Updated: Jul 22, 2020
Located in Halifax County, North Preston is the oldest and largest black community in all of Canada. Despite bad press, those who call North Preston home describe it as "one big family" where neighbours know and care for one another and mulitgenerational families live together. Take it from Kardeisha Provo who was raised in North Preston, The North Preston I know isn't the one you've heard about.
North Preston Day takes place annually on the third Saturday in July to celebrate the community and the feeling of being a tight knit family. According to Vivian Cain, who started North Preston Days in 2007, everybody is welcome to come to North Preston to take part in the celebrations. This July will make the 14th anniversary. Cain says she worries the community is often portrayed in a poor light.
"The children, they hear nothing but negativity. This is a positive event where everybody comes together as a community and they look forward to it".
A documentary titled, This is North Preston, was released in May 2019. It tells the story of North Preston native, Justin Smith, a rapper who goes by the name Just Chase. Read more about the documentary in this article aptly titled, This is North Preston documentary shines light on proud, close-knit community. Check out the official trailer:
Besides Justin Smith, notable people from North Preston include: Kirk Johnson, a professional boxer who competed for the WBA Heavyweight title in 2002; Custio Clayton, 2012 Canadian Olympian (lost in the quarter-finals), 6 time national champ, IBF Intercontinental,International, WBO International & WBC Continental America Champion; Dwayne Provo, a professional football player who played in the CFL from 1995-2002 and spent one season in the NFL with the New England Patriots. He also ran as the Progressive Conservative candidate for the riding of Preston in both the 2006 and 2009 Nova Scotia elections. Provo is a cousin to Kirk Johnson and Evander Cane; Lindell Wigginton, a professional basketball player.
To learn more about North Preston check out these resources:
Nova Scotia Archives - Places
Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia
North Preston Days 10th anniversary