MEDIA RELEASE: OddSide Arts & Riverside BIA Celebrate with Afraspektion on August 7th, 2022

With Afraspektion on August 7th, 2022, OddSide Arts and Riverside BIA Celebrate & Highlight the Contributions and Creativity of the Afrodiaspora during Emancipation Month, as part of Sundays @ Riverside Common Series

This August 2022 marks the second year of celebrating Emancipation Month in Ontario. OddSide Arts and Riverside Business Improvement Area (BIA) invite everyone to come together this August 7th from 11am-4pm at Riverside Common Park (657 Queen E, just west of Queen/Broadview) in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood for an opening ceremony and fun day of entertainment and activities.

Everyone is welcome to enjoy, free to the public:

  • 11am – Opening ceremony featuring Nenookaasi and libations by Rev. Kemba Byam, hosted by the ever-charismatic Levyi-Alexander J. Love, with words by local MP Julie Dabrusin and MPP Peter Tabuns, followed by: 
  • 11am-4pm – Curated Market focusing on local Afrodiaspora vendors including food and hand-made goods
  • 11am-4pm – Live music by amazing local artists: Steel pannist Trenyce Sweeney, singer song-writer Markus Aurelyus, and Afro-Caribbean drummer & dancer Emilie Jabouin. PLUS, fun giveaways, Kids/Family corner with activities like Superhero face-painting & more.

The first 25 visitors to the event will receive a $10 voucher to spend at the Market. This is a great opportunity to support local vendors and shop and eat at the 100+ local businesses in the Riverside area along Queen Street East.

For more information visit or follow on Instagram @riverside_bia and @oddsidearts

More About Afraspektion:

August 1, 2021, was the first time that Canada officially (according to Parliamentary Motion) recognized Emancipation Day, when the Slavery Abolition Act was enacted in 1834 to free enslaved Africans and their descendants in colonies of the Caribbean, Africa, South America and Canada.

Afraspektion ( is a way to celebrate and highlight the contributions and creativity of the Afrodiaspora, and honour the legacy of African Canadians. Afraspektion features family friendly entertainment, art, a curated market, music, and activities.

Afraspektion is curated by Queen Kukoyi and Nico Taylor of OddSide Arts and co-hosted by the Riverside BIA, thanks to support from our generous community supporters: Riverside BIA, Hullmark,Toronto’s Arts Council, Government of Ontario’s Reconnect Ontario programme, Government of Canada’s Supporting Black Canadians Communities Initiative, and The City of Toronto (Mainstreet Innovation Fund), Government of Canada and FedDev Ontario. The event is part of the Sundays @ The Common series hosted by the Riverside BIA.

For more information about Afraspektion, contact:

Nico Taylor – Executive Director of Communications, OddSide Arts –

More About Riverside BIA & 2022 Events @ Riverside Common Park:

The Riverside BIA, established in 1980, is one of Canada’s first BIAs, located along Queen Street East between the Queen Street Viaduct to just past De Grassi Street. Rich in history, green spaces and public art, the BIA includes over 100 unique eateries, retails shops, boutiques and a range of professional services. More at

Riverside Common Park is located at 657 Queen Street East and was officially opened in October 2021. The Riverside BIA and community collaborators are working together to bring in regular activations on Sundays to this new community space in 2022. It’s all part of welcoming everyone to enjoy what our local business district and neighbourhood has to offer! Check out the full schedule of Sundays at The Common this summer and fall

For more information about the Riverside BIA and/or Sundays @ Riverside Common contact:

Jennifer Lay – Executive Director, Riverside BIA –, 416-466-8167