Ottawa Black History Month launched at City Hall

Kelly and Yomi Pratt, with their Community Builder award presented by BHO President June Girvan, centre              Photo copyright Black Ottawa Scene


Saturday 26 January 2019

Black History Ottawa continued its honoured tradition of hosting Canada’s national capital’s Black History Month launch and opening ceremony, this time at City Hall on Laurier Avenue.  Focusing on the theme “Our Canadian Story: Nothing About Us, Without Us!”, to advance the spirit and intention of the U.N. Decade of People of African Descent (2015-2024), the evening’s program was a reflection of the linguistic and cultural diversity of Ottawa’s Black community. With over 300 people in attendance, the event included the presentation of the 2019 Black History Month proclamation by Mayor Jim Watson, the official unveiling of the 2019 Canada Post Black History Month stamp, as well as live performances by local artists. 

 The ceremony included a special lifetime Community Builder award, by Black History Ottawa’s President, June Girvan,  to former Ontario Attorney-General Yasir Naqvi ; Black History Ottawa President’s award to the Ottawa Carleton District School Board; Community Builder awards to Dahabo Omer, Catherine Kizito, Yvette Ashiri Assindi and Lucky Ingabare, and the John Dennison award to Lynn Jones. A special award was made on behalf of Every child Is Sacred to Mayor Jim Watson, for his innovation in declaring the City of Ottawa as a child-friendly city.

Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna was there to read the Prime Minister’s greetings, while provincial Minister of Children’s Affairs Lisa McLeod read a similar message from Premier Doug Ford.  The event was also an occasion to present a $500 scholarship by RBC Royal Bank to Lindsey Alcy, as one of the winners of the bank’s  2019 Black History Month essay competition.

For more info on Ottawa’s 2019 Black History Month events, visit Black History Ottawa website:

All photos copyright Black Ottawa Scene

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