Join the Town of Oakville and CCAH for the annual Emancipation Day Picnic on August 5


Additional free events will be held on July 30 and August 1

Residents and families are invited to gather as a community in recognition of Emancipation Day. The Town of Oakville and the Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton (CCAH) are hosting the annual Emancipation Day Picnic at the grounds of the Oakville Museum at Erchless Estate on August 5, 2023 from 1 to 4 p.m. (rain date August 6).

Attendees are encouraged to pre-order a free, hot Caribbean meal prepared by Chef Romaine Newell to be enjoyed at the event. Up to 300 meals will be prepared so attendees are reminded to pre-order now. Hotdogs, chips, and a juice box will be prepared as an alternative meal for children. Meals will be served between 1 to 3 p.m.

On the day of the event, bring lawn chairs and a blanket to enjoy your pre-ordered meal while listening to a performance by jazz gospel singer John Campbell while children engage in family activities by entertainer Nick Gordon. Attendees can also visit the museum to take a tour, learn about Oakville’s early Black History, and explore the multimedia exhibit, The Underground Railroad: Next Stop Freedom or participate in the Oakville Public Library’s storytime.  

Located at 8 Navy Street in downtown Oakville, the Oakville Museum at Erchless Estate is easily accessible by foot, bike or public transit. To view the Oakville Transit holiday schedule, visit the Oakville Transit page. Residents who are driving can also plan ahead by viewing this online parking map of downtown Oakville. 

Additional Emancipation Day celebrations

In partnership with the Oakville Public Library, Oakville Museum and the Bronte Historical Society, residents are invited to join guided tours of Bronte Harbour or Kerr Village and explore sites related to Oakville’s Black heritage. Register for the Bronte bike tour taking place Sunday, July 30 from noon to 1:30 p.m. or the Kerr walking tour taking place Sunday, July 30 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Registration is required for these free events.

“The CCAH focuses on our four pillars of education, culture, community and harmony in all that we offer. Emancipation Day is but one opportunity to recognize the impact that generations of Black families have had in building Oakville and Halton Region to what it is today. We embrace the celebration but will continue throughout the year to ensure we shed light on all aspects of Oakville’s history and strive for understanding and harmony within the community.”

Andrew Tyrrell, CCAH President

The CCAH will also be celebrating the opening of the Community & Harmony Garden at Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre, 2302 Bridge Rd., on Emancipation Day, August 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. Light refreshments will be served by Chef Romaine Newell. Registration is required to ensure food service for this free event. 

For more information on these events or other programs and activities please visit the town’s events calendar, the Oakville Museum page or CCAH page.


  • Emancipation Day is a significant day in history when slavery was abolished in Canada and throughout the British Empire with a community celebration that recognizes Oakville’s role in the Underground Railroad as a port of entry to Canada. 
  • The Emancipation Day Picnic in Oakville dates back to 1850, when African Canadians from across the province would gather at Oakville’s George’s Square to honour their journey to freedom.

“Emancipation Day serves as a reminder of how our town participated in the Underground Railroad, as well as an opportunity to recommit annually to promoting more diversity, inclusion, and equity.” 

Mayor Rob Burton

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