As a loyal partner for a number of years, Radio-Canada has proudly organized a multiplatform salute to Black History Month (BHM), to celebrate the Black community’s role in shaping Quebec society.
As part of BHM activities in Montreal, the public broadcaster will, among other things, present an exhibit on Nelson Mandela, UN LONG CHEMIN VERS LA LIBERTÉ, which looks back at Madiba’s life and long battle to bring down Apartheid. See the exhibit from January 30 to February 20 at Montreal City Hall, and from April 4 to May 4 at Espace culture Georges-Émile-Lapalme. Radio-Canada is also proud to present VIVRE ICITTE : 100 % PUR CACAO, a live show by comic Dorothy Rhau, February 1st at the Astral. Sharing the stage with her guests François Massicotte, Gardy Fury and Les deux gars du 16h, Rhau will poke fun at the many differences between us.
In addition, Espace.mu and Espace musique (100.7 FM in Montreal), ICI Radio-Canada Première (95.1 FM in Montreal), ICI Radio-Canada Télé, ICI ARTV, ICI Radio-Canada.ca, and RCInet.ca will serve up BHM-related programming and special content, both on the air and the web.
FROM AFRICVILLE TO LITTLE BURGUNDY
Radio-Canada’s web radio network will post video of a concert performance by Toronto pianist and composer Joe Sealy and singer Jackie Richardson of the song River of Dreams, from his AFRICVILLE SUITE album, in memory of Africville, a small Black community that was close to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Sealy and Richardson will also do jazz renditions of three songs from Porgy and Bess (I Love You Porgy, My Man’s Gone Now, and Summertime), Gershwin’s operatic masterpiece, which Opéra de Montréal is set to perform for the first time ever.
Internet users will get the chance to listen to a number of musical selections on rotation throughout the month of February on the web radio stations Afrique du Sud, Afrobeat, Afropop, Antilles, and Dakar à Bamako, as well as the all-new Haitian station. Espace.mu will also be posting interviews with local artists about various aspects of the African music history and its influence on today’s sounds.
Also on the web, catch the interactive documentary JAZZ PETITE BOURGOGNE that showcases Montreal’s unparalleled contribution to the development of jazz. This one-of-a-kind doc has just won a Prix Boomerang in the Website – Arts and Entertainment category.
GOSPEL, JAZZ, AND AFRICAN MUSIC
Radio-Canada’s music radio network (100.7 FM in Montreal) will air, as part of SOIRÉES CLASSIQUES, a very special program for its listeners entitled CHŒUR EN CŒUR, featuring gospel and other styles. On À QUAND LE JAZZ EST LÀ…, Stanley Péan will devote an entire show to Gershwin’s body of work, presenting the magnificent concert Porgy & Bess as Performed by Miles Davis recorded at the 2010 Festival de jazz de Montréal and featuring trumpet player and band leader Ron Di Lauro. Throughout February, he will also home in on the history of Africville, as well as Joe Sealy’s music and jazz reinterpretation of Porgy and Bess opera classics.
Every Saturday in February, UN NOMADE DANS L’OREILLE, with host Catherine Pépin, will feature a segment devoted to music from the African continent, with special focus on influences and musical fusions rooted in African rhythms. On VI@FEHMIU, Philippe Fehmiu will honour Black History Month by sharing information on BHM-related activities.
MUSIC AND HISTORY
Several ICI Radio-Canada Première (95.1 FM in Montreal) programs will also include reports on Black History Month activities, including Patrick Masbourian’s show PM that will air special content about music and history. What’s more, on the web at Ici.Radio-Canada.ca/premiere, listeners will be able to re-experience the outstanding series CHANTS DE LIBERTÉ series with Stanley Péan and André Champagne – five shows that concurrently trace the history of the Black movement, as well as jazz, blues and soul.
FILM AND INTERVIEWS
In honour of Black History Month, ICI Radio-Canada Télé will air HBO’s TV movie PILOTES DE CHOIX (F.V. of THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN), which garnered several awards, including three Emmys. The film stars Laurence Fishburne and Cuba Gooding, Jr., and tells the true story of the first African American fighter pilots in the US, whose squadron fought in World War II when racism was still rampant back home.
A number of TV programs will also be tied in with 2014 Black History Month activities. For instance, POUR LE PLAISIR will feature an interview with comic Dorothy Rhau, and ALORS ON JASE! Guests will include singer Corneille, TV/web host Herby Moreau, and TV/radio host Isabelle Racicot.
BACK TO HIS ROOTS, AND TABASKI
ICI ARTV, the channel for those with a passion for arts and entertainment, will salute Black History Month by re-airing the Normand Brathwaite episode of the series QUI ÊTES-VOUS?, in which the artist discovers where his ancestors come from, on a moving quest that takes him to Barbados and Jamaica. In addition, Geneviève Guérard celebrates Tabaski with members of the Senegalese-Canadian community on VOULEZ-VOUS FÊTER? Lastly, ICI ARTV will air the concert SADE – BRING ME HOME, in which the Nigerian-born British singer performs her greatest hits.
BLOGS AND FEATURE REPORTS
In Radio-Canada’s web space, users are invited to follow the blogs of five guest personalities who will be sharing their personal thoughts and experiences relating to their identity. Our guest bloggers are comic Dorothy Rhau; singer Sylvie Desgroseillers; TV host Normand Brathwaite; police officer and founder of the L’Espoir boxing club Evans Guercy; and Amos mayor Ulrick Chérubin. Sophie Langlois and Yanick Dupont will be blogging as well about issues relating to Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, and Dany Laferrière.
Users will also enjoy three very inspiring feature reports: Nelson Mandela : La lutte, c’est ma vie (“Nelson Mandela: fighting is my life”); Le rêve d’Obama, 50 ans après celui de Martin Luther King (“Obama’s dream, 50 years after Martin Luther King’s”); and Le rêve inachevé de Martin Luther King (“Martin Luther King’s unfulfilled dream”). In the Archives section, they will find documents to learn more about the history of the Africville community and the expropriation of Nova Scotia’s Blacks, and about prominent African-Canadians who emerged as forerunners to the civil rights movement.
On RCInet.ca, users will find a special report in five languages devoted to Black History Month: forgotten moments in the history of Blacks in Canada, bios and reports aboute outstanding personalities in Canadian Black history, etc. They can also consult the site’s ARTISTES NOIRS : MUSIQUES D’ICI profiles to learn more about certain key Black artists on Montreal’s local music scene.
Don’t miss these 2014 Black History Month activities in Montreal venues, on our airwaves, and in Radio-Canada web spaces. For further details, consult the full program of activities at ICI.Radio-Canada.ca/moishistoiredesnoirs2014 (available as of January 27).