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

This August 2022 marked the second year of celebrating Emancipation Month in Ontario! On August 7th we were at Riverside Common Park (657 Queen E, just west of Queen/Broadview) in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood for a fun day of entertainment and activities!

What Happened


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


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


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

Hosted By:

Levyi-Alexander J. Love

An artist, facilitator and lover of all things freedom. Hailing from Toronto, Ontario, Levyi prides himself on showing up authentically and without apology! Levyi was born living a different life; coming into himself as well as his access to intersectionality really shapes his meaningful teaching moments when given the space to speak. Levyi often uses his music to heal himself and those around him through his deep and thought-inducing lyrics that share very personal moments from his journey in a catchy way.

Opening Ceremony:

Featured Performances:

Trenyce Sweeney

 An Afro descendant and a skilled pannist, hailing from Scarborough, Canada. She has been playing the steel pan, since the age of 3 years old. The steel pan is a big part of her culture and she aspires to share her love of music by becoming a Music Teacher.

Markus Aurelyus​

A Singer/Songwriter with a story to tell. Based in Scarborough, Ontario he has a unique R&B vocal style that’s influenced by Gospel, Soul, Pop and Hip-Hop. He has performed on stage with artists like Jully Black, DVSN and recorded with Serena Ryder, DVSN as well as many local artists such as Quincy Morales and Katasha J.

Emilie "Zila" Jabouin

 An Afro descendant who shares her heritage from Ayiti through drumming, song and dance as a way to enable community to explore, heal and manifest each and every one’s creative vision. She is also a curious researcher who merges history and the performing arts.

Afraspektion  had a family corner with colouring sheets, cosplay superhero photo ops, and face painting.

Meet TrinidadianSuga also known as Camile Jerome who is a mother, wife ,and Chef who loves to live, love and laugh. And WonderWoman905 who also goes by Natalie Higgins, who is known for her Wonder Woman cosplay and is also a mother and photographer.

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:

Some of the vendors who took part in Afraspektion!

Additional vendors that supported Afraspektion!

  • BRINGI Consulting: A personal and professional development firm that offers holistic educational services from an Indigenous African-centered lens. The place to go if you’re looking for Personal and professional development service & South African beaded jewelry 
  • Hard Feelings Mental Health: Sweatshirts, caps, totebags and zines
  • Ruqayya Oud Perfumes: Perfume oil and organic body care and candles
  • Neela and Anokhei: Jewelry and clothing drawing from sacred geometry of life. Anokhei and Neela have come together bringing their North and South Indian roots to create three dimensional Mandela’s
  • Campbell’s United Blend Corp: Jewelry and craft items
  • JamaicanEats and Passport to Caribbean Food: Magazines, cookbooks, branded tote bags and backpacks, and t-shirts
  • 7Spices Pockets Inc: freshly cooked pastries called pockets, jerk chicken, curried chicken, vegetarian meals, ackee and saltfish, bbq chicken and much more
  • Flame and Smoke: Southern/Soul inspired menu of fried chicken sandwiches, mac & cheese bites inspired by macaroni pie, crispy sprouts (deep fried brussel sprouts and sweet potato with a maple dressing)
  • MontRose: Ginger beer and cultural crafts 
  • Marj Delights Caribbean Goodies: Caribbean baked goods and snacks 
  • Black to Eden: Health and beauty body care products
  • Melanin Paradise: Body contouring


A bit more information about the event.

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/

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.”

Stay tuned for a recap of the day

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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