Saturday, May 4, 2019
2:00 pm
Plaque Unveiling for Mifflin Wistar Gibbs - Person of National Historic Significance

Our Society is thrilled to see the plaque honouring Mifflin Wistar Gibbs is now installed at Irving Park in James Bay. Mifflin Gibbs was honoured by the Government of Canada on August 4, 2009 with these words: “Our government is proud to honour a man who worked tirelessly for the local Black community as a politician, businessman, and defender of human rights.”

A plaque was then commissioned by Canada’s Historic Sites and Monuments Board, and was presented to our Society in February 2017.  Following some restoration/landscaping work in the park, the City of Victoria installed the plaque in January 2019.

The event will start at 2:00 pm on Saturday May 4th at Irving Park in James Bay 265 Menzies St, Victoria, BC.  (Corner of Menzies and Michigan Streets).

Why Irving Park? Gibbs’ home and estate was situated at this location.  It is believed the land was sold to Captain John Irving who then built another home there circa 1884; which was also demolished circa 1929.   The City of Victoria then purchased this land and established "James Bay Park" in 1944. In 1981 it was re-named "Irving Park".


March 2019

March 1, 2019: BCBHAS is represented at the Ethnocultural Fair at William Head Institution, Victoria.

On Friday, March 1, 2019. 2 Board Members will be representing the Society for this Correctional Service Canada (CSC) program.

An ethnocultural offender is any offender who has specific needs based on race, language, culture or beliefs and who has a desire to preserve their cultural identity and practices. Ethnocultural offenders make up 20 per cent of the offender population. Correctional Service Canada (CSC) monitors the specific needs of ethno-cultural offenders. It also provides them with culturally-sensitive interventions, programs and services during their custody. Providing these programs and services contributes to the rehabilitation process.  The goal is to:

  • help offenders value their culture
  • integrate their culture into their rehabilitation
  • help offenders think critically about marginalization and stereotypes
  • train staff in diversity and cultural competency

Read more about CSC Ethnocultural Services


Black History Month 2019

BCBHAS is planning for another great month which will include favorites such as the Kick-off and Open House, Concert at the Belfry Theatre, Heritage Day, Cemetery Tour ...  Here's what's in the works for 2019 and you can check out the History of Black History Month.

Date Event Location, Admission Event Hi-lites
30-WEDNESDAY (January) Reception and Launch - By invitation Date: Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Time: 6:00 to 9:00 pm
Location: Antechamber Victoria City Hall
Admission: By invitation
In parnership with the African Heritage Association of Vancouver Island (AHAVI). Opening by City of Victoria Mayor and councillors, delicious food from Fig Deli, February’s 2019 Black History Month events previewed, and a performance by renowned gospel singer, Charles Holloway.
02 - SATURDAY Information Kiosk Date: Saturday, February 2, 2019
Time: noon to 2:00 pm
Location: GVPL – Main Branch, 735 Broughton
Admission: Free
Marking the beginning of Black History Month with displays by BCBHAS, GVPL and the African Heritage Association of Vancouver Island (AHAVI) Members will be available to talk about upcoming events and answer questions. Sponsored by: BCBHAS, GVPL.
03 - SUNDAY Black History Month Church Service Date, Sunday, February 3, 2019
Time: 10:15 am
Location: 7180 East Saanich Road at the Central Saanich United Church originally The Shady Creek Church
Admission: Church offering.
All are welcome to attend. The Service will be led by Karen Hoshal, the Vice President of our Society and a direct descendant of Charles and Nancy Alexander who made their home in Saanichton. Charles helped build the original church and was the first Preacher. Tea, coffee and home-made baked goods are available after the service.
04 - MONDAY Concert at the Belfry Theatre Date: Monday, February 4, 2019
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Belfry Theatre, 1291 Gladstone Avenue.
Admission: By donation – minimum donation of $10.00/person appreciated.
co-sponsored with the Belfry Theatre and GVPL
Opening Performance: Adelene da Soul Poet is a direct descendant of BC black pioneers. Born as Bertha Clark, her grandmother was part of Vancouver’s history when she opened Vie’s Chicken and Steaks in the 1940s, a restaurant that was a home away from home for visiting black performers.

Main Performance: Pablo Cardenas, pianist has a unique and engaging style that encompasses Classical, Afro-Cuban, Jazz, Blues, Latin, Fusion & Improvisation. Pablo Cardenas graduated in 1996 from the National Conservatory of Music in Matanzas, Cuba; in 2001 Graduate of the National Conservatory of Music in Havana, Cuba. He is a member of the Piano Teachers Federation and runs a successful business teaching beginner, intermediate and advanced students of all ages as well as playing professionally in and around Victoria.

17 - SUNDAY Heritage Day and the Society begins the celebrations for its’ 25th Anniversary! Date: Sunday, February 17
Time: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Location: Cook Street Village Activity Centre
Admission: By donation
Displays, information, artifacts BCBHAS has been telling BC’s History for 25 years. Find out about history of the Society itself. Who, what, when and why; and how we continue to deliver on our purpose and mandate.

We are in good company. Come join the celebration of our collective histories with these iconic historical societies.

Old Cemeteries Society since 1983 - “Old cemeteries are fascinating places to visit…” Find out why.
Victoria Genealogical Society for 40 years. Want to know how to research your own families history? VGS can help you get started. Find out about their workshops and how to sign up.
United Empire Loyalists for 75 years. “One Canadian in ten has a connection to the United Empire Loyalists..” Could they be part of your ancestry?
Saanich Pioneers Society. The original society was founded in 1870; the current traditional log cabin home was opened in 1933. They have archives, atrifacts, arts & crafts, a library - and much more to see and experience.

Featured Speakers: Society Historians. In recognition of the Society’s 25th anniversary (March 2019) Several members from the Society will share their experiences, perspectives and reminiscences about the Society, including key projects, events, activities, and the Society’s role in the community.

Entertainment: Oak Bay Jazz Band

Tea Service: By donation, enjoy "high quality, nutritious moringa-based products ... maximizing flavour, aroma and nutritional benefit."

Bakery items and cold beverages donated by Thrifty Foods.

24 - SUNDAY Ross Bay Cemetery Tour Date, Sunday, February 24
Time: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Location: Ross Bay Cemetery 1516 Fairfield Rd.
Admission: $5.00/person; $2.00 for Old Cemetery Society Members & BCBHAS Members.
Meet in front of Oregano’s at the Fairfield Shopping Centre. * Please arrive 10 minutes before the tour start time.
Co-sponsored with the Old Cemeteries Society.
A guided tour of the graves of Black pioneers and others who played a role in that migration. The migration of the Black Pioneers to B.C. in 1858 was designated as a “National Historic Event” by the Government of Canada in 1997. The tour is hosted by John Adams of the Old Cemeteries Society and Valin Marshall of the BC Black History Awareness Society.