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Media Release
May 2, 2016
Halifax, NS

Kyle Jackson Named as First Artist-in-Residence at Pier 21

The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 is delighted to welcome Kyle Jackson as their first Artist-in-Residence. Mr. Jackson is a multidisciplinary artist working with painting and interactive sculpture. A graduate of NSCADU with a Degree in Painting, Kyle’s art practice is primarily spent creating and building work to charm and engage the world.

During his six month residency at the Museum, Kyle will be working with visitors on a project entitled "To Those Still At Sea…". By creating a large scale silhouette sculptural painting of the Empress of Ireland, Kyle hopes to illuminate the 102 year anniversary of the lives lost on the greatest maritime disaster in Canadian history.

Starting in June 2016, visitors will be able to enter the studio and contribute a small visual piece to add to a larger narrative. The public will be invited to engage with the Empress of Ireland to turn a tragedy into a respectful and colorful celebration of life – to imagine the lost potential of those who perished in the tragedy, and to shine a light on the lives and stories saved. The resulting colorful sculptural work will use the public’s interpretation and imagination to allow the Empress of Ireland to sail past 2 am on May 29, 1914 and continue on an imaginary immigrant’s journey.

Quick Facts

  • The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21’s Artist-in-Residence program allows an artist to create new work that contributes to the Museum’s mandate while advancing their art practice.
  • Kyle Jackson will be the Museum’s Artist-in-Residence from May 1st to October 31st, 2016. The compensation for this six month program is $15,000 including materials.
  • The focus of our inaugural year is work that complements Empress of Ireland: Canada’s Titanic exhibition which is currently on display until November 2016.


"We had an astounding selection of applicants and hope to work with many of them on future projects. What set Kyle Jackson apart for this project was his vision for telling the tragic story of the Empress of Ireland in a respectful but still interactive and vibrant way. That, in combination with his motivation to co-create with our museum visitors, made his proposed project irresistible."

- Marie Chapman, CEO, Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

"I am very excited to be working with the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 and to be using the power of art to breathe life into those who perished in this historic tragedy, and to celebrate the lives of those who survived. I look forward to working with visitors as we explore the fantastic Empress of Ireland exhibit and create visual artistic expressions to illuminate the lives of the passengers. I feel especially connected as I sailed on a sister ship, the Empress of Britain, along the same route up the St. Lawrence River just 46 years after the disaster. My own ancestors of Scottish-Irish roots were immigrants to Canada, full of hopes and dreams that the Empress of Ireland's passengers were also sure to have had. I feel very honoured to be a part of telling this story."

- Kyle Jackson, Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 Artist-in-Residence

Media Contact

Stéphanie Comeau
Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
(902) 425-7770 ext. 264