Nine locally-painted porpoises decorated the waterfront outside the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic Monday morning as part of a nautical fundraiser called Dolphins on Parade.

Nova Scotian artists will paint between 30 and 40 life-sized dolphins that Easter Seals President and CEO Tom Merriam hopes will raise more than $75,000 to help people living with disabilities.

“The dolphin is a symbol of good luck to those who go to sea, so we decided that would make an ideal figure,” Merriam said, glancing at a six-foot splatter painted porpoise standing on its tail beside him. “This figure is modeled after an Atlantic white-sided dolphin, so these dolphins are actually swimming right here in the harbour as we speak.”


Artist Jake Seibert painted a dolphin with a crest on its breast and a view of the city on its back.

“They wanted something that celebrated not only the 100 years of the Navy, but 100 years of the Navy in Halifax,” Seibert said. “I came up with the idea to do a reverse panoramic, so as you walk around the dolphin you see the city, the ships in the harbour and the sailors at the bottom modernized from 1910 to 2010. Basically if you walk around it you see the skyscrapers start to develop and the ships get more modern.”

Waterfront wanderers will soon be able to pick up brochures that include a guided tour of the waterfront with dolphins along the way.

“This summer, especially with the Tall Ships on the waterfront, we think it will be a win-win for everyone,” Merriam said.

Last summer, the Easter Seals strategically placed giant themed lobsters around the city. The summer before, it was figureheads. The dolphins will be displayed this summer and next in celebration of the Canadian Navy’s centennial.

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