Friday, May 17, 2024

11 ways Victorians can pay tribute to Black Heritage month


Every February, people across Canada participate in Black History Month events and festivities that honour the legacy of Black Canadians and their communities.

Beginning January 28th, community events will take place throughout Greater Victoria to raise engaging and thought-provoking conversations regarding African Canadian identity and local histories that celebrate resilience, innovation, and determination among the BIPOC community.

Here are 11 ways to participate in Black Heritage month throughout Greater Victoria this February:

Black in BC Crisis Management Design Thinking Workshop

Supported by the Public Health Agency of Canada (Inc.), members of the public will be engaging Persons of African Descent in BC to understand the impact of the current pandemic response on the community and to develop an advisory crisis management plan that can be adopted during future widespread emergencies. 

African Art & Cultural Community Contributor CCC Inc. (AACCCS), a Black-Led, Black-Serving and Black-Oriented organization was founded 10 years ago to bridge the gap between people of African descent and their communities within the Canadian context.

The workshop will be held in person; consequently, they will have a limited capacity of 100 seats, and event organizers encourage those that are interested to RSVP for free through this registration form.

  • Where: Edelweiss Club, 108 Niagara Street
  • When: Saturday, January 28th, 10 a.m.

Black History Month 2023 – Launch Party

Sit down to hot and spicy African food at this invite-only dinner to mark the start of Black History Month followed by a dance party. To participate in this event guests must request an invitation.

  • Where: Edelweiss Club, 108 Niagara Street
  • When: Saturday, January 28th,  6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Black History Month launch and reception

On February 1st, you’re invited to engage with the community as guests learn about collective BC Black History while enjoying the wonderful music of singer-songwriter Caleb Hart. This is a 19+ event and formal dress is encouraged. 

Catered by Stir It Up, those in attendance will enjoy authentic Caribbean soul food. If you plan on attending, organizers encourage guests to reserve their spot.

  • Where: Da Vinci Centre, 195 Bay Street
  • When: Wednesday, February 1st, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Black in BC Symposium

This will be a formal meeting to discuss the progress report on the Black-in-BC Action Plan Report forwarded to the Government of BC at the end of the Black-in-BC convener project in February 2022. Guests are encouraged to RSVP.

  • Where: Hermann’s Jazz Club, 753 View Street (2nd floor)
  • When: Saturday, February 11th, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

BC Black History and Heritage Day

Celebrate Black History Month at the Royal BC Museum with a dynamic display of booths from local organizations, hosted by the BC Black History Awareness Society. 

Heritage Day is an opportunity to meet and talk with direct descendants about their stories and family history. The exhibits include images, artifacts and archival documents.

  • Where: Royal BC Museum, 675 Belleville Street
  • When: Saturday, February 11th, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Black History Month Church Service 

Karen Hoshal, BCBHAS Board Member and a direct descendant of Charles and Nancy Alexander will speak during the service. 

Charles and Nancy were part of the earliest settlers, arriving in 1858. Charles helped build the original Shady Creek Church and was one of the first lay preachers. 

Tea, coffee, and home-made baked goods are available after the service. You can show your appreciation by making a donation. Service starts at 10:15 a.m.

  • Where: Central Saanich United Church, 7180 East Saanich Road
  • When: Sunday, February 12th, 10:15 a.m.

Out of the Sun: Black History and Storytelling

At this event, guests will enjoy and participate in a conversation with award-winning novelist Esi Edugyan. 

Edugyan is noted for writing “richly imagined and impeccably researched stories that illuminate complicated truths about race and belonging”.

Out of the Sun: On Race and Storytelling. Through the lens of visual art, literature, film, and the author’s lived experience, Out of the Sun examines the depiction of Black histories in art, offering new perspectives to challenge the accepted narrative.

  • Where: Hermann’s Jazz Club, 751 View Street
  • When: Thursday, February 16th, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Issamba Showcase

As part of our Black History Month-long celebration in February 2023, internationally acclaimed artiste, Mamadou Diabate with Percussion Mania and Montreal-based artiste Naxx Bitota will take us on the musical experience of a lifetime – ISSAMBA showcase: a journey through the depths of African-rooted rhythms.

Get your tickets before this event sells out!

  • Where and when: 
    • Friday, February 17th, 7:30 p.m. at Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad Street
    • Saturday, February 18th, 7:30 p.m. at Port Theatre, 125 Front Street

Camp Balafon – African Xylophone

Join the Issama Centre on this special day where guests will learn the basics or build upon their pre-existing African Xylophone and drumming skills. Guests are encouraged to RSVP before arriving

  • Where: Edelweiss Club, 108 Niagara Street
  • When: Monday, February 20th, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Ross Bay Cemetery Tour 

Did you know there are more than 50 Black Pioneers and/or their descendants at Ross Bay Cemetery? 

This is a guided tour of a few of their graves and others who were influential in the migration of Black people to this British Colony. 

The tour hosts are James Gatsi, BC Black History Awareness Society member and John Adams, Old Cemeteries Society member and owner-operator of “Discover the Past Walking Tours.”

Registration is offered in person only and those in attendance are asked to arrive by 1:45 p.m. at the cemetery. 

  • Where: Ross Bay Cemetery, 1495 Fairfield Road
  • When: Sunday, February 26th, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Power and Joy of Music

The BC Black History Awareness Society is thrilled to host two exciting performances featuring Noedy Hd Quartet and Sadé Awele with the Serengeti band. 

    • Noedhy HD Quartet

Noedy Hechavarria Duharte comes from Santiago de Cuba, a city Cubans affectionately call “la tierra caliente” (the warm land). He has established himself as a unique and original jazz musician on the West Coast of Canada.

    • Sadé Awele featuring the Serengeti Band

Sadé Awele accompanied by the Serengeti band offers listeners vintage jazz sounds and timeless lyrics from Nigerian-Canadian, Afro-soul and R&B artists. In recent years Sadé has graced the stages of Tofino Jazz Festival and Rogers Arena with her electric presence & irresistible aura.

  • Where: Belfry Theatre, 1291 Gladstone Avenue
  • When: Monday, February 27th, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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