As the community gets set to celebrate Black History Month in February, the Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association (NACCA) has followed through on its promise of creating a sense of belonging — particularly for youth — through cultural programming that includes art exhibitions, author talks and more.
Here are the various events and activities taking place throughout February, offered by NACCA in partnership with the Town of Newmarket, as well as York Regional Police:
Still I Rise: Celebrating Stories of Strength, Courage and Innovation
- Newmarket Old Town Hall, Serpa Galleries, 460 Botsford St.
- Friday, Feb. 1 to Saturday, Feb. 23
- Admission is free
- For gallery hours and more, visit here
Black history celebrations kick off Feb. 1 with the art exhibition, Still I Rise: Celebrating Stories of Strength, Courage and Innovation, that explores themes of racism, identity, activism, celebration of choice and action from the perspectives of contemporary African people.
The exhibit showcases the works of Toronto artists Gordon Shadrach and Syrus Marcus Ware, along with artworks from local youth who answered NACCA’s call for submissions and whose work was chosen by a community panel. You can expect to see various narratives and personal stories boldly expressed in portraits and other forms.
Know the Past, Shape the Future
- Saturday, Feb. 2 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- York Regional Police Headquarters
- 47 Hillock Dr., Aurora
- RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
York Regional Police kicks off Black History Month with a free, family-friendly celebrations at its Aurora headquarters that will honour Black history and embrace the future.
The event includes music, food and fun activities, with guest Emcee Dwight Drummond of CBC News.
Black History Event
- Newmarket Old Town Hall, Snapd Auditorium, 460 Botsford St.
- Saturday, Feb. 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Admission is free
- The day’s line-up: Doors open at 10 a.m.; the main event gets underway at 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. Note that seating is limited; open house at the gallery runs from 1 to 4 p.m., and refreshments will be served
RSVP by email to email@example.com (put BHM RSVP in the subject line) or call 905-953-5300, ext. 2844
In a continuation of the theme Still I Rise: Celebrating Stories of Strength, Courage and Innovation, a special Black History Month event is planned for Saturday, Feb. 9 that celebrates the rich and diverse heritage of African Canadians against the backdrop of historical narratives that help to shape multiple experiences.
The event aims to be a gentle dance between history, art and experience, NACCA said.
The main event features several activities, including portrait design for children and youth, interactive drumming, steel band music, spoken word, performing arts, and community speakers.
Visitors can engage with speakers who will share their personal stories of resilience and resistance. The event is suitable for all ages, and refreshments will be provided.
“Prepare to walk away feeling inspired and renewed as we rise. We look forward to meeting you at this wonderful Black history celebration and witness the birth of the Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association.”
Black History Spotlight: African-inspired Neckwear Crafts for Children
- Elman W. Campbell Museum, 134 Main St. South
- Saturday, Feb. 9 from 1 to 3 p.m.
- Cost: $3 per child, suitable for children aged between four and 10
- The Elman W. Campbell Museum is wheelchair accessible
- For more information, call 905-953-5314 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Children can celebrate Black History Month by making African-inspired neckwear crafts using traditional prints, and learning about Black history in Newmarket. You can also see the reproduction crate like the one Henry "Box" Brown hid in to escape from slavery to freedom.
Author Visit: Dwayne Morgan
- Newmarket Public Library, 438 Park Ave.
- Saturday, Feb. 23 from 2 to 4 p.m.
- Admission is free, suitable for the whole family
You are invited to a poetry and story reading with award-winning poet, author, and storyteller Dwayne Morgan.
Morgan's books include the inspiring memoir Everyday Excellence, the poetry collection, Her Favourite Shoes, and the children's picture book, Before I Was Born.
As a spoken word artist, Morgan has recorded or performed with Drake, Alicia Keys, Kardinal Offishal, and Nelly Furtado. Morgan’s books will be available for sale and signing.Learn more here.