Presented by the Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton in partnership with Oakville Museum, the Kick-Off Celebration for Black History Month 2014: “Then and Now” was celebrated at the Oakville Town Hall.
Black History Month is designed to acknowledge and appreciate the history, the heritage, the contributions and accomplishments of our Black community. Despite the snowy conditions, the fun continued and the crowds came to be a part of this informative, high energy evening of art, history, culture, drumming and dance.
The Black History Month Kick Off Celebration was hosted by internationally acknowledged radio personality Greg Frankson, one of Canada’s top poets, spoken word artists and Ritallin performers. Also featured were the dynamic dance ensemble Ballet Creole and the international drumming sensation, Muhtadi (Master Drummer).
Ballet Creole is a professional contemporary dance company created and directed by Trinidadian-born dancer, choreographer, drummer and educator, Patrick Parson. Patrick says, “Ballet Creole” has become my passion and a very big part of my life.
It is a drive for me because I have my family and my community involved and am not alone. The form of our dance is an art form – a work of art – rooted with traditional Caribbean and African dance moves.” Under Patrick’s direction, the Ballet Creole’s dancers and Muhtadi musicians are a collection of international artists creating a unique Canadian Dance Identity all its own while celebrating their rich cultural heritages.
Many exciting events are being held this month in Oakville celebrating Black History Month:
February 4–14th: Black Art Exhibit at the Oakville Town Hall
February 15th: Spoken Word (Greg Frankson) and African Drumming Circle (with Muhtadi) at the Milton Public library at 3:00pm
February 23rd: Gospel/ Jazz Concert at the QEP Community & Cultural Centre 2:00pm – 3:30pm
The Oakville Museum at Erchless Estate is located at 8 Navy Street in Oakville. The museum is home to an informative Black History Exhibit which gives visitors an in depth overview of the part the Town of Oakville played in the road to freedom, as a gateway to Canada for many African Americans. “The Underground Railroad: Next Stop, Freedom!” Visit soon! Meet the ghost of Deborah Brown as she tells her true story of her flight from slavery to freedom. For information visit: www.oakville.ca/museum or call 905-338-4400
The Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton (www.ccah.ca) deserves a great vote of thanks for linking our past early black history to the present, thus providing the community and its educators exposure to art forms and resources for future activities. The celebrations clearly show the importance of the arts in Black culture, and why it is important to preserve, sustain and to view the “Now” through the lenses of visual and performing artists. Support Black History Month through the arts; Then and Now!
Tags: Caribbean Association