Skip to content

Newmarket marks Canada's first Emancipation Day with flag raising (15 photos)

Aug. 1 was declared as Emancipation Day in Canada after a unanimous vote by MPs in March

Members of the Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association (NACCA) joined Mayor John Taylor and other government officials at Peace Park on Cane Parkway in Newmarket today for a flag raising in honour of Canada's first Emancipation Day.

Aug. 1 was unanimously declared Emancipation Day in Canada by members of parliament on March 24, 2021.

The bill was championed by Richmond Hill MP Majid Jowhari, calling for a day to celebrate survival, human rights, equality, culture and resilience, said NACCA chairperson Jerisha Grant-Hall.

"John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, passed an Act Against Slavery in 1793, which ended the importation of enslaved Africans in Upper Canada. We celebrate Simcoe Day annually, but very few people are aware of the significance of Emancipation Day," Grant-Hall said.

Aug. 1, 2021 has been proclaimed Emancipation Day in the Town of Newmarket.

Grant-Hall and and NACCA treasurer Alicia Katsavos were present at the Newmarket ceremony on July 30 to raise the Pan-African flag, alongside the mayor, members of Newmarket council, Newmarket-Aurora MP Tony Van Bynen, and Paul De Roos, a representative of Newmarket-Aurora MPP Christine Elliott’s office. 


Reader Feedback

Elizabeth Keith

About the Author: Elizabeth Keith

Elizabeth Keith is a general assignment reporter. She graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2017. Elizabeth is passionate about telling local stories and creating community.
Read more