Celebrating Black History Month with the Arts

Date: Feb 1, 2023

Installation view of ‘5 Artists 1 Love’, Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, 2023. 

February is Black History Month. A month of remembrance, recognition, celebration and honouring of black Canadians. One of the many ways to take part in Black History Month is through the arts. 

Take the time to engage with the work of black creatives who, in their own mediums, create platforms for us to reflect on the history, accomplishments and contributions of black people in Canada. 

Celebrating with the arts 

Here are a few ways to celebrate Black History Month within the arts. 

Arts Commons - Calgary 

Rhythm and Rhymes with Bubba B "the" MC, a Black History /365 event 

Sunday, February 12, 2023, 2 pm 

An exciting opportunity for youth & families to learn & create together with award-winning artist & Dragon's Den Slayer, Bubba B the MC. Using his book/CD as a starting place to centre themes of reading, literacy, and Black History month Bubba B demonstrates his technique for bringing different ideas together to create a whole new hip-hop song.  

Calgary Public Library - Calgary 

The Caili O'Doherty Quintet - Jazz and the Civil Rights Movement 

Thursday, February 16, 2023, 12 pm 

The Caili O'Doherty Quintet, a New York-based jazz ensemble, will visit the Calgary Public Library for an educational performance on Jazz and the Civil Rights Movement, a look at U.S. history and the relationship between Black American Music. 

Caribbean Association of Adventists in Alberta - Calgary 

Black History Extravaganza Gospel Concert 

Saturday, February 25, 7 pm 

A gospel concert in celebration of Black History Month presented by the Caribbean Association of Adventists in Alberta  

Arts Commons - Calgary  

Booker T: A Stax Revue 

Saturday, February 25, 7:30 pm 

Illustrated by personal anecdotes, Booker T: A Stax Revue will take Calgarians on a journey through Booker’s experience on the frontlines of music history backed by a ten-piece big band. This will be an evening of unforgettable hits that reflect the heart and soul of Stax Records, including its storied past and its bright future – and Booker T. himself performing the Hammond B-Organ. See it live and in person, in the Jack Singer Concert Hall.  

Art Gallery of Alberta - Edmonton 

Esmaa Mohamoud: To Play in the Face of Certain Defeat 

Now until May 1, 2023 

To Play in the Face of Certain Defeat is a celebration of diversity and an urgent call to action around issues of racial marginalization. Taking inspiration from the African American writer Ralph Ellison, artist Esmaa Mohamoud explores the ways in which Black bodies at once appear―and yet are rendered metaphorically invisible―within the spaces they navigate. She aims to re-examine understandings of contemporary Blackness, questioning the definitions of Blackness as a colour and shade, and/or as a societal or cultural construction. 

5 Artists 1 Love 2023 

Now until April 2, 2023 

5 Artists 1 Love is a stunning, annual Black History Month celebration of the artistic vibrancy and range of Edmonton’s African-Canadian communities, from Angola to Zanzibar, Togo to Tobago, or Brazil to Barbados! This phenomenal art exhibition showcases the dynamic beauty of the African diaspora through art, design, music, dance and poetry. The goal is to promote emerging and established artists, develop global African arts and cultures, and celebrate African-Canadian brilliance. 

Explore the Art Gallery of Alberta's Black History Month Programming. 

Citadel Theatre - Edmonton 

The Royale 

February 4 – 19, 2023 

Jay "The Sport" Jackson dreams of being the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. But it is 1905, and in the racially segregated world of boxing, his chances are as good as knocked out. Inspired by the life of Jack Johnson, the first Black heavyweight world champion, The Royale brings to explosive life the ultimate fight for a place in history. 

University of Alberta Black Students' Association - Edmonton 

Black History Month Gala: Cultural Resilience in Black Arts 

Friday, February 24, 2023, 5 pm 

On February 24, 2023, the UABSA will be hosting a Black History Month (BHM) Gala dedicated to celebrating BHM amongst Black students and Allies of the University of Alberta. The theme of the event is “Cultural Resilience in Black Arts” and it will focus on celebrating the cultural history of the various forms of Black Arts in the diaspora. This year, the gala will highlight the diverse artistic cultures encompassing the various African, Caribbean, Black (ACB) communities in Edmonton.  

Citadel Theatre - Edmonton  

Trouble in Mind 

March 25 - April 16, 2023 

Set in 1957, Trouble in Mind is a fascinating comedy-drama that takes a look at racism in the New York theatre scene. When the cast gathers to begin rehearsals, racial biases and tensions rise. When Wiletta Mayer, a talented Black actress, finds that her arguments to tell the truth of the story are dismissed, she decides to take action. 


The Alberta Human Rights Commision is great resource to use for information about You can find more information about Black History Month , Human rights in Alberta  and many other cultural celebrations and acknowledgements

 Know of any Black History Month events in your community? Share them with us.