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  • Bringing Nuit Blanche to Scarborough

    Few people I've come across have mastered the art of the side hustle like Toronto-based creative director and art curator, Ashley McKenzie-Barnes. In fact, she's been so successful at simultaneously managing her established corporate career within Toronto's vibrant advertising agency world and her numerous passion projects — spanning well-known community initiatives such as The Remix Project, Manifesto and Honey Jam — that it's hard to see where the side hustle starts and ends.

  • Dwayne Morgan discusses the inaugural Toronto Spoken Soul Fest

    The inaugural 3-day Toronto Spoken Soul Fest is taking place from August 16-18, 2019 at the 918 Bathurst Centre for Culture, Arts, Media and Education in Toronto. Created by the SpokenSoulTO Collective, comprised of multifaceted Toronto artists Dwayne Morgan, Paulina O'Kieffe-Anthony and Randelll Adjei, the festival aims to provide an annual platform for talented black poets, storytellers, musicians, and signers.

  • Finding agency through the lens

    An interview with Sandrine Colard — curator of The Way She Looks photography exhibition, organized by the Ryerson Image Centre. Colard is an art historian, writer and curator based in New York, United States, and Brussels, Belgium.

    "The reading of being black is very different growing up in Europe — in contrast to my experience living in New York today; or when I travel to the Congo," said art curator and professor Sandrine Colard. She gave AfroToronto those insights during a recent discussion where we discussed her dual heritage. 

  • Finding Sally: HotDocs features Tamara Mariam Dawit’s intergenerational journey of remembrance and reckoning

     

    Each year, the Hot Docs documentary festival — the largest in North America — showcases over 200 engaging documentary films from Canadian and international storytellers for the enjoyment of more than 200,000 audience members in Toronto. But following the announcement of the annual festival's postponement, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a sample of films from the 2020 Festival Selections are being made available for viewing this week on CBC.

  • From LEGOs to Legacy: Ekow Nimako envisions Africa’s bright future

     

    The AGA KHAN Museum presents Caravans of Gold Fragments in Time, from September 21, 2019 - February 23, 2020. The exhibit showcases pieces from around the continent, including Ekow Nimako’s Building Black Civilizations.

    Caravans of Gold focuses on various collections to paint a compelling and expansive story about medieval sub-Saharan Africa.

  • HERO: An untold story

    "Storytelling is a very fundamental need that we have as human beings to express who we are in our own voice," said Frances-Anne Solomon, the Toronto-based filmmaker, writer, producer, and founder and CEO of the CaribbeanTales International Film Festival. Through her company, Solomon is on a mission to share the experiences of people from the Caribbean and the African diaspora with the world.

  • Illustrator Yasmeen Souffrant on designing your own path

    Montreal native and Haitian-Canadian, Yasmeen Souffrant, has loved drawing from the time she was a little girl. In fact, most of the members of her family love drawing as well. Creativity has always been around her life.

    But when is it time to put the sketching pad down and face the real world? How do we know if we have what it takes to make a living from our love for art?

    Today, as an accomplished illustrator, textile designer and graphic designer working for the federal government and exhibiting at various shows across the country, Yasmeen shares elements of her journey with AfroToronto.com.

  • Podcast Ep. 10 — Odeen Eccleston from HGTV Canada’s Hot Market

    An interview with Odeen Eccleston, co-host of HGTV Canada's new luxury real estate show, 'Hot Market.'

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  • Podcast Ep. 11 — Mark Beckles on preparing Canadian youth for the future of work

    Mark Beckles, Sr. Director, Youth Strategy & Innovation, at RBC leads RBC Future Launch — a $500MM investment to ensure that young Canadians are ready for the future of work.

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  • Podcast Ep. 12 — Kenneth Montague and curators on wedging a space for African-Canadian visual artists

    An interview with Wedge Curatorial Projects founder and director, Kenneth Montague, and curators Emilie Croning and Maria Kanellopoulos. We discuss their current 'Handle with Care' exhibition as well as a wide range of relevant topics about elevating the reach of African-Canadian artists.

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  • Podcast Ep. 13 — Africa is not a country and nor is its music

    A conversation with Sabrina Moella and Gloria Kimbulu about the erasure of Congolese music from the Super Bowl 2020 halftime show and in mainstream chart-toppers.

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  • Podcast Ep. 14 — Actor Tristan D. Lalla on doing what you love

    Montreal-born actor Tristan D. Lalla talks bout his multi-faced career, working with Hollywood A-listers, and highlights a few of his current projects spanning television, film, video games, as well as the stage.

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  • Podcast Ep. 4 — Anne-Marie Woods: How Black History saved my life

    Toronto-based artist Anne-Marie Woods, aka Amani, speaks about her two current plays as well as her journey of self-learning and community outreach through the arts.

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  • Podcast Ep. 5 — Jenny Okonkwo: Mentoring black female accounting professionals

    Jenny Okonkwo is an internationally trained accountant who holds an MBA from Open University Business School. She’s a member of CPA Ontario and is a Certified Corporate FP&A Professional (the acronym stands for Financial Planning and Analysis).

    She’s also the founder of the Black Female Accountants Network (BFAN), a platform for building connections, economic empowerment, creating opportunities for professional and leadership development. BFAN selected to receive an Active Partner Award from JVS Toronto.

    A Mississauga resident originally from the UK, with Nigerian family roots, this accomplished Canadian immigrant was recently nominated as a Top 75 Finalist for the Royal Bank of Canada’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards.

    Check out the podcast to learn more about her journey. She shares the learning points from her own personal experiences as an immigrant to promote and advance employability, equity, diversity and inclusion across Canada.

    Okonkwo is currently working in the non-profit sector, applying her relationship-building, communication and leadership skills used to grow the network.

    You can help her get into the top 25 by voting for her here by the May 16, 2019 deadline.

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  • Podcast Ep. 6 — OCAD's Dori Tunstall on decolonizing design education

    Toronto is the most diverse city in the world. You cannot have a successful business designing for your audiences if you don’t have the cultural competency to understand the different ways in which they will resonate with your message. The only way in which you can confidently do that is if the diversity of your staffing reflects the diversity of the city itself.

    "Everything that we design is tied to cultural values and cultural meaning that we build into the things that we make," said Dr. Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall as Dean of the Faculty of Design at OCAD University. She is the first black Dean of a Faculty of Design anywhere.

    In this interview, she talks to AfroToronto.com about her work as a design anthropologist and on using her position to open doors for others.

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  • Podcast Ep. 7 — Jimmy Jean-Louis: The Haitian unplugged

    Actor Jimmy Jean-Louis speaks to us about his latest film project, Rattlesnakes, which will open the CaribbeanTales Film Festival on September 4, 2019.

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  • Podcast Ep. 8 — Tonya Williams on the 19th ReelWorld Film Festival

    We catch up with the founder, executive & artistic director of the annual ReelWorld Film Festival as she presents an all-Canadian lineup for the first time.

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  • Podcast Ep. 9 — A conversation with Angela Britto, executive director of the Regent Park Film Festival

    The Regent Park Film Festival is in its 17th edition. We discuss the festival team's commitment to community building and youth empowerment.

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  • Simone Miller: A passionate young soul

    I recently caught up with 13-year old Toronto-born and raised actress and singer, Simone Miller. She got her first big break with the launch this past spring of CBC's action-adventure series Detention Adventure on the CBC Gem streaming service. 

  • The Last Black Man in San Francisco — a tale of community

    The Last Black Man in San Francisco marks the feature-length directorial debut of Joe Talbot. Talbot is a fifth-generation San Franciscan who began developing "The Last Black Man" with childhood friend and star Jimmie Fails after leaving high school early to pursue film. It's a story that is both whimsical and realistic. Think "Planet of Junior Brown" meets "Boys in the Hood" — with dreamy montages intersecting with a bit of the hood.

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