Oakville’s Emancipation Day Celebration

Commemorating the day slavery was abolished in Canada.

Emancipation Day
Oakville’s Emancipation Day Celebration
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Carolyn Cross

Carolyn Cross

Carolyn Cross is the Curator of Collections for the town of Oakville Museum. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from McGill University and earned her Master of Fine Arts from Concordia University. Carolyn became the Curator in 2007.

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Oakville residents are invited to celebrate a significant achievement in Canadian history at the annual Emancipation Day Family Event on the grounds of Erchless Estate on Monday, August 6 starting at 1 p.m. This free afternoon of music, games, crafts and activities celebrates Oakville’s role in the Underground Railroad as a port of entry.

Hosted by the Oakville Museum in partnership with the Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton (CCAH), this special event commemorates August 1, 1834 — the day slavery was abolished in Canada and throughout the British Empire. Oakville’s Emancipation Day Event dates back to 1850, when African Canadians from across the nation would gather at George’s Square in honour of their journey to freedom.

“We are proud of Oakville’s connection to the abolishment of slavery,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “It’s an important part of our town’s heritage that we celebrate annually at the Emancipation Day picnic.”

Attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair, pack a picnic lunch and take in the cool breezes by the lake as they enjoy performances by jazz gospel singer John Campbell, Caribbean musician Roger Gibbs performing a mix of acoustic original and traditional songs, the Hope Centre Gospel Choir and the Neema Children’s Choir. There will also be African drumming, steelpan performances and crafts and games for children to enjoy all afternoon.

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Located at 8 Navy Street in downtown Oakville, the Oakville Museum at Erchless Estate is easily accessible by foot, bike or public transit. To view the Oakville Transit holiday schedule, visit oakvilletransit.ca. For more information on this event or other Oakville Museum programs and activities, please call 905-338-4400 or visit oakville.ca/museum.

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