Saturday, 28 January 2017


By Neil Armstrong

Ontario Black History Society will hold its 2017 Black History Month Kick-off Brunch, “Celebrating Canada 150,” on Sunday, Jan. 29, 12-5pm at Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. West, Toronto. This year's award recipients are: Andre De Grasse, Dwight Drummond, Lawrence Hill, Spider Jones and Bryan and Shannon Prince. Keynote speaker: Celina Caesar-Chavannes, MP & Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development.

The City of Markham & Markham’s African Caribbean Canadian Association present Black History Month on Jan. 31, 6-8pm at The Flato Markham Theatre, 171 Town Centre Blvd., Markham. Call 905-946-9998


From Feb. 2-26, Black Artist’s Network Dialogue (BAND) presents “No Justice, No Peace: From Ferguson to Toronto” at the Gladstone Hotel featuring the work of artists: Zun Lee, Jalani Morgan and Nation Cheong.

 No Justice, No Peace: From Ferguson to Toronto ( positions photography at the forefront during an era of heightened global protests against systemic violence by police. All are socially-conscious photographers whose images evoke the pan-geographic urgency with which their black subjects demand to be seen and heard. Co-curated by Julie Crooks and Reese de Guzman, this exhibition will be on view at BAND’s pop-up gallery at the Gladstone Hotel.

Highlighting some of the many events:

#BlackLivesMatter: Feb. 1, 7-8pm at Toronto Reference Library. A candid discussion on the achievements of Toronto’s Black communities, the Black Lives Matter movement, and race relations in Canada. With journalist Desmond Cole, civil and human rights lawyer Anthony Morgan, Black Lives Matter representative Chrys Saget-Richard and Toronto Star’s Morgan Campbell.

Canada’s Poet Laureate, George Elliott Clarke pays homage to the late Austin Clarke. With Lillian Allen, Clifton Joseph, Adebe DeRango-Adem and Giovanna Riccio on Feb. 9, 7-8:30pm at Toronto Reference Library.

#BlackLivesMatter. Desmond Cole, Anthony Morgan and Chrys Saget-Richard in discussion at York Woods on Friday, Feb. 10, 10-11am

Among the many events are presentations by spoken word artist, Dwayne Morgan (at Palmerston, Wed., Feb. 8,1:30-2:30pm "Living a Life of Passion"; journalist/publicist Dalton Higgins (at Maria A. Shchuka, Tues., Feb. 21, 7-8pm); Beverley "Bev" Salmon, first Black female Toronto city councillor (at Downsview on Thurs. Feb. 16, 1-3pm, "Never Stop Fighting Systemic Discrimination"; National Film Board of Canada productions on former governor general Michaelle Jean and The Ninth Floor; and a presentation on Viola Desmond.

United Way Peel Region presents “Roots, Commitment and Legacies” the launch of Black History Month on Friday, Feb. 3, 9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, 90 Biscayne Crescent, Brampton. The event is chaired by Justice Donald McLeod. The panel will involve an in-depth examination of the state of affairs of the Black Community in Peel focused on a commitment to find tangible solutions and develop critical next steps in partnership. Tickets are $75.

1st Fridays Toronto presents its Black History Month Edition on Friday, Feb. 3, 6:30-11pm at Fuse Restaurant, 366 Queen St. East, Toronto. Admission: $20 ($10 for students with valid ID)

ROM Friday Night Live is back. On February 3.  #FNLROM: Afro Fête, presented by Ford Canada, celebrates Black History Month with a jam-packed night of vibrant music, food and activations. Featuring live entertainment, DJs and special performances in the Museum’s stunning galleries, #FNLROM has become one of Toronto’s favourite social destinations.

KUUMBA – Feb. 3-4 & 10-11 – Harbourfront Centre

Toronto’s longest-running celebration of Black History Month returns in February, and this time we’re adding a second weekend! Join us for a series of thought-provoking panel discussions and socially driven cultural programming that explores blackness in the 21st century.
Tiki Mercury-Clarke’s “Toronto Black Then” will be on Feb. 4, 7-8:30pm in Miss Lou’s Room.
The launch of B. Denham Jolly’s memoir, “In the Black: My Life,” will be held in Miss Lou’s Room on Feb. 11, 7-9pm
Trey Anthony, Itah Sadu, and many more artists will be presenters at KUUMBA.

African, Caribbean & Black Canadian HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Start a conversation. Know your health options. End the stigma. A community event in support of the 3rd annual African, Caribbean and Black Canadian HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 12-3pm at Women's Health in Women's Hands Community Health Centre, 2 Carlton St., Suite 500, Toronto. Guest speaker: Roberta K. Timothy, PhD. Registration required. Call 416-593-7655

“HOW BLACK MOTHERS SAY I LOVE YOU,” a Trey Anthony and Girls in Bow Ties production written by Trey Anthony and presented by Factory Theatre will run from Feb. 9-March 5 (Previews Feb. 4-8) at Factory Mainspace Theatre, 125 Bathurst St. (at Adelaide)

HOW BLACK MOTHERS SAY I LOVE YOU is Trey Anthony’s ('da Kink in my Hair) most hilarious and thought provoking play yet. Daphne, a Caribbean mother, emigrated to Canada leaving two daughters behind in Jamaica for six years. The separation causes disastrous consequences for the entire family who are all searching for love, reconciliation and forgiveness. A tale of a mother, her daughters and their attempts to love each other in less than ideal circumstances, HOW BLACK MOTHERS SAY I LOVE YOU searches for ways to respond to what has been left unsaid.

Historica Canada and TD Bank Group in celebration of Black History Month present “Black Canadian Trailblazers-Then and Now,” an evening to celebrate the contributions that Black Canadians in various fields have made to Canada. To recognize this milestone year of Canada’s sesquicentennial, the event will pay homage to trailblazers making a difference in our country today, and those who came before them. This will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. at The Royal Conservatory of Music, 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto.

Hosted by City News Anchor Tammie Sutherland, the night will feature a stellar line up of Black Canadians who ​will each share a story:
Wanda Robson - Author and sister to Viola Desmond
Measha Brueggergosman - Canadian Opera Singer
Dwayne Morgan – Spoken Word Artist & Motivational Speaker
Dr Afua Cooper – Author, Historian & Educator
Jojo Chintoh - Veteran TV Reporter
Anthony Morgan – Lawyer and Human Rights Advocate
Special performances by Akwaba Cultural Exchange - African drumming group, Jade's Hip-Hop Academy, and poet Nadine Williams.
For more information, please visit us at: 

Black History Month Social hosted by the Ontario Association of Black School Educators, Association of Educators of Black Students, African Heritage Educators Network and the Peel Association of African-Canadian Educators will be held on Thursday, Feb. 9, 6:30-9pm at Belleeny’s, 4000 Steeles Ave. West, Unit 14, Vaughan.

RASTAFEST in association with Frontline Books, Miquel Lorne Publishers & Masani Productions present a Black History Month celebration on Friday, Feb. 10, 7pm at Remix Lounge, 1305 Dundas St. West (at Rusholme Rd.) featuring Treson, Iauwata, Comfort & the City Soul Band, Cue, Ras Miquel Lorne, Ras Sekous Tafari and others. Includes the book launch of the revised edition of “Philosophy & Opinions of Marcus Garvey” written by Amy Jacques Garvey. Donation: $10 Call: 416-291-9977

dance Immersion presents U.K. dance company, ACE, with the Canadian premiere of TEN. Choreographed by José Agudo. Friday, February 10 - Saturday, February 11, 2017. Friday-Saturday at 8pm, Saturday matinee at 1pm at Harbourfront Centre's Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay West, Toronto
Tickets: $34 (Students/Seniors/CADA/arts workers $22-$29); Groups 10+: $15
Harbourfront Centre Box Office at 416-973-4000 OR
online at

Eddie and Quincy Bullen. “Father and Son, Dueling Pianos” celebrating Canada’s 150th. 2017 Black History Month presented by TD on Saturday, Feb. 11, 8pm at the Aga Khan Museum Auditorium, 77 Wynford Drive, Toronto. Tickets (reserved seating): $45/$50

BBPA and TD present “Black Roots Bear Fruits” – BBPA Official BHM Celebration – on Feb. 11, 6pm at Apple Creek Community Church, 700 Apple Creek Blvd., Markham. Call BBPA: 416-504-4097/Pauline Christian 416-605-4724

The Jamaican Canadian Association, under the distinguished patronage of the Jamaica’s Consul General at Toronto, Lloyd Wilks, presents “Boonoonoonos Brunch” The Crisis in Education, a Black History Month celebration on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2-6pm at the Jamaican Canadian Centre, 995 Arrow Rd., Toronto. The event will also recognize the achievements of Dr. Gervan Fearon, Mitzie Hunter, Staff Sgt. (Ret.) Ezra “Tony” Browne and David Mitchell. Admission: $50. Buffet Meal. Entertainment. Prizes and Surprises. Call 416-746-5772

Black History Month “Deeper-than-Religion” Community Teach-in, discussion and dinner at Ralph Thornton Community Centre, 765 Queen St. East, Toronto, 3rd Floor Activity Room on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2-6pm. Cost: pay if/what you want. RSVP for dinner:

culchahworks Arts Collective presents Djembe Playday on Sunday, Feb. 12, registration: 11:30 a.m-1:00 p.m., mass drumming workshop: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. at The Opera House, 735 Queen St. East, Toronto. Come learn the history, legacy, and proper playing technique for West Africa's most famous drum.

South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo performs at The Royal Conservatory of Music, Koerner Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 8pm. 416-408-0208

The 5th annual Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF) will be held Feb. 15-19.

Black Ontario Public Service Employees Network (BOPSers) presents a discussion, "Internalized Racism - how to recognize it?" on Thursday, Feb. 16, 5:00-7:30 p.m. at 900 Bay St., 2nd Floor, Kawartha Room. Facilitator: Cikiah Thomas, BOPSers founder. RSVP:

Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention presents its Black History Month 2017 event under the theme "Diversity is our Strength"on Thursday, Feb. 16, 5-8pm at 20 Victoria St., 4th Floor, Toronto. Call 416-977-9955,,

Black History Month Symposium - "The Evolving Meaning of Blackness in Canada. history. education. justice." Keynote presenters: Anthony Stewart, Kike Roach, Rinaldo Walcott and Barrington Walker on Friday, Feb. 17 and Saturday, Feb. 18 at Founders Assembly Hall (Room 152 Founders College), York University (Keele Campus). Register online and view the program at

Peel United Cultural Partners (Congress of Black Women – Brampton Chapter and the United Achievers’ Club) presents its 16th annual Black History Month Concert at Lester B. Pearson Theatre, Brampton Civic Centre, 150 Central Park Drive, Brampton on Saturday, Feb. 18, 5:00pm-8:30pm. Guest speaker: Farley Flex, motivational speaker, artist manager and music promoter. Tickets: $6, children 3 and under free. Call 905-789-1551/905-796-1916

Jamaica Ex-Soldiers Association presents its 12th annual Black History Month Celebration – “Celebrating our Men & Challenging the Myth of Black Fatherhood” – on Saturday, Feb. 18, expo 5pm-6pm, formal program at 6pm at Northwood Community Centre, 15 Clubhouse Court, Toronto. Call 647-234-7957/416-525-2346

TD presents “Tribute to the Legends of Reggae” paying tribute to Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs and Culture on Tuesday, Feb. 21, doors open at 7pm, show time at 8pm at the Rose Theatre, 1 Theatre Lane, Brampton and on Saturday, Feb. 25, 8pm (doors open); show starts at 9pm at The Opera House, 735 Queen St. East, Toronto. Live performances by: Ken Boothe, Exco Levi and High Priest, Nana McLean, Chester Miller, Mr. Cooper, Hardcore Band. Music provided by DJ Joshua Luca.
Tickets: $25 advance, $30 at the door. VIP Tickets: $50 advance, $55 at the door
Info: Jones & Jones: 905-452-1911

BOPSers main celebratory event - "Can we afford to remain silent on Anti-Black Racism?" - will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 12:30-1:20 p.m. at St. Lawrence Lounge, 900 Bay St., MacDonald Block. Special guest: Steve Orsini, Secretary of the Cabinet. Keynote speaker: Desmond Cole, author and activist. RSVP: 

Anne-Marie Woods aka Amani has a new youth production, "The Three Friends," that takes a look at African Canadian history and race relations.
It explores the question – What would happen to friendship or relationships if they weren’t always acceptable? Written, directed and starring award-winning playwright and activist, Anne-Marie Woods aka Amani, alongside up-and-coming youth actors -- Antonio Parsons, Sheree Spencer and Kaia Richardson.

Synopsis: A BlackLivesMatter protest took place on the Jean Augustine University campus and three friends; one African Canadian, one African American and one of European descent have all ended up in a boardroom to deal with the feelings caused by the protest. As temperatures rise and the discussion heats up they soon learn that back, white, American or Canadian, we all have more in common than you might think. From the Transatlantic Slave Trade to the Civil Rights Movement to the present day political climate … history, fiction and fantasy will unite to tell the story of Black History In Canada in an exciting and unique way. “The Three Friends” was created because of a request by Ebenezer Inkumsah who officiates the Black History Month Events in Barrie, Ontario.  

A private showcase will take place on Feb. 24, and a public one at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts on Feb. 22 – both in Barrie, Ontario.  

Black Lives, Black Words at the 38th Rhubarb Festival at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre,, on Feb. 24 & 25, 10:00 p.m. in the chamber.
Local black playwrights write 10-minute plays responding to the theme "Do Black Lives Matter today?" The project that has explored the Black diaspora experience in Chicago, Minneapolis, and London, UK, get its first Toronto iteration, in partnership with Rhubarb, Obsidian Theatre Company, and the National Arts Centre.
The artists: project creator - Reginald Edmund. playwrights: Kanika Ambrose, Leelee Davis, Jordan Laffrenier, Tawiah M'Carthy & Motion.

2nd annual Black Diamond Ball presented by TD & ArtXperiential will be held on Feb. 25 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto featuring: Divine Brown, Glenn Lewis, Michie Mee and Simone Denny. Host: Patricia Jaggernauth

BAIE 2017 Black Arts & Innovation Expo

Excelovate and First Book Canada have partnered with leading corporations, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, artist and innovators to deliver an event that promotes diversity and inspires excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).
Ontario Education Minister, Mitzie Hunter, at her swearing-in ceremony as a Member of Provincial Parliament at Queen's Park. She will be the recipient of an award at the Black History Month "Boonoonoonos Brunch" at the Jamaican Canadian Association on Feb. 12, 2017.

Farley Flex, left, will be the keynote speaker at the Peel United Cultural Partners Black History Month concert on Feb. 18 in Brampton, while Dwayne Morgan, right, will speak at Palmerston Library as part of its Black History Month event on Feb. 8, 1:30-2:30 pm and then at Historica Canada and TD Bank Group's "Black Canadian Trailblazers - Then and Now" at The Royal Conservatory of Music later that day, 6-9pm.
 This event defines a new way of celebrating Black History Month with focused attention placed on the remarkable achievements of tomorrow’s legends. Meet this outstanding group of new leaders and experience their valuable contributions to music, literature, visual arts, entrepreneurship and technology.
BAIE 2017 takes place on February 25, 2:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. at the York Mills Gallery, 1885 Leslie St., Toronto.

Celebrating Excellence. Reverend John C. Holland Awards and Gala on Saturday, Feb. 25, doors open at 5:30p.m., dinner at 6:30p.m. at Grand Central Ballroom, Liuna Station, 360 James St. North, Hamilton. For more information, call Louise 905-865-1027/Marlene 905-921-9646

African Canadian Achievement Awards will be held on Saturday, Feb. 25, 7pm at the Jane Mallet Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front Street East, Toronto. Tickets: $45 adults, $25 for students 18 years and under. Call 905-668-8869

In celebration of Black History Month, the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities and Faculty of Education of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology present George Elliott Clarke, Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate on Monday, Feb. 27, reception: 6-7pm, lecture: 7-9pm at Regent Theatre, 50 King St. East, Oshawa. RSVP and information:

"Empowering our Community: Politicizing our Struggles" -- African Heritage and Black History Month by the CBTU, OFL and CLC
Learn about the history of the Black Sleeping Car Porters, the double legacy of racism and sexism facing Black women in politics and the story of Viola Desmond and other brave anti-racist activists who refused to accept inequality. Three films will be screened recounting these struggles following by a discussion on the current struggles facing our community with the objective of developing strategies to makes our voices heard through political action. The films will be shown at the same time so choose the film that speaks to you.
Then add your voice in a community based discussion to help shape the political action work of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Ontario Federation of Labour and Canadian Labour Congress. By working in solidarity with Black and racialized workers across Canada we will continue the legacy of our ancestors to challenge anti-black racism in our times. 
Monday, Feb. 27, 6:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at United Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil St., Toronto. A free event.

culchahworks Arts Collective presents"Belafonte at 90" a tribute celebration on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 8pm at Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre. Culchaworks honours the artist, activist, and icon on his milestone birthday, with an electrifying presentaton of words, dance, theatre, images, and music. Written, directed and produced by Andrew Craig. Choreographed by Melissa Noventa. $55 tickets available through Harbourfront Centre Box Office, 416-973-4000, or


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