The Voices of Freedom Walking Tour app has been completed, and will be officially launched Tuesday.
When the Voices of Freedom park on Regent Street opened last fall, the app was planned as a mobile walking tour of Black history sites within the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
But it turned out to be more extensive than originally planned, said Amy Klassen, acting managing director of the museum.
It’s more than can be managed in one walk. Although several of the sites are manageable, spreading out from Butler Street to Fort George in the Old Town, the tour continues on to Rye Heritage Park, and to one location on Tanbark Road in St. Davids.
The museum had been looking for a way to feature Black history, and when this came along, it was decided to go with an app that would give it more complete coverage than originally anticipated, said Klassen.
The intention was a walking tour app and some school eduction programming related to Black history, said Klassen, but as they looked at significant locations they discovered important stories they didn’t want to leave out.
What has been developed should be of interest to visitors and locals, Klassen said. The app features 15 locations in town that have Black history significance, with 15 different stories, which are told by Shaw actors.
“We are often asked questions about whether there’s a Black history tour. We have some specific locations, but if you don’t know about them you wouldn’t know where to look. This (app) came out of a real need for co-ordinated Black history information all in one spot,” said Klassen.
The app has been designed with audio clips and images, so the tour can be taken from home, by walking at least some of it in one trek, or when visiting the Voices of Freedom park.
Included are the voices of those featured in the park: Chloe Cooley, at Queen’s Royal Park; Richard Pierpoint at Fort George; Solomon Moseby at the Steward House on Butler Street; and the Waters family cottage on Gate Street.
The Tanbark location represents a Black farming community, and other sites are included because of their significance in Black history.
The app will be launched at the Voices of Freedom park at the corner of Regent and Johnson Streets, Tuesday, July 9 at 10 a.m. It will include live performances of the audio on the app.
Take a mobile device to download the app and explore Black history in town. The walking tour app can be downloaded at vofpark.com.