Manitoba Music and WAG-Qaumajuq Celebrate Black Music Makers with Series of Intimate Concerts & Mixers

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Anthony OKS, Marisolle, Ben Tamana to Perform Free Event at WAG-Qaumajuq on March 26

Manitoba Music and Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG)-Qaumajuq are celebrating Black music makers with a new series of free concerts and mixers in the iconic gallery space. The partnership was launched in February with a packed Black History Month event, laying the foundation for the ongoing community-building events through the BPM program.

The next event will return to WAG-Qaumajuq on Friday, May 26 and feature sets from acclaimed hip hop artist Anthony OKS, pianist and vocalist Marisolle, and Afrobeat/pop/R&B singer/songwriter Ben Tamana. Hosted once again by Free Press journalist and writer, Julia-Simone Rutger, the evening will be intimate and interactive, allowing the artists to express themselves through stripped-down, visceral performances that will address identity and community, and celebrate the African Diaspora. 

The performances will be preceded by a mixer for Black music makers as well as local music companies, labels, venues, and festivals looking to make deeper connections with the Black music community in Manitoba. Meetups for artists and music entrepreneurs are core to BPM’s community-building focus, offering an opportunity to share ideas, professional needs and barriers, and make vital career connections.

“The celebration of Black History Month with WAG-Qaumajuq had such a strong feeling of community, resilience, and joy. Celebrating Black excellence in music goes beyond one month, it’s every day and always. It’s exciting to continue this series and gather Black music makers together throughout the year,” says artist and business owner Andrew Sannie, who coordinates the BPM program. 

"The partnership between WAG-Qaumajuq and BPM launched during Black History Month, but Black excellence has never been confined to a single month out of the year. Having musicians like Anthony OKS, Marisolle, and Ben Tamana playing in WAG-Qaumajuq through this amazing concert series is a celebration and I am very grateful to have these voices taking up colonial space," says Julia Lafreniere, Head of Indigenous Ways and Equity at WAG-Qaumajuq.

The series will be quarterly, with the next events slated for September 1 and November 24. More details to be announced. 

Launched in February 2021 and facilitated by Sannie, BPM | Black Professionals in Music is a program via Manitoba Music that supports Black music professionals in Manitoba. BPM has offered regular sessions for participants to meet and network, join discussion groups, and learn from one another. The program has offered professional development workshops, mixers, and peer-to-peer mentorship.

WAG-Qaumajuq has grown into one of the country’s leading visual art museums with an international reputation! Founded in 1912, the WAG is one of Canada’s first civic art galleries, housed in an iconic modernist building in the heart of downtown Winnipeg. Opened in 2021, Qaumajuq is a contemporary architectural landmark that connects to the WAG building on all four levels.

BPM X WAG-Qaumajuq
Friday, May 26, 2023
Featuring Anthony OKS, Marisolle, Ben Tamana
Mixer 6 - 7 PM
Concert 7 - 9 PM
Free Event
Eckhardt Hall @ Winnipeg Art Gallery, 300 Memorial Blvd

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