Canadian Leaders Lend Voice to Youth Campaign Advancing Justice and Peace in Nova Scotia

                     Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

June 16, 2016, HALIFAX—A group of distinguished Canadians from the fields of government, law, business, health, academia, culture and community are lending their voice to a new initiative empowering Nova Scotian youth to use the arts to advance peace, safety, reconciliation and justice in their communities. Some of these “Justice Champions” will be attend a special event on Saturday, June 18, 2016, at 1 pm, at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, to kick-off a province-wide consultation on promoting justice, peace, reconciliation and understanding. The event will include art creation, artist talks and community feedback stations inside the 4th Wall exhibition space.

Citing recent high profile cases of gun violence rocking the province and the violent attack in Orlando, they are calling for Nova Scotians of all ages and backgrounds to support young people in their communities working tirelessly to improve quality of life.

Residents of the province are invited to submit recommendations for a three-year action plan to enhance safety, wellbeing, reconciliation, and rehabilitation in their communities. A special fund will then be created to enable youth-driven community organizations to work with the business, government, health, law, academic, cultural and social service sectors to implement the plan over a three-year period.

Members of the Circle of Justice Champions include such luminaries as:

  • Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament
  • The Honourable Diana Whalen, Minister of Justice and Attorney General
  • The Honourable Tony Ince, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage
  • His Honour Michael Savage, Mayor of Halifax
  • Marie Wilson, Commissioner at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2009-2015),
  • Jean-Michel Blais, Chief, Halifax Regional Police
  • JRDN, Juno-Award winning artist
  • Cory Bowles, Actor, Director, Filmmaker and Choreographer
  • Asa Kachan, Librarian in Chief and CEO of Halifax Public Libraries
  • Alyson Murray, Chair, Fushion Halifax
  • Quentrel Provo, Founder and CEO, Stop the Violence Spread the Love
  • Richard Wright, Social Worker, Therapist and Consultant
  • Savannah Simon, Indigenous artist, entrepreneur, and youth activist
  • Willem Blois, Chair, Pride Halifax
  • Lisa Bugden, Interim CEO, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
  • Dr. Stan Kutcher, Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health and the Director WHO Collaborating Care in Mental Health Policy and Training
  • Kayley Dixon, Ambassador, Stop the Violence Spread the Love
  • Sheila Strong, Litigation Law Analyst, McInnes Cooper
  • Alan Syliboy, Coady Chair in Social Justice, St. Francis Xavier University

The consultation is part of a four-year initiative entitled 4th Wall: Justice, Art and Youth Project, spearheaded by the Michaëlle Jean Foundation in partnership with the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and Youth Art Connection. A special exhibition is currently on view at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, featuring eleven jury-selected groups of artists whose artworks address Indigenous rights, African Canadian experiences with incarceration, discrimination against LGBTQ Nova Scotians, and gender-based violence. It will be on display at the Gallery until June 19, 2016.

To submit recommendations for the action plan, visit the following webpage:
For a list of Justice Champions, visit:
For more information about the exhibition visit:

For more information about the Michaëlle Jean Foundation’s 4th Wall and collective impact programming, please visit: .
For more information about Youth Art Connection, please visit:
For more information about the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, please visit:
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For more information:
Peter Flegel
Director of Programs and Communications
Michaëlle Jean Foundation
Telephone: 613.562.5468
Cell: 613.897.4001

Camille Dubois Crôteau
Communications and Marketing Officer
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
Telephone: 902.424.2903
Cell: 902.497.6006

Ryan Veltmeyer
Co-founder/Executive Director
Youth Art Connection
Telephone: 902.446.8832
Cell: 902.579.4673