Black History Month: Fade to Black Festival kicks off 13th edition

"How can we prepare for the future? That's the spirit of this festival," says actress, filmmaker, producer and founder, Fabienne Colas. The 13th edition of her Fade to Black Festival is back in Montreal from Feb. 7 to 11. Anastasia Dextrene reports.

The largest festival celebrating Black History Month in Quebec is returning to Montreal.

The Fade to Black Festival, back for its 13th edition, brings together nearly 50 artists and guests for performances, panels, screenings and more.

It’s the brainchild of Fabienne Colas and her foundation.

“What could make Black History Month a greater, more exciting, and meaningful, impactful celebration in Montreal,” said Colas, an actress, filmmaker and producer.

“We can think about where we’ve come, what we’ve achieved, where we are today. So that’s the celebration of today. And how can we prepare for the future? That’s exactly the spirit of this festival.”

With programming in person and online, Colas says equal access is at the forefront of her mind. Rebecca Jean, a featured performer at the festival, agrees.

“Here in Quebec, it’s like there’s a frame,” said Jean, who’s a singer, composer, author and producer. “And if you don’t fall exactly into the frame, sometimes you feel unseen or you just don’t exist.

“I’m very excited about my show, which is on the ninth of February. So this Friday. It’s going to be at the Cabaret Lion D’Or. And I’m very excited about the artists that are going to be on stage with me.”

In addition to playing with her band, the roots singer will feature other BIPOC artists.

“I feel that Indigenous people and Black people, we have so much in common in our histories, especially it’s the Black History Month,” Jean said. “So I think that it makes sense that we share this moment.”

“We’re nowhere near where we should be in terms of a true equity and true inclusion everywhere. So that’s my hope,” added Colas. “We’re celebrating 20 years of the Fabienne Colas Foundation, created 13 years ago, and my hope for the next 20 years is that we would have achieved true equity and inclusion. That’s my hope.”

Tickets for the Feb.7-11 festival are available here.

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