13 Black History Month events in Vancouver this February

Feb 1 2018, 7:47 pm

February is Black History Month in Canada, and is a great chance to share the history, contributions, and culture of Black Canadians.

To help celebrate, here are some events happening in and around Vancouver this February.

For more things happening around town, check out our events section.

Black History Month at VIFF

  • What: A month of movies shining a spotlight on African-North American film and history, includes exciting new work from young Canadian filmmakers, a focus on inspirational women, and finds recurring themes in the power of music, political protest, and education. Includes an exclusive Vancouver run of Senegal’s Félicité, which is up for the Best Foreign Language Oscar this year.
  • When: Monday, February 5 to Monday, February 26
  • Time: Various times
  • Where: VIFF – 1181 Seymour St, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $11-$13 per film, or buy a 3-pack for $30

2018 Black History Month Youth Summit

  • What: Join the United Centre Association for Black Cultures and YVE: Your Vancouver Entertainment to celebrate black history month with a strong focus on creating a supportive and inclusive environment for black youth. Special guests include DJ Alibaba, athlete Alexander Stewart, comedian James Burr, and hip hop artist Leps.
  • When: Saturday, February 17
  • Time: 1:30 to 4 pm
  • Where: Douglas College – 700 Royal Avenue, New Westminster
  • Register: On Eventbrite, totally free

John B Braithwaite Legacy Dinner

  • What: Join the National Congress of Black Women Foundation for this notable gathering in honour of John B. Braithwaite. Braithwaite has made outstanding contributions to the community of City of North Vancouver for more than three decades, with over 23 years in elected office.
  • When: Saturday, February 17
  • Time: 4:30 to 9 pm
  • Where: Bonsor Recreation Complex, 3rd. Floor – 6550 Bonsor Avenue, Burnaby
  • Tickets: On Eventbrite, $50

Ninth Floor

  • What: Ninth Floor tells the story of how a peaceful student protest against Professor Perry Anderson’s allegedly racist behaviour escalated into the infamous Sir George Williams Riot of 1969. Told through interviews with survivors and newsreel footage and audio recordings. Filmmaker Selwyn Jacobs will be available after the film for a moderated Q&A.
  • When: Thursday, February 22
  • Time: 6:30 to 8:30 pm
  • Where: Vancouver Public Library – 350 West Georgia St., Vancouver
  • Admission: Totally free

Mighty Jerome and Joe

  • What: Revisit the life stories of two of Vancouver’s most beloved and iconic figures. Mighty Jerome tells the story of the rise, fall and redemption of Harry Jerome, Canada’s most accomplished track and field star. The animated short film Joe celebrates the life of Joe Fortes, self-appointed lifeguard of English Bay and beloved figure in Vancouver in the early 1900s.
  • When: Tuesday, February 27 at Joe Fortes Branch
  • Time: 7 to 8:30 pm at Joe Fortes Branch
  • Where: Joe Fortes Branch Library – 870 Denman St., Vancouver
  • Admission: Totally free

Scruffmouth: Spoken Notebook

  • What: Celebrate Bob Marley’s Earthstrong with an evening of graphic dub poetry by Canadian-Jamaican performer and poet Kevan Cameron, aka Scruffmouth. Cameron is a spoken scribe and co-editor of The Great Black North.
  • When: Tuesday, February 6, 2018
  • Time: 6:30 to 8:30 pm
  • Where: Vancouver Public Library – 350 West Georgia St., Vancouver
  • Admission: Totally free

Unarmed Verses

  • What: Unarmed Verses offers a striking portrait of a community facing relocation; 12-year-old Francine, one of the community’s youngest members, is the focus of this documentary. Sent to Canada from Antigua at the age of four, Francine uses poignant observations and the power of art to give voice to those rarely heard.
  • When: Saturday, February 10
  • Time: 1:30 to 3:30 pm
  • Where: Carnegie Reading Room – 401 Main St., Vancouver
  • Admission: Totally free

Where Are You REALLY From? On Being Black in Vancouver

  • What: What does it mean to be asked questions like this? Being Black in Vancouver holds something different for many people who grew up and live in this diverse city. Join Chelene Knight, Juliane Okot Bitek, Wayde Compton, Chantal Gibson, and special guest Randy Clark for a unique mashup of stories on being Black in Vancouver.
  • When: Tuesday, February 13
  • Time: 6 to 8:30 pm
  • Where: Vancouver Public Library – 350 West Georgia St., Vancouver
  • Admission: Totally free

Black History Month Showcase

  • What: See some of Vancouver’s best and brightest including Yaa-Hemaa Obiri-Yeboah, poet Ayanda Mgoduka, singer Garfield Wilson, and many more. The fabulous Krystle Dos Santos will be singing and hosting as well as paying tribute to notable members in Canada’s Black history.
  • When: Saturday, February 17
  • Time: Doors 7 pm, show 10 pm
  • Where: Guilt & Company, Downstairs – 1 Alexander Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: On the door, pay what you can

Cocoa Latte – Our Story Our Narrative

  • What: Part of a year-long education master class series exploring the collective Black experience. Hear untold stories of Black leadership, ingenuity, and empowerment, from a broad cross section of authors, thought leaders, and community advocates.
  • When: Saturday, February 10
  • Time: 1 to 4 pm
  • Where: 302-4460 Beresford Street, Burnaby
  • Invites: On Eventbrite

One Love: Bob Marley Birthday Celebration Bash

  • What: Celebrate music legend Bob Marley’s birthday with live performance by Canadian reggae sensation Steele. Also performing will be BOOM-DADDY band, Redemption Sound DJ Bradley, and George Barrett. Jamaican food on sale.
  • When: Saturday, February 10
  • Time: Doors open 8:30 pm
  • Where: Grandview Legion Hall, Upstairs – 2205 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Available at Highlife Music, Zulu Records and Island Vibes, $25

A Conversation on Global African Identities

  • What: Join award-winning African-Canadians Dr. Yabome Gilpin-Jackson and Trish Mandewo in a conversation about global African identities and the complexity of connections. Have a great meal and share your own stories about what it means to be a global African in Canada today.
  • When: Tuesday, February 27
  • Time: 5:30 to 8:30 pm
  • Where: Samz Neighbourhood Pub – 2342 Elgin Avenue, Port Coquitlam
  • Register: On Eventbrite, totally free

Black History Month Exhibition

  • What: A two-week exhibition by Black/African artists living in the Lower Mainland. An exploration of identity, culture, and self expression through photography, illustration, and paintings, taking you on a journey from Canada, through Ghana, the US, and Cuba. You can meet the artists on February 21 at 6pm.
  • When: Saturday, February 17 to Friday, March 2
  • Time: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 9:30 pm, weekends 10 am to 5 pm
  • Where: Richmond Arts Centre, Upper Rotunda – 7700 Minoru Gate, Richmond
  • Admission: Totally free
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