February is Black History Month

(from Canadian Heritage’s Black History Month 2024 page)

Every February, people across Canada participate in Black History Month events and festivities that honour the legacy of Black people in Canada and their communities.

The 2024 theme for Black History Month is: “Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate; a Future to Build”. This theme celebrates the rich past and present contributions and accomplishments of Black people in Canada, while aspiring to embrace new opportunities for the future.

The theme aligns with the 10th year of the International Decade for People of African Descent and recognizes that people of African descent represent a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected.

ACTRA Toronto continues to celebrate Black History Month by sharing resources and opportunities, highlighting happenings, and spotlighting organizations that celebrate, support, and promote Black artists and art across the province:

Black Women Film! Canada – Black Women Film! Canada accelerates the careers of Black women in film and media by providing leadership programs, masterclasses, and networking opportunities.

CultureBrew.Art — A digital platform that promotes and fosters intersectional interculturalism throughout the performing, literary, and media arts, with a searchable database of Indigenous and racialized artists working in Canada.

Nia Centre for the Arts — A Toronto-based not-for-profit organization that supports, showcases and promotes an appreciation of arts from across the African Diaspora. 

Obsidian Theatre Company: Three Sisters – Feb. 29-Mar. 17, 2024 – Obsidian Theatre Company and Soulpepper Theatre, two Toronto-based theatre companies, present this adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s classic play. This version, by Inua Ellams and directed by Mundy Tindyebwa Otu, is set in Nigeria, and explores themes of colonialism and emancipation through the eyes of one family. 

OYA Emerging Filmmakers Program – an initiative to kickstart the careers of Black youth who are post-graduates of post-secondary film, television and digital media programs. The program’s goal is to support Black youth in these industries by providing mentoring, networking and portfolio creation opportunities as well as on-site training with production companies, broadcasters and department heads. Participants must demonstrate a serious interest in pursuing a career in the sector.

Reelworld’s Black Entrepreneur’s Program -a training initiative for Black casting directors, agents, managers, and producers in Canada. You can apply now! Another great resource from Reelworld is Access Reelworld. Launched in July 2020, Access Reelworld is a fully transparent and searchable recruiting platform for Canadian creatives in the screen industry who are Black, Indigenous, Asian, and People of Colour.

Toronto Black Film Festival 2024 – The 12th edition of the Toronto Black Film Festival runs from February 14-19 and will showcase work at multiple Toronto venues by African, Caribbean, African American and Black Canadian filmmakers. Since 2015, the festival has honoured an important figure in African diaspora film. This year ACTRA Toronto is co-presenting the Charles Officer Tribute screening of the ACTRA Toronto production AKILLA’S ESCAPE. Another opportunity offered by the festival’s foundation is the Being Black in Canada program, which provides free training, mentorship, professional equipment, editing studios, professional crews to assist Black filmmakers from beginning to the end of their filmmaking process. 

And we can’t forget about the amazing ACTRA Toronto talent on our screens! if you’re looking for award-winning and critically acclaimed content featuring ACTRA Toronto performers, check out BRIA MACK GETS A LIFE, REVENGE OF THE BLACK BEST FRIEND, SHELVED, and SORT OF.