group of artists took their support for the movement to a Halifax stage.

Starting Saturday afternoon and running into the evening, musicians and speakers offered performances to the crowds at Sackville Landing on the Halifax waterfront. 

It was far from the first event in Nova Scotia in recent weeks dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement Demonstrations have popped up in large and small communities across the province, with leaders calling for an end to police brutality and anti-Black racism.

But organizer Amber Fryday said Saturday's concert was unique.

"I think it's a different way of giving the same message," she said.

Crowds were encouraged to keep their distance and wear masks. (CBC)

Fryday said the event was meant to amplify Black voices, including those of the local Black musicians who made up most of the lineup. Keonte Beals, Reeny Smith, Cyndi Cain, JRDN and the Sanctified Brothers were among the performers.

Fryday said the event was also intended to "help eradicate white supremacy and to show the importance that until Black lives matter, no lives matter."

Amber Fryday helped organize a concert that took place Saturday on the Halifax waterfront to support the Black Lives Matter movement. (CBC)

"Music has been really important during these [hard] times and I think that it's nice for everybody to come out together and listen to the music. It kind of unites us all."

The event was also unique because concerts have been on pause since COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings came into effect in Nova Scotia in March. Those restrictions were eased on Friday to allow for organized outdoor gatherings of up to 250 people. 

The waterfront would usually be teeming with tourists on a sunny July day, but with COVID-19 travel restrictions and public health guidelines, the concert audience was comfortably spread out and many wore face masks. 

With files from Jeorge Sadi