On March 24, 2021, Canada’s House of Commons voted unanimously to officially designate August 1 Emancipation Day. It marks the actual day in 1834 that the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 came into effect across the British Empire.
Canadians are not always aware that Black and Indigenous Peoples were once enslaved on the land that is now Canada. Those who fought enslavement were pivotal in shaping our society to be as diverse as it is today.
Therefore, each August 1, Canadians are invited to reflect, educate and engage in the ongoing fight against both anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism and discrimination.
Emancipation Day celebrates the strength and perseverance of Black communities in Canada.
Creative Sector Events and Resources:
FreeUp! Emancipation Day 2023 on CBC and CBC Gem
BIPOC BC: A playlist of powerful Black and Indigenous artists and bands based out of British Columbia, Canada
Upcoming: African Decent Festival, August 11-13, 2023
Upcoming: The Function, Victoria’s first BIPOC Music and Art festival, August 19, 2023
Learn more from the BC Black History Awareness Society