The story behind the story . . .
The Portia White Exhibit was created as a legacy project in Toronto by the Don Heights Unitarian Congregation and the White Family.
Artifacts which had been carefully preserved by the family archivist, Vivian White, who was Portia's sister-in-law, formed a display to celebrate the famous Canadian singer's life on the fiftieth anniversary of her death on February 13, 1968.
In February, 2018 Don Heights opened its doors to a month-long, interactive display for Black History Month, Celebrating Portia White: 50 Years On. The Opening Ceremony was a hugely successful affair featuring as guest speaker the acclaimed literary figure, George Elliott Clarke, Portia's grandnephew. From Toronto the exhibit traveled to Colchester Historeum in Portia's birthplace of Truro, Nova Scotia, where it was housed from May to October, 2019. In November the collection was placed in the hands of the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia where it is currently on loan.
Curated by Portia's niece, Sheila White and her husband Alex King, the exhibit in its entirety represents the most comprehensive assortment of Portia White collectibles ever assembled in one place. The two were ably assisted by a hardworking committee.
Sheila is the Music Director at Don Heights Unitarian Congregation and was able to initiate the Portia Exhibit project on behalf of her late parents, both founding members of Don Heights in 1960, Bill and Vivian White.