There are not only endless learnings and homages but also powerful ways to celebrate and be joyful.
Although this is a year-round truth, having a month dedicated to the trials and triumphs of the Black community in Toronto and beyond is something many look forward to. And there is a lot to look forward to this year!
As Toronto’s largest Black Futures Month celebration, KUUMBA offers an exciting lineup of dance, music, workshops and literary events.
Kicking off with Black Ice, an award-winning documentary examining the history of anti-Black racism in hockey, this festival uplifts contemporary artists and thought leaders from the Afro-diaspora in Canada.
Although we’re excited about everything this festival offers at Harbourfront Centre, we’re especially excited for DIVA, a drag show inspired by icons Lizzo, Whitney Houston, Prince and Tina Turner. February 3 to 11, 2023
Lowndes County and The Road to Black Power
Hot Docs presents an eye-opening documentary on the aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement and its impact on the rural and impoverished town of Lowndes County in Alabama.
A story of hope and action, the film dives into first-person accounts and archival footage to shed light on the fight for voting rights and Black Power. Director Sam Pollard joins after the screening for a virtual Q&A. February 10 to 19, 2023
Toronto Black Film Festival
Taking place online and in person, the 11th Toronto Black Film Festival is dedicated to celebrating the very best in cinematic work centring African, Caribbean, African American and Black Canadian narratives.
Whether you tune in to one screening or invest in an all-access pass, you won’t be disappointed by the selection of independent films. You might even recognize some stars, including Black Panther’s Letitia Wright. February 15 to 20, 2023
Spice Food and Wine Group presents Black Grapes, a tasting event celebrating Black winemakers and their wines. Curated by sommelier Beverly Crandon, there will be a selection of wines from Canada, the United States, South Africa, and more.
Hosted at stackt market, there will also be snacks from Boukan Edible Bliss, Flavours of Guyana, Chef Adisa Glasgow of Young Animal TO, along with the traditional cheese and charcuterie bites. February 15, 2023
Jesse Ryan and Kaiso Street Collective
This new ensemble—led by JUNO-Nominated, Trinidadian-born saxophonist and composer Jesse Ryan—celebrates Calypso history as Black history.
Inspired by the golden age of calypso and reimagined through the lens of modern jazz, the night will be filled with incredible sounds that also add to the global narrative surrounding this important month. February 17, 2023
It’s an undeniable fact that music is powerful. So what would some of the greatest leaders in history have listened to? That’s what King’s Playlist explores.
A retrospective of the original 2016 production in celebration of Culchahworks’ 10th anniversary, it specifically explores what Martin Luther King may have been inspired by in the 1960s.
Directed by Culchahworks’ Founder and Artistic Director, Andrew Craig, it features performances from Canada’s Queen of Jazz and Blues, Jackie Richardson, renowned composer/guitarist/singer Don Ross and more. February 24, 2023
Launched in 2021 as an online experience, Everbloom is introducing its first in-person music festival hosted by Waveland Canada, a non-profit music organization. It will take over The Great Hall for a day of live music, drag shows and a market featuring Black-owned businesses. February 25, 2023
Black Diamond Ball
An exclusive event at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, the Black Diamond Ball is a glamorous way to wrap up a month celebrating Black History.
For the past seven years, it has brought together the Black community and its supporters to applaud accomplishments and honour individuals who have excelled in their respective fields.
It also aims to connect, which it will be achieving for the first time through a workshop series taking place throughout the month, as well as a virtual marketplace. February 25, 2023
Honorary Mention: Dis/Mantle
An incredible art exhibit inspired by the efforts of Black abolitionists, Dis/Mantle takes over Spadina Museum using an Afrofuturism narrative, reimagining Mrs. Pipkin as the homeowner and the house as a haven for those seeking freedom through the Underground Railroad.
Comprised of soundscapes, ceramics and visual art from Canadian artists from the Afro-Caribbean diaspora, it is presented by Toronto History Museums as part of its Awakenings initiative. Extended until May 28, 2023