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Black History Month

Black History Month honours the contributions and achievements of Black Canadians and provides an opportunity to showcase the past, present and future of community culture and innovations. It is a time of education, reflection and celebration.

Mississauga is one of Canada’s most culturally diverse cities and to reflect on that diversity and vibrancy this webpage has been created to spotlight talented artists, authors, musicians and more, amplifying the local voices and stories.

Celebrating Black Excellence Event

In recognition of The International Decade for People of African Descent as proclaimed by the UN General Assembly, the City of Mississauga in partnership with the Black Caucus Alliance, recognizes the contributions of the nine recent winners of the Black Excellence Awards, which were publicly presented at Mississauga City Hall on February 23, 2024.

Congratulations to Mississauga’s 2024 Black Excellence Award recipients!

Award categories

Mississauga-based individuals can be nominated in one of the below five categories.

Arts and culture
This award recognizes nominees for their involvement in and/or promotion of developing arts and culture within the community. Ideal candidates should demonstrate a combination of the following:

      • commitment to and/or focus on community-engaged art and/or expressions of culture in Mississauga
      • experience in the area of art and/or culture for a minimum of three years
      • involvement in one significant arts and culture project in the last 12 months

Business
This award recognizes nominees for their contribution to the community through their business or entrepreneurialship. Ideal candidates must be currently engaged in business as an owner/entrepreneur and should demonstrate a combination of the following:

      • entrepreneurial spirit and success in owning and managing a business
      • significant contribution of new ideas, innovative practices, processes or inventions or created employment opportunities
      • commitment to fairness and equality.

Community service
This award recognizes nominees for their outstanding record of significant community involvement and service. Ideal candidates  should demonstrate the following:

      • strong commitment to enriching the lives of others
      • dedication to building relationships and collaborating meaningfully with the individuals and communities they serve

Education
This award recognizes nominees for their exemplary contributions to the well-being of students and/or community members. Nominees must have been actively involved in education at school, across the board, in extracurricular activities and in the community.

Health services
This award recognizes nominees for their involvement in the creation and/or promotion of methods that keep the physical health or mental wellbeing of Black communities. Ideal candidates must be employed or studying in the field of Health Sciences.

Hospitality and food services
This award recognizes nominees for the best in food, drink and/or hospitality in African-Caribbean products and/or services. Ideal candidates should demonstrate a combination of the following:

      • commitment to customer service and satisfaction, which are visible through positive reviews and feedback from peers and customers
      • leadership and management in hospitality
      • commitment to sustaianble and ethical practices in the hospitality industry
      • active involvement in their local community

Legacy: lifetime achievement
This is the highest community-based honour that recognizes a nominee for their continued commitment that uplifted the lives of others. Ideal candidates should have demonstrated a combination of the following:

      • significant contributions to the Black community for 15 years or more
      • actions that improved the quality of life for citizens
      • accomplishments that have brought recognition to the City of Mississauga

Sports
This award recognizes nominees for their model contribution to sports at the community or national level. Ideal candidates should be an athelete or sports official.

Youth
This award recognizes youth in the community for their actions that enrich the community. Ideal candidates must:

      • be between the ages of 15 and 24
      • act as role models for other young people
      • demonstrate all-around positive community involvement

Eligibility and nomination process

Nominees must:

  • live and/or work in Mississauga
  • identify as being Black
  • stand as a role model for others
  • inspire others to volunteer and civic engagement

 

How to nominate a candidate 

If you know someone deserving of an award, follow the instructions below:

  1. Review the award criteria and descriptions to determine the most appropriate category for the individual you’re nominating
  2. Email the following information to BlackExcellenceAwards@mississauga.ca:
    • Nominee’s full name
    • Nominee’s preferred pronouns
    • Category for the nomination (choose only one category)
    • A brief summary that explains the reason for the nomination
Review process

Nomination forms must be completed to be evaluated. Incomplete forms will not be evaluated.

Nominees who qualify will be invited to receive their award during an evening ceremony at Mississauga City Hall on Friday, February 23 at 7 p.m.

The Museums of Mississauga + Small Arms Inspection Building

Museum tours are available at two locations:

 
Bradley Museum – Black History in Ontario

Walk through the 1830’s Bradley House in a fully guided tour using artifacts, images, maps and interactive activities engaging visitors of all ages in Ontario’s Black History. At this tour, you’ll learn about the Black History of Ontario. You’ll also explore the Black experience in Upper Canada in the 19th Century and local connections to Enslavement and the Underground Railway.

Each tour is an hour long, and will run between 12 to 3 p.m. from Thursday to Sunday. Walk-ins are welcome, but reservations are recommend to guarantee a spot.

This tour provides information about experiences of enslavement, which may be difficult to hear.

Book a guided tour

 

Benares Historic House – Cedar Park & Cherry Hill: Mississauga’s Forgotten Black History

Walk through the WWI era Benares Historic House in a fully guided tour using artifacts, images, maps and interactive activities. This new tour explores the lives and experiences of Black families in the Peel region in the 19th Century. It encourages visitors to examine the gaps in our historical record and sharing of local history.

Each tour is an hour long, and will run between 12 to 3 p.m. from Thursday to Sunday. Walk-ins are welcome, but reservations are recommend to guarantee a spot.

Book a guided tour

Mississauga stories: Generation X Marks the Spot | February to December 

Curator Dayo Kefentse’s Generation X Marks the Spot will be on display at Bradley Museum starting February 1 to December. The exhibition features an audio documentary that looks back at the late 1980s and reveals how young activitists with the Black Action Defense Committee (BADC) sparked change after a shooting involving a Black teen (Michael Wade Lawson) in Mississauga. It also features an interview with Ingrid Pellew-Berkley, a former Deputy Chief with Peel Regional Police, about how Michael Wade Lawson’s shooting changed policing in the city.

The project was is funded through the Museums BIPOC Community Curator Program.

Plan your visit

Mississauga Library

Explore book displays, reading lists and exhibitions curated for Black History Month. The activities and resources are available throughout the entire month of February. 

Curated book displays and reading lists 

Visit your local library and check out book displays curated for Black History Month. You can also pick from a variety of book lists in our catalogues:

Hosting Unearth Uncover exhibition

This rented exhibition will be presented to support the continued advocacy for inclusion of Black hisory in the Ontario education curriculum.

Review the event details for more information.

African drumming and storytelling

February 3 and 10, 2024

In African culture, drumming and storytelling are part of the celebration of life, especially its cycles and seasons. Join us for an entertaining dance, hand drumming and interactive storytelling program. The event will be presented by Drums Etal and drums will be provided. 

Register for the event

Mississauga Library’s Author Talk series features a wide range of talented writers. Hear authors read from their books, ask questions, learn about the writing process and find out more about their storytelling craft.

Suzette Mayr

February 28, 2024

February Author Talks features Suzette Mayr, author of The Sleeping Car Porter. The story is about Baxter, a Black man in 1929 who works as a sleeping-car porter on a train that travels across the country.

Register for the event

Let’s Talk Black History Month

February 20 and 27, 2024

Join us to celebrate Black History Month. Read and discuss poems, short stories and novels, essays, lyrics and scenes from plays. Our book clubs are a great way to meet other readers and talk about books you might not have discovered yourself. Share your reading favourite with other book lovers and disucss what you have been reading.

Register for the event

Mississauga Celebration Square

Celebrate the past, present and future of Black music artists in Mississauga with Celebration Square’s annual Black Excellence in Sauga spotify playlist

Sports and Shows

Raptors 905 celebrates Black Heritage Month

Paramount Fine Foods Centre | February 3  | 2 p.m.

The Raptors 905 will celebrate Black history at its home game on February 3. Players will honour Black heritage by wearing their themed jerseys.

Schedule | Get tickets

Community Celebrations

Hosted by Malton Neighbourhood Services 
Elevate – The Black Professional Expo

February 22 | 5 to 8 p.m.

Malton Community Centre, Hall A

Learn about mental health, budgeting, saving, real estate, education, career coaching and law from Black professionals.

Sip and Paint

February 26 | 3 to 5 p.m.

Malton Youth Hub Jonathan Davis Centre

Join Malton’s youth share and showcase their artistic talents. This event is inteded for youth ages 12 to 25.

Event details and registration

Author visit

Join Canadian author, Celia Vernal, on two occasions. Learn about their writing process, motivation for sharing their story and more.

February 24 | 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
EarlyON Cottrelle at 8-3975 Cottrelle Boulevard

February 29 | 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Malton Community Centre

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