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Black Arts and Innovation Expo Hits Toronto’s York Mills Gallery One Day Celebration

Lady dressed in all white sitting

Photo: The Black Arts and Innovation Expo


The Black Arts and Innovation Expo (BAIE) is an event hosted by Excelovate and First Book Canada that has ushered in a new way of celebrating Black History Month. While traditional Black History Events honor the excellence of our ancestors, which is important, BAIE focuses its attention on the remarkable achievements of both today’s and tomorrow’s legends, and celebrates a new generation of forward-thinking leaders. These new leaders who are making valuable contributions to the worlds of technology, music, literature, visual arts, sports, and entrepreneurship will be featured at the Expo, while attendees take in musical performances, panel discussions and workshops, art exhibits, a technology and career fair and culinary delights. Through collaboration with industry technology giants including Facebook, IBM, Dell and CompuCom, among others, BAIE will showcase the diverse experiences of Toronto’s black community and creative class.

Program highlights include:

Special appearances by world renowned Somali supermodel Yasmin Warsame, Juno Award winning rapper and former CBC q host Shad, the late Bob Marley’s granddaughter Donisha Prendergast, poet laureate George Elliott Clarke, social media phenomenon’s ThatDudeMCFLY (YouTube) and photographer SoTeeOh, and former world champion hurdler Perdita Felicien.

BAIE 2017 will feature artists who exhibit high levels of artistic integrity, across disciplines, including; musical performances by rising star rapper Devontee, and 604 Records’ electro soul vocalist Tonye; visual arts displays by Oluseye, Amber Williams-King, Sandra Brewster, Nadijah Robinson, Esmaa Mohamoud, Ken Daley and artistic/activist collective Babely Shades. Rounding out the broad artistic line-up will be appearances by poet Dane Swan, renowned children’s author Angelot Ndongmo, the scintillating African dance moves of the Real 3D Dancers, and music supplied by Matthew Romeo (formerly DJ Romeo) and DJ Power. This years edition will also feature a special exhibit and presentation by the International African Inventors Museum.

The ever popular Lion’s Lair competition (think Dragon’s Den, but with a twist) that selects one GTA entrepreneur to win $10,000 returns, while 20 financial scholarships will be given away to African-Canadian students with a post-secondary educational interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) . At this year’s Expo youth will also be able to connect with leaders from top technology companies at the technology Career Fair. Families attending will also be able to indulge their kids in the children’s Play Zone.

About Excelovate: 

Excelovate is a full service publishing company and human services organization that celebrates diversity through the publication of books & mobile applications since October 2008.

About First Book Canada: 

To date, First Book Canada has distributed more than 4.5 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout Canada.

The Black Arts and Innovation Expo takes place on Saturday February 25th 2017 from 2:00 pm to 9:00 pm at York Mills Gallery (1885 Leslie St, Toronto). Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students. For ticket info go to: www.blackexpo.ca

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