Braithwaite, Whiteley to perform in Aboyne

ABOYNE – Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley  are coming to the Wellington County Museum and Archives on Feb. 8 in celebration of Black History Month, taking place in February.

“Did you know that some of the very first settlers to Wellington County were Black Canadians?” museum officials ask.  “Or that by 1850 over 2,000 Black Canadians had settled here, building farms, churches, schools and lives?”

Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley will perform Sugar and Gold – The Story of the Underground Railroad in Canada.

Braithwaite is a direct descendent of escaped slaves in the Queen’s Bush settlement, which was located, in part, in what is now Mapleton Township.

At its peak in 1840, the Queen’s Bush settlement was home to about 2,000 black settlers, almost all escaped slaves and immigrants from the United States.

It was the largest concentration of black settlers in Ontario, encompassing an area about 12 miles by eight miles, in what would become Woolwich and the southern portion of former Peel Township.

Sugar and Gold – The Story of the Underground Railroad in Canada is a presentation of history through multi-media that uses images and songs to tell the inspiring and uplifting stories of the Underground Railroad.

Braithwaite and Whiteley created and have presented Sugar and Gold over the course of 14 years, educating and inspiring new generations through their interactive musical storytelling.

Afterwards visitors can take a step back in time to the early 1800s as they experience the amazing stories of black Canadian pioneers of Wellington County in both the Queen’s Bush and the Pierpoint settlement.

From 2 to 3pm, staff will be available to tell stories from local black history. For more information call  519-846-0916 ext. 5224 or email

Tickets cost $15 (HST included) and can be purchased at the museum or by calling 519-846-0916.