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January 25, 2002
Celebrate Black History Month with Toronto's historic museums
Toronto Culture -- The City of Toronto's Culture Division is proud to present a
unique roster of events and exhibits taking place at the City's historic
museums throughout Black History Month.

Spadina Historic House and Gardens presents
Forum: Heart to Heart (audience participation invited)
Friday, February 8, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
It's all about love! Radio personality Denise Burnett and author/poet Mel White
will co-host a lively interactive session exploring black love and romance in
the new millennium. Admission price: $5 includes refreshments

Meet Mrs. Pipkin: a first-person performance
Sundays, February 10, 17 and 24, and March 3
Visitors to Spadina will enjoy a special animated component to their tour of
the mansion. Theatre professional Dawn Roach will bring to life Mrs. Pipkin,
the laundress of African descent who worked at Spadina in the 1860s. Ms. Roach
will perform a short piece for visitors and interact with them in character.
Tours begin at 1:15 p.m. Included with museum admission.

My Favourite Story: a family event
Saturday, February 16, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Local celebrities including "dubzz/poet/at/large" Clifton Joseph, hip hop
artist Motion, storyteller Sandra Whiting, Hamlin Grange, President of the
Canadian Association of Black Journalists, and Lisa Richardson of the Samba
Squad, among others, tell or read their favourite children's stories ranging
from traditional folktales to not-so-familiar urban stories. Included with
museum admission.

Through My Eyes, Through My Spirit: an art exhibit
Saturday, February 16 to Sunday, March 17
Weekends from noon to 5 p.m.
This exhibit features the art work of Natalie Wood, Sandra Brewster and
Jacqueline Ward, three contemporary women artists exploring themes related to
history, race and spirituality. Included with museum admission.

Spadina Historic House and Gardens are at 285 Spadina Rd., a few blocks south
of St. Clair Ave. W., next door to Casa Loma.
Adults $5, seniors and students $3.25, children $3
Hours: Saturdays and Sundays: Noon to 5 p.m. 416-392-6910

Todmorden Mills Heritage Museum and Arts Centre presentsLecture: A
Glimpse of Black Life in Victorian Toronto, 1850-1860
Sunday, February 24 at 2 p.m.
In this slide-illustrated lecture, guest curator Afua Cooper describes a
dynamic decade in the history of Toronto's black citizens, drawing from her
exhibit showing at Mackenzie House
from February 23 to July 28. Tickets are $5.

Todmorden Mills Heritage Museum and Arts Centre is located off Pottery Road
(between Broadview Avenue and Bayview extension). Free parking.

Museum Exhibits

Historic Fort York presents
Exhibit: The Black Contribution to the Defence of Upper Canada
Opens Friday, February 1 and runs until Sunday, March 17
People of African origin have been part of North American history since the
early 1600s. In celebration of Black History Month, Fort York has developed
this exhibit, which depicts
the contributions made by this group in the military defence of Upper Canada
(now Ontario), from the late 1700s to the Rebellion of 1837. Included with
regular admission.

Historic Fort York is at the end of Garrison Road, off Fleet Street between
Bathurst Street and Strachan Avenue.
Hours: Monday to Friday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5
Adults $5, seniors and students $3.25, children $3

Mackenzie House presents
Exhibit: A Glimpse of Black Life in Victorian Toronto, 1850-1860
Opens Saturday, February 23 and runs until July 28

Between 1850 and 1860, Toronto's growing population included a substantial
number of black citizens, some of whom were freeborn, and others who had
escaped slavery. With their marketable skills, they quickly became respected,
successful members of the city's civic, business and cultural communities.

This new exhibit brings to life a dynamic decade in the history of Toronto's
black citizens and offers a glimpse of the fascinating story of their
participation in the city's development. Curated by Afua Cooper, Ph.D.

Mackenzie House is at 82 Bond Street, east of Yonge Street and just south of
Dundas Street.
Hours: Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.
Adults$3.50, seniors and students $2.75, children $2.50

York Museum presents
Display: Produced by Slaves: Everyday Purchases in Canada West
Monday, February 4 to Friday, April 19
with special openings on Saturday, February 9 and Saturday, March 9 from 1 to 3

Many items imported into pre-Confederation Canada were produced by slaves.
Household goods such as cotton, sugar and tobacco were some of the products of
slave labour that found their way into Toronto area homes. This intimate
display showcases these products and discusses the moral implications of such

Some individuals tried to find alternatives to these products. In the 1820s,
Bishop Stewart of Quebec, for instance, believed that buying cane sugar from
the West Indies supported slavery, so he encouraged the use of maple sugar
instead. In the 1850s, black abolitionist Henry Bibb believed that boycotting
all products of slave labour would undermine the economics of slavery in the
American south and bring about its downfall.

York Museum is in the York Centennial Building, 2694 Eglinton Ave., just west
of Keele Street.
TTC accessible, free parking. Hours: Monday to Friday: 1 to 3 p.m., other
times by appointment
Free admission.

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