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 Profile and History of Marcus Garvey Celebrations

Profile and History of Marcus Garvey Celebrations
Click here to see Marcus Garvey Day Flyer.Marcus Garvey Celebrations are events designed with the family in mind, and is presented on the weekend closest to the 17th of August each year - this being the Birth Date of Mr. Garvey.

These events are also designed to educate stimulate and broaden minds to a cultural reality, and encourages youths to aspire for excellence and self-reliance, by respecting the experiences of their elders.

Marcus Garvey Celebrations had its humble beginning in 1993 when it was produced and co-ordinated by Terry Brown, and co-presented by 'Alkebulon Development Network' and the 'African Culture Restoration Association'. The African Village Club, then situated at 2462 Dufferin Street was the historic venue and about 150 supporters came to pay tribute to the Rt. Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey.

Significant Event
The Council of the City of Toronto, at its meeting held on August 1,2, and 3, 2000 declared Marcus Garvey Celebrations "An event of municipal and community significance." Thus, the event is regarded as one of Toronto's major festivals.

For over a decade the celebration has been staged at the Coronation Park in the City of Toronto, 2700 Eglinton Avenue West, at Black Creek. It has grown tremendously since 1993. From a mere 150 in 1993, to one of North America's major cultural festivals.

This fun fill family-weekend include: Celebration launch, Children & Youth Workshop, A Cultural Entertainment Package, Market Place & Food Court, Children and Youth Activities, Government & Community Speakers, Ancestral Memorial Awards, Fund Raising Raffle.

Among the many distinguished participants to date are: Dr. Julius Garvey, Dr. Lennard Jefferies, Prof. Shelton Taylor, The Hon. Jean Agustine, Hon. Alvin Curling, Archbishop Delores Sievewright, Dr. John Affred Skinner, Judge Pamela Appelt, Ras Iration I, Dr. Afua Cooper, Dr. Kwasi Agyeman, Consul Gen. Herman LaMont, Brown Kenneth Pinnock, Odisa S. Oji, Bro. Donny Mohammed, Ms. Sophia Nsia Yeboah, Dr. Kofi Adinkrah, Bro Dudley Laws, Consul Vivia Betton, Bro Charles C. Roach - Bro Oliver Springer, Priest Johanne, Kai Nerma, Sister Murphy Brown and Mayor Francis Nunziata.

Entertainment Package
The Cultural Entertainment component is designed to entertain, educate and motivate, in the form of Gospel, Folk Singing and Dancing, Dramatic-skits, Live Bands, Cultural Chanting, Drumming, Poetry, Comedy and Speakers from an African Prospective.

Market Place/ Food Court
The Market Place and Food Court is in place and operating prior to the opening ceremony. The Market Place displays a colourful array of products and services, while the Food Court provide a variety of dishes from Africa, the Caribbean and Canada.

Children/Youth Activities
The early part of the day is specially designed for children, youth and their parents. Among the many activities are Workshops: Historical, Arts and Crafts, Story Telling and Economic Development. Our Educational, Cultural and Fun Games are quite popular with the young as well as with the aged.

Governments/Community Speakers
The Official Ceremony opens with a drum salute (Drum Call) followed by the singing of the Canadian, Jamaican and International Black anthem. Solidarity messages are then accommodated. The day's program is punctuated with speakers from the African Caribbean Canadian Community, who usually speaks on the theme of the day.

In 1997 an ANCESTRAL MEMORIAL AWARD was established to recognize those who have made significant contributions towards the betterment of African people at home and abroad. These awards are given in the names of African people, who are no longer with us-in the flesh- so that they will be remembered for their unselfish contributions.

Fund-raising Raffle
This is a very popular component of the celebration. Tickets are sold in advance for the chance to win prizes which so far included a weekend for two stay at Sandals Resort in Cuba, and many more interesting prizes. Each prize is displayed on stage throughout the day's event until the time of the drawings, which usually is in the late afternoon.

The above two components encourage community business owners' participation. This is accomplished by inviting sponsors of prizes to assist with the drawing of tickets and the distribution of prizes. This allow them to personally meet the recipients of the award they sponsored - live on stage. It also gives them the opportunity to promote their products or services, and to participate in the festivity in a visual and meaningful way.

The main contributors to the growth of this event are the people who volunteered their services again and again. There are other contributors whose assistance is most significant such as the City of Toronto, CHRY Radio 105.5 FM, CKLN Radio 88.1 FM, Flow 93.5 FM, Community Print Media, Sunlight Bakery and other Local Businesses.

Main Concern
It has become extremely difficult to finance the event. This is due to the fact that it is presented without cost to the public and to date there have not been any corporate sponsorship. Volunteers are losing their charitable ways as the demand on their time increases and their dollars buys less.


  • Marcus Garvey Celabrations will be a Weeklong Celebration packed with Fun, Education and Commerce.
  • International Participation and Support
  • Global Telecast of Celebrations.
  • A Documentary of the Celebrations.


The Rt. Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey (1887-1940) is the Founder/ Leader of the U.N.I.A. the most influential African Organization to date in the Western Hemisphere. In its hey day-days the UNIA numbers over 11 Million members world wide. Marcus Garvey is the only Black Leader that has left us a Blue Print for Redemption. Not only is he of International renown: He is also PROVISIONAL PRESIDENT OF AFRICA and Jamaica's first national hero.

The next Marcus Garvey Celebration will be held from August 17 - 19, 2007.

April 30, 2007
Visit Marcus Garvey Library
Visit American Experience: Marcus Garvey: Look For Me in the Whirlwind
Visit MarcusGarvey.com

April 30, 2007
Updated The 17th Annual Marcus Garvey Celebration

April 30, 2007
Updated Press Release Section