New Mural in Downtown Halifax Celebrates Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Posted: August 11, 2021

Halifax, NS – A new mural celebrating Nova Scotia’s spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship has been completed this week by Halifax based artist John McPartland, known as ABSEN.

Entitled Rising Tides, the mural has beautified the Salter Street wall of the Maritime Centre building which is owned by Slate Asset Management and where Volta is located, adding to the growing collection of public art in Halifax’s Innovation District.

“We are thrilled to provide the canvas for this exciting collaboration with our partners at ONSIDE,” said Jeremy Kaupp, Vice President of Asset Management at Slate Asset Management. “Our goal is to foster a sense of community, inclusion and creativity everywhere that we own real estate.”

ABSEN was selected to paint the mural following a public call for proposals led by ONSIDE (Organization for Nova Scotian Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurship) earlier this year. He was inspired by ideas gathered during public engagements with Halifax residents who were asked what innovation and entrepreneurship in Nova Scotia looks like to them.

“This mural hits a personal note for me because I originally moved here straight out of highschool to innovate myself and pursue a degree,” says ABSEN. “As both an artist and an engineer, this wall not only resonates by bridging together my two disciplines, but because innovation itself is a collaboration of creativity and science.”

This project is being delivered by ONSIDE, the Halifax Innovation District, Volta, Slate Asset Management, and Downtown Halifax Business Commission (DHBC). It is funded in part through DHBC’s Gritty to Pretty grant program which supports the creation of inspiring placemaking projects in downtown Halifax.

“Innovation and entrepreneurship should be open to everyone and be publicly visible and celebrated,” says Alex McCann, Executive Director, ONSIDE. “This new piece of public art prominently displayed in the heart of Halifax’s Innovation District showcases Nova Scotia’s entrepreneurial spirit, culture, and aspirations for the future. We hope it inspires residents, visitors, and our next generation of entrepreneurs for years to come.”

Artist description of Rising Tides

“Society cannot remain stagnant, and it needs innovation to venture into the unknown.

Fruits of the labor, provided by innovative ideas cascade through our communities to provide financial stability, meaningful work, economic growth, and exciting pursuits towards something better.

‘A rising tide lifts all boats’ metaphorically represents this communal growth. It's a phrase that pays special relation to the character of our coastal province and the industries of ocean tech and shipbuilding in which Nova Scotia has become a prominent global player.

Two grounded fishing boats rise through the fabrics of our society to emerge as a large research vessel, afloat at sea. The blossoming of Nova Scotia's provincial flower, the Mayflower, depicts the emergence of ideas that come to a practical fruition. The gears are to acknowledge engineers and STEM fields that are on the forefront of innovation. And lastly, a young woman with an ambitious gaze searches into the future.”

Media Contacts

ABSEN (artist): John McPartland, [email protected], 902 414 3675

Downtown Halifax Business Commission: Ivy Ho, Director of Communications, [email protected] 902 430 7679

Volta: Laura Sinclair, Senior Marketing Coordinator, Volta, [email protected]

Halifax Innovation District: Alison Gillan, VP Marketing & Communications [email protected]

ONSIDE: Alex McCann, Executive Director [email protected] 902 999 1493

Slate Asset Management: Karolina Kmiecik, [email protected]

About John MacPartland (ABSEN)

John McPartland (b. 1995) is a Canadian artist based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia.


ONSIDE (Organization for Nova Scotia Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurship) is a not-for-profit organization that amplifies the power of inclusive innovation-driven entrepreneurship and disruptive ideas. We mobilize collaboration to turn ideas into impact for a more prosperous and entrepreneurial future in Nova Scotia. Learn more at

About Volta

Volta, located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is the largest innovation hub east of Montreal. Focused on creating a space where members of the regional innovation ecosystem can work, connect and grow, Volta provides access to Co-Working space, programming, mentorship, resources and events. Volta has been home to more than 100 startup companies through the Volta Residency Program, creating more than 300 jobs and raised a combined total of over $100-million in equity financing. Learn more at

About Halifax Partnership/Halifax Innovation District

Halifax Partnership is Halifax’s public-private economic development organization. The Partnership is leading the advancement of the Halifax Innovation District - with support from the Province of Nova Scotia and the Halifax Regional Municipality and in collaboration with its Investors and public, private, and post-secondary partners - to increase the number of viable startups and scaleups in Halifax and to strengthen the city’s innovation ecosystem. Learn more at and

About Downtown Halifax Business Commission (DHBC)

Downtown Halifax Business Commission represents over 1,600 businesses located in the central business district of Halifax, Nova Scotia. DHBC strives to make Downtown Halifax a better place to live, work, and play by: improving business conditions; promoting economic development; supporting members’ common business interests; and fostering a positive image of the Downtown area. For more information, visit

About Slate Asset Management

Slate Asset Management is a global alternative investment platform focused on real estate. We focus on fundamentals with the objective of creating long-term value for our investors and partners. Slate’s platform has a range of investment strategies, including opportunistic, value add, core plus and debt investments. We are supported by exceptional people and flexible capital, which enable us to originate and execute on a wide range of compelling investment opportunities. Visit to learn more.



This website uses cookies
This website uses cookies to improve user experience and analyse website traffic. By using our website without adjusting your cookie settings you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.