High Level Bridge lit for Nova Scotia heartbreak

The High Level Bridge in Edmonton spoke silently and sadly in blue and white light overnight.

Shannon den Besten put it into words.

“We know Edmontonians’ thoughts and hearts are with the people of Nova Scotia and this is a way we can convey those feelings. We hope that the people of Nova Scotia know we are with them in spirit and we are thinking of them during this time of unimaginable tragedy.”

At least 20 people were killed on the weekend when a lone gunman went on a deadly, 12-hour rampage that started in Portapique, N.S.

Edmonton is home to many Maritimers and Nova Scotians.

Light the Bridge

den Besten, the City of Edmonton’s Civic Precinct Supervisor, is a key member of the team who use the century-old bridge as a symbol to tell the story of Edmonton. The program is called Light The Bridge.

“Light the Bridge is recognized as the ‘voice’ for Edmonton, reflecting, celebrating and building community spirit,” den Besten said.

Recently, the bridge was programmed in blue and green—the colours of Alberta Health Services—in thanks to health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Light the Bridge tribute to health care workers, Edmonton, March 24, 2020

“The lights on the bridge have joined the tribute to people here and around the world who are working tirelessly to keep us all safe during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said den Besten. “We want them to see their efforts reflected.”

The bridge is not the only infrastructure used to tell stories and send messages into the dark. Last night, EPCOR programmed the Rossdale Power Plant building in Nova Scotia blue and white, too. The river reflected their effort.

Rossdale Power plant, April 20, 2020. Walterdale Bridge in foreground

Light work

The High Level Bridge was equipped with 60,000 LED lights in 2014 in a community initiative that was supported by private citizens and companies, including EPCOR.

The City of Edmonton now runs with it.

“Light the Bridge celebrates and builds community spirit in Edmonton,” said den Besten.

“The bridge lights are a beautifying element to our cityscape, a symbol of pride for citizens, and part of our Edmonton story. They can also be used to help represent Edmonton and share our story with national and international audiences. The goal of Light The Bridge has always been to reflect the spirit and voice of the community. This can have a big range, from celebrating hosting a major international event or recognizing a visiting dignitary to a tribute for a tragedy.”

In its way, the bridge is heard.

Find more info on Light the Bridge here.