As the 29th annual Africville summer reunion starts this week, some former residents are celebrating the completion of the Africville Church and Museum.

Africville, the former black settlement in north-end Halifax, was first settled in the 1830s when former American slaves and other black people moved to the area. But it was neglected by the former City of Halifax and became run-down over the years

It was demolished by the City of Halifax in the 1960s. In 2010, the Africville Genealogy Society reached a settlement with the Halifax Regional Municipality which included an apology, restoration of the name Africville to Seaview Park, and a transfer of land and funds to build a replica of the community's original church. The original church was bulldozed in 1967.

The city committed $3 million to construct a replica of the Seaview African United Baptist Church.


Irvine Carvery, president of the Africville Geneology Society, said the original church was the centre of the Africville community (CBC)

Inside the church is a museum, with exhibits portraying what life was like in Africville from the start of the community in the 1800s to the eviction of its residents in the 1960s.

Irvine Carvery, president of the Africville Genealogy Society, said the church was the centre of the community.

"I expect a lot of emotions because people with their connection to the church, and for those folks who have passed on, it will bring back a lot of memories. Good memories and some sad memories," he said.

A ceremony to mark the opening of exhibits will be held this weekend as part of the annual picnic and reunion.

Hundreds of people are expected to visit the museum from across Canada and the U.S. for the reunion.