MASC artists return to Ottawa-Gatineau for Black History Month

Masabo, Just Aïssi, and Leslie McCurdy tour with popular performances in February and March 2023

Black History Month (or Black Legacy Month, as some prefer to say*) is just around the corner! MASC artists Masabo, Just Aïssi, and Leslie McCurdy return to Ottawa-Gatineau for the first time in three years to present their popular touring performances for local audiences in February and March 2023.

Masabo is a Vancouver-based performance group led by MASC artist Fana Soro specializing in traditional West African music, dance and story. They are presenting Celebrate Africa! and Masa-Senekela, the cultivating King from February 6 to 10 in Ottawa-Gatineau and February 13 to 17 in Toronto.

Just Aïssi and his Montreal-based African Dance Company share the cultural heritage of South Africa with the gumboot dance developed by miners before the 1970s. They are presenting Gumboot! from February 27 to March 3 and March 6 to 10 in Ottawa-Gatineau.

Leslie McCurdy is an award-winning playwright, performer, and activist living in Windsor, Ontario. The Spirit of Harriet Tubman, her first play, was a finalist for a Canadian Chalmers Award for Best New Play for Young Audiences. Her second play, Things My Fore-Sisters Saw, was filmed for TV and was premiered on the Bravo Network in Canada in February 2006. Both performances are available in Ottawa-Gatineau from March 27 to 31.

Before the pandemic effectively nullified opportunities for touring artists in March 2020, MASC artists Masabo and Leslie McCurdy would regularly visit Ottawa-Gatineau to bring their popular performances to schools and community spaces.

They return to the National Capital Region this year, as will Just Aïssi, to share their important cultural performances with students, teachers, and locals keen to celebrate the rich cultural diversity of Black artists.

*Quote from JustJamaal ThePoet, MASC artist:
“I prefer to call it Black Legacy Month because it encompasses all of what the black experience is and not just what we’ve been through.”