Keeping hope alive

celebrating afro-centric history through arts & culture

For 21 years the Nanaimo African Heritage Society is an organization that expresses education and learning about African Heritage, the history and culture of Black Pioneers in Canada through Arts and Culture. Unifying all cultures through thoughtful events that inspire and inform. Africa is comprised of many people from different cultures, with different languages and dialects, traditions, and religions.  Shalema Gantt is the founder and a staunch advocate of diversity through Arts and Culture attempting to connect communities through music, food, and dance.

WhatsApp Image 2022-09-19 at 5.21.34 PM

The Audition Workshops are on Saturday, September 30th 2023 between 12:00 and 2:00 PM and 2:00 and 4:00PM.

There is a $25 cost to attend the workshop, but if you’re selected you’ll be given an honorarium of $50 with travel expenses paid and a free lunch provided during the event.

To apply call:

Shalema Gantt
Owner of Panache Productions & Nanaimo African Heritage Society


Shelf Wood

Spring/Summer 2023



As we recognize the first day of African Heritage Month, we remember Carter G. Woodson for his contribution in bringing forward the importance to highlight the contributions of African Americans on the Continent of North America. Woodson’s concept was later expanded into Black History Month. [] 

#africanamericans #africancaribbeans #africancanadians #africanlatinos #africanhispanic #africanheritage #africans #bhm #BlackHistoryMonth #BlackHistoryMoment Music by Tiken Jah Fakoly-“We Love Africa”

Respect for indigenous communities

The Nanaimo African Heritage Society respects the Coast Salish Peoples and acknowledges the hardship and challenges forced on them by colonization,  resulting in the genocide, torture, forced removal, and stolen land and territories.


With our deepest sympathies for those children who lost their lives at the hands of the perpetrators of residential schools. The families of Indigenous nations across the country that were the victims and survivors, re-learning traditions,  unlearning colonization, and moving back to the Creator. 


The best way to acknowledge systemic racism is by learning the history and encouraging others to do the same. NAHS recognizes that we work, and live on stolen lands.




Community Stewardship

NAHS brings people and communities together. Making connections with other organizations and builing a social fabric that unites People of African Descent with all cultures and ethnicities.

education and mentorship

Our mandate is to promote African American Heritage and History through education and discussion.

social awareness and change

Do to the current climate for social awareness NAHS is pro-actively bringing change through special events for the purpose of education and entertainment.


Supporting individuals and groups by facilitating avenues for the support of People of African Descent.

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Shalema gantt founding president of
the nanaimo african heritage society


Black History Gala

Nanaimo, British Columbia

Every year the NAHS hosts a spectacular gala with entertainment and a message of hope. Shalema Gantt and the Board of NAHS want to use this as an opportunity to celebrate Black diversity and bring awareness to the community about the struggles of  People of African Descent.  


Hosted in February to pay homage to the founder Carter G. Woodson for his legacy as a well-educated man pursuing knowledge and history of the African Diaspora. Black History Month is formerly known as Negro History Week (1926).  

National Historic Site 1915-Wikipedia

black lives matter rally 2020

On Friday, June 5th, almost 2000 people gathered, safely masked and physically distanced, at Maffeo Sutton Park. Almost thirty people, ranging from teens to grandparents, took the stage. We raised our voices in protest against police violence, to demonstrate Black joy and love, and to show solidarity with People of African Descent.


Chase River, Nanaimo, British Columbia

The Nanaimo African Heritage Society, Chase River Neighbourhood Association, and Nanaimo Community Heritage Commission through planning and fundraising with considerable assistance by the Chase River Elementary School and the City of Nanaimo raised a stone monument and plaque focussing on the unqique history of Chase River featuring the Stark family and their contributions to the community.

Mrs. Nadine Simms at the ceremoney for the unveiling of the Stark Monument