By Rori Bennett – Junior Reporter
Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Dresden celebrated Emancipation Day virtually this year, from July 27 to August 1, 2020.
Emancipation Day commemorates the Abolition of Slavery Act, which became law on August 1, 1834, freeing more than 800,000 slaves.
This years celebration included a tour of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a variety of interviews, art work, along with musical and poetry performances.
“We closed our site for the summer, so we will have no visitors on the property this year,” Steven Cook, manager of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, told the Sydenham Current.
“We’ve always done an Emancipation Day celebration. It’s important to commemorate this anniversary of blacks being given their freedom throughout the British Emprie, including Canada. We couldn’t have this day go by without recognizing it, and so, following the lead of other museums around the world, we’ve moved to a more virtual medium.”
Cook added Emancipation Day is “always a celebration of the people, and the people of the African Dyaspara, that have, and continue to contribute to our Canadian society, right from our beginnings. This year, (we honoured) them through their music, their poetry and their work in commemorating Black experiences in Canada.”
If you missed Emancipation Day, check out the information provided by the Ontario Heritage Trust, here.
The Ontario Heritage Trust Tour began in 2002 in an attempt to allow citizens and visitors to Ontario to discover the history and stories from across the province regarding the most fascinating historical, cultural, and natural sites.
The purpose of the Ontario Heritage Trust Tour is to provide people from across the province with a chance to explore the heritage and cultures that exist across the province.
With the landscape of the world changing in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 virus, it became necessary for the Heritage Trust Tours to be made available via alternate media sources.
Through the use of technology, many heritage tours are able to continue virtually through a variety of digital experiences, until in-person tours and events can resume in the future.
Digital resources, including photos, virtual tours, videos, games and activities are just some of the options available to those who are interested in exploring Ontario’s history in a unique, fun, and inviting manner.
The various Heritage Trust sites plan to continue adding more content.
To visit any of the many historical or cultural sites or participate in a variety of online activities, click here.