Launched in 2015, Bravo Niagara!'s Voices of Freedom Festival commemorates and celebrates Niagara's significant Black history, fosters intercultural dialogue, and highlights the ongoing journey to freedom through the arts. The Festival includes educational musical performances, symposia, lectures, and interactive programming for youth.
Bravo Niagara! is proud to support the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake's Voices of Freedom Park and will be curating the artistic programming for the opening ceremony on September 17, 2018.
In November 2018, the Voices of Freedom Festival will be curated by Artistic Producer Céline Peterson, daughter of jazz legend Oscar Peterson. The lineup will be announced in summer 2018 - stay tuned!
The inaugural Voices of Freedom Festival received endorsement by the UNESCO Slave Route Project for highlighting the cultural interactions born out of slavery and the slave trade. Further in connection to the festival, Bravo Niagara!'s Executive Director Alexis Spieldenner received the Lincoln M. Alexander Award at Queen's Park in 2017. Past Voices of Freedom Festival artists include Richard Bona, Measha Brueggergosman, Wycliffe Gordon, Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley, Harrison Kennedy, and more.
I wish to congratulate you for your initiative which will showcase the musical interactions generated by the slave trade and slavery. This festival will pay tribute to the resistance and resilience of Enslaved People and highlight their contribution to modern societies. Your project is in line with the UNESCO Slave Route project's objectives and will contribute to the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024).
Ali Moussa-Iye, Chief, History and Memory for Dialogue Section, UNESCO