Tree Top African Cafe Grand Opening! September 20, 2014

We have teamed up with long time friend Saikou Saho (owner of African Drums and Art Crafts) to open the Tree Top African Cafe located at 620 Dundas St. W., in Kensington Market. The cafe specializes in coffees and teas from Africa, as well as delicious African foods. It is a cozy cafe, with lots of natural light. The GRAND OPENING of the cafe is September 20, 2014, starting at 1pm. Continue reading

Fundraiser for Bazou – May 3 at the Gladstone Hotel

Have a look at our latest newsletter about the show for Bazou by clicking here.

We have two amazing shows planned for you on May 3! The purpose of both shows is to have fun and dance!! and also to raise funds for a school in Bazou, Cameroon that we have partnered with for the past five years. This is our fifth and final year working with this school, and we are very close to our goals! You can find all the details about the fundraisers, including the French and English posters, on our blog at www.BazouSchool.blogspot.com

An Evening for Bazou 5

When: May 3, doors at 8pm, show at 8:30pm
Where: The Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W.
Tickets: $20 or pay what you can, available in advance from from African Drums and Art Crafts located at 618 Dundas St. W. in Kensington Market

Njacko will open the evening with some heartfelt music on kalimba. Next you will be treated to some global beats by DRUMHAND that will certainly get you out of your seat. Afrafranto will close out the evening with some sweet palm wine and highlife music that will keep you dancing the rest of the evening. We are pleased to welcome back our talented MC’s Luther Hansraj (English) and Jacques Yams (français) who will be your hosts for the evening. This is an all-ages show.

Afternoon Family Fun
When: May 3, 3-5pm
Where: The Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W.
Tickets: $10 per child, or pay what you can, available in advance from from African Drums and Art Crafts located at 618 Dundas St. W. in Kensington Market

Bring the whole family down for our popular child-friendly shindig. We are pleased to welcome back Soli and Rob as well as Marni Levitt who have all supported our fundraisers in the past. The Gladstone’s café will be open right next to the Ballroom so that you can grab a drink or a snack while your little ones enjoy the show. The afternoon will be full of songs, dancing and stories!

Gospel Sunday with Ken Whiteley March 30

Happy Spring everyone! Please check out my latest newsletter by clicking here.

This Sunday March 30, I’ll be part of Ken Whiteley’s final Gospel Sunday of the season.

Ken Whiteley’s popular Sunday afternoon gospel music series at Hugh’s Room celebrates it’s 12th year! For this show, Ken has invited singer/actress Tabby Johnson, singer/songwriter/storyteller Kim Doolittle, bassist Andrew Downing, and along with Njacko to close out this 12th phenomenal season at Hugh’s Room.

Whether you are coming for the terrific music, to sing and clap along, or for the spiritual experience, this promises to be an accessible and exciting blend of musical styles that is appropriate for music lovers of all ages (indeed – Njacko’s little one intends to be in the audience).

Doors open at 1pm. Concert starts at 2pm. Hugh’s Room is located at 2261 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Tickets are $20. in advance, $22.50 @ the door, and $18. per person for Groups of 10 or more.

Contact Hugh’s Room at (416) 531-6604 to get your concert tickets. Hugh’s Room offers a lovely lunch menu. Please call ahead to make lunch reservations.

Black History Month Concert February 2

Njacko and Kalimba Kalimba will be performing a Black History Month Concert as part of the NUUC concert series! For just $12, you can join in the fun at 79 Hiawatha Road.

When: Sunday February 2, 2014 2:00 pm

Where: Neighbourhood Unitarian Universalist Congregation - 79 Hiawatha Road

Cost: $12 ($10 for NUUC members)

This is going to be a lovely intimate concert. Seating is limited, please contact Office@nuuc.ca or 416-686-6809 to guarantee your spot!

Happy New Year!

Bonne Fête! Bonne Année! Wishing you a Happy and Healthy 2014!

May 2014 bring to you an abundance of love and health. The rest will follow.

Blessings!
Njacko and Val

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Njacko and his 4 children

 

 

It’s a boy! Introducing Nkoni Leo Woloshyn Backo

We are delighted to announce the arrival of our newest family member – Nkoni Leo Woloshyn Backo – who arrived bright and early on August 11th at 7:51am a little bit earlier than the estimated due date (which was August 16th)). Our baby’s first name, Nkoni, translates as “love” in Njacko’s mother tongue. The “N” is pronounced as a soft “nnn” sound.

Nkoni weighed in at 7 pounds 1 ounce, 51 cm long, and was born in the water at home. His birth was supported by an amazing team of midwives from the Kensington Midwives Clinic, a doula from Simply Healthy Family, and Val’s sister Steph.

Mom and babe are doing very well. Thank you for being patient with us on email communications – we are slower to respond than normal but we have really enjoyed reading the notes of welcome and congratulations we have received so far!

Here are a few photos from Nkoni’s first few weeks with us.

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Summer Camps, Indiegogo, July Concerts

Hello out there! Happy summer!

We just sent out Njacko’s July newsletter, and you can view it online here.

Summer camps

Njacko is looking forward to teaching at two different summer camps. The first camp, Africa Week at Garrison Creek Art Education Centre, is for children ages 4-10 and runs the week of July 22-26. You can find out more about the camp, including how to register (which you need to do soon!), at garrisoncreekartcentre.ca. Njacko really enjoys teaching at this camp – he has been there every summer since 2002!

The second camp is for adults – it is called WorldSongs Vocal Camp and runs from August 5-11. Njacko will be teaching along side camp leader Alan Gasser and Dr. Kathy Bullock at the beautiful Sugar Ridge retreat centre in Midland, Ontario (about an hour and a half north of Toronto). If you are interested in the camp, please have a look at the information on the camp website (www.worldsongs.ca) and register soon since there are only a very few spots left!

Raising Funds for Ecole St. Albert Le Grand

We are so grateful for all of the support we continue to receive for our partnership with Ecole St. Albert Le Grand in Bazou, Cameroon. We held our 4th annual fundraiser on May 11th at the Gladstone Hotel with amazing performances by Soli & RobNaomi TyrrellNjacko Backo, Mother Tongue, Eh?!The Reel Bulgars, and MC’s Luther Hansraj and Jacques Yams. We have already collected more than $2,800 and are anticipating that we will collect a total of $3,000 by the beginning of July! Today we dispatched the first 750,000 CFA to the school so that they can get this summer’s project started. The goal for this year is to complete the rehabilitation of the remaining school buildings on the main school site as much as possible.

This year, the second last year of our partnership with the school, we have doubled our fundraising efforts. Our overarching goal for the partnership is to help the school gain financial independence so in addition to the May fundraiser which was held to fund the building rehabilitation work this summer, we are running an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to help the school start their own small business. We have just 3 days left to meet our Indiegogo fundraising goal of $6,915 to assist the school with starting their own small business – if you haven’t done so already, please visit our campaign site at igg.me/at/BazouSchool – and check out the great perks that donors can chose from! The funds raised through Indiegogo will be used to help the school start their own small business which will be administered by the parent council. All of the proceeds from this business will go to the school which will increase their income without increasing school fees for the students. Continue reading

Building Capacity at Ecole St. Albert Le Grand

Hello there! We just sent out our most recent newsletter. If you didn’t receive it and would like to, please sign up for our mailing list (you can do this at the right hand side of the screen). You can also view the newsletter online here.

We have two very big news items this month. First is that our fourth annual fundraiser for Ecole St. Albert le Grand is coming up on Saturday May 11th. The second is that we just launched an Indiegogo campaign for Ecole St. Albert Le Grand, and it is running until June 30th!

First, a word about our fundraiser:

We are grateful that the Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen St. W.) will be hosting our fundraiser again on May 11th in their beautiful Ballroom. As was done last year, we will be holding two events:

Afternoon Family Fun for Bazou
* Featuring Soli & Rob, Naomi Tyrrell, and Njacko Backo!
* 3-5pm
* $10/child suggested donation

An Evening for Bazou
* Featuring Mother Tongue, Eh?!, The Reel Bulgars, and MC’s Luther Hansraj and Jacques Yams
* Doors at 8pm, show starts at 8:30pm
* $20 suggested donation

Advance tickets are available directly from us (Njacko and Val), and also from African Drums & Art Crafts (618 Dundas West (West of Spadina in Kensington Market)).

If you would like to learn more about our partnership with Ecole St. Albert Le Grand (including photos and videos from projects completed at the school), please visit our project blog at www.BazouSchool.blogspot.com. You may click the images below for the full event details (English and French).

An Evening For Bazou 4

Concert Pour Bazou 4

Second, a word about our Indiegogo Campaign:

In parallel with the fundraiser at the Gladstone this year, we are running an online Indiegogo campaign. Why are we running this online campaign in addition to our May 11th fundraisers? Excellent question. We are in the fourth year of our five year partnership with St. Albert Le Grand, and our overarching goal for the partnership is to help the school gain financial independence. We are continuing our fundraising at the Gladstone this year and next year to complete the repairs to the school buildings, however the funds raised through Indiegogo will be used to help the school start their own small business. The proceeds from the small business will all go to the school which will increase their income without increasing school fees for the students. Interested in finding out more? Please check out our campaign at igg.me/at/BazouSchool, and share it far and wide! The campaign is presented in both English et en français. 

WorldSongs Vocal Camp

Njacko is really excited to be part of the WorldSongs Vocal Camp for the very first time this year. Njacko will be teaching along side camp leader Alan Gasser and Dr. Kathy Bullock at the beautiful Sugar Ridge retreat centre in Midland, Ontario (about an hour and a half north of Toronto).

When we last checked with Alan, there were still a few spots left. If you are interested in the camp, please have a look at the below flier and the camp website (www.worldsongs.ca) and register soon!

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