AKUA DELFISH has been performing Afro-Caribbean dance across Ontario for 27 years. Trained under the tutelage Scarborough Caribbean Youth Dance Ensemble for 13 years, Akua honed movements of the African and Caribbean genres, performing at major festivals, television networks, award shows, and competitions. She then furthered her technical dance training with Caribbean Dance Theatre for 11 years. As a seasoned and senior dancer with the company, Akua performed in numerous dance productions, shared the stage with major artists, and presented dance works in festivals as far as Japan. In 2005, Akua was one of five dancers selected to perform for a Caribana Cultural Contingent sent by the Hong Kong Tourism Board to represent Canada at the Cathy Pacific International Chinese New Year’s Celebration in Hong Kong. Currently, she is a member of La’Riatsila Dance Company and performs as an independent dancer with various dance groups including Spice Island Performers, Dance Caribe, and WiMotion.
Akua has been performing heavily since the age of five in music and dance. As a musician, she plays the electric organ, trombone and baritone, completing her high school studies at a (then) art-designated school with a performing arts concentration in music. Currently, Akua performs with the reigning top steelpan orchestra in the city, Pan Fantasy; she has been with the band for 18 years and alternates between three instruments within the ensemble.
In 2006, Akua was invited by the Consul General of Antigua and Barbuda to present in a workshop on “The Place of the Cultural Arts in the Identity and Development of Caribbean Peoples,” as part of a 2-day national forum entitled Caribbean Roots: Canadian Branches. She presented pieces and excerpts of her works pertaining to identity, and contributed workable ideas and suggestions for bridging the gap between generations, and merging folk and contemporary culture. In November of the same year, Akua was a recipient of the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda’s special 25th Anniversary of Independence award for her contribution to arts in the Caribbean community.
As an active member of the community, Akua has been involved across Toronto on various levels, including being a past executive committee member of the TPS Black Community Consultative Committee; past Youth Education Officer for the Antigua and Barbuda Association of Toronto; and a former Executive Board Member at the Malvern Family Resource Centre. She received a 2013 Ontario Volunteer Service Award for 20 years of service. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Communication, Culture, and Technology from Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.) and an Honours B.A. from York University in Fine Arts Cultural Studies, with a minor in Sociology.
Presently, Akua invests a great deal of her talents into fostering positive interest and experiences with Caribbean history and folklore among younger generations. She was the coordinator and dance instructor for the Just Dance program from 2011 to 2014, engaging young dancers in Scarborough. She has provided artistic direction for a bi-annual Youth Splash, a cultural and talent production, and conduct workshops for programs invested in the development of young women when time permits. Overall within her community involvements, Akua leads in the development of youth programming that supports cultural awareness.
Akua is a Senior Communications Advisor in her weekday career.