Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia - Where History Meets Opportunity

Phone: 902.532.2043

Public Murals

Public Murals can be found in several locations in Annapolis Royal, helping to establish culturally active spaces in our community. Adding visual beauty, our murals also create conversations about this vibrant and unique place! They invite viewers to think about our Town from a different perspective and encourage the viewer to engage with all aspects of the ongoing story being created here, in Annapolis Royal, the Cradle of Our Nation.

Currently there are three Public Murals in the Town – a panel mural located at Market Square, an asphalt mural located on the pavement at the end of the Annapolis Royal Wharf, and a wall mural located at the Oqwa’titek Amphitheatre. A fourth privately-owned mural is located on the side of the Old Dairy building at the corner of Church and St James streets.

The Town has a long colonial history reflected in much of the built heritage prevalent in the National Historic District. But the land the Town sits on has been used for millennia by the Mi’kmaq. Before colonization, the Mi’kmaq were a migratory people who would travel according to the seasons and the food supplies. Two of the Public Murals invite us to think about our community in the context of this shared history. Perhaps they will ignite conversations about reconciliation and how we all move forward – together – in this place.

Want to know more about our Public Murals? Read On…


Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

Located at Market Square, corner of St George Street and Drury Lane

GPS Coordinates:



Artist: Michael Ricks

Created in 1992, this Public Mural designed by commercial artist Michael Ricks for the Town of Annapolis Royal was originally installed near Town Hall. Ricks based his design on aerial views of the Town looking north and his mural reliably represents the buildings and topography seen from that angle. At the time of its creation, posters were also produced and sold to help promote the Town but sadly are now out of print. We have been unable to secure much information about the artist himself other than at the time of creating the mural, he had a studio and print shop in Bridgewater on Nova Scotia’s south shore.

Ricks’ mural was displayed for several years but was never intended to be a long-lived piece of outdoor art. At some point, it was removed from its location near Town Hall and put into storage at Public Works, disappearing from public view.  Rediscovered some years ago by then mayor Bill McDonald, it was placed at the Comfort Station on Drury Lane for public viewing. Now attached to the main building on Market Square, its outdoor/indoor/outdoor lifespan is coming to an end. Enjoy this mural before it is retired permanently.


Annapolis Royal Wharf

Located at the end of the Wharf, 193 St George Street
GPS Coordinates:
44° 44′ 44.412” N
65° 31′ 9.3” W
Artist: Lorne Julien,

As part of the 2023 Annapolis Royal Refresh! project, Mi’kmaw artist Lorne Julien was chosen to paint an asphalt mural on the end of the Annapolis Royal Wharf. The shores of the Annapolis River (known as Te’wapskik) and its tributaries were (and still are) important landing and fishing sites for the Mi’kmaq.

Julien’s mural honours the Mi’kmaq in the area – present and past – while the symbolism also speaks of peace and friendship, particularly fitting as the 1725 Peace and Friendship Treaty was ratified in Annapolis Royal in 1728.

The mural shows the medicine wheel with the four directions and colours. There are many teachings in the medicine wheel, such as the cycle of the four seasons of the year and the seasons of life. The colours can also represent the four races of people. Some people will see seven directions: North, East, South, West, down to Mother Earth, up to Father Sky and Within.

In the mural, the medicine wheel is embedded within the eight-pointed star. A symbol used by L’nuk for thousands of years and found as a petroglyph in Bedford, it is a witness of the presence of the Mi’kmaq. Julien also uses the double curved design for decoration, a design commonly used by Mi’kmaq artists.

Inside the medicine wheel there are four eagles (kitpu) which represent love, respect, and protection. They are speaking of peace and friendship between Nations. In the very centre of the mural is an orange heart, there to remember and honour the victims of residential schools and the families affected to this present day, and to pray for healing. The bright colours the artist uses are purposeful – they bring joy, playfulness, and hope to this public place.


Beyond Oqwa’titek

Located at the Oqwa’titek Amphitheatre, 275 St George Street

GPS Coordinates:

44° 44′ 36.78” N

65° 31′ 12.18” W

Artist: Lorne Julien,

This Public Mural created by Mi’kmaw artist Lorne Julien features indigenous symbolism. The eagle symbolizes love and is one of the “Seven Sacred Teachings”. Eagle is also a protector and the one who takes prayers to the heavens. The number 215+ in the orange circle that appears on the far right of the mural represents all victims and survivors of residential schools and the need to remember their experiences so that true reconciliation can happen.

To that end, Julien has included a pair of tiny moccasins in his mural, tying everything together and making the place feel safe, colourful and, above all, hopeful.

Moving from a painful past to a place of understanding and friendship, the mural embraces diversity of culture and race in a beautiful part of Mi’kma’ki where Mi’kmaw chief Membertou may have first connected with Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons, founder of the first permanent French settlement in what is now Canada. The name of the amphitheatre – Oqwa’titek – was chosen by the people of Bear River First Nation. Fittingly, it translates to ‘when they arrived’.



Learning From The Murals


The two murals by Lorne Julien offer a great starting point from which to learn more about the Mi’kmaw culture. The Mi’kmawey Debert Cultural Centre have some wonderful educational resources available. The curriculum resource developed by a distinguished group of Mi’kmaw educators, Mi’kmawe’l Tan Teli-kina’muemk Teaching About the Mi’kmaq, is available for download.


Here is a brief glossary of Mi’kmaw words used on this webpage:


Mi’kmaq (mee gah mah): an Algonquian Indigenous nation that occupies the territory of Mi’kma’ki (Atlantic Canada and the Gaspé peninsula). This spelling indicates a reference to the collective or the plural form. It roughly translates to “family” or “relations.”

 Mi’kmaw (mee gah maw): the singular form of Mi’kmaq. This spelling can also be used as an adjective where it precedes a noun (Mi’kmaw people, Mi’kmaw rights, Mi’kmaw artist).

 L’nu or L’nuk: is the term the Mi’kmaq use to describe themselves as Indigenous people. It means “the people.”

Mi’kma’ki or Mi’gma’gi (mee gah maw gee): the land or territory of the Mi’kmaq. It includes the Atlantic Provinces, some of Maine, and the Gaspé region of Quebec.

Oqwa’titek (oh wah di deg): translates to, “When they arrived.”




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