African Women Acting (AWA), celebrating their 10th anniversary this fall, is set to host The African-Canadian Fusion: a Cross-Cultural Celebration of Art, Music, and Poetry this fall. On Saturday, October 28 Daniel’s Spectrum, a cultural center on Dundas Street in Regent Park, Toronto, will be transformed into a home of music and other performing arts that celebrate the African diaspora in Canada.
Founded in 2011, AWA is a nonprofit focused on empowering, preserving and promoting women issues and the heritage of African culture through African art. And it’s known for its rocking events, including its long running annual Niagara Festival, which in the waning days of summer this year took over RiverBrink Art Museum in Queenston. One donor paid for 300 tickets, too, so that fans could enjoy the full day, family-friendly program.
The Fall event, meanwhile, will feature Cameroonian Afropop singer Jbwai, spoken word artist and singer J Nichole Noel, Susan Heaten, and Nigerian vocalist Sonia Aimy, who founded AWA back in 2011.
Dabbling in genres including classic rock, reggae and pop, Noel has been performing for over 20 years on stages in Canada, the U.S., Spain, UK and Jamaica. She has recorded three audio CDs as well as published books of poetry and stories for children. Sonia Aimy, or the “Velvety voice of Africa” as she’s called, has released several albums. In 2021, she released the quarantine-era “Reconnect,” a fantastic upbeat meditation on Pan-Africanism which feels out of Fela Kuta’s lab. Though the African diaspora is spread all over the world, the chorus, “reconnect, reconnect, my people… motherland, motherland” is a reminder of an everlasting connection to the African continent. One of several October performers who is truly a Jane of all trades, Aimy also released her film “TRACE: Tracing African Canadian Extraordinaire,” which focuses on the accomplishments of seven African-Canadians making impact in the country.
The October event will feature an Afrobeat selections by DJ Moussa, who has played all around Toronto-area haunts and is sure to keep the party going and people dancing. African-Canadian Fusion will run from 2pm to 5pm. The $50 admission includes food and wine tasting.