August 23, 2019

Winnipeg
14° C, Clear

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Winnipeg's vibrant Yoruba community to show off their art and culture during week-long festival

Artist Yisa Akinbolaji and his art will be featured in the upcoming YorubaFest art exhibition.

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Artist Yisa Akinbolaji and his art will be featured in the upcoming YorubaFest art exhibition.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 7/5/2015 (1568 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

When artist Yisa Akinbolaji and his wife were house-hunting, he found the perfect place in Fort Richmond.

“Honey, look at this open canvas!” he recalled saying.

The front of the home had a large, blank white space. They bought the home and now his abstract metal sculpture graces its facade.

Neighbours even use the home as a landmark when giving directions: “(They say) it’s two houses down from the one with the metal art in front,” Akinbolaji said, with a laugh.

Keep reading free:

Already have an account? Log in here »

Keep reading free:

Already have an account? Log in here »

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 7/5/2015 (1568 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

When artist Yisa Akinbolaji and his wife were house-hunting, he found the perfect place in Fort Richmond.

"Honey, look at this open canvas!" he recalled saying.

The front of the home had a large, blank white space. They bought the home and now his abstract metal sculpture graces its facade.

Neighbours even use the home as a landmark when giving directions: "(They say) it’s two houses down from the one with the metal art in front," Akinbolaji said, with a laugh.

He belongs to an enclave of successful artists descended from West African Yoruba people who call Winnipeg home.

For the first time, they’re coming together to share their talents with the city.

YorubaFest, featuring six artists, kicks off Friday.

A week-long exhibition of visual and performing artists opens Friday at 7 p.m. at Frame Art Warehouse at 318 Ross Ave. On Saturday, they’re holding a celebration dinner in the Norwood Hotel ballroom.

"It’s going to be a very colourful party," said YorubaFest curator and spokesman David Fatimehin.

Interactive presentations, dancing and storytelling are part of the festivities, including the art of tying the Yoruba women’s vibrantly patterned headscarf called the gele.

There are close to 5,000 Yoruba people in Winnipeg, mainly from Nigeria, said Fatimehin, who belongs to the Yoruba Descendants Cultural Association of Manitoba.

Single-name recording artists Sade and Seal are descendants of the Yoruba, who are known to have a higher-than-average incidence of twin births.

"My dad has three sets of twins in his family," said Fatimehin. Well-known Yoruba Winnipegger Kenny Daodu, who owned Tomi-Tola’s African restaurant, is also a twin, he said.

Another distinguishing feature of the Yoruba is the presence of nature in its arts and culture.

"The vital elements — leaves, water and sun — are very evident," said Akinbolaji, a full-time artist. His distinctive painting technique has been featured on the cover of New York’s Art Business News and he’s literally in the Who’s Who of Nigerian Artists published in the Smithsonian Libraries.

His impressionist paintings will be on display when YorubaFest opens Friday night at Frame Art Warehouse.

Akinbolaji, who came to Winnipeg in 1997 and is now a Canadian citizen, sees his city in much the same way he first saw his house — as a blank canvas, ready for art.

"Winnipeg has potential," he said.

carol.sanders@freepress.mb.ca

Carol Sanders

Carol Sanders
Reporter

Carol Sanders’ reporting on newcomers to Canada has made international headlines, earned national recognition but most importantly it’s shared the local stories of the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home.

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us