February 1 marked the start of Black History Month in Ottawa. Black History Month was officially recognized by the federal government in 1995 to honor the contributions and legacy of African, Caribbean and Black Canadians and their communities and acknowledge the role they played in shaping our heritage and cultural identity.
Throughout the month, you are invited to learn more about African, Caribbean and Black history, culture and art. The City of Ottawa and Ottawa Public Library(link is external) are offering events both in-person and virtually that are open to anyone who is interested in attending.
In Living Colour: Showing the Creative ACB Experience in Ottawa
Come explore artwork created by African, Caribbean and Black artists from all around Ottawa at the In Living Colour exhibition. This exhibition will be held starting today until Friday, March 3 at Jean Pigott Hall inside City Hall. There is no fee for entry.
Author Conversation with Leslie Roach
Ottawa-based author and poet Leslie Roach will be speaking in-person at the Ottawa Public Library Sunnyside branch to talk about her past experiences with racism and how she broke through in the literary world. You can join her on Thursday, February 9 at 6:30 pm. For more information and how to register, visit biblioottawalibrary.ca(link is external).
Arts can Teach – Poetry workshops with Ariel Clarke
Youth between the ages of 13 and 18 can join educator, writer and artist Ariel Clarke for a four-week virtual poetry workshops. With a focus on Maya Angelou and Amanda Gorman, you will be able to examine and explore Black Poets and their work to make powerful statements. You will learn multiple poetic forms to use and express your own voice as well as learn to perform spoken word. Themes include: Using your voice, the power of voice and expression, Self-identity. The first session begins on Tuesday, February 7 at 6 pm. For more information on and how to register for these sessions, visit biblioottawalibrary.ca(link is external).
Retracing history with Dr. Amadou B
Join historian, political scientist, researcher and writer Dr. Amadou Ba for a virtual talk on some of the history and contributions of the Black community in Canada. The event will be held in English on Monday, February 13 at 6 pm, and in French(link is external) on Wednesday, February 15 at 6 pm. For more information and how to register, visit biblioottawalibrary.ca(link is external).
What Would Ms. Hina Do? Themes and lessons from the novel Scarborough. Allyship, community, in the context of Black History Month.
The Ottawa Public Library, in partnership with the National Arts Centre, will showcase award-winning author and screenwriter Catherine Hernandez who will be presenting her speech “What would Ms Hina Do?” The performance explores the themes of community and allyship in the context of Black History Month. This event will be held in-person at the National Arts Centre on Wednesday, February 22 at 7 pm. For more information and how to register, visit biblioottawalibrary.ca(link is external).
For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca.