Today, the City of Toronto announced month-long programming at three Toronto History Museums to honour Black History Month in the city. Through its museums, the City will deliver a free event series in February that will honour Black Freedom through music, culture and storytelling that will uplift and warm the soul of those who experiences it. Programming will be hosted at Spadina Museum (285 Spadina Rd.), Mackenzie House (82 Bond St.) and Todmorden Mills (67 Pottery Rd.).
The month-long programming series includes:
Dis/Mantle – extended through to May 28 at Spadina Museum
As part of the Awakenings program, Dis/Mantle is the immersive reimagining of Spadina Museum using an Afrofuturism narrative inspired by Black abolitionists: Mrs. Pipkin, the formerly enslaved freedom seeker who worked as a laundress in the house, is now the homeowner and the house is a safe haven for those seeking freedom through the Underground Railroad.
The multi-disciplinary exhibition with lead artist Gordon Shadrach, and artists Christine Nawuchi, Sharon Norwood, Jabari “Elicser” Elliott, Moraa Stump and more, includes portraits featuring prominent Black Canadians in culture, including Tanisha Scott, Julien Christian Lutz pka Director X and Toronto Raptors players. The exhibit is open during regular museum hours (Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) until May 28 at Spadina Museum.
Dis/Mantle: Meet the Artists – February 4 at Spadina Museum
Artist Gordon Shadrach, Christine Nnawuchi and Moraa Stump discuss their contributions to Dis/mantle on February 4, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Spadina Museum.
Musical Performance by LOKRE – February 11 at Spadina Museum
Singer and songwriter LOKRE presents a journey of generations with reflections on family, legacy and celebrating culture through live music in Spadina Museum’s historic Palm Room on February 11 from 7 to 9 p.m. Free tickets can be registered for on the Toronto History Museums webpage.
Musical Performance by akaMatisse – February 25 at Todmorden Mills
Set in the Papermill Theatre, producer, composer and instrumentalist akaMatisse presents his interpretation of iconic pieces of music representing Black culture from the powerful mediums of film, reflecting on the hero’s journey and that of his own. The performance occurs at Todmorden Mills on February 25 from 7 to 9 p.m. Free tickets are available on the Toronto History Museums webpage.
Mary Ann Shadd Cary: Breaking the Editorial Ice – Mackenzie House
In 2023, Toronto History Museums will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Mary Ann Shadd Cary, the first Black woman to publish a newspaper in North America. In 1854, Mary Ann published The Provincial Freeman from King Street in Toronto. Visitors can go to the Mackenzie House print shop to print a customized copy of Mary Ann’s newspaper and a bookmark featuring one of her most famous quotes. This program will run Wednesday to Sunday throughout February at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. Free tickets are available on the Toronto History Museums webpage.
Identity Quilt Making – Spadina Museum – throughout February
This audience-led programming will create an Identity Quilt to accompany the Awakenings-related exhibition Dis/mantle at Spadina Museum. The Identity Quilt program supports the contributions of written reflections to the Dis/Mantle exhibition. This program is available by drop-in during regular Museum hours.
Awakenings Reflections: Dis/Mantle
Toronto History Museums presents a new four-part video series, Dis/Mantle Reflections, that takes viewers behind the scenes and in conversation with Dis/Mantle lead artist Gordon Shadrach to learn more about the artistic process and reimagined Spadina Museum.
Black History Month YouTube playlist
Torontonians are invited to explore virtual content through the Black History Month YouTube playlist, featuring videos created by Black artists for Toronto History Museums.
The City of Toronto is grateful to community partner Toronto Raptors and media partner 106.5 ELMNT FM for supporting the Awakenings program for Black History Month.
More information about the City’s Black History Month programming at Toronto History Museums on the City’s website.
The City is proud to celebrate Black History Month by producing and supporting numerous events and activities across the city and is safely offering in-person events after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More information on the City’s Black History Month events is available on the City’s website.
Toronto History Museums are a group of 10 museums owned and operated by the City of Toronto that bring Toronto’s history to life for residents and visitors. They include Colborne Lodge, Fort York National Historic Site, Gibson House Museum, Mackenzie House, Market Gallery, Montgomery’s Inn, Scarborough Museum, Spadina Museum, Todmorden Mills and Zion Schoolhouse. More information is available on the Toronto History Museums webpage, or follow Toronto History Museums on Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook and YouTube.
More information about the City’s Toronto History Museums Black History Month programming is available on the Toronto History Museums webpage.
The City is proud to celebrate Black History Month by producing and supporting numerous events and activities across the city and is glad to be able to safely offer in-person events again after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More information on the City’s Black History Month events can be found on the Black History Month webpage.
Toronto History Museums are a group of 10 museums owned and operated by the City of Toronto that bring Toronto’s history to life for residents and visitors. They include Colborne Lodge, Fort York National Historic Site, Gibson House Museum, Mackenzie House, Market Gallery, Montgomery’s Inn, Scarborough Museum, Spadina Museum, Todmorden Mills and Zion Schoolhouse. More information is available on the Toronto History Museums webpage, or follow Toronto History Museums on Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook and on YouTube.
Entry to all 10 Toronto History Museums is now permanently free for everyone. More information is available on the Plan Your Museum Visit webpage.
“I invite all Torontonians to participate in programming running at Spadina Museum, Mackenzie House and Todmorden Mills throughout February for Black History Month. These programs will enable residents to explore and celebrate the heritage, traditions and culture of Black Canadians that have helped build our city and country and celebrate the invaluable contributions they continue to make to Toronto.”
– Mayor John Tory
“I encourage all residents to join me in participating in Black History Month and reflecting on the contributions, past and present, that Black Canadians make to our city. Thank you to Toronto History Museums for curating an impactful selection of music, culture, and storytelling programming to help celebrate this important time.”
– Councillor Shelley Carroll (Don Valley North), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee
“Toronto History Museums are offering a wide-range of excellent programming throughout February in honour of Black History Month. This is an opportunity for Toronto residents to recognize and celebrate the contributions that Black Canadians have made in our city — past, present and for the future.”
– Councillor Ausma Malik (Spadina-Fort York)
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.