Alberta's Premier Black History Month Celebration
ETHNIK FESTIVAL OF
ARTS & CULTURE
A showcase of Afro Canadian/Caribbean heritage and cultural celebration.
Alberta's Premier Black History
ETHNIK FESTIVAL OF
ARTS & CULTURE
A showcase of Afro Canadian/Caribbean heritage and cultural celebration.
Ethnik Festival of Arts and Culture
The Annual Ethnik Festival of Arts and Culture is the premier, all-inclusive flagship festival of our organization that takes part in the celebration of Black History Month during the last week of every February. Members of the Afro Canadian/ Caribbean communities come together to celebrate diversity, inclusivity shares their vibrant cultural traditions with other communities from across Canada. Our goal is to promote leadership, inform and inspire younger generations to express genuine versions of themselves through the lens of Afro-Canadian and many other world art traditions.
2021 International & Local Artists Lineup
After years of hiding his freakishly bendy body from teasing kids, "Twisty" Troy James has moulted that fear and is now showing the world what nightmares are made of. From humble beginnings as a character performer at Canada's Wonderland, Troy is now one of the fastest growing internet sensations with videos of his horror creature inspired characters acquiring over 60 million views in just weeks. His (no CGI required) characters can be seen on The Void (Screen Media Films), Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments (ABC), The Strain (FX Network), Neverknock (SYFY), Channel Zero (SYFY) and most recently the rebirth of the classic DC Comics villain "Rag Doll" in the 5th Season of CW's, The Flash. Troy has teamed up with renowned creature movement creator and choreographer, Roberto Campanella (Shape of Water, Silent Hill, The Colony, The Expanse, The Strain) and Founding Cirque du Soleil Choreographer Debra Brown to "stretch" the possibilities as they create new and frightfully exciting creatures as showcased in Season 13 of America's Got Talent.
NOT YOUR EVERYDAY VIV
I was born in Tema, Ghana and immigrated to Toronto, Canada as a toddler. I was a rockstar from elementary through high school and even won a Make Your Own Future Award (how fitting!). And then the world threw a wrench in my plans. I dropped out of college and battled depression in my early adulthood.
I ended up working a series of jobs as a French bilingual for several startups in fintech, medtech, and at the home office of a multinational franchise company. I was learning the ways of entrepreneurship without even realizing how these lessons would show up later in life!
Now, I run a 7-figure business while living just outside of Toronto with my son Xavier. I enjoy karaoke, making playlists –everything from yacht rock to 90’s hip hop and R&B, colouring books, nurturing plants, long walks on the beach, endless googling, and dancing with my son.
He is a BlackMan born and raised in Toronto to parents hailing from the island of Beautiful Barbados and has resided in Calgary since 2006. He has spoken across Canada, in the U.S. and makes countless appearances on a regular basis in a variety of ways, for a myriad of reasons throughout each and every single year.
One of Wakefield’s greatest and most reputable claims to fame is that you will consistently find him performing Poetry in places where you wouldn’t expect Poetry to be heard. Besides the classrooms, Featured Readings, Workshops and Lectures, you will find him at Retired Teachers Conventions, Mentoring Struggling Young Men in their youth, Pharmaceutical Conventions and Political Fundraisers.
Born in Calgary, Alberta, she is descended from black Oklahomans who settled in Amber Valley, Alberta and Maidstone, Saskatchewan in 1910. Foggo grew up with CTrain designer Oliver Bowen and her mother's bridesmaid was Violet King Henry, the first black woman lawyer in Canada.
A keen researcher and voice for black pioneers in Canada, Foggo has also had multiple showings of her multi-media presentations: Ranchers, Rebels and the Righteous, Creole, Travelling On, Five Voices and Unlocking Sacred Codes. She created the play John Ware Re-Imagined, hoping to bring attention to the Black Albertan cowboy and rancher John Ware in time for the centennial of the Calgary Stampede in 2012.
Circus and Hula Hoop Artist, Kate Ryan has high "hoops" of making people laugh. A world-renowned circus artist and entertainer, Kate has performed, toured and trained in ten different countries. Her resume includes partners of Cirque du Soleil, Cartoon Network (resident artist), Party like Gatsby and Adelaide Fringe Inc. Her work as an entertainer and humanitarian has been featured in magazines such as L'oreal Vietnam (Spark Circus).
Producer, Artistic Director and CEO of Circus Kasai. Kate is also the Canadian Director of social circus Spark! Circus and the first Canadian Ambassador to Hoopologie, the world's most revolutionary hula hop company.
Born and raised in Zimbabwe, KTheChosen is a hip-hop artist studying business at the University of Calgary,Canada. He uses his platform to talk about social issues and promote conversations within different communities.Inspired by artists such as King Los and Kendrick Lamar,KTheChosen challenges himself to write lyrics that are both entertaining and enlightening.The music video for his single, "Amazon", was covered by Canadian music publication, RLGT. The video features Zimbabwe's infamous bearer cheques and united the Calgary community by involving several local artists. The article highlights the importance of this collaboration and what it means for the Calgary art scene.
Ray Val is a local singer/songwriter and actor who is just finishing her first album. From just 5 years old Ray learned piano and sang in church most sundays growing up. Not only did she dance competitively but she also did music theatre. Ray landed her first lead role in a full length feature film that was just released 2020. For the last 2 years she has been performing 5 nights a week with Jubilations Dinner Theatre which consists of a 9 month tour . Ray won 2 trophies at Canada Model and Talent convention last year in a self tape video and cover girl commercial. She is so happy to be performing here! She thanks God , this community , her family and her friends for always being there. You can follow her on Instagram @iamrayval she appreciates the love and support !
Rey.TheSongstress is a dynamic vocalist, performer and songwriter whose soulful voice pulls you along a musical journey. With a Gospel background and deep roots in Reggae and R&b, she has stepped out of the shadows and is budding in reggae-soul music, a newer genre gaining momentum. Lighting up stages wherever she can, her performances will leave you wanting more.
Pulling inspiration from vintage reggae, like Dennis Brown, Gregory Issacs and Phyllis Dillon, she also adds her warm R&b tones to captivate the listener and tell a story, regardless of musical preference. And adding her spin to current pop favourites and timeless classics has been gaining popularity with audiences all over. Having worked with numerous artists, such as Nana McLean and The Lion King musical, her bubbly personality is contagious and uplifting.
Nigerian roots. Raised in South Africa.
Tola Adedipe (aloT of Poetry) has been a featured artist at events all over YYC from Open mics to Poetry festivals and the November 2019 Calgary Slam Champion
Published In the YYC: POP Anthology by Poet Laureate Emeritus Sheri-D Wilson.
She has been an artist mentor for “Black Kid Joy” a program in Calgary that supports Black Youth Artists in Alberta drawing from her experience as a Black immigrant and one of the few Black poets in Calgary
The Rondel Roberts Band” is a neo-soul band from Calgary, Alberta. “Neo-soul” is a broad facet of music that borrows from a variety of classic and modern genres such as Motown, Post Bop Jazz, Hip Hop and Funk. “The Rondel Roberts Band” is a groove/backbeat oriented project with contemporary original content and a variety of timeless influences. The band offers audiences authentic interpretations of these influences with performances that adorn Reggae, Dancehall, Pop and even some 60’s Rock music.
Sabrina Naz Comănescu is a dynamic member of the Calgary Dance Community through her work as a performer, choreographer, dance instructor and filmmaker. As a performer, Comanescu has worked with Machel Montano, House of Dangerkat, The Bad Girls Club YYC, ILLFX Entertainment and is currently in her sixth year performing with the Decidedly Jazz Danceworks company in Calgary, Alberta. She is also the current major force behind The Diversity Performing Arts Club of Calgary that “celebrates cultural diversity while promoting inclusion and respect for all youth”. She has also created Casa De Naz (CDN) in 2012, a collective with a mission to “excite and educate art hubs across Canada about the thriving Caribbean community in Calgary and the arts of the Caribbean as a whole”.
Robinson Maurice is a professional percussionist and a love of good beats. He has collaborated with different musicians across the cultural sphere to bring to you beats and sounds that get your body moving and feet tapping. He is a master of the drums with some unique Afro Canadian vibes.
Zaire Ink is an emerging Hip-Hop artist with deep roots in Spoken-Word Poetry. His passion for crafting witty lyrics with an intriguing flair, while exploring topics such as masculinity, street survival, youth struggles and relationships, have made him a definitive act to watch moving forward. Known for his transparency and genuine forwardness, Zaire believes that the truth can change the way we speak about our narratives; turning our messes into our messages.
Priscilla is an established favorite in the spoken word scene, based here in Calgary; she has been writing
and performing for over 9 years. She has had the opportunity to be the supporting act and headliner at
various popular events in both Calgary and
Edmonton. Her versatility and talent has
enabled her to perform at a variety of venues
like conferences, churches, universities, and
even marketing campaigns spanning the
entire province. Her distinguished work and
style has truly set her apart as one of a kind
artist. Priscilla’s Inspiration for writing comes
from personal experiences, her background,
other artist and most of all her faith in God.
She hopes to continue doing spoken word for
bigger audiences, different platforms for
various events, and inspire young poets to
use their voice to make a difference.
Bethel Afework is a U of C student in her last year, and a spoken word artist/pianist, who was born in Toronto, but has lived in Calgary since she was 5 years old.
Funmi Dominic Olaoye
Born and raised in Nigeria, West Africa, Funmi Dominic Olaoye grew up with the knowledge that music gladdens her heart. Herlove for singing and lending a helping hand to people from a tender age of 8 naturally led to an ambition to become a great musician and a medical doctor.Despite not being taken serious by her father who is also a medical doctor in Lagos, Nigeria and family about her music ambitions while growing up, Funmi continued to study hard in school to earn good grades that will qualify her for medical school and on the side continued to develop her singing skills.After graduating from high school, Funmi submitted applications to Universities in Nigeria but due to the usual competitiveness and bureaucracies associated with getting admission into top tier universities to study Medicine in Nigeria, her much desired dream of studying Medicine eluded her for a couple of years. Eventually, Funmi got accepted into the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Nigeria to study Medicine and pursue one of her lifelong ambition and was inducted as a medical doctor in 2005.On the other hand, while waiting to be accepted into her choice University, Funmi did not relent in pursuing her music career. She cultivated the habit of singing regularly in the background as a backup vocalist, in her church choir, in studios or at concerts. On settling down as a freshman in University, she started singing professionally.Today, Funmi is a gospel singer, songwriter and a medical doctor with an extremely unique, irresistible and simply phenomenal voice. Her music is eclectic, blending African rhythm with elements of jazz, R&B and funk. Her debut audio album “ISE OLUWA” got her a nomination at the prestigious KORA Music Awards held in South Africa in 2003 as the “Most Promising Female Artiste in Africa”. ‘ISE OLUWA’ and other hit tracks such as ‘IFE ELEDUWA’ and ‘AFRICA’ warmed her into the heart of music lovers and it put the budding artiste in a class of her own for her voice prowess and creativity.Funmi has performed in various concerts in Nigeria, United States and Canada preaching the message of love, hope and peace through her music.