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.
The 2018 Voices of Freedom Concert will take place November 3rd. Curated by Artistic Producer Céline Peterson, daughter of legendary jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, this concert will bring together some of the best in Canadian jazz and soulful music, to highlight inclusiveness, empowerment, and the importance of freedom. Featured artists include Molly Johnson, Jackie Richardson, Robi Botos, Mike Downes, Larnell Lewis, Joseph Callender, and the Laura Secord Secondary School Concert Choir.
Bravo Niagara! is proud to support the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake's Voices of Freedom Park which will be unveiled in the fall of 2018.
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