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Celebrate 100 Years of Culture in Oshawa this March

March is a month packed full of reasons to come together with the community, share our diverse lived experiences, break bread together, and reflect on what the past has borne for our futures. 

According to DurhamRegion.com, “On March 8, 1924, Oshawa was officially declared a city as it had passed the requisite population threshold of 15,000 to meet city status…” As of 2021, the population was reported to be over 175,000. I want to attribute that population growth to Oshawa being a great place to work, live, and play. Over the last decade, there have been so many changes to the city, but the grit of Oshawa’s people has stayed positive and ever-present. Congratulations, Oshawa, on turning 100 years old!  To celebrate, the City of Oshawa is hosting a variety of celebrations over the course of the year - in fact, they kicked off as the clock struck midnight on December 31, 2023. Be sure to visit Oshawa.ca/100, so you don't miss any fun!

Congress of Black Women of Canada Oshawa/Whitby Chapter
Congress of Black Women of Canada Oshawa/Whitby Chapter

Also, this month, we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8. Pay homage to the suffragist movement by participating in the virtual #BreakTheBias event hosted by the Region of Durham. On March 7, the eve of International Women’s Day, join keynote speaker Chief Kelly LaRocca of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation and performers from all around Durham. The event will be live-streamed from 7 to 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit the Congress of Black Women of Canada website. 

As of 2020, the provincial government passed Bill 178, proclaiming the first Monday in March (annually) as Black Mental Health Day. This year, that day falls on March 6. While this important event is recognized in Toronto for the entire week, I wanted to highlight that Black mental health is an important issue year-round. Here is just one resource – from the Canadian Mental Health Association – that can help us this month and beyond. I encourage our communities to access what resources are available to us to make each day even just a bit healthier. 

For me, part of that health means increasing joy and togetherness. By the time you read this, Dune II will be premiering, and movie theatres will be packed. Not to worry, no spoilers here. Fret not! The kids who are looking to enjoy their March Break will surely have ample opportunity to hang around the theatres with their crews, bonding over the plight of the world as they know it.


There is lots to do in Oshawa this March Break, especially if you have little ones. There are several public skates and swims happening all around the city. Look at the City of Oshawa website for March Break event registration, especially for March 11 to 15 camps.


One of my personal favourite Oshawa staples is Brew Wizards Board Game Café. Nerds to the front: come out on March 23 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a “Sip and Shop” with some amazing local vendors. Having attended several of Oshawa’s artisan markets, I can attest to the truly amazing craftsmanship that Oshawa attracts. Especially as we wait patiently for farmer’s markets to re-open, this is a great way to support local businesses. Located at 74 Celina Street, Brew Wizards is definitely a hub for those interested in excellent brews, popular board games, and eclectic buys! 


Brew Wizards Poster
Coffee, Crafts, and Local Makers Unite!

March comes with another break from the hustle and bustle as we look forward to Easter. On March 23, join Parkwood Estates from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for their Easter Cookie Decorating Workshop. There are only a few spots left, so be sure to register now if you are interested.

Then, on March 30, visit Laval Park at 475 Salisbury Street for all-you-can-eat pancakes with the Easter Bunny for just $5! Happening from 9 to 10 a.m., this “special needs friendly” event supports our community neighbours who want to partake in local celebrations in an accessible way. Buying your $5 ticket supports local initiatives. 


Opening February 27: "Commonplace"  Kendra Yee’s residency exhibition features an installation of over 100 clay tiles inspired by memories.
Opening February 27: "Commonplace" Kendra Yee’s residency exhibition features an installation of over 100 clay tiles inspired by memories.

As always, Oshawa’s Robert McLaughlin Gallery has its finger on the pulse of the goings on for the month. Participate in the Kendra Yee artist talk on March 3, their “First Friday” event, which also recognizes IWD, OPG Sundays, their March Break Art Camp, or their “world-builders, shapeshifters, and kenatenants” event on March 17. Check out the RMG’s event page sooner rather than later.  


No matter what you do this March Break and this peekaboo into spring, Oshawa always has great places to eat year-round. Don’t forget about Oshawa’s Culinary Compass, which is a guide to some of the best eats in town.  


As we shake off the winter layers and emerge into a new season, I hope to see you all around town, doing the things that make Oshawa a great city to visit, stay, and play! 


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