The organizers of the annual Global Black & African Festival of Arts & Culture (GBAFACC) say all arrangements have been concluded to have a successful celebration. The co-founder and operations director, Edo Global Royal Art and Culture Canada, Jackson Osamede Igbinosun, made this known while revealing that the Global Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture billed for December 11-12, in Toronto, Canada, would hold virtually this year due to COVID-19 restrictions on physical gatherings.
He also disclosed that the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC) and The Jane and Finch Economic initiative [JF-ECI] have thrown their weights behind the event.
Igbinosun said the coming on board of CBAAC is a welcome development as the Centre projects the overall image of Black and African Peoples and enables their cultures to be appreciated globally.
“Through its numerous programmes, the Centre has continued to contribute to the pool of universal knowledge on Black and African Peoples.”
Jackson Osamede Igbinosun, who is also a community advocate and member of the Nationwide Black Organizations’ Leaders in Canada, added that CBAAC’s mission statement of promoting public interest in understanding and appreciation of Black and African Arts and Culture aligns with that of the organizers of Edo Global Royal Art and Culture.
“We at the Edo Global Royal Art and Culture Canada see Culture as the lifeblood of a vibrant society, expressed in the many ways we tell our stories, celebrate, remember the past, entertain ourselves, and imagine the future. ”
Our creative expression helps to define who we are, and helps us to see the world through the eyes of others.”
Igbinosun said the belief in culture as a tool of socio-economic integration informed the festival’s theme for this year “The Great Benin Kingdom: A Quintessence of Ancient Civilization.” He said the theme will reappraise the culture of Benin Kingdom to highlight its strength that qualifies its quintessential capacity for ancient civilization as well as how it impacts on modern lifestyle among the people.
“The history and evolution of the ancient Kingdom of Benin is quite intriguing and imbued with a high level of socio-cultural organization cloaked in legends and myths.”
The kingdom which dates as far back as 900AD (Egharevba 1) is one of the oldest and most stable traditional political entities in West Africa that have survived till date. Igbinosun added that the Benins have a long history of highly developed and sophisticated culture and education.
“The kingdom’s advanced culture was a centre of indigenous knowledge, technology and development that different peoples across the African rainforest came under its jurisdiction for leadership and direction in political organization and protection.
“Benin Kingdom was highly acknowledged and admired for its sophisticated prowess in social order, law and jurisprudence, industry, ethics and integrity, sanitation and hygiene, engineering (road network, moat), town planning, military skills, administrative competence, logistics efficiency, carving and casting, fine arts, music and dance, drama, astrology, philosophy, and agriculture.”
Igbinosun further noted that “The Great Benin Kingdom is home to the world’s single largest archaeological phenomenon in human history known as the ‘Walls of Benin City’ or Iya in Benin language, stretching a vast area of 16,000 KM. The ‘Walls” of Benin City and its surrounding areas were described as world’s largest earthworks carried out prior to mechanical era by the Guinness Book of Records.
“The cultural ambassador said the Global Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture in projecting the Benin culture is poised to create the enabling environment for cultural interaction among citizens in Toronto, Canada.”
Speaking on the Jane and Finch Economic Initiative, Igbinosun, who is also a Principal Project Coordinating Consultant to Mr. Winston La Rose, aka, Mr. Jane and Finch on a number of community projects, said the promoter of the initiative, Winston W. La Rose, is a lover of culture. He added, ” As a Social Community Activist and Builder, he worked closely with Community Festivals and in particular with the Caribana Arts Group, a vintage historic legacy in Canada; and was involved with the local Yorkgate Mall (Yorkgate Mall) in the establishment and conduct of the annual “Yorkgate Kiddies Caribana Festival” in the Jane Finch Area of Toronto. ”
Winston La Rose is the founder [founding chair] of the “Kiddies Caribana On Eglinton” Avenue Toronto (1994); and is the visionary founder of the Caribana North Festival proposed for the establishment of a major secondary Caribana Festival & Parade to be conducted on historic Yonge Street in the City of Richmond Hill in York Region – with principal ceremonies to be staged at the Vaughan City Centre and the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.”
While appreciating Samson Arega, Ethiopian Airlines country manager in Canada, for supporting GBAFACC 2020 as major sponsor and partner, Igbinosun disclosed that the Chief Executive Officer of Desigo Tourism Development and Facility Management Company Limited, Abigail Olagbaye, has thrown her weight behind GBAFACC too. Olagbaye, the tourism destination manager, said Africa has lacked a voice of its own for too long.
“Hence the Global Black & African Festival of Arts & Culture is a great avenue to project the beauty of our culture and arts and the enduring attributes of African civilizations and its influences on other cultures around the world.”
The former Miss Tourism Nigeria is the brain behind the landmark initiative Africa Tourism Day which invites and convenes all Africans at home and in the diaspora to celebrate the culture and tourism of the continent.
Olagbaye, who lauded the project, said “it is time for the depth of our creativity and intellectuality as Africans to be unbundled and for the world to know we are a people with great artistic gifting, rich and eclectic cultural heritages whose influences are felt, known and seen across the globe.”