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B.C. society celebrates 30 years with Black History Month events

This year’s Black History Month theme is the celebration of Black people in the arts
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Locrian Tones are performing at the BC Black History Awareness Society launch event on Thursday (Feb. 1) for Black History Month. (BC Black History Awareness Society/Facebook)

The BC Black History Awareness Society is marking its 30th anniversary with Black History Month events in Greater Victoria.

The events will highlight the rich history, resiliency and creativity of Black people in British Columbia.

The House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month in Canada in 1995.

This year’s Black History Month theme is the celebration of Black people in the arts.

The launch will take place on Thursday (Feb. 1) from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at KWENCH featuring live music from Locrian Tones with smooth vocals and sweet gospel harmonies.

Karen Hoshal will be speaking at a service at Central Saanich United Church on Feb. 4 at 10:15 a.m. Hoshal is a direct descendant of the pioneering Alexander family who built the church, which was originally called Shady Creek Church. Refreshments will be available by donation.

The Royal BC Museum is celebrating Black History and Heritage Day on Feb. 10 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Attendees will have the chance to meet with local organizations that are dedicated to the preservation of historical records related to Black history in the province. People will be able to enjoy the poetic Afro-Cuban harmonies of the Noedy HD Trio and view exhibits that include images, artifacts and archival documents.

BC Black History Awareness Society executive director Jamila Douhaibi will participate in a panel discussion called language and light on Feb. 18th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Royal BC Museum. This is part of the Victoria Winter Arts Festival and will include a conversation about how art, culture, and storytelling are crucial to strengthening the social fabric of a just, healthy and equitable society.

The Belfry Theatre will host the soulful tunes of international jazz and blues legend Maureen Washington and stunning stories and poems by Addena Sumter-Freitag at 7 p.m. on Feb. 19.

A guided tour on Feb. 25 will include a historical journey through some of the 50 Black pioneer and descendant graves at Ross Bay Cemetery. Attendees can learn about influential early settlers from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

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