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KUUMBA - African Heritage Month 2006 events
at Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West, Toronto)
Feb. 2 to Feb. 5, 2006 & Feb. 10 to Feb. 12, 2006
Information: 416-973-4000 or www.harbourfrontcentre.com

This year's edition of Kuumba at Harbourfront Centre celebrates African Heritage Month with two diverse weekends of music concerts and films, dance workshops and food demos, a Canadian Reggae Music Summit and comedy night. An Urban music photography exhibit and Kuumba book fair complement family storytelling and a family Soul on Ice skating event.

A rare live appearance by UK Punk/Reggae music and film legend Don Letts launches this year's festival with an exclusive View Points artist talk accompanied by the Canadian premiere of his Gil Scott-Heron BBC documentary The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (Thursday February 2 at 7 p.m. - $10 admission /$5 for students). Letts was a pivotal player in the UK Punk and Reggae movement as a DJ, as cofounder of Big Audio Dynamite and as a music video and documentary director. Kuumba continues the Letts tribute with free screenings of some of his influential documentaries and films on February 4.

View Points at Harbourfront Centre is a series of discussions about contemporary culture focussing on artistic issues and current affairs local, national and international. For further information visit www.harbourfrontcentre.com/viewpoints

All Kuumba events celebrate the vitality of Toronto's African and Caribbean communities by showcasing works by profile and innovative Canadian and international artists. Kuumba begins on Feb. 2 to Feb. 5, 2006 and continues again on Feb. 10 to Feb. 12, 2006. Most events are free admission 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 www.harbourfrontcentre.com

KUUMBA program highlights (more artists and events TBA):
All events (except Don Letts View Points talk and Donné Roberts CD Release concert) are free admission.

Comedy
This Caribbean comedy night and official Carte Blanche comedy CD release event features Nubian Disciples like Jean Paul (Comedy Inc.), Mark Trinidad and special guests. Coproduced with Up From The Roots productions.

Culinary
Celebrity chef demonstrations and food sampling from some of Toronto's top African and Caribbean chefs like popular Mardi Gras restaurateur and Global-TV's Beer Buddies Show co-host/chef Anthony Mair and Aziza Akdem from Ethiopian Village Food and Spice. This year Kuumba will also feature a children's cooking class.

Dance
Free introductory dance workshop classes for beginner to professional in African, Modern, Hip-hop and Caribbean styles. Dance instructors include Vivine Scarlett (Artistic Director - Dance Immersions), Patrick Parson (Artistic Director - Ballet Creole) and Charmaine Headley (Cofounder of COBA).

Family Events
The first ever Soul On Ice ebony family fun skate encourages Black and persons of colour to ice skate recreationally.
Additional family events include a children's cooking class, make and take craft activities and storytelling by local masters.

Film
Free admission documentary and film screenings on Saturday February 4 feature the works of UK Punk/Reggae music and film impresario Don Letts - including the Canadian premiere of his acclaimed 2005 documentary Punk: Attitude and the Canadian premiere of his BBC documentary Sun Ra: The Truth Is Out There. There will also be a free screening of his 1997 film Dancehall Queen. Times TBA. Letts has also been confirmed to appear in person for a View Points artist talk on Thursday February 2 ($10 admission/ $5 for students - purchase tickets by calling 416-973-4000). Admission includes the Canadian premiere screening of Letts' 2003 BBC Gil Scott-Heron documentary The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

Also, to get audiences revved up for Trinidad Carnival - Kuumba features the Canadian film premiere of Calypso at Dirty Jim's (featuring Lord Superior, The Mighty Sparrow and Calypso Rose), dubbed the Trinidadian Buena Vista Social Club.

Literary
Kuumba presents a Black Book Fair (time and details TBA) in partnership with A Different Book List.

Music Concerts
Kuumba and Music Africa (producers of Afrofest - www.musicafrica.org) team up for the first time to present the official CD release party for Toronto's multi-talented Madagascar Salegy Afro-Funk vocalist/guitarist and songwriter Donné Roberts Saturday February 11 (9:30 p.m.) at the Brigantine Room. This ticketed event ($10 admission / $5 for Music Africa members - tickets available by calling 416-973-4000) celebrates the release of his solo CD Rhythm Was Born. In 2005 Roberts received a Juno Award and performed at Toronto's Live 8 as a member of the African Guitar Summit. Roberts has also experienced international success as a musician and promoter in Russia and the Ukraine. More info on this amazing artist at www.donnerobert.com The event also features an awesome blend of African music spun by DJ Biggie.

Music Forums
The Canadian Reggae Music Summit and Conference invites audiences to meet a who's who of Canada's Reggae music industry as they share and listen to demo tunes & tales from aspiring artists as well as sharing tips on how to make it both here and abroad. The spiritual links between Reggae and Rasta will also be explored.

Visual Arts
A Canadian Urban music & culture retrospective photography exhibit featuring works by artists Steven Carty, Isaiah Trickey and more.

BEAUTY - From January through May 2006, Harbourfront Centre invites audiences to examine the idea of "beauty". Is beauty defined by personal tastes or perspectives or can we apply some universal standards? Through the eyes of the next generation of contemporary Canadian Craft artists in the Beauteous exhibition to the vibrant theatricality of Japanese dance company Pappa Tarahumara to the poetry of everyday life in Kuumba's celebration of African Heritage Month in February - these are just a few of the many interpretations of beauty we have to offer in the coming months. Beauty is part of an ongoing exploration of ideas-based programming at Harbourfront Centre.

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

For more information the public can call 416-973-4000.

Media Contact: Shane Gerard, 416-973-4655, sgerard@harbourfrontcentre.com.

For more information the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit www.harbourfrontcentre.com

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Media Contact: Shane Gerard, 416-973-4655, sgerard@harbourfrontcentre.com
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