It’s About Time: Dancing Black in Canada 1900 – 1970 and Now
October 13 – December 3, 2022

It's About Time

Opening reception: October 12, 2022, 5–7 pm

Guided Grad Student walk-through with Seika Boye (all welcome!), 2-3:30pm, Oct. 13

Audain Gallery (Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, SFU, 149 W Hastings St, Vancouver)

guest curated by Seika Boye (2021 Dance in the Public Sphere awardee)

It’s About Time: Dancing Black in Canada 1900 – 1970 and Now illuminates the largely undocumented dance history of Canada’s Black population before 1970, with responses from contemporary performing and visual artists reflecting on how this dance archive resonates in this moment in British Columbia.

Curated by Seika Boye, PhD, this archival exhibition exposes the representation of Blackness on Canadian stages, as well as audience and media reception of Black performance in Canada during this era. It’s About Time also explores legislation of leisure culture, dance lessons and the role of social dances at mid-century. Featured are individual dance artists such as Leonard Gibson, Ola Skanks, Ethel Bruneau, Joey Hollingsworth, and Kathryn Brown.

For the Vancouver iteration of this touring project, curator Seika Boye will commission contemporary performing, literary, and visual artists — either from or currently based in British Columbia — to respond to the archive and consider what the history of Black people dancing in Canada reveals about our contemporary moment. A selection of commissions from the exhibition’s presentation at the John and Maggie Mitchell Art Gallery, MacEwan University, in Edmonton, Alberta, will be displayed at Teck Gallery as an extension of the Audain Gallery exhibition.

Seika Boye is a scholar, writer, educator and artist whose practices revolve around dance and movement. She is an Assistant Professor, and Director, Institute for Dance Studies at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Toronto. Seika was the inaugural recipient of the Dance Studies Association's Dance in the Public Sphere Award (2021) for It's About Time: Dancing Black in Canada 1900-1970 and Now.

photo: Blaine Campbell