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Kuumba presented by TD
Feb. 3-5, 2012

Toronto's longest-running and largest Black History Month festival returns to Harbourfront Centre

TORONTO, ON (Dec. 14, 2011) – The 16th annual Kuumba festival presented by TD, returns to Harbourfront Centre with an entertaining and educational weekend celebrating Black History Month. “Kuumba” is the Swahili word for creativity and has become synonymous with showcasing the best local and international artists from the African and Caribbean diaspora.

This winter, Harbourfront Centre presents programming that questions the BIG iDEA of perspective. Join us Feb. 3-5, 2012 to gain perspective on black history with a celebration of Jamaica's 50th Anniversary of Independence with legendary reggae dub DJ and producer Clive Chin, a Honey Jam Then & Now showcase, a hilarious Canada vs. USA Comedy Clash, a film series celebrating black filmmakers, The Known,(Un)Known indie music showcase with Rochelle Jordan, 88 Days of Fortune and Shi Wisdom, a fashion workshop with Canadian supermodel Stacey McKenzie and a variety of family activities including a Soca on Ice skating event with Dr. Jay de Soca Prince.

All Kuumba events celebrate the vitality of Toronto's African and Caribbean communities, by showcasing works by innovative Canadian and international artists. Kuumba runs from Friday, Feb. 3 to Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012. Most events are FREE and take place at Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West, Toronto). For more information and to purchase tickets the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit

Kuumba event listings:

Honey Jam – Then and Now (Hosted by Michie Mee, with DJ Mel Boogie)
* Ticketed event $10
Friday, Feb. 3, 7-10 p.m. (Brigantine Room)
For the past 16 year’s, Honey Jam has been Canada’s premiere all-female talent showcase featuring a wide variety of local DJ’s and artists representing hip hop, jazz, gospel, reggae, blues, r&b, dance and spoken word. This celebration features performances by Kellylee Evans, Eternia, Jemeni, Kim Davis, Belinda Brady, True, Saidah Baba Talibah, Motion, Natasha Waterman and more!

A Celebration of Jamaica's 50th Anniversary of Independence through Reggae Music with Clive Chin
Saturday, Feb. 4, 8-10- p.m. (Lakeside Terrace)
To commemorate Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary of Independence, reggae music legend Clive Chin presents an exclusive DJ workshop on the history of Jamaican music. Chin is a Chinese-Jamaican record producer whose credits include recordings by Dennis Brown, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Augustus Pablo, Peter Tosh, Jackie Mittoo, The Wailers and Black Uhuru, among many others. Chin was a pioneer in the establishment of dub as a standalone musical form - producing the Java Java Dub album in 1973, arguably the first-ever dub album. Chin will be signing copies of the album following the event. Hosted by CBC personality Garvia Bailey.

The Known,(Un)Known
Saturday, Feb. 4, 9:30 p.m.-12 a.m. (Brigantine Room)
Hosted by Tika Simone (MTV’s The Hills Aftershow), The Known,(Un)Known
is an all-ages independent artist event that showcases Toronto’s urban music stars of tomorrow, today. This session features Rochelle Jordan, Shi Wisdom and 88 Days of Fortune (KJ, Spek Won, Abstract Random and more).

Youth Workshop and Hip-Hop Performance by P.E.A.C.E
Sunday, Feb. 5, 4-6 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace)
People Everywhere Actually Co-existing Equally (P.E.A.C.E.), is a mission to bring awareness to the power of action in our communities. Identifying with hip hop culture, Jamaican heritage and African roots, this workshop and performances use musical inspiration and sound therapy to generate positive energy and share ideas.

T&T 50th Anniversary of Independence with Pan Fantasy
Sunday, Feb. 5, 3:30-5 p.m. (Brigantine Room)
Celebrate Trinidad and Tobago’s 50th Anniversary of Independence at this musical extravaganza produced by the award-winning Pan Fantasy Steelband. The celebration kicks off with a medley of classic calypso songs that span generations, to contemporary numbers, featuring a special homage to legendary calypsonian Mighty Sparrow.


Lua Shayenne: Afro-roots dance workshop and performance
Sunday, Feb. 5, 3 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace)
Lua Shayenne presents traditional African and Afro-contemporary dance works that draw on the aesthetics and values of African culture to create pieces that challenge stereotypes.


Celebrating the Cinematography of Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago:
Joebell and America, directed by Asha Lovelace (Jamaica)
Friday, Feb. 3, 6:30 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
Based on the true story by Earl Lovelace, Joebell and America tells the story of Joebell, a gambler who concocts a risky plan to escape to the promise and fantasy of America. Prepared to leave everything behind, including his newly-found romance with the village beauty, Joebell sets out for his final destination, with each step of his journey uncovering him to himself and revealing the island he had never really seen. The film received the Best International Narrative Feature Award at the Women’s International Film Festival.

Celebrating Black Canadian Filmmakers:
Devotion, directed by Dawn Wilkinson (Canada)
Friday, Feb. 3, 9:30 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
Alice, a bi-racial 11-year-old girl, has recently lost her mother in a car accident caused by her father’s drunk driving. As father and daughter begin a new life, Alice is haunted by nightmares and memories of her mother’s death and the new woman in her father’s life. Winner of the Best Feature Award at San Francisco Urban Kidz Film Festival, the Star! Audience Choice Award at the ReelWorld Film Festival and the 1st Annual Tony Stoltz Completion Fund Award.

Celebrating the Cinematography of Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago:
Saturday, Feb. 4, 1:30 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
A series of short films celebrating the richness of Jamaican and Trinidadian cinema.

Caribbean Skin, African Identity, directed by Mandisa Patin (Trinidad & Tobago)
Caribbean Skin is a documentary that examines the concept of African identity as it has evolved over generations in Trinidad & Tobago. In it, the director explores her own identity using the Emancipation Day parade and its rituals as a starting point for her journey. Interviews with African-Caribbean scholars define and explain some of the complexities of race in this society.

Directions, directed by Renee Pollonais (Trinidad & Tobago)
No one gives directions like a Trinidadian. In this short dramatization of that endearing and frustrating phenomenon, a number of persons are asked to give directions to a well-known Port of Spain landmark, with hilarious results. Directions received the People’s Choice Award at the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival.

Entry Denied, directed by Christopher Browne (Jamaica)
Entry Denied follows the story of a young Jamaican footballer, from the ghetto of Kingston, who is refused a visa to take up a scholarship at a university in the US. Dramatic events and coincidences conspire to take the story to an alternate conclusion.

Now Jimmy!, directed by Mary Wells (Jamaica)
Now Jimmy! is a short documentary that explores land rights issues. The film follows a riveting and unusual story about the title character Jimmy, a squatter who has built his own house out of salvaged materials on prime Jamaican real estate. The film received the Outstanding Documentary from the Caribbean Award by the Sheryl Lee Ralph Jamerican Film & Music Festival, it was screened at TIFF and it was also chosen by UNESCO to be a part of an international selection of films from around the world for the new Radio-Television Afghanistan.

Celebrating Black Canadian Filmmakers:
Lying Lips, directed by Oscar Micheaux in partnership with COMMFFEST (USA)
Saturday, Feb. 4, 5 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
Lying Lips is a 1939 drama starring Edna Mae Harris and Robert Earl Jones (the father of James Earl Jones). Lying Lips follows the story of a nightclub singer refuses to "date" customers, so she's framed for the murder of her aunt, convicted of the killing and sent to prison. However, her friend, who is a police detective, doesn't believe she did it and sets out to prove her innocence.

Celebrating Black Canadian Filmmakers:
Finder of Lost Children, directed by Ricardo Scipio (Trinidad & Tobago)
Saturday, Feb. 4, 7:30 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
Finder of Lost Children is the story of two half-sisters that meet for the first time after the funeral of the father neither one of them knew. These reluctant siblings make a road trip to deal with their father’s meager possessions and discover the existence of several other lost brothers and sisters who are unaware of their father’s passing. The film was screened at the Hollywood Black Film Festival and at CaribbeanTales Film Festival.


CANADA Versus USA Comedy Clash
Saturday, Feb. 4, 7-9 p.m. (Brigantine Room)
Team USA (Sheldon Johnson and Zack Johnson) challenges Team Canada (Jay Martin and Trixx) to a side-splitting duel of jokes and more jokes. The event sees the best comics from each country squaring off in a serious game of humour.


Fashion Blackout
Saturday, Feb. 4, 2-4 p.m. (Brigantine Room)
Fashion Blackout is a multi-faceted event that shines a spotlight on black and diverse designers, models and influencers in the fashion industry. Join us for the screening of The Colour of Beauty, a shocking short documentary that examines racism in the fashion industry; a Walk This Way fashion workshop with Canadian model Stacey McKenzie and panel discussions with fashion designers and influencers such as Montreal’s Miss Sly (Noëlly Sam), leading model agent Norwayne Anderson (NAM) and journalist Sarah Nicole Prickett. Hosted by CBC personality Anne-Marie Mediwake.


Identify and Address: A Panel Discussion about Black Women and Leadership with The Congress of Black Women
Sunday, Feb. 5, 3-5 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
Identify and Address is a panel discussion created in partnership with The Congress of Black Women of Canada. A group of selected panelists will discuss and answer questions from the audience about issues black women face.


A Celebration of Afro-diasporic Tradition through Storytelling with Itah Sadu and Guests
Saturday, Feb. 4 and Sunday, Feb. 5, 2-3 p.m. (Miss Lou’s Room)
Author and storyteller Itah Sadu shares the rich oral traditions of the Caribbean, Africa, and North America with tales that celebrate African roots.

OWARE: African Board Gaming
Saturday, Feb. 4 and Sunday, Feb. 5, 3-6 p.m. (Miss Lou’s Room)
Learn to play or watch the hugely popular traditional African board game Oware with MACPRI Oware Canada. Oware is the oldest African board game still widely played in the world today and has been traced back nearly 3500 years to ancient Egypt.

Rhythms of Ghana: Drumming Workshop with Alpha Rhythm Roots
Sunday, Feb. 5, 1-3 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace)
Participants can learn basic drumming techniques with Alpha Rhythm Roots and discover the music, dance, traditions and culture of Guinea, Africa.


Soca on Ice featuring Dr. Jay de Soca Prince
Saturday, Feb. 4, 8-11 p.m. (The Natrel® Rink)
DJ Skate Night explores hot Caribbean rhythms at the second soca party on ice! Join us as Dr. Jay de Soca Prince heats up the ice with spicy soca and calypso tunes.


Village Market
Friday, Feb. 3, 6-11 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 4, 1-11 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 5, 1-6 p.m. (Marilyn Brewer Community Space)
Harbourfront Centre’s Village Market features exotic, sustainable and eco-friendly products of excellent quality and unquestionable authenticity.

Harbourfront Centre is an innovative, non-profit cultural organization which provides internationally renowned programming in the arts, culture, education and recreation, all within a collection of distinctive venues on the 10-acre site it operates in the heart of Toronto's downtown waterfront.

ABOUT TD - THEN & NOW series
TD salutes the contributions of members of the black community to Canada by proudly sponsoring the THEN & NOW series of cultural events. This celebration of Black History Month, showcases 12 visual arts, performance and cinematic events for the entire family. Visit the Then & NOW website for more information.


MEDIA NOTE* High resolution images and interviews available upon request.

Media Contact:
Althea Linton
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