Black History Month began in 1926 in the United States. The event originated as a way to recognize and celebrate African American history and accomplishments — subjects largely ignored in general society, and conspicuously absent from school curriculums.

Expanding rapidly, today Black History Month is celebrated in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and the Republic of Ireland as well as the United States.

Canada undoubtedly has an abundance of talented artists of colour. From Stan Douglas to Buseje Bailey, Bushra Junaid, Chantal Gibson, and so many others, they’ve long made valuable contributions to our country’s arts canon. It is critical we include these uniquely qualified perspectives on race, identity, and inclusion/exclusion into our national dialogue.

Though SSNAP is dedicated to the promotion of Canadian artists from every background, we are proud of the accomplishments of our grand prize winners from 2019 and 2021: Kriss Munsya and Luther Konadu.

Kriss Munsya

Kriss Munsya is a Belgian, Congolese-born visual artist currently living in Vancouver, BC. From a very young age, Kriss has been exploring art through drawings, photography, and video.

He was a SSNAP finalist in 2021 for his work Dreams Tonite. Highway Reflections, The Eraser. His piece juxtaposes experiences of the past with desires of the future. It is a story of change and transformation that centers on a black man revisiting experiences that have been normalized in critical reflection of internalized supremacy.

Luther Konadu


Luther Konadu is an emerging artist and writer, working in photographic print media and painting. He also oversees Public Parking, an online publication for tangential discussions on contemporary art.

His photographic work, Figure as Index, won SSNAP’s Joan McConnell Award in 2019. His artist’s statement reads: “It’s an excerpt from my ongoing documentary photographic project. Like others in the project, this piece pursues the portraiture of self and community as it relates to the medium. It uses re-photography as a way to break the smooth illusionist surface of a photograph.”

Watch our social media the next two weeks, where we’ll be honouring other Canadian artists of colour.