Black History Month Events to Check Out in Calgary

Here’s a look at some of the upcoming local talks, performances and events going on during Black History Month.

Master T is one of the performers at the National Music Centre's upcoming Pass the Mic event. Photo courtesy of the National Music Centre.

February is Black History Month, and several Calgary organizations are hosting online and/or in-person events to celebrate Black culture, showcase local talent and examine both Black histories and futures. Here’s a look at some of the talks, performances and events Calgarians can check out this month.

 

Calgary Public Library Black History Month Events

When: Multiple dates

Head to the Central Library for a wide range of Black History Month events in February. Don’t miss talks by Jon Cornish and Bashir Mohamed, as well as a celebration of Black art and performances taking place on February 22. There are also film screenings of True North: Inside the Rise of Toronto Basketball on February 12, John Ware Reclaimed on February 25 and The Road Taken on February 29.

Central Library, 800 3 St. S.E., calgarylibrary.ca

 

2nd Annual Black History Month Dinner

When: February 9

This fundraising event by the Calgary Black Chambers and Heritage Park features stories from keynote speaker Lloyd Wilks, a three-course dinner, prizes, and music and dance performances. The night supports the Calgary Black Chambers Scholarship Fund.

Heritage Park, 1900 Heritage Dr. S.W., calgaryblackchambers.ca

 

Wakefield Brewster Presents, Pt. 2

When: February 9 and 10

The TD Amplify series, curated by Calgary poet laureate Wakefield Brewster this season, is back this month with Wakefield Brewster Presents, Pt. 2. Along with a performance by Brewster, the show features four Black artists — M’Kayla Kongnetiman, A.N., Okechukwu Nnamchi and Dizzy Walka — exploring the Black experience through dance, music, poetry and spoken word. There will also be a pre- and post-show party.

Engineered Air Theatre, artscommons.ca

 

Ethnik Festival of Arts & Culture 2024

When: February 9 and 10

Celebrating Afro-Canadian and Caribbean cultures and traditions, this year’s Ethnik Festival of Arts & Culture features a Calgary Food War and emerging artists showcase on February 9, followed by a day of performances and presentations on February 10. The lineup includes Calgary Poet Laureate Wakefield Brewster, MC and comedian Grand Komanda, vocalist Tayo Gbalajobi and more.

Main festival and emerging artist showcase at Telus Convention Centre, 136 8 Ave. S.E.; Calgary Food War at Carya Village Commons, 610 8 Ave. S.E., ethnikfestivals.com

 

UNGANISHA: Explore. Connect. Dance.

When: February 24

Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre Inc.’s annual UNGANISHA: Explore. Connect. Dance. event returns with a film screening and panel discussion this month. The 45-minute documentary celebrates nine dance forms like Afro-Caribbean, samba, jazz and hip-hop, and examines how the African diaspora has shaped them over time. Tickets are only $25 to see the 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. show at Contemporary Calgary.

Contemporary Calgary, 701 11 St. S.W., woezoafrica.com

 

A Black History Month ‘Celebration of Excellence’

When: February 24

Hosted by Woman Thou Art Loosed Canada (WTAL Canada), this event celebrates the achievements of Black women with several notable speaker sessions, a buffet-style dinner, performances and more. Along with keynote speaker Cheryl Foggo, the evening features speakers and panelists like Ellie Bianca founder Evelyne Nyairo, Future Ancestors Services founder Larissa Crawford and more.

Courtyard by Marriott Calgary Airport, 2500 48 Ave. N.E., eventbrite.ca

 

Pass the Mic

When: February 27

Explore the history and sounds of Black Canadian music dating back to the ’60s at this Studio Bell/National Music Centre event with former MuchMusic VJ Master T and acclaimed performers Liberty Silver, Wakefield Brewster and Nonso Amadi. While you’re there, be sure to check out the Black History Month art exhibition on Studio Bell’s ground floor as well.

Studio Bell, 850 4 St. S.E., studiobell.ca

 

Elevate & Celebrate: Black Professionals Luncheon

When: February 27

This free Social Innovation Hub lunch event celebrates Black founders and innovators in Calgary. Join from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and hear from speakers like Motif Photography founder Samuel Obadero, Liit Care Connect founder Lulu Mashonganyika and RoadAider founder Temi Okesanya.

Social Innovation Hub, 290, 3553 31 St. N.W., eventbrite.ca

 

A Celebration of Black Joy through the Arts

When: February 27

The Black Empowerment and Excellence at SAIT committee is hosting a free event focused around Black joy in the arts. Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre Inc.’s founder and director Olawunmi Idowu, visual artist Anthony Russell, and mural artist and instructor Sydonne Warren will be on hand to speak about their work during the event, which runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Macdonald Hall, Heritage Hall, SAIT Main Campus, 1301 16 Ave. N.W., eventbrite.ca

 

Black History Month Story Café: The Black Immigrant Perspective

When: February 28

Storytelling Alberta has brought together an exciting roster of talent for its upcoming Black History Month event that explores the perspectives of African immigrants. Hosted by filmmaker Sarah Uwadiae, the event will feature stories, music and poetry from presenters Adetola Adedipe, Jola Adeniji, Femi David and Sudy-Ann Brown. Guests can check out the event in person or online.

Carya Village Commons, second floor, 610 8 Ave. S.E., storytellingalberta.com

 

[Correction: This story previous listed the incorrect date for Wakefield Brewster Presents, Pt. 2. The story has been updated.]

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