BCBHAS Event History

BC Black History Timeline

Welcome to the BCBHAS Event Archives
The themes of our public events, more than 75 in the past 2 decades, are “Recognizing and Celebrating People and Historic Events”, through recognition ceremonies, commemorative plaques, refurbishing/placing grave markers; “Arts and Culture”, with concerts, art exhibitions, visual displays; “Guest Speakers”, on topics of local, national and international interest; and “Black History Month”. The variety of events and activities, the speakers, their credentials and topics, recognizes the breadth and depth of the interests of our members and those who support us.
The Function – Year 2

Anamorphic (3-dimensional) style drawing, upper part of poster is sky at sunset, some pink wispy clouds at horizon, Middle of the poster is oversized sign post indicating The Function is taking place on Lekwungen Territory. “VICTORIA’S BIPOC MUSIC & ART FESTIVAL”
Canadian and International Performers were on the main stage, plus the BIPOC vendor village, local food trucks, and live art installation. For all ages

Sleeping car porters permanent exhibit opens at Royal BC Museum

In May 2023, after the close of the “Hope Meets Action: Echoes Through the Black Continuum” exhibit, BCBHAS and Royal BC Museum entered into a Memorandum of Understanding that established a framework for continuing community collaboration.
On July 29, 2023, the replica Train Station in the Old Town exhibit re-opened with interpretive panels telling the story of the sleeping car porters. One excerpt reads, “The porters took up the fight to overcome the deep racism and explicit exclusion in the union movement and achieve equal union representation. Building on the work started earlier by Black trade unionists in Canada, they won recognition by founding the Order of Sleeping Car Porters, the first Black labour union in North America.”

centred is photo of the inside of train station showing panels on the wall in situ, image is flanked by large images of the panels

The panels were created in partnership with BC Black History Awareness Society and Joshua Robertson, Hogan’s Alley Society and curator for the “Hope Meets Action” exhibit

Multiculturalism Day 2023

BCBHAS celebrates Canada Multiculturalism Day to honour our cultural communities.
Canada Multiculturalism Day was officially June 27th but we celebrated early!

“MORE THAN A GAME” – a FREE-ENTRY, FAMILY-FRIENDLY event featuring basketball skills contests and games; in In partnership with The Grind Elite Youth Basketball Program

poster gray background youth and oversized basketball, event details

Black History Month 2023

A record year for the Society – events and attendance. We hosted 6 public events and hosted a booth at the Vancouver Canucks Game on the 13th.
On the 15th we hosted the inaugural Black Entrepreneurs Dinner with 50 guests. The dinner took place at the University Club of Victoria with keynote speaker MERISSA ALLEN, President and CEO, Black Business Association of BC.
Our partners in bringing this BHM 2023 program to you were: Arts on View Society, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives- BC Office (CCPA-BC), Belfry Theatre, Global TV (media sponsor) HERE Magazine (Social Media) Old Cemeteries Society, Royal BC Museum and Archives, and Royal Bank of Canada.
stylized calendar with gold and white text on black background

The Function
Anamorphic (3-dimensional) style drawing, upper part of poster is sunny sky, eagle, some clouds above mountains; middle is island with grass, brown bear; bottom part is bridge spanning water to the island. Middle of the island is oversized sign post indicating The Function is taking place on Lekwungen Territory.

THE FUNCTION FESTIVAL took place at Ship Point, Victoria.  All ages were welcomed.  THE FUNCTION is one of the NEWEST festivals in downtown Victoria and made its debut in a big way! Featuring one main stage, BIPOC artists, vendor village, food trucks, live art, kids’ zone & a barbershop! Yeah, that’s right – you could even get a haircut there.

The event sponsors were BC Black History Awareness Society in partnership with City of Victoria, CreativeBC, City of Vancouver, CFAX1070, PHILLIPS Brewing and Malting, Virgin Radio 107.3, and Media Sponsor CTV

Culture Links
Pastel colored backgrounds with white/black lettering, stylized collages of faces, instruments, objects representing cultures


A Canada Multiculturalism Day Celebration
We partnered with some of Victoria’s most dynamic cultural groups for this FREE event with FREE Entertainment and FREE food for Family fun! The event took place at the Cameron Bandshell in Beacon Hill Park, Victoria and featured cultural cuisine and performances representing Africa, the Caribbean, China, Cuba, India, The Philippines, and South America.


Unveiling Black Pioneers montage at sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay Branch, Greater Victoria Public Library

montage with text and portrait images, 1858 street scene in background

On June 11, 2022 the unveiling ceremony took place for this montage installed in the Mifflin Wistar Gibbs Study Room at the sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay Branch, Greater Victoria Public Library.
In December 2020 we opened an online exhibit hosted by Digital Museums Canada (DMC). They now host over 500 exhibits, which includes a collection of Canadian Community Stories.
This Community Story about the Black pioneers who came to BC begins in 1858. It is a collection of 20 short stories with videos and archival images and documents to share their stories. In May 2018, we couldn’t have predicted that the opening of The Mifflin Wistar Gibbs Study Room at the James Bay Library would play such an important role in our project with DMC.
TODAY, we express our gratitude for our sponsors and in particular the creative talents of graphic designer Susie Jones, who has beautifully captured the spirit of the stories, the words, the images – and this montage is now an integral part of OUR community story!  About this project

Black History Here, Now, Then, Always
b&w public square 2 women on platform with raised fist 1 speaking at mic crowd in background

“Black History Here, Now, Then, Always: A Conversation across Exhibitions” was a webinar hosted by Royal BC Museum and Archives bringing together the exhibition curators in a moderated conversation exploring intersections across these two powerful and important exhibitions that daylight Black History and Black Belonging in BC and beyond. The curators also talked about their experiences as curators of Black History generally, working in/with organizations that are generally white-centered and the challenges in working with archival records.
Panelists: Joshua Robertson, Hope Meets Action; Nya Lewis, Sankofa; Nuno Porto, Sankofa; Titilope Salami, Sankofa; Moderator: Rachael Otukol, BC Black History Awareness Society
Hope Meets Action: Echoes Through the Black Continuum” was open at the Royal BC Museum from August 14, 2021 to April 14, 2022 “…despite consistent efforts, our on-going story in these lands has yet to be heard when told by us. As stolen people on stolen land, our history is neither simple nor stagnant. In the face of racial discrimination… this exhibit daylights the living and on-going history of Black belonging in what is referred to as ‘British Colombia’.”
Sankofa: African Routes, Canadian Roots” was open at the Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia from November 4, 2021 – March 27, 2022. “…  draws connections to historical contributions and the growing vitality of Black Canadians in Vancouver; the exhibit celebrates different ways of understanding the world through the lenses of African and Black communities, the wealth of their cultural and art practices, and their inspiring legacy.

Watch the webinar

Vibes & Verses
dark background, upper half is collage of paint spatters/dripping paint; lower bottom is event name and date, white text on dark background

Vibes & Verses stimulated your senses through the flow of jazz, the movements of afro-beats, the bounce of reggae, and the sways of R&B and calypso. Your journey continued through powerful spoken word performances and the art of some of B.C.’s most talented painters and photographers; held at the spectacular Victoria International Marina. The evening ended with a 1 hour Sip N’ Paint for VIP ticket holders.
Artists and Performers included *Valerie Mason-John aka Queenie *Yoro Noukoussi & Waaba Music, *Obed Psych *Dayo Fagbulu *Adelene da Soul Poet * Virline Leston *Noedy HD Trio *Sadé Awele with the Headliner CALEB HART . In love with a wide variety of music: Gospel, Soul, Pop, Rock, Calypso, Soca and more than anything Reggae, he has been taking his music across Canada, The Caribbean, Australia, USA and New Zealand since 2012, racking up over 800 shows releasing 5 records, 9 singles, and winning prestigious awards from Edmonton Folk Fest, the Western Canadian Music Awards and more.