Learning the history and developing an understanding of the different cultures and diversity in our community helps us become aware, rethink any assumptions, creates allyship and fosters a sense of connection with each other.

To help us get to know each other better, the Municipality of Kincardine will be highlighting different cultures, days of significance / remembrance and celebrations of our diverse community throughout the year. 

*Please note that population of this page is currently in progress. If you have suggestions for this page, please email Lorie Fioze, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, at lfioze@kincardine.ca


December 26, 2021 - January 1, 2022: Kwanzaa

Created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chairman of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach in 1966, Kwanzaa is an annual week-long celebration that is observed from December 26 to January 1.

Following the Watts Riots that took place in LA Dr Karenga was keen to create an event that would unite African-Americans. He wanted African-Americans to have an opportunity to celebrate themselves and their history instead of imitation of participation of the dominant society. He founded US, a cultural organization, and started to research African first fruit (harvest) celebrations. Karenga combined aspects of several different harvest celebrations, such as those of the Ashanti and those of the Zulu, to form the basis of Kwanzaa.

This celebration is based around seven major principles which are, according to Karenga, a communitarian African philosophy: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. On each of the seven nights of the week long celebration, families gather together and light one of the seven candles of the Kinara. Usually a discussion about the one specific principles takes place.

Kwanzaa also has its own symbols which include: a decorative mat, an ear of corn, crops, the Unity Cup, gifts, the seven candles and candleholder. All the symbols are designed to convey the seven principles of Kwanzaa.

Many African-Americans who celebrate Kwanzaa observe it as ad additional celebration to Christmas.

Previous Days of Significance/ Remembrance

September 30, 2021: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation  Orange Shirt Day

Thursday, September 30 marks the first #NationalDayforTruthandReconciliation and #OrangeShirtDay. It's a day to honour the First Nation, Métis, and Inuit children who did not return home from Canada's residential schools, to honour the survivors, their families, and their communities.

We hope you'll join us in wearing orange on Thursday.

We also hope you'll join us beyond September 30, as an ally to Indigenous Peoples year-round.

One way to demonstrate allyship is to continue learning (and unlearning) the history of First Nations peoples.

Join us on October 6, from 5:30-7:30pm, for "History of First Nations Peoples from a First Nations' perspective" with Trish Nadjiwon Meekins, of Nikaanaganaa Counselling & Learning Centre. Trish is Bodawadomi/Mohawk and a member of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation in Neyaashiinigmiing. She has been a teacher of First Nations culture and history for 20+ years.

Session is now closed.

To learn more about what we're doing for #truthandreconciliation, visit www.kincardine.ca/en/living-here/journey-to-reconciliation.

October 2021: Islamic History Month

October is Islamic History Month, proclaimed in 2007 as a time to recognize the significant role that Muslim communities play in Canadian society and highlight their extraordinary contributions.

In the Municipality of Kincardine, the Kincardine Islamic Centre operates as a community centre serving the social service needs of the Muslim community in Kincardine and the surrounding area.

Learn more about the history of Islam in Canada and recognize the many achievements of Muslim Canadians in the arts, sports, academics, sciences, literature and their communities at www.islamichistorymonth.ca

Together, we have the opportunity to recognize the ongoing challenges and barriers Muslim Canadians face in the face of racism and hate and work to combat all forms of discrimination, Islamophobia and hate-fueled violence directed at Muslim communities across the country. 

Happy Canadian Islamic History Month!

November 4, 2021: Diwali

The month of November is Hindu Heritage month in Ontario. This week, the Hindu community around the world and in our community began celebrating their biggest festival, Diwali. This five day festival started on November 2nd, with the main day of festivities occurring today -  November 4th.

Diwali is celebrated by Hindus around the world and has a lot in common with other global holidays. The gatherings, gift exchanges, fireworks, and lights of Diwali are reminiscent of other celebrations such as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Chinese New Year. Read how India is celebrating Diwali - https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-59133207

The core message of the festival centers around the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. It's also a time when daylight is really dwindling and the days are growing shorter, especially in the northern hemisphere. During this time we are in need of company, light, sweets, and festivities. 

November 20, 2021: Transgender Day of Remembrance

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is November 20th and commemorates the trans, two-spirit and non-binary people who have lost their lives to transphobic violence. It also honours those who continue to face violence and discrimination as they work for more just and inclusive communities.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people and publicly mourns and honors the lives of transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.

In recognition of the #Transgender Day of Remembrance, Kincardine Pride will host a Transgender Flag raising event 🏳️‍⚧ at 10AM on Friday, November 19th. The event will take place at the flagpole in front of the Kincardine Library on Queen Street. All are invited.

What does transgender mean? How can you be an ally to transgender people? Click here to learn more about Transgender Day of Remembrance 2021.

November 28 - December 6, 2021: Hanukkah

Known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the second century B.C. The event occurred when Jews rose up against Greek-Syrian rulers in the Maccabean Revolt and drove them out of Jerusalem, according to the History Channel.

To mark their victory, Jews wanted to reclaim the temple and light its menorah, but only found enough pure olive oil for one day, according to Chabad.org. That one-day supply lasted eight and is considered a miracle in Jewish faith.

Every year, Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of Kislev, a month in the Hebrew calendar. It lasts eight nights (yes, because of the oil), and this year it's from Nov. 28 through Dec. 6. Learn more about Hanukkah here.

 December 3, 2021: International Day of People with Disabilities 

December 3, is International Day of People with Disabilities - a global event celebrating achievements of people with a disability.

In 1981, the United Nations proclaimed this as a recognized day for the celebration of the achievements of people living with disabilities across the world.

Today, we invite you to raise awareness of the challenges faced by over 1 billion people living with disabilities, and the role communities and societies play in accelerating the eradication of barriers to social inclusion, equity, participation, and citizenship.

For tips to increase equity and inclusion for people with disabilities, take a look at the DEI best practices collection created by Disability:IN: https://lnkd.in/eKqM6N3M.

December 6, 2021: National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

On December 6, 1989, 14 young women were killed at Polytechnique Montréal because of their gender.

Today, December 6, is recognized as The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in remembrance of the victims of that tragedy: Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte, and Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz.

Approximately every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased in gender-based violence.

The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women calls all of us to action, to educate ourselves and others on gender-based violence and speak up against harmful behaviours.

December 6 falls within the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence - share how you are being part of the solution to end gender-based violence using the hashtag #16Days.

Together, we can make a difference.