Toronto's Black History Month - events, workshops and more

February is black history month and this proffers a wealth of events of great social and political import, not to mention fun.

The Black International Film Festival will be held from the 1st to the 29th February at various locations throughout Toronto. The festival will feature films on the African Diaspors, films that will raise awareness of issues that affect populations of African descent around the world as well as some of your favorite classics. For dates, times and venues, consult the BIFF website.

If you want to get your hands dirty, then gather up the family and head down to the “Get to Know Me… through Caribbean Music! Workshop.” These workshops will teach you how to create amazing 3D clay animation models so you can make your own claymation films. The workshops cost $1-$9 and children are welcome. Workshops will be held on the weekend of the 4th and 5th of February, call 416-973-3012 to book.

Celebrate black history month with “Then and Now’s” rhythmic drum beats. Drumming exhibitions and workshops will be held at libraries, schools and community centers across the GTA. Drummers from West Africa, the Caribbean and Cameroon (among others) will be performing and conducting drumming workshops. See their website for details.

More of a jazz junkie? Then the Archie Alleyne Scholarship fund’s Syncopation: Life in the key of Black is for you. Stunning performances touted as an “afternoon of historic elegance and live jazz celebrating Black Canadian musicians from the 1930s to 1950s”. This incredible event will start at 3pm, Feb 25th at the Al Green Theatre on Spadina. Featuring Jackie Richardson, Kellylee Evans, Shawn Byfield, Janaye Upshaw, and Kamil Andre and the EOJ Orchestra, it promises to be an event worth catching.

Afrotropolis Wanderland takes a look at Black History through fashion. The ‘mixed medium’ exhibit will combine fashion, visual arts and film for a one-night only sensory extravaganza. Catch all the action from 7.30 pm on Feb 4th at 99 Sudbury Street.

IMAGE: The painting is called “She Rise’ by Kalkidan Assafe. It will be exhibited at the Afrotropolis Waderland art and fashion exhibition as part of Black History Month. See the full image here.

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