Author: Kevin Bourne

Kevin Bourne is the co-founder and editor of SHIFTER magazine. Born and raised in Toronto, Kevin currently resides in Ottawa with his wife Koliah and their three children. He's a big fan of hip-hop, pop culture, and urbanism and spends most of his time keeping up with the Kardashians.

There a number of Black shows debuting or returning to the air and streaming services. Here are returning and new Black TV shows to check out. Over the past few decades, Canada has been sporadic with its offering of Black TV shows. Not only has the selection of shows from Black Canadian creators been few and far between, but we’ve also struggled to gain access to many Black shows available in the United States. Of course, there were some attempts and success stories over the years. There was Vision TV’s Lord Have Mercy!. set in Toronto’s Eglinton West neighbourhood, which…

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SHIFTER’s Kevin Bourne says Liyah Katana “can already boast superior vocals to more seasoned, mainstream artists” in his “8” EP review. Toronto has been churning out some of the best R&B talent in the world in recent years and now there’s another Greater Toronto Area product ready to take the R&B world by storm. Although just 20 years old, Liyah Katana already boasts an impressive résumé. She’s been building a name for herself in recent years with her vocals, live performances around the city, a string of radio hits, and frequent trips to rub shoulder with industry heavyweights in New…

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Toronto’s favourite comedy duo, Marlon Palmer and Big Norm Alconcel, have announced their eight-city Extra Gravy Comedy Tour. Today, Marlon Palmer and Big Norm Alconcel, two of Toronto’s rising comedy stars, announced they’re set to go on an eight-city comedy tour. Titled “Extra Gravy” after their podcast and live comedy shows of the same name, the tour will them stop in Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver, Montreal, Scarborough, Kitchener and Hamilton from October 13th through to December. The duo first joined forces back in March 2017 to launch the Extra Gravy podcast where they put their comedic spin on the latest…

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SHIFTER’s Kevin Bourne calls Sasha Leigh Henry’s new series “funny, well-written and pretty much perfect” in his Bria Mack Gets A Life review. Since the success of Kim’s Convenience, some have wondered when Caribbean people would get a comedy series of our own. Well, that day is just around the corner with the upcoming Crave Original Series Bria Mack Gets A Life, a coming-of-age comedy about a young Black woman’s transition from college student to adulthood. The series has been gaining buzz since it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival this year. Created and written by Sasha Leigh Henry…

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This morning, WWE made it official. Jade Cargill has joined WWE after signing a multi-year deal with the sports entertainment powerhouse. She becomes the second major AEW star to join WWE. This morning, WWE ended the speculation by announcing that Jade Cargill has signed a multi-year deal with the industry-leading promotion. She brings an impressive track record of dominance, including a 60-match win streak, and magnetic in-ring presence to WWE. The exact terms of the multi-year deal are unknown, but Cargill will report to the WWE Performance Center today. AEW founder, Tony Khan, had praise for Cargill in a recent…

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The 2023 Legacy Awards are back again. From Keshia Chante hosting to a Northern Touch tribute, here’s your 2023 Legacy Awards recap. After a successful inaugural event in 2022, the who’s who of Black entertainment gathered at History for the 2023 Legacy Awards. Hosted by Keshia Chante and executive produced by Shamier Anderson and Stephan James, the ceremony will see some of Canada’s finest talents, in music, film & TV and sports honoured by the Black Academy. WNBA superstar, Kia Nurse, received the 2023 Legacy Athlete Award, Jully Black received the Icon Award, LU KALA took home the Emerging Artist…

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Ladj Ly’s latest film is a raw and gritty depiction of the power struggles and racial injustice taking place all over the world says Kevin Bourne in his Les Indésirables film review. Set in an underprivileged suburb of Paris, Les Indésirables sees a family doctor Pierre (Alexis Manenti) suddenly rise to interim mayor following the unexpected death of the current mayor. With his heavy handed policies targeting immigrants, including a mandatory eviction order for an apartment building and shutting down an informal neighbourhood business, he finds himself in over his head. With elevators that haven’t worked in years and graffiti lining the…

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SHIFTER editor Kevin Bourne calls Minhal Baig’s latest film “beautiful, creative, and heartfelt” in his We Grown Now film review Set in 1992 Chicago, We Grown Now tells the story of 12-year old best friends, Malik (Blake Cameron James) and Eric (Gian Knight Ramirez) as they navigate life in the Cabrini-Green public housing complex. Initially constructed to house World War II workers in the 1940’s, the community that was once home to 15,000 people with a strong sense of community, is now changing. While we meet the duo outside having fun, that all changes after a neighbourhood tragedy. When Malik’s…

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In his Black Life: Untold Stories review, Kevin Bourne says the series is “Canada as you’ve never seen it before”. Many Canadians believe the narrative that Canada has always been a refuge or Promise Land for Black people; that we’re better than the United States when it comes to our treatment of Black people. You know, the underground railroad. It’s something Canadians have hung their hats on for decades. Well, CBC’s Black Life: Untold Stories debunks that myth, calling into question to Canada’s squeaky clean image on race issues. Directed by Alicia K. Harris, episode one, titled “Haven, But No…

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In his Rustin film review, Kevin Bourne says the film is a reminder of how far we’ve come, but also how much things haven’t changed at all.  The story of Martin Luther King Jr. has been told over and over again on the big screen, but what we haven’t seen are films about the other architects of the civil rights movement who also fought for equality. That’s until now. Executive produced by Barack and Michelle Obama, Rustin tells the story of civil rights strategist and March On Washington organizer, Bayard Rustin (Colman Domingo), and his mission of freedom and peace.…

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SHIFTER recently attended the premiere for the latest film from Nigerian director Ishaya Bako about a recent graduate who must do what he can to make ends meet for himself and his family, but at what cost? Here’s SHIFTER’s Kevin Bourne with his I Do Not Come To You By Chance film review. My introduction to Nigerian movies came about 15 years ago in my friends’ Toronto apartment. What we saw was a film that felt a bit too long, with outrageous and sometimes comical or supernatural storylines, as well as scenes that took the film into odd directions. Well,…

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The Burial isn’t just a film about corporate greed but about the power of faith and friendship. Here’s Kevin Bourne’s The Burial film review. Directed by Maggie Betts and written by Betts, Doug Wright and Jonathan Harr, The Burial tells the true story of small town funeral director Jeremiah O’Keefe (Tommy Lee Jones) and his fight to save his family-run funeral home business. When a deal with a large corporation is in dispute, O’Keefe enlists the help of an unlikely ally in the flashy and smooth talking personal injury lawyer Willie E. Gary (Jamie Foxx) with his 12-year undefeated streak in…

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