In 2021 the BCRC, in collaboration with 10 English-speaking Black youth, embarked on a journey to create a book that highlighted the history of the English Speaking Black community that was relatively absent in Quebec. As a follow-up to this initiative, our current project proposes to create an animated series based on BCRC’s Where They Stood: A Historical Account of the Evolution of the Black-Anglo Montreal book. The book focuses on the evolution of Black, English-speaking organizations created in Montreal; in response to settlement challenges and development within Black communities. I’ve included a YouTube video link below where you will meet me and the authors of the book. I am very proud of the work we accomplished together and look forward to building upon our momentum.
During the first phase of the project we will recruit a group of English-speaking Black youth between the ages of 15 and 35. They will be provided with Toon Boom courseware training and support to produce the first 5 episodes of the series. Each episode will be a visual representation of one chapter of the book. BCRC and I, Ayana Monuma, have partnered with field professionals who will support the youths and host workshops throughout their journey to facilitate the process. With this project, our English-speaking Black Youth Interns will dedicate a total of 22 months to the project, with the assistance of two project workers and a volunteer production team. In the following phases, we will organize a series of workshops with the support of animation field professionals such as Cinesite and Toon Boom. Toon Booms courseware training will provide the youths with the expertise to use the software. Following the training, Cinesite will lead workshops to guide the participants through the production of their two to three-minute 2D animated episodes. These training workshops are geared to allotting them the skills necessary to create their animated episodes. To successfully achieve this initiative we have welcomed Concordia students to join the project as mentors and support the youth through the process. We are looking to further establish the accomplishments achieved during the book project by using its contents to explore the animation industry. In terms of impacts this project seeks to:
- Share the history of the Black-English speaking community of Montreal that is currently widely unknown.
- Provide a cohort of English-speaking Black youth training in animation with recognizable certification upon completion of the courseware training.
- Expose Black youth to opportunities within the growing animation industry.