National Emancipation Day | HEADLINER: Bobby Dean Blackburn | Blue Mountain Village


We’re going to pay our respect tomorrow in the company of some World Class Entertainers, and celebrate largely! See you tomorrow at Blue Mountain Village!!! #makingmemories

Confirming: Queen M will start at 11:30 am rather than noon and everything else will run a little ahead of time.

On March 24, 2021, the House of Commons voted unanimously to officially designate August 1 Emancipation Day. It marks the actual day in 1834 that the Slavery Abolition Act came into effect across the British Empire. Canadians are not always aware that Black and Indigenous Peoples were once enslaved on the land that is now Canada. Those who fought enslavement were pivotal in shaping our society to be as diverse as it is today. Therefore, each August 1, Canadians are invited to reflect, educate and engage in the ongoing fight against anti-Black racism and discrimination and celebrate the strength and perseverance of Black communities in Canada. 

Schedule of Events
Emancipation Day Scavenger HuntVillage Plaza11:00-5:00 PM
Live Music: Queen MSubaru Stage11:30-1:45 PM
Sugar and Gold – Musical Stories of the Underground RailroadSubaru Stage2:00-3:15 PM
Family Fun: Drum CircleVillage Plaza3:30 PM
Family Fun: African Dance LessonsVillage Plaza4:30 PM
Saikou in ConcertSubaru Stage5:30 PM
Live Music: Bobby Dean BlackburnSubaru Stage7:30 PM
Hosted by Queen M

National Emancipation Day in the Village will be emceed by the infamous Queen M! Drawing from her parents’ experiences as an interracial couple in Canada during the 1950s, Queen M pulls back the curtain on a part of history some people would like to keep hidden, while musically offering up a stone Soul banger in the spirit of Mavis Staples and the late, great Sharon Jones.

National Emancipation Day Scavenger Hunt

An opportunity for great fun and learning for the whole family. Compliments of Sheffield Park Black History and Cultural Museum, explore the Village and learn more about Black history in our local area. Download our app in advance to begin your hunt. Follow the clues in the app as we guide you along the story of the Underground Railroad. Claim your prize at the end and enter to win 4 tickets to Sheffield Museum and $100 Village restaurant gift card. 

Time: 1-5 pm

Location: Start at the Welcome Centre

Live Music
Featuring Queen M

Queen M has paid their dues up until now performing the music they’ve always loved, specifically Motown and Bob Marley, to rapturous audiences in their home province of Ontario.  But in the wake of the 2020 murder of George Floyd, Alderson found the motivation to sing her own words of outrage and solidarity.  

Time: 12 Noon

Location: Subaru Stage

Sugar and Gold: Musical Stories of the Underground Railroad

Sugar and Gold- Stories of the Underground Railroad is a family friendly and general audience concert  presented by award winning blues musicians Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley. 

The dynamic concert combines original and traditional songs and stories to tell the inspiring and uplifting historical story of the underground railroad in Canada. Learn more about Sugar and Gold here

Time: 2:00 PM

Location: Subaru Stage

Drum Circle with Saikou and Bam528:

Join our drum circle and partake in an interactive performance by Saikou Saho ( ) , a masterful drummer from the Gambia, and Bam538 of Mowtown and Marley ( As an elder in Toronto’s African, Gambian, and drumming communities, Saikou has been an important figure in many community endeavors. 

Time: 3:30 PM 

Location: Subaru Stage

African Dance Lessons

Be inspired by the rhythms of West Africa as you learn traditional dance techniques.  Laugh and move to the rhythm of the drums while you experience the vibrant traditional dances of West Africa. Led by Saikou Saho ( ), find your inner beat as you dance to the healing power of the drum, the beat, and the Rhythm of the Motherland. 

Time: 4:30 PM

Location: Subaru Stage

Saikou in Concert featuring BAM528

It’s time to put your African Dance Lessons to the test as instructor Saikou Saho takes the stage to perform live with Motown and Marley’s BAM528! The soulful, rhythmic Djembe drummer and master drum maker brings his Gambian roots to life. 

Time: 5:30 PM

Location: Subaru Stage 

HEADLINER: Bobby Dean Blackburn

Bobby Dean Blackburn is a versatile, dynamic and soulful musician and vocalist, who loves to interact with his audience. Bobby will be on keyboard and vocals who will be joined by Frank de Matteis on drums and Steve Kennedy on the saxophone.

Time: 7:30 PM 

Location: Subaru Stage

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