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February 7, 2006
Mayor Miller and the Marcus Garvey Centre launch Black History Month in Toronto
Mayor David Miller, last night, proclaimed February as Black History Month in Toronto by stating that, “Black History Month is a wonderful opportunity for Torontonians to recognize the significant contributions that African-Canadians have made to our city. Public knowledge of these contributions in the fields of education, medicine, art, culture, public service, economic development, politics and human rights are often overlooked in our history books, yet they have played a vital role in the creation of our common heritage. These gifts have made Toronto a city admired around world and we must continue to build the legacy of hope which they inspire.”

At the official ceremony at City Hall, Alicia Clarke of the Marcus Garvey Centre For Leadership presented Mayor Miller with a plaque in recognition of the City of Toronto’s support of the centre and its programs. The Garvey Centre provides resources, services, and opportunities to commercial enterprises, entrepreneurs and individuals within the African-Canadian community. The centre also thanked Parks, Forestry and Recreation for their efforts to strengthen the centre’s operation.

General Manager of Parks, Forestry and Recreation, Brenda Librecz noted that, “Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation has made a strong commitment to working with diverse communities. We are particularly proud of the work of our Access and Diversity unit and of our youth outreach workers - a new initiative where 31 outreach workers connect with this City’s diverse neighbourhoods on a daily basis. It is through the forging of these partnerships that together we can continue to build the city we all wish for today.”

Mayor Miller and Ms. Librecz presented the Garvey Centre with the seventh poster in the series, “Contributions of African Canadians,” developed by Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation. This year’s poster features African Canadians who have made significant contributions to the performance and development of jazz. Many of the musicians featured on the poster were in attendance. This year’s theme was chosen to coincide with the City of Toronto’s Live With Culture campaign, a 16-month celebration of arts and culture in Toronto.

Black History Month began in Toronto during the 1950s when the Toronto-based Canadian Negro Women's Association petitioned Toronto City Council for its celebration. In 1979, Black History was officially proclaimed by the City of Toronto through the efforts of community organizations such as the Ontario Black History Society.

In 2006, the City recognizes Black History Month with programming at various locations throughout Toronto. More information about Black History Month, this year’s poster and a schedule of events are available at

Media contact:

Parks, Forestry and Recreation Media Hotline



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