About Us

The Black Artists Network of Nova Scotia (BANNS) is a professional artist association that seeks to develop African-Nova Scotian professional artists, promote excellence in their art practice and increase the representation of these artists in the province’s (and Canada’s) mainstream public arts and cultural institutions, programming and collections.  BANNS organizes a variety of activities including art and quilt exhibitions, arts workshops, community festivals, art and literary publications etc.  The organization is known for its pioneering exhibitions exploring African Nova Scotian art and quilts including:  In This Place: 100 Years of African Nova Scotian Art – the first collective exhibition of African Nova Scotian art (Anna Leonowens Gallery 1998).

It also includes When Black Women Useta Fly – the first collective exhibition of African Nova Scotian quilts (Dartmouth heritage museum 2002).  BANNS also organizes arts based cultural festivals such as The Preston Cultural Festival (2001-2004) and Africville House– a multi-disciplinary presentation of the culture and history of Africville (Seaview Park, Halifax 2008).  BANNS also serves as an umbrella organization bringing together artists and organizations for projects that explore African Canadian art and culture from across Nova Scotia.  Organizations with which BANNS has partnered in the past include Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Black Cultural Centre, Black History Month Association, Canada Council, National Film Board etc.

Our Goals

Development

To foster the development of Black Arts community in Nova Scotia.

Opportunities

To create opportunities for Black artists/performers to share, develop and expose their work.

Community

Articulate Black Arts perspective regarding issues that affect Black communities in Nova Scotia.

Excellence

To promote professionalism and excellence among Black artistic creators

Operating Structure

Organization Structure

    • A General Membership
    • An Executive
    • Standing Committees

Staff

Currently BANNS maintains a volunteer Artistic Director and a part-time administrator. BANNS previously maintained 2 full time staff, an office and a gallery/art space (2000-2005)

Communities Served

BANNS’ office and operational infrastructure is centred in Halifax, however, BANNS’ membership comes from communities across the province.

Role of Organization

BANNS is the primary organization presenting works by African Nova Scotian creators, and connecting these artists to local, provincial, regional and national arts initiatives.

Distribution Network

BANNS is connected to a network of art galleries and heritage organizations across the province of Nova Scotia that regularly book and engage works created by BANNS. The network also maintains a website.

Policy Regarding Artist Fees

BANNS is committed to paying standard artist fees to participants in activities (curators, artists, coordinators, writers, performers etc.). Fees based on CARFAC, Equity, ACTRA recommended rates.

Activity History

The association was incorporated as a non-profit society in 1992. BANNS annual program of activities include art exhibitions, arts conferences, skill development workshops and arts research. BANNS also represents the African-Nova Scotian arts community on committees, boards and has taken part in arts program and funding consultations on the municipal, provincial, regional and national levels.

Gottingen X

Extraordinary Acts - Stories from 1917 Halifax Explosion Stories from the 1917 Halifax Explosion

Feb 28, 2019

Presented by David Woods

Playwright David Woods Voices Black Theatre presents stories from his new play Extraordinary Acts experiences by African Nova Scotians during the 1917 Halifax Explosion.

African Heritage Month Family Day Truro

African Heritage Month Family Day Truro

Feb 28, 2010

Presented by BANNS

Four noted storytellers present African Nova Scotia tales taken from history, family and urban Halifax.

Storytellers: Wanda Robson, Evetta Thomas, Nathan Simmons, David Woods.

Vocalists: Tracey Grouse, Reid.

Bolivia Czernon (Fraser) - featured image

African Heritage Month Through Stories

Feb 28, 2018

Four noted storytellers present African Nova Scotia tales taken from history, family and urban Halifax.

Storytellers: Wanda Robson, David Woods.

Africville House

Africville House: A Celebration of the Art History and Culture of Africville

Jul 22-27, 2008

Presented by BANNS, CACE, Africville 25 Reunion

Readings: Cynthia Chandler, Amanda Carvery, Leslie Carvery, Terry Dixon, Angel Gannon, El Jones, Stephen Kimber, Izreal Jones, David Woods

Storytellers: Clara Adams, Nelson Carvery, Geraldine Parker, Beatrice Wilkins, Jasmine Wongus

Bolivia Czernon (Fraser) - featured image

Speaking In Tongues

Jul 22-27, 2008

Written and Directed by David Woods

Winner: Top FiveFringe Hit Award. Four noted storytellers present African Nova Scotia tales taken from history, family and urban Halifax.

Storytellers: Wanda Robson, Evetta Thomas, Nathan Simmons, David Woods.

Vocalists: Tracey Grouse, Reid

Bolivia Czernon (Fraser) - featured image

Black Writes

Feb 27, 2010

Presented by BANNS

Playwright David Woods, Voices Black Theatre performs Prufrock on Gottingen Street a ‘rap-play’ inspired by the writings of Thomas Stearns Elliot (author of Prufrock and Other Observations).