by Paulina Gugala February 17, 2023
February is Black History Month, an annual observance paying tribute to and celebrating generations of Black Canadians. Intentionally supporting Black creatives and their businesses should be a year-round initiative, but this month we wanted to showcase some Black Canadian artists and makers that bring joy and creativity to the community. There are so many wonderful artists out there to discover, so we compiled a list of incredible Black creatives from Toronto and across Canada to help you celebrate and support their communities! This list could go on forever, but here are some people and places to get you started.
A community hub and East-End Toronto staple, Old’s Cool is a great place to stop for your afternoon coffee and a plate full of rich history. A mix of a community space, gift shop, novelty shop, cafe, and good ol’ fashioned corner store, Old’s Cool strives to bring back the nostalgia of the past. More than a store, this place is a movement for human kindness and connectedness, with a mission guided by interconnected relationships and the power of neighbourhood connectivity.
Delighted to call her a Scout regular, Ikiriko is a Toronto-based Nigerian-Canadian artist and curator, who we first met when she owned her own little shop back in the day on College Street W. She is an educator, maker, and mother with a focus on African and diasporic narratives, driving her projects to focus on engaging community, inviting curiosity, and questioning internalized systems of oppression. You can check out her recent photography and written work here.
A Black Owned socially conscious design brand started by Jamaican-Canadian born twins, Byron and Dexter, GOODEE is a luxury marketplace for the socially conscious consumer. Their masterful eye for design matched with their intention for social impact makes their business a globally-conscious homemaker's dream. Find homewares, bath and body care, furniture, and gifts that will make an impact well beyond your shopping cart.
A Black-owned, Vancouver-based jewelry line that we don’t stock at Scout but admire from afar! Devi Arts Collective is a women-led brand born out of the desire and willful purpose to connect with people. They create accessories that are an expression of the boldest, truest versions of ourselves. Anchored in sustainable values at the core of their brand, their creative collections are close to our hearts.
If you’re on TikTok, you’ll know exactly who we’re talking about. Give these guys a follow to add a major dose of joy to your feed! These three pals reached one million followers after bubbling up during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns and recording themselves dancing in their basement. The Black pride and joy radiates from this trio, and brought millions of viewers to a happier place during a notoriously difficult time.
A local Black and Trans-owned card game brand based right here in Toronto, Queeriosity is a social card game that facilitates opportunities for deeper connections with other queer folx. After identifying the lack of LGBTQ+-specific representation in existing party games, they created this vibrant game where no experience is the same, tapping into the exchange and connection of Queer experiences.
A new local brand that hit the Scout shelves last fall, these products are currently the only brand we carry with CBD as an ingredient. Locally made with all-natural ingredients, SheaBD’s founder, Kamoy, prides herself in perfecting these shea butter products to provide moisture while also relieving pain. Available in-store only at our Roncesvalles location, these products are made with an outpour of love and intention which radiates through the founder and her business journey.
Although we have taken a short pause in stocking this incredible brand in stores, we have every intention to bring them back this Spring and know that they deserve a spot on this list. Sade Baron is a Toronto-based mother and daughter-founded skincare line specializing in eczema care. They produce vegan, gender-free skincare that targets specific skin conditions, creating thoughtfully, intentionally made products derivative of their own skin experiences.
This list just barely cracks the surface of the plentiful Black Canadian artists, creatives, and business owners. To find even more wonderful Black-owned businesses and creatives to support, check out one of our favourite businesses in the city, Black Owned TO. They themselves are a small business that we have supported in their incredible growth over the last few years. They just opened a permanent storefront location in Scarborough Town Centre so they are now available to visit in person year round. We are big cheerleaders of their business and their purpose, and we know Scout family, friends, and fans will love what they do.
This list of incredible creatives and makers could go on forever, and we encourage you to build your own list of folks to follow and support as we celebrate Black History Month and support Black Canadians each and every day.
Feature photo credit: Everyday Health; Getty Images; iStock
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405 Roncesvalles Ave
Toronto ON M6R 2N1
416 546 6922
1140 Queen St E
Toronto ON M4M 1L1
647 748 1140