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Arts

Black History Month in Toronto 2014

Posted by Julia Stead / January 26, 2014

Black History Month TorontoFebruary is Black History Month in Toronto (and Canada), and there are plenty of Toronto events celebrating and honouring the legacies of black Canadians past and present.

In 1979, Toronto was the first municipality in Canada to officially recognize Black History Month, but it wasn't until 1995 that the House of Commons voted to establish it across the country. Black History Month helps Canadians to remember accomplishments and contributions made by black Canadians, who helped to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate, and prosperous nation it is today. Look at the list below for educational and interactive events that offer insight into the experiences of black Canadians throughout history.

TOP EVENTS

Toronto Black Film Festival / various venues / February 11th to 16th
The 2nd edition of The Toronto Black Film Festival will offer 33 films depicting black realities from around the world. There will also be concerts, panel discussions, exhibits, workshops, conferences and opportunities to meet artists and speakers. Venues include Isabel Bader Theatre, TIFF Bell Lightbox, Carlton Cinema, and the Al Green Theatre, with tickets to the various events running anywhere from free to $249.

Kuumba / Harbourfront Centre / February 7th to 9th
The Kuumba Black History Month celebration will hold three days of music, comedy, dance, film, and family activities showcasing the vitality of Toronto's African and Caribbean communities. There will be a comedy night ($18) to kick off the festival, followed by the DJ'd event Soca on Ice (free), and The Known Unknown concert (free) which presents local musicians on the rise.

Mackenzie House Celebrates Black History Month / Weekends in February
Visit Mackenzie House on weekends in February to take a step back in time. Learn about early black communities in Victorian Toronto, including their publishers and newspaper journalists. They are open for Family Day on February 18th, and regular admission is $7.

Toronto Public Libraries are also holding multiple BHM across the city, including a speaker gala, African drumming tutorials, and historical storytelling. Check them out below.

MORE EVENTS

Photo by Light Brown Photography / Mark Somerville

Discussion

6 Comments

ThatGirl replying to a comment from Jackson Jesse / January 26, 2014 at 11:37 am
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I guess you're not aware but since 2002 May became Asian Heritage Month.

There are days, weeks and in this case a month dedicated to different groups in our society.

As long as BHM events are relevant to Canadians and unique I don't see the problem.
Rob Ford / January 26, 2014 at 12:12 pm
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Is there a "Whitey Fathead Does Jamaican Patois" month?
Johnie Chase / January 28, 2014 at 10:25 am
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Politically correctness be damned and stop lying about OUR History! Black History Month in Canada is wrong, wrong, wrong! Make Black History Month in Canada when it actually happened, August! Why are our Politician's bowing to an American ideology? Bull crap I say. I'm proud to be Canadian and proud of our History, good and bad because it's ours and not some made up excuse to fill a day on a Calendar in line with American History, which is what it is right now.
Barb / January 28, 2014 at 03:22 pm
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CELEBRATE Black History Month with SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR - DIVINE DECADE brings ‘peace, love and happiness’

Friday February 21 2014 – 7:30 pm Sony Centre For The Performing Arts Toronto - All Group tickets are $49.50
Over the last 10 years SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR has brought joy into the lives of audiences all over the world. They have collaborated, recorded and performed with artists including Bono and U2, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Robert Plant, Celine Dion, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Peter Gabriel, Josh Grobin as well as Andre Rieu. They have performed in front of President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and of course their spiritual fathers, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Please come and Celebrate! Make this an evening of happy memories.
Josie / February 4, 2014 at 04:36 am
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For Black History Month I am looking for events for my girls group that I work with. Something best suited for teenage girls, from the ages of 13-18 in Toronto. Preferably free and held either on a Tuesday or Thursday. I am having a hard time finding such events!

Any suggestions please :)
Stacey / February 6, 2014 at 02:56 pm
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Josie, Heritage Toronto has a Black History Month event on a Thursday night (Feb 20) suitable for that age range. It's a night of conversation with, and performances by, various generations of Black musicians as they discuss Toronto's music scene over the past 60 years.

You have to pre-register but its free thanks to a sponsorship by Citizenship & Immigration Canada - there are only 30 spots left so you might want to pre-register ASAP: http://bit.ly/1fzm2Qa

Cheers! -Stacey Fowler, Director of Marketing at Heritage Toronto

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