Oakville proclamation kicks off Black History Month, honouring legacy of Black Canadians
Published February 1, 2023 at 5:08 pm
Wednesday (Feb. 1) marks the beginning of Black History Month and Oakville residents will be able to take part in numerous festivities and events that honour the legacy of Black Canadians and their communities.
Oakville Mayor Rob Burton read a proclamation recognizing the month of February as Black History month outside Town Hall.
The Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton flag was also raised at Town Hall to celebrate the beginning of a month-long of special events.
“Whereas from the time of its establishment, people of African and Caribbean decent have made significant contributions to the development and betterment to the province,” said Burton, who was joined by other organizations and Council colleagues outside Town Hall for the reading of the proclamation. “Whereas as the Black community continues to play a vital role in the social and cultural mosaic that is Ontario.
“Whereas Black History Month was first recognized in Ontario in February 1993, marking the 200 anniversary of the passage of legislation prohibiting the implication of slaves into Upper Canada and whereas Black History Month continues to provide the opportunity to remember and celebrate the contribution African and Carribean Canadians have made to Ontario.”
Local residents will be able to recognize Black History Month throughout February. Here’s a list of events you and your family can take part in:
- Join the Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton (CCAH) for the kick off of Black History Month at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts on Monday, Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. The celebration includes Richard Pinnock as the Masters of Ceremonies, guest speaker Diana Cooper-Clarke and musical performances by Arlene Duncan, Miriam Lee, the Oakville Choral Society and the CCAH Steel Band; Legacy Voices from local community members; and messages from community partners reflecting on the 2023 theme of “Connecting Communities.” Tickets cost $5 and can be purchased by visiting the OCPA website.
- Visit Oakville’s Black History exhibit, a set of 14 themed banners celebrating the heritage of Black Canadians in our community, that will be installed at all recreation and culture centres across Oakville. Originally researched, written, and designed by Deborah Hudson for the Oakville Museum in 1999, the panels have been edited and redesigned several times over the years as new research becomes available.
- Visit the Freedom, Opportunity and Family: Oakville’s Black History exhibit (both in person and virtual) at the Oakville Museum. Students in grades 5-8 can also participate in Oakville’s Early Black History School program.
- Attend the opening of CCAH in Celebration of 2023 Black History Month Art Exhibit on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 2 pm. at the Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre (QEPCCC). The exhibit runs until March 3 at QEPCCC and Town Hall. The exhibit at Town Hall features artwork by Joan Butterfield and Paul Dias. To register for the exhibit opening, visit the CCAH website.
- Watch Freedom! Featuring Beau Dixon – The Spirit and Legacy of Black Music on Friday, Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts (OCPA). Purchase tickets by visiting the OCPA website.
- Participate in Black History Explorers, a partnership between the Oakville Museum, Oakville Public Library and CCAH, on Saturday, Feb. 18 at noon. The event, taking place at Oakville Museum, invites families to participate in arts and crafts, story-time and a family-friendly tour. More details on how to register for this free event will be shared soon.
- Participate in Art Hive, a partnership between the Oakville Public Library and CCAH, on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. The family-friendly, mess-free art workshop facilitated by Camille King, takes place at Iroquois Ridge Library branch. Participants are encouraged to create a ‘mosaic’ about prominent Black Canadians and events in Oakville’s history. Registration coming soon.
- Join Family Day celebrations on Monday, Feb. 20, featuring Steelpan and Parang at QEPCCC. Details to come.
- Join the Black History Month wrap-up virtual event hosted by CCAH and Black Mentorship Inc. Details to come.
- Explore local Black History with the family on March 11 at noon. Participate in Black History Explorers featuring arts and crafts, story-time and a short tour. This event is a partnership between the Oakville Museum, Oakville Public Library and CCAH.