Joan Sam

Grey Street East of Colborne Street, next to the British Methodist Episcopal church


I am Joan Sam. I am a mother, a wife.

I am not actually inside the Chapel, but I am outside. The church itself, now moved to Grey Street, was actually built in 1847 for a safe haven for the fugitive slaves and also to help settle all the Black community and the refugees who lived in that area.

I had a vision. Instead of just tell the story of slavery, why don’t I just turn this in a very positive way, where everybody can be involved. The church is the history of London. It belongs to everyone of us. It’s not me being Black, it’s not me being Asian or you being white or whatever, it’s London history. So I decided to start reaching out to the community. I have this picture of where we can all come together and tell the story in a beautiful way if you write a song, a poem, a hymn, draw the chair, paint the chair, whatever you feel like doing. I hope the project can be on display just to touch the lives of the community in a positive way and not just look at the chapel as this raggedy, broken frame. I want them to see community at work. That’s the beauty, that’s what Canada is.