Nonagenarian Wanda Robson is youngest sister of famed Nova Scotia businesswoman and civil rights icon Viola Desmond (1914-1965) and it was largely due to Robson’s efforts that the her sister’s name and legacy has been elevated including becoming the first Canadian born woman to appear on our nation’s currency ($10).
Robson began storytelling after meeting Voices Black Theatre Ensemble’s artistic director David Woods in 1997 who encouraged her to share stories of Viola Desmond with the public. It would take a few years, but Robson finally joined Voices for a performance at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in 2007 and was an immediate hit with audiences. Since that time Robson has been a featured performer at with Voices and has expanded her storytelling to include stories of personal struggle as a single parent and tales of growing up in northend Halifax during the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1960’s. She has shared the stage with such luminaries as education activist Jane Elliott, anthropologist Jane Goodall, and actress, film director Jane Polley. Robson is the author of a popular autobiography Sister To Struggle (Breton Books, 2010) now in its third printing. In 2016 she was a cast member of Voices’ storytelling production Speaking In Tongues, winner of the Fringe Hit Award at the 2016 Atlantic Fringe Festival and was awarded The Distinguished Storyteller Award, Isle of Story Festival, Sydney, Cape Breton 2018