Organization’s Name: CANADIAN BLACK ARTISTS UNITED
Canadian Black Artists United is registered as a Federal Black artists organization with the headquarters based in the city of Winnipeg.
Purpose: To advance the creative contributions of Canadian Black visual artists, literary artistes, performing and musical artistes, by engaging them in collaborations, professional development activities: exhibitions, performances, networking, workshops, residencies, and cultural exchange programs locally, nationally and internationally. International Black Artists and art patrons across the globe will have the opportunity to come to Winnipeg to see Canadian Black Artists during residencies and during annual juried exhibition. This will further promote the excellent work of Canadian Arts in general.
Vision: Canadian Black artists and/or artistes of various categories will collaborate to innovate, create, exhibit and present their talents locally, nationally and globally.
Mission: Source for sharing and accessing logistical advice, available resources and international opportunities for Canadian Black artists.
Values: For Excellent, Innovative and Progressive Impact.
Black artists in the context of CANADIAN BLACK ARTISTS UNITED shall include visual artists, performing artistes, literary artistes, musical artistes, but not limited to those listed.
History: The Canadian Black Artists United (CBAU) was founded by Yisa Akinbolaji to answer the call of many professional Black artists across Canada who have reached out to him for guidance for more than 20 years, and to meet the yearnings of many Manitobans who want to experience more works by professional Black artists. It happened that a visit to Yisa's Winnipeg studio by Senator Patricia Bovey inspired Yisa to hasten the establishment of CBAU after she asked if he would consider the organization for Black artists in 2019. Yisa with experience working with artists and for art organizations, invited selected Black artists within Manitoba: Bola Oriyomi (performing artist) and Xavier Mutshipayi, a visual artist originally from the republic of Congo in Africa who join him for the inagural events in 2022. Though both venues used for the events were not very ideal for visual art display, it did not prevent overflow of art enthusiasts who attended with positive reactions.
Professionally, Yisa has had over 50 art exhibitions, conducted more than 10 workshops locally and internationally since his first exhibition at the National Museum in Lagos in 1984. He was recognized as a leading Nigerian artist with inclusion in “Nigerian Artists: A Who's Who & Bibliography, 1993”, a publication of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Washington, D.C. Yisa has served as president of the Manitoba Society of Artists (2001 – 2003) and coordinated a successful 100th anniversary which attracted people from different cultures. Yisa is also the founder of the Creative Foundation. The organization has developed individuals who have become art patrons.
Yisa (former educator) and past member of board of the Manitoba Arts Council (2010 – 2019) is the first Black artist from Winnipeg to have the honour of his work displayed at the Senate of Canada (2002). The exhibition at the Senate for Black artists was initiated by Hon. Senator Patricia Bovey. Senator Bovey who is committed to excellence, equity, inclusion, and diversity in Canadian society and in the arts is a top Canadian art historian from Manitoba. She was the director of the Winnipeg Art Gallery (1999–2004) and founder and director/curator, Buhler Gallery, Winnipeg. Black artists in the context of CANADIAN BLACK ARTISTS UNITED shall include visual artists, performing artistes, literary artistes, musical artistes, but not limited to those listed.
Membership Categories: Individual membership: individual artistes reflecting the diversity of the arts and individuals interested in the arts. The first category of artists will be established artists meeting Canadian and International standard. The second category will include emerging artists who are in the mid-career of their profession.
Honorary: The class of this membership shall be conferred on patron and individual who has contributed to the advancement of Canadian Black artist/s or an individual who has the capacity to advance the course of CANADIAN BLACK ARTISTS UNITED.
Student membership: 18 years and above: This class of membership shall be drawn from the Departments of Art in Canadian Colleges and Universities.
Associate membership: This Class of membership may be conferred on individuals / organizations located / residing outside of Canada and who in the opinion of the founders/executive can promote the objectives of CANADIAN BLACK ARTISTS UNITED abroad.
Executives: In the first few years of the organization, the executive members shall be by appointment by the Chairman and Founder of the Canadian Black Artists United. This is to establish a good foundation and ensure the success of CANADIAN BLACK ARTISTS UNITED. Yisa Akinbolaji, initiator shall be the national Chairman of the CANADIAN BLACK ARTISTS UNITED. He will be responsible for the coordination of the organization nationally to provide logistical support.
Membership will be recruited with CV, portfolio and presentation.
The broad objectives for which Canadian Black Artists United is established are:
• to give opportunities to professional Black artists to belong to professional body in their field and to make each artist contribute to the advancement of Canada arts sector.
• to document the presence and practice of Black artists in Canada.
• to advance the establishment of Black artists in Canada by providing: logistical advice, knowledge of available resources, opportunities for participating in exhibitions, performances, and productions.
• to advance Canada’s multicultural landscape and promote the value of diversity, inclusion, and equity.
• to engage established artists in mentorship, seminars, workshops, and activities relevant to their practices.
• to participate in exhibitions, performances, and award presentations to promote and advance the organization’s mission.
• to encourage originality and teamwork among artists of different genres and diverse backgrounds.
• to encourage cultural exchange by collaborating with artists organizations, and the government of each province and of Canada, to promote art awareness and Canada’s arts community nationally and internationally.