Upper Canada Village Unveils New Permanent Black History Exhibit

Honouring and sharing stories of Black history in 1860s Upper Canada.

Morrisburg, ON – Upper Canada Village is officially opening a new permanent exhibit that focuses on local Black history of what was then Upper Canada in the 1860s. The exhibit shares the context of the area’s Black population and tells the personal stories of some of the prominent Black figures who helped shape the Upper Canada region. It is a celebration of Black History, Black Heritage, and Black Achievement. Admission to the Black History Exhibit is included in Upper Canada Village’s general admission daily programming ticket.

Exhibit Grand Opening Details:
What: Official launch of Upper Canada Village’s New Permanent Black History Exhibit
Where: Crysler Hall, Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, Ontario
Date: May 25, 2024
Time: 1:30 p.m.

The new Black history programming was developed through extensive research and with input from a Black history program development coordinator at the Village, and through community consultation with local Black communities. Consultation involved reaching out directly to guests who previously submitted feedback about the underrepresentation of black history at the Village. Many of them became community advisors, helping to shape the exhibit and share the stories with authenticity, sensitivity and pride. Some of these advisors will be present at the grand opening.

The exhibit aims to tell diverse stories of local Black Canadians throughout Upper Canada’s history, using artefacts, archival documents, individual and family stories, excerpts from oral histories, newspaper accounts and photographs to illustrate their contributions. The exhibit features select objects to elevate stories that speak to Black liberation and social equality, such as a period barber chair, representing entrepreneurial success and community contribution.

Black history is an essential component of Canadian heritage, and this exhibit serves as a foundational building block for broader, long-term conversations about the rich tapestry of Black history, an integral part of Canadian history.

Opening this exhibit marks a milestone along an important journey, where small steps can lead to significant change in how history is understood and celebrated.

About Upper Canada Village
Depicting life in a rural English Canadian setting during the year 1866, Upper Canada Village is one of the largest living-history museums in Canada. It was founded in 1961 and features more than 40 historic buildings, many of which were moved to the Village from the “Lost Villages” to preserve them prior to the flooding for the St. Lawrence Seaway development project. Talented historical interpreters bring these buildings to life every day, recreating traditional trades, farming, music and 19th century social life – creating an immersive guest experience that makes every visit to the Village different from the last.

Media Contact

Amanda Liebeck
Communications and Media Relations
St. Lawrence Parks Commission

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