By Pat Forrest

Every year, Canadians are invited to participate in Black History Month festivities and events that honour the legacy and contribution to history that Black North Americans have made.

Here in Thunder Bay, each February the Caribbean African Multicultural Association of Thunder Bay (CAMAT) hosts the Black History Month Gala, inviting all community members to join in the celebrations. If winter has you down and you’re dreaming about getting away to the tropics, this event just may be for you. The 7th annual gala, taking place on February 25 at the Italian Cultural Centre starting at 5 pm, is going to be a feast for your eyes, ears, and taste buds.

There will be a traditional Caribbean dance performance by a family from Haiti, as well as a Dominican bachata performance by the World Dance Centre. There will also be a fashion show featuring traditional Caribbean and African wear, a silent auction, a WestJet draw, and a delicious four-course meal including jerk chicken and Jamaican patties. The awards ceremony will recognize volunteerism and work in support of equality and diversity. At the end of it all, a local DJ will keep the celebration going with dance music until 1 am.

CAMAT president Dianna Atkinson says that the event is intended to not only celebrate Black History Month but also to highlight the work that the association does in the community. “CAMAT is focused on encouraging a culturally diverse and welcoming presence in our city, where multiculturalism, racial harmony, diversity and community matter. Through this event we can not only share the richness of our culture but also recognize those who are working to help us achieve our goals,” she says.

All proceeds from the evening will go towards the CAMAT scholarship fund. Tickets are available on Eventbrite as well as at various locations in the Thunder Bay. CAMAT’s events page on Facebook has more information.