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2022 HBHAS Halton Freedom Celebration Festival

Join us for a day of total pleasure!!! Exquisite R&B, Soul, Funk, Reggae, Salsa, African Dance and Jazz Fusion complimenting Cultural Crafts, Tasty Treats (Food Trucks and Multi-Cultural Vendors), Community Services, Youth Activities and Workshops.

This free festival is exquisite with multi-cultural crafts, food trucks, art, fashion, accessories, cultural and heritage vendors, youth activities and enormous ambience. Bring your chairs, umbrellas, and dancing shoes. See you there!!

Celebrating 188 years of Emancipation!!!
Celebrating Burlington - Best City to Live in in Canada and the First City in the World to proclaim August as Emancipation Month (Festival 2018).
Michael Dunston at the annual 2021 Virtual Halton Freedom Celebration Festival. Looking forward to the 2022 festival, he sings "A Change Is Gonna Come".

Participating Musicians

The 2022 Halton Freedom Festival will showcase musicians including Blackburn –2016 Juno runners up and recognized by Rolling Stone Magazine as the best blues band in Canada (2015), enslaved descendants whose father, Bobby “Dean” Blackburn, is recognized on the Mississauga Walk of Fame for bringing R&B into Canada and member of the first black family in Brampton, Ontario; Dejehan Hamilton (MC) aka. Luckystickz (with band) who is Berklee College of Music’s 1st Steel Drum graduate supporting his scholarship in drumming, represents Berklee University globally, has a past playing with Harry Belafonte and is a HBHAS Board Director; and Michael Dunston, renowned vocalist whose group The Lincolns are recognized as the Best R&B band in Canada and Soul Stew (Bamboo’s original home band of 40+ years), We were also pleased to present 11 x Canadian Music Award recipient, Errol Woodward and his Reggae Band to our audiences and the exceptionally talented Neema Children's Project from Uganda - 19 talented orphans dancing, singing and drumming towards fundraising to send school supplies to hospitals and orphanages back home. We are please to have join us this year: Garnetta & Dagroovmasters - a high energy show band that plays and sing the genres of Blues, Classic Soul & Funk, and a reflection of Canada's multicultural society! Garnetta was lead vocalist and drummer for a Toronto’s only female reggae band Sweet Sensation, performing on the same stage with Platinum/Grammy Award artists like Maxi Priest, Shabba Ranks, Shaggy, Gregory Issacs and Sean Kingston, Platinum/Grammy award Soul legends, Percy Sledge, Dorothy Moore and The Manhattans, and Carlene Ling, (aka Vanda Li) Founding Director, Bling Entertainment & “Black African Caribbean Canadian Artists Unite” (BACCAU) who perform for Black Music Month (June) and Black African Caribbean Canadian Appreciation Month.

Spencer Smith Park
Burlington, Ontario
Saturday, July 30, 2022
Noon - 11 p.m.
Festival Schedule: Entertainment Program - July 30, 2022
12:10Land Acknowledgement Canadian Anthem
12:30Carlene Ling & BACCAU (Black African Caribbean Canadian Artists Unite) – Island Funk & Soul
2:10Errol Skipah Blackwood & Friends – 7-piece Award winning - Reggae with Horns
3:50Neema Project – Ugandan Youth Dancing, Singing, Drumming and Elating Effervescent Energy
5:30Luckystickz & Friends – 1st Steel Pan Graduate of Berkley School of Music – Youth Empowerment Speaker - HBHAS Director
7:10Garnetta & Dagroovmasters – Soul & Funk Extreme
8:50Michael Dunston & Soulstew – Full out Award Winning 7 piece Dance, R&B, Funk & Soul
9:20Blackburn Brothers – Rolling Stone Best Blues Band in Canada (2015), Juno Nominees
10:50Closing Ceremonies
Pan African Flag
Emancipation Flag-Raising Ceremony, July 22, 2022
Dennis Scott, Land Acknowledgement – Comments – Introductions
12:10Minister Karina Gould, MP Burlington
2:20Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward
12:30Chief Steve Tanner, Halton Region Police Service
12:40DeWitt Lee III – Mr. Emancipation Month
12:50Dennis, DeWitt & Friends Flag Raising


HBHAS is honoured to be hosting the 2022 Halton Freedom Festival, Emancipation Pan African Flag-Raising Ceremony celebrating the 1834 British Emancipation Act which freed all colonial slaves, initiated by Ontario's First Lieutenant Governor, John Graves Simcoe through the Anti-Slavery Act of 1793. It is appreciated that multi-cultures helped transport many of the "freed" slaves to Canada both through the Underground Railroad and throughout the North American continent. The Pan African flag is representative of all blacks of African Ancestry.

The HBHAS is appreciative of being recognized as the first city in the world to acclaim August as Emancipation month. This acclamation took place at our 2018 Halton Freedom Celebration Festival and was acknowledged at a Dr. Julius Garvey presentation in tribute to his father on Marcus Garvey Day, at Toronto's City Hall (2019). The City of Burlington further proclaimed, at the HBHAS flag-raising ceremony in 2021, recognizing August 31st the International Day for People of African Descent in alignment to the UN General Assembly 2020 resolution sponsored by 52 countries, and a proclamation recognizing August 1st as the first Canadian National Emancipation Day.

Friday, July 22, 2022 – 12 noon
Burlington City Hall 426 Brant St, Burlington, Ontario

City of BurlingtonTBWave-FMCanadian Heritage


“ART has the power to change the world, the power to inspire, the power to unite people in a way that little else can. ART speaks to people in a language they understand.
ART can create hope where there was once only despair. Art is an instrument for peace …” – our most predominant goal and aspiration.

Nobel Laureate, Nelson Mandela (Paraphrased)

HBHAS 5th Annual
Emancipation Art Exhibit

July 27 - Sept. 11, 2022
2022 HBHAS Emancipation Art Exhibit

“Black Art tells the story of history, pain, persistency, humility, family, creativity, harmony, hope, love, and life, as shown through Halton Black History Awareness Society’s annual Emancipation “Freedom” Art Exhibition. The Artists’ portrayals illustrate the transition of life and the spirit of freedom conquered.” Enjoy the artistry and bios of our esteemed contributors to the Emancipation Art Exhibition.

Dennis Scott, Chair, Halton Black History Awareness Society

Contributing Artists

Cultural Center
9 Church Street,
Georgetown, Ontario

Call Out for Vendors

2022 Halton Freedom Celebration Festival
Saturday, July 30, 2022 - Spencer Smith Park, Burlington, Ontario.
12 Noon – 11 p.m.

The Halton Freedom Celebration Festival brings together musical acts, children's and youth activities, cultural art, food, crafts; heritage, historical, and genealogical vendors promoting inclusivity and community integration.

Our 2019 Festival attracted a 270% increase in visitors – 4000+ participants. This is our first live festival since 2019 and your opportunity to join our growing reunion celebration.

HBHAS invites you to take the journey with us!  See what a difference this multi- cultural experience can make in progressing the next generation.

Click here for more vendor information.
Interested parties please submit your interest by completing the form on the contact page of this website.

Be a Part of Progressive Change in Canadian History
Thank you for your interest and consideration.


The Halton Black History Awareness Society (HBHAS) produces and promotes inclusivity events focusing on supporting the implementation of cultural history into the educational curriculum and public mind-set, and celebrating Canadian Black History contributors, cultures and community integration. We celebrate Halton's cultural history through dance, art, music, spoken word, historical literature, theatre and information/educational forums and workshops. At our Halton Freedom Celebration Festival, held annually on the August Civic weekend Saturday, you’ll experience exceptional multi-cultural ambience infused with Cultural Crafts, Art in the Park, Cultural designer fashions and accessories, exquisite food, and youth and children’s activities and workshops which complements the best in R&B, Reggae, Soul, Funk, African, Cuban, Jazz Fusion, Ska, Soca and Pop.

Our Emancipation Art Exhibit, "Celebrating Freedom" is held annually at various Halton locations throughout the month of August. Here you will meet a number of exquisite Canadian Black Artists and experience their artistry of love, bondage, beauty, family, and expression in illustrating their Emancipation. The HBHAS welcomes you to enjoy this enlightening free exhibition in kicking off our annual Halton Freedom Festival. 


The HBHAS Speakers’ Forum is held throughout the year, encompassing theatre, spoken word, Canadian Black history presentations; spoken word, cultural education in diverse professions: heritage, genealogical and black history forums and workshops, inclusivity and diversity workshops and presentations, and mentorship programs. The Speakers are by subject matter experts, historians, genealogists, cultural and inclusivity educators, and multi-talented actors and actresses. Guests are constantly stating that they’ve learned more here in one session that throughout their careers or history. Appreciating that a lot of North America’s rich black history was hidden or manipulated, these programs are extremely enriching and educational. We welcome individuals interested in discussing enhancement to their programs or presentations to reach out to hire speakers, performers, and musicians at

2019 Halton Freedom Celebration Festival

It is the vision of the Halton Black History Awareness Society (HBHAS) to celebrate Halton's diverse cultures through Cultural Education, Cultural Enhancement and Cultural Entertainment. The Halton Black History Awareness Society is intent in supporting Halton's potential in being a Cultural Capital within Canada.

All venues are open to the public and promote inclusivity. The HBHAS constantly collaborates with a number of community partners in presentations and workshops within schools and community centers throughout the year towards the implementation of cultural history into our educational cultures.  Thank you for your interest.


Please ... help fund this worthy project with a donation!

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