Deliver Your News to the World

Black History Month at the ROM


Position As Desired/Exploring African Canadian Identity programming launches the ROM’s Black History Month

Black History Month at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) offers an engaging and wide-ranging line up of events inspired by the current exhibition Position As Desired/Exploring African Canadian Identity: Photographs from the Wedge Collection. Presented at the ROM until March 27, 2011 in collaboration with Wedge Curatorial Projects, the exhibition’s photographs, ranging from rare vintage portraits of the first African immigrants to Canada to contemporary works by emerging artists, document the experiences of African Canadians. Black History Month’s free programming includes a musical performance, a film night and a symposium exploring African Canadian identity.

Dr. Kenneth Montague is guest curator of Position As Desired and founder of Wedge Curatorial Projects, a Toronto-based arts organization with a mandate of increasing public awareness and understanding of visual arts with an emphasis on African and Diasporic artists. Dr. Montague is responsible for organizing many of the events occurring in conjunction with Black History Month.

Events celebrating Position As Desired include:
Listen As Desired: A Premiere Performance by the Andrew Craig Trio & A Conversation with Kenneth Montague
Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 7:00pm
Signy & Cléophée Eaton Theatre, Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park
FREE (enter via the President’s Choice School entrance at the Museum’s south end)

This evening will feature the premiere of Andrew Craig’s musical composition “Family Album” - a personal refection of his own experiences as an African Canadian. He will also engage in an on- stage conversation with Position As Desired curator Kenneth Montague and participate in a Q&A with the audience.

Andrew Craig is a Toronto-based multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer, director, composer and broadcaster who works in multiple musical genres. He is currently a Resident Artist at Toronto’s Young Centre for the Performing Arts and a full-time host on CBC Radio’s Canada Live.

Witness As Desired: A Celebration of African Canadian Film
Sunday, February 20, 2011, 3:30 – 5:30pm (reception to follow)
TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West

Presented by TD Financial Group and hosted by TIFF Co-Director Cameron Bailey, Witness As Desired is an exploration of African Canadian identity in film. The program presents a series of short films by established and emerging filmmakers reflecting historical journeys that challenge representations of African Canadians and documents contemporary perceptions of race and identity.

Filmmakers include Deanne Bowen, Jason Ebanks, Chantal James, Sylvia Hamilton, Sharon Lewis and Dawn Wilkinson, among others. A panel discussion with Cameron Bailey and the featured contemporary filmmakers will follow screenings of their work.

Please visit for details on films and artists.

Position As Desired: A Symposium on Identity
Saturday, March 5, 2011 from 9:00am – 5:00pm
Signy & Cléophée Eaton Theatre, Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park
FREE (does not include Museum admission - enter via the President’s Choice School entrance at the Museum’s south end)

This event addresses the importance of creating a space for African Canadian artists and scholarship. The symposium includes four moderated panel discussions on African Canadian identity: where we have come from (our position)and where we are going (our desire).

The first of the event’s four panels will address the history of African Canadian artists and communities. The second panel reflects on representation- for example, black artists’ acceptance from the arts community at large. The third panel is a moderated discussion with the four emerging photographers featured in Position As Desired – Christina Leslie, Megan Morgan, Dawit L. Petros and Stacey Tyrell. The final panel will discuss current opportunities for artists, addressing what needs to be done to increase awareness of their work on the global stage.

Panelists include local and international artists, curators, academics and cultural workers, including Dr. Kenneth Montague - founder of Wedge Curatorial Projects and curator of Position As Desired - as well as Warren Crichlow, Julie Crooks, and Deborah Willis, among many others.

Other Black History Month programming at the ROM:

Film Screening: The Making of a Judge
Sunday, February 6, 2011 from 2 :00 – 3:00pm
Signy and Cléophée Eaton Theatre (enter via Bloor St. W. doors)
FREE (does not include Museum admission)

Produced by his daughter Linda Carter, this documentary highlights the life of now 89-year old George Carter, Canada’s first Canadian born black judge. Offered in co-operation with the Ontario Black History Society (, the film tells the story of a man from a humble background, who served in Canada’s military, worked as a porter, graduated from law school, and then served with distinction for 16 years on the Bench in Ontario.

African Adventure ROM Family Day Weekend
Saturday, February 19 to Monday, February 21 from 11:00am – 4:00pm
Included with Museum admission

The ROM’s Family Day Weekend celebration of Africa’s rich culture and heritage features music performances, films, drumming workshops, a scavenger hunt through Africa, family tours of the ROM’s exhibition El Anatsui : When I Last Wrote to You about Africa, as well as crafts inspired by the special exhibition.

Great public events in conjunction with El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa continue in February. The exhibition, presented by the Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC) at the ROM, is on display until February 27, 2011. Led by prominent guest guides, Fresh Perspectives are curatorial tours of El Anatsui taking place on select Sundays at 2:00 pm. They are FREE with ROM admission. Guides in February include:

Feb. 6, 2011 Julie Crooks, Independent curator
Feb. 13, 2011 Michael Chambers, Visual artist
Feb. 20, 2011 Joan Butterfield, Art Director of the Association of African Canadian Artists
Feb. 27, 2011 Sarah Milroy, Art critic

Both Position as Desired/Exploring African Canadian Identity: Photographs from the Wedge Collection and El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa are included with general ROM admission. Visit for full details.


This news content was configured by WebWire editorial staff. Linking is permitted.

News Release Distribution and Press Release Distribution Services Provided by WebWire.