SOM Celebrates Black Music Month
Burlington, ON – The Sound of Music (SOM) is excited to announce a collaboration with BLing Events International Entertainment (BEI) Black African Caribbean Canadian Artists Unite (BACCAU) and CRAFT to celebrate Black Music Month in Burlington.
Black Music Month was first declared in the USA by President Jimmy Carter who, on June 7, 1979, declared that June would be the month of black music and hosted the first Black Music Month event on the White House lawn. It became an official observation in the USA in 2000 when President Clinton signed a bill to formally acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of black music to American life & culture. In 2009, President Barack Obama commemorated the tradition by signing a presidential proclamation and proclaimed the month of June as “African American Music Appreciation Month in the USA. In his 2016 proclamation, Obama noted that African-American music and musicians have helped the country “to dance, to express our faith through song, to march against injustice, and to defend our country’s enduring promise of freedom and opportunity for all.” In 2019 at the initiative of a few black musicians and community members in Toronto and the GTA (some who were a part of the original Black music association in the 70’s which was the original founders of Black Music Month), decided it was time to make it official in Canada and formed a group called “Black Music Month Canada. As a result of their outreach to Toronto Mayor John Tory in 2019 he issued a proclamation and officially declared the month of June as “Black Music Month “ in Toronto and the momentum has been building across Ontario and Canada ever since!
“At its core, SOM exists to celebrate music.” says SOM executive director, Myles D. Rusak “Music is the great equalizer where we can tell our stories, share our feelings and connect on a very human level with each other regardless of race, gender, creed or culture. We are thrilled to celebrate the diverse contributions to music from the Black Canadian community and to shine a spotlight on artists who have helped grow the movement to what it is today”. Throughout the month of June, SOM & Bling Events International Entertainment (BEI-BACCAU/CRAFT) will be showcasing artists of yesterday and current trend setters from across the region and Ontario. Due to the current extension of the lockdown, some live performances will be postponed to July; but the program will include a mix of digital and live properties to showcase some incredible talent.
“ As a Black Canadian performing artist myself, who has lived in the USA and mother of a Canadian singer songwriter , It is my pleasure and an honour to be a part of any initiative to continue the tradition of acknowledging and recognizing “Black Music Month Canada” in my home town of Burlington and across Halton region. I have been involved in the Black Music Month Canada group based in Toronto for a few years and I got involved because the mission is in line with my non-profit corporation’s values and work. My goal is to continue to educate and share the music and talent of Canadian black artists both locally & internationally. I look forward to working together with the Burlington Sound of Music Festival team to bring more awareness of emerging & established Black African Caribbean Canadian and International Black Artists to the Burlington/Halton Community and look forward to hosting live events as part of the festival activities as soon as it’s safe to do so!” ~-Carlene Ling aka Vanda Li, Founder/Director of Bling Events International Entertainment (BEI) Black African Caribbean Canadian Artists Unite (BACCAU)
Please watch the Sound of Music Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more information and some great artist showcases!