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Ibutsa Rwanda: Commemoration and Celebration
Friday June 25 to Sunday June 27 at Harbourfront Centre
Directly connecting Canadians to the Rwandan people and culture which survives and thrives today
TORONTO, June 14, 2004-All Canadians are invited to experience an event highlighting the Rwandan people and culture which survived the horrible 1994 genocide - where more than one million were murdered in just over 100 days. Canadians played an important role in Rwanda in 1994 and continue to work closely with Rwandans here and in Africa to rebuild Rwanda and to remember the country that is and that was. Hence the meaning of Ibutsa - "for those who know must tell".
Through powerful panel discussions and through the reflection, affirmation and celebration that occurs through music, dance, film and visual arts -  Ibutsa Rwanda: Commemoration and Celebration gathers survivors, artists and prominent Canadians like Stephen Lewis, James Orbinski, Gerry Caplan and Allan Rock and places them alongside performances by African and Rwandan-Canadians like the Rangira Brothers, The Mighty Popo, The Nubians, The Rwandan Chorus, Dancers Indahemuka and the Isangano Dancers. A powerful documentary film series as well as a photography exhibition by Rwandan children and an art installation highlighting eight Rwandan survivors living in Toronto will provide a context of commemoration and for all Canadians to remember Rwanda - ten years later. Complete event details below.

Ibutsa Rwanda - Panel Discussions
These unique panel discussions combine the experiences and perspectives of both Rwandans and Canadians.

Saturday June 26 - Survivors and Survival: Finding Our Path panel (1p.m. - Brigantine Room)
Nigerian-Canadian writer/journalist Ken Wiwa moderates a panel including foreign policy analyst/author Janice Stein, Rwandan genocide survivors/activists Bea Mukayiranga and
Dada Gasirabo and U.N. special envoy for AIDS in Africa, Stephen Lewis.
Saturday June 26 - "Yet Again" and the Responsibility to Protect panel (3 p.m. Brigantine Room)
Dr. James Orbinski (global health researcher and past-president of MSF), moderates a panel including current Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations Allan Rock, Gerry Caplan, Peter Penz (Director of the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University) and
Rwandan genocide survivor and activist Leo Kabalisa. 

Ibutsa Rwanda - Music and Dance
Saturday June 26 - Toronto Star Stage
1 p.m.- The Isangano Dancers performs and offers dance lessons
2 p.m.- Phyllis Walker, Rwandan Anansi Press storyteller performs
2:30 p.m.- Living Rhythms Drum Circle performs and offers a workshop for families.
3:30 p.m.- Indahemuka dancers perform
4:45 p.m.- Bernadette Kabango, Rwandan poet, performs. 
Saturday June 26 - CIBC Stage
7:15 p.m.- Rangira Brothers - Two Rwandan brothers perform an acoustic set
8:20 p.m.- Isangano Dancers - A visually stunning Rwandan dance troupe liven it up
9:30 p.m.- The Mighty Popo - Internationally renowned Rwandan/Canadian artist performs
Sunday June 27
CIBC Stage (2 p.m.- Closing Ceremony)

This event features survivors' testimonies, The Rwandan Chorus and the Isangano Dancers.
Sunday June 27  - 4 p.m. - Toronto Star Stage  - The Nubians perform. 

Isangano - A group of twelve Rwandese artists comprised of dancers, composers, musicians, poets, actors and performers. The artists combine their talents as a means of communication to promote national reconciliation.

The Mighty Popo - This Ottawa based vocalist and guitarist has toured North America and Europe with Canadian and American bluesmen and has released two critically acclaimed CDs. His style blends African rhythms with Blues and Reggae.

Rangira Brothers - The brothers Willy Marcel Rangira and Christian Rukimbira were born in Kigali and grew up in a musical family. The genocide found them in two separate cities. After losing hope of finding each other alive, they reunited almost two months after the genocide. Music then became a means of communicating with the larger self, the survivors' community.

Ibutsa Rwanda - Visual Arts

Friday June 25 through Sunday June 27
Marilyn Brewer Community Space

Through the Eyes of Children

Begun as a photographic workshop in 2000, conceived by photographer, David Jiranek
, and inspired by the founder of the Imbabazi Orphanage, Rosamond Carr - an American woman living in Rwanda for over 50 years. Using disposable cameras, the children originally took pictures for themselves and to share with others, exploring their community, and finding beauty as the country struggles to rebuild. Initially, the pictures were developed locally, displayed on the orphanage walls and put into photo albums by the children. A year later, the children were invited by the US Embassy to exhibit their work in the capital, Kigali where the pictures were sold, with all proceeds going towards the education of the children. In addition to winning a 2001 Camera Arts Magazine Photo Contest; the project has won Honorable Mention in an international competition featuring professional and non-professional photographers. Today, the children continue to photograph with donated cameras. For more information and to view photographs visit

Portraits From the 100 Days

Responding to both the 10th anniversary of the genocide and the historic need to document survivor accounts - photographer, Leib Kopman, writer, Carole Ann Reed and curator, Carla Rose Shapiro, approached the Rwandan survivor and refugee community to create an exhibit which would honour and record their experiences. The results of this collaborative endeavour are ten portraits and biographies of Rwandan survivors now living in Toronto. This exhibition includes contemporary photographic portraits, personal testimony, family photos and archival documents. Co-sponsored by The Law Foundation of Ontario

Ibutsa Rwanda  - Film
Friday June 25 - Studio Theatre
7 p.m. - Journey Into Darkness (1994 - 50 minutes)
A chilling account by BBC reporter Fergal Keane, who reported from Rwanda in the midst of the 1994 civil war. He explores the tribal hatred exploited by politicians and reveals the first stages of mass murder (The PBS version won an Emmy Award).
8 p.m. - The Killers (2004 - 50 minutes)
Ten years later, BBC reporter Fergal Keane returns to Rwanda to explore how ordinary men become pitiless killers - who themselves give harrowing descriptions of genocide, “It is as if we were competing over the killing."
Ibutsa Rwanda  - Film
Saturday June 26 - Studio Theatre

1:20 p.m. - Rwanda: In Search of Hope (1999 - 53 minutes)
Five years after the genocide, a group of Canadian teachers and community workers travel to Rwanda to try and understand what happened and what can be done to help half a million orphans.
(Directed by Peter Raymont) 
2:45 p.m. - Hand of God, Hand of the Devil (1996 - 50 minutes)
Two Canadian missionaries were killed for protesting against corruption and human rights violations in Rwanda. The film explores Canada’s role in Rwanda and raises questions about the diversion of Canadian aid money.
4 p.m. - The Last Just Man (2001 - 75 minutes)
The film focuses on the head of the UN peacekeeping mission to Rwanda in 1994, Canadian Brigadier General Romeo Dallaire. When violence exploded his pleas to the outside world went unanswered. Dallaire remains haunted by his inability to stop the killing. Followed  by a Dallaire update with director Peter Raymont and a preview of an upcoming documentary on General Romeo Dallaire’s return to Rwanda for the first time since his harrowing UN mission in 1994. Director Peter Raymont will introduce the film excerpt and discuss Dallaire’s reaction. 
12 p.m./Noon - Valentina’s Story (1997 - 40 minutes)
As the Rwandan Government prepares to execute some of those said to be responsible for the worst genocide since World War II, this film meets Valentina, a child survivor, who is to be a witness against her parent’s killers.
6 p.m. - A Killer’s Homecoming (2004 - 50 minutes)
In 1994, Theorise took a gun and killed the mother and two sisters of his wife Odette. After eight years, Theorise is released from prison and he wants his wife to not only forgive him, but embrace him again as her husband. 
7:30 p.m. - Ghosts of Rwanda (2004 - 100 minutes)
How could the West stand aside and did nothing to stop the slaughter. This documentary examines the social, political, and diplomatic failures that converged to enable the genocide to occur. Interviewed are those who participated in the world’s failure to act, those few who stood up and those who deeply haunted by what they did.
Ibutsa Rwanda  - Film
Sunday June 26 - Studio Theatre
1 p.m. - Condemned to Live (1999 - 45 minutes)
During the frenzy of hatred against the Tutsi minority, women and girls as young as five were raped. Many were tortured, left pregnant and infected with AIDS. Women from the village of Bicumbi seek justice and hope to convict 33 local men of rape. 
2:15 p.m. - The Bloody Tricolour (1996 - 45 minutes)
A revelation of how France’s attempt to increase it’s influence in Africa contributed to the murder of a million Rwandans. It documents the true extent of the French covert military assistance to the Rwandan government between 1990 and 1994.
3:30 p.m. - Kisangani Diary (1999 - 50 minutes)
This film shows how three years after the UN failed to stop the Rwandan massacre, they again failed to halt another massacre of tens of thousands more Rwandans, trapped in the Congolese jungle, where they died by the thousands of starvation. 
5:00 p.m.- In Rwanda We Say....The Family that Does Not Speak Dies (2004 - 54 minutes)
Having confessed to their crimes and having served the maximum sentence the Gacaca tribunals imposed, 16,000 prisoners, perpetrators of appalling crimes, have been sent home to live alongside the people they victimized.  The film looks at the release of one suspect and theeffect of his return on a tiny hillside hamlet. 
6:30 p.m.- Keepers of Memory (2004 - 50 minutes)
For ten years the Rwandan fimmaker worked with TV and film crews from around the world as they documented the genocide sites and interviewed Rwandan survivors.  He despairs that despite the many films nothing has changed the lives of the people.

Kidzone Tent - Saturday June 26 (
12:30 p.m. - 3 p.m.) and Sunday June 27 (Noon to 2 p.m.)
A hands on workshop for children where they have a chance to explore African textiles and participate in painting a mural.

Ibutsa Rwanda: Commemoration and Celebration events take place at Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West, Toronto) from Friday June 25 through Sunday June 27, 2004. All events are free admission. For further information the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit online at

Media Note: Hi-res jpegs and event releases at:

Harbourfront Centre Summer 2004 events take place at Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West in Toronto. For further information the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit 
Media Contacts:
Shane Gerard, 416-973-4655,
Rebecca Webster, 416-973-4397,
Bill Bobek, 416-973-4428,
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