Afro Festival

The African Women’s Alliance of Waterloo is proud to announce the upcoming 12th annual Afro Festival.  Afro Festival is a festival of dance, music, drama, art and African cuisine celebrating the rich cultural heritage of all of the countries that comprise the African continent.

The festival has become a huge rallying point for all Africans living in this region.  It brings together a diverse community to participate in an exciting event. One of the main goals of the festival is to help raise awareness about the services available to the larger community.

The 12th Annual Afro Festival comes up this year on Saturday, July 26th, 2014 at Waterloo Park, Westmount Road entrance from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

We are expecting over 8,000 people, over 50 agencies, community groups, several dance troupes, and traditional storytellers.  In addition there will be vendors displaying food, traditional craft and clothing.

Previous Performers

Umurisho Group/ Burundi Drumming
Created in 1994, the Burundian African drumming group "Umurisho Rhythm" sought to give Burundian-Canadians the chance to get back to their roots while enriching Canadian society by celebrating its diversity and openness. Where does its name come from? Umurisho is the particular rhythm of each dancer. The drums are placed in a half-circle around a central drum called "the King". Every time a drummer comes on stage he places himself behind the central drum and plays his particular rhythm for all the other drummers. The group then adopts this rhythm to free up the dancer who then performs his dance. The spellbinding performance continues to the rhythm of all the group’s drummers who succeed each other on stage. During this succession, a few of the drummers also maintain the accompaniment rhythm (gukokera). The drummers performance blends singing, dancing and percussion in a divinely, spellbinding combination.

Kwesi Selassie
Kwesi Selassie has toured in various parts of the world, including Canada, USA, Africa, Germany, Holland, France, and Israel. According to many fans of “The Lion”, Kwesi Selassie is an artist of exceptional character, charisma, incredible enthusiasm, and has the ability to mesmerize music fans with high flying energy. With six acclaimed CD albums to his credit, Kwesi Selassie was nominated for “Reggae Recording of the Year” at the 2007 Canadian JUNO Awards for his last CD album “SURVIVAL”. Kwesi Selassie is among a handful of multi-lingual reggae artists uniquely bridging the African and Caribbean cultures.

Manding Foli Kan Don
Manding Foli Kan Don is a Toronto-based group that perform music from the Manding area. The name Manding Foli Kan Don means to play, sing and dance the music of the Manding people. The group's Artistic Director is Mohamed Diaby, who brings more than 23 years experience in multi-disciplines of Guinea's musical instruments, dance styles and traditions. Mohamed's experience comes to him through his years of working with different ensembles from Guinea.

Haft Vadi Bellydancers
At Haft Vadi, while they recognize that bellydance has enjoyed a rich and varied history in many countries of the world, its roots are undeniably Egyptian! This certainly doesn’t mean that bellydance in Egypt in monotonous. Far from it! Bellydancers in Egypt have been entertaining a cosmopolitan, international audience from the beginning, so their dances pay tribute to many different dance forms from around the Middle East and beyond. But the thing that distinguishes Egyptian-style bellydance above all else, is the richness of the music. Egyptian dance music is characterized by an incredible variety of moods, tempos, rhythms and melodies, often all in one composition! For this reason, Haft Vadi endeavors to provide a comprehension of the music. This deep appreciation of the music brings a depth of joy to the dance that moves alone can never do.


The 12th annual Afro Festival is proudly sponsored by: