Deanna (Dae) Shields
is the founder of Afro Van Connect, Community Youth Activist, Musician, Designer, Marketing and Communications Manager and Events Coordinator. Deanna was born to a single mother shortly after her immigration to Brampton, Ontario from Jamaica. She was raised in a Christian household and was exposed to live music early on by her grandfather who was a reggae - gospel guitarist and vocalist. She eventually began performing with her church choir and discovered a profound connection to healing through the culture.
Shortly after arriving in Vancouver Deanna connected with the African Descent Society BC. The vision of the African Descent Society BC is to build a society enriched and interconnected through African descent Canadian arts, history and culture with a mandate to build a center for African Heritage Cultural Centre at Hogan’s Alley. She began Afro Van Connect April 2019 to
create a platform for young creatives to come and express themselves. One of the initiatives started by Afro Van Connect is hosted by Ital Blue. Using creative platforms such as music, art, poetry and dance they encourage community healing and celebrate culture, inspiring youth to serve their community with weekly gatherings called Afro Van Connect Presents: Ital Vibe
Tuesday’s. This is a space that gives young creatives the opportunity to come and express themselves, share ideas and connect. Ital Blue aims to bring their community together through messages of self-empowerment, healing and the value of connectivity.