Chatham-Kent Events Celebrating Black History Month
February is Black History month and it is only fitting, since Chatham-Kent is steeped in Black history, that there are several local events to celebrate.
First, it is important to note that Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site in Dresden received the Harriet Tubman Award, Commitment to a purpose by the Ontario Black History Society. The award recognizes dedication to Black History preservation, programming and historical site stewardship. The society elevates the stories of African Canadians and how their lives help us to understand and appreciate their race, identity and their fight for freedom and how precious our individual freedom and that of our country is. to all of us. A plaque was presented to Beth Hanna, CEO of the Ontario Heritage Trust which owns and operates Uncle Tom's Cabin Site. The site commemorates Reverend Josiah Hensen, his tireless efforts as a abolitionist and his many contributions to The Underground Railroad and the lives of the many slaves who fled to this area fighting for their freedom.The site is an excellent source of history and one that would be a great stop to add to your adventures.
In addition to Rev. Hensen's original home,there is an Interpretive Centre, a visitors Centre and Museum with 19th century books and artifacts related to abolition and Hensen's Life. There are also educational films to view.The Underground Railway Freedom gallery features the geographic journey and history of enslaved people in the United States, from their path from Africa through slavery in the United States, and on to freedom in British North America. The gallery also exhibits the life and times of Josiah Hensen. The outbuilding include a sawmill, a smokehouse and even an 1850 pioneer church complete with Rev. Hensen's original pulpit.
The surrounding area was originally part of the 300 acres Dawn settlement where many fugitive slaves found freedom and free blacks settled. It was the largest of its kind in the 1800's. The freed slaves and their brothers made and changed history, helping to build our city and towns. Without their contributions Chatham-Kent would not be the community it is today.
Chatham-Kent Tourism hosted travel writer Heather Greenwood Davis in the fall of 2018. She wrote an article as well as an on-line tribute to Uncle Tom's Cabin which was recently released.
Uncle Tom's Cabin, Buxton National Historic Site and Museum and the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society & Black Mecca Museum are also featured in the January/February edition of Canadian Geographic.
Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site is holding a workshop on February 15 to encourage the teaching of Black History. The workshop reaches out to educators and parents to encourage them to incorporate the history of African Enslavement into Canada in their grade 3 to grade 10 History curriculum. The site is also hosting "A Chatham-Kent Tapestry: A Visual History to 1950 by Jim and Lisa Gilbert" February 18.
The Thames Art Gallery is featuring a new exhibit through March 10 by Allyson Mitchell and Madelyn Beckles which focuses on Black Feminism. The Gallery will screen a National Film Board movie called, Sisters in the Struggle at the Kiwanis Theatre on February 15. On Family Day Feb 18 the Gallery will host a poster-making workshop from 11 A.M. to 4 P.M. in Studio One. The participants will take creative action by visual interpretation of an issue they feel is important to them.
Bring the family to some of these great events and celebrate Black History month and Chatham-Kent`s past.
Chatham-Kent is the Affordable Lifestyle Location with many amenities to enjoy. It is the perfect place to live, work, raise a family, retire or visit. Call me Wayne Liddy 519-436-4810 Royal LePage Peifer Realty Inc. Brokerage for all your Real Estate needs. My Motto for Chatham-Kent is " IT IS ALL HERE ALL YEAR! "
If you or your family have never attended any of the Chatham-Kent Events or Site Tours that take place each year in February to celebrate Black History Month you have missed out. Ontario first proclaimed February as Black History Month in 1993 to mark the 200th anniversary of a law banning the importation of slaves into Upper Canada. Since that time, although it has not hadofficial status, people across the province have continued to celebrate the uniqueness, and continuing contributions given by the Black Community. In 2016, the Government officially made a proclamation to recognize February as Black History Month and subsequently introducing legislation to make it an annual event.
In 2016 a well known area couple who have spent their lives involved in promoting Black History in Chatham-Kent. Bryan and Shannon Prince, curators of the Buxton National Historic Site and Museum were presented with the Harriett Tubman Commitment with a Purpose Award by the Ontario Black History Society.
Harriet Tubman was an African American abolitionist during the 1800`s She was born into slavery, one of 9 siblings who were separated and sold to other slave owners. She escaped with her two brothers but was forced to return into slavery when they did. Shortly after, she escaped alone with the help of the Underground Railway and made her way to Philadelphia. She returned many times to Maryland and is responsible for leading 300 others including some relatives to Freedom. She served as a cook, a nurse and a spy for the Union Army during the American Civil War and was the first woman to lead an armed expedition of hundreds of slaves during the Combahee River Raid. Tubman will appear on the $20 US banknote in 2020.
There will also be several events taking place in our Community to celebrate this event. Watch for announcements.Visit the Museum or some of our Great Historical sites. Chatham-Kent is steeped in Black History with its connection to the Underground Railway, Uncle Tom's Cabin
and North Buxton, one of the largest Black Settlements of the 1800's. Chatham-Kent Museums contains a wealth of material and displays and are a wonderful way to revisit the past and remember all that so many gave personally to help others at such a terrible time in our history. Investigate Chatham-Kent's extensive Black History. Take your children and educate them on Chatham-Kent`s Contributions to this dark time in History.
Festival of Nations, a Welcome Addition to Canada Day Celebrations in Chatham-Kent
For many of us The Festival of Nations held at Tecumseh Park and the Armories holds fond memories. As you will recall, it was a very successful event taking place over several days and showcasing different communities, their special foods, culture and entertainment. It was always a real highlight for our family. We were boaters in those days and we used to bring the boat up to the city docks and enjoy the festivities. Each day we would wander the park and try various food delights. Former Mayor Bill Erickson chaired the event for many years and was the driving force behind its great success.There were dance troupes in their traditional costumes and the weekend always ended with great entertainment at the band shell. It was well attended and a great place to meet friends you had not seen for a while and meet new ones.
Unfortunately after Mayor Erickson passed the event was cancelled and has been absent since1998. Tracy Callaghan and Dava Robichaud will co-host the 2019 event this year in conjunctionwith the Canada Day Celebrations. The two are excited and looking forward to bringing back this successful event where we can all celebrate different cultures and traditions. Canada Day is the perfect time to highlight those cultures that have made Canada what it is and stands for today!
The chairs will be asking for volunteers to help, so lend a hand if you can. Chatham-Kent is the ideal locations to live, work, raise a family, retire or visit. My Motto for Chatham-Kent is 'IT IS ALL HERE ALL YEAR!' Call me Wayne Liddy 519-436-4810 Royal LePage Pefier Realty Inc. Brokerage for all your Real Estate needs.
If you or a loved one are experiencing signs of dementia or other symptoms be sure to consult a professional. Alzheimer is the leading cause of dementia and is not a disease of only elderly patients. It worsens with age and help is available. The Alzheimer society has developed 10 warning signs. Be aware and do not fight Alzheimer alone. Help is available. Find your local chapter.
We here in Chatham-Kent are so fortunate to have the Chatham Goodfellows in our midst and to reap the benefits of their many long hours of volunteer work in our community. Their 64th Annual Porchlight Campaign 'No Child Without a Christmas' was another huge success. Thanks to the many individuals who gave selfishly of their time to go our and ring doorbells together and those who collected on the streets at the Annual Campaign, the organization raised more than $75,000 in cash along with numerous donations of toys. This yearly event is responsible for putting smiles on many children's faces on Christmas morning, children that otherwise might not have had a Christmas at all. I believe most of us agree that Christmas has become too commercialized and that many children are very blest with an abundance of gifts on Christmas morning. However, it is important to remember there are still those in our midst much less fortunate, some of them having nothing to give their children or even a Christmas Turkey Dinner for themselves and their families. The Chatham Goodfellows with hundreds of caring individuals came out to pack 1400 food baskets and distribute them that same day. The baskets contained a turkey, fruits, vegetables and canned goods, all the fixings for a great Christmas Dinner. 600 toy packages were delivered on Christmas Eve. What a special yearly program that continues to take place each year in our Municipality
The Williston Family from Chatham are very involved. It is a family affair for them. For the last 50 years Scott Williston has been involved in the food packing operation, having been taught by his father Phil. who led the project for years. Scott took over in 2002 and is now getting ready to pass the reigns to his daughter, Jessica Osbourne. The event has been a Labor of Love for the Williston family. It is a real family affair and the very young and the older family members pitch in. Jessica remembers bringing her two children, now 19 and 16, well versed in the packing process today, to packing night in their playpens. What a great testimony to the kind of giving people who live in Chatham-Kent.
The Goodfellows have stepped in to help for many years as have other great Organizations like the Salvation Army with their Red Kettle Campaign and many others. I hope you were able to give generously. Volunteers also provided Christmas Dinner at the Spirit and Life Centre on Wellington St. for those alone or in need, even providing rides for those who could not get there on their own.
As I have written about in the past, Chatham-Kent is a very caring community and one my wife and I are very proud to be a part of. All the best in 2019 and may your enjoy a happy prosperous future.
The Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour in Chatham-Kent Dec 15-16/2018
If you are a NHL fan or just looking for a fun family weekend, the upcoming Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour event in Chatham-Kent is the place to be. Our own municipality has been chosen as one of the 24 community stops this year to celebrate local hockey stories and the game's great stars. The event planners have been collecting local stories regarding hockey,individuals and interesting facts and other unique qualities special to Chatham-Kent. Sportsnet hosts Ron MacLean and Tara Slone will be here all weekend and there will be a live outdoor broadcast of the Tampa Bay Lightning at Winnipeg Jets game from the Sportsnet Mobile Studio on Sunday Night.
The 2 day festival features free family fun with activities, live local entertainment, giveaways and NHL Alumni.The event will take place on Wellington St. between Third and Fourth St. in Downtown Chatham. Watch for street closing during the event. It is the ultimate free fun hockey themed weekend for all ages. The festival hours are from noon to 6 P.M. on Saturday the 15th and noon to 6 P.M. on Sunday the 16th. The Parade of Champions and NHL pre-game show will begin at 6 P.M. Sunday. For more info and a schedule of events visit the website.
Some NHLers will be on hand to sign autographs and there will be a Sportsnet Virtual Photo Booth giving fans an opportunity to take virtual photos with their favorite NHL stars and have them emailed directly to their devices for social sharing.There will be interactive games,and even a Scotiabank Community Hockey Rink to engage hockey fans, interact with NHL alumni Shayne Corson and play hockey. Scotiabank will donate $15,000 to the Minor Hockey Association in our community.These are just a few of the great things happening this weekend so plan to attend this special festival and enjoy all the hockey stories and related events.
Tim Hortons will give out free coffee and hot chocolate from their mobile unit and Dr. Oetker Guiseppe Pizzeria will be handing out pieces of their great pizza.
Hope to see you there. And people say there is nothing to do in Chatham-Kent. Come out and join the fun!
Christmas Has Arrived in Chatham-Kent: Lot of Holiday Entertainment
I know it seems early but Christmas will be here before we know it. The Santa Claus parade was a couple of weeks ago and the season is officially here. If you do not have any Christmas Spirit yet, be sure to attend one or all of the great Holiday Events taking place in Chatham-Kent in the upcoming weeks.
This Saturday December 1 at 8 P.M. at the Capitol is 'All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914.' Hear the true story of that special evening during WW1 when the Allied and German Troops laid down their arms to celebrate Christmas as brothers side by side. The stunning theatrical performances and the sounds of Traditional Christmas Carols, Patriotic Ballads and Trench Songs will stir your emotions and touch your hearts. Performed by the Canton Vocal Ensemble and the Theatre Latte' this is a performance you do not want to miss!
Next Tuesday, December 4 until Saturday December 8 at the Chatham Armory is the yearly `Christmas in Muskoka`
Read my article on this great event, the schedule of events and all the good the proceeds do for the Grade 7 students of UCC. There will be 35 designer decorated Christmas Trees raffled off. Be sure to attend, enjoy viewing all the trees and purchase some tickets for this worthy cause. You may be a lucky winner who gets to take home a finished tree and your Christmas decorating will be done! That is my way to decorating If you have not attended make plans to do so this year. This has turned into a great Annual Chatham-Kent Holiday Event. Some of the schools bring the children over in the daytime and there is a whole schedule of events taking place. Who knows, you may even win a Designer Christmas Tree all decorated and you won't have to get those tired decorations out of storage this year.
Saturday December 8 at 7 P.M. at St. Andrew's United Church in Chatham is a Benefit Concertfor our very own Chatham-Kent Hospice. It is 'Sing We Now of Christmas' and promises to be a great evening of musical talents.
Saturday Dec 15 at 2 P.M. and 7 P.M. the St. Andrew's Chancel Choir will hold their annual Christmas Concert " Rejoice " at 2 P.M. and 7 P.M. This is part of their wonderful 'Saturday at 7' Series and a real favorite with audiences. My wife and I would not miss it! Enjoy some of the most beloved Christmas Music from around the world performed by this talented choir and some familiar guests.
Saturday December 22 at the Capitol Theatre at 7:00, Pete Paquette with Rudy and the Angels Band will be featured in his Elvis Christmas Special. For tickets call 519-354-8338 or visit the websitePete is one of Canada’s top ranked Elvis Tribute Artists. He has also claimed numerous titles across Canada and the United States including 2-time Collingwood Elvis Festival Grand Champion, Toronto Elvis Festival Grand Champion, Best Performer at the Las Vegas Elvis Festival, and ranked one of top 10 Tribute Artists in the world, a title acquired at the 2009 Ultimate Elvis Competition organized by Elvis Presley Enterprises in Memphis, Tennessee!I know it will be a great show and Elvis did
There you have it! another example of the Diverse Entertainment and Events Chatham-Kent has to offer. We are the Affordable Lifestyle locations. It appeals to all ages, perfect to live, work, raise a family Call me, Wayne Liddy 519-436-4810 Royal LePage Peifer Realty Inc. Brokerage Chatham-Kent for all your Real Estate needs and visit my website for Chatham-Kent Events, Happenings and Choice Listings for sale in this great area.
To celebrate their 40th anniversary season, Theatre Kent is presenting a special night of Broadway Music featuring some of the great hits of musicals the group has performed in the past. The show will include songs from over 24 of the popular Musicals Theatre Kent has presented over the past 4 decades. The evening will highlight hits from The Sound of Music which the group presented twice, Annie, Cabaret, Chicago, Spamalot, Fiddler onthe Roof and Beauty and the Beast. It promises to be a great night of entertainment.
Some of the past members who performed in these Musicals are returning for this special evening. As part of their celebration, the theatre group is hosting a Theatre Kent Alumni Afterglow party following the Saturday evening performance. All former and current member are invited.
The group of 50 talented singers and dancers is being joined by members ofthe Chatham Concert Band. Musical Director is Devon Hansen who many of us know from the popular 'Saturday's at 7' series at St. Andrew's United Church in Chatham. Choreographers for the show are Jamie Johnston and Jenny Doyle.
The show is Friday November 16/18 and Saturday November 17/18 at 7:30 at the Historic Downtown Chatham Capitol Theatre on King St. There will also be a matinee performance on Saturday November 17 at 1:30. Tickets are available by calling 519-354-8338 or online at cktickets.com Don't miss this spectacular evening right here in our own municipality. Chatham-Kent is theAffordable Lifestyle Locationto live, work raise a family and visit. See you there!
The leaves have turned and are falling along with the temperature. Although I am a summer fan, I really do enjoy this season. We, here in Chatham-Kent, are very fortunate to live in an area that has a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. I hope you enjoyed all the locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables like strawberries, cherries, peaches, that delicious corn on the cob and asparagus this summer, just to mention a few of my favorites.
Fall always brings back the smell of apple crisp, or apple pie baking in the oven for me. My mother baked a mean apple pie! I remember when our children were young, they often had field trips out to the local orchards to witness the processing of the apples and the making of apple cider.
Delhaven Orchards Ltd. located on Talbot Trail just west of Blenheim produce many of these great local crops on their 400 acres. They grow 16 varieties of apples, 12 varieties of peaches, 6 varieties of sweet cherries (my personal favorite), 3 varieties of pears, 4 varieties of apricots and nectarines as well as 6 varieties of strawberries, a trial crop of kiwi, soybeans, tomatoes, corn and wheat. Talk about a full scale operation.
If you have not taken a ride out there to sample their products and get a supply for yourself, you are missing a real treat. This great plus in our Municipality is just another reason that my Motto for Chatham-Kent is `IT IS ALL HERE ALL YEAR`Call me, Wayne Liddy at 519-436-4810 Royal LePage Peifer Realty Inc. Brokerage for all your Real Estate needs and visit my website for Chatham-Kent events, happenings and choice properties for sale in this desirable area.