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Oakville Celebrates Black History Month 2016

boy playing drum who is wearing a red t-shirt
Oakville Celebrates Black History Month 2016
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Janet Bedford

Janet Bedford is a broker with Royal LePage in downtown Oakville, with 20 years of real estate experience. Along with helping her clients find the perfect home or sell their home, she is often found photographing the many events that take place in Oakville. She has written extensively for various publications.

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The Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton (CCAH) partnered with the Oakville Museum to host the exciting Kickoff Celebration to Black History Month 2016. This event is usually held with snow blustering outside. This year, however, good weather blessed the event. This is always an evening as diverse as its black culture. Oakville is rich in history and provided many blacks the freedom from a life of slavery.

Group of People

President CCAH Veronica Tyrrell ,Julian Simpson, Museum Supervisor & wonderful Supporters! Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton (CCAH) &; Oakville Museum to host Kickoff Celebration to Black History Month 2016 February 3rd Oakville Town Hall; Photo Credit: Janet Bedford

“Oakville’s Early Black History”, an exhibit provided by the Oakville Museum and the African Canadian Art Exhibition “Beyond the Rhythm” are on display at the Oakville Town Hall and remain there until February 20th for visitors to enjoy.

The Celebration Kick-Off was “All About the Blues” – a lively interactive musical performance featuring songs, slides and spoken word. The music and history themed show was created by nine-time Maple Blues Award winning artists Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley who during the performance take the audience on a musical journey back to the early origins of the Blues form and genre. Chris proved his talent on several instruments – the guitar, harmonica and the cornet – we even realized we could “bend notes”! Diana’s renditions of songs such as Freight Train, This Little Light of Mine, echoed and took us back to the early days of the Rolling Stones and Louis Armstrong.

Group of female High School Students

Oakville High School Volunteers for the Black History Official Kickoff: Part of their Curriculum; Photo Credit: Janet Bedford

The Master Drummer, Muhtadi, opened the festivities. He is brilliant on the drums! Carlene Ling sang the National Anthem and Michele Johnson of York University, where she teaches a variety of courses which focus on “Blacks in America,” was the guest speaker. Jazz Beyond the Sound, presented by Sheridan College students, created their own unique interpretation of jazz. Beyond Sound Empijah, this talented group of Sheridan drummers, topped the evening with their drumming and soul singing expertise; “a symbol of human modern thought; a metaphor for democracy and freedom of expression.”

Black Female with bangs

Diana Braithwaite & Chris Whiteley Performed an exciting rendition of the History Of Blues! Photo Credit: Janet Bedford

“The Province of Ontario has dedicated February as Black History Month,” says Kevin Flynn MPP. “Oakville is dedicating the Black History Month program to Nathaniel Dett who was born in Niagara Falls in 1898 and composed compositions such as “Cakewalk – March – Cakewalk”. It is a time to honour and to remember. Education, Culture, Community and Harmony are the four pillars of the CCAH organization.”

Visit info@ccah.ca or call 905-257-0581 to discover the Black History Month 2016 Event Schedule:
Be sure to attend the John Campbell – Cabaret and Dinner to be held at QEPCCC on February 27th at 6pm!

Black Male in traditional garb with white beard playing drums

Muhtadi: Master Drummer Giving the Ceremonial Invocation for Black History Month; Photo Credit: Janet Bedford

Other dates too good to even consider missing are:

  1. February 4th – 29th Beyond the Rhythm – African Canadian Art Exhibit : Oakville Town Hall and QEPCCC
  2. February 1st -28th (Excluding Mondays) The Underground Railway – Oakville Museum 1pm-4:30pm
  3. February 12th Passing it On – Black Oral Traditions and Stories – S.E.N.A.C.A. 53 Bond Street, Oakville
  4. February 16th Public Film Screening; “How She Move” Sheridan College Trafalgar Campus 6:30pm
  5. February 19th John Campbell – Gospel Blues/Jazz Concert Milton Centre for the Performing Arts – 8pm



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