Sophie Anne Imlay is an ‘inspiration,’ just ask the designers of the recently unveiled Nova Scotia Heritage Day Flag.
The Grade 6 student at Chedabucto Education Centre in Guysborough was one of five young artists from across the province whose designs were selected by an Arts Nova Scotia panel to be used by Sperry Designs to create the final product.
“I decided to draw the hands because I thought they showed that we are all different and that Nova Scotia is made up of people from all cultures,” the 11-year-old from Boylston told the Casket, when asked about the concept for her award-winning drawing.
Participating in the contest was a natural fit for Sophie.
“I love art. It’s my favourite subject in school and I really love to draw and colour,” she said.
Sophie shares that passion with others.
“I spend a lot of time drawing and helping my little brothers learn to draw,” she noted.
Sophie joined Keira Mercer, Beechville; Gage Michael Richard, Halifax; Jem Logan, Upper Tantallon; and Lyric Gould, Eskasoni, Cape Breton Regional Municipality, the five students selected out of 240 entrants to serve as ‘inspiration’ for the design, to watch the flag unveiling and be honoured for their role Jan. 19 at Province House in Halifax.
Sophie described her trip as “amazing,” which included tours of Province House and Government House.
“It was great,” she said, noting having lunch with the Lieutenant Governor was “really awesome.”
“Meeting the Lieutenant Governor and Minister (Tony) Ince was great. Everyone was really nice and I had so much fun,” Sophie added.
During the unveiling, the final flag design – a creation by Adam MacKenzie and David Campbell – was described as ‘a new symbol that reflects Nova Scotia’s rich and diverse culture.’
Ince, Nova Scotia Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage, described the flag as “a lasting symbol of the holiday that honours the people, places and events that have contributed to this province’s history and culture.”
“Nova Scotia Heritage Day celebrates our collective cultural heritage and the contributions of all Nova Scotians,” Ince said in a department press release.
“We want our youngest citizens significantly involved in our heritage be-cause it’s an important part of who they are.”
A description of the flag noted its colours reflect freshness, growth, land-scape, water, and optimism, while the interlocking design suggests bringing new meaning to old constructions, as in Mi’kmaw and African basket weaving, to create something different and new. The interlocking pattern suggests a strong, enduring fabric, diversity and the connections between our past, present and future.
“This February holiday is near and dear to my heart and important for Nova Scotians,” Deputy Premier Diana Whalen said.
“It is wonderful to see it help build pride in our province, particularly among you – Nova Scotia’s students – our future.”
The Nova Scotia Heritage Day Flag will be raised and flown for the first time Feb. 10 at Province House, in time for Heritage Day, which takes place Feb. 15.