Festival Social Events

Gay Old Halifax Walking Tour with Rebecca Rose

Friday, May 19, 2:00-3:15 pm
Meet at Halifax Convention Centre ~ Free Event

Rebecca Rose, author of the local LGB history book, Before the Parade, guides you on a tour of Gay Old Halifax. Walk and roll the sidewalks (tour is wheelchair accessible) where some of Halifax/Kjipuktuk’s first marches and pickets for lesbian, gay and bisexual liberation took place. Discover where the LGB population hung out, danced, hooked up, organized and found community in 1970s and 1980s Halifax/Kjipuktuk. In case of inclement weather, Rebecca will offer a virtual tour that will also be available on the Unison website.

Meet and Greet with Rebecca Rose

Friday, May 19, 3:15-4:30 pm
On site at Halifax Convention Centre ~ Free Event

Join Rebecca Rose, author of the local LGB history book, Before the Parade, in an informal meet and greet following the tour of Gay Old Halifax. Bring your questions, share experiences, or just mingle with fellow choristers and members of the local 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

Yoga with East Coast Wellness

Class Options: Friday @ 2:00 pm and 3:15 pm; Saturday @ 9:00 am and 10:15 am; Sunday @ 9:00 am and 10:15 am
On site at Halifax Convention Centre ~ Free Class ~ Registration required

An opportunity to take your muscles and joints through their full range of motion and ground yourself for Unison performances and fun! Join us Friday after your long flight or drive to the East Coast or start your Saturday or Sunday morning off with a refreshing practice. Each class will be an hour long and suitable for all levels of experience including first-time students. Our yoga instructors have nearly 10 years of experience and, as massage therapists, have extensive anatomical knowledge to adapt sequencing. We aim to provide a supportive space to prepare your body and mind for the Unison weekend events.

Mix & Mingle – Social Dance Fun (dry event)

Friday, May 19, 9:30-11:30 pm
On site at Halifax Convention Centre ~ Free Event

We are so pleased to welcome a local caller, Kat Kitching, from Halifax Contra Dances to lead you in some social dancing!  This will be a non-gendered, dry event with foot-stomping live music and full-on, down-home Maritime fun! No need to come with a partner!  Get to know some choristers with your contra, ceilidh, and barn-dancing-style moves!

After Hours Drag Show

Friday, May 19, 10:00 pm – 12:00 am
Off site at local club ~ Cover charge may apply

Dip your toes into the nightlife of Halifax with a night of dancing and a drag show! East coasters are known for their hospitality, and you’ll feel right at home dancing the night away.  We will feature some of the best drag performers that Halifax has to offer (and possibly some special guests).

Blue Nose Run – 5K or 10K

Saturday, May 20 or Sunday, May 21, 8:00 am
Off site ~ Registration required

Do you run as enthusiastically as you sing? If so, think about signing up for one of the distances in the Blue Nose Marathon, happening on the same weekend as our Unison festival. With its six events, including Saturday’s 5 km and Sunday’s 10 km and half-marathon, the Blue Nose is one of the most anticipated community events each year in Halifax. Run through Halifax’s beautiful downtown core with thousands cheering you on! As an added bonus, get a sponsor or two and earn a few dollars for Unison Choruses Canada, which is registered as a charity with the Blue Nose. For more information about registration, please visit Race Roster.

Queer Songbook Orchestra

Saturday, May 20, 7:00-9:00 pm
On site at Halifax Convention Centre ~ Free event for delegates

The Queer Songbook Orchestra (QSO) is a Toronto-based 13-piece chamber pop ensemble, dedicated to exploring and uplifting 2SLGBTQ+ narrative in pop music. With the queer lens intact, they look through the last century of popular music and bring forward obscured 2SLGBTQ+ historical narratives, alongside the personal reflections from members of the community. By working with a base of known songs that are uniquely reimagined for the ensemble, the listener is offered new points of entry into familiar works and a broader perspective on the universality of human experience. A highly collaborative project, the QSO incorporate members of the local community to participate in every performance. From high school students to elders, and from well-known artists to novice performers, individuals are invited on stage to co-present these narratives, and to foster dialogue and nurture deepening community.

Proudly supported by Rosie Porter, Royal LePage Atlantic

Harbour Cruise on the Kawartha Spirit

Saturday, May 20, 10:00 pm – 12:00 am
Off site ~ Advance tickets required

Hit the high seas (or at least the Halifax Harbour) on board the Kawartha Spirit! A DJ will help us dance the night away as we sail past the twinkling city lights. Don’t miss this unique Halifax opportunity to celebrate in style with your fellow delegates while enjoying beautiful views of the city. Capacity is limited so be sure to purchase tickets in advance!

After Hours Social – Board Games / Queer-aoke (dry event)

Saturday, May 20, 9:30 pm – 12:30 am
On site at HCC ~ Free Events

This karaoke evening is the perfect opportunity to sing your favourite hits, get people dancing, or show off your moves on the dancefloor in a sober space just for the queer community. Local event pros East Coast Queers will host this free event in our Social Space at the Convention Centre, creating a relaxed atmosphere where all are welcome to take the stage. Sing and dance in a dry space with your 2SLGBTQIA+ besties!

If you’re looking for a more laid-back activity, The Board Room Game Cafe will be on-site with their “Board Room Express” service. Let your competitive side out as their “Game Bosses” teach you the ins-and-outs of a variety of board games or have some fun playing giant versions of your favourite games.

Fishcakes & Fiddles Breakfast - Cancelled

Monday, May 22, 8:30-10:00 am
This event has been cancelled.

Halifax Waterfront Tour

Monday, May 22, 9:00-10:30 am
Off site ~ Meet at the Main entrance of Casino NS ~ 1983 Upper Water Street ~ Free Event

Halifax/Kjipuktuk boasts one of the longest waterfront boardwalks in the world! Take in the stunning views with Halifax Gay Men’s Chorus member Matthew Conners as he guides you on a tour of the historical and fun highlights of our waterfront.

Peggy's Cove Tour

Monday, May 22, Post-Festival
Book on your own ~ Rent a car with friends ~ Stay a while longer

You will not want to miss your chance to visit the rugged beauty of Peggy’s Cove while you are in Nova Scotia. Information about tours and directions to this famous east coast treasure will be made available in advance of the Festival.

External Social Events

Nauticus Events: The Prequel Event II (dance party)

Date: May 20, 2023, 9PM-3AM
Location: Light House Arts Centre

Direct from Montreal, superstar DJ and producer Alain Jackinsky will be spinning his infectious blend of house music beats at The Lighthouse Arts Centre, a few steps from the Unison Festival, for a dance event you won’t want to miss. A portion of the proceeds will be directed to 2SLGBTQ+ and youth-related charities.

Tickets and more info: nauticus.ca
Nauticus Events is offering a 10% discount on tickets to Unison delegates. Check the May 6 delegate newsletter for more information.