12 Ways to Honour & Celebrate Black History Month in 2023

Image credit: Canadian Heritage, Government of Canada

February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate and honour the contributions and achievements of Black Canadians past and present. The theme in Canada for 2023 is “Ours to tell”.

In support of that, we’ve compiled a list of community events and festivities to celebrate and support Black history around our four offices in Hamilton, Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton.

From food and music to film screenings and workshops, there are many opportunities to learn more about the stories that Black communities in Canada have to tell, and how they continue to shape our history.  For all the details, check out the list below.


A Black History of Hamilton and Ancaster – Hamilton Speaker Series

Date: February 21, 2023, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Location: Ancaster Old Town Hall, 310 Wilson Street East Ancaster ON L9G 2B9
Cost: Attendance is free but space is limited and pre-registration is required.

Join Deborah Brown-Simon, Julia Horton, & Richard Douglass-Chin as they discuss Black presence in this area dating back to at least the 1830s, focusing on Griffin House, Black people in Ancaster, Black presence on Concession Street in Hamilton, Black businesses in downtown Hamilton, Black relationships with Sir Alan MacNab, and Black organizing in the area. This is the first installment of the Hamilton Civic Museums’ speaker series. To learn more, click here.

Celebrating Black Resistance

Date: February 22, 2023, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Location:  Hamilton Public Library – Central Library, 55 York Boulevard Hamilton, ON L8N 4E4
Cost: Attendance is free but space is limited and pre-registration is required.

Re-energize with a  night with food, music, performances and speakers celebrating the triumph of Black resistance in Hamilton.

3 Generations of Black History Come Together – Civil Rights & Music

Date: February 27, 2023, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Location: McIntyre Performing Arts Centre – Mohawk College 135 Fennell Ave W, Hamilton, ON L9C7V7
Cost: $25, buy tickets here.  

The event will include performances from Suubi Fusion, and a talk and remarks from legendary civil rights activist/speaker Minijean Brown-Trickey and former child soldier turned performer and peace activist Emmanuel Jal with a brief question and answer to follow. Brown-Trickey and Jal will speak on the topic of civil rights in this evolving world and their own redemptive journeys in life. The Suubi Fusion Dance Troupe will share their culture through African song dance the spoken word and the African drum.


Toronto Black Film Festival

Date: February 15 – 20, 2023
Location: Carlton Cinema, 20 Carlton St., Toronto, ON M5B 2H5, Canada
Cost: $12 (for in-person viewing), buy tickets here. 

The Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF) will run from Feb. 15 to Feb. 20 and guests can expect to see a showcase of thought-provoking Black films. This year’s festival aims to “give unique voices in cinema the opportunity to present audiences with new ways of looking at the world.”

Black History Month Drumming Workshop

Date: February 18, 2023, 2 pm – 3 pm
Location: Deer Park Public Library, 40 St. Clair Avenue East, Toronto, ON  M4T 1M9
Cost: Free 

Celebrate Black History Month with the Toronto Public Library and Afro-Latin drummers Joaquin Nunez and Dyalis Machado in a special drumming workshop. The workshop will be an authentic experience of African roots and culture in Latin music. This is an interactive program with audience participation, chanting and dance.

Black Owned Toronto Market Place at the AGO

Date: February 25, 2023, 11 am – 4 pm
Location: Weston Family Learning Centre,  Art Gallery of Ontario 317 Dundas Street West Toronto, Ontario M5T 1G4
Cost: Free 

To close out Black History Month, the AGO has partnered with Black Owned Toronto to host a marketplace. The market will feature 25 Black-owned local businesses, with a range of products including candles, hair care, children’s books, scents and more. In this exciting partnership, Kerin John, founder and CEO of Black Owned Toronto says she aims to create “a bright, punchy gathering spot for Black entrepreneurs”. This unique marketplace at the AGO will do just that and is open to all. To learn more, click here


Nuits d’Afrique

Date: February 3 – 25 2023
Location: Various venues in Montreal, to view the programming schedule, click here.
Cost: $15-$20

Productions Nuits d’Afrique presents, in partnership with TD Bank Group, “African music in all its splendour“.  A special program, offering 6 concert-events as part of Black History Month. This special programming includes Juno Award-winning vocalists Tapa and Montreal’s famed Queen of the Blues Dawn Tyler Watson performing together for the first time in their much-anticipated Blues on Blues concert on February 8. To learn more, click here

Fondu au Noir / Fade to Black

Date: February 8-12, 2023, varying times
Location: varying locations, view the full schedule here.
Cost:  Tickets range from free to $35. Some online & free events will be broadcast “LIVE” on the Festival’s Facebook page.

The Fade to Black Festival is celebrating its 12th edition with a special face-to-face and online edition! To highlight Black History Month, the Festival is surrounded by well-known personalities from the Quebec and Canadian cultural scene through a program combining film screenings, discussion panels, major interviews, music shows, performances and visual art workshops.

Animated Black Film Festival

Date: February 13, 2023, 11:30 am – 3:00 pm
Location:  6767 Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges Montréal, QC H3S 2B6
Cost: Free, to reserve a ticket, click here

Hosted by the Black Community Resource Centre, this event is dedicated to introducing and promoting Black animators who have and continue to create art via animation. Ultimately, our mission is to create a space where communities can unite, network, and support one another. So, come enjoy refreshments and celebrate the brilliant work created by Black animators.


Feed The Soul Dining Week

Date: February 10 – February 17, 2023
Location: Various locations
Cost:  To learn more about participating restaurants here.

Feed the Soul Dining Week is a city-wide event hosting 15+ restaurants, retail, home-based and online stores participating across Edmonton. The goal of this event is to display the city’s diverse Black-owned food scene and, present to Edmontonians, the positive influence the African Diaspora has on the culinary industry of the city.

Melanin Narratives VII: Storytelling – Past, Present, Future

Date:  February 18th, 2023, 5:30 pm – 10:30 pm MST
Location:  Sugar Swing Ballroom 10019 80 Avenue Northwest Edmonton, AB T6E 1T4
Cost: Free, to reserve a ticket, click here.

Like many crafts, storytelling is an evolving practice. For African, Black and Caribbean communities storytelling has taken shape in many forms. This live art showcase explores the art of storytelling, from oral traditions to music and dance, and the role they play in helping us understand the past, make sense of the present and give hope for the future. The evening will feature live performances, art displays, and a buffet dinner.

Local Heroes Film Festival with Black History Month

Date:  February 23, 2023, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm MST
Location: Stanley A. Milner Public Library 7 Sir Winston Churchill Square Centennial Plaza, Edmonton AB T5J 2V4
Cost:  Free, to register with your library card, click here.

The Edmonton Film Festival and the Edmonton Public Library present a showcase of short films for Black History Month followed by a Q&A with Alberta filmmakers at the Muttart Theatre in Stanley A. Milner Library.