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KUUMBA at Harbourfront Centre
Ten years of celebrating African Heritage Month

TORONTO, January 18, 2005-This year's edition of Kuumba at Harbourfront Centre celebrates African Heritage Month with two jam-packed weekends of music concerts and dance premieres, engaging and provocative readings and panels, a film series curated by the Get Reel Film Festival, a visual arts exhibition premiere and a variety of family activities.

Kuumba's full tenth anniversary activities begin on February 5 and February 6 and continue February 1 2 and February 13, 2005. All events, except where noted, are free admission and appropriate for all ages. Complete Kuumba program below:

The Kuumba cultural programme is also part of Harbourfront Centre's Winter exploration of HE. The changing nature of the male identity and shifting notions of man's role in society are embedded as sub-themes in select Kuumba events.

For more information the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit 

All Kuumba events are located at Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West, Toronto).

    KUUMBA Dance - Free Events:

Three Canadian premieres of commissioned solo dance works. Created for Kuumba in partnership with Canboulay Dance Theatre and the Kick up your Heels 2005 festival, three choreographers address an aspect of the male persona through dance. All works also embrace Harbourfront Centre's concurrent HE theme based programming. These free admission performances take place Saturday February 5 and Sunday February 6 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Studio Theatre.

    Lincoln Shand - Blue (February 5 & 6, 2 p.m.)
A playful look at the job market and the daily life of an office worker. Lincoln Shand's contemporary dance creation combines dance with a theatrical element in this four part adventure of a man dealing with his daily life from morning to night.

    Learie McNicolls (February 5 & 6, 3 p.m.).
A character with a double personality - one male, one female. Learie McNicolls' movement in this dance piece is based on different levels of separation from birth by the cutting of the umbilical, to the embracing of death at the end of the life cycle.

    Ronald A. Taylor - I n I (February 5 & 6, 4 p.m.)
Ronald A. Taylor interprets Rastafarians “I n I” - the body is the receptacle of time. The key opening to an ever-changing world’s culture is physical, done through organic movement and visualizations.

KUUMBA Music - Ticketed Events:
    Tickets available through the Harbourfront Centre Box Office
    Call 416-973-4000 or buy on-line at

    Junior Kelly
Unplugged with King Turbo
    (Saturday February 5, 10:30 p.m., Brigantine Room, $25 admission)  
Reggae luminary Junior Kelly engages in an exclusive and intimate one-on-one session of music and discussion. He will discuss his music, Rastafarianism, the state of Reggae and perform songs from his forthcoming CD. The night also features Foundation Reggae and Studio One Tribute sets by King Turbo (CIUT's Morning Ride) and Natty B and Bigga (CHRY's Zion Train). Trinity Chris and Humble perform a Roots Reggae opening set. Hosted by CKLN Reggaemania’s Ron Nelson.

    K’naan Live with Love Movement
    (Saturday February 12, 10:30 p.m., Brigantine Room, $10 admission) 
Join this Canadian Urban Music Award winning Somali musician at his first live Toronto concert! K'naan has already toured with Youssou N'Dour and has performed alongside Wyclef Jean, Boy Dylan and Sting. His Soobox video has received much love from MuchMusic and his upcoming debut CD The Dusty Foot Philosopher is set to drop this March. There is also a screening of  Direct Current Media's (Josh Sage/Sol Guy) trip to Nairobi where they and K'naan join activist Salim Mohammed in his quest to empower youth in the largest slum in East Africa. K'naan is joined by the Love Movement and DJ Nana.

    KUUMBA Music - Free Events:

    Amina Alfred (Sunday February 6, 4 p.m., Lakeside Terrace)
Djembe drumming with this popular multi-disciplinary performance artist and percussionist.

    Kobena Acquaa-Harrison (Saturday February 12 and Sunday February 13,  4 p.m., Lakeside Terrace)
Hear the sounds of Kobena, an award-winning multi-instrumentalist and conductor of Jungle Bouti Orchestra.

    KUUMBA Talks - Free Events:

    Saturday Afternoon Live: Community Think Tank (Saturday February 5, 1:30 p.m., Brigantine Room)
Six great minds weigh in on what the African-Canadian community will look like in 2020 while tackling hot button political and social issues. Hosted by Emily Mills and featuring Norman "Otis" Richmond, Councillor Michael Thompson, Kike Roach, Lisa Skeete, Freedom Time's JJ Campbell and K'naan.

    Spoken Word Slam (Saturday February 5, 7 p.m., Brigantine Room)
Ten Toronto poetry slam artists (Leviathan, Motion, Sankofa, Wakefield Brewster, John Akpata, Da Original One, Heron Jonse, Lady Loxx, Shauna Dixon and Raptics) go mind-to-mouth for cash and glory. Hosted by Dwayne Morgan.

    Notorious B.I.G. Tribute (Sunday February 6, 2 p.m., Brigantine Room)
The Toronto launch of Chicago-based Vibe Magazine writer Cheo Hodari Coker’s Unbelievable: The Life, Death and Afterlife of the Notorious B.I.G. The launch includes discussion of B.I.G.’s influence on Rap music and Pop culture as well as DJ’s Muziklee Insane and P-Plus (CKLN’s The Real Frequency) spinning 100% Biggie tunes with CD giveaways. Co-produced by Urban Books and Peace Magazine.

    Walk This Way (Saturday February 12, 1:30 p.m., Brigantine Room)
African-Canadian supermodels Stacey Mckenzie (Calvin Klein, Jean Paul Gaultier, MAC) and Lana Ogilvie (first black model to land a CoverGirl cosmetics contract) discuss body image and provide tips on how to break into the fashion world.

    T Dot Griots: From The Page To The Stage (Saturday February 12, 7 p.m., Brigantine Room)
The official launch of the spoken word poetry collection T Dot Griot's: An Anthology of Toronto's Black Storytellers with some of Canada’s best African Canadian poets and storytellers reading their excerpts from the book and newer works. Featuring Kamau, Naila Belvett, Al St. Louis, Steven Green and Karen Richardson and an open mic. A funding agency and publishing house representative provide tips on accessing funding and getting works published.

    What’s Love Got To Do With It: The State of Black Love in The New Millenium
(Sunday February 13, 2 p.m., Brigantine Room)
Performance artist and Blingles founder Anne-Marie Woods explores the theme of relationships, love and dating patterns in the black community. Also a preview of L.A-based filmmaker Angelina Millare’s Love:Unplugged. Guest poet JD Vishus.

    KUUMBA Talks - Ticketed Event:
    Someone Sang for Me: Building Community Through Music (featuring Jane Sapp)
    (Thursday February 3, 7 p.m., Brigantine Room, $10 admission / $5 for students) 
VIEWPOINTS, a new series of discussions and point-of-view about contemporary culture occurs the first Thursday of each month. Co-produced with York University. This month features Jane Sapp - civil rights activist, musician, artist and educator.  The moderator/interviewer at this session will be activist, advocate and spoken word artist Lillian Allen

    KUUMBA Visual Arts - Free Event: 
    Michael Chambers: The Sandbox

    (Thursday February 3 through Sunday February 13, Marilyn Brewer Community Space, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.)

Harbourfront Centre presents the premiere of Michael Chambers' photographic installation that explores the idea that race only exists within the context of exclusion and discrimination. The Sandbox narrative allows viewers to investigate the changing perceptions and receptions of his/her own cultural make-up and the new contemporary Canadian family. Children and families can also contribute to the installation with cameras and materials at the exhibit. Activity times are: Friday February 4 and 11 (6 p.m. to 9 p.m.); Saturday February 5 and 12 (noon to 7 p.m.); Sunday Feburary 6 and 13 (noon to 7 p.m.)

    KUUMBA Film - Free Screenings:
    All screenings are rated AA and occur at The Studio Theatre
    Produced by the Get Reel and Iced in Black film festivals

    The Murder of Emmett Till (dir. Stanley Nelson, 60 min., 2002)
    Saturday February 12 at 1 p.m.
This documentary is about the murder of the 12-year old boy, Emmett Till – his crime: looking at a white woman. This murder and subsequent acquittal of the two men was a major catalyst of the 1950's civil rights movement.

    Canadian Shorts: Father's Series (4 films)
    Saturday February 12 at 3:30 p.m.

My Father’s Hands (dir. David Sutherland, 27 min., 1999)
English Marcus is a dancer. Don, his father, is a butcher. They haven’t talked in years, but neither know exactly how they got to this space in their lives. Told in a series of flashbacks, we travel from Marcus’ infancy to his adulthood, and learn what makes them tick. Marcus and Don attempt to heal old wounds as well as tend to their new ones, before it’s too late.

When Morning Comes (dir. Charles Officer, 17 min., 2000)
Exploring love, tolerance, abandonment and choices as a father confronts addiction and responsibilities to his six year old son.

In the Shadow of a Saint (dir. Ken Saro-Wiwa)
Ken Saro-Wiwa talks about the benefits, obstacles and challenges of being raised the son of a prominent activist and writer.

Esther, Baby and Me (dir. Louis Taylor 21 min., 2000)
Through intimate revelations, crude confessions, honesty and humour - Taylor reflects on the adventures of first-time fatherhood.

    Rebel Music: The Bob Marley Story (dir. Jeremy Marre, 95 min, 2000)
    Saturday February 12 at 7:30 p.m.
A video biography of Bob Marley including candid interviews with Bob Marley and live performances.

    Black Picket Fence (dir. Sergio Goes, 90 min., 2002)
    Sunday February 13 at 1 p.m.
This film depicts the lives of two friends chosing two different routes to achieve the ever-so-elusive American dream and to make it out of the hood! One, Tislam, choses the Rap game. The other, Mel, choses to become a pharmaceutical salesman.

    Raising Kane (dir. Alison Duke, 72 min., 2000)
    Sunday February 13 at 3:30 p.m.
Alison Duke makes her directorial debut with a gutsy documentary that crackles with energy as it takes you in to the hidden world of independent hip-hop artists. While hip-hop has been embraced by the mainstream, independent artists are struggling for respect from the music industry. The energy is raw and stays real as their dreams collide with the realities of the music biz.

    KUUMBA Kids: Free Events

    Father’s Tales (Sunday February 6 and February 13,  1 p.m. and 5 p.m., Brigantine Room)
Storyteller George Blake tells the tales of four fathers and sons beginning with a King’s advice to his son the Prince, through to a Grandfather risking his life for the safety of his grandson. This magical journey comes with African and Caribbean drumming!

    Shekere Make-and-Take Craft Activity
    (Saturday February 5 and 12, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Zoom Room)
Toronto artist Karen Bell (Kebcap Studios) teaches children and families how to make their own Shekere (pronounced shay-kuh-ray). This African beaded gourd rattle percussion instrument is played by musicians around the globe. The activity will use containers and/or papier mache and can also be adorned with beads, string and shells.

    ZOOM! Family Programming (Sunday February 6 and February 13,  1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Zoom Room)
A variety of creative and unique activities for parents and kids alike every Sunday. ZOOM! features a diverse line-up of hands-on activities like Popshots - a kid-created exhibition of Polaroid pictures, along with storytelling, gallery tours and more.

    KUUMBA Cooks - Free Events:
    (2:30 and 5 p.m..on Sunday February 6, Saturday February 12 and Sunday February 13)
    Featuring some of Toronto’s best African and Caribbean chefs. Food demonstrations over both weekends. Samples $1.
    Chefs include: Ikeila Wright (Leaf of Life Catering); Amadou Seck (Amadou's African Cuisine)
    and Aziza Akdem (Ethiopian Village Food and Spice)

    KUUMBA Shops: 
    (Saturday February 5 and 12, 1 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Sunday February 6 and 13, 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.)
    Shop for delightful African and Caribbean treasures at this indoor marketplace.

All Kuumba events are located at Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West, Toronto).

For more information the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit

Media Contact:  Shane Gerard, 416-973-4655,
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