February 02, 2006 11:15 ET

City of Montreal: Launching of the 15th Edition of Black History Month 'A Living Memory, a Testimony of our Time'

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 2, 2006) - The City of Montreal is pleased to be associated again this year with the Round Table on Black History Month for the launching of the 15th edition of Black History Month. The Mayor of Montreal, Gerald Tremblay, and the Chairwoman of the Round Table, Mrs. Elisabeth Dembil, today unveiled the program of activities in the presence of the Quebec minister of immigration and cultural communities, Lise Theriault, and representatives of the black community. Held under the theme "A Living Memory, a Testimony of our Time", Black History Month emphasizes the accomplishments of individuals from the black community as well as their contribution to our city's development. More than 100 activities will be held at various cultural facilities and maisons de la culture until February 28, 2006. All Montrealers are invited to join the festivities.

"Montreal is pleased to give financial support to this event, recognized as the major annual event for the black community. Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate talent, creativity, cultural heritage and the values of solidarity and community support of fellow Montrealers from Africa, the West Indies and the Caribbean. It is also a great way to share and draw closer to Montrealers from various backgrounds and learn about new cultures," said Mayor Gerald Tremblay.

Montreal adopted a Charter of Rights and Responsibilities which guarantees equal rights for all Montrealers as a means of promoting social and economic integration and of making Montreal a more prosperous city that is more respectful of all its citizens and more inclusive. The Charter, which has been in effect since January 1, 2006, is an essential tool for dialogue based on values of respect, human dignity, integrity, tolerance, equity, inclusion and equality between all citizens regardless of their backgrounds

"The Charter reminds us that we all share these values and that the respect of these rights is based on a collective effort on the part of the community and the city. It is also a guide to promote a rapprochement between elected officials, the administration and the community. Montreal is the first major Canadian city to adopt such a guide... something of which we can be proud," the mayor added.

Tribute to black heritage

True to its tradition, Black History Month highlights the achievements and exceptional contributions of men and women who have made their mark on the community through their commitment, passion and dedication. Again this year, the Round Table pays tribute to personalities of the black community who have made special contributions in social, cultural and economic fields. Twelve personalities have been named 2006 laureates for their dynamism and creative energy.

These laureates include Muna Mingole, a young emerging Quebec artist from the Congo; Lutumba Ntetu, head of the social sciences department at the Universite du Quebec a Chicoutimi; Lezoka Mwinda, pastor and founder of the evangelical church "Bethel Christian Community"; Inobe Stanislaus, young entrepreneur, promoter and founder of Coco Cafe, the spoken-word event night; and Violet Grant States, graduate of the Quebec Conservatory of music and the first black woman in North America to play with a symphony orchestra at Carnegie Hall.

A tribute to women

This year, the Round Table pays a heart-felt homage to women who have shaped history in a most personal way. The Round Table honours the memory of Rosa Parks who, through her courage and determination, sparked a movement for freedom, emancipation, recognition and respect. It also pays tribute to Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada. The city also celebrated the accomplishments of these two exceptional women in 2005.

"I wish to congratulate all the members of the Round Table on Black History Month for their excellent work in highlighting, year after year, the rich collective heritage and diversity of one of our largest communities and for giving us a month of outstanding cultural activities. I invite all Montrealers to take part in the many activities that are scheduled right through February and to discover an outstanding community," concluded Mayor Tremblay.

For the complete program Black History Month, please log on to or call the Roundtable at 514 282-3443.

Contact Information

  • Source:
    Ville de Montreal
    Maxime Chagnon
    Cabinet du maire et du comite executif
    (514) 872-5527
    Stephanie Jecrois
    Relations avec les medias
    (514) 872-4641