Who We Are
What We Do
Let's Talk Art
Art Therapy Classes
Ethnik Festivals Association is a community-based not-for-profit Art and Cultural organization that create platforms for Afro-Canadian/ Caribbean individuals, groups, and collective creators to showcase their unique cultural identities to communities throughout all of Canada and beyond.
We are people of vision, a dynamic organization, and curators of stories and cultural messages of Afro-Canadian traditions. We believe in Artists Development and Research, Learning and Empowerment Programs, the Celebration of Creative Individuals, and our Cultural Identities through the understanding of our unique diversities.
Art serves so superbly as a universal language, a means toward understanding the history, culture, and values of other peoples. To us, it’s a creative and tangible force, a dynamic and ever-evolving cultural substance that is part of our everyday life. It’s freely available for us to share, enjoy, and celebrated because sharing Art can create opportunities that will improve the quality of life and wellness of members of our society.
We believe in the Canadian dream and as such see this land as a place where every member of our society is given the opportunity and platform to freely live, love, learn and earn, through the platform of Art and Culture. This what we live for and do as a Canadian community organization.
To showcase and share the richness of our artistic traditions and empower people to find their own cultural voice.
Creating dynamic cultural spaces and platforms to celebrate diversity and inclusivity.
Founder/ Artistic & Creative Director
Lanre Ajayi is a Professional Artist, Content Creator, and Actor who has received multiple awards and recognitions from Civic and International Organizations. As the Founder /Artistic and Creative director of Ethnik Festivals, the community organization behind Alberta’s premier Black History Month Festival (Ethnik Festival of Arts and Culture), his goal is to curate, perform and promote artistic forms of expression in Calgary and Internationally. Ethnik Festivals provides a platform to showcase and celebrate the vibrant and beautiful cultures of the Afro-Canadian and the Caribbean.
Before becoming a mentor and inspiration to many people around the world, he started out his artistic career as a teenager. After practicing the arts, event promotion, and managing a printing press for over 10 years in Nigeria, he relocated to Canada with his family some years ago.
After relocating to Calgary Canada, he has worked to use his artistic and community-building skills to educate, entertain, and inform the members of his new community. For Lanre, art is more than just “work”. During his time in Canada, he has worked in conjunction with other professionals to use art as a therapeutic intervention, which has included working with traumatized immigrants from war-torn countries and children. As a community builder, he created a not-for-profit Art Collective for artists of color as a platform for expression and belonging. He also uses his artistic and community building skills to provide mentorship, guidance, and assistance to members of this group.
In 2018, he received the Mayor’s Art Champions Award for Newcomers to Canada in recognition of his efforts to create an inclusive and diverse society and promote the talents of others by using his leadership skills and through artistic endeavors.
Furthermore, he is the host and producer of major community outreach events on a variety of different platforms, including, My City Speaks To Me: a storytelling project about people, places, and events. This project was adopted by the City of Calgary through Calgary Arts Development to showcase happenings within the creative worlds of Calgary.
My City Speaks to me is a bi-weekly online show that he started years ago as a passion project to document happenings and events within his community. He has done this in many parts of the world he’s visited and it’s no surprise that he is doing the same thing here in Calgary. This platform has given him the privilege of speaking with different people from around the world to shed light on what makes our communities thrive. Lanre created this storytelling project to showcase communities, promote tourism, and highlight the unique beauty that exists in different places around the world.
His Global Talk-Active Series is an initiative to keep entertaining, educating, and engaging viewers as we all continue to fight the pandemic ravaging our communities, locally and around the world.
Lanre’s passion is making life beautiful for others through organizing charitable efforts and raising awareness to give food and shelter to those in need. His charitable efforts include donating time and resources to Shine FM’s Christmas Miracle event to make food available for those who can’t afford a decent meal, especially during the festive Holiday season. This is one of the reasons why Calgary Food Bank is dear to his heart- if the issues concerning food and poverty are addressed, communities will have an opportunity to do things creatively. In his country of origin, there is a proverb that says: “If a man is hungry, no amount of words or instructions given that will enter him unless food enters first”. One day, he hopes to have a bigger platform to help raise global awareness of these issues and to help provide food for as many people that he has the opportunity to help.
Human Resource & Administration
Community Engagement & Outreach Lead
Diella is a certified health coach, creative and sustainable business strategist. Her love for the arts & helping people comes from growing up in a family culture of love, faith, giving, creativity and entrepreneurship. Diella has a background in sports & athletic, music, fashion design and visual arts.
She is a community builder and connector who believes in fostering genuine, value-based relationships. Diella is the founder + health coach at Cokr8 Wellness, where she coaches women entrepreneurs, runs a podcast called”Cokr8 Convos” and curates events (such as Empowered Movement YYC -an annual health and wellness event in Calgary) that encourages proactive healthy habits amongst black, indigenous and people of colour.
Diella also has experience working with NGOs and developing research, reports and training programs that help focus a company or organization’s resources on creating solutions to urgent social issues.
Diella has a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from Alberta University of the Arts (2009), Calgary, AB., Canada; Health Coaching and Life Coaching certification from the Health Coach Institute (2019)
USA; Sustainable Business Strategy certificate from Harvard Business School (2020) USA.
She is an ambassador for the Creative Industries Pact for Sustainable Action
Strategic Consultant & Training
Imoleayo Ashogbon is a Certified human resource professional, certified change management practitioner, certified inclusion and diversity professional, community builder, Strategic leader and a passionate HR enthusiast.
He comes with over 11 years of Human resources experience, working in various leadership positions with companies like Foodconcepts plc(Chicken Republic owners and butterflied). Halogen group- Largest security company in Nigeria and a few others. Growing up, he has been passionate about volunteering and taking up strategic leadership roles, serving in different capacities from his university days – which allowed him, manage and engage with people from different cultures, orientations and belief systems.
He relocated to Canada in 2017, where he worked as HR Operations Lead in a recruitment consulting company in Calgary and later moved to Vancouver to join G4S Secure Solutions, the world’s largest security company. As an HR Generalist, Imole currently works with Coca- Cola Canada as HR Business Partner, Manager for British Columbia.
Imole is a member of the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources – CPHR. He holds a Certificate in Change management from Sauder School of Business- UBC, A Diploma in Advanced Human resource management from London Academy Business School and a Masters’s degree in Industrial relations and personnel management from the University of Lagos. –I believe the best way to predict the future is to create it.
Sunmbo Durosola is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with decades of consulting experience on the inside in the Energy, Retail, and not-for-profit sectors.
His coaching approach helps leaders refine and build a strong executive persona, set clear organizational direction, gain commitment for performance, and foster alignment across the organization.
In 2016, Sunmbo started his independent practice and continues to work with clients on three continents (remotely and face to face) to help leaders increase their influence and credibility, lead with purpose and accelerate organizational commitment, alignment, and results. Much of his work in the last three years involves coming alongside Executives in a Canadian non for
profit with entities on six continents, as they navigate cultures and boundaries to build strategic alliances for mutual benefits.
Sunmbo is volunteers with charity organizations that provide opportunities to learners with multiple barriers and help individuals build new skills, increase confidence, and continue a path of lifelong learning. Sunmbo’s approach to coaching.
With a bachelors in Comparative Religion (beliefs and philosophies across cultures) he is trained to switch off his own inner voice of judgment and with an open heart, connect with others. A Knowledge Management and Leadership Development expert, Sunmbo is passionate about helping clients discern their own knowledge, values, and inspirations in building consciousness for action and moving in direction of their choice. As a strategic confidant, he creates a safe and supportive environment where leaders candidly discuss and explore challenges, develop a consciousness for creating a path for greater leadership success.
This is done through a framework of inquiry that helps people find their own answers, redefine, and generate new direction and purpose.
Enjoys challenges and problem-solving through analytical and lateral thinking. Disruptive technology and kaizen enthusiast, always seeking out-of-the-box, faster, and better solutions to technical and leadership challenges. Hobbies are chess, traveling and playing music gigs
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