British Home Child Day at Black Creek Pioneer Village

TORONTO, Sept. 24, 2014 /CNW/ - On Sunday, September 28th Black Creek Pioneer Village in partnership with British Home Children Advocacy and Research Association (BHCARA) celebrates British Home Child Day in Ontario with a full day of special events celebrating the lives of British Home Children.

"In spite of the adversities the British Home Children faced in Canada, with dedication and hard work, they built a lasting legacy not only in Canada but in central Ontario where the vast majority of these children were placed," said Lori Oschefski, Founder and CEO of BHCARA. "Over four million Canadians are descendants of BHC. Canada was built on the backs of these hard working children and BHC Day allows us to come together to celebrate their successes, remember their lives and to recognize their struggles."

From 1869 -1948, up to 118,000 children, known as British Home Children, were sent to Canada from Great Britain primarily to work as indentured farm labourers and domestic servants. It is estimated that 1 in 10 Canadian families have a "British Home Child" in their family tree.

"The story of the British Home Child is a largely forgotten part of Canada's history," said Chris Bagley, General Manager, Black Creek Pioneer Village. "The children that arrived in this historic child emigration movement grew up, established families and helped to build the Ontario we live in today.  We are honoured to be able to celebrate their contributions and have visitors learn more about their story at British Home Child Day at Black Creek Pioneer Village."

Event Highlights: 11a.m.4:30 p.m.

11 a.m. Opening ceremonies with opening remarks by Lori Oschefski, CEO, BHCARA; Opening address Judy Sgro, MP York West and former Immigration Minister

Launch of BHCARA Executive Director, Canada, Sandra Joyce's book – 'Belonging' a sequel to 'The Street Arab - The Story of a British Home Child'. A book signing will take place at 1:00 pm in front of the Town Hall.

Performances from:

  • Members of the cast of the Homechild – The Musical
  • The Miller School of Irish Dance
  • Bold Step Dance Studio
  • A multi-media installation inspired by the lost childhood of British Home Children by international artists Nerea Martinez de Lecea and Michele Woodey
  • Folk Singer Marion Parsons
  • Children's games

2:00 p.m. Author Marjorie Kohli will give a presentation on the contribution British Home Children made in the First World War.

2:00 p.m. Author Rose McCormick Brandon will host an open mike session with British Home Child stories

4:15 p.m. Closing remarks

About Black Creek Pioneer Village
Black Creek Pioneer Village is Toronto's premier outdoor living history museum. Visitors can explore 40 heritage homes, shops and buildings restored to re-create an 1860s Ontario village. Historic interpreters in period dress demonstrate how villagers lived, worked and played. The Village hosts learning programs and special events that highlight local heritage and culture. The tranquil setting, rural landscapes, heritage gardens and period farm animal breeds make Black Creek Pioneer Village the perfect place to break out of the modern world and journey into the past. Located in north Toronto, Black Creek Pioneer Village is owned and operated by Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA). Visit

SOURCE: Black Creek Pioneer Village

For further information: Rowena Calpito, Public Relations, Black Creek Pioneer Village, 416-661-6600 ext 5632,

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Black Creek Pioneer Village

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