Toronto Black Film Festival

The top events for Black History Month 2016 in Toronto

The top events for Black History Month will fill your calendars with tribute concerts, movies, art events and more. Toronto has the longest record of any Canadian city to celebrate the occasion. It's been doing so since 1979, so it knows how to do it right. Whether you're a film buff, music junkie or a fan of panel discussions, there's something on tap for you.

Here are my picks for the top Black History Month events in Toronto for 2016.

Black History Month Kick Off Brunch (Jan. 31)
On the eve of February 1st, head to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for the annual Black History Month Kick Off Brunch. In addition to the meal, there will be speeches (including one from Jean Augustine, the event's keynote speaker) and entertainment.

Black Future Month 3016 (Feb. 3-20)
For most of the month of February, OCAD students, alumni, staff and faculty (plus a few artists from the community) who identify as black will be showcasing works that focus on "black identity, culture and existence in the future, real or imagined." Want to do more than just see the exhibits? Head to the Graduate Gallery on the 3rd to catch a discussion panel, presentation and performances.

Kuumba (Feb. 5-7)
Kuumba, now in its 20th year, will take over the Harbourfront Centre for a weekend-long fest filled with comedy shows, panels, music events and more at the beginning of the month. Highlights include a discussion on black youth moderated by Desmond Cole, a spoken word performance by Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, and the Black Like She women in comedy showcase.

Tribute to the Legends (Feb. 6)
Usher in Black History Month by heading to the Opera House for a music-filled evening. The venue is paying tribute to some of the most iconic musicians: Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs and John Holt. You'll also get the chance to celebrate reggae greats with the help of Exco Levi, Chester Miller and Nana Mclean.

Water Carry Me Go (Feb. 5-12)
Water Carry Me Go is a fashion installation that showcases water-themed garments made by Afro-diasporic designers. If you want to amp up your viewing experience, see the exhibit on Friday during the ROM's #FNL event (February 5th's edition is a tribute to Bob Marley, so expect a killer soundtrack).

Toronto Black Film Festival (Feb. 10-14)
The Toronto Black Film Festival is returning for its third year on February 10th. The five-day festival screens features and shorts that are "international, independent, politically incorrect and eye-opening." This year's schedule includes Christmas Wedding Baby, Chaining Day, Alma, Knucklehead and many more.

What did I miss? Add more Black History Month events to the comments.

Photo by the Toronto Black Film Festival.


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