AMHERST – The official launch of African Heritage Month will be a joint affair here in Amherst.
The month-long celebration of culture and history kicks off Tuesday, Feb. 4, at the Amherst Town Hall, but there are many more partners this year than previous, Cumberland African Nova Scotian Association executive director Liz Cooke-Sumbu says.
“We usually do the kick-off in partnership with one of the five municipalities but this year to goes to the Municipality of Cumberland and the Town of Amherst, so we’re doubling-up,” Cooke-Sumbu said. “The new Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs and Communities, Culture and Heritage will join us launching the theme ‘Rising Stars – Celebrating our Youth.’”
The Honourable Tony Ince and representatives for Cumberland County and Amherst will unveil the province-wide promotion of local rising stars from across the province and Cooke-Sumbu hinted there could be a local star included in the promotion.
The launch takes place at the Town of Amherst on Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 12 p.m. and is open to everyone to attend. Welcomes and greetings will be extended before the unveiling this year‘s poster promotion, followed by musical presentations from Springhill’s Connor Ruddick and the Imani Children’s Choir of Moncton.
“Connor’s a real talent,” Sumbu-Cooke said. “He sings, he dances. He has a real passion for what he does.”
The children’s choir, says the executive director, is also something not to be missed. The Moncton choir is made up of children and families who have come to Canada as refugees.
This marks the 30th anniversary of African Heritage Month in the province and the eighth year of the Cumberland African Nova Scotia Association, which recently relocated to its newly renovated headquarters at the corner of Church and Victoria. A grand opening has yet to take place but will during February, Cooke-Sumbu said.
A number of events celebrating African Heritage Month will take place across the county in February, including school presentations, an exhibit at the Cumberland County Museum, and presentations on the community radio station CFTA 107.9 FM featuring musicians with Cumberland County roots.