Tracing excellence in African Canadian culture through film

Some people don’t shout their accomplishments from the rooftops or even quietly bask in the glory of their big wins. Some do a lot for society but we may never learn their names. One woman aims to change things by shining a spotlight on people who make a difference. She’s creating a platform to showcase achievements within the African Canadian community and she’s doing it through film.

Multi-faceted artist and musician Sonia Aimy debuts her documentary Tracing Rare African Canadian Extraordinaire (TRACE), which showcases excellence from people of African descent in diverse disciplines across Canada. 

TRACE celebrates the life and work of seven African Canadians from diverse sectors of society: business, entrepreneurship, academia, the arts, culture, history, and philanthropy. 

Aimy contributes a lot to Canadian culture herself as is evidenced by her many roles in making the documentary and getting it to the point where it can be viewed by audiences during Black History Month. 

TRACE is also the name of the new single from Aimy, written and recorded as the theme song for the documentary. Much like the inspiration behind the creation of the film, she says, the song embodies “the desire to discover true role models who do a lot for their community but do not boast about their actions.” 

Aimy explains that the afrobeat genre follows a similar principle. The instrumentals speak to the narrative while the vocals are simply an added flourish. That philosophy inspired her to “focus on the musical arrangement,” she says, which lends a beautiful balance to the film’s storyline.

Participants will be able to follow the life’s journey of seven TRACE honourees – Tunde Dawodu, Adonis Huggins, Naila Keleta-Mae, Renee Rankine, Charlene Rokhaya-Jaye, Rosemary Sadlier, and Rustum Southwell – in the film and interact with them in person at the event. There’s a photo session, sip-and-mingle, a cultural menu, members and friends of the Black community, and live performances leading up to the premiere screening of the documentary, followed by a Q and A session.

Kennedy Seed Obioha and Aimy are co-producers of TRACE. Aimy is also the director, and executive producer of the film along with Saimy’s Art and African Women Acting, commonly known as AWA. Founded by Aimy, AWA works to preserve African culture in Canada and presents an annual culture festival in Niagara Falls.

by Cherryl Bird – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Twitter @ladycbird | Instagram @cherrylbird

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