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City partners with Rhythm & Blues Cambridge to celebrate Black History Month

Rhythm & Blues Cambridge is a grassroots organization led by local members of the Black community
Photo supplied

Every February Canadians are invited to participate in Black History Month festivities that honour the legacy of Black Canadians. This year, the City of Cambridge is partnering with Rhythm & Blues Cambridge (R&B), Idea Exchange, the KW Multicultural Centre and Kinbridge to announce Rhythm & Blues presents: Black History Month 2023 - a month-long series of in person events for Cambridge residents of all ages.

R&B’s mission is to provide a safe engaging space to empower, inform and inspire the Black Community in Cambridge.

Now in its fourth year, this celebration of Black history and culture acknowledges the many accomplishments and contributions of African Canadian communities in Cambridge and across Canada. Event participants will experience a unique look at the daily contributions that Black communities in Waterloo Region make to help shape our history, through discussions of Black history, art, culture, and social justice.

“Thank you, Rhythm and Blues for continuing to inspire and celebrate the Black community in Cambridge. The contributions of Black Canadians, along with their communities contribute to Canada’s diversity, compassion, and prosperity”, said Cambridge Mayor, Jan Liggett in a press release. 

“As we celebrate Cambridge’s 50th anniversary, I am thrilled to see a return to in-person, innovative events like “Art from the Heart Processing Night” which celebrates our resiliency during the pandemic while acknowledging its impacts on our mental health. Our spirits are beginning to lift, and organizations such as Rhythm and Blues are vital to our recovery.”

An event highlight this year includes Celebrating History and Weaving our Dreams, featuring an extraordinary art exhibit designed by Black mixed media artists that celebrates the rich textile and fibre history in Cambridge.

To complement the exhibit, R&B is proud to partner with the Cambridge Guild to host a weaving workshop. Residents won’t want to miss a wide variety of activities including drumming workshops, the first ever Black History Trivia Game, the chance to win some prizes and sample a taste of the Caribbean from R&B’s very own Irie Myrie.

The event takes place on Saturday, February 25 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Idea Exchange Queen's Square.

Rhythm & Blues Cambridge is a grassroots organization led by local members of the Black community. The name Rhythm & Blues comes from the saying, “They want our rhythm but not our blues”. Their goal is to provide a safe, inclusive, and engaging space to empower, inform and inspire the Black community in Cambridge, and encourage everyone to celebrate Canadian Black history all year long.

Funding for these events was made possible by the Kitchener-Waterloo Community Foundation, Region of Waterloo Upstream fund, Lyle S Hallman Foundation, and the City of Cambridge.