A celebration of the contributions & creativity of the Afrodiaspora during Emancipation Month!

Another year, another call for celebration! Join us for Afraspektion 2023 on Sunday, August 6. We’ll be celebrating Emancipation Month at Riverside Common Park (657 Queen E, just west of Queen/Broadview) in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood with entertainment and fun activities!

This is a free event!

What You Can Expect!

Performances

Live music by amazing local artists: Steel pan player Trenyce Sweeney, Singer/songwriter Markus Aurelyus, and Afro-Caribbean drummer & dancer Emilie Jabouin

Marketplace

Curated market focusing on local Afrodiaspora vendors including food and hand-made goods

Activities

Fun giveaways and a kids/family corner with activities like Superhero face-painting, cosplay photo opts & more

ReCap

Afraspektion 2022

Take A Look

Cosplayer wearing a Dora Milage costume, little girl with unicorn facepaint, and adult male doing wakanda forever salute.
Little boy with spider-man face paint, little girl with flower face paint waiting to answer a quiz question.

A collection of some of our favourite moments from the Afraspektion 2022 event held at Riverside Common Park.

This Year

We have a lot more fun and entertainment coming your way to continue the celebration this carnival weekend!

Hosted By:
Levyi-Alexander J. Love

An artist born in Toronto, Ontario. Levyi is a mostly self-taught singer-songwriter and creates art that encourages people to connect and feel all their feelings as they come; you can say his art gives people permission to be.

Opening Ceremony:

Featured Performances:

Moko Jumbie (Stilt Dancing)

Learn about the tradition of the Moko Jumbies from Trinidadian artist, designer, activist and architect, Michael Lee Poy. His practice and interests are centered on post-colonial Caribbean design and fabrication in the festival arts – especially Carnival and has incubated Moko Jumbie Mas Camps (for those aged 7-21) in Trinidad, Cleveland and Toronto.

House of Imperium

A part of the Toronto Kiki Ballroom Alliance, House of Imperium was established in the summer of  2020 with one mission in my mind… Absolute Power.

Darlington Theodore

Better known as Joseph, has an open passion for percussive music and natural sounds. Born and raised in Maloney Gardens in 1988, he has performed for many years locally and regionally, gracing many stages amongst some of the world leading drummers, musicians and performing artistes, including Machel Montano and Fode Lavia Camara.

World certified chef that started his culinary career in Jamaica and has trained in Canada and Europe. He honed his skills at some of the top resorts and restaurants in the U.S., cooking for the likes of Drake, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. Chef Nicholas will demonstrate how to make the Jamaica patty, with tips on how to get that flaky patty crust with the tasty, juicy filling.

Cooking Demonstration By Chef Nicholas

Cooking Demonstration By Chef Nicholas

World certified chef that started his culinary career in Jamaica and has trained in Canada and Europe. He honed his skills at some of the top resorts and restaurants in the U.S., cooking for the likes of Drake, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. Chef Nicholas will demonstrate how to make the Jamaica patty, with tips on how to get that flaky patty crust with the tasty, juicy filling.

Music by DJ Shannyn Hill

A versatile, open format DJ hailing from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Her deep love for music is heavily influenced by her father who would always play 60s and 70s reggae, soul and disco music. She’s known for her high energy DJ sets of old school HipHop and R&B, and Caribbean music. She made history being the first DJ for the WNBA Game in Canada, and performed at Toronto’s first Rolling Loud Music Festival with Toronto HipHop artist Tara Lord.

Come take photos and participate in Superhero Trivia with some of our cosplayers, or get your face painted!

Meet TrinidadianSuga also known as Camile Jerome who is a mother, wife ,and Chef who loves to live, love and laugh. WonderWoman905 who also goes by Natalie Higgins, who is known for her Wonder Woman cosplay and is also a mother and photographer. And CosplayQ, also know as Stephen Quammie, an Actor and Cosplayer from Toronto who has appeared in “What We Do In The Shadows”, “Heroes Reborn”, and has voiced characters in a dark strategy game “Realm of Ritualists”.

Meet Najla Nubyanluv, a queer, Black playwright, actor, author, doula, producer and facilitator. She is a multidisciplinary storyteller who loves belly laughter and painting faces.

Superhero Face Painting

with Najla Nubyanluv

Featured Vendors:

Additional vendors you'll find at Afraspektion!

  • CREATiVE EXPRESSiONS: Unique Handmade Resin Accessories 
  • Terra Tempora Studio: Hand-made Jewellery and home decor including earrings and necklaces, plant holders, incense holders, and trinket dishes. 
  • Knots of Love: Hand-made macrame products and macrame workshops.
  • Dryanke Inc: Hand-made baskets and jewellery
  • Magnetic Creatives: Art and photography services. 
  • Bake N Friends: Caribbean Sandwiches with an elevated style and taste, our food is an experience to the Caribbean, our menu includes Bakes N Shark, Salt Fish,Chick Peas and many more
  • MontRose Gingerbeer: Ginger beer and cultural crafts 
  • Kairah’s Kitchen: Pineapple and chilli pepper sauce
  • The Diverse Kitchen: Small batch granola 
  • Rebirth Healer: One stop shop for everything wellness from beauty to alternative medicine for the health conscious souls. We sell natural haircare, skin care and spiritual products like sage, palo santo and healing crystals. We also provide herbs health powders and offer energy healing services. 
  • Hev N Earth: Skincare products

Afraspektion Run of Show

We'll have giveaways and a raffle throughout the day!

2:00 PM – Welcome
2:05 PM – Opening Ceremony with Nenookaasi and Libations by Kemba Byam
2:35 PM – Drumming & Storytelling with Darlington (Joseph)
3:25 PM – Moko Jumbie Stilt Walkers
3:50 PM – Superhero Trivia with Cosplayers TrinidadianSuga, WonderWoman905 & CosplayQ
4:25 PM – BREAK
5:00 PM – Live Cooking Demonstration with Chef Nicholas
5:50 PM – House of Imperium Ballroom Performance
7:00 PM – Official Close of the Event

Questions

A bit more information about the event.

The country of Canada federally proclaimed August 1 as Emancipation Day (2021) in recognition of the Slavery Abolition Act, 1833, eliminating slavery in most of the British colonies at that time. Furthermore, in 2021, the Emancipation Month Act was passed designating the month of August as Emancipation Month in Ontario.

According to the City of Toronto website: “Emancipation Month recognizes the struggle for human rights and the rich contributions made by people of African descent. Recognizing Emancipation Month in August acknowledges an abhorrent period in our history and our ongoing commitment to eliminate discrimination in all forms.”

Afraspektion is taking place at Riverside Common Park (657 Queen E). This is just west of Queen/Broadview.

For more information on how to get to Riverside Common Park, visit: https://riverside-to.com/directions/

Afraspektion is free! Come out and have a good time with us. We will be accepting donations and you should bring your pocket change to support the vendors.

Afraspektion is an outdoor event.

Washrooms can be found at the surrounding businesses.

See You At Afraspektion!

Thank you to all of our supporters!

Afraspektion was curated by Queen Kukoyi and Nico Taylor and hosted by the Riverside BIA, thanks to support from the City of Toronto’s Main Street Innovation Fund. Special thank you to the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative (SBCCI).

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