Portia White was an operatic contralto with a voice described as ‘a gift from Heaven.’ She became the first Black Canadian concert singer to receive international acclaim, despite difficulties obtaining bookings because of her race. The high point of her career was a widely acclaimed recital in New York in 1944. However, White’s operatic and concert career was cut short, as because of vocal difficulties. She retired from public singing and in 1952 she moved to Toronto where she taught voice to some of Canada’s foremost artists. She returned to the concert stage occasionally and sang for Queen Elizabeth in Charlottetown, PEI, in 1964.

Selections from the film, Portia White: Think on Me, by Sylvia Hamilton