TORONTO — Jill Andrew, MPP for Toronto-St. Paul’s and Ontario NDP Culture critic, released the following statement in honour of Black Music Month:
“This month, the Ontario NDP and I join Black Music Month Canada in recognizing June as Black Music Month. It’s important to celebrate and elevate Black musicians in Ontario, just as the United States has done for 40 years now.
And it’s such an exciting time to celebrate. Local artists like Drake, The Weeknd, Jully Black, Kardinal Offishall, Molly Johnson, Simone Denny, Deborah Cox, Tamia, Chatta, and Toronto-St. Pauls' very own Austin Garrick, also known as Watts — just to name a few — have gained international recognition for their talent. But it’s also a time to promote and support emerging Black musicians, music festivals and artist development resources such as the Ontario Music Fund (OMF), as tangible ways of shining an international spotlight on Ontario's Black artists and the music sector. From reversing cuts to the OMF, to including categories like Calypso, Kaiso and Soca in our music awards, we have the tools to do this.
The Ontario NDP and I wish to commend the efforts of the Black Music Association's Toronto Chapter and Black Music Month Canada to get all levels of government to recognize June as Black Music Month. You have our full support in making this happen in the province of Ontario.”