Black Dollar Magazine


For Black entrepreneurs, creatives, decision-makers and executives

Sign up for FREE BDM newsletter

#BHM2023: Kuumba festival returns to Harbourfront Centre for ‘Black Futures Month’

The flagship event, ‘When Sisters Speak,’ will take place on Saturday, Feb. 11.

#BHM2023: Kuumba festival returns to Harbourfront Centre for ‘Black Futures Month’
The 28th annual Kuumba festival is back from Feb. 1 to Feb. 28 at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. JORDAN MAXWELL SCREENSHOT

The Kuumba festival is back for its 28th year to celebrate ‘Black Futures Month’ and support Black artists and Black culture.

The festival began on Feb 1. and will continue at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto until Feb. 28. On the first day of Kuumba, the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) re-released archived video presentations from past programs.

The flagship event, “When Sisters Speak,” will take place on Saturday, Feb. 11. It’s one of North America’s longest-running showcases of spoken word poetry. Founded in 2000, the event is curated, produced, and hosted by Scarborough Walk of Fame inductee Dwayne Morgan.

The two-time Canadian National Poetry Slam champion recently spoke to CP24 and discussed what you can expect at the event. Morgan has performed for the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, the former Governor General of Canada, Michaelle Jean, and the late leader of the NDP, Jack Layton.

“It features six incredible Black women who are going to get on stage, using their spoken word to bring you on a rollercoaster of emotions,” he said in the interview, mentioning some of the participants who hail from Toronto, Guelph, Ont., New York, and Texas.

Tickets are currently sold out. However, more could become available closer to the event date. Click here to stay updated.

Hear from Diana Webley, curator of Kuumba 2023, about the festival:

Dance, music, workshops, and literary events will also highlight the month-long event, which features virtual and in-person programming. Featured events include:

Black Ice — A film that examines the legacy of anti-Black racism in hockey, playing on Feb. 3. “Black Ice” also examines the role of Black players in Canadian hockey, from pre-NHL contributions to today’s game.

Black Canadian hockey players like Willie O’Ree played in 43 games for the NHL’s Boston Bruins in the 1960-61 season, and P.K. Subban, who recently retired after a 13-year NHL career.

The film is directed by Canadian documentary filmmaker Hubert Davis, who directed “Invisible City” and “Giants of Africa.”

Hollywood Jade Presents DIVA — “Hollywood Jade Presents DIVA” is a celebration of classic drag culture and the art of impersonation. The performance will include music from Lizzo, Whitney Houston, Prince, and Tina Turner. On Feb. 4, visitors to the Harbourfront Centre can expect to see performers with immaculate hairstyles, creative makeup designs, and a flair and flavour that is incomparable.

Letters to My Future Self — On Feb. 5, “Letters to My Future Self” will feature the writings of 10 artists who pen letters to their future beings.

“With stories filled with excitement or uncertainty and knowing their history, what can they believe about the future? What will they want their future selves to know?” the event listing reads.

Held in partnership with Kuumba and JAYU, a Toronto-based arts organization, the event takes place on Feb. 5, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Love. Affair — This concert event will include a musical performance from Sean Jones and the Righteous Echo. The performance will feature a 10-piece band. Jones, the lead singer, will serenade the audience with romantic songs to get them in the mood for Valentine's Day weekend.

For more details about the event, visit the Kuumba website.