George Dixon Youth Boat Building

Organization Sponsor: George Dixon Center

Organization Partner: Nova Scotia Sea School


Program Description

The hand built dory was started this spring by youth ages 11-13 from the George Dixon Center and instructors from the Nova Scotia Sea School. Although built with plywood planks for lighter weight, the boat was otherwise built in the traditional way: starting with plans and molds,
shaping raw oak and fir lumber using hand tools.

The African Nova Scotian youth who built the dory launched the 16 foot, Gloucester light traditional, on Saturday, July 26 at 11AM in Seaview Park, Halifax. The launch is part of the Africville Homecoming Celebrations and concludes a boat building course the youth have participated in from the Nova Scotia Sea School.

"This has been an inspiring project that brought community groups; George Dixon Center and Nova Scotia Sea School together to create a meaningful project for local youth. The dory design is reminiscent of those used by Africville residents just over forty years ago. It was a great way to connect today's youth with their history and at the same time teach them new skills, offer them a hands on experience and have some fun," says Mookie Magloir, Recreation Coordinator, George Dixon Centre.

"The partnership was inspired by the Nova Scotia Sea School's boat building workshops through which a variety of traditional wooden boats have been hand built by youth and sailed in the Sea School's summer programs. With the George Dixon Center's amazing support staff and leadership opportunities, a unique project was created that put the youth in command of their own
learning experience," says Philippe Inacio-Goetsch, Boat Building Instructor, Nova Scotia Sea School.
The three young girls who were part of the boat building team also got to go on a sail on the Amistad

Program Approximate Cost: 


Funding Sources: 

Nova Scotia Sea School and HRM

Strategies For Sustainability: 

This project had a historic and artistic component to it. The dory was used to celebrate Africville 25 reunion celebration and later used in an art gallery tour of the North End. This inspired the youth to finish their project.

Impact Of Program: 

This project engaged 8 junior high youth for 8 weeks. The finished product had a great impact on the community at large. It also required the partnership of the local school, the Nova Scotia Sea School and the Museum of the Atlantic,

Evaluation Tools: 

Feedback from partners, participants and the community.

Key Elements Towards Success: 

The working together on a project and the excitement of doing something never done before and the community showcase of the dory.There was great partnership that help make this project successful.

Challenges To Meet Them: 

This project is intense. It require 8 hours a week for 8 weeks. The youth built for 4 hours two times a week. Next time they plan to try just 1 night a week.

Length and Stage of Project: 

Eight weeks but the project will be repeated.

Share Your Thoughts