FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Passages Canada kicks off Black History Month by showcasing stories of Black Montrealers
MONTREAL, QC – February 4, 2014 – Passages Canada was joined by community members and students from École secondaire Antoine-de-Saint-Exupéry to celebrate Black History Month by exploring the rich diversity of Montreal’s Black communities through dance, film and storytelling, inspiring a younger generation to explore their own roots.
Students shared their family stories of heritage and identity. Additionally, they heard from visual artist Marie-Denise Douyon, a Haitian refugee who sought asylum in Montreal after being arbitrarily arrested by the military junta in power at the time. Prominent community organizer, Michael Farkas, shared his heritage, traceable back to the Black Loyalists who fled the United States for Canada during the American Revolution. Clément Ndiaye, regional manager of coaching at TD Bank, described his experience as a Senegalese immigrant whose first job in Canada was distributing flyers on a street corner.
“The stories and achievements of our Passages Canada speakers from Montreal’s Black communities should give the next generation incentive to look into their own ancestral heritage – even as they’re also inspiring stories for all Canadians,” said Anthony Wilson-Smith, President of Historica Canada.
“Passages Canada showcases the nation’s cultural diversity to promote better understanding of how immigrants like myself have helped to build Canada,” says Clément Ndiaye of TD Bank Group and Passages Canada volunteer. “TD’s support for the program helps provide positive role models for young people and inspire them to take pride in their heritage.”
A storytelling initiative of Historica Canada, Passages Canada volunteers share their personal accounts of cultural identity and heritage on-line in our multimedia Story Archive and in person with schools and community groups. Since 2002, over 1,000 speakers have created dialogue on Canada’s rich diversity with over 250,000 youth and adults. Passages Canada is generously supported by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and TD Bank Group.
Historica Canada is the largest charitable organization dedicated to Canadian history, identity and citizenship. Its mandate is to build active and informed citizens through a greater knowledge and appreciation of the history, heritage and stories of Canada.
For more information:
Calina Ellwand, Program Coordinator
t. 1.866.701.1867 ext 392
cellwand [at] HistoricaCanada . ca