Canadian Black Artists United is registered as Black artists’ organization and is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It was founded after Hon. Patricia Bovey paid a studio visit to artist Yisa Akinbolaji in 2019. She inspired him to initiate an organization that would bring practicing Black artists together. A pandemic later, CBAU was founded in 2022 to great excitement, hosting several events that overflowed with artists, art enthusiasts, art administrators, and policy makers, the vast majority of whom continue to be integral and active members.

Our Objectives

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.


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 an annual juried exhibition. This will further promote the excellent work of Canadian Arts in general.


CBAU is a toolkit and a meeting place for Black artists in Canada, providing logistical advice, resources, and local, national, and international opportunities to support their careers and contribute meaningfully to the landscape of Canadian art.


Created by and for Canadian Black artists and artisans from various disciplines, CBAU unites people to collaborate, innovate, create, and present their talents locally, nationally, and globally.


Be Impactful, Innovative, Progressive, and Excellent.

Membership Categories

At this time, CBAU membership is being gathered exclusively through recruitment by the executive, with the goal of developing a foundation network that is strong in terms of experience, professionalism, and diversity.
Get Involved.
Connect with us; Let’s get to know you! Send us your portfolio and a brief introduction about yourself. The executive will review all introductions, but may not contact you if CBAU is not in a period of active member recruitment. We appreciate your patience.
  • 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 founder/executives 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. The Chairman will be responsible to lead the coordination of the organization’s activities with the support of competent volunteers and executives.

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