BCBHAS Event History

BC Black History Timeline

Diverse Histories, Identities, and Experiences
poster black with white lettering, faint background with spilled bucket of paint
This event was the launch of the report “Worlds Within: Diverse Histories, Identities, and Experiences of Black People of African Ancestry in British Columbia“. The report is the output of the African Ancestry Survey Project, highlighting the diversity of Black people in BC. It shares our stories in our own voice by centering stories of over 160 project participants. “We hope this resource will inspire dialogue around emergent themes and issues including multiculturalism and anti-racism and contribute towards positive social change. The report will be a resource for everyone in British Columbia, and particularly Black communities and those engaged in work around multiculturalism and racial equity. Understanding and acknowledging the diversity of the Black communities is an important step towards building authentic connections. The report will also form part of our historical records.” Alice Mũrage, project lead and authorThe report is based on surveys, community engagement and reviews that allowed for a quantitative data collection that gave context to the stories that were shared through the interviews and focus group discussions.  More about this project and access the report
Black History Month 2022
Poster with color border, in-color images and large date numbers for each event with black text on white background
“Dynamic Diasporas” at VMF Winter Arts Fest
Poster left side black background with white lines and text, left side portrait black woman smiling wearing yellow glasses, orange short hair

BCBHAS partnered with Vancouver Mural Fest (VMF) Winter Arts Fest to bring you “Dynamic Diasporas“. In the fall of 2021, Creative Doaa Magdy began doing collaborative research and project development with BCBHAS to source archival images as part of the artwork on display for Winter Arts Festival.

“I am a Nubian Afro-Indigenous interdisciplinary artist living on the unceded stolen lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.” Doaa works in documentary filmmaking, dance, and photography.

Watch the live dance performance that took place on February 27th. Dancers personify 4 Black pioneers, highlighting their stories through visual storytelling while emphasizing Black joy.

A conversation with Dr. Cornel West “Being a Hope Amid Crisis”
b&w portrait, black man wearing glasses, suit and tie looking directly at camera, hands together in front

This conversation will explore themes of economics, democracy, racial justice and Black identity. Dr. West is a professor at Union Theological Seminary and holds the title of Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has also taught at Yale, Harvard, and the University of Paris.
Of the 20 books he has authored, Dr. West is best known for his classics, Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and for his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. His most recent book, Black Prophetic Fire, offers an unflinching look at nineteenth and twentieth-century African American leaders and their visionary legacies. He has also made frequent appearances on the Bill Maher Show, CNN, C-Span and Democracy Now. This event is co-sponsored by Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) – BC OfficeWatch now

History of anti-Black Racism in Canadian Schools and Universities
portrait black women with long curled hair smile wearing decorative earrings and necklace, black v-neck blouse

Dr. June Francis, PhD, MBA, LLB, Director, Institute for Diaspora Research & Engagement at SFU.  Dr. Francis will address, discuss, and answer questions on the “History of anti-Black Racism in Canadian Schools and Universities – the significance of the Scarborough Charter for addressing anti-Black racism in Canadian institutions of higher education.”
This talk will explore the ways in which the history of Canadian educational institutions have contributed to persistent and contemporary anti-black racism in the educational system.  Watch now

Dr. Francis’ extensive experience spans the private sector, public sector national, regional and local organizations, as an entrepreneur with civil society on governance boards and as an academic including Co-Founder of The Co-Laboratorio (Colab Advantage Ltd.), Special Advisor to the President of Simon Fraser University on Anti-Racism, Director of the Institute for Diaspora Research and Engagement , Cofounder of the Black Caucus at SFU and an Associate Professor in the Beedie School of Business, Chair of The Hogan’s Alley Society’s Board of Director.
Awards and recognition includes: Province of BC, National Congress of Black Women, City of Vancouver,  recipient of the 2021 Rosemary Brown Award, and Service Award from the Beedie School of Business.

Graffiti Workshop
outside in park setting, woman crouching on right side/front facing 2 large graffiti works on plywood, applying finishing touches bottom right corner

This two-day Graffiti Workshop, on August 16 and 17, 2021 brought together BIPOC professional artists and youth from around Lekwungen Territory. The event was free; the goal for youth to learn basic graffiti techniques and the history of graffiti in Hip-Hop. Their work was then featured in the Esquimalt Community Art Hub (ECAH), 901 Esquimalt Rd. Find out more about our Youth Engagement Project

August 14, 2021: “Hope Meets Action: Echoes through The Black Continuum”
open space with 6-foot high, self-standing, information panels supported and connected by rigid metal frames

BC Black History Awareness Society in partnership with the Royal BC Museum opened, opened Hope Meets Action: Echoes Through the Black Continuum on August 14, 2021. The exhibit presented the story of Afro-diasporic ‘British Columbia’ history, past, present and future.  Written, told and designed by Black voices, this exhibition reclaims and retells the complicated history of stolen people on stolen land, and how the contributions of Black leaders echo across the centuries into the present; a history that has long been whitewashed in the annals of colonial history.

The exhibition was open at RBCM until March 31, 2022. It is now featured in the RBCM Learning Portal.

About the project


Black History Month 2021
Poster black text on white background with images BHM 2021
Celebrating Black History Month 2021 with Music
Pablo Cardenas beside image of Oscar Peterson

The sensational Cuban pianist Pablo Cárdenas brings his top trio and reproduces many of Oscar’s most famous and beloved performances. On the line up Rob Johnson on bass, Cyril Lojda on drums.
In a career spanning more than 60 years, Canadian jazz pianist and composer Oscar Peterson released over 200 recordings, won eight Grammy Awards, and received numerous other awards and honours.
He is considered one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time and continues to inspire and challenge new generations of jazz musicians.

“The Fifth Element” with legendary Hip Hop photographer Ernie Paniccioli
Ernie Panicciolli with one of his latest album covers

Learn the rich history of the 5 Elements of Hip Hop; Knowledge, Djing/Lyricism, Breakdancing/African dance, and Graffiti with special guest speaker, Ernie Paniccioli, legendary Hip Hop photographer and member of the Hip Hop Hall of Fame. Ernie has nearly 20,000 photographs at Cornell University Library’s Hip Hop archives. Ernie is joined by Shane Book, Canadian poet and filmmaker and Associate Professor of Writing at UVIC.  Watch

Image © Ernie Paniccioli, all rights reserved