Niagara-on-the-Lake to Benefit from the Commemorative Art Installation “Voices of Freedom”

News release

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NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ontario, July 17, 2018

Today, Arif Virani, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Multiculturalism), announced that the Government of Canada will be providing $338,000 to the Corporation of the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake for the creation of the commemorative art installation “Voices of Freedom.” Mr. Virani made this announcement on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

In 2018, Niagara-on-the-Lake will mark the 225th anniversary of the 1793 Act to Limit Slavery in Upper Canada and commemorate Chloe Cooley, a local slave who played an important part in the instigation of the Act. “Voices of Freedom” is a commissioned art installation designed to engage, educate and enrich local citizens and visitors and improve their understanding of how Black history impacted the community and shaped our country.

This funding is being provided through the Legacy Fund component of the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program, administered by Canadian Heritage. The Legacy Fund supports capital projects that commemorate significant local anniversaries and engage communities in their heritage.


“Our government is pleased to invest in commemorative projects like this one that highlight important moments in the history of our communities. These projects remind us of the people, places and events that have shaped our great country. We are delighted to have contributed to this project, which will serve as a poignant tribute to Canada’s Black history.”

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“Our government is proud to help create a lasting legacy for Niagara-on-the-Lake and its citizens. It is a significant milestone for Black Canadians in this community and across the country. Congratulations to the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Voices of Freedom Committee, and all the residents and volunteers who have been involved in pursuing this project, which will highlight Chloe Cooley and her leadership in the fight to end slavery in Upper Canada and combat anti-Black racism.”

—Arif Virani, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Multiculturalism)

Quick facts

  • Niagara-on-the-Lake is located on the Niagara Peninsula on Lake Ontario. It is a popular tourist destination with its colonial-style buildings, the Shaw Festival, Fort George, wineries and its proximity to Niagara Falls. It is also the home of numerous Canadian historic sites.

  • The art installation is a landscape-based art piece with historical information engraved on steel arcs guiding the visitor to a main raised stage, which is the focal point of several paths that connect the park’s entry points with the main feature. The structure lends itself to historical re-enactments, music festivals, guided walking tours and educational outreach. The commemorative art installation will occupy the entire Regent Street Park, at the corner of Regent and Johnson Street in the heart of the Old Town district.

  • The Corporation of the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake has been approved for funding in the amount of $338,000 for 2018–19. The total project budget for this project is $712,500.

Associated links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Simon Ross
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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