Louise DeLisle

Louise Delisle, a painter, actress, playwright, author and director is a descendant of the first group of Black Loyalists who landed in Nova Scotia in 1784 and settled in Birchtown – the very first African Nova Scotian community established in the province. 

Louise DeLisle


DeLisle became interested in stage performance when she saw a performance by The Dancing Beggars– an ensemble of theatre performers based in Shelburne. DeLisle would later join this ensemble and perform with them for two years. A desire to explore Shelburne’s Black history in theatre led her to write and present the play The Life of Colonel Stephen Blucke- about a Black Loyalist military and community leader in Birchtown, Shelburne in the late 1700s.

She then founded the Black Pioneers Theatre Company- a theatre company dedicated to the presentation of Black historical drama and over the next 25 years, DeLisle would present fifteen original plays with the Black Pioneers. During that time DeLisle also began storytelling mostly as a way of presenting the stories of early Black settlers without the burden of the expensive production costs required in play presentations.

In 2000, Delisle joined the Voices as an actress and storyteller. Voices provided formal training in the craft of storytelling as well as exposure to noted national and international storytellers who performed at VS events including Jou Jou Tourenne (Montreal), Georgia Sea Island Singers (St. Helena Island, South Carolina) and Marylee Bendolph (Gees Bend Quilters, Alabama).

In 2004, DeLisle began presenting her stories as part of the VS Talk That Talk storytelling series at events across the province. She also became ‘the resident storyteller at the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre- a new museum and cultural centre which opened in Birchtown in 2015.  DeLisle is also a painter who depicts stories of Black Loyalists days and of her community in Shelburne.



2017 New Notes In The Pattern 11 – Chase Gallery, Public Archives of NS (BANNS)
2015 New Notes In The Pattern 11 – Chase Gallery, Public Archives of NS (BANNS)
2011 Travelling The Backroads – Black Art in Southwest Nova Scotia Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Western Branch, Yarmouth
2010 In This Place – NSCC Truro Campus Art Gallery (BANNS)
2007 The Soul Speaks – Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax


Shelburne, NS