Press Release for Immediate Release
Joining the event were Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 11), community members, the press, and Board members of the ADBCC.
- Exciting news in its progress update for 2022 included:
- A historic lease and partnership with the City of Toronto,
- Capital Campaign progress on the way to $10M, and
- A bold name change to mark the path forward.
Historic 49 Year Lease
Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 11) was on hand to speak to the long-term relationship the Centre has with the City. The Centre is entering a historic 49-year lease with the City of Toronto. The lease not only acknowledges our place in the historic Mirvish Village as we prepare to move into our new home at 756 Bathurst Street, but it also underscores the permanence of our place in the city as we continue to elevate: our accomplishments, stories and work of our people using arts and culture as a tool/mechanism/conduit to teach, educate, enhance skills and celebrate our rich African and Caribbean heritage within the fabric of our community.
ADBCC was pleased to report progress on their capital campaign to cover the costs of the new building’s construction. They have raised over $3.3M of the total $10M needed for the building on the site of the new Mirvish village. Construction is expected to begin this summer. Esteemed community members Dr. Zanana Akande, and Dr.s Michael and Edith Lorimer were one of the first to provide the centre with significant contributions to their capital campaign. For community members interested in supporting the centre you can participate through the Buy A Brick program – blackhurst.org/buyabrick.
ADBCC Changes Name to Blackhurst Cultural Centre
Board members Loris Thomas and Ivor Picou were on hand to announce that ADBCC has changed its name to “Blackhurst Cultural Center” – The People’s Residence. As ADBCC moves forward with its commitment to foster an intergenerational community that fuses arts, culture, legacy, and education, the name change also furthers this resolve.
The new name ‘Blackhurst Cultural Center’ reflects the centre’s cornerstone program “Welcome to Blackhurst” which provides an immersive experience with walking tours celebrating the rich heritage of black people from the African and Caribbean diaspora within the Bathurst & Bloor neighbourhood. The centre truly encapsulates the vision statement – ‘We are for the people, by the people’ having grown out of the bookstore to a Cultural Centre. This is one of many milestones along their tremendous journey.
Managing Director, Itah Sadu stated, “When you come into the People’s space, a place where you can imagine, a space where you too can stamp your legacy. It’s a place of innovation, of entrepreneurship where ideas intersect, where we celebrate ordinary everyday experiences. It is in the tradition of storytelling and in storytelling the greatest component [of it] is call and response and so when the society makes a call, Blackhurst Cultural Centre – the People’s Residence is always willing and ready to make a response [and thus the new name that reflects this progression].”
Councillor Mike Layton commented “[I] love the name, Blackhurst. The land is home to diverse people from around the world. Some families didn’t come by choice, they came by force. This isn’t a centre you can put just anywhere in Toronto. Acknowledging it in the name is a direct connection between this spot and the stories….It grounds it and puts it in the earth.”
Throughout this transition, we will continue to celebrate the essence of our existence through community engagement. We will be revealing a new community-influenced logo, a new look and feel of our website, our partnerships and events through our social media handle over the next 12 months. So, keep an eye out for updates and keep supporting this one-of-a-kind space that is a blend of legacy, arts and culture.
About The People’s Residence:
Blackhurst Cultural Center (formerly ADBCC) – The People’s Residence is warmly considered the heartbeat of the community and uses arts and culture to: teach, educate, develop skills, connect and celebrate our rich heritage while building economic power within the African and Caribbean Canadian communities.
Black Lives Matter. Black Spaces Matter. Black Infrastructure Matters.
Media Enquiries Contact:
Andrew Perry Marketing
Connect with Blackhurst Cultural Centre (formerly ADBCC)-The People’s Residence:
Instagram – @adifferentbooklistcc
Facebook – @adifferentbooklistcc
Buy A Brick – adbcc.org/buyabrick
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR842a4FWoVUsIivZEi3HiQ