FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday September 13, 2017
Contact: Kristen Muszynski
Calling all artists: Maine State Archives seeks ornament for WWI commemoration event
AUGUSTA – The Maine State Archives invites all Maine artists to submit ideas for a Christmas tree ornament to be included in a World War I commemoration event this fall.
Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap will present the ornament to representatives of Halifax, Nova Scotia during a ceremony in Augusta on Monday, Nov. 20, to mark Mainers’ response to the Halifax Explosion of 1917.
The maritime disaster occurred on Dec. 6, 1917, when the SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship bound for Bordeaux, collided with the Norwegian SS Imo in Halifax Harbor. The Mont-Blanc was carrying explosives for the war effort. The cargo ignited during the collision, resulting in a destructive explosion that caused more than 2,000 deaths and 9,000 injuries.
Each year, the City of Halifax chooses a Christmas tree to present to the City of Boston as a symbol of appreciation for the humanitarian aid that Boston residents provided after the explosion. As we mark the centennial of World War I this year, the tree will be making a special stop in Augusta for a Halifax Explosion Centennial Commemoration ceremony on Nov. 20, to recognize the Mainers who also went to their Canadian neighbors’ aid.
The ornament commission calls for a three-part design, with one section to be presented to Halifax, a second section to accompany the tree to Boston, and a third section to remain in Maine. Such a design allows the ornament to be reunited at a future event.
“We have always enjoyed a special bond with our Canadian and New England neighbors. The Halifax catastrophe was an occasion where the depths of those bonds were fully displayed in the humanitarian outreach to the people of Halifax,” said Secretary Dunlap.
The Maine State Archives will accept design proposals through Friday, Oct. 13. Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap and the Maine State Archives staff will choose a winning design and announce the chosen artist no later than Tuesday, Oct. 17. The artist with the winning entry will receive $500 and must present the completed ornament to the Maine State Archives by Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. Full specifications and details are available in the attached document and on the Maine State Archives website.