King’s will hold its 229th Encaenia ceremony at 4:00 p.m. on May 31, 2018 in the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.


The conferring of academic and honorary degrees takes place during Encaenia, a ceremony rooted in the traditions of Oxford. Encaenia is a Greek word meaning “beginning, commencement,” and the term has been used since the founding of King’s in 1789. The King’s graduation ceremony has not changed greatly over the years apart from the conferring of honorary degrees (although the use of Latin has given way to English).

ALERT – Graduation week accommodations in Halifax

It has come to the attention of the university that the Federation of Canadian Municipalities is meeting in Halifax on May 31, 2018 which is the date of King’s Encaenia celebration. As we are unable to change the date of our ceremony, we feel an urgency to alert you to the hotel shortage in our city. We encourage you not to try major hotels in the downtown; they are solidly booked. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has some ‘block bookings’ at the major hotels that, at the end of April, will be released if not taken. But there will be very few if any left untaken, and they will go quickly. We do not recommend counting on this.

We offer the following suggestions.

  1. You can rent a residence room at King’s (Alex Hall) through our conference services – there will be a special rate for the families of those graduating. Please contact or call 1- 902 422 1271 ext. 277 and ask for Tim Ross.
  2. Google Halifax bed and breakfasts and Airbnb’s for local availability.
  3. At the time of writing this message, Feb 21, there are still a few rooms at:
    • Dartmouth hotels
      • Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Halifax – Dartmouth
      • Best Western Plus Dartmouth Hotel & Suites
    • And all Halifax airport hotels

We do not mean to create panic, but this situation will require you to be proactive in your search for the accommodations you may need. We look forward to seeing you on May 31.

We invite you to check back to the Encaenia page in early March for updated detailed information on the events of Encaenia, and the special activities the day before and after the ceremony.