Arts and Culture

The Society hosts, sponsors, co-sponsors and promotes a variety of Arts and Culture events throughout the year as well as during Black History Month.

Since February 2013 we have co-sponsored a concert at the Belfry Theatre every year in partnership with the Greater Victoria Public Library.  The performers have included:
*Pablo Cardenas, pianist and band, performed unique and engaging arrangements that encompassed classical, afro-cuban, jazz, blues, latin, fusion & improvisation.
*Justin Carter, actor and play-write ; one-man show that was a tribute to his father "My Father To Whom I am Not Related" and in 2016 wrote and performed “Welcome Home Mifflin Gibbs” to commemorate the 150th anniversary of  Gibbs election to Victoria City Council.
*Adelene da Soul Poet (aka Bertha Clark), Spoken Word Poet, Writer and Actor.
*Cathy Essombé with Ardent Tribe. Their repertoire included classic rock, blues, soul, and top hits of the day.
*Songstress Chance Lovett, from the Victory Conservatory of Music was joined by Nicholas Mintenko (Bass), Sean Thompson (Drums), and Dakota Hoeppner (Keyboard), performing gospel, jazz and blues.
*Scruffmouth, Spoken Word Poet.
*Ann-Bernice Thomas; spoken word poet; and Youth Poet Laureate 2016 for City of Victoria.
*Maureen Washington,  Canadian/International Jazz singer and her trio.


text on left Adelene da Soul Poet, right side hands slightly cupped with fingers outstretched

An Evening with Adelene da Soul Poet

July 4, 2019:  Adelene performed a number of her favorite poems and spent time after the performance with the audience. This event took place at the upstairs lounge at the Bent Mast in James Bay.

young bearded man standing at easel with paint brushes and palette in left hand and 1 brush in right hand

"Art at the Archives"

June 25, 2019: Grafton Tyler Brown was a cartographer, lithographer, and landscape painter; the 1st professional Black artist, working and living in the Pacific North West as well as British Columbia and California. He had a studio at the corner of Wharf and Johnson Streets circa 1883. In March 2018 the Royal BC Museum, with the assistance of the Friends of the BC Archives, purchased one of Brown’s paintings; Giant's Castle Mountain: A.L. Fortune's Farm, Enderby B.C.; dated October 6, 1882.

This painting was displayed along with other artifacts (photographs, images, documents) related to the Black Pioneers. The BC Black History Awareness Society hosted this event in partnership with the BC Archives and the Friends of the BC Archives. Why June 25th? It was June 25th, 1883 when Brown opened a 1 week art exhibit here in Victoria. Find out more about G.T. Brown on our website.

Poster for A Queer Trial Queer written in pink script right side man in top hat in shadow back to the camera

"A Queer Trial"

April 14, 2017: The Society promoted this event put on by the UVIC Office of Community-University Engagement. “A QUEER TRIAL”. There were 2 performances at 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm at Bastion Square. Free admission. The play tells the story of Victoria’s unwitting pioneer for gay rights, John Butt. One of the jurors was Peter Lester, one of BC’s early pioneers and business partner of Mifflin Gibbs. The play, and the theatre course that it's part of, was put on by the UVIC. Office of Community-University Engagement.

The Mystery of Grafton Tyler Brown - Race, Art & Landscape

"The Mystery of Grafton Tyler Brown: Race, Art and Landscape in 19th century B.C." and "Re-imagining Race, Art and Landscape"

The Society promoted both of these events put on by the UVIC Legacy Art Gallery. On February 4, 2017 an afternoon presentation about BC’s first black professional artist; by UVIC History Department Chair Dr. John Lutz and writer and art historian, Robert Chandler.  The event included a digital display of many of Brown's works. On March 19th, 3 artists, 3 performances, 1 event. Charles Campbell, Kemi Craig and Ann-Bernice Thomas respond to the story of Grafton Tyler Brown.

For Jackson A Time Capsule Film by Leila Sujir

"For Jackson - A Time Capsule"

February 25, 2017:  The Society promoted this event put on by the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.  "FOR JACKSON - A TIME CAPSULE”. Leila Sujir wrote and directed the film "FOR JACKSON:  A TIME CAPSULE.  This moving portrait incorporates interviews, family footage and archival materials to recount history through two grandmothers, Rosemary Brown (1930-2003) and Ruth Horricks-Sujir (born 1925). The documentary is intended as a time capsule for Jackson, their 7-year-old grandson.

Tayo Aluko Performs "Just an Ordinary Lawyer Feb 2, 2017

"Just an Ordinary Lawyer"

February 2, 2017: In partnership with Metro Theatre. "JUST AN ORDINARY LAWYER” Performance and songs by Tayo Aluko. A one-man show about Tunji Sowande, who left Nigeria to study law in Britain and who in 1968 became the first black head of a major barrister’s chamber.

poster with dark sunlit background, cannon mounted on wagon in the foreground

"Abraham Lincoln and the Fight for Freedom"

April 19, 2015: Through songs and narrative, Lonnie Glass related the story of Lincoln's journey from his pre-Presidential political career through the Civil War to his untimely death at the hand of an assassin. Lonnie recorded “Chapter of Night” – an American Civil War Prospective in 2010, based on his research and tours in the Southern USA. Lonnie is a consummate musician, performer, entertainer and story teller. This event was a commemoration of the life of Lincoln who was assassinated 150 years ago on April 15, 1865.

Call Mr Robeson - Tayo Aluko performs at Metro Theatre

"Call Mr. Robeson"

Performances by Tayo Aluko. Paul Robeson was in international star, who sang renditions of some of the most iconic songs from the thirties to the sixties, and was a political activist who was persecuted as a communist sympathiser in the Cold War US. Tayo Aluko is Robeson, as he effortlessly recounts his life and times… “A brilliantly put together history lesson delivered as art."

April 16, 2015: BCBHAS is a co-sponsor of this event with Victoria Multi-Cultural Society, Social Environmental Alliance, UVIC Department of History, UVIC Cultural, Social and Political Thought Program and UVIC Social Justice Studies.
February 20, 2013:  BCBHAS in partnership with the METRO Theatre.

Lonnie Glass Songs & Stories about Slavery and the UGRR

"Songs and Stories 'bout Slavery & the Underground Railway"

June 22, 2014: Sponsored and hosted by BCBHAS.  Performed by Lonnie Glass. Lonnie’s two passions of music and history were ignited when he toured the southern United States in the 1980s. He has an insatiable appetite for history — it was only a matter of time before he combined his passion for music with his historical knowledge. He’s played in bands, sang in bands and began writing songs in the late 80’s. He’s toured Canada and the U.S. and has recorded several CD’S in several genres from folk to blues.

Leon Bibb

Leon Bibb at Government House

February 7, 2014. Hosted by the Honourable Judith Guichon. Leon was accompanied by his personal pianist of 30 years, Bill Sample. The event also became a celebration of Leon’s 92nd Birthday. The performance was followed by appetizers and a hosted wine bar; and a mix and mingle with the performers and the Lieutenant Governor.

b&w poster for the film Go Do Some Great Thing" film images at top half, text lower half

"Go Do Some Great Thing"

February 4, 2013: Showing of this film at the Greater Victoria Public Library.

Tribute to Mahalia Jackson and Son of Africville

"Tribute to Mahalia Jackson" and "Son of Africville"

February 10, 2012:  This concert at the Metro Theatre featured Singer Gergana Velinova, accompanied by Pablo Cardenas performing a "Tribute to Mahalia Jackson" followed by actor/playwriter Justin Carter performing his one man show “Son of Africville" an autobiographical story of his reunion with his mother in Africville, Nova Scotia.

Tribute to Black Music

"A Tribute to Black Music"

February 14, 2010: Hosted and sponsored by BCBHAS at the UVIC Farquhar Auditorium.  This event featured Louise Rose, the Victoria High School R&B Band, blues artist Eric Dozier and Moon Dance, an African Dance Group. Three choirs also performed; One Human Family Gospel Choir, Victoria Good News Choir and the Victoria Children’s Choir.