and History of Marcus Garvey Celebrations
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
next Marcus Garvey Celebration will be held from August 17
- 19, 2007.