How Canadian Cities Are Celebrating #BlackHistoryMonth

by Jean Mathew

Published at 2019-02-06

Cities across Canada are celebrating #BlackHistoryMonth with film screenings, gallery exhibitions, dance parties, and galas. If you’re wondering what kind of events are happening in your city, we’ve helpfully compiled a list of some of the events you can attend this month.  



Vancouver offers a diverse array of events for all kinds of interests. Starting on February 5th, The Vancouver Film Festival is showcasing a series of BHM-themed films, including Sengal’s Félicité (up for Best Foreign Language Oscar this year) among others.


On Feburary 13 visit the public library for the second iteration of “Where are you REALLY from?” This panel curated by Chelene Knight focuses on what it means to be a Black woman in Vancouver. The panel features writers Chantal Gibson (How She Read), Chelene Knight (Dear Current Occupant), Juliane Okot Bitek (100 Days), along with a special guest.


To celebrate with music, stop in at the Grandview Legion Hall on February 10 for Bob Marley’s birthday-themed tribute party and dance the night away! Or you can join the Youth Summit to celebrate BHM with live music, comedians, and more!


Other events in Vancouver include:


Starts FEB 5: Black History Month at VIFF ($11 to $13/ film)

FEB 10: Bob Marley’s BDay (Grandview Legion Hall, $25)

FEB 10: “Unarmed Verses” documentary viewing (Carnegie Reading Room, Free)

FEB 13: “Where are you REALLY from? On being Black in Vancouver (Vancouver Public Library, Free)

FEB 17: Black History Month Youth Summit to celebrate black history month with special guest djs, comedians, and hip hop artists (Douglas College, Free)

FEB 17 to MAR 2: Black History Month exhibition (Richmond Arts Centre, Free)

FEB 17: Join National Congress of Black Women Foundation for notable gathering in honour of John B. Braithwaite (Bonsor Recreation Complex, $50)

FEB 27: Conversations about global African identity (Samz Neighbourhood Pub, Free)



The city of Calgary is offering a great array of theatrical productions throughout the month. If you’re in the city, you can see the Ellipsis Tree Collective’s showing of “The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God.” You can also attend one or more of the many event at Colours. This four-day long celebration dedication to BHM features a pop-up gallery of local artists, a panel discussion on trailblazers, reading of a theatrical script, and a documentary.


Other events in Calgary include:


FEB 23: Caribbean Black History Event (Evergreen Community SPACES, Free)

FEB 23 to FEB 26: Colours (Various locations and events, Free)

FEB 26 to 28: Ellipsis Tree Collective Theatre Company: The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God (Arrata Opera Centre, $25)

MAR 7: The Revolution Will be Televised (Exhibit, Free; Concert, $25, or at the door, $30)



Edmonton perhaps has one of the more diverse range of offering, hosting everything from fashion shows to exhibitions to concerts and more. Of the many options, the city is hosting the 6th Edition of African Fashion Week at La Cité Francophone. Participants can a combination of either VIP and regular runway showings, a pop up shop, mixer, and an after party.


The University of Alberta has also organized an event to celebrate the month. Join Professor Catherine Odora Hoppers on their panel “Towards a Strategic Sustained Global Dialogue.” This panel talks about ways to promote sustainable development, sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, and more. 


Other events in Edmonton include: 


FEB 5: “Towards a Strategic Sustained Global Dialogue: Rethinking our Approach to Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals” University of Alberta’s International Week with Professor Catherine Odora Hoppers (Myer Horowitz Theatre, Free)

FEB 9: 5 Artists 1 Love (MacEwan University, $45)

FEB 16: Black History Month Gospel Concert (Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, $25)

FEB 16 to 17: African Fashion Week Edmonton 6th Edition (La Cité Francophone: Pop Up Shop/Fashion Mixer, $0; VIP Runway Show, $50; Runway Show, $30; After Party, $10)



The Jamaican Culture Centre in Winnipeg is celebrating BHM with a delicious Luncheon for the whole family! The centre is organizing a number of other events as well, so be sure to check out their website for a full list of their event! Winnipeg is also hosting a free showing of Queen of Katwe as well as a youth debate on privilege at the Truth and Life Worship Centre.


Other events in Winnipeg include:


FEB 10: BHM Luncheon (Jamaican Cultural Centre, Adults $15, Children $8)

FEB 16: On the Topic of “Privilege” – BHM Youth Debate (Truth and Life Worship Centre, Free)

FEB 18: History Lesson & Health Forum (Jamaican Cultural Centre, Free)

FEB 22: BHM Movie Night: Queen of Katwe (Truth and Life Worship Centre, Free)



Organizations located all throughout the city and suburbs of Toronto have a number of great events to celebrate BHM. For Black professionals, the Founder College has organized a talk on “Black Leadership” on February 9 and the Toronto Public Library offers a Young Professionals panel on February 23.


For those that enjoy artistic events, stop in at the Pickering Flea Market for some painting or perhaps visit The Vault on February 24 for “Ebony Expressions” and a night filled with art, fashion and music! There are more free film screenings at the Toronto Public Library (Riverdale), including a showing of Queen of Katwe. And the Bram and Bluma Appel Salon is hosting a discussion on the history of Black opera.


Other events in Toronto include:


FEB 9: Black Leadership, Partisan Politics & Social Activism (Founder College, Free)

FEB 5: Afternoon Movies at Riverdale Library: Queen of Katwe (TPL in Riverdale, Free)

FEB 11: Best Standup Set – POC Comedians (Social Capital Theatre, $10 Online)

An Intimate Conversation with the Honourable Wanda Thomas Bernard (Massey College, Free)

FEB 12: Raising Our Voices – Sharing Black Canadian Stories (TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, Free)

FEB 10: Painting at Pickering Flea Marketing (1400 Squires Beach Rd, $20)

FEB 16: Black Opera: Uncovering Music History (Bram & Bluma Appel Salon, Free)

FEB 21: BHM Film Screening (122 Bond St, Free)

FEB 23: BHML Young Professional Panel (TPL, Free)

FEB 23: Black History Month Celebration (The Peoples Church, $10)

FEB 24: Ebony Expressions: Black History Month Celebration ft. Art, Fashion & Music (The Vault, Free)



The city of Montreal is celebrating BHM with some great theatrical talent! Starting February 1, you can watch “Blackout,” a play about the protests at Concordia at the D.B. Clarke Theatre. You can also attend the Bambino the Band concert at Le National. Or celebrate Black History Month by supporting Centre CEDA’s initiative to increase blood donations in Black communities.


Other events in Montreal include:


FEB 1 to 10: Blackout, the Concordia Computer Protests, 50 years Later (A play) (D.B. Clarke Theatre, $27, students/seniors $22)

Feb 16: The Gift of Blood (Centre CEDA, Free)

FEB 16: Bambino the Band (Le National, $35)

FEB 23: Black Conversations (Phi Centre, adults $14.88, students $11.16)

MAR 10: Gala Dynastie (La Tohu, $45)



The Halifax Public Library has organized many great events and exhibitions for the month! For puppet shows, film screenings, cooking classes, and more, be sure to visit any branch of the Halifax Public Library and check out their offerings!

A few of the many library events in Halifax include:


FEB 7: Puppet Show, Igbo folk tale on The Flying Tortoise (Halifax North Memorial Public Library, Free)

FEB 15: Mancala: A Classic African Board Game (Dartmouth North Public Library, Free)

FEB 16: Sharing Our Journeys: Being Black & Gay in Atlantic Canada (Central Library, Free)


If your city is not featured on our list, or if you’re wondering about other events of interest, be sure to visit your local library first and see what they’re hosting! And if you’re still looking for some BHM events, be sure to take a peek at your local papers, on Facebook, or even run a quick search online. The team at TEC sincerely hopes you enjoy a meaningful, insightful, and event-filled Black History Month!