The Government of Canada Recognizes the National Historic Importance of Kathleen “Kay” Livingstone

News Release

September 24, 2017                              Toronto, Ontario                                  Parks Canada

Canada’s national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas enable Canadians to experience their rich and varied history in a special way. To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, the Government of Canada invites Canadians to experience nature and learn more about our history.

Marco Mendicino, Member of Parliament for Eglinton – Lawrence on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, today commemorated the importance of Kathleen “Kay” Livingstone as a person of national historic significance. A special ceremony was held in Toronto, Ontario with members of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, the Congress of Black Women of Canada and the Ontario Black History Society.

The Government of Canada is committed to connecting Canadians to the significant people, places, and events that contributed to our country’s diverse heritage. Kathleen Livingstone was an extraordinary woman who devoted her life to the advancement of the cause of African-Canadian women and men in an era that was strongly influenced by prejudice and racial insecurities. Livingstone was a founding and active member of the Canadian Negro Women’s Association and served as its first president from 1951 to 1953. She was the driving force behind organising the first National Black Women’s Congress in 1973 which gave a powerful voice to African-Canadian women in Canada. 

Canada’s national parks and national historic sites enable Canadians to experience their heritage in a special way and play a big part in the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

This year also marks the centennial of national historic sites and Parks Canada invites Canadians to discover and be inspired by the stories of the people, places, and events that shaped the Canada of today. Take advantage of free admission to national historic sites in 2017, and discover truly Canadian places and stories with Parks Canada. 


“The Government of Canada is pleased to commemorate the national historic significance of Kathleen Livingstone, an inspiring woman who was at the forefront of the fight against racism and sexism in Canada. She devoted her life to the advancement of the cause of African-Canadians and other minorities to shape a more tolerant society. As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, I encourage all Canadians to take this opportunity to learn more about this great person and her important role in our country’s history.”

Marco Mendicino
Member of Parliament for Eglington – Lawrence


Quick Facts

  • During the 1940s, Livingstone maintained a brilliant acting career. She was called “one of Canada’s leading Black actresses”, performing in both amateur and professional productions. She was also an accomplished radio host who worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) hosting her own show which aired popular music and poetry while highlighting the accomplishments of Black people in Canadian society.

  • Livingstone was also heavily involved in promoting awareness and pride in the Toronto Black community in the post-Second World War period, and was a member of numerous local and national organizations, including the United Nations Association – Toronto Branch Women’s Auxiliary. 

  • Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of Environment and Climate Change regarding the national historic significance of places, people and events that have marked Canada’s history.

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Brett Levitt
Communications Officer, Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada Program
Southwestern Ontario Field Unit
Parks Canada

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency

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