The best virtual events in Toronto this week

Black History Month brings us a handful of great livestreams, including Wavelength Winter Festival Concerts, CBC's ambitious 21 Black Futures project and more


Francesca Nocera

Toronto artist Witch Prophet is doing double duty this week, performing as part of Wavelength Winter Festival and co-curating Long Winter TV with her Heart Lake Records.

In-person concerts and events are on hold as Toronto stays locked down for COVID-19, but there are still plenty of great virtual events to keep you entertained from your living room. This week’s best virtual events include Black History Month panels and theatre/TV projects, a couple of music series and more.

Virtual panel: Black music and its influence on North American music 

The Empire Club of Canada and Hugh’s Room Live are co-hosting this panel discussion with Ron Westray, Molly Johnson, Dan Hill and Jully Black. The artists will talk about Black music traditions and how they shape their own careers, as well as contemporary music in general. February 25. Noon. Free with registration at empireclubofcanada.com/blackmusic.

21 Black Futures

What is the future of Blackness? That question is something 63 artists were asked to consider for 21 Black Futures, one of the most ambitious theatre-TV collaborations in Canadian history. Produced by Obsidian Theatre and presented by CBC Arts, the series – the brainchild of Obsidian’s new artistic director, Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu – commissioned 21 Black playwrights to pen 10-minute monodramas, directed by 21 Black directors and performed by 21 Black actors. The first 14 have already dropped on CBC Gem, and the last seven will drop this Friday. The final installment comes out February 26. Free. Watch via CBC here.

Wavelength Winter Festival

Wavelength isn’t letting a pandemic stop it from celebrating 21 years of Toronto indie music. The series has moved its annual birthday fest online with free livestream shows running throughout February. Presented in partnership with Harbourfront Centre’s Kuumba festival and featuring mostly Black Canadian artists, the final two streams are this weekend with Toronto punks The OBGMs, Canadian legend Beverly Glenn-Copeland, rising soul singer Witch Prophet and more. February 26 and 27. Free. bit.ly/WL-YOUTUBE

Long Winter TV

Toronto arts and music series Long Winter has a very appropriate name this year. The venue-roving series has shifted online for a series called Long Winter TV full of musical performances, digital and video art and other scene-uniting independent expression. This month is co-curated with the DIY record label Heart Lake and features rapper Jasmine, hyperpop performance artist Frosty Valentine, Rosie Monday, Lillian Blue Makin plus visual art, an online arcade from Hand Eye Society and more. February 27. Free. facebook.com/TorontoLongWinter

Black Diamond Ball

The annual gala fundraiser in support of #SafeSpace 365 and OCADU’s Black Youth Design Initiative goes virtual and features music by Jermaine Jones and Jully Black, Mark Stoddart’s Beloved Project and more. February 28. 6 pm. Free, VIP packages available. blackdiamondballto.com

@nowtoronto

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