Digital repository of Black Canadian musical heritage now available on line

The Canada Black Music Archives (CBMA) was founded in 2020 with a clear mandate to fill a crucial gap in Canada’s historical narrative to ensure the the rich and diverse musical heritage of Black Canadians.

Oscar Peterson, Glenn Lewis and Maestro Fresh Wes

To that end, the CBMA launched a digital platform to preserve that remarkable contributions of Black musicians across various genres over the past 100 years. The digital platform is accessible to all.

“The CBMA stands as a testament to resilience, creativity, and cultural richness, amplifying the voices of Black musicians and redressing historical underrepresentation,” stated  Executive Director Phil Vassell of the Canada Black Music Archives.

“CBMA is a crucial step toward fostering understanding, appreciation, and a stronger sense of identity for all Canadians.”

The CBMA is a rich educational resource for exploring the multifaceted history of Black Canadian music with an extensive collection of music, photographs, interviews, and historical documents.

Liberty Silver

“The power of music can help bring people together, share stories of lived experiences, and spark meaningful conversations about the past, present and future” according to Robyn Small, Senior Manager, Philanthropy, Sustainability & Corporate Citizenship of TD Bank Group. TD is primary supporter of the Canada Black Music Archives.

The CBMA is encouraging the public to explore its digital archive and engage with this vital source of Canadian history, ensuring its preservation and dissemination for future generations.

An example of what can be found on the platform is an exceptional live performance by Liberty Silver, the first Black Juno Award winner in the R&B category; there are other surprise guests.

“Ontario Creates is proud to support the development of the Canada Black Music Archives,” stated Karen Thorne-Stone, President and CEO.

“The Archives, with its cultural significance and legacy, has been thoughtfully and skillfully curated and aligns with Ontario Creates’ vision to showcase the incredible diversity of talent our province has to offer. We congratulate Word Media Group for bringing this initiative to life.”