Arbor Gallery welcomed Cameroon-born entrepreneur Gaëtan Etoga on Saturday to present YMMA (ymma.ca) – a start-up business he co-founded with compatriot Yannick Nguepdjop in 2020. The company sells Black and mixed-race dolls in traditional African fabric costumes or non-traditional professions for women.

Etoga told his story and how he and Nguepdjop decided to do something in the wake of Black Lives Matter and during pandemic, with their mission to promote self-acceptance and self-love in Black and mixed-race children and to make a difference in the battle against racism. “The talk was a real pleasure and people in attendance participated with enthusiasm”, says Sylvie Bouchard who runs the gallery, “we were also very happy with the response for this first presentation in French”.

Honouring Indigenous History in June

Segueing on this inclusion-themed talk, June will see a special exhibition honouring Indigenous History month. Arbor Gallery is welcoming artwork by Nathalie Coutou (khewa.com) and other Indigenous artists from June 8 to July 3. “Our mission as a community charitable cultural centre and art gallery is to raise awareness through arts and cultures, and the YMMA talk and Indigenous History month installations will do just that,” Bouchard explains. Helped by a grant from Champlain Township, and collaboration with the Champlain library, the team is preparing events and more to be announced shortly.

Together for Ukraine/ Ensemble pour l’Ukraine event this weekend

From June 3 to June 5, Unité pastorale du Soleil Levant, Creating Centre and Arbor Gallery are holding a Ukraine awareness event at 36 Home Avenue, on both floors of the heritage home. Artwork, amateur and professional, will be displayed throughout and an open conference will be held from 11:00am to 1:00pm, allowing visitors to walk-in to listen to Dmytro Gordiienko and Luc Chénier – who will talk about their life in Ukraine. Admission is free. Bilingual presentation in the Main Hall of the Arbor Gallery.

There are only a few days left to enjoy exhibition by local artists Maggie Dean and Brunhild Schierding – Just Horsing Around exhibition, which ends on Sunday, June 5.

Scottish singer-songwriter coming to Vankleek Hill June 7

On Tuesday, June 7, Arbor Gallery Intimate Concerts series features Simon Kempston, Edinburgh based Scottish singer-songwriter and a leading acoustic fingerstyle guitarist performing original and contemporary acoustic folk/blues songs. A presentation by Saken Music. Tickets at saken.ca/tickets, $20 in advance/$25 at the door. Limited seating. Additional information about Simon Kempston at https://simonkempston.co.uk/

Arbor Gallery Cultural Centre is located at 36 Home Avenue. The gallery is open Thursday through Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m. More information about programming and events on Arbor Gallery’s Facebook page, website or Twitter, by subscribing to the gallery’s newsletter at www.arborgallery.org or by email at [email protected]