Nights of Montreal in the years 1950 – 1980, an event at the Afromusee

As part of the Festival d’histoire de Montréal 2023, ARCMTL and the Afromusée present: “Nights of Montreal in the years 1950 – 1980, an event at the Afromusee”

Afromusée, 533 Ontario E. métro Berri
Saturday, 13 May 2023
1:00 to 5:00 PM
With Special Guest : Charles Burke!

As part of the Festival d’Histoire de Montréal, come and discover the history of Montreal nightlife from the 1950s to the 1980s in the company of the legendary manager of the Black Bottom nightclub, Charles Burke!

In a discussion co-hosted by ARCMTL and the Afro-Canadian Museum (Afromusée), Charles Burke will share his memories of this era of Montreal nightlife, offering participants a unique insight into the city’s cultural history and the importance of legendary venues for the city’s Afro-descendant communities.

It’s a unique opportunity to learn more about an often overlooked chapter in Montreal’s history from the 1950s to the 1980s, and to meet a singular figure in the city’s cultural landscape.

Members of the ARCMTL and Afromusée teams will be on hand to present documentary and audiovisual material, as well as an interactive web map enabling visitors to discover the history of these communities’ cultural sites. The Afromusée’s current exhibitions will also be accessible during the event.

Click here to listen to the transcript of the discussion with Charles Burke, held on November 15, 2023!

Who is Charles Burke?

Charles Burke and Miles Davis poster for Black Bottom Jazz
Charles Burke and Miles Davis at the Black Bottom

Charles Burke was the manager of Montreal’s famous Black Bottom nightclub from its inception in 1957 until its closure in the 1980s. The Black Bottom was an essential gathering place for Montreal’s Afrodescendant communities, offering live music, dancing and a variety of shows.

As manager of one of the most important nightclubs of its time, Charles Burke witnessed many memorable moments in the history of Montreal nightlife, including performances by great artists such as Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk. He has also helped organize special events for Montreal’s Afro-descendant communities, including holiday parties, charity events, and anti-discrimination activities.

Discover the history of the site on this website.

Produced by ARCMTL and Afromusée for the Festival d’histoire de Montréal.

Leave a comment