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 2022.
The Global Online Edition 2.0.26th February at 6:30 p.m
Click the button below to watch live.
The Annual Ethnik Festival of Arts and Culture is the premier, all-inclusive flagship festival of Ethnik Festivals Association. It is part of the celebration of Black History (Excellence) Month during the last week of February each year. Members of the Afro-Canadian/ Caribbean communities come together to celebrate diversity, inclusivity and share 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.
The 2022 edition will be a display of creative genius from artists in Calgary and Edmonton to the viewing pleasure of audiences online across the globe. More so, festival participants get to win lots of consolation prizes during the festival quiz competition.
Streaming starts at 6 p.m via http//bit.ly/StreamEFAC2022
Join us and WIN BIG.
Filming and Photography Notice -
Please be advised that your presence at Ethnik Festival of Arts and Culture either as a member of the audience or performer during the filming/ taping or photography constitutes your consent to the possibility of your voice and likeness being used without compensation, in the unlimited distribution, promotion, advertising, exhibition and exploitation of the program in any and all media by any method or device known or hereafter devised, and you release Ethnik Festivals Association and its subsidiaries from any liability in connection with such usage. Thank you for your understanding.
All attendees to the festival including guests and performers must be double vaccinated or show a 72 hours negative COVID-19 test in order to gain access to the event venue.
ETHNIK FESTIVAL 2022
The 2022 edition of this festival is taking place in a virtual space. Kindly take note and connect to watch us live via bit.ly/StreamEFAC2022
See you online.
2022 International Speakers & Local Artists Lineup
The Honourable Ahmed Hussen was first elected in 2015 to represent the riding of York South—Weston. He has previously served as Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
Minister Hussen immigrated to Canada in 1993 and settled in Toronto. He began his career in public service after high school, working with the Hamilton-Wentworth social services department.
Minister Hussen co-founded the Regent Park Community Council in 2002. As its president, he played a key role in securing the $500‑million revitalization project for Regent Park, while advocating for its 15,000 residents to ensure that their interests were protected. He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal for his leadership efforts in the Regent Park community.
Serving as National President for the Canadian Somali Congress, Minister Hussen worked with national and regional authorities to advocate on important issues to Canadians of Somali heritage, strengthening civic engagement and integration. His results-driven reputation led to an invitation from the Toronto City Summit Alliance to join a task force for modernizing income security for adults.
Jyoti Gondek was sworn in as Calgary's 37th mayor and the first woman to be elected to this role on October 25, 2021.
Prior to being elected as mayor, she served as city councillor for Ward 3 from 2017 to 2021. She holds a Ph.D. in urban sociology, and an M.A. in organizational sociology.
Throughout her career, Mayor Gondek has taken a big picture approach to pressing challenges. Often, she has found processes and policies exist simply because they have never been questioned. She has come to understand that by probing and chipping away at issues, we move forward with improvements that have meaning in our everyday lives.
Nkechi is an experienced Information Technology professional with more than 20 years in the I.T. space, she has held a variety of progressively senior roles within various organizations including Director, Data Center Operations at Rogers Communications; Delivery Project Executive at IBM; and most recently, Associate Vice President, Segment Technology Executive at TD Bank Group — but this is not all. Nkechi is an entrepreneur, author, professional bodybuilder and inspirational speaker, whose "You Matter" speech went viral with over 5 million views, and shared over 20,000 times, worldwide. She has a magnetic personality that serves everyone she meets in the most uplifting way.
In her current role as Associate Vice President, Technology at TD Bank Group, she leads all infrastructure delivery needs for the Channels Technology Solutions (CTS) segment portfolio.
A graduate of Concordia University, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics, with a minor in Computer Science. In addition, she completed a Financial Acumen Executive MBA Program at Rotman's School of Management.
An advocate for helping others, she is founder and CEO of Empowered in My Skin (EIMS)Inc., a grassroot organization that is focused on Personal Brand development, helping people maximize their true potential and become leaders in every aspect of their lives. She runs workshops, delivers talks, organizes and hosts motivational events in support of this objective. She launched a podcast, this February, called "Own Your Thrive", which is available on most Podcast apps.
With a style inspired by northern beauty, sisters, Tiffany Ayalik and Inuksuk Mackay come together to create an Inuit-style throat singing duo, PIQSIQ. Performing ancient traditional songs and eerie new compositions, they leave their listeners enthralled with the infinity of possible answers to the question “what is the meaning of life.”
With roots in Nunavut, the two grew up in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. After years of forging hard-won skill, they developed their own form blended with haunting melodies and otherworldly sounds. Approaching adulthood, they realized throat singing was not only a musical expression but a radical, political act of cultural revitalization.
As PIQSIQ, they have recorded three studio albums and perform improvisational looping live, creating a dynamic audience experience that changes with every show.
Victory is a 20-year-old singer-songwriter from Calgary, Canada. Although she is new to the scene, the young new artist is no stranger to music. From nine years old, Victory has been surrounded by music, but It wasn't until she started vocal training that she not only discovered her love of music but her skill of effortlessly reaching high notes as well as her ability to write a variety of songs. Victory was spotlighted by Stingray radio earlier this year & was placed into national rotation on their Hip-Hop/R&B channel, as well as received national attention on CBC being placed into rotation on CBC Radio 1 & CBC Music, pushing her debut onto the Canadian Airtime charts independently. In addition to early radio success 20-Year-Old Victory recently opened for Roy Woods at his second show of 2021 in Calgary at the Palace Theatre & was selected to perform at this year's Honey Jam Canada showcase at the EL Mocambo in Toronto
Victory draws her inspiration from artists like Justin Bieber, Adele, SZA, ChloexHalle, Jazmin Sullivan, Victoria Monet & Arianna Grande.
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.
Titilope Sonuga is a writer and performer who calls both Lagos, Nigeria, and Edmonton, Canada, home. She has received the Canadian Authors’ Association Emerging Writer Award and was an Open Society (OSIWA) Foundation Resident Poet on Gorée Island, Senegal. She is a leading voice in local and international poetry communities, and has facilitated poetry workshops throughout the world. She is the author of three collections of poetry, Down to Earth (2011), Abscess (2014), and This Is How We Disappear (2019); she has also released two spoken word albums, Mother Tongue (2011) and Swim (2019).
Sonuga has written and performed in numerous theater productions including Finding Home, an interrogation of identity and belonging; The Six, an intergenerational exploration of womanhood; Lala Akindoju’s Naked, a one-woman play; and Ada The Country, a musical. She is also the writer and producer of Open, an interdisciplinary spoken word work that she performed to sold-out audiences in Edmonton, Calgary, London, Johannesburg, Abuja, and Lagos. Her writing has been translated into Italian, German, and Slovak.
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 !
Eddie Pe$o$ is a multidisciplinary artist based in Calgary, AB Canada. Currently focusing on producing and songwriting, Peso’s sound can be described as melodic chord progressions fused with ambient synth patterns over resonant percussions and groovy bass lines. His music is influenced by the likes of J.Dilla, Soulection Radio, Kaytranada, Erykah Badu, Kanye West, and D’Angelo. Currently, pesos is working on multiple collaborations with Calgary up-and-coming R&B singer Black Wednesday and Calgary producer/dancer Ngandu. Collectively the three creatives form Apartment 8, a producer/singer trio who aim to deliver new vibes in Calgary’s growing music scene.
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.
As a Canadian-based dancer, Sabrina Naz Comănescu is truly a dynamic member of Canada’s artistic landscape. She has helped cultivate the Calgary dance scene for over a decade as a performer, choreographer, filmmaker, dance instructor, Caribbean festival coordinator, and volunteer, yet her curatorial outreach spans worldwide. She has traveled throughout Canada as well as New York City, Trinidad, Finland, Romania, and Mexico to teach and gather dance knowledge to share with the city of Calgary. As an alumnus of Central Memorial’s Performing Arts Program and DJD’s Professional Training Program, Sabrina grew up in Calgary, Alberta as a first-generation Canadian of Trinidadian and Romanian heritage. As a performer, Sabrina has worked with Machel Montano, House of Dangerkat, The Bad Girls Club YYC, Headly and has opened for international acts such as Pop Caan, Sean Paul, and Kes The Band. 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”. Sabrina loves to explore the nature of Jazz and Caribbean movement and music as well as various funk styles. Through a fusionist lens, Sabrina's work manifests in dance, fashion, photography, and film. Sabrina has found herself behind the camera, directing videos for Kaeyae Alo (“Only We Know”), Tourism Calgary (“#LoveYYC”), Casa De Naz (“Bonum”), Ready on 8, Alberta Culture Days, and more. Her tastefulness has bled into her fashion when in June 2014 Avenue magazine featured her as one of the faces that “brings her own unique style and flair to Calgary’s dance community”. Sabrina is a 2015 Black Gold Award recipient for best dance act and the Alberta Foundation of the Arts Young Artist Prize winner in 2017. She joined the Company in 2015 and is thrilled to be dancing in her 7th season this year.
Robson 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.
Classically-trained flutist Jiajia Li is being praised as "one of the city's finest and most adventurous flutists”. She was the 2019 recipient of the classical music residency at National Music Centre; 2016 recipient of
Canada’s “Juno” music award micro-grant; and the prize winner of “Prinzessin Margaret von Hessen” competition (Germany). Since her arrival in Calgary in 2014, Jiajia has forged her identity through music and performance, cutting across a wide range of modern musical experimentations and traditions. Currently a faculty member at the
Mount Royal University Conservatory, Jiajia is an active performer in the city and has appeared in festivals including Sled Island, Calgary New Music Festival, and The Works.
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.
Known for her warmth, rich tone, and lyrical expression, Perpetual Atife, popularly known as Perpie, is an Alternative African saxophonist, singer, and songwriter who most recently released her first five-track mix album Meditation, successfully followed by a live presentation of the entire work at the Steinway Gallery in Lagos with rave reviews.
On tour to London with Nigerian hit musicals; Saro and Wakaa with TerraKulture by Bolanle Austen-Peters, she played multiple saxophones as the only horns player on board for a two-week run of multiple shows at London’s Shaw Theatre in 2016 and 2017. She also toured with MUSON as a student musician to Beijing, China for the ISME conference.
As soloist, she has featured as Headline artist for the MUSON Jazz Festival, Capital Jazz Festival in Abuja, the Steinway Piano Jazz Series, and the TELON Nights at COVA. She is often marked by her warmth and charming tone on the saxophone.
Perpie’s performances encompass rich African tones, rhythms, and light percussions. She has had the pleasure of performing with Nigeria’s iconic Orchestra, the MUSON Symphony Orchestra as part of a classical music festival.
Born in Kaduna, raised in Lagos, Nigeria, faced with the harsh realities of life; turbulent childhood, separation, and raised mostly by her mother, Perpie finds solace in music. She pulls in all her experiences and dreams into her art to inspire and awaken hope. Her first major performance and involvement in the competition was with Art Colony in 2012. She won the competition to support the SOS Children’s Village Nigeria with computers.
Through music, Perpie aims to continue to inspire hope and to deepen connections with the creator and with humanity.
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.
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.
Dallas Hayes-Sparks - is a singer specializing in opera – from Calgary, Alberta. She is a graduate of the University of British Columbia majoring in opera performance and psychology. She is also an honours graduate of the Mount Royal Vocal Academy for Gifted Students. Dallas has worked as a rostered singer with Cowtown Opera Company, and currently sings as a member of Revv52, and is both a Community Ambassador and Chorus member at Calgary Opera Company. She has also been part of two performances at Carnegie Hall in her career. Dallas has most recently performed at Theatre Calgary’s Reignite the Stage, Storybook Theatre's Singers at Sunset, Artists Against Racism Variety Show, and Arts Commons black history month cabaret Strawberries and Peaches. Other performances include chorus in Calgary Opera’s productions of Romeo et Juliette (Gounod), Everest (Joby), and Norma (Bellini), as well as Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart) with Vivace. When Dallas is not performing, she teaches voice, piano, and musical theatre.
Harp Angel harpist, Deborah Nyack, is one of the premier harpists in the world today. Deborah Nyack is the resident harpist at Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel and performs every afternoon in the Main Lobby May through September and all holidays and long weekends.
Harp Angel performs & concertizes extensively worldwide. Her harp performances include small intimate settings to famous concert halls such as Carnegie Hall, NY, and Kennedy Center, Washington DC. She has performed for royalty, heads of state, movie stars, and countless fans! Also, Harp Angel harpist performs for numerous types of special events, receptions, dinners, and gala festivals.
As an international recording harpist, her five solo Cds are best sellers and her music is heard regularly on TV and radio. Her harp performances are heralded as a creative blend of virtuosic technique and sensitive expressions of her interpretations and arrangements. She plays anything on the harp!
Deborah trained at Eastman & Julliard, New York, USA, at the Royal Academy of Music London, England, and the Banff Centre, Canada. She holds a Bachelor of Music, highest honors, Masters of Music, & awarded a Performer’s Diploma for outstanding performances. Harp Angel is on the Faculty of the Banff Centre for the Arts
One unique thing about the Ethnik Festival of Arts and Culture is the dynamism of our performances from different Afro-Canadian/ Caribbean communities. Each year, we collaborate with local community organizations across Africa and the Caribbean to bring to your viewing pleasure rich and cultural expressions of their heritage. Furthermore, we believe in an inclusive celebration which further explains our outreach to other BIPOC communities for participation year after year to create a holistic celebration of our individual and collective cultural heritage.