The 8th Deaf History International Conference – Gala & Screening of Clown White (1981)

On July 24-29, the DHI Conference (Deaf History International Conference) held their 8th gathering  on Canadian soil for the first time. Hosted by the Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf (CCSD), the DHI Conference had successfully brought together over 397 participants in a week from all around the world.
This year’s convention, with the theme “Telling Deaf Lives: Biographies and Autobiographies“, offered us amazing programs and activities to learn more about the Deaf individuals and communities. The programs included high tea reception, art gallery tour, movie screening, and shopping, etc. 
The screening of “Clown White” (1981) at Airship 37 gave us the opportunity to meet the 6 Deaf actors and Producer (Martin Harbury) of the film . “Clown White” was the first closed captioned film ever to air in Canada on CBC back in 1981. It was a warm and inspiring story of a rebellious deaf child who ran away during a school field trip. After 30 years, the DHI Conference amazingly brought together all the actors to share their stories with us. Mark Christopher Dillon who starred as the main character (Jason) told us that the afro head he had back in the 80s was still one of his favourite fashion trends. 

We also had the opportunity to attend The Gala Dinner & Entertainment on Jul 28 at Fairmont Royal York. The night, hosted by Toronto’s own celebrity Anselmo DeSousa (Deaf TV), started with a nice reception and silent auction at the Imperial Room, followed by a 3 course sit – down dinner with amazing performances by world renowned performers Angela Petrone Stratiy– a one woman show comedian, David Burke– a winner of ASL Storytelling Award, and Yan Liu– a dancer/ dance instructor for the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.
The 5000 square feet dining room was set-up with a  nostalgic railway theme. David Burke, dressed up in his killer conductor outfit, told us that it brought back memories for them who used to travel to school by train.


More about the DHI Conference (Deaf History International Conference)…
DHI, founded in 1991 in Washington, D.C., produces conferences globally. DHI supports the research, study, preservation, and communication of Deaf people’s history worldwide. The next conference will be in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2015.
For more information please visit:

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