February has arrived, and that also means the return of Black History Month not just in Vancouver, but across Canada. Whether you’re looking to educate yourself, enjoy art and performances from Black creators, or even enjoy some live music, you’ve got quite a few options to pick from. And of course, we’re here to give you the scoop on some of the prominent events.

Here are some great options for Black History Month in Vancouver.

Black History Month at the VIFF Centre

We’re kicking things off with an ongoing series of movies and documentaries being shown at the VIFF Centre! The options range from acclaimed documentaries to iconic movies from decades past. So, whether you want to see groundbreaking performances or learn something new, this is a great option.

When: Showtimes throughout February
Where: 1181 Seymour Street
Cost: $15

History of anti-Black Racism in Canadian Schools and Universities

The BC Black History Awareness Society is hosting a few different events and experiences this month. First up is this livestream talk hosted by Dr. June Francis, who is both the Director of the Institute for Diaspora Research & Engagement at SFU and a Director of Hogan’s Alley Society. As the title implies, she will talk about legacies of anti-Black racism in Canadian schools, with a focus on the Scarborough Charter.

When: Saturday, February 5th
Where: Online
Cost: Free with registration

Being a Hope Amid Crisis

Continuing on, Dr. Cornel West, who is a professor at Union Theological Seminary and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University, will be hosting this talk. The talk will cover a variety of topics, including “economics, democracy, racial justice and Black identity”.

When: Wednesday, February 16th
Where: Online
Cost: Free with registration

An Evening with Louise Rose & Dawn Pemberton

Next up, we’ve got this concert from a Canadian music legend and an up and coming talent! Louise Rose has worked with such names as Leonard Bernstein and Duke Ellington, while Dawn Pemberton has cemented herself as one of Vancouver’s most beautiful voices.

When: Monday, February 21st
Where: Online
Cost: Pay what you can ($10 recommended)

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Dynamic Diasporas

VMF’s Winter Arts Fest is joining this month, too. Created and curated by the interdisciplinary artist Doaa Magdy, Dynamic Diasporas includes both augmented reality art installations as well as a live dance performance to cap off the month. The focus? Educating and exploring the history of BC’s black pioneers.

When: Friday, February 11th to Sunday, February 27th
Where: šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square (north side of the Vancouver Art Gallery)
Cost: Free

Via Kanana

Speaking of dance performances, you could check out this Canadian livestream premiere from the South African dance company Via Katlehong Dance. Seven dancers and a single musician will examine the ongoing corruption in South Africa and ask wider questions about those in power and the nature of democracy itself.

When: Starts streaming Wednesday, February 16th
Where: Online
Cost: $16.14

Black Lives Matter in Italy and the Legacy of Colonialism

Onto some options coming out of UBC! First up is a talk featuring the Ghanian-Italian documentary filmmaker Fred Kudjo Kuwornu. He’ll take about his wide range of films, the issues that he felt led him to make it, and will host a Q+A session after the talk.

When: Tuesday, February 8th
Where: Online
Cost: Free with registration

Sankofa Film Festival: Films from the Diaspora

Meanwhile, the Museum of Anthropology is hosting this event alongside the ongoing exhibition, Sankofa: African Routes, Canadian Roots. Throughout the afternoon, you’ll be able to watch documentaries centred around the history of Canadian urban planning projects, and their impacts on Black neighbourhoods and residents.

When: Saturday, February 12th
Where: Online
Cost: Free with admission ($15)

Visual Politics: Documenting Black Western Canadian Diasporic Cultural Production

Last up from UBC, we’ve got this seminar hosted by Nya Lewis Williams, who is the founder of BlackArt Gastown and a programmer for the Vancouver Queer Film Festival. The overarching goal of this seminar is to “analyze histories of Black cultural production in Western Canada”, using six notable Black Canadian artists that are underrepresented in the wider landscape.

When: Wednesday, February 16th
Where: Online
Cost: Free with registration

Let’s Hear It! Live – Celebrating Black History Month

Hosted at the Fox Cabaret and sponsored by Music BC, this event will showcase 3 emerging Black artists from BC- Adewolf, Sade Awele and $-Breezy. Alongside these performances, guests can look forward to Prado Monroe as the special host for the evening.

When: Friday, February 25th
Where: 2321 Main Street
Cost: $15

AFAM African Fashion Week Vancouver 2022

And last but certainly not least, we’ve got this entire day of fashion and other events! There will be a variety of designers participating in the show, alongside live performances from local artists. Then, if that wasn’t enough, there will also be a selection of African finger foods and refreshments to enjoy!

When: Saturday, February 19th
Where: 162 West 1st Avenue
Cost: $38.15+

There you have it, folks- there are our top picks for celebrating Black History Month in Vancouver this February. Hopefully, more than a few of these make it onto your list of things to do!