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February is BLACK HISTORY MONTH!
February 15 @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Join us as we celebrate and learn about Black communities on unceded Coast Salish territories!
In celebration of Black History Month, we invite you to an exciting, diverse programming at Britannia Britannia Community Services Centre on Thursday, February 15, 2024, at 5:30 pm.
We will first screen the selections from the 2023 Vancouver Black Film Festival, Canada’s largest mentorship and training program for black filmmakers:
“Dreamers” by Ilhan Abdullahi shows the saga of two Somali refugee youths with differing journeys who move to Vancouver in search of liberation and stop at nothing to turn their Soccer dreams into reality, only to be confronted by the harsh realities that await them. Soccer dreams into reality. Dreamers is a quietly observed documentary that explores what it takes to dream beyond the confines of survival.
“Magical Hands” by James Niyomugabo tells the story of Macumi Hellen, a woman from Burundi who has a deep love for farming. She has spent most of her life farming in various countries in Africa and brings that passion with her when she moves to Canada. However, when she first arrives in Canada, she faces many challenges, including the language barrier and a lack of space to farm.
The second part of the event will unveil the mystical realm of Afro-Cuban Orishas through a unique cultural showcase. Discover and explore the influences of Afro-Cuban culture in Cuban traditional dance and music, tracing their roots back to the 16th century when enslaved people preserved these practices in the new world. Learn about the deities known as Orishas Chango, Eleguá, and Oshún, immortal beings whose presence shapes Afro-Cuban dancing and influences the evolution of traditional and contemporary Cuban rhythms. Immerse yourself in live music and dance on this unique opportunity to connect with the roots of these art forms’ deep spiritual and historical foundations.
Date: Thursday, February 15, 2024
Time: 5:30-8:00 pm
Location: Britannia Community Services Centre (Britannia Art Gallery and 55+ Centre)
5:30 pm: Visit Britannia Art Gallery (in the library) and view the current exhibition by Shay Carr, graphic designer & painter.
6:00 pm: Meet in the 55+ Centre (across from the Info Centre) for exciting programming :
⭐ Opening & Honouring the Land (Audrey Siegl, Musqueam Activist)
⭐ Screening of Vancouver International Black Film Festival 2023 selections, “Dreamers” by Ilhan Abdullahi and “Magical Hands” by James Niyomugabo.
⭐ Live music and dance by Israel “Toto” Berriel, Yula Vostretsova and Ivan Nuñez showcasing the mystical realm of Afro-Cuban Orishas.
Yula Vostrosova is a Cuban professional dancer, choreographer, dance instructor, and a top ten 2023 Latin Award nominee in the Art & Culture category. She studied at the prestigious Escuela de Arte de Espectáculos Musicales in Havana, graduating in 2005. Since then, she has performed with various dance companies in the hotel circuit in Havana and Varadero.
She performed numerous amounts in the Samba Fusion team for three years in Vancouver. Eventually, she formed her dance ensemble called Elegancia Cubana, where she enjoyed a busy schedule helping to promote Cuban culture in this city.
Israel “Toto” Berriel is a traditional Afro-Cuban percussionist, vocalist, and educator. For twelve years, he played with the world’s best-known Rumba group, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, where he mastered the Afro-Cuban repertoire. Although deeply rooted in Afro-Cuban traditions, he is also comfortable with jazz, soul, and funk. Originally from Cuba, Toto has toured worldwide and made Canada his home since 2001.
Ivan Nuñez Segui is a Cuban professional dancer.”I started dancing at the age of nine. When I was 12 years old, I began my formal training at the National School of Art in Havana, Cuba, and after seven years, I graduated from the School in 1990. Upon graduation, I joined the Folklorico National de Cuba and was the principal soloist from 1996 until I left the company in 2001. Since then, I have been a freelance dancer and teacher in Cuba, Japan and Canada. In 2005, I moved to Calgary to dance for Decidedly Jazz Danceworks and performed with them throughout Canada until 2012. Since 2023, I have been part of the VLACC family.”
In partnership with Britannia’s Anti-Racism Anti-Oppression committee.
We would like to express gratitude and honour that we are on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm | Musqueam, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh | Squamish & səlilwətaɬ | Tsleil-Waututh Nations.
A special thanks to Danais Yera for all the support on this event.
Everyone is welcome!