Oakville’s Emancipation Day Family Picnic

A celebration of history, courage and freedom

2 dancer in 18 century dress
Oakville’s Emancipation Day Family Picnic
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Janine Ivings

Janine Ivings

Janine is the senior communications advisor at Town of Oakville. She graduated from the University of Windsor.

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The Oakville Museum, in partnership with the Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton, invites everyone to celebrate a significant achievement in Canadian history at the annual Emancipation Day Family Picnic on the grounds of Erchless Estate on Monday, August 1 from 1 to 4 p.m.

The special event commemorates August 1, 1834 — the day slavery was abolished in Canada and throughout the British Empire. The Emancipation Day picnic dates back to 1850, when African Canadians from across the nation would gather at Oakville’s George’s Square to honour their journey to freedom.

“We’re very proud of Oakville’s connection to the abolishment of slavery and the annual picnic is a chance for the community to celebrate that important part of our town’s heritage,” said Mayor Rob Burton.

The free afternoon will feature music, dance, games, crafts and activities highlighting Oakville’s role in the Underground Railroad as a port of entry to Canada. Live lakeside entertainment will include performances by Beyond Sound Empijah, The Hope Centre Gospel Choir and CCAH Steel Pan Performers.


Everyone is encouraged to bring a lawn chair and pack a picnic lunch or purchase delicious food from Mixed Grill BBQ. An ice cream truck will also be onsite.

The Oakville Museum at Erchless Estate is located at 8 Navy Street in downtown Oakville and is easily accessible by foot, bike or public transit. Visit oakvilletransit.ca for routes and schedules.


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