February is Black History Month in North America, and there are many events put on to celebrate Black history, art and people.
There are many ways to learn about Black culture and history and attending planned events is one way. But this year is looking a little different, with most being held online. As a result, people have the option of attending many more events than they would have in previous years. Not only can you attend local events, but you can branch out and find many others all over Canada.
Black History Month is full of awareness, celebration, knowledge and understanding. It is an opportunity for everyone to appreciate and get involved in recognizing the achievements of Black people in our society.
This year, there are several Canadian events that celebrate Black art in various forms. With all but one being held during reading week, students have the opportunity to attend events during their break from studies.
1. Toronto Black Film Festival
The festival started on Feb. 10 and runs until Feb. 21, and you can purchase your online ticket on their website.
The festival includes over a 100 films, live musical performances and discussions on many important issues. The discussion topics include the impact of the BIPOC acronym, racism in the fashion industry and the use of the N-word in the art of storytelling.
The festival tries to connect everyone with Black films as a way to celebrate differences and create understanding. There is no shortage of films and live performances, so take as much as you can for the next seven days.
2. Sortir de l’ombre film
The French film by Gentille M. Assih discusses the cultural changes women have experienced moving from Africa to Quebec. The movie is a series of life stories by Quebec women from Africa who suffered from domestic abuse.
The director works on breaking taboos by taking the audience into the intimate world of these women and showing their journey towards self-acceptance and healing.
This 80-minute film is presented by the National Film Board of Canada. To attend the virtual event held by the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan on Feb. 19, send them an email at email@example.com. Watch the film at your convenience on onf.ca.
3. UNGANISHA virtual dance show
This virtual performance is put on by Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre Inc., based in Calgary.
This online show is a revisiting of the UNGANISHA 2018 production and involves nine different dance genres. The event features some of the city’s best dance performers and choreographers while educating their audience about the lesser-known origins of dance forms. Tickets are available on their website, and the event will be held on Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.
4. Other People’s Heaven play
Theatre Saskatchewan is presenting a play about Viola Desmond called Other People’s Heaven, which shines light on an important moment in Canadian History.
The production will go live on Feb. 26 and there will also be a live discussion moderated by Regina theatre artist Kris Alvarez and playwright Beau Dixon. The cast and crew members will take part in the live discussion. Even though this event occurs after the break, it still encourages conversation amongst people who attend, giving the opportunity to discuss more about Black History Month.
Contact SACHM.org to attend Other People’s Heaven.