In honour of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024)
, Bravo Niagara! will present the Voices of Freedom Festival
September 28 to October 6, 2017.Voices of Freedom Festival (formerly the North Star Festival) will raise awareness of Canada's significant Black history and highlight the ongoing journey to freedom. Bravo Niagara! strives to foster intercultural dialogue through the arts and will present educational musical performances, symposia, and free interactive community outreach programs for youth.
On September 29, 2017, Bravo Niagara! presents Canadian superstar soprano Measha Brueggergosman at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre’s Partridge Hall. Measha will perform Songs of Freedom, an intensely powerful and spiritual collection of ‘Freedom Songs’ that emerged from Africa via the slave trade to America, then to Canada via the United Empire Loyalist migration and the Underground Railroad. Her latest album Songs of Freedom is a companion piece to the 2015 film of the same name that was nominated for 4 Canadian Screen Awards, which documented Measha's own journey of discovering her family's storied lineage, which stretches from Cameroon, West Africa to Canada's Maritimes.