The Game of Halifax returns for another round
HALIFAX -- The Game of Halifax, a board game used as an IWK fundraiser over three decades ago, was recently brought out of the archives for one more round. Created in 1983, one of the surviving copies of the Monopoly-like game will be forever immortalized in the Halifax Municipal Archives.
Created by the IWK Auxiliary, the game was part of a major fundraising effort for the children’s hospital – and was quite popular when it debuted in the ’80s.
"Merchants sold it for us. People like Birks, Mills, Sears, Simpsons – for no cost to us, and it was very popular,” says IWK Auxiliary executive assistant, Kelly Cameron. “As Christmas approached, it really became popular. It was one of the highest-selling games that year."
And Cameron isn’t exaggerating. Nearly 5,000 copies were created and sold, raising $50,000 in profits – enabling the hospital to build a new dialysis unit.
However, only one copy of the uniquely Haligonian game will be preserved for years to come in the Halifax Municipal Archives – and for good reason. Nearly four decades since its release, the game offers players a sense of nostalgia, with many locations on the board, such as an Eaton’s retail location, which don't exist anymore. Included on the back of each property card is a tidbit of Halifax history.
Former Halifax civic historian Lou Collins contributed the facts. His records can also be found at the archives – including his copy of the game.
"I think it's also interesting just because of the time period,” says Halifax Regional Municipality municipal archivist, Susan McClure. “It's a very kind of colonial perspective on Halifax's history. Certainly, if a game was done now, I think the historical facts would be quite different."
Cameron says an updated version of the game is possible and would be interesting, but adds it would be challenging.
"It is a harder market to find major fundraising projects,” says Cameron. “So this might be something new and inviting – and there's lots of new places to invite onto the board.”
In the meantime, the game will continue to remain untouched – encapsulating Halifax in its 1980’s state as players test their luck on some of the most prestigious properties to grace the city.