Past and Future Honourees

Following the introduction of Nova Scotia Heritage Day as the province’s newest holiday, Primary to Grade 12 classes were invited to submit their suggestions for significant cultural and historical contributions that should be honoured during future Heritage Day celebrations.

More than 75 submissions were received and reviewed by a three-member panel. From those submissions, a list of Heritage Day honourees was created, including Viola Desmond, who was selected as the holiday’s very first honouree, and Joseph Howe, who was the honoured in 2016. The next six honourees are:


2017   Mi’kmaq Heritage
As part of the celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, we will recognize the Mi’kmaq culture and the many accomplishments of the Mi’kmaq people.

2018   Mona Louise Parsons
As 2018 is the centenary for Enfranchisement of Women in Nova Scotia, we will celebrate Middleton native, Mona Louise Parsons, who was decorated for her acts of heroism during WWII. 

2019   Maud Lewis
A world famous folk artist, Maud Lewis painted scenes that evoke feelings of innocence and child-like exuberance that is as enduring as the spring times she loved to paint. 

2020   Africville
As 2020 will mark the 10th anniversary of the Africville apology, we will honour this National Historic Site, which holds great significance to the African Nova Scotian community.

2021    Edward Francis Arab
Grandson of some of the first Lebanese immigrants to Halifax, Edward Francis Arab graduated from Dalhousie University law school and practiced until he enlisted in the army.

2022   The Landscape of Grand Pré World Heritage Site
To mark the 10th anniversary of the Landscape of Grand Pré becoming a UNESCO World Heritage site, we will celebrate the rich heritage of this landscape which features an exceptional traditional agricultural settlement still in use today and an iconic place of memory for the Acadian diaspora.

Five other honourees were selected as part of the submission process and they will be celebrated from 2023 to 2027. These honourees, in no particular order, are:

  • Nora Bernard
  • Carrie Best
  • J. William Comeau
  • William Hall
  • Rita Joe

To learn more about the process used to determine future Nova Scotia Heritage Day honourees, visit the History of Heritage Day section of this website.