As a venue for our community, Scotiabank Centre was the site of two major community events in 2023-2024: the Wildfire Recovery Concert and Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest, each with a unique purpose to enrich and support community.

The Wildfire Recovery Concert

On a hot Sunday afternoon in May 2023, a brush fire in Tantallon, Nova Scotia turned into a raging wildfire in a matter of hours, ripping through the neighbourhood of Westwood Hills and beyond. On May 27, the day before, Shelburne County residents were alerted to a growing fire near Barrington. Over the next 12 days, more than 23,000 hectares (235 square kilometres) of Shelburne County were destroyed, including 60 homes and 150 structures, with over 3,200 homes evacuated and 6,700 people displaced. In Hammonds Plains and Tantallon, more than 16,000 people were evacuated,150 homes were destroyed, and pets, vehicles, heirlooms, and keepsakes were lost forever. Firefighters from around and outside the province mobilized; federal air tankers were called in; a fire squadron from Costa Rica came to assist. Combined, it was the most devastating Nova Scotia wildfire season on record, and the immensity and scale of loss was hard for many to grasp. 

Over the first weekend of June, as firefighters gained control of both blazes, Sonic Concerts and Brookes Diamond Productions began making calls: how could Nova Scotians support those going through such immediate tragedy -- in a Nova Scotian way? The answer: with music. In partnership with Brookes Diamond Productions and Sonic Concerts, Scotiabank Centre assembled a team to book, plan, promote, staff, and deliver the Wildfire Benefit Concert just four days later, with all proceeds supporting the United Way Wildfire Recovery Appeal. With the generous support and participation of our corporate sponsors and partners, and generous offers from bands and musicians, the Wildfire Recovery Concert was announced on Monday, June 5, for Friday, June 9, at Scotiabank Centre.

Wildfire Recovery Concert performance (Photo: Allan Zilkowsky)Hosted by Nancy Regan and Liz Rigney, the lineup featured performances by Matt Mays, Adam Baldwin, Jenn Grant, Kim Harris, Jah'Mila, Classified, Dave Sampson, Joel Plaskett Emergency, Neon Dreams, Dee Dee Austin, Rankin MacInnis, and Joe H Henry. Mi'kmaq artist Alan Syliboy was posted onstage live painting a drum to be auctioned for the Recovery Appeal. From Sodexo donating concessions sales to service providers, staff, and artists offering their time and skills, the Wildfire Recovery Concert was a massive effort to support friends, family, and community. 


To further show support, victims, firefighters, and volunteers from the affected regions were offered ticket donations to attend the event. Our team distributed over 300 tickets to the community. Between general ticket sales, concessions, community contributions, sponsorship gifts, and more, the Wildfire Recovery Concert raised over $330,000 for the United Way Wildfire Recovery Appeal. More than 30% of the total funds raised across the province were generated from the concert. The Wildfire Recovery Appeal supported over 4,842 individuals and 1,644 families by covering food recovery costs, appliance replacement, transportation and fuel, and volunteer engagement. The Appeal also included specific funding envelopes for African Nova Scotian and Indigenous-led supports. This targeted effort supported over six African Nova Scotian organizations and 44 Acadia First Nation families.

 "United Way Halifax is so grateful for the support of Events East, Scotiabank Centre, and our other partners to quickly pull together the Wildfire Recovery Concert. Not only was the $330,000 raised much appreciated by the community, but the feeling of working together to support those impacted by the wildfires was felt throughout the event and days after. It was truly a special night that won’t be forgotten.”

 – Sara Napier, President & CEO, United Way Halifax. 

In recognition of the Wildfire Recovery Concert’s impact, the United Way Halifax awarded Scotiabank Centre and partners the Community Care Award in March. The award recognized the “importance of coming together and relying on one another during times of crisis, and they quickly went to work creating an opportunity for the community to help.” At the 2023 Event Atlantic Excellence Awards, the Wildfire Recovery Concert presented Scotiabank Centre, Brookes Diamond Productions, and Sonic Concerts with the Event of the Year Award. Scotiabank Centre was honoured to be recognized for the tremendous team effort, and we are proud that we were able to support our community in the best way we know how: by creating an amazing event.

More Than Hockey

On March 3, more than 100 girls and young women hit the ice at Scotiabank Centre for Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest, one of six host cities across Canada. This group of aspiring local hockey players participated in half-day hockey clinics focused on creating a positive hockey experience with on-ice and off-ice skills training, classroom sessions, and coaching from Dalhousie University players and Team Canada captain and women’s hockey legend, Cassie Campbell-Pascall.

Over two sessions (U7 to U11 and U13 to U15), participants were invited to run drills and practice on Scotiabank Centre's ice, which has hosted all-star NHL players, IIHF medalists, Olympic athletes, and the QJMHL's Halifax Mooseheads since 1994. Through the Learn to Play program, in partnership with CCM, this year HockeyFest visited Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, and Halifax. The sessions created opportunities for girls and young women to not only practice technical skills but start building a community of sport within which they can grow and thrive. Since 2006, Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest has elevated the game of hockey for more than 16,000 girls across Canada. Building on its success, Scotiabank launched the next evolution of its commitment to making hockey more inclusive and accessible with Hockey for All, a platform to encourage diversity, equity, and inclusion by focusing on cultural and financial access to the game.

Hosting Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest at Scotiabank Centre welcomed young athletes from our local community to experience the possibilities of the game. As interest in the women’s game grows across Canada, we were proud to support our hockey community and give young players the chance to follow their dreams. 

Community Partners

As part of Scotiabank Centre's commitment to the community, we are proud to offer the Community Ticket Program. Each year, we donate tickets to our signature events -- the Halifax Mooseheads, the Halifax Thunderbirds, and the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo -- to our community ticket partners, ensuring that more members of our community can enjoy amazing experiences. This year, our Community Ticket Partners included Kids Up Front Atlantic, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Halifax, the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS), Special Olympics Nova Scotia, Laing House, and Prescott Group. Through our partnerships with these organizations, we donated over 2,100 tickets to our events, helping people feel at home and welcome at Scotiabank Centre. With our Ticket Donation Program, we donated tickets to more than 24 registered non-profit or charities across the province. 

"It's been amazing to watch the Halifax Kids Up Front program grow, and Scotiabank Centre's support has been a huge part of that - supporting children and youth in the community." 

- Michael Harris, Executive Director, Kids Up Front Atlantic.

Fans attend events at Scotiabank Centre