Community, Profiles

Our Community – Wunmi Idowu

By Heather Close
2 min read | July 28, 2023

This month’s Our Community blog features the wonderful Wunmi Idowu.

Wunmi is an award-winning dancer, choreographer, instructor, performer, and producer and the Founder and Director of Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre Inc. Since 2006, Woezo Africa has been passionately dedicated to bringing the history of African culture to the masses through traditional and modern modes of performing arts, including dance, music, theatre and storytelling. Her community outreach work with Woezo Africa has granted her numerous milestones, including her involvement in the inauguration of Alberta’s first Black History Month in 2017 and a Certification of recognition from the House of Commons of Canada (House of Parliament) in 2018. Looking to buttress her arts management skills, Wunmi graduated from the Haskayne School of Business’ Rozsa Arts Management Program (RAMP) in 2019 with the Rozsa Foundation.

As a producer, Wunmi has organized both local and international productions, including Africa Jo, UNITY: Dance Across Africa, Woezo Africa’s annual Black History Month event UNGANISHA: Explore. Connect. Dance, two successful runs of the Woezo Africa Festival in collaboration with the Guild of Nigerian Dancers (G.O.N.D) and Ijodee Dance Center in Lagos, Nigeria, as well as the Woezo Africa Cultural festival in Calgary, Alberta.

Wunmi’s accolades in the art industry span winning the 24th Annual Immigrants of Distinction Award and the Canada Vendors Entrepreneur Award in 2020, both of which were for the category of Arts and Culture. She also won an Afro-Canadian (AC) Community Leader of the Year Award in 2020. Her recent achievements include nominations for the 2021 Doug and Lois Mitchell Outstanding Calgary Artist Award in addition to Avenue Calgary’s 2021 Top 40 Under 40 list. By pushing for increased visibility of ethnically and culturally diverse artists in Alberta, Wunmi hopes that perceptions will shift around who participates in the arts. She is acquiring the skills to support her mission for social justice and equity through her current enrollment in the Rozsa Executive Arts Leadership (REAL) Program with the Rozsa Foundation. Additionally, she has been awarded a mentorship opportunity with Story Money Impact (SMI) to develop a film about racial issues experienced by Black youth, further bringing the voices of racialized people to light. Through dynamic, cutting-edge work that captures the imagination of a range of audiences, her hope is to enhance the creative economy in Calgary, empower communities and perpetuate the movement for instilling social change.

Check out our interview with Wunmi below. It was such a pleasure to chat with her back in June as she answers some of our questions.


Reference Links:

Woezo Africa

Akosua Akoto

Black Arts Development Program

Reclaiming Our History – Honouring Black Dance on HBO
To be released in 2024

Woezo Africa Cultural Festival

About the Our Community Blogs

At DJD, we pride ourselves on having so many incredible people who share our space with us. We want to highlight these people who are a part of our family and make our community whole. This monthly blog series will focus on the artists themselves and celebrate their incredible accomplishments.