[TORONTO, Ont. September 20, 2023] — on September 20, 2023, the historic date that the Hon. Lincoln Alexander was both sworn into office as Canada’s first Black MP, and sworn in as Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the LINC Bust Committee and Licensed to Learn (L2L), are pleased to announce the creation phase of a project to permanently display a bust of Lincoln MacCauley Alexander at Queen’s Park, through a generous commitment from the Black Opportunity Fund.
The Honourable Lincoln ‘Linc’ MacCauley Alexander holds a respected place in Canadian history as the first Black Member of Parliament in Canada, the first Black Canadian Cabinet Minister, the first Black Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, and a former Chair of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), and the Canadian Race Relations Foundation. The LINC Bust Project will immortalize his remarkable contributions, and stand as a beacon of optimism and opportunity for individuals of African descent, as well as Canadians of all backgrounds. Upon completion, the bust will be prominently placed in the Ontario Legislative Building at Toronto’s Queen’s Park, and be part of the educational program and tours at Queen’s Park. This will be the first statue of a Black person ever erected at Queen’s Park.
The official public unveiling of the Lincoln Alexander bust will be done at a public ceremony to coincide with Lincoln Alexander Day on January 21, 2024.
Quentin VerCetty, the award-winning Toronto artist commissioned to create the bust, excitedly anticipates the next phase: “It’s exhilarating that we can now fire up the kiln ovens and get the bronze ready to take on the form that will celebrate our great and honorable Lincoln ‘Linc’ MacCauley Alexander. I am deeply grateful for the sponsors’ generosity, and the community’s determination to bring this project to life.”
Mitzie Hunter, former Minister of Education, and former MPP, Scarborough-Guildwood, shares her enthusiasm for the project, saying, “Representation matters. Having a bust of the Honourable Lincoln Alexander in the corridor of Queen’s Park will serve as a visual inspiration to the thousands of people who will see it, many of whom are students. The bust will spark conversation, tell stories and honour Linc for having blazed a trail. I am so happy to have known him and have wonderful memories of our many encounters to treasure. I believe the bust will continue to keep his memory alive to inspire the next generation.”
The LINC Bust Project will inspire the next generation. The positive influence of historical figures like The Hon. Lincoln MacCauley Alexander on young people, especially Black and racialized youth, is well documented. The project fosters self-esteem and academic excellence in the youth, perpetuating a legacy of inspiration.
Craig Wellington, the Executive Director of Black Opportunity Fund, expresses his enthusiasm, saying, “We are thrilled to be part of this historic project that pays tribute to this exemplary Canadian legend. His indomitable spirit and dedication to equality continues to inspire us all.”
Erika Alexander, Family Representative for Lincoln MacCauley Alexander, shares the family’s sentiments, “the Alexander family is thrilled and grateful that the long-awaited project to craft the Lincoln Alexander bust for Queen’s Park can finally commence. We are excited to see this important piece of art come to life and honor the legacy of our beloved family member.”
Rosemary Sadlier, Past President of the Ontario Black History Society and Chair of the LINC Bust Committee, states, “this generous financial sponsorship by the Black Opportunity Fund, propels the project into the creative phase for its eventual public reveal at Queen’s Park, realizing the hope of our community symbolized by this remarkable creation.”
The committee also acknowledges the generous support of the RBC Foundation as well as the individual donors who have invested in the legacy of this great Canadian.
Those interested in contributing to the project can visit the link below to make a donation
About Licensed to Learn
L2L is a Canadian organization that is committed to supporting youth education and leadership development through a variety of programs and initiatives. The organization’s mission is to empower youth to reach their full potential and become leaders in their communities. Since its launch in 2002, L2L has supported over 40,000 Canadian students.
The Honourable Lincoln Alexander was the organization’s patron & a passionate advocate for its programs.
For more information about Licensed to Learn, please visit www.L2L.ca and www.L2L.ca/lincoln-alexander-bust/ to donate to the Lincoln Alexander bust project.
About the LINC Committee
The committee was formed to ensure a tangible reflection at Queen’s Park of the first Black Canadians to serve the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. Negotiating and securing various elements, after years of moving forward, this volunteer group is delighted to see pending success.
About Black Opportunity Fund
Black Opportunity Fund (BOF) is a community-led registered charitable organization, that supports a prosperous, healthy, and thriving Black Canada by delivering sustainable and needs-informed capital streams to Black businesses and Black community organizations, in order to help dismantle the impacts of anti-Black racism. BOF also works nationally to strengthen collective actions by Black organizations and leaders.
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