Speakers' Forum with Lawrence Hill
Aug
4
6:30 pm18:30

Speakers' Forum with Lawrence Hill

  • Roxy Theatre

Spend an evening with the internationally renowned author of the Book of Negroes, Any Known Blood and his latest work The Illegal. Lawrence will discuss his research, his writing and his personal interpretation of world social events.

Admission $30 through The Roxy Box Office

Doors Open at 6:30pm for book signing. Books will also be available for purchase.

Musical Entertainment by Bobby Dean Blackburn & Friends

Ancestors' Breakfast
Aug
5
9:30 am09:30

Ancestors' Breakfast

  • Harrison Park

Join us for the annual Ancestors' Breakfast as the Courtney family of Owen Sound serves up warm delicious pancakes for you to enjoy as you spend time catching up with local and visiting family and friends.

The Ancestors Breakfast is the perfect way to kick off your Emancipation Picnic Day.

155th Annual Emancipation Festival Picnic
Aug
5
1:00 pm13:00

155th Annual Emancipation Festival Picnic

  • Harrison Park

Join us in celebrating the journey of our ancestors within the Underground Railroad’s most northerly safe haven.  Bring your family and friends for a weekend of music, art, storyboards, crafts, children’s’ games, speakers, literature & other activities.

Individuals interested in … history, family, culture and community have been congregating every August 1st weekend since 1862 in Owen Sound, “the most northerly retreat of the Underground Railroad journey in Canada”.  Descendants of blacks, who came via the Underground Railroad to settle in freedom, gather to reminisce and enjoy a time of fellowship. 

  • Cultural Displays
  • Vendors
  • Gospel Workshop
  • Children's Activities
  • Live Music

Black History Event
Apr
8
9:00 am09:00

Black History Event

  • Grey Roots Museum & Archive

On April 8th our annual Black History Event will take place at Grey Roots Museum & Archives. Steve Harris will be one of our presenters and will share his journey as he traced his family roots, discovered new relatives and became part of the "North is Freedom" exhibit which debuted at the Canadian embassy in Washington last fall.

Admission $25.00 in advance online or at the door.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided throughout the day.

The Old Durham Road Pioneer Cemetery
Aug
17
1:30 pm13:30

The Old Durham Road Pioneer Cemetery

The Grey County Historical Society Presents: The Old Durham Road Pioneer Cemetery

This historic Black settlement burial ground dates to the mid-1800s. It served the local community until the 1880s. By the 1930s the site had reverted to a farmers’ field and the gravestones were either ploughed under or removed. Four headstones were found in a rock pile north of the site in 1990 before it was dedicated once again as a cemetery by then Lt. Gov. Lincoln Alexander. In 2015, a memorial pavilion was built on the site to house the stones and commemorate early Black pioneer families. Maintained by a volunteer committee, the site serves to honour early settlers and commemorate their contributions to the opening up of the Queen’s Bush. Come out and learn more about this local historic site.

*** Presenters will be Naomi Norquay from York University and Nancy Matthews from the Grey Highlands Heritage Centre. Please bring a lawn chair.

Wednesday August 17th, 2016 at 1:30pm

Location: Turn West onto County Road 4 at the lights in Flesherton (turn right if coming from the north); turn left onto Grey Road 14 and turn left onto Durham Road B. Destination will be on the left.

Jul
30
12:30 pm12:30

154th Annual Emancipation Festival Picnic

  • Harrison Park

Join us in celebrating the journey of our ancestors within the Underground Railroad’s most northerly safe haven.  Bring your family and friends for a weekend of music, art, storyboards, crafts, children’s’ games, speakers, literature & other activities.

Individuals interested in … history, family, culture and community have been congregating every August 1st weekend since 1862 in Owen Sound, “the most northerly retreat of the Underground Railroad journey in Canada”.  Descendants of blacks, who came via the Underground Railroad to settle in freedom, gather to reminisce and enjoy a time of fellowship. 

  • Cultural Displays
  • Vendors
  • Gospel Workshop
  • Children's Activities
  • Live Music

CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE

Jul
30
11:00 am11:00

Cairn Ceremony

  • Harrison Park - Black History Cairn

Owen Sound Town Crier Bruce Kruger will pass through Harrison Park and put out the call for us all to gather together at the Cairn for a special tribute and reading to celebrate the history of Emancipation Day.

This is an important moment at our festival each year when we take the time to reflect on what has all brought us together on this day.

CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE

Jul
30
9:30 am09:30

Ancestors' Breakfast

  • Harrison Park - Picnic Pavillion

Join us for the annual Ancestors Breakfast as the Courtney family of Owen Sound serves up warm delicious pancakes for you to enjoy as you spend time catching up with local and visiting family and friends.

The Ancestors Breakfast is the perfect way to kick off your Emancipation Picnic Day.

CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE

Jul
29
6:00 pm18:00

Speakers' Forum

  • Grey Roots Museum & Archives

Join us for the annual Emancipation Festival Speakers Forum. The evening commences with a social hour featuring a Coffin Ridge wine bar and the opening of the Archie  Alleyne photo exhibit which feature many of Canada's jazz and blues musicians, announcers and booking agents. Our own Tommy Earlls, Val Abbott, Bobby Dean Blackburn and Billie Blackburn are included. The exhibit has been provided by the Archie Alleyne Scholarship Fund. Archie was a jazz drummer who's resume includes teaming with many of the greats.

Our first presenter of the evening is Cyrus Sundar-Singh who will combine his many talents as a writer, musician and videographer to present " Africville in Black & White" a story which includes his personal insights as he was introduced to and researched this sad event in Nova Scotia's history.

This is our 2nd year to offer our " Les Mackinnon Memorial Presentation " . This year Barry Penhale will fill this role as he shares his life's experiences as a friend and fan of many of Canada's noted jazz and blues greats. Over the years Barry's work for CBC and as a book editor has overlapped with his love of the Canadian music scene to provide a vast library of stories and memories. This presentation featuring recorded music, pictures and spoken word will  be a perfect fit with the Archie Alleyne exhibit.

Admission $20 in advance online or at the door.

CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE

Black Roots in Grey Exhibit
May
21
May 21

Black Roots in Grey Exhibit

  • Grey Roots Museum & Archives

“A story of strength, perseverance and endurance.”

Black Roots in Grey is the next chapter in the history of Grey County’s Black community. With the arrival of the earliest settlers such as John “Daddy” Hall, Richard Ringo, and others, Black people have worked hard to make a place for themselves where they could live and raise their children in freedom and peace.

 

Black Roots tells the stories surrounding the earliest Black settlements. It looks at the history surrounding the Old Durham Road near Priceville, including the heartbreaking stories surrounding the prejudicial desecration of Black graves in that area. Black Roots talks about the steady progress made by Black community members to gain a foothold in their communities despite prejudice and discrimination.  

 

Black Roots celebrates the successes of many Black community members as they gained acceptance and prospered. It honours such local Black figures as former Owen Sound Mayor and Ontario MP Ovid Jackson, musician entertainer Tommy Earlls, and others. It also outlines the early beginnings of the Emancipation Picnic and follows its growth and evolution into the three day weekend celebration many of us know as the Emancipation Festival.

 

Black Roots in Grey is an eye-opening and important exhibit which adds another chapter to our Grey County history.