Celebrate Black History Month at these Toronto events

From art exhibits to film screenings, here’s where to honour the cultural history of black Canadians


Black History Month is halfway over, but there are still tons of events taking place that honour the legacy and celebrate the rich cultural history of black Canadians. We’ve rounded up a few of the most exciting events – from art exhibits to concerts, readings, film screenings and more – happening over the next two weeks.

For a complete list of all Black History Month events in Toronto, see listings.

Zun Lee: Fade Resistance

Fade Resistance is a photography exhibit by local artist Zun Lee at the Gladstone Hotel. In 2012, Lee began collecting Polaroid pictures taken between the 1970s to early 2000s depicting everyday life of African Americans. The free exhibit runs until February 28, with tours and workshops on February 20 and 27.

Venus’ Daughter

NOW cover star Akosua Amo-Adem stars in Venus’ Daughter, which opens February 18 and runs to the end of the month. Presented by Obsidian Theatre at the Theatre Centre, Venus’ Daughter by Meghan Swaby looks at a black woman’s journey to self-acceptance through the use of song, comedy and rhythm. Tickets are $25 to $35.

Almeta Speaks at Hugh’s Room

The celebrated jazz pianist, composer, singer, historian and writer performs at the Dundas West music venue on February 18. The evening will celebrate the release of Speaks’s latest album, Almeta Speaks the Blues.

Marlon James at the Reference Library

The Jamaican novelist and 2015 Man Booker Prize winner talks about his books – A Brief History of seven Killings, John Crow’s Devil and The Book of Night Women – in a Q&A with TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey. Only rush seats are available for the free event, so attendees are advised to arrive early.

The New Black: Challenging Musical Tropes

A panel discussion with local black artists including Val-Inc, Witch Prophet, Garvia Bailey and Amanda Parris looks at stereotypes and new representations of black culture in music. The free event at Music Gallery on February 20 is moderated by singer-songwriter-producer Alanna Stuart of Bonjay.

Things Black Girls Say

Comedian Zabrina Chevannes hosts a night of stand-up featuring local comics Ify Chiwetelu, Aaron Lewin, Aisha Brown, Jhanelle Dennis, Crystal Ferrier, Amani, Malika Bryce and headliner Hoodo Hersi. Things Black Girls Say takes place at the Comedy Bar on February 21 and tickets are $15.

GlobalFest on the Road: Creole Carnival

The Creole Carnival Tour spotlights Brazilian, Haitian and Jamaican expressions of African musical roots, featuring Haitian singer Emeline Michel, Rio-based samba masters Casuarina and Toronto’s own Kobo Town. The show takes place at Winter Garden Theatre on February 23 and tickets start at $29.50.

Selma at the Fairview Library

Ava DuVernay’s award-winning historical drama about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, will be shown February 27 at 2 p.m. The teen drop-in event is free.

Curls, Coils and Cocktails

Celebrate Black History Month and International Women’s Day at a meetup at Harlem Restaurant on February 28. The event will include discussions about women’s empowerment and sisterhood. Tickets are $10.

michelled@nowtoronto.com | @michdas

Leave your opinion for the editor...We read everything!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *