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Still I Rise: Celebrating Stories of Strength, Courage and Innovation

Newmarket Old Town Hall is collaborating with the local emerging community group, Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association (NACCA) to celebrate Black History Month in February, focusing on stories of strength, courage and innovation. For more information, visit

Art Exhibition
Newmarket Old Town Hall, Serpa Galleries (460 Botsford Street L3Y 1T1)
February 1 to 23, 2019 | FREE Admission
For Gallery Hours, visit:

The themes of racism, identity, activism, celebration of choice and action from the perspectives of contemporary African people, featuring the works of Toronto based artists Gordon Shadrach and Syrus Marcus Ware, complemented by artworks of youth in our community. The array of narratives and personal stories are boldly expressed in portraits and other forms.


Gordon Shadrach has always been interested in the ways people communicate non-verbally. Shadrach was born and raised in Brampton, Ontario in 1966 and has been based in Toronto for over 25 years. Shadrach paints in acrylic on wood and works from photographs at his in-home studio in Toronto’s East end. He received his Bachelor of Design (Material Art and Design) from OCAD University and has a Master of Education degree from Niagara University. Shadrach has participated in multiple group and solo exhibitions as well as being featured on CBC Arts, CBC news and on TVO’s the Agenda where he served as a panelist for “Reinventing the Museum”.


Syrus Marcus Ware has been creating large-scale portraits of activists, revolutionaries and community mobilizers to celebrate Activist Culture and the lives of activists. He began exploring portrait painting as a way of documenting his reality and painting his community into art history. Ware is a Vanier Scholar, visual artist, community activist, researcher, youth-advocate and educator. He was the Coordinator of the Art Gallery of Ontario Youth Program for 12 years and is now a Facilitator/Designer at the Cultural Leaders Lab (Toronto Arts Council & The Banff Centre). His work has exhibited at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Art Gallery of Windsor, the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Harbourfront Centre, SPIN Gallery and at galleries across Canada. Ware is a core-team member of Black Lives Matter-Toronto and for 14 years he has worked with Blackness Yes! to produce Blockorama (the black queer and trans stage at Pride).

Black History Event (Performance & Gallery Open House)
Newmarket Old Town Hall, Snapd Auditorium (460 Botsford Street)
February 9, 2019 | 10 am to 4 p.m. | FREE Admission

Celebrating the rich and diverse heritage of African Canadians against the backdrop of historical narratives that help to shape our multiple experiences. Engage with speakers sharing personal stories of resilience, resistance and making new. Suitable for all ages! Refreshments provided.

10 a.m. - Doors Open
10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. - Main Event*
1:00 to 4:00 p.m. - Gallery Open House | Refreshments

Main Event Features:
Portrait design for children & youth | Interactive Drumming | Steel Band | Spoken Word | Performing Arts | Community Speakers

* Limited seating capacity. Please RSVP by email to with “RSVP BHM” in subject line or call 905-530-5300 Ext. 2844

Venue: Newmarket Old Town Hall, 460 Botsford Street, Newmarket | Phone 905-953-5313
Follow us @TownofNewmarket |@NACCANewmarket
#BlackHistory | #NewmarketOTH |#NACCANewmarket





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