BC Black History & Heritage Day

Celebrate Black History Month at the Royal BC Museum with a dynamic display of booths from local organizations, hosted by the BC Black History Awareness Society. Heritage Day is an opportunity to meet and talk with direct descendants about their stories and family history. The exhibits include images, artifacts and archival documents.

Live music by The Noedy HD Trio - with Noedy Hechavarria Duharte on saxophone, Phil Albert on Bass, and Miles Fuller on Drums. 

Exhibits include:

The Alexander Family and Saanich Pioneers Society

Karen Hoshal is a direct-descendant of Charles and Nancy Alexander who were part of the 1858 migration of the Black Pioneers to B.C. from San Francisco.   The Alexander’s settled in Saanich and were instrumental in building and establishing the Black Community, the Shady Creek Church and schools.  The display includes photographs, archival materials and the actual dress made for Nancy in 1909 for their 60th wedding anniversary. Karen will be joined by Susan Myerscroft, Saanich Pioneers Society. The Society operates the “Log Cabin Museum and Archives” in Saanichton, Vancouver Island’ “dedicated to the preservation of the historical records of the Saanich Peninsula” Several of the first Black settlers made their homes in this area.   Their archives and museum house collections from the pioneer families, both textual and in artifact form.

Doug Hudlin Legacy exhibit -  Barbra Hudlin  

Barb and her Uncle Doug, James Douglas Hudlin, are direct descendants of Charles and Nancy Alexander.  One of the many passions for the Alexander-Hudlin family is baseball; Doug played, coached, and umpired baseball in this community for decades. "The Gentleman Umpire" has been honored locally and nationally; and is the namesake for a local charity to help local young umpires, and children and youth play baseball and softball.

Old Cemeteries Society of Victoria

The Old Cemeteries Society of Victoria is dedicated to researching, preserving and encouraging the appreciation of Victoria’s heritage cemeteries.  OCS members are involved in many volunteer activities which includes cataloging, cleaning and restoring monuments, computerizing burial records, combating vandalism, conducting historical research and giving walking history tours… and for more than a decade, Old Cemeteries Society has conducted a tour of some of the Black Pioneer grave sites at Ross Bay Cemetery; their display at this Heritage Day event will highlight information about some of these pioneers; the tour will take place on February 26th.  

African Heritage Association of Vancouver Island (AHAVI)

“Please join us at the upcoming Black History and Heritage Day event hosted by the BC Black History Awareness society to learn more about AHAVI!”   The purpose of AHAVI is to build a united and strong community by co-operatively organizing and supporting events and activities to meet the needs of Africans, people of African descent, and friends of Africa on Vancouver Island. The objectives of AHAVI are to: Foster a sense of community among Africans, people of African descent, and friends of Africa on Vancouver Island; Promote the provision of the best possible services for all; Promote the cultural development of its members; and to facilitate communication among its members and with members of other organizations and communities on Vancouver Island.

Underground Railroad with Ron Nicholson

Ron Nicholson is a twenty-year member of the BC Black History Awareness Society and a fourth generation Canadian, whose great-grandfather was an actual traveler of the Underground Railroad.  His display is a visual presentation featuring Harriet Tubman, a famous conductor of the UGRR, and other members of the Vigilance Committee who helped the fugitive slaves, along the many escape routes to freedom in the northern states and eventually into Upper Canada.

The No. 2 Construction Battalion CEF -  Ron Nichloson

The No.2 Construction Battalion was the first and only Black battalion in Canadian military history, authorized to fight in World War I on July 5, 1916, with headquarters at Pictou, Nova Scotia. Six men from BC enlisted in the Battalion.

On July 9, 2022, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered a National Apology to the Descendants and Families of the No. 2 Construction Battalion. The Apology took place in Truro Nova Scotia on the grounds where the Battalion trained.  Ron was a member of the National Apology Advisory Committee (NAAC) and he attended the event in Nova Scotia.

Get in Touch

Chris O'Conner
Chris O’Connor
a/Director of Community Engagement and Regional Partnerships

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