The event, which kicked off at Jack Pool Plaza, also aims to show its support and unity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Earlier this summer, large crowds gathered across British Columbia and the rest of the country to draw attention to anti-Black racism in Canada and elsewhere.
“We just need everyone to be on the same page and wake them up to understand that some things are not good and that they hurt,” said Shamika Mitchell, co-organizer of the event.
Event organizers called on attendees to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by wearing masks, adhering to physical distance guidelines, and monitoring for possible symptoms for two weeks after walking.
The event will end at Sunset Beach Park, where black performers and black-owned businesses will come together for a celebration of black culture.
The Slavery Abolition Act received Royal Assent on August 28, 1833, and legislation came into force throughout the empire and its colonies on August 1, 1834.
Since then, Canadian communities have organized events to celebrate the abolition of slavery.
Emancipation Day was only officially recognized in Ontario until Saturday, when the city of Vancouver officially declared Emancipation Day on August 1.
There is a growing movement for greater recognition between provinces.
The city of Vancouver today officially proclaimed Emancipation Day to commemorate the abolition of slavery in 1834. Organizers of today’s rally in support of the BLM say Ontario is the only other place in Canada to have made this proclamation. pic.twitter.com/ATc24mRIqw
– @ _ rossandrea