March 8th, 2023 - 6:44pm
MASSE CONGRATULATES THE LOCAL BLACK COMMUNITY ON THEIR YEARS LONG EFFORTS TO SECURE A NEW ART COMMISSION ON THE AREA’S ‘UNDERGROUND RAILROAD’ HISTORY TO BE PLACED AT THE GORDIE HOWE BRIDGE
(WINDSOR) Today, Brian Masse, MP (Windsor West), congratulated the local Black community for their tireless efforts to get the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) to commission new art on the area’s important role in the Underground Railroad, which saw thousands of people escaping slavery in the United States make their way to freedom in Canada.
“Back in November of 2020, in response to community concerns raised to me through several meetings and discussions, I asked the Prime Minister during question period in the House of Commons to include art on the black history of the area as part of the Gordie Howe Bridge, which would join Indigenous and European art already commissioned. The positive response given then along with the years long effort of the local Black community has been made real today with the WDBA announcing the commission of art on the Underground Railroad. I want to thank the local community on making this happen,” Masse stated.
The commission will be open to professional Canadian artists of the Black, African and Caribbean diaspora living and working in Canada. The commission also includes a mentorship opportunity for a local youth identifying as a member of the Black, African and Caribbean diaspora from Sandwich/west Windsor to work with the artist.
The new art commission will represent Canadian identity and history with regard to the Underground Railroad. It will be located outside the Canadian Port of Entry, in an accessible area, where people can gather to reflect on the sacrifices made in the quest for freedom.
“This is the result of the hard work over the past two years of the Detroit River Project, the Essex County Black Historical Research Society, other cultural and historical organizations to secure the new art commission from the WDBA to fully represent this important part of this region’s history and one of the storied local communities,” Masse stated.
Here is the link to the video of Masse’s question to the Prime Minister: