GCF Grant Stories Caption for photo: Curly haired Nick Taylor in the CFRU station with his son Malcolm and baby grandson Charlie holding a microphone

Guelph Black Heritage Society Digital Archive #GCFGrantStories

Today in our #GCFGrantStories series, we spotlight the Guelph Black Heritage Society (GBHS), which received funding for its #ChangeStartsNow Digital Archive Project through The Guelph Community Foundation’s Musagetes Fund.

The #ChangeStartsNow Educational initiative provides educational programming on Black history and culture, as well as relevant resources on diversity and discrimination. The initiative’s new Digital Archive Project has begun digitizing materials such as photos, audio recordings, documents, and records from members of the local Black community to preserve important historical and cultural artifacts, raising awareness, and increasing knowledge about the history and contributions of Black settlers, Black immigrants and the Black community in Guelph and Wellington County.

In 2022, with funding from the Musagetes Fund, a sound engineer made digital copies of the Nicky Dread Radio Show, recorded by the late Nick Taylor on CFRU radio for over 40 years. Nick brought the sounds of reggae music and the Caribbean to the community of Guelph and Wellington. Caribbean immigrants entered the community in the 1950s, and their migration is a significant part of our community’s Black history.

Nick’s family was pleased that the GBHS could take on this project, as creating digital copies of his radio shows will allow a new generation to learn of his impact on our community and the music he loved.

Once the digital archive is complete, the GBHS plans for it to be accessible to all Guelph and Wellington County citizens on the GBHS website. It also plans on developing and implementing a promotion and knowledge mobilization strategy that will offer interactive, self-directed, and immersive methods to access the collection, creating easy access to the digitized artifacts.

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