Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

April 17, 2009 15:00 ET

The Government of Canada Supports Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society

CHATHAM, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 17, 2009) - On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, Dave Van Kesteren, Member of Parliament (Chatham-Kent-Essex), today announced funding for the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society to support the John Brown Festival.

The Chatham-Kent community will have the opportunity to learn about the region's black history as part of this weekend-long festival, which is taking place May 1 and 2, 2009. The John Brown Festival is devoted to educating residents about Chatham's early black pioneers and refugees. Local artists will present activities such as photography displays, historical speeches, and a historical walking tour.

"The John Brown Festival pays tribute to the heritage and legacy of black pioneers, such as the Festival's namesake, the Reverend John Brown," said Minister Moore. "Our Government is proud to partner with communities to support activities that celebrate their local history, arts, and heritage."

"I am honoured to deliver this funding, on behalf of the Government of Canada," said Mr. Van Kesteren. "These funds will support the activities surrounding the John Brown Festival and the Black Historical Society's valuable work in preserving the cultural heritage of Chatham-Kent-Essex."

"We are extremely pleased to receive funding from the Government of Canada for our John Brown Festival, which will allow us to highlight our proud past and enlighten our community about our contributions," said Gwen Robinson, Historian with the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society. "This funding will help us celebrate the opening of our British Methodist Episcopal Church Freedom Park, as well as the unveiling of the bronze bust of Mary Ann Shadd Cary, sculpted by world-renowned artist Artis Lane."

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $10,500 through the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program. This program of the Department of Canadian Heritage helps give Canadians new opportunities to take part in activities that present local arts and culture and celebrate local history and heritage. This program will benefit many community events and historic anniversaries in Canada this year.

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

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Deirdra McCracken - Director of Communications
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations