A NIGHT OF MUSIC AND STORY-TELLING CELEBRATES BLACK WOMEN IN CANADIAN HISTORY Canadian icon Viola Desmond remembered in new Heritage Minute

February 11, 2016

A NIGHT OF MUSIC AND STORY-TELLING CELEBRATES BLACK WOMEN IN CANADIAN HISTORY Canadian icon Viola Desmond remembered in new Heritage Minute

Halifax, Nova Scotia (February 11, 2016) - To celebrate Black History Month, Historica Canada and TD Bank hosted a special evening honouring the heroism and resilience of Black Canadian Women. The evening brought together more than 200 Nova Scotians as they listened to local leaders share stories of the women who have deeply influenced their lives.

“We’re very grateful for this opportunity to showcase a group of people who have made their mark on Canada in a very positive way.  Each have remarkable stories to tell,” said Anthony Wilson-Smith, President and CEO of Historica Canada.

“TD is delighted this year to be presenting An Evening Celebrating Black Women in Canada, part of TD's 2016 Black History Month series celebrating arts and culture. The contributions made by these iconic Canadian women---both past and present---have made and continue to make a remarkable impact on our communities,” said Alan Convery, Director, Community Relations, TD Bank Group.

The celebration began with remarks by Viola Desmond’s Sister, Wanda Robson, and included powerful and evocative stories from Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage the Honourable Tony Ince, filmmaker Sylvia Hamilton, poet El Jones, musician Shauntay Grant, social worker Dr. Wanda Bernard, youth leader LaMeia Reddick and community activist Bernadette Hamilton-Reid.

Historica Canada launched a new Heritage Minute paying homage to Canadian civil rights icon and entrepreneur Viola Desmond. Desmond courageously fought racial segregation in Nova Scotia in the 1940s after she was arrested while sitting in a movie theatre section reserved for white patrons. Though her legal challenge was unsuccessful, the case became a catalyst for change.

 “When Viola Desmond was forcibly removed from a theatre in New Glasgow for sitting in the whites-only section, and subsequently jailed and fined, white Nova Scotians became aware of the practice of racial segregation in the province. Years later her actions have become historical fact,” said Robson. “Public awareness of actions of other blacks who ‘are not going to take it anymore’ have made and continue to make outstanding and lasting contributions for human rights.”

For more information about this event visit www.celebrateblackhistory.ca. You can share and embed the Viola Desmond Heritage Minute from this link.

Historica Canada is the country’s largest organization dedicated to enhancing awareness of Canada’s history and citizenship. For more information on Historica Canada visit: www.historicacanada.ca  

For more information:                                                                                  

Lali Mohamed, Event Coordinator                                            Bronwyn Graves, Program Manager
t. 416-506-1867 x 244                                                                      t. 416.506.1867 x 241 lmohamed@historicacanada.ca                                                      bgraves@historicacanada.ca