The Afroculture festival will close Black History Month off with a flourish, from March 1 to 3, the Shenkman Arts Centre.
For its seventh edition, the Afroculture festival added a day to its lineup this year in order to officially launch the festivities on Thursday, March 1, and honor five individuals for their achievements in the socioeconomic development and cultural immigrant communities in Canada.
On Friday and Saturday, a whole host of activities await visitors.
Exhibitions, concerts, art workshops for children, a fashion show and food are planned. Last year, some 500 people showed up to attend the festival.
"When I moved from Toronto to Ottawa 10 years ago, there was absolutely nothing for ethnocultural communities. We had to travel to Toronto or Montreal to see these types of events. Today, with Afroculture, we offer an opportunity to meet and discover all those who are interested in learning more about the cultures of Africa and the Caribbean, much more diverse than what is shown on TV, " said Germaine Essindi, CEO of Afroculture, who has lived in Canada for almost 20 years.
Essindi reminds, "the festival is open to all" and she hopes it will be a great gathering.
Focus on youth
This year, the festival has prioritized the need to expose young people from African countries and Caribbean to their cultural identity.
"Youth are our future. We want them to know where they come from and create a sense of belonging. We want to show the positive achievements of the black community in Canada. They see success stories in art, business, and community development ".
Some of them come up on stage to present the fruits of their labour, performed throughout the year in workshops offered by Afroculture.
All schools were invited to attend in order to celebrate the Month Black History.
Music lovers will be pampered with a rich program of professional artists from across Ontario, such as the Mighty Popo, James Azola, Justine Gogoua, Cobra's Mandingo, Jeff Kavanda or Elage Mbaye.
"We change our programming each year. For this edition, we still have more artists and therefore hope to have even more visitors. "
To learn more about the Festival Afroculture, visit the www.festivaldescultures.ca or call 613-265-2628.