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West Island non-profit to tour Canadian schools for Black History Month

Students from Champlain College Saint-Lambert listen to the "Tracking Black Canada" presentation on Jan 29, 2020.
Students from Champlain College Saint-Lambert listen to the "Tracking Black Canada" presentation on Jan 29, 2020. Overture with the Arts / Facebook

West Island not-for-profit organization Overture with the Arts (OWTA) held its annual Caribbean Luncheon in Pierrefonds on Saturday where dozens enjoyed food, music and a sneak peek of the Black History Month presentation students across Canada will get to enjoy.

The organization, which offers programs to help children pursue performing arts, launched its Black History Month school tour “Tracking Black Canada” on Jan. 29.

The tour focuses on the “often forgotten histories of early Black communities” across Canada.

The Tracking Black Canada presentation navigates from the East Coast to the West, with “special attention on the role that the Canadian railway played in both the geographic and economic lives of Black people in Canada,” its press release explained.

READ MORE: ‘Ovation’ production hits the stage in honour of West Island charity

“The interactive presentation for high school and college students focuses on influential Black communities in several Canadian cities.”

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Zanana Akande — the first woman from the African diaspora elected to Ontario’s Legislative Assembly and first Black female cabinet Minister — was in attendance as the guest of honour.

The event was hosted by Catherine Verdon-Diamond, with presentations from Omari Newton.

READ MORE: Promoting social change through the arts during Black History Month

The tour will visit schools in the Montreal area such as West Island College, James Lyng, Pierrefonds Community High School and more until Feb. 18.

OWTA will continue their presentations until the end of the month, when they will visit Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver.