The Toronto & York Region Labour Council calls upon the City of Toronto to immediately reinstate AFROfest to its original 2-day event schedule.
The Labour Council recognizes that the greater Toronto area is home to a celebrated array of cultures and backgrounds that enriches the city, allowing it to enjoy a globally recognized status for arts, culture, music and festivals. As such, it befits the City of Toronto to celebrate this vitalizing diversity by creating space, facilitating and empowering celebration of all cultures. The Labour Council recognizes AFROfest as a celebration of African heritage, creating a much need space to celebrate Black lives and realities, and looks to the city to show leadership in not stifling celebration by enforcing conformity nor silencing arts and music based on minimal complaints that can be easily construed as “not in my backyard.”
“Festivals in the city cannot be about some and not all. AFROfest is about celebrating African heritage, no different from any other parade in green, loud and bright airshows, and waiting for the jolly guy in red on a chilly morning,” said Andria Babbington, vice-president of the Toronto & York Region Labour Council.
As such, the Labour Council calls upon the City of Toronto to reinstate the AFROfest to its original 2-day format with full access to locations, services and supports enjoyed by all other festivals in this City home to true diversity.