Heritage Day

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Celebrate Heritage Day! February 20, 2024

We are excited to celebrate Heritage Day with the theme "Diversity of Heritage: Recognizing the past and celebrating the future". 

Tuesday, February 20, 2024
12 pm to 2 pm
Free event

In person at Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave.

The Heritage Showcase

Come explore the many heritage organizations and groups that make Ottawa’s heritage community like no other! Local historical societies, museums and other associate groups will be set up in Jean Pigott Hall before and after the Heritage Day ceremony at 12 pm for you to ask questions and plan your next visit! 

Why celebrate Heritage Day?

Why celebrate Heritage Day? Canada’s collective story is told through our special places, whether they are historic buildings or sites, archives, libraries, museums, commercial main streets or districts, places of faith, industrial areas, or natural or cultural landscapes.

Our shared heritage and histories in all forms has the power to bring people together and create a sense of belonging. Gathering places like town squares, and pow wow grounds, and cultural objects such as artefacts, regalia and family memorabilia are tangible touchstones with the past that can root us in place and nourish the spirit. Intangible heritage – languages, traditional rituals, music, dance, storytelling and more – is at the heart of family and community.

Heritage Day is also a chance to recognize the contributions of the many dedicated staff and volunteers promoting heritage conservation and educating the public about our city’s history. Gathering places like museums, and cultural objects such as artifacts and memorabilia are tangible touchstones with the past that can root us in place and nourish the spirit; and intangible heritage – such as traditions, storytelling and more – is at the heart of family and community.

In celebration of our past and our future, we encourage all – young and old, deeply rooted or new to Canada and its Capital – to visit heritage destinations, cultural landscapes and centres, and connect with traditional knowledge keepers, educators, parents and grandparents to experience heritage on Heritage Day and beyond. Find out how heritage is being celebrated in your community; and learn about services offered by local heritage organizations, public programs and special initiatives, as well as professional development and volunteer opportunities.

Join the Cultural and Heritage Programs and Spaces Branch in partnership with the Capital Heritage Connexion , and embrace, explore and enjoy your heritage places and experiences in Canada’s Capital during Heritage Week (February 19 to 25, 2024) and throughout the year!

2024 Proclamation recipient - Black History Ottawa

This year, Mayor Sutcliffe will recognize the importance of the theme Diversity in heritage - recognizing the past, celebrating the future by offering the proclamation to Black History Ottawa

Established in 1986, Black History Ottawa (BHO) is a registered Canadian charity with a mandate to increase the public’s knowledge and appreciation of, and carry out research in the history, culture, traditions, and achievements of Canadians of African descent. Their year-round programming includes targeted initiatives such as those focused on the U.N. Decade for Peoples of African Descent (2015-2024) as well as annual Black History Month events and participation in local heritage events such as Heritage Day, Multiculturalism Day, Emancipation Day and the National Remembrance Day ceremony.  

Over its 38 years of existence, BHO has collaborated with other heritage and community associations (Jaku Konbit, Caribbean associations etc.) as well as mainstream institutions (Library & Archives Canada, Ottawa Public Health, Ottawa Public Library, National Gallery of Canada, school boards, etc.) on public education events. 

BHO is especially proud of having successfully promoted the annual city-wide observance of Black History Month since 1987 as well as its annual Black Hockey History initiatives in partnership with the NHL and Ottawa Senators. 

BHO has also collaborated on the production of the documentary film "West Indian Domestic Pioneers" and the implementation of the ground-breaking national Black heritage project "Connecting the Dots" which serves to share common experiences among members of the African diaspora across Canada. 

Their work with youth across Ottawa includes “Children’s Stories from the Black Diaspora”, their Young Community Builders Award as well as various mentorship and education-focused projects supporting Black youth in Ottawa. 

For more information about Black History Ottawa and to see the many upcoming events for Black History Month in Ottawa please visit their webpage www.blackhistoryottawa.org

Black History Ottawa booth at Heritage Day, Project Officer Ruth Ayman
Black History Ottawa booth at Heritage Day, Project Officer Ruth Ayman (image credit: Black History Ottawa).