Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

March 26, 2010 15:00 ET

Government of Canada Invests in the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society

CHATHAM, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 26, 2010) - On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, David Van Kesteren, Member of Parliament (Chatham–Kent–Essex), today announced funding for the annual John Brown Festival in Chatham–Kent.

On May 1 and 2, the Chatham–Kent Black Historical Society will present its 11th annual edition of the festival. Activities include music performances, historical talks, movies, and highlights of local black history presented by local artists. This weekend-long festival celebrates Chatham's abolitionist-era history as a refuge for many who escaped slavery.

"Our Government is thrilled to support the John Brown Festival and the proud community legacy of tolerance and anti-racism it celebrates," said Minister Moore. "The ideals embodied by this festival and its namesake, the Reverend John Brown, form a fundamental part of our collective Canadian heritage."

"It is my pleasure and honour to announce today our Government's funding for this festival," said Mr. Van Kesteren. "The unique history of Chatham–Kent as a cornerstone of black Canadian heritage and the themes of equality, tolerance, and perseverance that the festival celebrates are prime examples of the rich cultural heritage on which this country was founded and that we continue to espouse today."

"The Chatham–Kent Black Historical Society would like to thank the Government of Canada for this much-appreciated funding," said Tina A. Davis, Acting Director of the Chatham–Kent Black Historical Society. "This money will be used to help support our annual John Brown Festival, promoting the education of this historical figure in our community for residents and visitors alike."

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $5,600 through the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage ( program of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program provides Canadians with more opportunities to take part in activities that present local arts and culture and celebrate local history and heritage.

This news release is available on the Internet at under Media Room.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Matthew Deacon - Press Secretary
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations