OTTAWA —This year is the 26th anniversary of Black History Month in Canada. That makes 26 years of spotlighting Black Canadians’ contributions not only to their communities, but to all of Canadian society. This year, the Ottawa Public Library is honouring the historical contributions of so many Black Canadians with a veritable festival of virtual activities on the theme of “Canadian Black History in the Making.” These programs take place between February 2 and 27, offering something for all ages and interests: panels, author visits, remarkable personal stories, cooking and breakdance workshops, and more!
The perfect antidote to the cold and grey of winter, these events invite you to enjoy the vibrant living colour of multigenerational history!
- February 2: Canadian Black History Month ~ The Assembly— Starting off with a flourish! Children in grades 1 to 4 are invited to this installment in our Assembly series, in English at 10 am and in French at 11:30 am. They will learn about the importance of oral storytelling traditions with Biba Tinga, and about the history of Africville to the music and song of Spaicy Bazile.
- February 8: Canadian Black History in the Making – Youth Panel: At 7 pm, a panel of remarkable young Black Canadians will talk about their courageous leadership projects and the challenges they had to overcome.
- February 10 and 11:A performance in English by Omari Newton of Tracking Black Canada. Omari will combine video, music, Slam Poetry, Hip Hop and standup comedy to tell the often forgotten‑histories of early Black communities across our country. There will be one performance for elementary-school-aged audiences and one for teens and adults.
- February 16: Forging Hope out of Uncertainty: A First Voice: At 7 pm, listen to Biba Tinga from the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Canada as she shares her experience as a mother emigrating from Niger, her challenges and her life journey from Niger to immigrating to Canada and adapting to life in a new country.
- February 18: Author panel — Perspectives on Afro‑Canadian and Francophone literature: At 7 pm, hear a lively conversation -- in French -- on the AfroCanadian Francophone literature of the last 25 years. Gabriel Osson will host the discussion with‑ panelistsDidier Leclair and Guy Bélizaire.
- February 23: Creole cooking with Spaicy Bazile: In this cooking workshop, the latest in our Comfort Food series, multitalented musician and chef Spaicy Bazile will teach you how to make some delicious vegan Creole food.
- February 27: Breakdance! Kids can get active at home and learn some breakdance steps! Local dance company Bboyizm will lead this afternoon workshop, in English at 1:30 pm and in French at 3:30 pm, for ages 9 to 12.
Plus, do not miss the Ottawa Reads YA author visits on February 4 and 9. This month, they are spotlighting authors from the Black community, including Dïana Bélice.
On top of the busy program of events above, OPL staff will focus on Black authors in February’s storytime sessions. All you bookworms out there, check out the great book list the OPL staff have put together for the month.
Everything is set to satisfy your curiosity. Mark your calendars, and visit BiblioOttawaLibrary.cafor more information.