AfroQuiz Competition Celebrates 25 Years in Edmonton
Flagship Children’s Event During Black History Month Aims to Educate
Edmonton, AB (February 15, 2017) – It has been 25 years in the making and the Council for Canadians of African and Caribbean Heritage (CCACH) proudly presents the silver anniversary AfroQuiz, its flagship Jeopardy-style competition for children of all ages, on February 25, 2017 during Black History Month. Over its quarter century history, AfroQuiz has provided hundreds of children with the opportunity to learn about Black history in Canada and take pride in their culture through its event that aims to educate Edmonton’s youth.
“We started the initiative as an opportunity for children of the African diaspora to understand their roots and discover the many contributions of Black people around the world,” said Jeannette Austin-Odina, AfroQuiz co-founder and CCACH board member. “We never thought it would grow to what it is today with past participants now leading the way for the next generation of competitors.”
Melody Cesar, for example, was a frequent winner of AfroQuiz and the reason organizers dropped the minimum age requirement to seven. Twenty years later, she is now volunteering as the AfroQuiz chair, spending more than 100 hours throughout the year preparing for the annual event.
“It was the competition that kept me going,” Cesar says. “I remember studying madly on my way to AfroQuiz and then getting on stage to crush my competition. As a kid, that was all the glory I needed! And, the prizes – those were great, too!”
“As an adult, I have come to realize that this competition is incredibly important for Black kids, and all kids in general. Not only does it give us an opportunity to connect with our heritage, but it also allows students to expand on what they are learning at school. Our history is more than the underground railroad and Viola Desmond. In Canada, the Black community has a rich history going back generations, which often goes unheard.”
To commemorate Canada’s 150th birthday, AfroQuiz’ theme this year is “Canadiana.” The study materials provided to the contestants cover the impact and contributions of sports figures like Donovan Bailey, politicians like MLA David Shepherd and artists like K’Naan. In addition to the AfroQuiz student competitions in four age categories, the event on February 25 will also include live music, poetry and video entertainment for audiences to enjoy.
Registration for students in the 13-14 and 15-17 age categories are still open, and Cesar encourages all students between those ages to participate to register, “This year we’re giving away cash prizes to winners to put towards their education, which is a strong motivator for students who may have part-time jobs.”
AfroQuiz takes place on Saturday, February 25 starting at 1PM at the Citadel Theatre (Zeidler Hall). AfroQuiz is free, open to the public and to students of all ages and ethnicities. Audience members are also encouraged to participate and win prizes along the way. Registration and study materials are available at AfroQuiz.ca.
Since 1985, the Council of Canadians of African and Caribbean Heritage (CCACH) has been undertaking and supporting activities that enhance the social, economic and educational life of the African and Caribbean heritage communities within Canada. CCACH (www.ccach.org) promotes an understanding of the benefits of cultural diversity as an integral component of Canadian life, and increases awareness of African and Caribbean’s participation in and contribution to society.
AfroQuiz, the annual Jeopardy-style education event for kids of all ages, celebrates the rich history of people of African and Caribbean descent around the globe. AfroQuiz (www.afroquiz.ca) serves the youth of diverse cultural backgrounds in Edmonton, and the greater community, through its unique children’s event. Every year, AfroQuiz welcomes 50 contestants between the ages of 7 and 18 to compete and win prizes during Black History Month. AfroQuiz is a CCACH initiative.