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For immediate release
June 25, 2003
Contact: R. Sadlier at 416 867-9420

Yesterday, June 24, 2003, the Toronto Black History Project was passed by Toronto City Council without debate.

This project refers to the decision by City Council on October 7, 1997 to provide the Ontario Black History Society with 2/3 of the Public Art Fund for the creation of a cultural centre/museum of African-Canadian history in Toronto.

Held up by bureaucratic red tape during the reorganization of Toronto as a megacity, the funds, totalling over $130,000, along with a $30,000 sum from the developper to the OBHS for the creation of a book on the Black church, the funds have been held in trust by the city of Toronto until now.

This special one time disbursement of 2/3 of the Public Art Fund is an important starting point for the creation of the OBHS led cultural centre/museum of African-Canadian history. However, the commemoration on the site of the historic A. M. E. church is still to be done with the remaining 1/3 of the Public Art Fund, despite the fact that the segments of the historic church that were to have been kept by the city for this purpose have been lost. The segments, some bricks and ornate trim, were given to the developper for storage and safe keeping by the city without the knowledge of the OBHS, and were reported lost to the OBHS in of all months, February Black History Month 2003!

This is from the conclusions of the report to Council passed June 24, 2003 at about 10:15 a.m.:

Council has demonstrated its support for the Toronto Black History project. The funding recommended in this report will allow the Ontario Black History Society to undertake a Business Plan for the proposed African Canadian Museum and Cultural Centre. In addition, the OBHS will be able to make a valuable contribution to the commemoration of Black history by producing a book on Black churches in Ontario.

The OBHS is a registered Canadian charity and welcomes your contributions of resources, skills, historic photographs, books, artifacts and money to support the creation of this cultural centre/museum of African-Canadian history. Tax receipts can be issued for all donations over $10.