Wanda Robson

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). 

Augustine, Justin


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


justin augustine painting of school girl on bike bicycle

Storytelling performances

2018 Isle of Story Festival, Sydney, Cape Breton NS
2016 Speaking in Tongues: African Nova Scotian Storytelling Voices Black Theatre Ensemble, Atlantic Fringe Festival, Halifax
2010 Black Writes presented by the Black Artists Network of NS (BANNS) Chapters Bookstore, Dartmouth NS

Book Publications

2018 Viola Desmond Her Life and Times co-authored with Graham Reynolds Fernwood Publishing, Black Point NS
2016 Viola Desmond’s Canada co-authored with Dr. Graham Reynolds Fernwood Publishing, Black Point NS
2010 Sister To Courage  Breton Books, Wreck Cove, Cape Breton NS
justin augustine painting of school girl on bike bicycle

Other Publications

2017 A Design for Human kind  (poetryUnderstorey Magazine: African Nova Scotian Women Issue #12 Lunenburg NS
2016 In the Midst of Sorrow (story) Cape Breton’s Christmas — A Treasury of Stories and Memories Breton Books, Wreck Cove, Cape Breton NS


North Sydney, since 2007