Jun 2020

Supporting Black Artists at Nextfest 2020

Nextfest   /  


We at Nextfest support Black Lives Matter. We want to express our commitment to this movement, as silence is violence.

In support of the Black Lives Matter movement, we want to promote Black voices and facilitate opportunities for others to as well.

 Please read our full Black Lives Matter statement here.

The following performances are created by, supported by, or are featuring Black artists in our 2020 festival. Tune in from June 4th to 14th here, it’s all FREE.

sam at the base of the mountain

Thursday, June 4, 2020
written and directed by Yousuf Liepert

sam stands at the base of the mountain. the mountain is immutable, but sam isn’t. but the mountain isn’t, but sam is. sam is many. much of the same, but different. very different, but somehow familiar. sam is an in between space – a space of meeting between the mind and the body, the other and the self, intellect and emotion, trust and hesitance. meet sam.

featuring Chelsea Du Toit, Stella Ferra, Ava Novak, Barbara Lopez, Aideen Reynolds, Ramsey Shindell, Daniela Urdaneta, Giuliana Mancini, Dana Prather, Max Mooney, Neeta Lachmandas, Francisco Morandi, Storm Hartley, Daniel Holzman, Montserrat Videla, Karen Stewart, Jess Kantorowitz, and Marianna Hoitt-Lange.

Come Home

Saturday, June 6, 2020
curated by Nisha Patel

Come Home is a poetry showcase focusing on the stories of journeying through and towards oneself. Join these prominent poets as we speak to who we are, where we come from, and where we hope our bodies will take us next.

featuring Nisha Patel, Timiro Mohamed, Isabel Yang, and Qurat Dar.

Mercy Funk

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Mercy Funk is known for their familiar yet fresh sound. Combining pop, R&B, soul, and funk influences, the band always guarantees a good time for fans of all ages. Their self-titled record earned them an Edmonton Music Award nomination for Best R&B/Soul Recording of the Year for their song Hey!. Now with summer events and gigs canceled, the band is focusing on creating new music.


Tuesday, June 9, 2020

A broadcast featuring artist profiles, music, flicks, how to, how did, who dat, wherefore and more from Edmonton’s largest, coolest, baddest, kindest, multi-disciplinary artistic collective iHuman Studios.

featuring the stylings of Amplify1, Valkyrie, Matt Cardinal, Ronin, Pr$cy, Faves, Amina, Coach, and many more!

iHuman Studios gratefully acknowledges the support of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.


Tuesday, June 9, 2020
written and directed by Ashley Freimark

Embrace is a semi-autobiographical one-act play written by Ashley Freimark. It focuses on the life of Juliette LaFrere, a young struggling artist with a shadow looming over her, dictating what she does and says as she works on her art and social life. This piece focuses on one way mental health may impact a person, and brings a visual comparison to something that is otherwise invisible.

Me, Myself & I

Wednesday, June 10, 2020
written and performed by Jaseena Elvin

This show has a dog, cats (kind of), alcohol, headbanging and pop music, a nemesis, a cat-loving friend, and a love interest (because it’s a must). Combine all those ideas into a play written and starring Jaseena Elvin, with a re-telling of comedic events that have happened in her life, in a fairytale-like story with a happy ending?

The Stoic

Thursday, June 11, 2020
directed by Nauzanin Knight

An underdog’s artistic journey unfolds in a subtle snapshot of a great writer in the making.

The Space in Between

Friday, June 12, 2020
created and performed by Lebogang Diselle

The Space in Between is a solo performance that fuses movement and poetry to reflect on what it means to be Black, African, and a woman in Canada in the post-TRC moment. It is a meditation on how we take up space in the world, how those of us who inhabit marginalized bodies advocate for our rights and live up to our responsibilities ethically, in relation to others who are like us but not quite.


Our entire DJ showcase this year was curated by DJ artist, Kim Jev. These performances happen all throughout the festival.

  • Golden Grey – Thursday, June 4, 2020
  • DJ Tabi – Saturday, June 6, 2020
  • Bailebail – Sunday, June 7, 2020
  • Family Injera – Friday, June 12, 2020
  • Jay Slay – Friday, June 14, 2020


Friday, June 12, 2020

As part of the DJ Showcase, Mustafa Rafiq is a multidisciplinary artist based in Treaty 6 land in Edmonton, Alberta. Their primary focus recently has been in exploring feelings connected with diaspora, gender expression, and alienation through sound art, performing solo under Family Injera.

Fruit Snack

Saturday, June 13, 2020
created by Eric Pinkerton
directed by Tia Kushniruk

Fruit Snack is an absurd, candy-coloured journey following six kids as they search for their very own paradise, while they grapple with the idea of what that really means. As time passes, they are forced to confront what is holding them back, and question if paradise even exists at all. This film is a snapshot of a dance piece of the same name.

featuring Shammy Belmore, Ora Burns, Hannah Chyz, Sarah Emslie, Elya Hunt, and Eric Pinkerton

Ivy’s Magic School Bus: Meet the Class!

Saturday, June 13, 2020
written by Ivy League

After the dismissal of their iconic teacher, the students of room 3.14 didn’t think things could get worse. However, as a pandemic creeps through the world they are faced with an even more terrifying new reality…VIRTUAL LEARNING!

Join the class as Little League Productions showcases some of Edmonton’s most fabulous up-and-coming drag entertainers in a wacky and wild adventure ONLINE!

featuring Divina Diefor, Bravo Charlie, Sir Racha, Severina, Margaret Snatcher, Shay Nanigans, Ivy League and more!

Warning: Suggestive themes, some coarse language, and a whole lot of fabulousness

Emergent Emancipations (Pride Nite Club 2020)

Saturday, June 13, 2020
curated by Simone A. Medina Polo

Emergent Emancipations is an interdisciplinary cabaret for the 2020 Pride Nite Club. Through the variety of these performances, we are exploring the prospects of the future as they intersect with the experiences of emerging as an artist and of emerging into queerness. And in adapting to the quarantine’s state of isolation and social distancing, we are encouraging artistic explorations of how our sense of futurity has also shifted.

featuring Sare, Jay the Juggling Magician, Eggs, KSTRL, and Mustafa Rafiq

Not –So Super Hero

Sunday, June 14, 2020
written and directed by Chidinma Amogu
discipline: Theatre

Reid has superpowers. She’s had them all her life—and she’s been able to hide them all her life. All of that changes after an unfortunate encounter with a speeding truck and a crosswalk full of children. Now there’s a pesky supervillain knocking at her window bearing ill-advised gifts, and she’s racking her brain trying to figure out how to tell them and everyone else that she is NOT a superhero.

featuring Bonny Wu, Erica Kim, Rika Fernandez, Elena Potlug, and Alex Wang

Roger Rubeka

Friday, June 4, 2020

Roger Rubeka is a Fort McMurray artist, best known by his students as “Mr. R.” He is an educator by profession and a songwriter by trade.

Elijah’s Question

Sunday, June 14, 2020
written and directed by Leannah (Will) McIntosh
assistant Playwright and Director: Simone Gosselin
audio technician: Rachel Conklin
discipline: Podcast

One question, one dark day, and one false move. Join these three teenagers as they recount the day their lives changed forever.

featuring Alec Fownes, Hannah Bilodeau, and Raul Montoute


Are you a Black artist in our festival and didn’t see your show here? We are so sorry we missed you, we want to add you. Please reach out to hello@nextfest.ca. 


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