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Nova Scotians on Bonfire Night (2019) — Nov 5, 2019

Nova Scotians on Bonfire Night (2019)

Nova Scotian Bonfire Night
Nova Scotian Bonfire Night

Bring out the fireworks and sparklers – it’s Bonfire Night again! πŸŽ†πŸŽ‡

In case you didn’t know, Bonfire Night – AKA Guy Fawkes Night – is an annual celebration held every 5th of November in the United Kingdom and some other Commonwealth territories. It commemorates the day Guy Fawkes and his gang of conspirators failed to bomb the Houses of Parliament in London in 1605, in an attempt to assassinate King James I of England. (I go into more detail on the origins of Bonfire Night in this post.)

With Canada being part of the Commonwealth, a leftover from the days of the British Empire, I was surprised to see that – with the exception of Newfoundland – Bonfire Night is almost relatively unknown across the Atlantic. While it’s not really about them or their parliament, I had wrongly assumed that it was a shared celebration across the Commonwealth, as they are all tied to Britain.

But geography doesn’t really matter, as some of the cast of A Nova Scotian Way of Life (ANSWOL) have come together for a fireworks show of their own. The fireworks were drawn with glitter pens, giving the impression that they’re “popping” out of the night sky. Westville and Parrsboro even have sparklers sizzling away while the bonfire burns bright. This is also Truro and Yarmouth’s first Bonfire Night as a married couple (it feels like it was their wedding just yesterday!)

If you’re having a bonfire or a fireworks display of your own, or are going to a public one, safety is always important. Why not see these safety tips?

Remember, remember the 5th of November – and to protect and enjoy yourself!



Canadian Bonfire Night Spectacle (2017) — Nov 5, 2017

Canadian Bonfire Night Spectacle (2017)


What is Bonfire Night? This celebration is big in England, but almost unheard of throughout the rest of the world. Held every fifth of November, Bonfire Night commemorates the day in 1605 when Guy Fawkes and several other Catholic conspirators were stopped in their plot – the Gunpowder Plot – to cause an explosion at the Houses of Parliament in London, in an attempt to violently and fatally dethrone the then-King of the newly-united Kingdom, James I. There has never been another attempt since, but the vaults are still searched at every opening of Parliament each day just in case someone has managed to sneak through.


The mainstay of Bonfire Night, however, are giant displays of fireworks and the eponymous bonfires, on which an effigy (a huge doll-like figure) of Guy Fawkes is burnt. In days gone by, children would walk around knocking on people’s doors to ask for a “penny for the guy”, though this has decreased in recent years due to the fear of stranger danger. Toffee apples on sticks lashed with gluey caramel, candyfloss and flame-roasted chestnuts are favourite snacks to munch on while watching the fireworks.



While Bonfire Night is very much a British tradition, it has managed to find its way to some other countries around the globe, including Canada. This gave me an idea for a drawing…

Canadian Boys – Bonfire Night Spectacle

Inspired to get a gathering of Canadian Boys characters together to watch the fireworks, I mostly chose the lucky ones at random, though I wanted to include a select few straight from when my pen first touched the paper. I’ve never drawn a line of characters seen entirely from the back (to the viewer), so drawing this was something of a new challenge. The most fun part was colouring in the bonfire, allowing me to use a fiery range of reds, oranges and yellows, and lighting up the dark blue sky with fireworks drawn from metallic markers and glitter pens in rainbow colours for more realism.

Characters shown (left to right):

  • Stellarton
  • Port Hawkesbury
  • Pictou
  • Regina
  • Georgina
  • Jacksons Point
  • Halifax
  • Victoria
  • Vancouver (carrying a toffee apple and a tuft of candyfloss)

Happy Bonfire Night, and if you’re going out tonight to see the fireworks, have a safe one!











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