Restoration Campaigns

Victoria Jubilee Campaign Restoration Projects

The Victoria Jubilee Campaign has been successfully concluded. Bravo to the individuals who worked tirelessly to bring about this wonderful restoration project. The results speak for themselves.

Phase II: The Victoria Jubilee Fountain (1897)
Estimated cost : $275,000

In honour of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, the restoration of the Victoria Jubilee Fountain was completed in 2012.

Designed by J.W. Fiske & Co., the cast iron and zinc historic fountain’s protective coatings were failing and water corrosion had weakened the structures’ stability. The fountain’s decorative nymph and cherubs’ welded seams were splitting apart, there were cracks in the lower pool made worse by poor drainage, and there was a loss of pressure in the water flow.

The project was completed under budget as the original estimated cost  included the labour-intensive task of dismantling and reassembling the fountain for restoration off-site. This proved to be unnecessary and much of the work was completed on-site. A recirculating  pump and in ground collection system was installed to provide a more environmentally sound water system.

Phase II: Sir William Young Urns (c.1877)

The six decorative urns among the flower beds surrounding the bandstand were part of a bequest to the City in 1887 by former Chief Justice of Nova Scotia, Sir William Young. Crafted by Austen & Seeley Stone Works, the urns became unstable and their decorative features eroded. As they were beyond repair, the originals were used as molds for replicas. The replicas were placed in the Gardens in the spring of 2014.

This was the final phase of the Victoria Jubilee Campaign Restoration project. Fundraising for this project has been
concluded and a full accounting of expenses
will be added to this website as soon as the
financial reconciliation is completed.

The Public Gardens Bandstand (1887): Estimated cost: $500,000
Phase I: A Major Success

The design and construction of the bandstand was commissioned by the City of Halifax in 1887 as a civic memorial to honour Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Richly ornamented with intricately carved wooden trim painted in vibrant colours, the bandstand’s scale, compact geometric shape, and its role as the focal point of the Gardens’ overall design are all distinguishing qualities that define its heritage significance. Its opening was celebrated with a “grand concert” and fireworks display.

The bandstand has continuously served as a venue for public concerts. However, its structure was seriously weakened by water damage from a leaking roof. Successive repairs, the most glaring being the replacement of the original metal roof with one made of bright red fibreglass, had compromised the bandstand’s heritage authenticity. Archival research suggested that the original roof was shaped differently and made of a dull sheet metal. Over time, the metal was painted – first green and then a subdued shade of red. Also, a series of decorative railings on the lower and upper roof and ornate wooden trim had disappeared.

In 2011, the bandstand was carefully restored using archival research to replicate paint colours and restore decorative wooden features. The fiberglass roof was replaced with a copper roof in the original shape with decorative metal cresting, a characteristic of important Victorian civic buildings and structures.

The Victoria Jubilee Campaign contributed $100,000; the Government of Canada (National Historic Sites & Monuments: Parks Canada) $250,000; and Halifax Regional Municipality $150,000. The splendid restoration was completed in 2011. The official unveiling featured a band concert and fireworks as did the original opening in 1887. Unique Victoria Jubilee tokens commemorating both Queen Victoria’s and Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilees were issued to all attending the event.

List of VJC Donors

The Friends of the Public Gardens gratefully acknowledge the financial and in-kind gifts contributed by the following persons, non-profit organizations, business, federal, provincial and municipal governments to The Friends of the Public Gardens Victoria Jubilee Campaign for the restoration of the Victoria Jubilee Bandstand (c.1887), the Victoria Jubilee Fountain (c.1897), artefacts bequeathed from the estate of Sir William Young (c.1877) and associated civic celebrations:

Major Contributors

Ambassatours Grey Line, Halifax
Anonymous (2)
Bank of Montreal
Councillor Jerry Blumenthal, HRM District 11 North End Halifax
Barbara Carleton, Chester
Canadian Heritage: 2012 Diamond Jubilee Community Celebrations Program
Charitable Irish Society of Halifax
Dora Construction Limited
Edmonds Landscape and Construction Services Limited
Serena Graham-Dwyer, Bedford
Halifax Foundation
Halifax Regional Water Commission
Councillor Bob Harvey, HRM District 20 Lower Sackville
Councillor David Hendsbee, HRM District 3 Preston-Lawrencetown-Chezzetcook
Mary Margaret Jarvis, Halifax, in memory of Thomas Wallace
Susan Kerslake, Halifax
Beryl MacDonald, Halifax
Joyce and Gillian McCulloch, Halifax, in memory of Paul McCulloch
McDougall Family, Main-a-Dieu
Councillor Linda Mosher, HRM District 17 Purcell’s Cove-Armdale
Municipal Contracting Limited
Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage: Community Jobs and Facilities Improvement Program
Residents of HRM District 14 Connaught-Quinpool
Councillor Dawn Sloane, HRM District 13 Northwest Arm- South End Halifax
TD Friends of the Environment Foundation
Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia
Councillor Sue Uteck, HRM District 12 Halifax Downtown
Wadih M. Fares Family Foundation
Councillor Mary Wile, HRM District 10 Clayton Park West
Jackie and Erin Vincent, Halifax, in memory of Peter Vincent

Campaign Donors

Anonymous in memory of Doug Delamar
Anonymous in memory of Tony Davis
Sharon E. Anderson, Halifax
Kathryn Anthony, Halifax
Stephen Archibald and Sheila Stevenson, Halifax
Grace M. and Richard Beazley, Halifax
Lois Beed, Halifax
Joanne Belanger, Halifax, in memory of Elsie Margaret Ritcey
Bruce Blakemore, Cape Negro
Janeen Bowes, Toronto, in memory of Hilda King
Cabrita Family, Lawrencetown
Casa Dante International Hair Studio in memory of Tony Davis
Lorraine Casey, Halifax
Dahlia Society of Nova Scotia
Dulcie Conrad, Halifax
Donald Couse, Halifax, in memory of Eleanor Davis
Dalhousie University
Christine Davidson, Halifax
Joan E. Dawson, Halifax
Marie DeCoste, Halifax
Erin Dobson, Dartmouth
Allan Dunlop, Halifax
Kathleen Dyer, Halifax
Ruth Edsall, Halifax, in memory of Gerry Edsall
Howard Epstein, Halifax
Thomas Fitzgerald
Sheila Fougere, Halifax
Nona Fuller, Halifax
Jonathan Gale in memory of Eleanor Marilyn Davis
Donald Gordon, Dartmouth
Isabel Graham, Toronto
Maxime Gruber, Kanata
HRM Community Festivals and Events Grant Program
Berniece Halliday, Halifax
Alan Hebb, Burlington
Joyce Hussey-Dempsey, Halifax
Betty Kobayashi  Issenman, Halifax, in memory of Arnold Issenman
Councillor Bill Karsten, HRM District 7 Portland-East Woodlawn
Carolyn J. Kaye, Halifax
Steven Lambert, Victoria, in memory of Mary Atkins
Norma Langille, Halifax
Mark Lewis, Dartmouth, in memory of William Lewis
Shirlean Lewis, Halifax
James MacFadzean, Halifax
Marie MacInnes, Halifax, in memory of Tony Davis
Teresa MacNeil and Luke Batdorf in memory of Dr. Murray Nixon
Bev MacPhail, Halifax
Inge Martin, Halifax
Linda Mason, Halifax
Alexa McDonough, Halifax
Robert Merchant, Halifax, in memory of R.T.P Merchant
Paula Miller, Halifax
Murray Nixon, Halifax
Heather O’Brien, Halifax
Jane Suzanne Palmer, Halifax
Parkland Estates
Clare Parks, Halifax, in memory of Moragh Jane Parks
Mary Louise Payzant, Halifax
David and Lise Porter, Dartmouth
Joan Pugsley, Halifax
Tim Reid, Halifax
Resolutes Amateur Athletic Club
Timothy Rivinus and Family, Cranston, in memory of Judith Anne Rivinus Fuller
Steven Roberts, Halifax
Brenda Shannon, Halifax
Kathy Steen, Bedford
Judith Sterling, Redington Shores
Peta-Jane Temple, Halifax, in memory of Joyce and Paul McCulloch
J. Philip Vaughan, Halifax
Lyndon Watkins, Halifax
WHW Architects
Liz Wright and Rob Brownstone, Bedford

In-Kind Gifts

Agenda Managers Inc
Bishop’s Cellar
Bro-Moc  Print and Litho Limited
CBC Television Halifax (This Hour Has 22 Minutes)
Harnish DesRosiers Chartered Accountants
Geoffrey Creighton Photography
Jeffries Nurseries Limited
Lord Nelson Hotel and Suites
Nocturne Art at Night Society
RCR Hospitality Group
Sacred Heart School
The Uncommon Group
Thistle Dance Publishing Inc
Susan Tooke, Halifax

Victoria Jubilee Campaign: Annotated Interim Financial Statement (as of March 1, 2014)

Revenue Victoria Jubilee Campaign Donations1                               $109,128.67
Jarvis Bequest to The Friends of the Public Gardens2                     $100,000.00
Halifax Regional Municipality: Communications3                                $2,209.38
HST Refund (2011 and 2012)                                                                   $1,336.73
HST Credit (2013)                                                                                    $11,250.00
Other4                                                                                                           $109.50

TOTAL                                                                                                    $224,034.28


Victoria Jubilee Bandstand Restoration5                                          $92,718.06
Victoria Day Bandstand Unveiling Event6                                          $3,192.90
Victoria Jubilee Fountain Restoration7                                              $50,385.41
Diamond Jubilee: Fountain Unveiling/Nocturne: Art at Night8     $16,079.22
Sir William Young Urns9                                                                      $19,000.00
Donor Recognition Instalation10                                                         $6,854.12
Administration and Advertising11                                                       $7,717.86

TOTAL                                                                                                  $195,947.57

BALANCE12                                                                                          $28,086.71


1. Campaign donations include corporate and personal monetary donations and government grants. The cash equivalent value of in-kind donations of materials and services is excluded.

2. The bequest of Mary Margaret Jarvis specified funds were to be spent on capital improvements within the Halifax Public Gardens to public benefit.

3. Cost-share for marketing.

4. Bank interest and unsolicited/unrestricted donations to The Friends of the Public Gardens in 2011 and 2012.

5. Final cost ($463,593.03) below initial estimate of $500,000. Costs include conservation plan (archaeological, historical research, and materials testing of paint, masonry and mortar), architectural and engineering fees, construction, electrical, roof fabrication, and painting. The Friends of the Public Gardens contribution net of HST.

6. The Canada Day Jubilee Bandstand unveiling costs include: fireworks display, musician fees (Maritime Brass), sound system, donor appreciation reception, public event program and refreshments . Assistance provided by Halifax Regional Municipality: Community Festivals & Events Grants Program and HRM Parks & Open Spaces Division.

7. Final cost ($100,770.82) below initial estimate of $375,000. Once dismantled conservators confirmed that the interior metal infrastructure (“armature”) was adequate. Costs include conservation plan, artist fees, foundry work, in-ground water recycling and replacement water pump, and minor landscaping. Assistance provided by Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture & Heritage: Community Jobs & Facilities Improvement Program. The Friends of the Public Gardens contribution net of HST.

8. Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee coincided with the unveiling of the Jubilee Fountain commissioned in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Unveiling of the Jubilee Fountain a feature of Nocturne: Art at Night event. Costs include professional event management, donor appreciation reception, light and sound technical services, audio-visual equipment rental, professional artist fees, custom props and costumes, signage and program translation. Assistance provided by Heritage Canada: 2012 Diamond Jubilee Community Celebrations Program and HRM Parks & Open Spaces Division.

9. Completion expected in 2014. Estimated total cost $38,000 – $42,000. Due to extensive damage the urns had to be reproduced using a mold created from an original. HRM owns the mold and therefore able to replace any future losses with reproductions.

10. Costs include book and medallion to major contributors and permanent donor recognition display.

11. Administration costs of ~4% include stationary, postage, graphic design and printing, Internet fees, Pay Pal commission, and custom commemorative token distributed to the public at Bandstand and Nocturne events.

12. The Friends of the Public Gardens has committed to invest any balance remaining in capital projects within the Halifax Public Gardens and to notify donors/public of same.