b current’s rock.paper.sistahz Festival

Artscape Wychwood Barns will host the 14th rock.paper.sistahz festival, a showcase of multidisciplinary works by emerging and established Canadian artists of colour.

Monstrous by Sarah Waisvisz - Photo by Christopher Snow rock.paper.sistahz
Monstrous by Sarah Waisvisz – Photo by Christopher Snow

The festival originally began in 2002 as a way to highlight theatrical works by black women. It since has grown to include dance, visual art, film and youth events by artists of all cultures and genders. The event is also presented by b current, a 25 year old organization founded by artist ahdri zhina mandiela as a place for Black artists to create, nurture and present new works, it as well has expanded since its conception to support indigenous artists and those artists that identify as being of colour.

This festival’s theme is focusing on higher power in society, asking artists to draw on their personal, spiritual, political and emotional experiences. What is also interesting, is the productions will be in many stages of development. Along with finished works, visitors will also be able to take part in the development of a script as well as workshops showing the process the artists take in creating their production.

Here are a few of the highlight and a schedule of events.

Broken Windows by Fiona Clarke, inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and last year’s shooting in the U.S. of a Muslim family over a parking ticket.

Broken Windows

zahgidiwin|love by Frances Koncan, an experimental and political exploration of the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls

rock.paper.sistahz Frances Koncan
Frances Koncan

Monstrous by Sarah Waisvisz, exploring the often ignored mixed race identity between Black and White.

The Midnight Birth by All-Ever (Oliver Koomsatira) and Kim Henry, a combination of hip hop, music and dance, and dealing with sexism, it seeks to break commercial rap stereotypes.

rock.paper.sistahz Midnight Birth - Kim Henry and Oliver Koomsatira
Midnight Birth – Kim Henry and Oliver Koomsatira




8pm – 10pm @ Wychwood Theatre
My Essence by Ashley Colours Perez • Anecdotal Tendencies by mettle
zahgidiwin|love by Frances Koncan

8pm – 10pm @ Wychwood Theatre
She who walks on fire by Rania El Mugammar • Yield to Pedestrian by Sherry Hsu
Letters to Universe by Shaunga Tagore • zahgidiwin|love by Frances Koncan

8pm – 10pm @ Wychwood Theatre
Broken Windows by Fiona Clarke • Take d Milk, Nah? by Jiv Parasram
Monstrous by Sarah Waisvisz

8pm – 10pm @ Wychwood Theatre
Ouroboros Project by Emma Laishram/Ouroboros Collective • CLASS by Shakura Dickson
The Midnight Birth by All-Ever (Oliver Koomsatira) and Kim Henry

8pm -10pm @ Wychwood Theatre
The Last Bike Ride by Grace Lynn Kung • Collaboration: The Human and the Divine by Nasra Adem
The Midnight Birth by All-Ever (Oliver Koomsatira) and Kim Henry

blackout 2016 Wrap Party
10:30pm @ Location TBC
(All programming subject to change)

$75 Festival Pass and $20 Evening Pass Now Available at bcurrent.ca
$15 evening pass (Arts Worker / Senior / Student) also available

View their website for more details.



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Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography